As previously discussed, a key challenge for any marketer looking to invest in martech is gaining support within the organization – particularly with technology or finance partners. In my experience, one of the key barriers to gaining support is the lack of understanding about what martech does, caused in part by the complexity of the landscape. Many marketers have likely seen some version of the diagram illustrating the increase in martech solutions over the years (e.g. from 947 in 2014 to 7,040 in 2019). This dramatic increase even makes it difficult for martech professionals to understand how different solutions fit together, let alone a generalist technology or finance professional who may be needed to help support your investment. To help with this, I suggest using or developing a martech framework, which will help anchor your conversations and build understanding.
In deciding what to use or how to build your martech framework, I recommend looking at different representations available in the public domain. There are several different frameworks that can be found through search, and there is an annual awards competition run by chiefmartec called "The Stackies" which publishes different representations of martech stacks. The next step is to consider your audience and what you believe to be your primary challenges. For example: Do you need to show your technology organization how different pieces come together? Or, do you need to show a business or non-marketing partner what different solutions do? For the former, you might choose something similar to what is presented on "The Stackies" as these are often quite detailed and very comprehensive. For the latter, you might choose a framework like the McKinsey's 4 D's of personalization (Data, Decisioning, Design, Distribution) which focuses on the go-to-market aspects of martech (i.e. personalization) and is quite simple to explain and remember.
You do not have to take exactly what you find – you can customize according to your audience and particular needs. A key challenge in my current role involved educating business and finance stakeholders. To assist, the framework I am currently using is:
|Pillar||What is included||How I positioned with stakeholders|
|Data||Solutions that manage and source data used in marketing||What do we know about our customers?|
|Analytics||Solutions that generate insights or options for marketing activity||What communications/actions could we take for our customers?|
|Decisioning||Solutions that decide the best action to take||What is the best action/communication right now?|
|Design||Solutions for formatting and constructing communications||How will I communicate with the customer?|
|Distribution||Solutions for engaging the customer||How will I engage the customer and obtain feedback on the engagement?|
It might be obvious to some that this framework excludes some areas of martech such as solutions for managing operations or finances. The reason is because the purpose of this framework is to gain support from business stakeholders for investments in the personalization space. Therefore, there is no need to talk about these other areas.
In summary, a well-chosen framework can be a valuable tool utilized to gain support within your organization for investing in martech. When selecting a framework, my recommendation would be to start with an existing framework and customize according to your purpose and your audience.