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 4 Secrets to Building a Best-in-Class Marketing Stack

4 Secrets to Building a Best-in-Class Marketing Stack


In case you haven’t noticed, marketing technology has exploded over the last handful of years. As of 2019, says there are more than 7,000 marketing technologies — which is 45x more tools than we had available in 2011. That’s huge!

It’s fantastic that marketers now have so many tools available to them, but the choice probably also leaves many scratching their heads. So let’s discuss: What does a best-in-class marketing stack look like, and what should we all be investing in for the future?

To find some answers, we’ve looked at 4,100 brands from across the globe and found key traits among high performing marketing organizations. We’ll lay out the four secrets they all share when it comes to marketing technology.



High-performing marketing organizations use an average of 14 tools to create a cohesive customer experience, while low performers use an average of 7. High performers are not only using more tools, but also more more variation in tools. The chart below illustrates what types of tools high performers are using, as well as the expected growth of those tools in the coming years. This chart is also a great way to benchmark your current status.


High performers are 1.7x more likely to consider the ability to solve for unique identities as a critical marketing technology requirement than low performers. This suggests that one of the keys to a best-in-class marketing stack isn’t just the number of tools, but rather how well they connect to keep a consistent view of each person at all times.

In this sense, connecting means keeping up with an individual across their entire customer journey. Because of this focus on connectivity, high performing marketing organizations are 7.3x more likely to be completely satisfied with their ability to use data to create more relevant experiences. Those experiences are powerful, as we found 82% of marketing leaders credit personalization with a major or moderate boost in customer advocacy. Additionally, 92% of marketing leaders say personalization accelerates and boosts brand building.


A marketing team’s ability to personalize the customer journey has become a marker of success. High-performing marketers are 9.7x more likely than low performers to be completely satisfied with their ability to personalize omni-channel experiences.

To a customer, there is one company — not separate departments. As customer experience leaders, marketers must look beyond their own walls for new opportunities to drive superior engagement across the entire customer journey. Thus, the notion of a ‘marketing stack’ is really a misnomer. High performers integrate their marketing technology across the entire customer journey, from advertising to customer support.

93% of high performers have integrated marketing and advertising technology stacks, compared to only 69% of low performers. More than 50% of all high-performing marketing organizations using ecommerce integrate their commerce platforms and marketing tools. High-performing organizations with sales teams are also 1.5x more likely to integrate marketing and sales technology via programs such as account-based marketing. 53% of all marketing teams share common goals and metrics with service teams.

Marketing is part of every step of the customer journey. The better your technologies are integrated across the customer lifecycle, the better-suited your brand will be to create personalized, omni-channel experiences. 


Marketers are not IT people. They use technology to do their jobs better, but that does not mean they should be the managers of the software. As brands add more technology, they need to begin to employ a new layer of staff — systems administrators (also known as a marketing operations team).

Best-in-class marketing stacks are full of innovative technologies, and they’re evolving every day. They’re easily the largest IT systems within today’s businesses, and will remain so far into the future. As such, they must be treated with proper management and oversight.

Want to know the future of marketing and what the next five years will hold? Check out this fascinating webinar on The Future of Marketing: 2019 Edition. Learn everything from how your data use will change over the next 5 years to the foundational changes expected.

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