Category: Marketing Technology

Effin Amazing’s Ultimate Marketing Technology Stack

ultimate marketing technology stack

You know it, I know it.

There are just way too many marketing tools to choose from.

With what was expected to be 5,000 marketing tools offered in 2017, how the hell are you supposed to know which ones will drive record breaking growth in 2018 and which ones will be a waste your time?

Know so many marketing tools rely on one another to stay functional – if one goes down, many others dol too – choosing the right tools is even more difficult.

This domino effect of tools breaking each other is something I like to call “The Stackapocalypse,” and it can wreak havoc on your business.

No pressure, but ff you’re looking to invest in new marketing tools, it is incredibly important to pick the right ones because making the wrong decision could lead to the loss of a ton of valuable data and hard work when the dominos start to fall.

I’m going to share my personal collection of tools: “Ultimate Marketing Technology Stack.” I wholeheartedly believe that this stack is the best one out there for marketers interested in achieving record-breaking growth.

These tools have been used to drive record breaking growth for my company, Effin Amazing, and my clients, including Real Thread, Frame.io, ForksOverKnives.com, and Eventbrite.

Let’s get started!

What’s Included in My Stack?

A marketing stack is a combination of tools you use to help you do your job as a marketer. This could include outbound email tools, analytics tools, sales and marketing automation tools, and the services that connect them.

You might think that your marketing stack is relatively small, but I’d be willing to bet that you’re using more tools than you realize.

With the help of a tool known as Ghostery, you can tell how many tools your website is currently using. Try it now. I bet more technologies are being used on your site than you know.

My marketing stack is pretty tight, but even I’m using 29 tools, though my core marketing stack does have fewer technologies.

But enough already, let’s get to my stack:

Email: Gmail

Social automation tools: Buffer, Revive Old Post, Zapier

LinkedIn message blast tool: GPZ

Lead capture tools: ProspectHive, Klenty, Toofr, Grouply

Webinar tool: Zoom

Video meeting tool: Zoom

Calendar tools: Mixmax, Google Calendar

Video streaming tool: Wistia

A/B testing tool: Optimizely

CMS: WordPress

Data-piping tools: Segment, Zapier

Tag manager: Google Tag Manager

CRM: Salesforce

Contract Signature: Nitro Cloud

Marketing automation tools: Klenty, Mixmax, MailChimp, Autopilot

Analytics tools: Google Analytics, Amplitude, Kissmetrics, Mixpanel, Hotjar

Of course, none of these tools are going to reach their full potential if they can’t share data with one another.

Aside from the fact that they help me get the job done, the tools in my marketing stack have been chosen because:

  1. They integrate well together, removing the issue of “siloing.”* When using this stack, all departments have access to all relevant data that comes with a promising lead. If you use my stack, your business will be set up so that sales and marketing have access to the same data, making everyone more effective at their job.

  2. They are highly immune to the “Stackpocalypse” because the tools are all well established and have been around for a while. They’re also the “best of their breed” tools.

Note: You don’t have to use the tools that I’m using in my Ultimate Growth Marketing Stack, you just have to make sure you aren’t picking a tool which could die in 6 months if they lose VC funding. Bubbles happen, and VC funding dries up in verticals. Make sure your tool doesn’t die with it.

*When tools are siloed, it means they’re not very good at communicating and sharing data with one another, or in other words, they lack integrations. The “marketing tools” don’t work well with “sales tools” and vice versa. And to top it all off, nothing works well with the analytics tools.

The Ultimate Marketing Technology Stack

The Ultimate Marketing Technology Stack is made up of the following tools:

  1. Google Tag Manager

  2. Segment

  3. Clearbit

  4. Autopilot

  5. Salesforce

  6. Kissmetrics

  7. Zapier

This stack is extremely functional – all of the tools talk to one another and if you really stay on top of it, you can get great data that works together to give you incredible insights.

Even more, this marketing stack lets you do some really cool stuff that I don’t think many other (if any) companies are doing right now. Can you tell me of one company you know which can track the Salesforce stages in their web analytics tools?

Let’s take a look at these tools and uncover why each one deserves to be part of your stack.

No. 1: Deploy Code Without a Developer – Google Tag Manager

google tag manager

Google Tag Manager makes the use and integration of every other tool in your marketing stack a lot easier.

Whenever you want to use a new tool, you’ll likely need to install some code on your website, which can take a lot of time if you have to get in touch with your development team and then wait for them to implement the code, not to mention the constant back and forth to determine if they did it right.

For example, let’s say you want to use a tool known as Hotjar so that you can record how people are using and interacting with your site.

  1. Traditionally, you’d have to do the following:

  2. Get the code from Hotjar

  3. Send the development team your code

  4. Wait for them to install it

  5. Audit it to see if it works

  6. If there’s a mistake, contact them and then wait for them to get back to you.

  7. Wait for them to do it again

  8. Audit it again

  9. Use the tool (hopefully!)

This can be a messy process that takes time. Plus, if not done properly, it can break other things on your site.

The process can become even messier if you want the tool in question to only track or trigger in relation to specific events because it’s going to require a bit of hackery in how you implement the code.

It’s not hard to see how this can all become a big headache.

Google Tag Manager simplifies this process.

With Google Tag Manager, the only code you need to install on your site is the Google Tag Manager code, which is supplied to you when you sign up.

Once you’ve done that, you never have to mess with your code again.

If you want to use a new tool on your site, all you have to do now is drop the code into Google Tag Manager.

Google Tag Manager will then take care of the rest and implement the required code.

The really awesome thing about Google Tag Manager is how well it integrates with all of the tools that are already out there.

With Google Tag Manager installed, there’s a good chance that you’ll never need to mess with the code on your website.

No. 2: Get Your Tools to Talk to One Another –Segment

segment

One of the major problems with various tools is that each one has its own syntax, which basically means that the code of each tool is written in its own unique way. This uniqueness means it takes forever to integrate, because you have to write a bunch of lines of code to support all of the different syntaxes.

Suppose you have 20 different tools in your marketing stack.

If you want all of your tools to work together nicely, you need to manage all 20 different syntaxes.

It’s not hard to see that this is a broken model.

With the help of Segment, you can fix this problem.

All you have to do is add the Segment “analytics.js” Javascript code, which you can do using Google Tag Manager.

And now you only have to manage one syntax (Segment’s syntax) instead of 20.

It is now easier for an “event” in one tool to trigger in all of your other tools.

Suppose someone visits your site. Using Segment, you can register that event in Google Analytics and send that event to Kissmetrics and HubSpot at the same time.

This is possible because Segment allows your tools to communicate with one another without writing multiple lines of code.

Segment also makes it easy for you to turn on or off any of the tools that you have installed.

You can simply log in to Segment and toggle and untoggle the tools you want active in your stack.

This reduces the amount of time it takes to find a cool new tool, implement it, and reap the benefits of doing so—and the time it takes to turn something off if it’s messing everything else up.

Already using Segment, or want to see if it will work for your organization?

No. 3: Figuring Out Who’s Who – Clearbit

clearbit

Clearbit is known as a “Data Enrichment Provider.”

With the help of Clearbit, it becomes easier to gather a lot of relevant background information on someone, which will help your sales process.

Suppose that someone visits your site and gives you their email, say, dan@effinamazing.com.

At that moment in time, you don’t know anything about that person other than their email address.

You might have a form that people can fill out, but there’s only so much information you can ask people before they decide that it’s not worth filling out a form.

Clearbit, however, removes the need for you to have complicated forms on your site.

You don’t need to ask people for a lot of information because Clearbit can “enrich” the initial data you have asked for.

With just one email address, Clearbit will help you obtain the full name of the person who filled out the field, their job title, and the revenue figures for their company.

No. 4: Visual Marketing Automation – Autopilot

autopilot

Autopilot is a tool that makes marketing automation and workflow automation extremely simple.

Autopilot gives you a great visual representation of how your “funnel” is going to work, and it does so in-line with the customer journey.

This is great for marketers because marketing funnels can get quite complicated, and having a visual means of managing your customer journey can really help you see how our funnel works.

It also becomes easier to make your marketing funnel even more complicated if you wanted too!

The other amazing thing about Autopilot is that it can really help you automate many different aspects of your marketing – and not just basic things like email.

For instance, here at Effin Amazing, we run a lot of webinars.

We use Autopilot to send SMS messages and email messages to remind people ahead of time that they’ve signed up for a webinar that is starting soon.

Autopilot is also really effective during the sales process. (It’s useful for the entire customer journey.)

We use Autopilot to send offline reminders.

For example, if someone hasn’t opened our emails, we can send a postcard to their corporate address.

Direct mail is getting cheaper than AdWords, so it can make sense to send a designed or personal postcard.

Because we use tools like Clearbit to enrich our data, we often have the correct mailing address to send out postcards or other “offline” materials.

With many of these offline channels being integrated with online marketing, it’s now becoming really easy to reach your prospects or customers in a variety of ways. And everything is made even easier when you use something like Autopilot to automate the process.

Autopilot integrates with a ton of other tools, which means that it’s going to fit well into any marketing stack that encompasses the entire customer journey.

You’ll find that you can manage the entire customer journey using just Autopilot, which is especially helpful when you have a lot of tools that are going to be integrating and talking to one another.

No.5: The CRM Side of Things – Salesforce

salesforce

We use Salesforce to track every single one of our customers and prospects.

Salesforce makes it easy for us to report on what they’re doing and how much revenue we make from them. And we can monitor our deal tracking and how that’s going to affect our pipeline and MRR at the end of the month.

Many people don’t really like to use Salesforce, especially if they had to use the classic version. After all it was an ugly piece of . . . I get it.

But recently Salesforce has come out with something known as Salesforce Lightning, which is so much nicer to work with.

This new version of Salesforce is prettier and provides a massively improved user experience and user interface when compared to older versions.

Personally, I used to hate Salesforce but I’ve come to love it, especially when compared to other CRM solutions.

Why?

Because Salesforce provides something known as the AppExchange

Why is the AppExchange such an important feature?

Because using tools within the AppExchange allows you to quickly take care of common problems that affect CRM systems.

A good example of this is “deduping.”

Deduping is a way to clean up your CRM data and make sure you don’t have more than one lead for the same person.

If you were to manually dedupe your CRM data, it would probably take you forever.

But thanks to the AppExchange, all you have to do is install a tool that will take care of the deduping for you.

There are thousands of tools that you can take advantage of within the AppExchange. If you run into problems or want to achieve a particular goal with your Salesforce CRM, there’s a good chance you can tackle the challenge using a tool from the AppExchange.

It’s this massive ecosystem that makes Salesforce the number one CRM out there.

Plus, the fact that Salesforce integrates with a lot of tools outside of the AppExchange means that it’s really easy to add Salesforce to your existing marketing stack.

As a result, you won’t really need the help of a developer if you want to make a new tool in your marketing stack “talk” to Salesforce.

No. 6: Powerful Analytics – Kissmetrics

kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is one of the most powerful analytics tools out there.

With it, you’re able to track every single one of your customers throughout the entire funnel.

The dashboard that’s provided by Kissmetrics makes it easy for you to quickly review your KPIs. When logging in to Kissmetrics, you can instantly see the KPIs that’ll help drive your business forward.

Tracking metrics is important because that data will help you develop a better understanding of your users.

You can then use that data to create more effective marketing campaigns because you now have insights based on actual data.

Kissmetrics also makes it easy to assess how people are interacting with your website on multiple devices.

There aren’t that many people nowadays who exclusively use a desktop to browse the internet.

People tend to use multiple cell phones, their iPads, their desktops, their laptops, their home and work computers—the variations are endless.

In a standard situation, you don’t really have the means to merge all of these “identities” together in a way that would allow you to track them all as one person.

With Kissmetrics, however, you can alias users across all of these different devices, so you’re able to create a single customer journey and understand how these customers are using your product.

It also becomes easy to do this for “account-based” tracking, too.

It’s also really focused on who your customers are.

The data you collect about your customers is stored in an identity profile, which enables you to understand the attributes that make up your customers.

All of this is going to be used to create better insights so you know how to market and sell your business.

No. 7: Automate Your Stack – Zapier

zapier

What Zapier basically does is create “workflows” so that your tools can work together in unison.

It’s a tool that a lot of people ignore when building out their marketing stack, but it’s essential if you want to automate everything and save a lot of time.

Even if you’re using over 3,000 tools, you can connect them all to one another and then automate a lot of your life.

This helps eliminate any of the manual work you might need to do to ensure that all of your tools are sharing data or notifications with one another.

Zapier has a ton of integrations, making it easy for you to create workflows that rely on using different tools.

I probably have around 10 Zapier workflows that automate my email, calendar, webinars, and so much more.

Perhaps my most interesting use of Zapier is when I integrate it with Kissmetrics.

If you want to integrate Kissmetrics with Zapier, it’s probably going to require a bit of help from someone with a bit of coding experience.

But when you do set things up, you’ll be able do a lot of cool things, like creating an analytic event whenever someone comments on your content.

Like I mentioned earlier, if you’re going to invest in new marketing tools, make sure to do your research and choose the right ones – you don’t want to be left with a pile of dominoes at the cost of your business’ growth.

If you would like help implementing “The Ultimate Marketing Technology Stack” in your business, get in touch with us today.

About the Author

Dan McGaw is an award-winning entrepreneur and speaker. He is also the Founder and CEO of Effin Amazing, an analytics and growth consultancy that helps product and marketing teams get data driven and optimize their businesses. Coined as one of the original growth hackers, he has led the teams at Kissmetrics.com and CodeSchool.com. In 2015, Dan was selected to be a United States Ambassador of Entrepreneurship by the United State State Department, where he had the privilege to advise universities, governments and private corporations on how to build entrepreneur ecosystems. You can find him on most social networks, or follow him on Twitter at @DanielMcgaw.

3 Ways to Win Digital CX in 2018

3 ways to win digital cx in 2018

These days most Enterprises understand the value of customer experience and invest accordingly. In order to effectively compete in today’s market, brands must provide stellar customer experiences at every touchpoint, especially in digital channels. Even if you’re not competing directly with a digital disruptor, chances are your customers have been served by one and those experiences are shaping their expectations.

A Digital Voice of Customer program is the most effective way of improving CX and should be designed as an integral part of your digital stack. Some digital technologies such as analytics solutions and session recordings help you understand ‘what’ your users are doing, whereas Voice of Customer feedback allows you to understand ‘why’ they’re doing it. These insights are imperative for Marketers to help drive business goals and results (read more about that here).

Ori Soen, General Manager of Medallia for Digital and recognized thought leader in the field of digital customer experience, emphasizes the importance of the following 3 foundations and how they can impact your CX in 2018. Hear him speak in more detail at Digital Growth Unleashed, May 17th 2018, Las Vegas.

1. Better understand customers and find out the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’

Your analytics platform can show you what customers do on your site, and highlight the weak spots in your sales funnels, but analytics is not enough. Only customer feedback can explain why: why your customer abandoned their shopping cart or didn’t complete a task.

However, analytics data and customer feedback should not be seen as two distinct silos; advanced Digital VoC programs can combine both the analytics data and customer feedback, allowing you to see and understand the full customer journey. This combination offers unprecedented visibility into a user’s actions and motivations, providing a powerful tool for improving customer experience.

Leading companies unite those insights with the wisdom of the crowd: enabling employees across the business with customer feedback unlocks a company’s ability to positively impact experiences across channels.

2. Get actionable insights, make better business decisions

Collecting online customer feedback is the most effective source for guiding your product and business roadmap. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.

In a competitive market, there’s no time for guess work and Marketing leaders should rely on feedback data to make informed business decisions and prioritize their investments. For example, Western Union, a leader in global payment services, used Medallia for Digital’s VoC solution to quickly and accurately find out their customers’ requirements regarding one of their services. Using this feedback, they can now successfully prioritize future development features and build tools that their customers actually want, not just what the company thinks they want.

Listening to the voice of your customers reduces the element of doubt; Product and Marketing teams can now create amazing products and services that fulfil their users’ needs and is actually what their customers require, rather than what a company thinks they want. And at the same time, the company is constantly improving their customer satisfaction levels – that’s the great advantage of investing in customer experience.

3. Consistently Improve Your CX

Customer experience is not a short-term project and doesn’t have an endgame or date. In this case, it’s the journey not the destination… By consistently and strategically trying to improve your CX, you always have a pulse on what your customers want, and don’t want, and you will become better equipped to solve problems and improve your products and services.

By listening, understanding and most importantly, acting on customer feedback to close the loop with your users, you can consistently improve your brand’s equity, which will ultimately lead to increased conversion rates, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

About the Author

Michelle Burns is Marketing Manager at Medallia Inc.

Medallia for Digital helps companies capture customer feedback across emerging web and mobile channels, engage customers with compelling digital experiences and keep pace with customers’ constantly changing behaviors. Medallia for Digital is a native component of the Medallia platform – a leading Customer Experience Management SaaS company, which is trusted by some of the world’s top brands.

To learn more about Medallia for Digital click here >>

How to Use Mobile Marketing Ecosystems to Gain Competitive Advantage

How to Use Mobile Marketing Ecosystems to Gain Competitive Advantage

The role of modern-day marketers and CMOs is unrecognizable from what it once was. In the past, advertising, brand building and corporate communications defined the heart and soul of marketing operations. Marketing’s output was proportional to the budget allocated and data-driven decision-making was something unheard of. A few initiatives a marketer owned that helped drive business growth and customer value were messaging, positioning, running marketing campaigns with optimal ROI, launching new products and expanding to new geographies, customer marketing, and much more. This discussion will focus on:

Why successful CMOs have evolved to embrace data and technology with a strong focus on Mobile Marketing Platforms

Today, marketing is a central player in the development and execution of key strategic initiatives that drive significant business value and define the future of any business. Hence, they cannot hang their hat on driving awareness and consideration of products and services provided by their business. Marketing is charged with delivering relevant, timely, highly-contextual user experiences throughout the entirety of the customer engagement journey and increase top-line revenues.

To achieve this, marketers must invest in 5 key areas that are guaranteed to accelerate any business’ objectives.

  • Capture Relevant Data: Identifying what data should be captured and operationalized so brands can paint a holistic picture of their customers across the user’s entire lifecycle.
  • Align with your Customer’s Expectations: Optimizing segmentation to the individual customer rather than mass marketing indiscriminately, and reducing costs at the same time.
  • Make Real-time Data-Driven Marketing Decisions: Abstracting useful customer insights to identify and predict customers who are most likely to convert on a marketing tactic.
  • Contribute to ROI and improve KPIs and Business Metrics: Building the right team of marketing technologists and martech stacks that understand and value real-time insights.
  • Create a Culture of Innovation: Outlining all touchpoints your customers use to interact with your brand and positively shaping your customer’s experiences to create brand loyalty.

In addition to this, technology shifts and changes in user behavior around proliferation of devices, rise and adoption of complex martech stacks along with the fact that the CMOs budget is getting substantially bigger than the CIO, are adding to the marketers woes[1].

Limitations of the existing Mobile Marketing Solutions and the inability of the MarTech ecosystem to meet the modern marketer’s needs

As you can see, the marketer’s job isn’t an easy one. The existing solutions on their own just solve a small component of the marketer’s challenges. Hence to get a 360-degree view of the user and be able to make the right marketing decisions backed by real-time customer insights, businesses need to create a complex stack of multiple martech products. Decisions based on this are likely to fail miserably and leads to lost monetization opportunities that costs brands thousands of dollars everyday.

  • Loss of revenue and decrease in customer lifetime value: Inability to access and action on real-time customer insights makes it impossible to build successful marketing strategies.
  • Lack of a single source of truth and data integrity: Mobile marketing ecosystems need to be built as customer experience platforms. Relevant data from all sources should act as inputs so marketers can better understand and influence customers and prospects.
  • Complex Martech Stacks leads to slowed growth and lost revenues: Integration efforts required to run multiple point solutions is time consuming and leads to slower go-to-market.
  • Resource constraints: Resources required to purchase and run multiple martech solutions increases as the role of marketing evolves from a cost center to a strong revenue center.

How you can adopt Mobile Marketing Ecosystems guaranteed to build marketing organizations that drive growth and revenues

To effectively catch up with the needs of the sophisticated modern CMO, a mobile marketing platform that solves all the above challenges needs to be backed by a strong technology framework that can help collect, analyze, process, and act on customer insights in milliseconds. Creating memorable user experiences is what marketers need to build successful brands and gain customers for life.

  • Build unified digital experiences that transcend all channels: Create timely, contextual messages across all marketing engagement channels so your users have a consistent differentiated experience with your brand 24×7.
  • Personalization at Scale: Leverage marketing platforms that allow you to send billions of personalized marketing campaigns and deliver the best possible end-user experience by capitalizing on key mobile moments, boosting user retention, top-line revenues, and driving phenomenal growth.
  • Reduce time-to-value and time-to-first dollar: Using deep customer insights you can bring mobile experiences to a user sooner that what they would encounter if they were left alone to explore your app. Based on behavior and propensity to convert, you can build a mobile marketing strategy that will help them see value in your product right from onboarding to retention. Happy customers add to repeat business and act as product evangelists to help get new business.
  • Sustained competitive advantage: Businesses don’t win on features. They win on what value they provide to the customer. The way to build a successful business is via revenues from existing and new customers. If you can get better understanding of your existing customers, you can cross-sell and up-sell more effectively. Similarly, your existing customers are a goldmine. They help you to target prospects who have a higher probability to convert and help align marketing and revenues.
  • Experiment and Learn: Quickly test the impact of marketing efforts on ROI and user engagement by evaluating immediate reports on user activity within your app through our highly scalable, reliable and secure platform that processes millions of events in milliseconds

A few years back, building differentiated customer experiences to create long-term customer value and drive revenue opportunities was a vision that seemed impossible to achieve. Today, marketers have a unique opportunity to play a vital role in the growth of any organization. The key is to drive personalized conversations with your customers across their entire digital journey – one mobile moment at a time. Data-driven marketing approaches, powered by AI/ML, will help create a sustained competitive advantage that will be a game-changer for any brand that wants to be top of mind for their customers – and their wallets, too. Come join us for a great discussion and learn and share experiences with the broader marketing community.

[1] Gartner expects that narrow gap between CMO and CIO technology spending to close during 2018 and a huge chunk of the CIO charter and budget will come under the CMO

About the Author

Almitra Karnik is Head of Marketing at CleverTap. has over 10+ years of experience in marketing leadership across the globe. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies such as Cisco and EMC and also startups such as Twilio and Splunk. Currently, she is the head of marketing at CleverTap, a behavioural analytics and user engagement solution.

She has helped define inbound and outbound marketing strategies around digital, content and brand marketing along with customer growth and AR/PR activities for companies of all sizes.

She has a masters in computer science from University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Santa Clara university and is also very widely covered in the media for her achievements and thought-leadership. She is very passionate about causes around children’s education, glass ceiling and making technology accessible to everyone.