What is a Marketing Stack? And Does My Small Business Need It?
What is a marketing stack?
A marketing stack is the collection of software tools a company uses for marketing (also known as marketing technology or martech). There are thousands of martech options out there to help improve marketing for companies of all sizes in the education industry. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by all of the choices!
But when selected and used correctly, marketing technology can help small businesses in many ways. And like most technologies, you can start small and build upon your marketing stack as you get more comfortable.
Does my company need a marketing stack?
If your education company wants marketing to contribute to growth, then you need a marketing stack. You likely already have the start of one without even knowing it. Do you have a WordPress website, CRM, and email tool? Then you have a marketing stack! These tools are the bare-bones technologies that marketing needs to communicate what your company offers to prospective customers. Adding more sophisticated tools to your stack will help you grow even smarter and faster.
How will a marketing stack help my company?
There is a cost to use most martech solutions, but the benefits will be worth the investment if you’re strategic about which technologies you select. At a high level, a marketing stack will help your company in the following ways:
Streamline operations - You will eliminate or reduce manual work, like data entry, and improve internal communications and workflow.
Generate valuable data - You’ll learn more about your prospective customers and existing customer’s purchasing behaviors, which will help you improve your marketing.
Drive revenue - The right mix of tools will bring in new leads and customers.
For example, with a marketing automation tool, you can automatically deliver a series of emails, text messages, and Facebook ads with imagery that changes based on who you're communicating to while gathering data about how messages are performing.
How do I build my marketing stack?
The first step to building your marketing stack is to evaluate the buying journey for your buyer personas. What are your marketing strategies at each stage of the buyer’s journey or marketing funnel? From there, you can start to map out technologies that can help at each phase.
Start with implementing one or two tools so that you’re able to invest time in learning the tools and fully utilizing them for your business. There are just as many versions of marketing stacks as there are marketing technology choices. Creating your marketing stack comes down to what will help your marketing efforts in reaching and supporting your customers.
How do you choose the right marketing technology?
Once you have an idea of what you would like your marketing stack to look like, you’re ready to get into which tools to consider. Here are some recommended steps to take in helping you find the right marketing technology for your education company:
For each tool you’re considering, jot down what features are important to you. It will be challenging to find technology that fits all of your criteria, but it will help you evaluate vendors by prioritizing what is most critical to your business upfront.
Thoroughly review websites for the tools you’re considering. Look at the features, case studies, and their blog. One of the most helpful areas to look at is the FAQs section or the community forum. You’ll see the types of questions people continually ask, which will give you a good idea of how the tool works and their customer support.
For each type of technology you need, narrow it down to two to three tools and set up a demo so you can see it live and ask questions directly to the sales rep.
When you have decided which technology to go with, purchase the most basic plan that provides you with most of the features you need. If it’s a technology you haven’t used before, it will take time to learn how to use it. You don’t want to be paying for features found in the more advanced plans if you won’t be using them to start. It’s always easy to upgrade your plan when you’re ready.
Choosing the right marketing technology for your company is worth researching to find the best tools for your needs.
Marketing stack examples
Marketing stacks are different for every company, but here are some marketing stack examples to give you a starting point for how small businesses in the education industry should start.
Marketing stack example for a B2C business:
Marketing stack example for a B2B business:
A marketing stack helps businesses grow by improving efficiencies in marketing, offering more ways to connect with prospective and existing customers, and providing you with valuable data to enhance your marketing. Plan your marketing stack strategically by selecting what is best for your buyers and implementing tools your team will fully utilize. You will quickly realize the benefits of a marketing stack for your company.
Lesson #1 Why Your Company Needs Education Marketing Strategies
Lesson #2 Attracting the Right Customers with Buyer Personas and Messaging
Lesson #3 Why Marketing Campaigns Fail
Lesson #4 What is a Marketing Stack?