The Marketing Technology Stack: 3 simple steps to buy only what you need

By Haylin Belay
The Brief
With so much growth and innovation in the marketing technology space, it’s hard to resist the urge to ooh and ahh over every new gadget, app and platform. But as anyone with a cluttered smartphone can tell you, “more” doesn’t necessarily mean “better.”

With marketing tech budgets growing and a seemingly endless stream of new platforms becoming available, it’s clear that CMOs need a better way to distinguish between “what we need” and “what everyone is talking about.”

These three guidelines will help you cut through the hype and focus only on the tech that delivers.

1.      Focus on specific, strategic goals

Going grocery shopping on an empty stomach leads to a cart full of ice cream and microwavable pizzas, and the same is true for tech. It’s not enough to start looking based on a list of loose business objectives. Before investing in a new tool, you should know exactly which (measurable) goals that tool will serve, and how. Without a precise focus on deliverables, you’re likely to get distracted by shiny packaging and big promises, and that leads to a lot of waste.

2.      Look for tech that fits

Unless you’re actively looking to replace your enterprise stack, any new addition to your tech lineup should fit into your existing workflowand human resource capacity. Even if a product looks like the perfect, one-size-fit-all solution to your organization’s needs, the costs of starting again from the ground up, from initial investment to training and adoption efforts, may not be worth it. Look for APIs and a la carte options before going all in.

“Distinguish between ‘what we need’ and ‘what everyone is talking about.'”

3.      Play the long game

The tech landscape is trend-driven by nature, with developers constantly competing to innovate the next big thing. But remember, nothing in tech is “cutting edge” for long. These exciting new widgets will be laughably outdated sooner than you think; it’s critical to look for software with staying power.

For more information on this topic, including the four questions every CMO should ask before investing in new technology, be sure to download our latest whitepaper, “Why the Race to the Biggest Marketing Stack Makes No Sense.”


Haylin Belay is a freelance writer and blogger based in New York City. She is a frequent contributor to the RelSci blog. 

RelSci is a technology solutions company that helps create competitive advantage for organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers. Learn more about our leading relationship mapping software at


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