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With more than 4,000 companies vying for a spot in your MarTech Stack, the dizzying vendor landscape and its potential price tag can be overwhelming. Choosing a marketing automation platform first is a great way to narrow this list of possible vendors.

Over the past twelve years, the RingLead team has had the privilege of working with top marketers from many of the largest companies in the world on solving complex data challenges. Overtime, we’ve learned a tremendous amount about how different apps communicate with one another. We’ve seen faulty integrations derail multimillion-dollar marketing technology implementations. We’ve also seen companies set up well-oiled MarTech machines that seem to print money like the National Treasury.

When it comes to marketing automation, I like using Marketo because of its Launchpoint App Exchange, the top partner channel in marketing automation. We also love their seamless integration with Salesforce. In fact, RingLead’s motto is “If it doesn’t integrate with Marketo and Salesforce, it doesn’t exist”.

marketing technology landscape

The following checklist will help you navigate the extensive MarTech landscape and build the right stack for your Marketo instance.

1. What Features, Tools, and Functionalities are Must Haves?

marketing stack

Every MarTech blueprint begins with the basics – a company web site, marketing automation, CRM, media channels, and DATA. One of my colleagues is famous for the saying “CRM and Marketing Automation platforms are data repositories, similar to the old metal boxes that salespeople used to manage their contacts.” He also likes to ask, “If your building was on fire and you had to run out with only one item, would it be your metal box, or the cards inside?” The answer is obvious…

If I were starting a MarTech stack from scratch, I would begin with a website built to convert. The website would communicate well with Marketo, Salesforce, and other marketing channels. My goal would be to utilize these technologies to populate a rich database quickly and efficiently. The database would represent a community of similar minded companies and individuals that digest & share content as well as take action on relevant offers. Data is the lifeline flowing through your Martech stack. It’s important to spend as much time understanding, utilizing, and analyzing the data as you do building and supporting the stack.

2. How Do I Manage, Staff, and Integrate Marketing and Sales Stacks?

Historically speaking, marketing and sales technologies have been managed separately — each with its own mission, operations team and dedicated budget. I think there is a much better way — marketing and sales should be closely aligned.

sales and marketing

Dexter Hart from AdRoll talks about combining his sales and marketing ops teams into a new RevTech team.

“Prior to 2016, AdRoll’s marketing operations were tied to marketing and sales operations were tied to sales. There was SO much red tape between the teams. Marketing ops had no access to Salesforce, when we wanted to implement a product that touches SFDC, it was always an uphill battle with permissions and politics. And, likewise, if the sales ops team wanted to change a field or implement a product into SFDC, 90% of the time it would throw a wrench in our Marketo implementation. Each team was trying to help their team win in every meeting. There was a huge divide. But, when we took a step back, we both realized that we had the same goal — to help simplify and streamline processes and automate where we could,” explained AdRoll’s Hart.

“In 2016,” Hart continued, “we decided to merge the sales and marketing operations teams into its own separate group away from marketing and sales. We called ourselves Revenue Operations, rolling up into the Operations organization. Now the Revenue Operations team works together on problems, and supports both marketing and sales operation projects without any bias to one team over the other. By far, in my opinion, one of the best organizational change bets in AdRoll’s history,” added Hart.

3. What Percentage of My Marketing Budget Should be Spent on Technology?


marketing spend

According to research firm Pepper Global, 63% of marketers dedicate between 10 to 30% of their marketing budget to marketing technologies. And while two-thirds of marketers expect their budgets in 2016 to increase, the reality is that most marketing technology budgets will remain flat. It’s harder than ever for marketers to get new technologies approved. An easy way to free up budget for new Martech is to eliminate the technologies that aren’t being utilized. We’ve all fallen victim to paying technology vendors for apps we are not using. Get rid of any technology that isn’t being used ASAP.

Another way to free up budget for new technologies is to consolidate overlapping vendors. Many technology vendors are expanding their capabilities, creating an overlap in features. In fact, I believe that we are about to witness “the great MarTech consolidation.” Paying a single vendor for multiple solutions is much easier and more cost effective than paying multiple vendors for similar functionality.

Given a flat outlook for MarTech spending, it’s more important than ever to continuously audit your current stack and consolidate wherever possible.

4. What KPIs Should I Be Tracking?

A major challenge that most marketers have trouble solving is proving an ROI for each piece of their Martech stack. Tools like InsightSquared and CircleBack help keep track of top KPI’s. MarTech ROI is easy to track if you create a report for each technology. Track the below KPI’s from the start date of each app you implement to show how revenues are impacted immediately and over time.

  1. Cost to acquire $1 of new ACV from a new customer
  2. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  3. Customer Churn Rate
  4. Average ARR per account
  5. ARR growth per account
  6. MQL to closed-won ratio
  7. Number of full-time marketing employees (FTEs)
  8. Average cost per marketing qualified lead
  9. Monthly/Annual Run Rate
  10. Percentage of your annual sales pipeline touched (or influenced) by marketing

5. Will I Need a Different Martech Blueprint for Account Based Marketing (ABM)?

Account Based Marketing is on fire right now. For good reason too. Data driven ABM yields up to a 400% increase in lead to account conversion. According to a 2015 survey by SiriusDecisions, 92% of companies recognize the value in ABM, calling it a B2B marketing must-have. Switching to ABM will require your company to adopt additional MarTech applications. The infographic below presents the baseline technologies and vendors needed to make Account Based Marketing work well in your Marketo stack.

account based marketing

One of the main technologies you will need to implement ABM is RingLead’s account based lead routing. Marketo and other marketing automation providers manage leads. However, they aren’t able to cross-reference leads with Salesforce Accounts. RingLead makes it possible to link Marketo Leads to Salesforce Accounts. which enables the other ABM technologies to be more effective.

Since 2003, RingLead has helped solve the dirty data problems of Fortune 500 companies and small businesses across the globe. Our free data analysis helps companies benchmark their current situation and plan for better times ahead. If you would like a free data analysis, feel free to comment below or reach out

The author:

John Kosturos is VP of Enterprise & Channel Sales at RingLead. John is an expert in contact data quality and enrichment. He has helped customers and partners integrate data quality solutions that communicate with both Salesforce and marketing automation platforms.

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