B2B Marketing Tech Stack
Selecting the suitable B2B Marketing Tech Stack is one of the more critical decisions that a marketing or marketing operations team will make. With the marketers' challenges always changing and B2B marketing technology becoming increasingly complex, it can be challenging to understand what's critical, what's important, and what is just a “nice to have.” Below we’ll outline the types of B2B marketing technologies, share our list of top solutions in the market, and share how critical they are to your business so that you can build the best B2B Marketing Tech Stack suited for your business.
Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs)
Marketing automation platforms are at the core of any B2B marketing tech stack. They are NOT just an email marketing tool. These platforms are used to capture lead and contact data, segment your audience, automate email marketing and nurture campaigns, build and automate workflows, build and publish forms, automate social media posting, manage advertising campaigns, measure key metrics, create dashboards or reports, build lead scoring processes, and so much more.
Some marketing automation platforms, like Hubspot, can double as your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool so that you can manage your marketing automation and activities using the platform and your sales and customer support activities.
These tools start to get exponentially more powerful through leveraging integrations with other tools and resources. Marketing automation platforms will often integrate with your CRM, sales automation and enablement tools, billing and invoicing solutions, customer data solutions, advertising solutions, and more. This allows you to a) leverage your marketing data to trigger something to happen in another system or tool (ex. send an invoice or alert a sales rep) or b) listen for events in other systems to then trigger activity in your marketing automation platform (ex. if prospect interacts with an advertisement, add to nurture list in your marketing automation platform).
Top B2B Marketing Automation Platforms:
- Hubspot - For small and midsize organizations but can scale to enterprise
- Marketo - For complex automation processes and nurture campaigns
- Pardot - For organizations that want to keep all data centralized within Salesforce
- Eloqua - For mid to large-size organizations
Level of importance: CRITICAL. Think of your marketing automation platform as the foundation of your entire marketing technology stack.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
Content Management Systems, or a CMS, is software that helps you… you guessed it… manage your content. But not any content; Content Management Systems are specific to helping you manage content on your website without needing a designer or intimate knowledge of HTML and CSS.
These tools make it very easy for you to create landing page templates, blog templates, pricing pages, purchasing pages, host or store media (images, audio, video), and capture data and leads with built-in form builders. Many of these tools also integrate with Google Analytics and have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) functionality built to ensure your website is optimized to capture web traffic. But which one is right for you and your business? Below is a list of top CMS providers.
Top B2B Marketing Content Management Systems (CMS)
- Webflow -For organizations that value design and flexibility out of the box
- WordPress- For organizations that value integrations and ease of use
- Drupal- For organizations that are conscious of budget and like to build
Level of importance: CRITICAL. Your website is a 24/7 selling machine. It’s how your audience will find you and learn about you.
Search Engine Optimization and Management (SEO and SEM)
Search Engine Optimization and Management tools are often forgotten and not the first solution a B2B marketer may think of purchasing or configuring- but they should. SEO tools and SEM solutions are arguably the most powerful marketing tools in your marketing tech stack for creating and capturing demand.
- How do you know if people will find you if they search for your company?
- Will people find you if they search for a problem that you solve? Or for a related topic?
- Do you know what your audience is interested in and what content you should generate in the first place?
When your audience is searching for something, it means they have a problem that needs a solution. There is no better time in the buyer journey to ensure you show up as one of the solutions they should evaluate. SEO and SEM tools help you execute keyword research, uncover keyword ranking difficulty, and help you track your progress for keywords or phrases you want to improve.
Top SEO solutions:
- Google Analytics - Analyze web traffic and where it's coming from
- Google Search Console - Execute keyword research and analyze search data for your audience
Top SEM solutions:
- SEMRush - Keyword research, manage keywords and understand ranking difficulty
- Ahrefs - Keyword research, manage keywords and understand ranking difficulty. It also has many free, lightweight tools to get you started.
Level of importance: CRITICAL.
Paid Advertising Analytics and Management
Almost every marketing strategy will include investments in paid advertising, especially digital marketing strategies. Paid is one of the most tried and true marketing channels for lead generation and pipeline creation. It’s also one of the more effective ways to test your content marketing strategy and see what messaging resonates with your audience.
But what tools should you use in your marketing technology stack to support your paid strategy? Well… as every marketing operations professional will tell you, it depends. It depends on your target persona and ICP, what they care about, and where they hang out.
If your persona doesn’t live on LinkedIn, you probably don’t want to spend money advertising there, right? Or maybe your target persona is not problem aware AT ALL, so they would never search for a solution, then spending paid on search isn’t going to be that helpful either. It’s vital to figure out WHERE your audience and persona are because if you don’t, your marketing teams will waste time, effort, and money, yielding a minimal return on investment.
After you understand your persona and where they hang out, the following tools can help you get the most out of your advertising spend and supercharge marketing campaigns across the board.
Top Paid B2B Marketing solutions:
- Google Adwords - If your persona is problem aware and searching for answers or solutions, you’ll want to leverage Google Adwords
- WordStream- An all-in-one digital advertising solution that can help you manage paid search and Facebook display ads
- Skai - Similar to Wordstream, an all-in-one omnichannel digital advertising solution
Level of importance: CRITICAL.
Webinars and Virtual Events
One of the most cost-effective ways to generate leads and convert those leads into revenue is by having a strong webinar and/or virtual event program. Not only do these programs generate and capture leads, but it's also the most cost-effective way to generate content, as you have an endless supply of long-form content to repurpose into short-form content.
Illustration of repurposing content
Deciding which webinar platform or virtual event solution is right for you may be more complex than it seems, though. Does it need to integrate into your B2B marketing tech stack? How good of an attendee experience does it need to be? Do you need branding? Do you need to engage with your audience live? How will you repurpose the content (or do you even care about that)?
Top Webinar and Virtual Event Platforms:
- Welcome- Best in-class webinar and virtual event platform used by organizations that care about how their brand is perceived and their attendees' experience, typically used from B2B marketers to generate leads, content, and revenue.
- On24- Standard webinar platform with many live and on-demand features
- Zoom Webinar- Reliable, easy-to-use platform for marketers who may not care about brand perception, audience engagement, or attendee experience. Typically used by small businesses and small startups.
Level of importance: Important.
Website Optimization and Personalization
So you’ve built a website and successfully drove traffic to it through paid advertising, social media, and search- but how do you make sure you’re optimizing your site to convert that traffic into paying customers? You don’t want all those marketing efforts going to waste, but A/B testing your website and landing pages can be very time-consuming. This is where website optimization and personalization platforms can help supercharge your inbound marketing efforts.
Imagine leveraging data in your marketing automation platform to deliver a tailored customer experience for everyone that comes to your website. You know what ads they’ve interacted with, emails they’ve engaged with, and events or webinars they’ve attended- why not use that data through integrations to help convert them to paying customers when they visit your website?
Here are some of the top platforms and solutions to leverage for personalization and optimization.
Top Website Optimization and Personalization solutions:
- Mutiny- No-code AI conversion platform that creates personalized experiences
- Act-On- Delivers scalable personalization and optimization through powerful marketing automation functionality
- HotJar- Provides data and insight into what is helpful to your audience, and what isnt, allowing for faster A/B testing on your website.
Level of importance: Important.
Social Media Management
While it depends on your target persona and marketing strategy, you’ll likely be leveraging social media marketing as part of your strategy. And if you’re leveraging social media to support your marketing strategy, you’ll find it can be painful to manually manage communications and marketing content across LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and more.
Enter social media marketing platforms. They enable you to compose, schedule, and distribute content across all social media platforms in one view. They can also provide you with analytics across all your social media platforms in near real-time, enabling you to make quick, data-driven decisions for your business.
Top Social Media Management solutions:
- Sprout Social
Level of importance: Important. More important if social media is a key part of your marketing strategy.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Before we start, what is Account Based Marketing? Or ABM? Account Based marketing is a marketing strategy to focus efforts around specific accounts instead of your target market as a whole. Examples could be executing personalized marketing campaigns specific to that account, coordinating with your sales team to conduct a joint marketing and sales blitz, building custom-tailored content for those accounts, or all of the above. It’s a strategy that’s typically deployed to acquire logos over $100k in value, as the unit economics don’t necessarily work out if your average deal size is smaller.
If account-based marketing is part of your strategy, you know it can be challenging to manage and create these hyperpersonal campaigns in a scalable way. That’s where ABM platforms come into the picture- they help you manage all these channels across the board for an individual account. They also help alert you or your sales team when you have website visitors from your target accounts that show buying intent.
Top Account-Based Marketing Solutions:
Level of importance: Important if your average deal size is large.
Customer Loyalty and Gifting
As we head into 2023 with an unstable economic environment, customer retention has never been more critical. It’s no surprise that Customer Marketing roles are becoming more and more common as companies need to continually market the value of their products and services to help improve customer and revenue retention. One tactic that can be effective, but is often overlooked, is simply showing gratitude to your customers. Celebrating THEIR milestones as they continue to use your product and services is another fantastic way to strengthen your relationship with your customers.
Enter Customer Loyalty and Gifting solutions. These solutions integrate directly into your CRM or Marketing Automation Platform and can be triggered to send your customer (or prospect) a gift automatically. In addition, marketing and sales teams can leverage these tools as part of their Account Based Marketing campaigns.
Top Customer Loyalty and Gifting Solutions:
- Loop & Tie
Level of importance: Important if you’re focusing on customer retention.
Nice To Have Technology
Chatbots- It’s very likely your Marketing Automation Platform has a built-in solution for chatbots. Still, if you need more flexibility or customization, tools like Qualified should be considered.
Calendar Schedulers- Similar to chatbots, your Marketing Automation Platform likely has some solution already, but if you need more automation tools or routing abilities, tools like Calendly and Chili Piper should be considered.
Analytics Tools- Over time, you will have a large amount of data to analyze and outgrow your current reporting tools and capabilities. Whether that's attribution modeling, AI analytics, or automated forecasting tools, a wide range of solutions can support your needs.
B2B Marketing Tech Stack- Conclusion
There is much to consider when selecting your tech stack. The most important thing is understanding the marketing strategy your CMO or marketing leader puts in place and prioritizing your B2B marketing tech spend and time around those priorities.
And remember, software and tools don’t generate revenue- strategy and process do. Marketing technology only enhances current strategies and methods. If you have BAD processes or a bad strategy, these tools will only worsen things.