How to Rationalize Your Tech Stack: 4 Key Criteria

How to Rationalize Your Tech Stack: 4 Key Criteria

The stack’s not alright. Enterprise companies are scrutinizing cost more than ever, and tech stack consolidation is underway right now for marketing, ops and technology leaders.

Our hot take? It should be — it’s really not a bad thing at all.

The environment isn’t as bright for enterprise companies as it was five years ago. Macroeconomic factors and market uncertainty are leading organizations to batten down the hatches to wait for smoother seas — leaving marketing, ops and tech leaders trying to decide what to take and leave.

But we like to think of challenges as opportunities — or a chance to look at the glass half full. You’ve got some serious bulk in your tech stack and it’s likely that with expanding capabilities of core solutions in your stack, you have some serious overlap.

This is probably causing your strategy to fray across business functions, your data to get locked up in different platforms (you may be hearing from your IT and data teams about the data chaos) and your teams to get frustrated and overwhelmed spending more time managing and maintaining solutions than actually using them to drive revenue — not to mention, you’re actually spending your marketing dollars for that.

It’s definitely time for you to consolidate your tech stack.

So when you’re looking to drive tech stack consolidation, what’s the best place to get started? We’ve got you covered. To help, we put together four key factors to help guide you as you reimagine your stack to start saving time and cost.

Four Ways to Drive Tech Stack Consolidation and Rationalize Your Stack

1. Look For Your Solution’s Expiration Date

Your platforms and solutions may not come with an expiration date — but some of them definitely have one. Take your DMP. With third-party cookies going away, some big line items in your adtech stack are not only causing redundancies with expanded acquisition capabilities from customer data platforms (CDPs), but they’re also going to be completely irrelevant the more third-party cookies become obsolete.

Brands like HP have transitioned from DMP to CDP to future-proof their strategy. Rather than pillaring around the DMP for acquisition use cases, they build around a first-party data strategy using a CDP and enrich that data with partners like Acxiom and Merkury.

When you’re evaluating expensive tools that you can decommission from your stack, think about those that are built on third-party data — and map acquisition use cases to future-proof tools like CDPs.

2. Join the (First) Party

The next thing you should look at is how each tool in your tech stack is anchored around your most valuable asset — your first-party data. The best way to future-proof your martech stack is by building it around your owned data, from identifying new customers to keeping them in your customer lifecycle.

Data Onboarding providers who offer expensive services to resolve new customer identities can be deprecated in favor of solutions like ActionIQ, which offer strong identity resolution solutions and seamlessly transition shoppers from unknown to known. Data Onboarding vendors like LiveRamp ask you to ship off your sensitive customer data to yet another vendor — even though identity resolution can be done within a data warehouse or a CDP these days at a much lower cost. For all that these Data Onboarding vendors ask — cost, data security and governance risk — their match rates aren’t even that good: you can learn more from leading tech brand HP on that.

Brands like e.l.f. Beauty have paved the way in first-party digital transformation, aggregating all of their first-party data across their tech stack, with their single most important investment being a CDP. The result? Strong, personalized relationships with their customers. Hear it from e.l.f. Beauty Director of Global CRM & Customer Growth Brigitte Barron:

3. Uncover Partnerships and Integrations That Matter

When you’re evaluating your tech stack, you need to dig into partnerships, solutions and integrations that matter for your budget — allowing you to streamline cost and enhance your marketing strategy. One massive element of your tech stack that will make or break your ability to future-proof the stack is your data.

Having data locked up in platforms that don’t play nice gives marketers an incomplete picture of customers, and requires stale copies on copies that pose security risk. But there’s a better way. With composable solutions like ActionIQ that query audiences directly in your data warehouse, you can maintain the security and integrity of your data while optimizing stack costs and saving the cost of maintaining data copies — meaning you don’t have to pay double to store your data in two places.

With a business-friendly interface, you can optimize your tech stack by saving your data analyst team tons of time drowning in SQL. Brands like Atlassian have unlocked massive time-savings by optimizing their tech stack with ActionIQ’s composable solution. Hear it from Sravan Gupta, Senior Manager of GTM Systems at Atlassian:

4. Only Pay For The Parts of The Tech Stack You Need

This is a simple concept, but easier said than done. Many tech solutions only offer bundled product lines, which may come with a whole slew of features, functions and capabilities when you really only need a few. This means huge waste in your tech stack — but it doesn’t need to be that way.

A modular approach that can grow with your organization and adapt to your technology and source of truth to execute audience hypersegmentation, manage sophisticated customer journeys and engage customers in real time.

With economic uncertainty paired with customer expectations reaching new heights, it’s key to maximize the value of your stack and strategize for the future. When you’re evaluating your tech stack, find out whether you can keep what you need and save cost for more flexibility to scale and adapt within your stack for solutions you need.

Time to Get Rational With Your Tech Stack Consolidation

Design and consolidate a tech stack you can stand behind. When you’re rationalizing your choices, focus on the solutions that will give you back time, save your spend and give you the flexibility you need to embrace the future.

If you want to learn more about how to consolidate your tech stack around first-party data, reach out to our experts here.

Michael Trapani
Michael Trapani
Head of Product Marketing
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