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Blog Post

Mediacurrent's MarTech Stack and Data Centralization

by Mediacurrent Team
June 19, 2019

Mediacurrent's marketing technology stack visually illustrated showing contacts going down the buyer's journey and technology that aligns with each stage.

How do you manage your martech stack?

With over 7,000 SaaS solutions available to marketers (according to the 2019 Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic) we wanted to share how Mediacurrent’s internal marketing team manages our marketing technology stack and give you insight into what works for us as a B2B digital agency.

But First -- Data Centralization

Data centralization is collecting, maintaining, and storing data in one location while giving users access from multiple points. It’s a best practice that provides the least resistance for reporting, analytics, personalization, marketing attribution, and creating contextual customer experiences. With all of your data in one spot, it’s easier to get to the prized 360° customer view.

Data centralization is a challenge for most organizations. According to Arm Treasure Data’s 2019 State of the Customer Journey report, “More than half of marketers surveyed (54%) say their biggest barrier to leveraging data is fragmented or siloed data, which makes it difficult to get an accurate, integrated view of the customer journey.”

For small to mid-size organizations, it is possible to leverage your existing CRM software as your primary data repository. We leverage our instance of Salesforce by pushing data to existing and custom objects where applicable in raw or aggregate forms. This process isn’t without its limitations or upfront effort, but it works for us today. Enterprise organizations generally have more technology and data siloed across multiple departments, a Customer Data Platform (CDP) like Arm Treasure Data or TMMData, can help bridge the gaps between those data silos.

Mediacurrent’s Martech Stack

Below is a detailed look at our martech stack and how each solution provides value for Mediacurrent and its role in data centralization.  

Illustration of Mediacurrent's data flowing through technology and ultimately landing in Salesforce Crm as our central source of truth.

Salesforce CRM:

  • Salesforce is a cloud-based solution for customer relationship management or CRM. It gives your organization a shared view of customers and prospects.
  • Data Centralization (DC): We leverage Salesforce as our primary data repository. Every value-added marketing, account management, and sales touchpoint is stored in Salesforce. “How can we sync this technology with Salesforce?” is one of the first questions we ask when evaluating new martech.
  • Value: We live by the mantra, “If it’s not in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist.” Salesforce manages key data points about our clients and prospective clients, provides marketing roi reporting, segments our opportunities, leads, contacts and accounts, and triggers workflows and alerts among other things. I think most of you will agree a robust CRM is vital for successful sales and marketing teams.

 

Pardot:

  • Pardot is a marketing automation platform that automates communication with clients and collects valuable data across the buyer’s journey.
  • DC: All of the data and marketing touchpoints collected by Pardot that add value to the customer journey is pushed into Salesforce in either a raw or aggregated form.
  • Value: Pardot is instrumental in our marketing department. In short, it helps us scale our marketing communication and collect massive amounts of data we can leverage to personalize content, segment our audience, and create contextual experiences.

 

Pantheon:

  • Pantheon is a high-performance web operations platform. It helps marketing teams launch faster, run more tests, and optimize site performance.
  • Value: To take advantage of our strategy and website, we partner with Pantheon for their high quality and reliable infrastructure as well as tooling, ease of use technology, and support. Our marketing team leverages their insight into agile marketing. As a result, we’ve learned to iterate quickly, pushing out content faster while increasing its value to the end user. To learn more about their approach to agile marketing check our their webinar – Building Agile Web Teams.

 

Drupal CMS:

  • Leading open source content management system (CMS).
  • Value: Drupal 8 is the foundation of our most valuable digital asset, our website. We leverage Drupal because of its scalability, flexibility, and innovative community. Drupal sets the stage for Mediacurrent developers, strategists, and designers to build amazing experiences for our partners and their customers.  With Drupal, our internal marketing team can add or edit a webpage in minutes using existing components without the need to involve our development team. And the new page hits our site with the right structure for mobile and SEO optimization.

 

Gatsby.js:

  • Gatsby is a free and open source framework that allows your front end developers to theme in React, a leading frontend technology.
  • Value: As a marketer, it’s all about speed. Because Gatsby is a static site generator our pages load faster improving the user experience. Site speed will have a direct impact on engagement, bounce rate, and ultimately revenue. For example, Amazon found a 1% decrease in sales for every additional 100 milliseconds in page load time and a 2% increase in conversions for every one second of speed improvement. In 2017 they left $178 million on the table due to slow site speeds. In addition, our decoupled Drupal site becomes primarily responsible for delivering the content, and our development team can focus more on the front-end, configuring our site to align with our brand and improving the editorial experience.

 

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Acquia Lift:

  • Acquia Lift is a Drupal-optimized website personalization tool that aggregates visitor information from multiple channels and locations to create experiences that get more engaging and relevant over time. According to a recent Forrester Study, Acquia's Cloud Site Factory solution combined with Lift yielded a 316% ROI for enterprise clients.
  • DC: We’re actually pushing data to Lift, versus Salesforce. With most personalization tools, users have to wait for data to accumulate before they can take advantage of the platform outside of geo or device information (for the most part). To solve for that challenge, we are pushing data from Pardot to a hidden field on mediacurrent.com. As visitors hit the site, Pardot recognizes the cookie and displays info in the hidden field. We build segments in Lift using the hidden field and dynamically change the content on the site.
  • Value: In today’s market, personalization is key to driving conversations and providing a better customer experience. It’s what’s expected. Lift gives us the ability to transform customer data into actionable information and personalized content on mediacurrent.com. And it integrates perfectly with Drupal.

 

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Drift:

  • Drift is a conversational platform that provides real-time one-on-one conversations to generate more leads and sales appointments.
  • DC: A direct connection with Salesforce, Drift passes new contacts and related information to Salesforce.
  • Value: Drift is a new addition to our martech stack. With Drift we can chat real-time with site visitors, answer their questions, and recommend content. We can use the tool live or setup dynamic playbooks that automate conversations. It’s a complementary tool to personalization and our ultimate goal of a zero-click website. We’re just exiting the onboarding phase of this solution. We've had a great experience leveraging the capabilities of the platform and the support team has been great.

 

Agorapulse:

  • Agorapulse is a social media management tool to help us engage with, measure, and schedule communication across social media platforms.
  • DC: Agora does not connect directly to Salesforce, but through the use of custom redirects in Pardot, we are able to push valuable social media touchpoints to campaigns in Salesforce.
  • Value: This tool simplifies the process of posting content, makes it easy to determine our social ROI, and helps us engage with everyone who connects with our brand. We use the tool to monitor conversations about our industry and jump in when necessary, as well as stay up to date with our clients and prospects.

 

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Brightcove:

  • Brightcove is a video platform for video publishing and distribution.
  • DC: While Brightcove has a Salesforce integration, our subscription level does not. We use Pardot custom redirects, page tracking, and CTAs to identify who consumes video content on mediacurrent.com and then pass that information to Salesforce via automation rules.
  • Value: While we also use YouTube for sharing videos socially, Brightcove adds value by focusing our visitors on mediacurrent.com, adding chapters so users can quickly skip ahead, and including calls to action directly within the video for links to content, forms, and highlight key information. It’s a better solution for lead generation and directing our visitors to the next best piece of content along their buyers' journey.

 

Google Analytics:

  • Analytics engine for insight into online user behavior.
  • Value: We use GA to help us monitor all the KPIs that come along with creating an optimal web experience for our site visitors.

 

Lead411:

  • Lead411 is a sales and marketing data enrichment tool
  • DC: Out of the box connections with Salesforce make adding and updating information in our CRM easy.
  • Value: We leverage Lead411 to enrich our existing contact and account data, find new leads, and gather recent news about verticals and organizations that are valuable for our business.

 

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GoToWebinar:

  • Online video conferencing platform.
  • DC: GoToWebinar connects out of the box to Pardot. As our audience registers and attends a webinar that information is passed to Pardot and by extension Salesforce.
  • Value: We’ve hosted hundreds of internal and external webinars with GoToWebinar. It’s worked well for us with easy setup, reporting, and automated communication.

 

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Adroll:

  • Remarketing platform
  • DC: Using Pardot custom redirects in our ads we can identify who clicks on what and send that information to a specific campaign in Salesforce.
  • Value: Adroll makes it easy for us to segment our site traffic for remarketing and target specific prospective clients directly with online advertising. Their easy to use platform and reporting capabilities help us track the success of our advertisements and attribute them to revenue.

 

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SEMrush:

  • Search engine optimization and analytics platform.
  • Value: Content is king, but it doesn’t work too well if your audience can’t find it. We leverage SEMrush to optimize our site content using their easy to navigate keyword research tools. We also use it to keep an eye on the competition. Their content keeps us informed on the latest trends so we can continue to drive the right traffic to mediacurrent.com.

 

Supermetrics:

  • Cloud-based reporting automation tool for marketers.
  • DC: We can compile data from multiple sources all in one tool for faster reporting and analytics.
  • Value: Supermetrics makes it easy for us to convert data into information for our marketing and leadership team. While it doesn’t connect to every technology we own, it saves our team time while giving us quick insight into advertising, social media, and site engagement data.

 

Final Thoughts

These tools provide is insight into our clients and prospective clients as well as the means to serve up great content and contextual experiences which yield a positive engagement with our brand and ideally long-term relationships. The above doesn’t cover every tool we use or category of marketing tools available. However, if you’re building out your marketing technology stack or adding to it hopefully this gives you some insight into how to think about your stack as it relates to data centralization. Our internal marketing team and digital strategy team are highly experienced with all the tools above in addition to what our partner clients leverage to meet their sales and marketing goals. If you have questions please leave them below, ping us on social media, hit us up through our chatbot, or fill out the form on our contact us page

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