Crafting an effective MarTech strategy and, as a result, a successful MarTech stack is easier said than done. It takes months of planning, an effective, tech-based Marketing team, collaboration with executives at your business, and alignment with your budget. However, even the best intentions can result in an ineffective hybrid stack, often labeled a “frakenstack.” Here’s how to find out if your pursuit of 1:1 consumer personalization resulted in the dreaded frankenstack and what you can do about it, based on insights from our 2018 MarTech Strategy Guide.

What is a Frankenstack?

To understand what a frankenstack is, you need to understand the three different types of MarTech stacks. The first option is to build a stack from scratch. Companies rarely elect this option since building tools from scratch is costly, time intensive, and tends to provide less ROI than solutions already available. It also makes much less sense to go this route today since the MarTech solution industry has exploded in popularity in recent years, thus extremely targeted, effective tools now exist for every aspect of a Marketing team’s needs.

The second option is to stitch together existing solutions to create a hybrid MarTech stack. Poor examples of this are where the term “frankenstack” comes from. These types of ineffective hybrid stacks are a jumble of different Tech solutions that don’t work well together or provide Marketers with the results they need in time. The final option is to have a MarTech programmatic expert come in and develop the stack themselves from one platform to create a fully managed service. Despite the fear of creating a frankenstack, most Marketers tend to go with the hybrid option considering it often presents the best ROI.

MarTech stacks and the strategy that goes into creating these hybrid versions are still a concept a lot of Marketers are just beginning to fully understand, yet many have already integrated solutions in hopes of figuring it out along the way. In fact, 100 percent of Digital Marketing professionals we surveyed in our 2018 MarTech Strategy Guide reported investing in 4 or more MarTech solutions, yet 66 percent reported being unable to take full advantage of their current solutions. Unfortunately, this strategy actually sets Marketing departments back as it requires time and money to review and revise a living MarTech stack. But before we skip ahead, the first step is figuring out if your business suffers from an ineffective stack.

Here are a few tell-tale signs to look out for.

Signs Your MarTech Stack is a Frankenstack

  • Your solutions can't communicate. A major sign of an ineffective MarTech stack is if your tools are unable to communicate results, data, and information to one another. If solutions are structured ineffectively or lack the capabilities to communicate their results to the other solutions in your stack, the data they gather and report on gets siloed. Siloed data means inaccessible data. Not only will your Marketing team have to do a variety of manual, time-intensive tasks to get the data aggregated together but there are also other ROI-generating capabilities this data will be unable to provide.
  • Your team lacks the necessary skills for the tools you've integrated. An ineffective stack is also one that you're unable to utilize fully. While hiring specific talent to make up for the MarTech skills gap on your team is one option, you should prioritize UX-friendly solutions with capabilities you are easily able to take advantage of from the start. Otherwise, you'll need to hire a variety of MarTech experts to help you make the best of your frankenstack, dramatically impacting your ROI.
  • Solutions selected initially weren't an exact fit for your needs. When developing your stack, it might make sense to select solutions that weren't an exact fit for your needs but were close enough. If this sounds like something you did, it's more than likely you have a frankenstack on your hands. The reason being that you sacrificed core needs for something that provides similar results, but not the exact same. Predictive data analysis is a core fundamental of what your MarTech stack needs to provide. If the solutions you selected have data-aggregation or consumer behavior tracking capabilities that are only a bit off from what you needed, it can result in a nightmare of siloed data going to waste rather than providing your sales department with an automated, qualified lead pipe.
  • A majority of tasks are manual. Automation is the future. Specifically, it's the future of innovative, effective Marketing departments. Your MarTech stack should be the core provider of automation for your Marketing team. Everything from email campaigns, to deep lead qualification and maintaining a consumer database should now be automated via an effective MarTech stack. If you find that a majority of your team's tasks are manual, then you have an ineffective stack on your hands that needs a second look.

Marketers looking to keep their jobs in an era of AI-driven automation must evaluate their use of marketing technology and review the effectiveness of the stack they’ve developed. If any of the signs above sound familiar, it’s time to invest in making your stack as effective and revenue-driven as possible. If you don’t, you risk being outperformed by the marketing teams at your competitors who have taken the time to invest, strategize around, and refine their MarTech stack. To learn how, check out the second part of this blog series.

If you lack the talent you need to fully utilize or refine your MarTech stack, contact Mondo today. We’ll match you with the high-end, niche MarTech experts you need to boost the ROI of your stack and develop more informed strategies.