As organizations settle into the New Year, many teams are evaluating their current marketing tech stacks and how they align with this year’s revenue and sales goals. With so many new technologies on the market, it’s expected that a team could deploy up to 20 new tools in 2022 in an effort to maximize its capabilities.
Stack Moxie’s latest white paper gives you a checklist of questions to consider before implementing a new platform. From evaluating how team capacity will be affected, to understanding your current tech stack’s baseline metrics, it’s important to have full visibility into the state of your operations to avoid unnecessary confusion that adversely impacts performance.
Cost vs. ROI
It’s easy enough to consider how much effort is needed to build a certain technology into your stack, but many organizations fail to consider the recurring commitment needed to maintain and monitor a new tool for its entire lifespan. This addition makes a permanent contribution to your team’s list of responsibilities, which means there must be enough available capacity in the long term for your employees to take on this new commitment while also managing other priorities at a high-quality level.
Avoiding capacity overload
In general, a well-constructed team should ensure its members have a workload that is neither too heavy nor too light. If this describes your organization, then it’s wise to consider bringing on new professionals who can help offset the burden of introducing and running a new technology. Otherwise, it’s likely that current employees will become overloaded, and consistency and quality will suffer. If bringing on new team members is not an option, but you’re certain that a new tool is needed to help your organization function better, then consider your team’s current priorities. Reevaluating what’s most important could reveal that other responsibilities can be put down in order to make room for an important platform.
Balancing the cost, both in terms of money and manpower, against the return on investment this new technology will bring is an important factor in whether you should be bringing it into your tech stack. Determining the ROI of a tool is standard practice for your team, but if you’ve found that it’s necessary to sacrifice other priorities to compensate for your newest addition, you should also consider how that will affect the ROIs of your other tools. If you find that the impact is greater than the benefits a new technology will bring, then it’s wise to reconsider whether it will really be as helpful as you predict.
SaaS security and privacy regulations
Security and privacy regulations are always a top concern, and adherence to standards that help keep your organization safe are particularly important as you bring on a new technology to integrate with your tech stack. From a SaaS security perspective, adding a new tool always introduces some level of risk, especially if it has access to customer data.
With the rise of citizen developers in the mainstream software community, it’s your responsibility to properly vet how a potential new technology works. If it relies on a third party technology to do its job, then you also need to trust that tool. Regardless of where the fault lies in a security incident, it’s ultimately your organization that must answer to its customers.
More does not equal better
As a rule, your tech stack is only as secure as its weakest link. The more tools you add, the greater the chance that something will go wrong and your users will be impacted. Having too many technologies complicates the job of team members responsible for keeping everything safe. If a potential new stack integration does not meet your organization’s standards, do not compromise to make it fit.
Similarly, it’s important to keep in mind the privacy regulations that your company must follow, which extends to the platforms you use. Rules vary state-to-state and country-to-country, so consider how your vendors validate that GDPR compliance has been satisfied. It’s preferable to put protection first and take the time to find technologies that prioritize security.
Total Stack View and Quality Management
As you focus on new technologies, consideration for how they fit into your existing lineup helps you more effectively manage a marketing tech stack. Current performance metrics provide a baseline to judge your new integration against; if they go down, it’s a sign that something needs to change in order to make your team and its technology more successful.
Map out your plan for deployment
Assigning ownership over a new platform’s integrations with the rest of your stack prevents fragmentation of the role and gives the owner the opportunity to be present from start to finish, ensuring they stay informed. Understanding the larger picture for how this marketing technology will fit into your organization also means you can determine if any other teams will need to be involved, which can help prepare the peer team for any asks they may need to deliver on.
Having a roadmap for deployment also gives visibility into how future changes will affect a new platform. If a peer integration is decommissioned, or if a peer team makes a change to how their system works, discuss how that will affect your team and this tool. Knowing your tech stack’s limits enables you to better plan how any new marketing technology will impact planned projects and broader organization goals.
Any major change to your tech stack opens up the opportunity for issues, which makes planning all the more important as you prepare to adopt a new tool. While the focus is often on making sure the new integration is working as expected, keeping your current technologies online, and understanding how the new addition will impact their performance, is critical.
Validating compatibility of the tool with your users is also important, since failure to do so could mean user experience worsens.Testing is a big part of ensuring quality, and regression and rendering testing should both be part of the adoption process of a new platform. Utilizing proper validation techniques minimizes the chance that quality will be sacrificed, which is of utmost importance. If you find that your new technology is challenging your set standard of quality, its benefits are likely not worth the cost of your overall stack taking a hit.
Recovery and remediation
Errors are inevitable, which means a solid plan to address and remediate issues is a nonnegotiable part of any organization’s strategy. When it comes to adding a new technology, it’s best practice to preemptively determine who can help troubleshoot and fix errors. If you find that none of your current team members have the capacity to take on this role, consider hiring another person to handle it so outages can be resolved faster.
Failures are part of every marketing operations journey, so preparing beforehand for these issues means that when the time comes that something breaks, your team can act quicker and be back online sooner. A successful remediation plan will prevent the recurrence of these errors, so no time is lost repeating the response process for the same issues multiple times.
Don’t Add Another Tool to Your Tech Stack Until You Can Answer These Questions
As you continue to invest in your marketing operations team, let this checklist guide you through deciding if a new integration fits your stack and standards. Stack Moxie’s latest white paper explores seven topics to consider when you map out deploying a new marketing technology to help you prepare and succeed.