When it comes to martech stacks, no two are exactly alike. Rapid advances in technology have empowered marketers to build the systems they need to meet customer demands and improve their productivity. But how do you know if your martech stack is actually working for you — that it’s performing to its full potential? From assessing current tech investments to considering new solutions to enhance your martech stack, ensuring maximum return on marketing technology spend can be challenging. One thing that often gets overlooked in these discussions: clarifying precisely what “evaluating the success of the martech stack” means. Attempting to understand the value of the martech stack often comes to a grinding halt when there are varied interpretations of this goal, so before you try to measure your technology’s value, break down the task and get alignment to ensure that you start on the right foot.

Evaluating the success of your martech stack.

First is understanding what is meant by evaluate.

evaluate [i-val-yü-āt] verb
to judge the value, worth, quality, or condition of someone or something in a careful and thoughtful way; to assess

Evaluating is critically analyzing data or information to make an informed judgment. It allows you to identify the strengths and weaknesses in any given situation, ensuring that decisions are based on facts rather than personal biases. Evaluating martech can be complex, requiring thoughtful care and consideration, clear intent, and well-defined guidelines. When performing an evaluation, you’re assessing the current state against a defined output, some kind of criterion that sets a standard for what “good” looks like. Without this, your evaluation lacks direction.

In this case, the criterion for the evaluation is success.

success [sək-ses] noun
the achievement of a desired aim, purpose, outcome, or intention; the accomplishment of one’s goals

Establishing successful martech outcomes begins with clarity of purpose — you must have defined what you want to achieve to measure and evaluate if these goals were met and what the impact was. These goals should be focused on business-value-driven outcomes. When the foundation for evaluating a piece of technology is the technology itself, the primary measurement for success is often simply that the technology is deployed and is accessible, with no understanding of how its use is impacting the business. Having outcome-focused, defined objectives in place allows companies to measure their success better. This also allows you to make any insight-informed necessary adjustments that will enable the technology to function at its optimum level.

And finally, what we are evaluating is the martech stack.

martech stack [mär-tek ‘stak] noun, informal
an integrated ecosystem of software and SaaS solutions utilized by marketing to achieve their objectives; systems and tools acquired by marketing to create, deliver, maintain, measure, and evolve the customer journey; short for marketing technology stack

Martech is often a word that can have a somewhat different meaning depending on what your role is and who you’re talking to. This integrated ecosystem is designed to connect businesses with, and measure engagement with, audiences, giving them the tools to craft engaging customer experiences capable of driving desired actions. It supports critical marketing activities such as creating content, planning campaigns, delivering services, maintaining customer relationships, measuring performance, evolving the customer journey, and so much more.

Thoughtfully judging the value and condition of the achievement of the defined desired outcomes of your marketing department’s integrated software ecosystem.

A clear vision of success is the foundation for organizations to optimize their martech investments and deliver an exceptional digital experience. Marketers should regularly review their defined criteria as part of an ongoing evaluation process to stay current with shifting trends in marketing technology and make any necessary adjustments to continue meeting their objectives and getting the most out of their martech stack investments.

Contact your account representative to learn how Forrester and I can help you evaluate the success of your martech stack. If you’re not a client and would like to learn more, please reach out.