A question I often get from Forrester clients is “Do you have a martech reference architecture that I can use to build my martech stack?” The short answer is no, but it’s not that simple. First of all, marketers should think in terms of an interoperable marketing technology (martech) ecosystem, not stacks or platforms. And secondly, no two marketing organizations are alike, so a detailed martech reference architecture will be unique to each organization.

But don’t despair! Forrester has some excellent tools to help you develop your own martech reference architecture. Our enterprise architecture (EA) team has defined a reference framework. It includes the concept of a martech reference model (common taxonomy), a reference architecture (logical configuration), and a reference pattern (physical implementation).

EA reference framework

I collaborated with Gordon Barnett (one of our EA experts) to apply Forrester’s reference framework to martech investments. We started with The Model For Modern Marketing (developed by our own Shar VanBoskirk). That model enabled us to define the customer and business context of our model. We based it on three core marketing principles: customer understanding, brand strategy, and brand experience.

Martech reference model

With that as our guide, we then developed the technology context. There’s both a marketer version and an EA version of the resulting martech reference model. Why two? Well, the underlying taxonomy is the same, but the two reports underscore the importance of collaboration between marketers and their technology cohorts.

The martech reference model defines a taxonomy based on a common understanding of customer-centric business needs, requisite capabilities, and the recommended technology components.

martech reference model

And to help you dig in even deeper, we have published How To Make Sense Of Martech Mayhem. It includes definitions for nearly 100 martech (and related) categories, with example vendors and cross-references to 74 Forrester Wave™ and New Wave™ evaluations.

For banking organizations, we went a step further. I collaborated with Jost Hoppermann from our financial services team to align our martech reference model with our digital banking platform architecture. The result is not a full-fledged reference architecture on its own, but it can help you understand How To Build A Martech Reference Architecture For Banking.

Whether you’re a marketer, an enterprise architecture pro, or in another role responsible for making martech investment decisions, I encourage you to check out our martech reference materials. I think you’ll find them extremely helpful as you define your own unique martech reference architecture. If nothing else, they will help you cut through the noise of the more than 8,000 martech vendors clamoring for your attention.

If you are in the Asia Pacific region, join our APAC Financial Services Webcast Series 2021. I’ll be delivering a session entitled “Define Your Martech Reference Architecture To Enable Personalized Customer Experiences” on July 29.

If you have questions about our martech reference model or martech in general, we’re here to help. Feel free to request an inquiry.