Hi Joe,

I’m responsible for managing all the marketing tech in my organization; making sure that all the different tools run smoothly, and we’re getting the most out of each purchase. With teams across the organization using different tools in various ways, it gets difficult to keep our stack in a manageable state where each piece fits its purpose.
Do you have any advice for keeping a stack in good shape? How can I ensure that we’re using tools in the most optimal way?

Tech Stack Tom.


Tom, thanks for writing in. Keeping your stack under control is a great project to prioritize, because the more your organization grows, the harder it becomes to untie the knots. I’ve done tech audits in the past with companies of various sizes, and I’ve seen how messy things get without upkeep.

Tools onboarded and forgotten about, broken integrations, teams using multiple different solutions to fulfil the same functions. Without even realizing it, you can sink real cash into redundant subscriptions, disjoint your data between all the different tools, and burn effort working around errors.

Some companies make peace with sunk costs—if the breaks in the chain aren’t too damaging, or the tool we have can do at least a passable job, we’re okay to ride out a contract. What I advise here is that complacency doesn’t lead to improvement; tools that work well and fit their purpose make your life easier and help the company perform. That’s worth the time spent giving your stack a health check.

Here’s what I recommend to get the most out of your stack:

– Consolidate: If various teams use tools with significant overlap in what they offer, collapse these solutions where possible into one piece of tech. It’s a tough sell when teams love their tool, but consolidation has clear benefits; lower costs, simpler management, and a reduced risk of breakage.

– Centralize: Compile a resource that’s available to everyone, giving a complete picture of the tools in the company and how each team uses them. This helps to curb redundant software purchases, and it’ll highlight any capability gaps to fill in your stack.

– Audit: Talk to people around your organization about any problems they’re having and how they use the tools at their disposal. You want to map out the purpose each tool fulfils in your company and how all the pieces of your stack connect. Can you solve one team’s problems with an existing tool used by another team? What functions of current tools can you get greater mileage from? Is a new tool the best solution? An audit provides answers to questions like these.

– Prioritize: When deciding where to optimize your stack, consider the balance of problems solved and opportunities gained. Whatever your priorities as a business—boost revenue, decrease overhead, save on subscriptions, work more efficiently—think about changes that achieve your most pressing goals or solve multiple issues at once.

– Consult: You’ll run into situations where the right tool to use isn’t obvious. Your best move is to ask your network if they have experience in similar situations. The response from people you know and trust will likely be more relevant than answers in online discussions, and you’ll be able to solve the problem faster than if you approached sales reps at different providers.

You’ve got this,
Joe Pulse.


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