Pick the right tools
Assess your data maturity
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Becoming a privacy-first company - 4: Stack it up

Obviously, people don’t like to use technologies they don’t trust – because why would they, right? That’s why we love building alternative solutions that enable companies to take full ownership of their marketing data. In this episode, we take a closer look at ‘the modern data stack’.

Harnessing the power of data doesn’t just require careful strategic thinking – you also need the right tools to collect, model, and analyse it. And boy, are there tools available. Just look at this dazzling infographic containing over 10,000 marketing technology solutions.

Don't fall into the SaaS-hole

In the past, marketeers relied on a variety of standalone software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions to manage website analytics, social media, customer relationship management, etc. In fact, many still do. However, this approach has important limitations:

  • Data is often inconsistent across tools, making it difficult to gain a complete picture of customer behaviour and preferences.
  • Companies don’t have full ownership over their users’ data, which makes it more difficult to comply with data regulations and fulfil data requests from users.
  • Switching from one SaaS solution to another can result in the loss of valuable data.
  • Building the ‘perfect’ marketing tech stack is a highly complex endeavour, which requires marketeers to get acquainted with a sh*tload of tools (seriously, look at that thing).

But perhaps the most important disadvantage is that this patchwork of SaaS solutions results in a disjointed, inconsistent view of customer data, prohibiting companies and marketeers to leverage the full power of their hard-earned user data.

Marketing on cloud nine

To address these limitations, more and more companies are adopting the ‘modern data stack in the cloud.’ Here, marketing tools are part of the organisation’s business cloud environment, which enables the integration of data from multiple sources and real-time data processing and analysis. This creates new opportunities for marketing activations, like propensity scoring, next-best offer, churn prediction, etc.

But there’s more! The modern data stack in the cloud is also scalable and flexible, allowing it to grow along with your business. Finally, it also enables more efficient collaboration and teamwork among marketing teams, resulting in more effective marketing strategy execution, and better customer experiences.

What is the 'modern data stack'?

The modern data stack signals a professionalisation of marketing tech, as tools become part of a company’s ‘enterprise cloud’. It exemplifies a shift away from the patchwork of SaaS solutions that was typical of marketing tech stacks so far.

The modern data stack in the cloud consists of several key components:

  • Data collection: the process of gathering data from a variety of sources, in batch or real-time (e.g., Google Tag Manager, Tealium EventStream)
  • Data storage: databases or data lakes where data is stored and managed
  • Data processing: tools like Apache Spark or Apache Flink for processing data in real-time
  • Data warehousing: tools like Amazon Redshift or Google BigQuery for storing and querying large data sets
  • Data visualisation: tools for visualising data and creating reports and dashboards (e.g., Tableau, Looker, etc.)

To decide which tools are right for you, we have developed a fine-tuned methodology.

Making the switch

The shift from a patchwork of SaaS solutions to the modern data stack brings major benefits for marketeers, including increased efficiency, scalability, flexibility, and compliance with privacy regulations. The latter is the result of data centralisation, which makes it easier to manage and protect sensitive information, and the use of tools and solutions that enable data transparency, governance and security.

But how can organisations make the switch? The first step is to get your clickstream data in your cloud environment. Many companies already have a data warehouse or data market where new data sources can be added via ETL (Extract - Transform - Load). The next step is to start activating that data, either directly via reverse ETL or by pushing data back to the customer data platform.

"More first-party data, increased data quality, and less dependency on big vendors? Where do I sign?" - Nicolas Lierman, Head of Innovation and Acceleration at MultiMinds

Homework | Tech talks

We get it, by now you’re probably dying to just ‘get started with the d*mn thing already.’ But don’t roll up your sleeves just yet. We’re gonna be smart about this, right?

  1. Step 1: Take inventory of your current marketing tech stack, and identify any limitations or inefficiencies. This will give you better understanding of what it is you need.
  2. Step 2: Add the insights from your previous homework assignments about what data you need to collect for which marketing efforts. This will help you identify the key components of your modern data stack.
  3. Step 3: For any of these components, research and evaluate different vendors and solutions. Look out for solutions that integrate well with your current tools specifically.

And then? Then, you’ll have to plan for data migration, implementation and testing, training your team, etc. Oh, and did we mention you’ll also need to continuously monitor and improve your modern data stack to stay competitive?

Yes, it’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Do you need some help completing any of your homework assignments? Or do you need any clarification on a specific part? Please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are eager to assist you and your company in meeting your unique requirements.

The end is near

Of this series about how to become a privacy-first company, we mean. Or do we? In any case, next week you’ll receive the final episode, in which we’ll wrap this whole thing up as nicely as we can and provide some great examples of successful privacy-first marketing.