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How to Know When Your Martech Stack is a Mess - and How to Fix It

If you're a business in our modern digital world, chances are you’re using a range of different software platforms. These solutions have made our work lives easier by automating mundane, repetitive tasks, shortening response times and just plain doing the work we otherwise would have avoided in the past! While it is great that businesses are utilising these platforms, streamlining business processes to drive productivity and growth, there are unforeseen consequences of adopting many of them. Martech stack clutter is becoming a growing issue for organisations as they deal with ever expanding lists of platforms, applications and integrations.
Every component of your stack is a unique piece of technology that needs technical understanding, managerial oversight, administration and unless you’ve got a whizz in-house development team who build your software, it’s probably costing you too. Put them all together and it can be hard to understand where they all fit within your business objectives - what they actually do, who manages them and how much they really cost. A messy martech stack is likely wasting precious company resources and profits. 

So how do you know if your business tech stack is a mess? First off, it pays to visualise. Think of your tech stack like a garden shed. Every product you use is a different tool or piece of equipment in this shed. That slick, new CRM you use regularly might be thought of as your brand new lawn mower - fast, reliable and the first thing you reach for when you go in there. 

Stacked behind it though are the old and forgotten items. You haven’t used them in years but they still take up space in your shed even though you barely use them and they don’t even work properly with the other newer tools you have. You might not even know what the item is or how it got there! These are the apps your company onboarded years ago, but never offboarded. Instead of cancelling the subscription or sunsetting the application, it languishes around taking up company resources even though it offers nothing in return.

By now you should have a clear idea of what your martech stack garden shed looks like. Is it clean and tidy with everything shelved properly so you know where all the items are? Or is it dark, messy and dirty - half of the things don’t work properly and there’s a mysterious pool of oil on the ground? If you’re looking at option B, it sounds like it’s time for some spring cleaning. 

So what’s the next step then? Now that you’ve assessed the bigger picture, it’s time to start itemising everything in there. List out all the tools you have alongside important details about them like purpose, frequency of use, compatibility with other tools and total cost of ownership (TCO). Once that’s done you’ll have a pretty clear idea of what tools you’ve got on your hands and which ones are actually offering value to your business and worth keeping. 

Then, start to think about the ones that can be removed and replaced. Don’t be too precious about it. If someone has barely touched the tool in the last 12 months and you don’t see a future use case - ditch it. Also think about whether one excellent tool could replace two or three good ones. But beware buying shiny new toys for the sake of it. It’s about the strategy not just the technology, so make sure your business processes are right before complicating them by onboarding another tool. 

A well-oiled martech stack will be simple to use, easily integrating all your tools together within a manageable cost. Make sure when onboarding new platforms that you’re not just onboarding another headache. A common issue that martech stacks suffer from is vendor lock in. Someone didn’t read the fine print when you bought the tool, so you’re stuck paying for the subscription even though the use case is obsolete. Make sure to do some due research first. 

By tidying up your martech stack, you’ll tighten up business expenditure and team efficiency. Ready to use tools at your fingertips without the need to waste time rummaging around in the shed!


Have some more questions about implementing or simplifying your martech stack? Contact us for a complimentary assessment.


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