It’s that time of year again, when the glamorous and talented walk down the red carpet in the latest fashions and the world watches to see which of their favorites will take home the coveted Stackie Award.
Well, maybe not exactly.
The Stackies, now in their second year, are awarded by Third Door Media, the same group who puts on MarTech Con. It encourages companies to capture their MarTech stack, display it in a creative way, and share it with the community. Winners get a trophy and $100 is awarded to the non-profit Girls Who Code for each entry.
Even if you don’t have plans to attend Marcon, or even participate in the Stackies, this is such an important activity to complete with your organization.
Whether you are trying to consolidate, integrate, or expand your marketing technologies, one of the first steps will always be to capture the current state and this will include documenting what tech you are currently leveraging.
Typically, an organization does not have this basic, foundational document. Even when they do, it is usually created, maintained, and hidden away by an Architect. If you do locate it, it is usually a confusing mess of boxes and arrows that almost no one, outside of the person who created it, can follow.
The Stackies offer a great opportunity to start getting more of that cross-functional teamwork you’ve been wanting to build upon. Here’s a chance for IT, Marketing, and Creative to work collaboratively on a project that will create a company-wide understanding of the complexities and challenges of a modern tech-based organization.
It also will allow you to build product adoption and cut down on shadow IT: “Wait we have THAT tool? I never knew it, guess I can tell my team to stop using that free thing we found on the internet and downloaded without telling anyone.”
Another huge benefit to participating in the Stackies is you’re going to start to uncover things you never knew, such as tech you’re paying for and not using, redundant functionality, integrations that could make everyone’s job easier. A clean visual representation of your true MarTech stack is the foundational element you need to start enhancing your team’s agility and reducing waste in duplication and costs.
Now, I said, “even if you don’t participate this is extremely worthwhile,” but here's why you should absolutely participate.
First, it sets a deadline for your team and the contest aspect creates a little fun and excitement. How many times do we have a chance to get recognized by our industry for the excellent hard work we do day in and day out?
It is also a great opportunity to see and compare what’s in others' stacks and discover some tech that may not have been on your radar and participate in the larger MarTech community.
I find the idea that this is somehow top-secret info that gives away trade secrets ridiculous. If you think your stack is the secret-sauce that makes your marketing team great, you have some serious issues to address. This is classic “mistaking the menu for the food” thinking. Yes, the combination of the right tools is essential, but it’s not the paints and brushes that create the masterpiece. And let’s face it, we all have access to the same high-quality brushes and paints.
I hope this inspires you to participate, or at least get your teams to collaborate, document and communicate your stack in a creative and fun way.
There’s not much time left for this year (March 15th Deadline) so get on it! Get more information on the second annual Stackies here. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Stackies2019
Steve Bevilacqua is a Senior Manager with Optimity Advisors with over 20 years of experience in marketing technologies. He has expertise in selection, implementation, adoption, and recovery of complex creative and marketing technologies such as PM, DAM, CMS, email, social, targeting, and analytics as well as the enterprise suites that combine a variety of these technologies.
Steve has worked across a variety of industries including life sciences, pharmaceutical, financial, manufacturing, retail and non-profit with such iconic brands as The Gap, eBay, Boy Scouts of America, Biogen, Medtronic, and Bayer.
In addition, Steve is Prince 2, PMP, Six Sigma, and Scrum Master certified. He is Adobe Marketing Cloud and Adobe Experience Manager certified and will receive Workfront certification this year.
Steve enjoys his role as a guide through the complexities of Martech and sharing his knowledge with others through blogging, speaking engagements and being a part of his partners' successes.