Earlier this year, I wrote about submitting our marketing stack at MarTech West. I had recently joined Pantheon and, honestly, the stack was partially aspirational, partially historical. Over the past few months, we have been revising, rebuilding and iterating on what is working and moving away from what was not. Experimentation and the ability to quickly assess successes and failures are the drivers behind what we select.
Stack or Suite
One of the questions that always faces Marketing Operations when building their stack is whether to select a suite of services or to assemble a Lego-style stack with interconnecting blocks. With our commitment to open source as a philosophy, it feels disingenuous to pick a suite and call it a day. Instead, we opted to select the best-in-breed tool in each area that made sense for our overall mission: raising awareness to new audiences, educating prospects and eliminating the barrier to entry to Pantheon’s system.
Our stack aligns fairly closely to our overall Marketing team’s pillars, each owned by a different lead: Demand Generation, Digital/Brand, Events, Community & Developer Relations, Product Marketing, and Marketing Operations (data and engagement). Each pillar signifies a step in the journey from prospect to customer—mirroring the typical lead-to-opportunity funnel. Our collaboration tools form our foundation, enabling kanban boards, instant communication and face-to-face communication around the world.
Making a Ruckus
Everything begins with Demand Generation, where we acquire our leads and capture their attention. This includes ads on social networks, organic social activity, banners and other paid display presence, SEM and organic search. We are constantly exploring new ways to make our presence felt from podcasts to industry newsletters to everything in between.
Where do we bring all of these new users who want to learn about Pantheon? To the amazing content we have on Pantheon.io, of course! From 8 Amazing WordPress Launches to our Total Economic Impact Report, we provide content that helps web teams make decisions about their own stacks, from CMS to website operations tools and continuous delivery. Our digital stack uses Pantheon as its foundation, allowing us to test and deploy at the rapid pace our business and the industry demands. The main site itself is Drupal. We use Optimizely to run several sets of tests each month, constantly tweaking our content, user interface and user flows to improve our overall conversion points. Intercom provides our users with a fast track to speak with a webops expert on any page of the site. Ever present on the site is our Get Started button, taking new developers to our developer registration so they can test out Pantheon for free.
If a Tree Falls in the Forest and No One Analyzes the Data...
All of this activity needs to be collected, enriched and organized. GetFeedback surveys give our customers and prospects a voice to provide us feedback about how our services and product offerings are being perceived. Crazy Egg captures user activity in the form of heat maps, so we can see where our users are successfully moving through Pantheon’s digital experiences and where they may fumble. Clearbit helps us identify traffic and provide relevant content and experiences.Finally, we use Google Analytics to present the data in dashboards and custom reports for online metrics, in conjunction with Google Tag Manager, which deploys the tracking tags across our site. There is one recent addition that we are very excited to introduce: Segment. This will allow us to connect several of these services in real time, while also reducing the amount of scripts that fire from page to page.
Heroes, Live and In Person
Sponsoring, hosting and attending industry events from WordCamps to DrupalCon have been at the core of Pantheon’s commitment to the Drupal and WordPress communities. Eventbrite and GoToWebinar give us coverage in person and virtually. Community involvement is key here, so this year we launched a dedicated online community using WordPress and Discourse. Initially built for our Pantheon Heroes program, the Discourse forum has expanded to be the hub of our online discussions. The same web team that manages our Drupal experience powers the WordPress experience.
Automation and Attribution
Collecting all of this together and tracking it as campaigns or touchpoints is the power-house, one-two combination of Marketo and Bizible. Marketo, which needs no introduction to the marketing operations world, sits at the center of our marketing stack, while Bizible connects the dots between marketing activity and revenue. Together, these provide multiple attribution models that can help us assess where and when in the customer journey content and experiences are most valuable. This data gets passed into Salesforce and eventually to our enterprise data warehouse, where we can connect disparate sources with Looker for an end-to-end view of the customer journey.
Building Your Own
One of the useful takeaways of this exercise is the ability to illustrate gaps versus strengths. Some tools overlap and others stand alone, siloed and disconnected from the rest. While it would seem like a gimmick to attempt to represent your stack thematically, this ends up serving as a narrative for how your organization approaches each part of the customer journey. Our partners at Mediacurrent just went through a marketing stack review process and their latest post demonstrates how their stack is greater than the sum of its parts.
I encourage anyone in Marketing Operations to run through their own stack, check out how others have illustrated theirs, and find the best tools that work together to move your business forward.