How to Build a Winning MarTech Stack — Advice from the Creator of Dilbert

Michael Box
Michael Box

Content Creator

So your data platform is doing what it’s supposed to. Your marketing automation is keeping the lights on. But how do you move from a good MarTech stack to a fantastic MarTech stack?

It might be helpful to consider what the creator of Dilbert, Scott Adams, has dubbed the “Talent Stack.”

According to Adams, there are two ways to achieve success:

  1. The first way is to: “Become the best at some specific skill, the way Tiger Woods dominated golf. But not many of us can be Tiger Woods.”
  2. Luckily, Adams recommends a different approach. “Most people can—with practice—develop a variety of skills that work well together. I call this idea the Talent Stack.”

Perhaps his Talent Stack is analogous to MarTech stack. How does it work?

“For example,” wrote Adams, “I’m a famous syndicated cartoonist who doesn’t have much artistic talent, and I’ve never taken a college-level writing class. But few people are good at both drawing and writing. When you add in my ordinary business skills, my strong work ethic, my risk tolerance, and my reasonably good sense of humor, I’m fairly unique. And in this case that uniqueness has commercial value.”

The parallel to MarTech is clear. Every marketer wants a good MarTech stack, but the key phrase Adams uses is “work well together.”  The different talents in the stack should not only complement but actually enhance each other. Adams’ business experience and insight genuinely enhanced his humor. His writing skills turned his drawings from sketches into high-value comic strips. The talents come together not in a merely interesting way (like the assorted skills on my resume) but in an optimal way that results in a best-of-breed product.

How can you get the elements of your MarTech stack working together like the Adams’ Talent Stack?

In recent years, there’s been a massive proliferation of MarTech tools. In 2018, there are just shy of 7,000 brands in the MarTech landscape.

martech stack
Source: chiefmartec.com

With so much to choose from, it might be tempting to keep adding tools to your stack with the aim of increasing its effectiveness. But addition isn’t the same as optimization. Simply adding ingredients to a chicken soup won’t necessarily improve the flavor. The crucial thing is that the ingredients all work together and enhance one another. Marketing and sales teams have too little time to spend on solutions that aren’t immediately useful and effective.

Scott Adams undoubtedly has many talents, but the ones that contributed to his success with Dilbert are drawing, writing, comedy, and business. Adams’s success with Dilbert is a case of 2+2=5. His four skills combine in such a way that the sum is far greater that the parts. Investing time and resources on other talents—even if relevant—would have been a drain on those four crucial talents. Here’s a question: What additional skills—if any—would enhance his existing skills and increase his value?

Don’t just add tools to your stack – add value

Before you add tools or new data sources to your stack, ask yourself the difficult question that Adams would ask. How is this new tool or data source going to enhance the tools you already have and increase the value of your stack?

The ultimate MarTech solution should fit seamlessly into your existing workflow and  stack. Ideally it would be an easy-to-use turnkey service that requires no installation. It should integrate with leading marketing automation and CRM software. It should fuel your existing differentiated marketing and sales efforts and use cases. Such a tool would provide real purchase intent insight and continuous access to active accounts and  named prospects as they research and download content relevant to your specific solution category.

Such a tool would turn your MarTech stack into one that would make Dilbert proud.

To learn more about how Priority Engine, TechTarget’s SaaS-based purchase intent insight platform, fits within your stack, contact us today.

b2b purchase intent insight, Dilbert, martech, martech stack, Priority Engine

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