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Selecting the right stack

Each day, more data tools are developed and released into the market but how do you decide which one is for you? The process of finding one that meets your needs can be challenging but we’ll show you exactly what to look out for in the best stacks out there. We compare vendors on different parameters such as support, categories, optimization, push and so much more./p>

How stacks evolve

As more companies fret over which stacks or tools to use, we have discovered that it’s more about being able to have your stack adapt quickly to your businesses changing needs and the constantly changing MarTech ecosystem than it is about finding the perfect tool. This lesson examines real data that shows how stacks evolve over time and highlights common patterns that keep repeating themselves. 

The new product evolution. 

There are several business stages a product goes through when it is introduced to a market. A minimum viable product (MVP) is first built and given to a sample group of customers to beta test. The MVP may lack some important features and have bugs that make it unfit for the market so they product team goes back and iterates on it some more until it is valuable and stable enough for the beta testers. At this stage, the product team would begin to measure product-market fit by gathering engagement event data and retention cohorts. When the data you get show consistently that the product has value, it is ready for launch. With the launch, a business must do as much as it can to attract initial cohorts to the product. The businesses acquisition goals will now come into focus as well as their core product-market fit. Having a web monetization tool on your page at this stage of product engagement events is also important.

Following growth of retained customers, the product will begin to turn into a business so there will be need to build operational teams to support and sell the product. At this point, new leads will begin to flow into the CRM, it is now time to double down on paid acquisition channels like Google and Facebook Ads. 

Having learned about the way new categories are added to products, let’s look at how customer stacks evolve using real data.

The bake off 

A primary trend is users “baking off” tools that are similar, they can even test out two tools and after seeing how they work, turn one off and continue with the one that meets their needs. As your company grows, more users will want to try new tools in a similar category or introduce new categories so it’s important to find a cheap way of carrying out tests. 

The refresh 

Typically, when someone like a new hire, a team lead of a growth team that is just starting out, a monetization team or marketing is trying out new stacks during a refresh, they adopt about 2-5 tools. Your company should expect to hire growth and data experts that want to bring in their own preferred stack of tools 

“throw out the old mess”

It is often easy to see places where stack/tracking plans have been refreshed and you can also see integrations that are no longer being used and have been disabled.

The GDPR refresh 

New privacy regulations have been introduced and to remain compliant, come companies may decide to remove some data and vendors from their stack such as paid acquisition stacks. Having an adaptable stack is great for times when you need to quickly implement changes like privacy and regulation changes. 

The hyperspeed 

Some companies try to achieve hyperspeed by using over 50 tools which we do not recommend at all. 

Category adoption

Company specific stack changes can be made plus studying aggregate data that shows when tool categories are added by new product teams. The first tools installed are usually basic tools like Google Analytics as they have real time interfaces and data QA checks. By the 9th tool, advertsing tools like Adwords are included in the stack.

Lessons learned 

New hires and a change in business goals can be associated with stack changes: the launch of new products can cause entropy the stack as more tools will be included and as a marketing organization grows, more growth consultants will be recruited who will also include their preferred tools in the stack and turn off tools they do not favor. 

Scale and specialization means more tools can be introduced: a small company with limited resources will be more likely to purchase fewer, approachable and user friendly tools they can easily understand and s they grow and scale, becoming more sophisticated, they will introduce more powerful and complex tools.

New monetization and growth tools make it easy for businesses to have serious strategies: monetization tools help give insights that influence packaging and pricing models. These tools also help businesses understand marketing channels better and learn which ones would work best for them plus what areas to double down on regarding marketing spend. Growth can be increased by using in-app messaging tools to encourage better engagement and retention. 

Prepare for change: most iMonetize users will collect data from at least 7 sources and go on to integrate each source with another 8 destination categories so the average customer has about 56 point to point integrations that they use. New hires, new strategies and new regulations are known to be the culprits of entropy in stacks for years. 

Reduce the cost of change: changing tools often requires a lot of engineering implementation time to add a few lines of code.

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Selecting the right stack

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lesson 2

How to choose the best attribution provider?

A critical part of your growth machine is getting your attribution right. It helps you justify your marketing spend and budget and enables you determine what areas are giving you the best “bang for your buck”. If you can get a great attribution strategy, you successfully set a good foundation for growth in the future. On the other hand, failing to get it right can result in poor return on your marketing spend.

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