The 5 C’s model of Acrolinx’s award-winning Stackie

Acrolinx Marketing Technology Stack for the 2016 Stackies Awards

The following is a guest post by Steve Rotter, CMO of Acrolinx. Acrolinx was one of the five winners of the 2016 Stackies Awards at MarTech, and we invited them to share the rationale behind their marketing technology stack.

The 2016 MarTech conference was truly amazing, and we were honored — and pleasantly surprised — to receive a Stackie award. With so many great technologies, and ways to represent how they fit together, we had to take a step back and ask a somewhat deep, philosophical question: why are we here?

After a healthy discussion (and a few flashback moments to our college philosophy courses), we realized that our Stackie must be customer-centric. We felt that without a customer as our North Star, we could easily lose focus of what our marketing is all about. Thus, our customer-centric Stackie was born.

Before explaining our Stackie, it’s important to share that I do suffer from PAD (Perpetual Alliteration Disorder). This is what led us to the 5 C’s that make up the layers of our stack. Although you could probably come up with better descriptions of the layers, the 5 C’s work pretty well for us.

We start with our customer (the blue circle guy in the middle).

The first layer below the customer is Contacts. At Acrolinx, we sell to large companies, such as IBM, Philips, and Boeing, and have a very clear account-based go-to-market strategy. As such, we’ve invested in a number of great technologies to help us acquire new contacts since we understand the complex organizational structures of our large customers. We’ve also invested in tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator to better understand what our customers care about and what they are sharing on their social channels.

The next layer in our stack is Connections. Here we identified all the different tools we use to connect with our customers, from our social channels and marketing automation to our website and interactive content. Like most marketers, we have to meet our customers where they are, so we continue to invest in the tools that make that happen.

After identifying the who (Contacts) and how (Connections), we wanted to illustrate the what — which, for many marketing teams, is Content. As a company that publishes a lot of content, this is very important for us. For this layer, we focused on two things: content creation (Office and Creative Suite) and content optimization. Without slipping into a shameless, self-promoting plug, we do use our own product to analyze and score everything we write.

The fourth “C” layer in our Stackie is Customer Data. A pretty standard suite of technology here, but I’ll add that for companies that sell to large, complex accounts, LeanData is a great addition to the stack.

Finally, the last layer is Collaboration, a.k.a. “getting stuff done.” We’ve got a very decentralized marketing team spanning four cities in the United States, our headquarters in Germany, and a small team in Asia — so we rely heavily on a host of tools to keep things running fast and efficient.

You may have noticed that we do not have a layer for “Competition”. Although it passes the “C” alliteration test, our product is somewhat unique so we have not invested in any tools to track and monitor competitors.

So there it is. We hope you’ve enjoyed this brief anatomy of our stack. We’re MarTech geeks at heart and enjoy chatting about this topic, so feel free to give us a call if you have any questions about the tools we use in our customer-centric Stackie.

Thanks Steve — and congratulations, Acrolinx!

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