Enter your marketing stack in the 2019 Stackies Awards

Stackies 2018 Mural

Fame and glory await you! Or at least recognition from your peers, appreciation from the global marketing operations community, and good karma from a terrific charity that we’ll support on your behalf.

Yes, The Stackies 2019: Marketing Tech Stack Awards are now open for entries through March 15, 2019, and we’d love to have you participate.

The MarTech Stackies 2019

The Stackies are — in my, er, humble opinion — the coolest awards program in marketing. Why? Because this isn’t a vanity award, but an educational program. Everyone in the marketing community benefits from the entries.

To participate in The Stackies, you simply create a single 16:9 slide — you can build it in PowerPoint or Google Slides if you like — that illustrates your “marketing stack” and how you conceptualize it. Your marketing stack is the collection of all the different software you use in marketing (marketing automation, social media management, content management, CRM, advertising, DAM, video, SEO, etc.)

You might illustrate your stack as a value chain, a technical architecture, a customer journey map, a process flow diagram, a market strategy, a capabilities matrix — or your own original view on how marketing technology is orchestrated in your organization. You can annotate the slide with as much explanatory text as you find helpful, but its strength should be in its visual presentation.

This year, I’m suggesting two additional possible structures for a Stackie:

  1. A marketing stack built around the 5 forces of marketing operations grid
  2. A marketing stack that emphasizes the diverse range of people who use different tools in your stack, including citizen developers, citizen data scientists, citizen integrators, etc.

But I’m also excited to see any other new and insightful formats you might create.

Or adapt a tried-and-true format. You can refer to the entries from The Stackies 2018, The Stackies 2017 and The Stackies 2016 for some inspiration too. Over 150 marketing stacks have been shared through The Stackies over the past four years — including ones from leading companies such as Airstream, Black Rock, Cisco, and Microsoft — all of which have been publicly shared so we can learn from them.

Why take the time to create a marketing stack slide?

Creating a marketing stack slide isn’t just a way to show off which technologies you use. It’s actually a useful exercise to go through — even if you don’t decide to enter your slide in The Stackies.

To visualize your marketing stack, you first have to identify all of the different marketing technology tools that you’re using across your organization. Most people are surprised, when they really start digging, to discover just how many there are. Going through this process can be a good way to “rationalize” your martech stack.

The Stackies 2018 Winners: 5 Amazing Marketing Stacks

The next step, deciding how to visualize your stack, is a chance to step back and think strategically about all these different tools. What is their purpose? What are the customer touchpoints they influence? How do you orchestrate their operation? Who is the “lead” for each? Now illustrate those ideas to express the marketing whole that is greater than the sum its technology parts.

Finally, once you have your marketing stack slide, it becomes a useful device for communicating your marketing technology infrastructure and capabilities to others across your company. It’s a great way to make sure everyone on the marketing team knows what’s available to them and how the pieces connect together. It’s helpful for coordinating with stakeholders in sales, IT, and customer service. It’s a terrific way to help guide conversations with executives to explain your marketing technology investments.

Even if you decide to not publicly share your stack by entering in the The Stackies, I assure you that you will get tremendous value from having gone through the process to create it.

Entering The 2019 Stackies: Marketing Tech Stack Awards

That being said, I really do hope you will decide to share you stack in The Stackies. It’s because so many other companies have shared their stacks that we’ve been learning so much about marketing technology management from each other. And if hyper-competitive companies like BlackRock, Cisco, and Microsoft are willing to contribute to the martech community, aren’t you?

But we’ll give you another reason to contribute your stack to The Stackies.

Girls Who Code

For every real entry (not spam) submitted to The Stackies 2019: Marketing Tech Stack Awards, the MarTech conference will donate $100 to Girls Who Code, up to a grand total of $10,000.

There is no entry fee for The Stackies. Instead, we make that $100 contribution on your behalf. If we hit our goal of 100 submitted marketing stacks, that will mean a $10,000 check to Girls Who Code — plus a really awesome deck of marketing tech slides that will be publicly shared for everyone to learn from.

There will also be a ceremony on the opening night of MarTech in San Jose on April 3 to celebrate everyone who participated — and award trophies to the five best entries. What will make the “best” stacks?

The judging committee, which will consist of editorial staff from chiefmartec.com and MarTech Today, as well as several independent industry experts, will select the five winners based on the following five criteria:

  • Alignment — how well-aligned is your stack with your business?
  • Concept — how insightful is the conceptual organization of your stack?
  • Clarity — how easy is it for a reader to understand your stack?
  • Design — how visually appealing are the aesthetics of your slide?
  • Detail — how detailed (within reason) is your slide?

A note about “detail.” We prefer that entries in The Stackies include the specific products that are being used. This isn’t for the sake of endorsing vendors — although I’m sure they’ll appreciate it! — but to help us collectively see examples of where specific products fit out in the wild.

However, this is not a requirement. If you don’t wish to disclose a particular vendor, simply put a generic placeholder label for that product in your stack (e.g., “Data Management Platform”). An entry in The Stackies that has anonymous product placeholders can still win. But if you are willing to name names, we’d greatly appreciate it, as it does make these marketing stack visualizations considerably more tangible.

Are you in? There are just two steps to enter The Stackies:

  1. Create a single 16:9 slide that visually represents the way you think of your marketing stack, as described above.
  2. Submit your stack here as a 1600×900 pixel JPG, GIF, or PNG image or a 16:9 PDF file any time before 11:59pm Friday, March 15 (Pacific time). By entering, you grant us permission to publicly share your entry.

When you’re ready to enter, click the form below:

Entry Form for The Stackies 2018: Marketing Tech Stack Awards

Thanks for participating in my favorite martech community activity every year. I look forward to your submissions!

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