29 visually striking martech stack illustrations from the 2021 Stackie Awards

29 Martech Stacks from the 2021 MarTech Stackie Awards

Every year, when the entries to the Stackie Awards flow in, I feel like the kid in A Christmas Story, excitedly opening up that present he’d be dreaming of. I am always delighted and inspired by the creative ways marketing teams visually represent their stacks — and so immensely grateful that they were willing to share them with our community.

This year, we had 29 beautifully illustrated martech stacks sent in.

They included several returning contributors from previous years, such as Brighttail, Juniper Networks, LocalAct, PitchBook, Philips, Progress, Sargento, and SAS. These are great because they provide a glimpse into the evolution of stacks at these companies.

But we also had new contributors including Autodesk, Betway, Itaú Unibanco, Lyra Health, Merkle, Quest Diagnostics, Underworks, United Healthcare, and Verizon. I love the diverse range of companies and industries these entries represent.

In addition to providing valuable insight to the martech community, these contributors raised $2,900 for the non-profit COOP Careers, which helps underemployed college graduates gain digital skills and experience. The MarTech Conference donated $100 on behalf of each entry to The Stackies.

You can download a free PDF of all 29 martech stacks here.

5 Winning Martech Stacks

As I disclaim every year, a “winning” martech stack is any martech stack that delivers the capabilities and outcomes that enable your organization to succeed. Nothing any contest judge has to say matters in comparison to actual results.

At the same time, every company who contributed to The Stackies deserves to be celebrated for sharing their martech stack illustration openly with the martech community. We all learn from this incredible, evolving collection. My heartfelt thanks goes out to each and every one of you.

But, hey, contests are a little more fun when there are awards given out. So we selected five stacks from this year’s set that we think are particularly remarkable in the details they share, the organizing framework they’ve chosen, and/or the quality of their stack visualization.

Here are the five we selected — click on them for a high-res zoom in:

Itaú Unibanco Martech Stack

Itaú Unibanco Martech Stack

Itaú Unibanco, a global financial services company, is the largest banking institution in Latin America and one of the top twenty most valuable banks in the world. Although their martech stack illustration doesn’t divulge the specific products they use, it does a fantastic job of showing the “constellation” of capabilities that their stack delivers andhow they’re related to each other. Magnifico!

Betway Martech Stack

Betway Martech Stack

Betway is one of the leading online gambling and sports betting platforms in the world. One of the things I appreciate about their stack is how they’ve included internally built technologies, as well as off-the-shelf commercial apps. In the age-old debate of build vs. buy, the right answer is increasingly “both.” With that combination, I see a royal straight flush!

SAS Martech Stack

SAS Martech Stack

SAS is one of the world’s leading analytics software companies — and also the world’s largest privately held software business. This is the second year they’ve entered The Stackies and won (here’s last year’s entry). The categorization of their capabilities and the level of detail they’ve provided are great, but I also think they did a terrific job of showing where their own products fit into their stack and where they’re complemented by other vendors’ tools.

Philips Martech Stack

Philips Martech Stack

Philips is a hugely successful multinational company that was founded 130 years ago in the Netherlands, with industry-leading products across lighting, audio, and healthcare. They are also another year-over-year winner (here’s their stack from last year). I love the way their latest stack illustration shows their martech “ecosystem,” all revolving around the customer at the center. They’ve labeled key capabilities, identified the primary products they use for each, and shown the connective threads between them. It’s a masterpiece!

Juniper Networks Martech Stack

Juniper Networks Martech Stack

And finally, our fifth winner this year is Juniper Networks, one of the best companies in the world offering networking and cybersecurity hardware and software. I am tremendously grateful that they have shared their martech stacks with us every year since 2018. Each year, they continue to refine their model — and their stack itself. Seeing that year-over-year evolution is fascinating. And this year, they really knocked it out of the park. Once you look through their stack, go read the Harvard Business Review article Don’t Buy the Wrong Marketing Tech that was co-written by one of the team members at Juniper Networks and Duke University professor of marketing Carl F. Mela.

Juniper Networks Martech Stacks 2018, 2019, 2020

Thank you again to everyone who contributed to this year’s Stackies! Much love to you.

P.S. Including this year, over 300 martech stacks have been shared through The Stackies. Here are the ones from the previous six years:

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