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How to Build the Right Tech Stack for Your Business: Three Brands Share Their Strategies

  • - LiveRamp
  • 3 min read

It’s no secret that tech stacks today are more complex than ever before, and the question of DMP vs. CDP vs. whichever new acronym may come next is an ongoing debate. Yet a decision must be made to take control of your data future. Although there’s no one-size-fits-all tech stack, there are plenty of options that lead to success.

At RampUp 2022, Lyft, Best Buy, and National General Insurance generously shared their thought process for creating their martech stacks and how their strategies have evolved with changing consumer and business needs. Here are three take-aways from their session:

1. Determine the right cultural fit for the platforms you’ll invest in.

The truth is, a DMP is not better than a CDP, and vice versa. Sherry Lin, Group Manager, Marketing Technology, Lyft, said that investment decisions come down to how you want to use the technology, if you’ll engage in data collaboration, and the speed at which you’ll need the technology to perform. Lyft’s technology needs have shifted during the company’s growth into a “teenager,” and Lin said tech stacks should flex with growth as well.

“Maybe in the beginning stages, we’re looking for smaller, more nimble companies to help us get up-to-speed quickly and grow with us,” Lin said. “But then as we get bigger, we also have to worry about, well, are they going to be able to scale? So then it becomes, who in the market are the right vendors for us? And if we do decide to buy, what type of company is the right cultural fit?”

2. Establish business needs for what the tech stack needs to do.

Mark Heitke, Director, Ad Products, Inventory and Yield Management, Best Buy Ads, focused on three business objectives to hone in on the tech stack that would work best across teams. The first objective was to ensure that the brand continued to meet consumer technology needs and expectations—getting the right products to customers as soon as possible.  

Then, Heitke said the tech stack had to provide relevant advertising, while introducing CPG brands to customers at optimal times and touch points. With the right tech stack, Best Buy is able to achieve goals for all three use cases at the same time.  

“The fidelity of our data—the depth, the longitudinal transaction data we have—helps drive objectives simultaneously when it makes sense,” Heitke said. “If Best Buy has a message they want to [send], our same tech stack is malleable enough to support our use cases.”

3. Don’t wait for perfection – jump in.

It can be easy to hesitate when considering how to build your tech stack, David Schwartz, Director, Digital and Social Media at National General Insurance, acknowledges. He believes it’s best to avoid overthinking and take action. When you partner cross functionally and get started with building and investing in a Mar Tech strategy, you can make better use of first-party data sooner and truly power the entire customer journey. 

“I think people need to jump in if they haven’t gotten started,” Schwartz said. “You have to sit there and look at it as, ‘what’s the risk of not getting involved’ and look at that from a cost perspective.”

A significant step to progress when building your tech stack is finding internal champions for your investments. “It’s important to bring in different departments; try to break down those silos. I think the more diversified perspective you can have is going to help you,” he said.

Regardless of which side of the DMP vs. CDP debate you’re on, tech stacks can’t stay static. It’s time to get comfortable with change as your company grows.