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Understanding Composable MarTech Stack: An Introduction and Starting Guide

clock-iconJuly 28, 2023

Understanding Composable MarTech Stack: An Introduction and Starting Guide

In recent years, the marketing industry has seen an upsurge in the number of technology providers. This surge of advanced marketing technology, ranging from analytics utilities to content delivery systems, has all been competing for a share of the marketer's budget.

However, these solutions often provide only fragments of what is truly required: a unified and adaptable marketing technology architecture. This has given rise to a promising new concept - the Composable MarTech Stack.

Traditionally, marketing technology, or MarTech, mainly consisted of large, monolithic systems that purported to address all marketing challenges with a single solution. While comprehensive in their scope, these systems generally lacked the ability to adjust to changing market conditions, resulting in slow innovative progress and costly adaptations.

This is where the benefits of Composable MarTech come into play - it's built on the belief that enterprises should be able to construct their optimal marketing technology setup from components provided by various vendors. Organizations can create a bespoke MarTech Stack, specifically tailored to enhance their digital experiences, by replacing single, monolithic systems with a collection of top-performing solutions. A growing number of digital leaders are recognizing this essential trend and making the switch to Composable MarTech.

So, what fuels the move to a Composable or Headless approach?

Transitioning to a Composable or Headless MarTech approach presents a myriad of advantages for businesses navigating the dynamic landscape of digital marketing. This approach offers enhanced flexibility, scalability, and efficiency, along with the ability to create omnichannel experiences for customers.

As businesses evolve and technology continues to advance, adopting a headless MarTech stack is fast becoming a strategy of choice. Learn more about the driving factors for this shift and why it might be beneficial for your organization.

  1. Flexibility: A headless MarTech Stack is built to adapt to change. New marketing technologies can be seamlessly integrated into the stack without disrupting existing systems.
    Similarly, it can eliminate outdated technologies with minimum effects, proving its agility crucial in the rapidly changing landscape of digital marketing.
  2. Customization: Separating the front-end from the back-end provides companies increased flexibility to tailor the user experience.
    They have the liberty to innovate and make amendments on the front-end without concerns about possible ramifications on the back-end systems. This latitude encourages innovation and empowers marketers to construct distinctive, engaging user experiences.
  3. Scalability: Headless systems provide significant scalability. As a business develops and its needs evolve, new components can be added or scaled up, contributing to the evolution of digital experiences without impacting the overall architecture.
  4. Efficiency: The MarTech Stack becomes more efficient through a headless approach, as each element can operate on its own infrastructure resources, reducing performance bottlenecks and allowing more effective resource distribution.
  5. Omnichannel readiness: One of the significant benefits of a headless approach is its facilitation of omnichannel experiences. As companies aim to deliver uniform experiences across various touchpoints, including websites, apps, and physical locations, a headless architecture readily distributes content or data to any front-end channel. This setup empowers organizations to communicate more efficiently with their customers, no matter where the engagement takes place.

As technology advances and the digital landscape grows more complex, increasing numbers of businesses will find advantages in adopting a headless approach. The composable architecture of a MarTech stack offers the necessary levels of flexibility, customization, and scalability demanded by contemporary digital marketing. Therefore, a headless MarTech stack is certainly worth considering for organizations navigating intricate, multichannel digital marketing.

Serverless Infrastructure as a Catalyst for Composable MarTech

Composable marketing technology goes beyond merely selecting a set of tools; it also involves the hosting and management of said tools. This necessity gives rise to the role of Serverless Infrastructure. Serverless architectures empower businesses to develop and operate applications without the burden of server management.

Such an approach liberates organizations from the complexities of operational infrastructure, allowing them to concentrate on innovation, enhancing customer experience (CX), and managing data more efficiently.

Serverless infrastructure also supports scalability by automatically adapting capacity to sustain performance, regardless of the workload size. This adaptability enables companies to expand their marketing operations confidently without concern over infrastructure limitations.

Essential Components of a Marketing Stack

The landscape of marketing technology has undergone considerable evolution over the past decade, offering potential optimizations for diverse types of businesses. However, not one size fits all. Every company needs to identify the perfect MarTech stack that aligns with its unique requirements.

Given the myriad of business needs and potential configurations for each stack component and which vendor provides it, it's highly unlikely that any two companies have identical MarTech stacks. Regardless, several critical components appear consistently across most stacks, serving crucial areas of modern marketing:

  • Data Integration Tool — Integration tools sync data from various systems, equipping your marketing and data teams with comprehensive insight into business operations. These tools merge customer data with transaction details, allowing marketers to track customers' purchasing history.
  • Identity Resolution Tool — Similar to a Rosetta Stone for customer identifiers, these tools decode multiple instances of the same customer into a unique identifier. For example, the identifier lets you know that Jay Johannessen from your direct mail database and Jason Johannessen from your email database are the same. This data integration aids in understanding customer interactions on a deeper level.
  • Customer Database — This mini data warehouse collects and maintains information regarding customers and their interactions with your company. Typically, a marketing technologist or IT department manages this repository, which can be accessed using SQL-based query tools. The databases house various customer-related attributes for analysis, providing marketing teams valuable customer data.
  • Marketing Automation Tool — These platforms automate complex or multi-channel marketing processes, enabling independent operation. The earliest iterations of these tools were used for creating responsive email sequences.
    Nowadays, their functionality has expanded to cater to content marketing on social media and text messaging, lead scoring, and several other functions. Common marketing stacks comprise multiple specialized tools referred to as marketing automation.
    This comprehensive strategy of managing customer data and minimizing security and compliance risks equips businesses to respond effectively to changing market and customer needs.
  • Customer Analytics Tool — This specialized tool is typically utilized by analysts within your data and marketing teams. They use it to submit SQL-based queries to a customer database and any other system that contains customer data. It assists in creating, measuring, and tracking the performance of customer segments and lists.
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) — Managing thousands of digital assets is a common challenge for large brands. DAMs, which can be considered composable solutions, make it possible to manage these assets in a centralized, searchable repository that assists with version control, access rights, and more. This ensures that everyone in the company is always using the latest versions of images, logos, and product details as part of their marketing strategies.
  • Content Management System (CMS) — A CMS is vital to customer data platforms. It allows data and marketing teams to manage, update, optimize, and test (for instance, through A/B testing) content marketing initiatives on various platforms such as websites, blogs, and web or mobile apps where customers are engaged.
  • Email Service Provider (ESP) — ESPs are critical to marketing automation platforms, enabling marketers to execute email marketing campaigns targeted at selected recipients. The simplest enterprise-level ESPs offer scalable specific capabilities, while more advanced ESPs may include features such as marketing automation, customer attribute creation & management, segmentation capabilities, and automated personalization.
  • Tag Management System — Modern website app properties depend on dozens to hundreds of third-party services embedded within the property using tags. Tag managers centralize the management of these third-party tags, acting as a "traffic cop" for real-time data passed between a property and third-party providers, which is crucial for the digital marketing department.
  • BI/Marketing Intelligence — BI marketing tools serve as the analytical backbone for customer data platforms. These general-purpose analytics systems access customer databases and data warehouses to generate reports and conduct ad hoc analytics, providing a wide range of marketing intelligence and insights to data and marketing teams.
  • Web Analytics Tool — Web analytics tools capture detailed user activity data on a brand's web properties. These tools can be an integral part of a data warehouse strategy, allowing analysis to be conducted within the tool or the captured data to be shared with other analytics systems. Web analytics tools help marketers understand traffic, user navigation patterns, the quality of the user experience, and assist in attributing campaigns and content to marketing conversions and marketing-driven revenue.
  • Social Media — Modern digital marketing departments' toolkits include instruments to manage and monitor social posts and activity, measure brand sentiment among social media users, and engage customers and prospective customers in both 1:1 and 1:many conversations. These tools can be considered part of the wider concept of composable solutions in marketing technology.
  • Advertising Technology — AdTech has transitioned from a large and diverse landscape of vendors and alternatives to concentrating predominantly on a small number of leading advertising platforms. Digital advertising, encompassing both online and digitally-managed traditional advertising, is a fundamental component of contemporary customer acquisition approaches in marketing automation platforms.In addition, it's becoming increasingly essential for re-engaging existing customers to encourage repeat purchases. To achieve their objectives, marketing ops professionals commonly employ a blend of display ads, search engine marketing (SEM), remarketing, ad tracking, and attribution tools within their marketing technology stack.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — SEO is crucial to many marketers' plans to amplify their online visibility and draw in customers. By targeting both paid and organic approaches, SEO plays a vital role in increasing organic traffic by securing top positions on search engine results pages (SERPs) for keyword phrases that drive traffic and sales.Consequently, SEO tools in the marketing arsenal are designed to facilitate keyword research, optimize on-site content to rank for selected keywords, and monitor and grow backlinks to your online properties, among other tasks.

Transitioning from a Marketing Stack to a Customer Experience Stack


Over the past ten years, companies that exceed customer satisfaction averages have delivered over four times the shareholder value compared to those lagging in customer satisfaction. This trend underlines why contemporary brands need to center their strategies on CX. Making the customer the focus of all operations isn't merely an option; it's a necessity.

Leaders in marketing, sales, customer service, or other customer-centric roles must fulfill the CX imperative, crafting authentic experiences that set your brand apart from the competition. However, traditional martech stacks, which encompass the components described earlier, are not designed to place the customer at the heart of marketing initiatives.

Instead, they are often structured around channels (e.g., web, catalog, store, app) or specific marketing departments (e.g., brand marketing, acquisition, CRM). When data is compartmentalized in separate systems, channels, and departments, it prevents these businesses from delivering anything more than disjointed or fragmented experiences.

Forward-thinking businesses are now reevaluating their sprawling martech stacks and working to transform them into modern CX stacks. In these CX stacks, all technological efforts are aligned and orchestrated around the customer. Departments and channels collaborate smoothly, reaping collaborative benefits that enable the delivery of a singular, authentic, and personalized experience to the customer with your brand.

The Modern Strategy for Eliminating Silos and Achieving Customer Centricity

To overcome these hurdles, connect silos, and clear the path to customer-centricity, a contemporary CX stack, driven by an advanced customer data platform (CDP), is fast becoming the preferred choice among CX leaders in various industries. These robust CDPs, also known as smart hub CDPs, offer not only comprehensive customer insights but also the capability to translate these insights into action across all CX touchpoints. For a solution to be considered a smart hub CDP, it must integrate the following core CX functions into a single platform:

  • Data Unification
  • Data Analysis
  • Data Activation
  • Built-in Integration

A smart hub CDP sits at the core of your marketing tech stack, functioning as the intelligent control center that orchestrates authentic CX. It gathers information from isolated systems (e.g., data warehouses, marketing cloud, website, POS, etc.) and coordinates the customer journey downstream to customer-facing systems that deliver the final experiences to the customer (e.g., CRM, call center, POS, website, ESP, DSP, direct mail, apps, etc.).

As a result, your enterprise can:

  • Break down data, system, process, and organizational barriers hindering true customer centricity
  • Capitalize on your existing technology investments, avoiding costly, disruptive, and risky "rip-and-replace" strategies
  • Streamline your martech stack over time, removing expensive, redundant, and outdated systems
  • Enable business personnel to access customer insights and act on them to deliver breakthrough customer experiences
  • Secure rapid CX victories, while building a foundation for continuous CX improvement that enables you to compete and excel based on authentic customer experiences

Shifting from a Marketing Stack to a Customer Experience Stack


In the past decade, brands that exceed in customer satisfaction have provided over four times the shareholder value compared to those lagging behind in customer satisfaction.

This trend emphasizes the need for modern brands to compete based on CX. Making the customer the focus of all operations isn't merely an option; it's a necessity.

Business leaders across marketing, sales, customer service, or other customer-focused roles bear a responsibility. They need to meet the CX imperative by creating authentic experiences that distinguish their brand from competitors.

Yet, traditional martech stacks, encompassing the components described earlier, aren't built to center the customer in marketing efforts. Instead, they tend to focus on channels such as web, catalog, store, and app, or specific marketing divisions like brand marketing, acquisition, and CRM.

With data confined to separate systems, channels, and departments, these businesses struggle to deliver anything beyond disconnected or fragmented experiences.

Progressive businesses are now reassessing their extensive martech stacks. They aim to convert them into modern CX stacks where every technological action revolves around the customer.

In this environment, departments and channels collaborate effectively, presenting the customer with a singular, authentic, and personalized experience with your brand.

Can WebriQ and StackShift Assist You in Migrating to a Composable Stack?

WebriQ stands as a competency center for the composable stack. Our journey began in 2017, before the concept of a composable stack was well defined.

Initially, we focused on Static Site generators like Roots and Spike, then moved to Gatsby, and ultimately decided that React frameworks like NextJS offered the best way forward. Our experience extends to GIT-based CMS systems, and we've explored Contentful, Strapi, and StackShift UI.

WebriQ has distilled this experience into a cutting-edge solution for implementing composable stacks. Despite seeming contradictory, this approach empowers organizations to effectively tackle the migration challenges posed by legacy systems.

With our StackShift solution, your transition from the legacy system can be gradual and phased. Starting small allows for steady adaptation and learning of the new stack during the migration process. Get a Sandbox account to support this approach.

WebriQ's extensive integration expertise, rooted in an intelligent composable approach, ensures a seamless blend of different stack components into a unified workflow. This cohesive process empowers content managers, marketers, editors, digital marketers, and non-technical users to manage the entire operation effortlessly, without dependence on developers.

Our approach minimizes the need for heavy developer involvement. This makes it manageable and accessible to individuals from diverse backgrounds, regardless of their proficiency in programming languages. Some notable capabilities include:

  • Integration of native OpenAI API with StackShift or any headless content model.
  • Data democratization via Hasura
  • Creation of serverless forms and payment forms using AWS and WebriQ Serverless Forms.

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