The Killer Marketing Stack for Startups

Being involved the startup ecosystem, I regularly get the question: “what marketing stack do you use?” from fellow marketers. Using my data-centric product management background, I gave this a lot of thought and split marketing software into three categories, which are broken down further below:

  1. Tracking
  2. Sales enablement
  3. Collaboration


All roads lead to data and all data leads to tracking. You want to give your marketing team easy access to as much data as possible and the tools to track that data. This means empowering them to be independent from the development team in their quest to track and capture that data.

This is the optimal tool stack you can use to help your marketing team get the job done:

  • Google Tag Manager

This is hands down the first piece of tech you should leverage for your business. Tag Manager is one of those tools that allows marketing to be self-sufficient by quickly organizing conversion tags, remarketing tags, using new optimization tools and sharing data across systems. It also frees up a ton of time.

  • Google Analytics

The de facto Analytics platform since 2006 also happens to be free. It’s so robust, there’s a good chance you’ll only use a small percentage of its potential.

  • HubSpot 

HubSpot is marketing’s headquarter. It is a central piece of our tech stack, and an essential one for daily use. It produces amazing content and training that is worth the price of the software alone! The platform allows you to build landing pages, creates forms using progressive profiling, captures contacts’ information and manages all of your blogs and content.

Related: 8 Essential Online Marketing Tools

Sales enablement

In my mind, because of the quantity and quality of the data required from sales by marketing, sales enablement software should be picked by those in marketing. The success of each team is dependent on one another, so they need to use systems that allow them to speak the same language. Having said that, keep in mind:

  • Salesforce (Professional edition++)

It’s the most powerful CRM out there. It integrates flawlessly with most of other software and ultimately serves as a hub for all client/lead data. The Enterprise edition has all the bells and whistles that are necessary, but it is expensive. If you can afford it, go for it! The more reasonably priced Professional edition includes additional features like access to API and Workflows, which are must-haves. Salesforce reps are happy to negotiate at quarter ends and even more so at year’s end, which is February for them. Leverage this!

  • HubSpot for Outlook (or Gmail)

The Hubspot for Outlook or Gmail automatically logs sent emails to the CRM. It tracks open rates and click throughs along with timely notifications. It also comes with the ability to create templates and quickly add HubSpot content directly in the email without searching endlessly for useful content.

  • Octiv

Speed and cadence are key for your sales team. Imagine getting a prospect on the phone to verbally agree to your terms. He requests a proposal and gets it live while he’s chatting with you on the phone. Pretty awesome. It also comes packed with e-signature, workflows to change the opportunity stage in the CRM and upload the document to Salesforce once it’s signed!

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Collaboration and communication

Marketing teams collaborate nonstop. Colleagues add their input to content, tackle different chapters of the same e-book, add meta tags to the website content, share and promote content on social – the list is endless.

  • Slack

Slack is a great alternative to internal email. You can use channels for special projects, and even get notifications from Salesforce and HubSpot about key elements. Use Slack for everything from sharing victories to choosing whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher in the kitchen.

  • Intercom

Closer to text messaging than actual live chat, Intercom is a communications platform used to reach out to prospects who spend time on specific parts of your website. You can also use it to announce feature releases and beta programs to clients. It’s an amazing way to connect to your current and potential clients.

  • Canva

Canva is an amazing design tool for non-designers. It makes it easy for your marketing team to build all sorts of creatives, infographics, webpage designs and colorful presentations without Illustrator or Photoshop know-how. At Amilia, we cut our design outsourcing costs by 75 percent since we adopted this tool. It costs us next to nothing and our designs have never been better.

There you have it, these are the tools you can utilize daily to track, manage and stimulate growth. Tools are one thing, but processes and cadence are another. It’s one hell of a ride once you’ve got the process, cadence and tools to properly see your strategy and growth plan through. In a startup, it’s not always possible to hire everyone you really need, but by putting the right tech in place, you can increase everyone’s output significantly so that even a small team can succeed.

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