2018 Stackie Award winners: The most impactful martech stacks this year
Scott Brinker announces the winners and talks about the Stackies in general on Tuesday, the first full day of this year's MarTech conference.
The MarTech Conference is in full swing, and to kick it off on Tuesday, MarTech Conference Program Chair Scott Brinker announced the winners of the 2018 Stackies. The Stackie Awards are given each year at MarTech to acknowledge the most noteworthy marketing stacks in the industry.
Companies enter a visualization of their martech stack in a single slide. For each free entry received, MarTech gives $100 to a charity. This year, the conference gave $5,400 to Girls in Tech.
I got a chance to talk to Brinker about the Stackies in general, and this year’s winners in particular.
Everyone’s a winner. No, really.
Brinker opened our conversation by telling me it’s hard to pick a winner, because, he said, “when it comes down to it, a winning marketing stack is one that performed well for the company using it. That’s all that really matters.”
Brinker looks at the awards as a recognition, rather than a competition, giving companies a chance to share their martech stacks with other companies.
“We’re really trying to judge them on their impact to the community,” Brinker said, adding that the hope is that when other companies see these examples, they will be inspired and learn new ways of thinking about their own stacks.
Brinker noted that many non-technical companies submitted entries this year, citing impressive entries from companies like Airstream and Morningstar. There were 54 total entries.
And now, without further ado… the winners of the 2018 Stackie Awards.
The financial planning and investment management firm made quite an impression on Brinker. The slide walks the reader through Discovery City, to Concept Park, then Plan-Ville, and finally, Do Town. It shows the four components of its process cycle within the analogy of a city. Brinker said it was simple, clean and clear.
“It’s beautifully rendered, but at the end of the day, when you look at it, you’re like, wow, I get how this group thinks about different tools and the process that they use for executing it,” Brinker said.
Even though Cisco won last year, it had updated its stack and sent in a new slide reflecting the changes. Brinker said the slide provided an inside look at how a martech stack might evolve over time.
“Essentially, you have this large enterprise company that is giving us two points in the evolution of their marketing stuff. You get to see what changed in Cisco’s stack from 2017 to 2018,” Brinker said.
The 2017 merger of investment firms Janus Capital Group and Henderson Group meant changes to Janus’s martech stack. The slide shows a visualization of the stack pre- and post-merger.
“Again, this is another example of someone not just giving us a snapshot in time, but actually showing us through a major transition in a company’s life and how that impacted their martech stack,” Brinker said.
The weather intelligence company submitted its stack in the form of a weather system, wowing the judges with an expressive visual.
“They illustrated their stack in the context of a weather system, which is very clever. But then you dig into the thinking,” Brinker said. EarthNetworks steps viewers through its process and illustrates key drivers and concerns such as opportunity and revenue as high and low fronts.
Marketing agency Element Three used a movie analogy to show its marketing stack. In addition to bringing its stack to life with takeoffs of movie titles (“How to Generate a Lead in 10 Days”), the agency chose visuals that are meant to show how much time is spent on each component of the stack — everything from tickets (very little time) to huge tubs of popcorn (a lot of time).
Again, Brinker said that sharing this kind of information only helps the community.
“And so, on the surface, it’s very lighthearted and fun. But the insight on time spent in the tools, I thought, was just brilliant,” Brinker said.