Ion’s Marketing Technology Stack

In 2016, Scott Brinker, also known as ChiefMartec, collaborated with his Ion co-founder to showcase their marketing tech stack for the second-annual Stackie Awards. They decided it would be a fun exercise to frame Ion's marketing tech in the context of its processes. Though Ion may not be eligible to compete for a Stackie, they were excited about creating their own.

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In 2016, Scott Brinker and his co-founder shared the Ion marketing technology stack at Brinker’s yearly Stackie Awards.

Technically, Ion didn’t qualify for the competition, still, it could make a stack. This was a fun project that highlighted the versatility and effectiveness of Ion.

Here’s the story of how Ion’s marketing tech stack was a hit at the 2016 Stackie Awards and played an important role in revolutionizing the platform.

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     Click for the interactive infographic version of ion interactive’s marketing technology stack. This is what we use and how we use it.

    What Is a Marketing Technology Stack?

    A marketing tech stack allows you to visualize the tools to achieve critical goals. For Ion, the marketing stack focuses on the buyer’s journey.

    The stack offers a comprehensive map of the marketing and sales activity that guides this journey. It includes social management, website administration, marketing automation, sales packaging, and quotes.

    Competing Ideas

    When Brinker and his colleague started sketching out their stack’s framework, there were many different ideas. They thought about designing the stack from a marketing perspective based on outputs, such as:

    • Social generation
    • Lead generation
    • Demand generation

    They also considered an old-school advertising lens, such as:

    • Attention
    • Interest
    • Desire
    • Action

    Ultimately, their approach to the marketing technology stack was to concentrate on the buyer’s journey.

    Marketing Technology is Sales Technology Too

    One of the notable things that happened while creating the stack involved the decision to include sales tools. It was clear that marketing technology was also sales technology.

    They have some of the same objectives.

    Foundational and Helper Marketing Technology

    The stack categorized tools into two primary classifications: foundational and helper. It shows the foundational tools with colored ribbons that identify this group. The tools include:

    • Ion Interactive platform – Creates interactive content for a website and across the lifecycle
    • Pardot marketing automation – Uses Ion’s buyer profiles to target, segment, and nurture potential customers during the buyer’s journey
    • Salesforce’s CRM – Aggregates buyers for the sales team

    Helper tools in the stack include:

    • Hootsuite – For social media management
    • Squarespace – Website and blog
    • Quotient – Sales packaging and quoting

    Operational Marketing Technology

    There are tools that are integral to marketing that sits over the buyer lifecycle and falls outside the foundational and

    Certain tools fall into additional classifications that are integral to marketing. The stack separates them into two sections: marketing dashboard and agile marketing management. The tools in these groups include:

    • Trello – Project management
    • Slack – Organizational communication
    • Google Analytics – SEO and keyword management
    • Geckoboard – KPI dashboards for key metrics in real-time

    These tools have less to do with the buyer’s journey and more involvement with operational functions in marketing.

    State of Marketing Report 2024

    Business Perspective

    Of course, Ion has changed a lot since 2016. The modern Ion empowers sales teams by harvesting data from interactive content and collating it.

    By gathering this information, Ion creates a simple visual tool that salespeople can use to better understand their buyers.

    Ion helps reveal the buyer’s digital journey and profile it for the sales team.

    Explore the Interactive Version

    Today’s Ion is fully interactive. Ion collects data from interactive content to help sales and marketing teams learn about their customers.

    It empowers the sales team using information that comes directly from buyer interactions with unique content. Ion takes that data and creates simple yet fun visualizations that clarify its meaning.

    Ion’s (r)Evolution

    Ion engages teams at a level that wasn’t possible back in 2016. Most marketing assets, like blog posts and videos, were static at that time. The modern consumer wants more from their buyer’s journey. They want their digital environment to be interactive.

    Interactive content enables readers to connect with the material on a personal level. Modern marketers take it to the next stage with content that makes buying fun and informative. As consumers play with this entertaining content, they reveal details that the sales team can use to identify their needs more accurately.

    Interactive content includes:

    • Calculators
    • Quizzes
    • Surveys
    • Polls
    • Personality tests
    • Augmented reality overlays
    • Giveaways
    • Contests

    Once-static marketing materials are becoming interactive, such as ebooks, white papers, and infographics. Interactive marketing engages the consumer in a meaningful and memorable way.

    Each interactive activity supplies valuable information that sales teams can use to gain a better understanding of the buyer’s behavior and journey. Some also require them to provide contact information that sales personnel can use to boost conversions.

    Every completed field answers a question, and checked boxes also mean something. It’s not always easy to interpret the meaning, though. That’s where Ion comes into play.

    Ion’s Sell-Side Experience takes all that interaction and creates a visual element that is easy to understand. It also gives the sales team access to individual customer information that this content collects.

    If Sally enters a contest to win a new car, she has to provide contact information. This tells the sales team that Sally might be looking to buy a car soon, for example. Ion helps sellers understand the needs of customers and the best ways to approach them.

    The Customer Journey with Ion

    Ion doesn’t stop at just one piece of interactive content. It organically collects data through many pages of interactions. Then, with one click, the sales team can visualize the customer’s journey. They can look at each step and see the information harvested from it.

    Since sales and marketing teams work hand-in-hand, they may collaborate on the results provided by Ion to understand the customer journey better. They could look for ways to tweak the content to filter out unqualified buyers and extract more meaningful information. As a result, Ion provides sales intelligence, something you can use to increase your revenue.

    Scott Brinker and his friend learned a lot from creating the marketing technology stack in 2016. This information likely played a role in the interactive Ion being offered today. It’s time to discover how that modern version of Ion can help your business.

    Request a demo of Ion and find out how the power of interactivity can serve your sales and marketing teams.


    Start creating interactive content with Ion and increase your marketing results!

    Start creating interactive content with Ion and increase your marketing results!

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