[Gallery] My Favorite 'Stackies' of 2019
Sep 2, 2020 8:29 AM - edited Sep 2, 2020 8:31 AM
Every year I get to review The Stackies entries. Because it is an awards competition, some of the entrants get a bit carried away with the design of their slide, beyond just representing its functional architecture. Some are highly imaginative renderings of their stack that echo their brand in some creative way. A beautiful slide isn't necessarily a great stack, or vice versa, but there's a lot to be learned from these ideas.
(By the way, there’s still time to submit your 2020 Stackie. Check out how to submit your Stackie by clicking here.)
I have a few takeaways from this award every year:
- Marketers use an amazing collection of tools in their work.
- Different marketers prefer different tools in the same category.
- These examples reveal that a lot of careful thinking goes into these stacks.
- Clearly, these folks take a lot of pride in their stack and the apps they use.
Here are a few of my favorite Stackies from this year's entries that feature HubSpot and help tell our story of growing as a platform company.
Airstream, the makers of those groovy travel trailers, entered a stack last year too, which helped get them featured at INBOUND. This year, they expanded their stack across five areas of tools, as they think of them: planning, creative, engagement, channel (dealers), and measurement (analytics). Nice to see HubSpot in each of those areas — that's the sort of platform "hub" we're striving to be.
One of the things I think is cool about this Stackie is that the size of the trees (tools) indicates how much time they spend interacting with it — so you get a sense of which ones are part of their daily operations and which ones serve more specialized and less frequent needs.
To get an appreciation for a few of the specialist tools they use in their stack — as a rationale for why an ecosystem strategy can be so powerful for HubSpot, giving customers the flexibility to address a wide range of different use cases — consider the additional apps
Airstream uses for their dealer network:
Element Three is a full-service marketing agency — and a HubSpot Platinum Agency Partner — that works with Airstream and, in fact, created their Stackie entry. You can see some of the same themes in their own Stackie, such as the clusters of work that generally follow a linear journey of developing marketing programs and campaigns and the time spent in each tool withtin each of those clusters:
They also tagged their favorite app in each cluster. HubSpot is their favorite in the Engaging cluster. But they also love SEMRush, Mavenlink, Adobe, and Google Analytics in the others.
If you haven't heard of Mavenlink, they're a leading vendor in the category known as "professional services automation" (PSA) — essentially project management and resource management especially designed for services firms. Another great example of a specialized app that thrives within its particular niche. (And it turns out that niche is actually quite large.)
Bigtincan is an "AI-Powered Sales Enablement Automation" product. Okay, that's a string of buzzwords, but they have a pretty cool app that blends sales enablement content management, a dash of a learning management system (LMS), and sales coaching, which has been adopted by companies like ThermoFisher Scientific, Merck, and ANZ. They have an unofficial integration with HubSpot.
But here in the Stackie, you can see how a small software company conceives of their stack, with three main roles:
- "Brandon" the web guru
- "Patrick" the communications master
- "Stephanie" the content curator
Not sure if these roles are real people, so I'm putting their names in quotes. It's interesting to see how they divvy up these roles and the tools that they associate with each
One last Stackie I'll give a shout-out to is this entry from Nextiny, another HubSpot Platinum Agency Partner. They've been one of the most enthusiastic champions of the HubSpot platform and our app partner ecosystem.
Here are you can see the products the use/recommend for their clients. They refer to this publicly on their website as their "tech stack" — it's part of their value proposition to clients. They also did a nice write-up of the thinking behind their Stackie.
Tell me - do any of these Stackies look like yours? Have you submitted a Stackie before? Let me know in the comments; I'd love to hear from you how your stack has changed over the years.