This month, Boston-based startup CabinetM announced the launch of MyStacks, a free, interactive tool which allows digital marketers to build, collaborate on, and discover new tools for their own unique marketing stacks.
“We help marketers make critical technology decisions in a rapidly transforming digital environment,” says CabinetM cofounder Sheryl Schultz. “Our platform enables collaboration around digital tool discovery, and also the implementation and management of digital tools. That’s what we’ve set out to do.”
At the core of the platform are more than 4,500 marketing tools, each with its own profile on the CabinetM site. This number is increasing rapidly. “We think we’ll grow to 5,500 to 6,000 within the next year,” Schultz speculates. “Last week alone, we had between five and 10 companies come onto the platform and build a profile from scratch that we’ve never heard of.”
Sheryl Schultz and fellow CabinetM cofounder Anita Brearton are marketing experts and veterans of the telecom industry. Having always planned on starting a company together, it was working separately that provided them with the joint insight into what problem such a company might solve. “[Anita] was recruited into one of our portfolio companies whose board she sat on,” Schultz tells. “And what she saw over and over again were three-person digital teams that had a miserable time finding the technologies they needed to do their job. There was no place to go and understand what to use for a particular purpose.
“At the same time, I was spending time in marketing technology companies, investing or sitting on boards,” she continues. “And what I found was that it was harder for companies to reach marketers. There is so much content and it’s so noisy that there is nowhere to go to connect in a warm, mutually beneficial way. We started having conversations about what’s happening in marketing today, and we saw that there was an opportunity to build a platform to help these two audiences connect.”
It’s a much-needed workspace for marketers today, who are no longer thinking about their programs in static or vertical terms. What MyStacks brings to the table is an environment in which marketers can create, share and collaborate around marketing stacks. “We built into the environment a simple-to-use drag and drop configuration tool,” Schultz says. “You can also annotate your stacks with what you’re spending, what’s happened, and with any other appropriate notes for yourself or anyone else you want to share your stack with. From there, you can continue to put layers in. They might be analytic, they might be email marketing, et cetera.”
Similar to stacks with current digital marketing tools, MyStacks users can also research and build projected or aspirational stacks. These upcoming or “wish list” stacks can be annotated with commentary like what the expected cost is and why the stack is appropriate. With the built-in sharing feature, marketers can forward their annotated stacks to their CMOs who can then click in to understand such things as what the tools are, how they will be used, and how success will be benchmarked.
A key feature of MyStacks is a piece called StacksUp. This feature allows users across organizations and industries to share their stacks with the unique annotations they’ve made either anonymously, or with full attribution. Schultz says, “What travels with your stack is who you are. Are you a B2B, a B2C, or an agency? What type of company are you, large or small? And what industry?” Making StacksUp a truly collaborative and educational environment is the ability of users to blog about their marketing stacks.
While CabinetM is still collecting data on how people are using MyStacks, the idea for the product certainly has been well received by a number of high influencers. “Matt Heinz is quoted as saying it’s the perfect platform at the perfect time for marketers,” Schultz states. “We see this as a very early stage market where even though we think about marketers using tools over and over, the truth is that adoption is still early. We’re going to facilitate widespread growth.”
What’s next for CabinetM? “We will be introducing a MyResume stack, which will allow [digital marketers] to show companies and potential employers who they are, and how proficient they are in those tools over time,” Schultz says.
Enigmatically, she adds, “Sometime in the next three to six months, we’re looking at true enterprise tools … but more on that to come.”