For its gorgeous design alone this entry deserved an award. Esri is one of the leading suppliers of geographic information system (GIS) software — so the terrain metaphor harmonizes nicely with their brand.
You might be thinking: does that really matter? It’s not how a stack looks. It’s how it works. Relatively speaking, that’s true. However, there are good reasons to celebrate the aesthetics of a Stackie entry like this:
- It makes The Stackies more fun. We learn better when the materials we’re learning from are engaging and encourage us to look at the material from a different angle.
- Because all the entries to The Stackies are openly shared with the community, it’s an opportunity to promote your brand. Hey, it’s cheaper than a stadium sponsorship.
- An important audience for a stack illustration is often people inside the company that created it. It’s a lightweight marketing enablement asset that explains to stakeholders who aren’t martech experts what’s in the marketing stack and how it serves the firm’s overall marketing operations.
Esri’s stack does a beautiful job of explaining the different tools they use, with a simple label on each describing what it does (e.g., project management, display advertising, content optimization, etc.). They’re organized around an infinitely looping flow — reminds me of the water cycle diagram, but this is the “Marketing Initiative Cycle” — circling through Acquisition Bay, Nurturing Cove, Retention Ridge, Insights & Analytics Viewpoint, Productivity Pass, and Communication Delta.