Why You Need a Full Stack Marketer

As digital marketing continues to evolve, the discussion around “what a true modern marketer looks like” never fails to fascinate people who come from both industry and enterprises to share their thoughts. Though the required education background as well as skillsets may vary from one to another according to job positions, a consensus reached so far is that digital marketing is no longer solely about creativity, advertising or marketing analysis. In other words, a modern digital marketer should, not only understand the code as well as design, but also be equipped with both data analysis skills and creative-thinking. Coupled with multiple requests desired from employers, the number of interesting job titles including growth hacker, digital marketing warrior, or digital ninja keeps rising. But when taking a look into the details of those job requirements, it’s quite obvious that the objectives, mind-set and working philosophy behind these jobs is pretty similar: to have a marketer who has developed a solid digital marketing framework for business to grow from scratch and he/she can work across a range of marketing disciplines. This is where the full stack marketer comes on the scene. As this concept has been immensely advocated among startups and small or medium-sized enterprises, combining with our experience in digital solutions, we are going to explore the key characteristics of a full-stack marketer and tap into the details about how they fit in with an organisation in the following text.

The Importance of Full Stack Marketer

What does a full stack marketer look like

The term “full stack” originates from the software development world and the concept refers to those who have a wealth of knowledge and rich experience to work across every aspect of the development “stack”. For instance, a full stack developer is capable of doing business analysis by defining customers’ requirements on IT system as well as business process and identifying a valid solution of digital transformation. On the other hand, he can also manage the whole process of web development or mobile app development with his designing skills and programming knowledge. While full stack developers have expertise at every facet of stack, they turn out to be a “toastmaster” towards how the entire development process works and adjust themselves accordingly with hyper flexibility to different projects and tasks. Similar to full stack developer, a full stack marketer is a concept describing the type of skills, mindset and approach a marketer should be capable of from strategy planning, technical perspective and an operational level. In other words, the full stack marketer is multi-skilled with solid practical working knowledge and understanding across all digital marketing channels. The depth of knowledge, along with breadth of skills drives those full stack marketers to learn and adapt fast. Most importantly, fix “bugs” and get all the job done properly as quickly as possible.

Startups or big enterprises? Where do full stack marketer fit

This might be a tricky question. Most people perceive a full stack marketer entrepreneurial and consider startups as a home to these marketers. It is fair enough to say that in startups or small and medium companies where the broad digital marketing knowledge weighs higher than specific in-depth knowledge required, you will be able to find these full stack marketers. Since these companies are keen on achieving fast business growth in a short period of time, they would love to hire those who are proactive, willing to take initiatives to go extra miles and full of digital skillsets to walk through the project from scratch to its completion.

However, those digital marketing ninjas can still survive in larger companies though they are not able to involved in every “marketing stack”, the breadth of digital marketing knowledge as well as their velocity towards changes enable them to see the whole picture of entire marketing process and help them coordinate better with other channels.

No matter which type of organisation they belong to, a common prerequisite for full stack marketers is their ability to discover the problems, address the issues, find, and measure the solutions, which demonstrate the value of digital marketing for the business as well as the strong focus on customers.

full stack marketer

Top 5 Skills a Full Stack Marketer Should Have

1. Marketing Strategy Development and Planning

A successful project always starts with comprehensive strategic planning. In the same vein, a business may fail if there is no integrated plan for all marketing activities. When we refer to a marketing plan, it should include both online and offline promotional activity plan. Nowadays, as most digital marketers put a strong emphasis on increasing brands online visibility and boosting online conversion, offline marketing activities are inclined to be ignored somehow. However, events, exhibition and other promotions still play an essential role in integrated marketing communication. In general, apart from overall marketing strategies, it is also necessary to breakdown your integrated plan into several pieces according to communication channels. Always remember not to neither dip your toes into too much detailed information nor just draw a general picture with “flowery” words. There are a couple of key elements you should include in the strategic planning such as main objectives, the approach you intend to take in order to achieve the goals and timeframe. Once the planning is completed, it is highly recommended to use SMART principles to measure whether the planning can serve as good guidance for your marketing team. The resources listed below provide you with sufficient information regarding how to make concrete marketing strategies.

● Developing a marketing strategy: http://www.businessstudynotes.com/marketing/international-marketing/explain-steps-marketing-planning-process/

● Developing a digital marketing strategy: http://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/sostac-model/

2. Project Management

Project management is not a unique skillset for product manager anymore. As a full stack marketer, you also need to have proficient project management skills. From launching a PPC marketing campaign to webpage optimization, every individual project should be kept on the right track. According to the Digital Project Manager, “leadership”, “communication”, “planning”, “time management”, “risk control”, “negotiation” as well as “subject matter expertise” are considered as the most important skills in project management. Whilst adopting these skills on a daily basis, getting hands-on experience in using emerging PM tools as fast as possible is also a must. With a vast variety of project management applications available ranging from task status tracking to activity reporting, these tools definitely help leverage the teamwork productivity and increase the transparency of operations. The three emerging pm tools below cover your daily activities across all teams and fit for both startups and large companies.

● Trello: Just drag and drop to arrange your tasks and topics. A free visual way to keep your projects on track

● Jira: Specifically targeted for software development teams. This software makes it easy to track bugs and see task status.

● Zoho Projects: Some features such as reporting, integration with Dropbox and bug tracking are awesome. If you start a project from scratch, it definitely comes in handy.

3. Designing & Coding skills

Do not equate marketer designing and coding skills to professional graphic designers or developers. What we desire from a full stack marketer is the fundamental prototyping skill and basic programming knowledge. Those who working in startups are always faced with transforming creative ideas into real user experience and visualising it for internal communication. Mock-up, wireframe and prototype come in handy when you need to present your outcome in front of c-suite people. Since new ideas pop up now and then, it’s necessary to have instant access to those mock-ups or prototype and make adjustment immediately. Rather than bother your designers without a concrete product development plan, it is better to build some fundamentals and shared understanding in the team with the help of the prototype. Previously, we have introduced three easy-to-use tools to create website wireframe and app prototype. These tools help full stack marketers to communicate their ideas efficiently and lay a solid foundation for real product development. When it comes to coding skills, a full stack marketer who understands the basic programming knowledge such as JavaScript, HTML, CSS and APIs is doomed to add significant value to the product development. Not only the coding knowledge will enhance your marketing toolkit, for instance, creating a better engaging email campaign and conducting A/B testing, but also help you understand how technology and stack work across different teams in support of the product development and promotion. Gaining these skillsets will provide you with great opportunities to come up with innovative ideas.

4. Combine consumer psychology and user experience design

With the surge of digital transformation within every industry, we are surrounded by so many digital products such as wearables and mobile devices, which seems have turned out to be the indispensable part of our life. As we are inclined to stay longer with these digital devices than ever before, the number of touchpoints aimed businesses and customers are rapid to ascend in the era of the digital age. Consumer psychology seeks to answer what and why people think, act and feel the way do when they make decisions whereas user experience design also cares about what people do and how they feel while they interact with the product. When these two parts go hand in hand, triggers, elements and even tactics will be implemented throughout the products like websites and mobile apps to encourage user behaviour change. A full stack marketer’s comprehension of psychology and user experience particularly go glory when launching rounds of marketing campaigns.

5. Being agile

Agile development method has never been more popular nowadays in the tech world. In tandem with the established growth hacking concepts applied to both high-profile tech companies and startups, full stack marketers also seek to develop more agile approaches in digital marketing. From daily marketing operation to making long-term marketing strategies, being agile in team cooperation and promoting business reflect their ability to planning, execution, measure and adjust, which demonstrate the value of those versatile marketers in business growth.