Your First Marketing Stack

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Doing anything for the first time is hard. To some people getting started is the hardest step in anything. This makes designing and thinking about a marketing stack hard. If this is the case with you, my advice is to simply get started. What we come to call the Nike solution (Just do it!).  If you are a visual person, draw your first diagram or screen design. If you like to see what others are doing search for topics in the area (for example: “digital marketing strategy” or “digital marketing stack”). If you like to start writing and want to first describe your work, do that first. Essentially whatever is going to get you started the easiest can get you over the first step.

First sketch of social media “stack” with related assets… start simple to make it easy

Above is a sketch to get started thinking and explaining a small social media “marketing stack”

What is a marketing stack? Is it just an old fashion funnel? (marketing automation) Is it a WordPress site with all the plugins and additional platforms (automation, analytics, social media)? Is it a set of techniques and strategies to adopt today’s marketing technology to your specific needs? Is it a combination of all of this? Is it something you make up to keep up with changes and market trends? Unlike the full-stack programming, marketing stacks are not as clearly framed. We need to somehow make our own association between components, we have to choose our own style (graphic design, writing tone, marketing offers) and most of all we need to operate (run and optimize) everything. Marketers it turns out have less flexibility in hiring specialty experts in each work role. A strong sports writer will not be an effective fashion blog editor. The same goes for an experienced marketing automation (email campaigns) trying to run an eCommerce site.

It’s probably some of all of these depending on what is your situation. What you can do and what you need are probably bigger factors than some standard definition of a marketing stack. If you are good at writing and using blogging platforms (WordPress, Medium, Blogger, Wix) your stack will be the blog with plugins and connections to social media sources (where you promote your posts) and analytics (where you analyze your effectiveness).  p style=”text-align: justify;”>If you are a social media focused marketer and are managing a community especially for B2B, you are doing what bloggers were doing 20 years ago with communities of commenters. You focus on one subject area which you know (or like or have passion for). You explain to new comers (outsiders, novices, newbies) the basic ideas and the structure of the field (lay of the land). Then you guide others in giving opinions and adding their knowledge to the core you are building. Your stack will be based on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) and their analytic capability or use social media management tools (Hootsuite). If you are a community builder you also can use automated tools (robots, newsletters, IFTTT, paper.li) to curate news items. Once you became an authority people will listen to your advice.

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