Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate. So it should be no surprise that it has also revolutionized one area of business most associated with communication: marketing.
From freelancers to international corporations, marketers are relying on digital technology to better develop, convey, and analyze their messaging. In fact, most organizations use multiple—sometimes dozens of—digital platforms and communication technologies. How an organization integrates all of these technologies is called a digital marketing stack. And these stacks have become such a key component of a successful digital marketing strategy that stacking is taught in the best business schools and is considered an important skill for those seeking digital marketing jobs.
Here’s what you need to know about digital technology stacks.
If there is a marketing task, there is a technology designed to make that task easier or more efficient. While different marketers prioritize different tasks, the basic steps of marketing include market research, communication creation, communication distribution, customer capture, and evaluation. Technologies that assist these steps include:
If you want your digital marketing stack to be truly effective, you need to consider how each of your technologies integrates with the others. In some cases, the technologies themselves may be designed to flow together. (Google and Microsoft both offer entire suites of digital platforms that work together.) But in most cases, you’ll be using a wide variety of technologies from a wide variety of software developers. In fact, you’ll likely be using multiple platforms within each stage of marketing. (Almost all marketers use multiple social media sites to connect with consumers.)
All of this variety requires you to integrate each technology platform within your overall digital marketing strategy so that information flows smoothly. Likewise, you must ensure that you’re prioritizing the use of the platforms that are most integral to meeting your business goals. Keeping stacks organized and functioning well is such a challenge that there’s now a Stackies Award presented to companies who are doing a good job at stacking.*
Marketing is a diverse industry and each marketing company’s or marketing department’s needs are going to differ depending on specific business goals and preferences. For instance, whether you’re involved in business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) marketing can affect the technology you use at every step of your process. For example, broad social media strategies tend to work a lot better in capturing customers in a B2C environment than they do in a B2B environment.
The stack you develop as part of your digital marketing strategy is likely to look different than any other organization’s stack. This is particularly true when you consider that for every step of marketing—and often for every sub-step, too—there are multiple platforms from which to choose. Your goal is to choose the platforms that help you best execute your specific business goals.
Digital technology is filled with innovation, and new platforms are regularly coming online. Maintaining a successful digital marketing strategy requires you to stay up on what’s available for your stack and regularly evaluate whether your current platforms are meeting your needs better than other platforms could. You must also stay on the lookout for new technologies that can improve your efficiency or even transform how you communicate and do business.
If you want to learn more about marketing stacks and prepare for a digital marketing job, one of the best choices you can make is to earn an online marketing degree. Not only can online marketing courses give you the knowledge you need to excel in digital marketing, they are also more convenient than taking courses at a traditional campus-based university. With online learning, you can complete your coursework from home and on a schedule designed to let you continue working full time.
So which online marketing degree should you earn? If you’re looking for a good foundation of digital marketing knowledge, you can enroll in an online certificate program specializing in the field. Online certificates—particularly marketing certificates—are a great way to improve your knowledge and enhance your résumé. If you want to go deeper than what’s available through an online certificate program, you should consider earning a graduate degree, specifically an MS in Marketing. Through a marketing master’s degree program, you can gain a truly in-depth understanding of modern marketing and its many strategies.
By enrolling in an online certificate program or an MS in Marketing online, you can put yourself in position to learn more about designing successful digital marketing stacks and become a leader in digital marketing.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing and an online MS in Marketing degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
*S. Brinker, 41 Marketing Technology Stacks from the 2016 Stackies Awards, chiefmartec, on the internet at http://chiefmartec.com/2016/03/41-marketing-technology-stacks-2016-stackies-awards.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.