Are you a specialist or a full stack marketer? Scott Brinker lists 131 different kinds of marketing, and there could be more. No one person could be proficient in all of them (could they?), but how many of them would one person need to be adept in to be a full stack marketer?
If you’re part of a start-up, even your own business in the start-up stage, it’s worthwhile to have a strong repertoire of marketing skills. So, what is the bare minimum for a full stack marketer?
What is a Full Stack Marketer?
For Ben Mulholland of Process Street, this means skills in:
- Social media
- Public relations
- Data gathering/management (A/B testing, etc)
- Landing page optimization
- CTA optimization
- Growth hacking
- Design/user experience
- Customer support/success
- HTML (mainly for WordPress)
- Funnel marketing
- Content marketing
- Video marketing
- Email marketing
- Mobile marketing (app store, etc)
- Paid marketing (PPC, etc)
If you spend time on tonyseel.com, you’ll notice that I cover most of these topics.
For Strategic Foresight Practitioner Michael Haupt, a full stack marketer means 22 skills:
1. Analytics — App & Web
3. Competitor Analysis
5. Customer Success
6. Email Marketing & Intelligence
7. Lead Generation & Traction
8. Marketing Strategy
9. Mobile Marketing
11. Predictive Analytics & Marketing
12. Pricing Optimisation
14. Referral/Influencer Outreach
17. Social Media & Inbound Marketing
18. Split Testing
21. Video Marketing
22. Website Auditing
Personally, while there is some overlap, I find Mulholland’s list easier to wrap my head around than Haupt’s. Then, there’s Cody Boyte, sales engineering manager for Oracle. He argues that “You cannot, ever, be a full stack marketer. It’s not possible.”
Should You Become a Full Stack Marketer?
In a Medium article titled “Full Stack Marketing is a Waste of Time,” Boyte believes that ” You don’t want to work through the full stack, especially if you’re the only marketer at a startup. You can understand it, but if you think being able to do it all will make you a better marketer, you’re wrong.”
So, what does Boyte recommend? In the article linked above, he talks about when he started as head of a marketing department. He focused on what he could get done that would be most valuable for his company.
He believed that writing would be his best use of time, he focused on that which doubled their lead volume. As he tried to move beyond that, he admits that “It spiraled out of control and I started failing… I didn’t do any of them well enough or long enough to make them succeed. I didn’t have enough focus on any one part of the stack long enough to do it right.”
He went back to focusing on writing (…”honestly, that was the thing I actually understood.”). In time, the company hired four other marketers with different skill sets. His advice? ” Find your circle of competence. Figure out what you do best and optimize there.”
On the other hand, there’s Rishon Roberts, the marketing manager of Spinnakr who contributed an article to Fast Company, Why “Full Stack” Marketers Are The Future of Digital Branding.
My advice? If you are a solopreneur or the only one doing marketing for your company, build competences in as many areas of Ben Mulholland’s list as you are able. The essentials are writing (including blogging and copywriting), research, social media, analytics (including A/B testing, landing page optimization, growth hacking, branding/positioning, customer support, WordPress, funnel marketing (once you have your own products), video marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing, and paid marketing.
Note that I’m using Mulholland’s order. I would place email marketing and mobile marketing higher. I would add lead generation, marketing strategy, SEO, and surveys (a research tool) from Haupt’s list.
What are your marketing strengths? What are your marketing weaknesses? What areas of marketing would give you the fastest and best results? The truth is that you don’t need to know how to do everything.
Do what you do best and learn what you need to know about other areas of marketing.
Start or join the conversation and share.