Four Principles of a Full-Stack Digital Marketer

What is a Full-Stack Marketer?

A Full-Stack Marketer is a digital-advertising specialist that has several years of hands-on experience working in the majority of digital-marketing channels that exist today.

I’ve outlined four of the foundational principles you will need to become a Full-Stack Marketer. 

Full Stack Digital MarketerI have to admit I am a big fan of the TV show Naked and Afraid.  If there were ever a show that I thought was going to crash and burn, it would be one about a man and a woman, cast into a wild environment without any tools to survive on their own for 21 days – not to mention they’re both buck naked.

Sometimes they do a special episode where they have six people from three different episodes together. I have faith in the human race, but, without a doubt, not everyone gets along all the time, and this show is no different. Drama ensues, and ultimately there’s potential for a Jerry-Springer type interaction.

What I always think about is, If I were on this show, what would my strategy be? As quickly as possible I would become resourceful – a needed asset. I would learn how to make fire, I would learn how to build shelter, and I would, without a doubt, learn how to hunt and gather (I do love to eat). I would do everything I could to secure a full stack of capabilities that contributes to the group.

What is a Full-Stack Developer?

A Full-Stack Developer refers to a developer who can code in multiple languages (Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, .net, Ruby, etc.), accommodating frontend design and backend development work.

The Ocean Agency was acquired in 2014, and we loked into expanding our web-design service offerings beyond WordPress*. Being a full-stack developer is a very challenging skillset to achieve, and, with technology moving so fast, it would be difficult to even consider pursuing such an expansive knowledge set.

Logical Media Group is the company that acquired Ocean. Logical is a digital-marketing organization and has complemented Ocean’s Web-Design offerings with an experienced Digital-Marketing skillset, including (but not limited to) paid search (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO). Logical was very much a bootstrap organization with a passionate culture, and the main reason we can survive in such a competitive space is by forging the right relationships and making sure we’re a Jack-of-All-Trades and a Master-of-All-Trades as well. Just like being on the island and making sure we can make fire, shelter, and find food, in the digital world we have created the “Full-Stack Digital Marketer” who can do all things digital. The only way to truly accomplish this is through years of hands-on experience and you must begin with the four principles of a Full-Stack Digital Marketer:

GA1. Learn Google Analytics

Get certified and ensure you can glean actionable insights from your analytics. The best place to start is getting a Google Analytics (GA) Certification. Numbers are crucial to the digital game, so drawing actionable insight from tons of data is essential. Understanding how to navigate GA; configuring tracking; setting up the dashboard to track Key Performance Indicators; and reporting on performance go a long way. Google Tag Manager (GTM) is somewhat next-level subject matter for GA certification but definitely worth learning, too!

2. Learn Content Marketing

Out of all the digital channels, SEO has changed the most and continues to be the most dynamic. The general principles stay the same, but the tactical execution has changed dramatically. The best place to start is by reading the MOZ Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

Understanding how to create good content for the web is a critical skillset to have.  Content is King in this game, and you will need to generate content that will become naturally popular based on the subject matter. Most people who thrive in this role have a creative prowess. Not only are they analytical and good with numbers, but they also have a creative and original mind. Folks who identify well with this role are typically artists, musicians, and writers. If you have this type of background, then go for it! But do not be discouraged if you don’t; I was able to achieve significant wins with SEO, and I should never be allowed to play the piano in public (let alone sing for anyone).

chrissAchieving the status of a “true” full-stack developer is extremely challenging. You have to be cautious that you don’t fall into the trap of being a Jack-of-All-Trades (and a Master-of-None).

— Chris Singleton
The Ocean Agency Web Design Manager

3. Learn PPC Marketing

There are tons of arenas within Paid Media (Search, Display, Retargeting, Programmatic, Affiliate, Shopping etc.). My recommendation is to start with the AdWords training materials and work toward AdWords Certification. There are two tests required for the certification – one on the Fundamentals, and one Advanced test of your choosing on the following topics: Search, Display, Video, Shopping, and Mobile. You need to pass only one of the Advanced tests for certification, but it’s a good idea to study up on all of them.

4. Be Client Facing

A Full Stack Digital Marketer is in the Client-Services business. As much as digital is their forte, client relationships and communication are just as vital. A Full Stack Digital Marketer not only possesses the abilities outlined in the first three principles but also is capable of articulating the strategy, tactical execution, and performance of all three in a clear, concise, and understandable manner that is high-level enough for the C Suite but also detailed and quantitative enough to resonate with the Technical and Digital community within any organization. Practice how you communicate and talk about digital, and I’ll leave you with this quote:

It’s not who has the best services or product; it’s who communicates it the best.
Lee Iacocca

*Wordpress, in my opinion, is the most cost-effective, customizable, scalable, and impactful content management system on the planet. “Cost effective” is typically never used in the same sentence as “customizable” and “scalable,” and that is why we love WordPress!

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