Full-Stack Marketers: What Are They And Do They Exist?


Full-stack marketer is the new hero of marketing on the intersection of product management, marketing, and growth hacking. In other words a full-stack marketer combines all the needed knowledge and skills to position and manage building a product as product manager, build and execute a marketing plan as marketer, and apply his technical and mathematical skills to be a growth hacker of the product.  Let’s get into some details to understand the concept better.

Why full-stack?

Maybe you have heard the term full-stack developer. It’s a web developer who won’t tell you that 50% of the work needed the website to function is none of his business while the guy who is responsible for this part has already gone home. Full-stack developer knows back-end as good as front-end so he is capable of building a web application end-to-end with his own hands. This analogy makes it reasonable to apply the prefix to marketers.

Who needs a full-stack marketer?

Startups, of course. Startups need full-stack people! Because startups are fated to be in permanent lack of time and money so finding whole product and marketing teams is often impossible for a young company which is not even sure if it is going to exist in a few months. I think that just one qualified and well motivated full-stack developer and one really good and well motivated full-stack marketer can reach the goal of finding the scalable business model.

Where is the full-stack designer you might ask? Well, full-stack developer and marketer must have enough knowledge to use ready-to-use solutions and UI frameworks to build a working prototype. Then, of course, to get the look of the project on the next level, you’ll need a full-stack designer who is good at drawing pages as well as at turning them into the working HTML documents. Trust me, you don’t want a designer who is not aware of how web pages work.

So, a full-stack marketer is at most 80% is about human side of the product and at least 20% is about its engineering side. While a full-stack developer is the other way around. Isn’t this a perfect match? Open the power of small teams!

One more type of clients that might need such a marketer..

Offline companies. Those who make products and services in the real world and not so keen about the internet thing. It’s also a burden for them to keep a whole marketing team. Instead they want one super hero who can handle all the internet stuff — from building the site on a popular CMS (I personally love WordPress) to marketing the company’s products all on his own.

Who is doomed to be full-stack?

Obviously, to be full-stack you must be a generalist in your heart other than a specialist. One narrow area of knowledge for you is just not enough. Instead, you want to try everything, you want to know how the world works. And I believe it’s something you just cannot change, it’s in your heart so you must deal with this. And being full-stack is one of the choices.

Let me explain you.

Full-stack concept implies you have wide knowledge but still there are boundaries. I think being good at product management, marketing, and growth hacking is a very ambitious, inspiring, and still achievable goal for many-many years. These fields are very interconnected so if just one of it is missing the whole marketing thing will not work.

What skills does a full-stack marketer ought to have?

The list is going to be long.

General marketing skills

  • Psychology. Know why people buy.
  • Positioning. Know how you must differ from your competition.

Specific marketing skills

  • PPC. It’s often said that PPC is either working for you or you just don’t know how to make it work for you. It’s by far the most effective and manageable channel.. so nail it!
  • SEO. I might be wrong but.. to me SEO is just about making a unique content as visible for search engines as possible. Don’t try to manipulate them — you’ll just lose.
  • SMM. Social media is a great resource for getting attention for free. You can’t miss it today.
  • Email / push notifications. Emails and push notifications are great for establishing an automated and at the same time personal contact with your users.
  • Content marketing. Learn how to earn points in your possible future customers’ eyes by giving them something for free.
  • PR. Know how to address PR people so that they would not miss your great product.
  • Copywriting. You will write texts for humans a lot. So make sure you make it good.
  • Analytics. Learn how to use Google Analytics, Mixpanel, etc. They are your eyes.

Technical skills

  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript. With these skills you can make quick adjustments to your product that might make big difference.
  • SQL. Learn how to talk to databases so that they would tell you things no one else knows.
  • Spreadsheets. You must be a master of spreadsheets as they are a perfect tool to manipulate data in a fast and easy way.
  • WordPress + PHP. 80% of web projects you might want to build yourself can be built on WordPress so you’d better know it well.

Design skills

  • General design skills. Learn about principles of design. This will make your visual taste.
  • UX. Now at least the basics of User Experience to avoid things like putting the logo on the top left side.

Three golden rules of being full-stack

1. Don’t stop doing. I could say here «Don’t stop learning» but doing is the best learning. Remember that your success is counted as how many experiments you can make in 24 hours.

2. Conversions are your everything. If you don’t track the success in numbers, your results and salary cannot be tracked as well. No full-stack marketer is evaluated on his input.

3. Scale it. If it doesn’t scale, it doesn’t work—you have not hacked it.

Wrap up

To wrap up being full-stack marketer is challenging and fun. I’ve tries to explain how I see what a full-stack marketer might be but I don’t know whether they exist or not. To me being full-stack in marketing is not a solid reality yet. It’s more of a compass to grow.

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Сергей Филимонов

Автор статьи, сооснователь Soyuz.chat