Full Stack Marketing: Upgrow’s Secret Sauce for Amazing ROI

by | Oct 13, 2023

Digital marketing, which delivers directly-attributable sales with a healthy ROI, has become much, more difficult than when I started in this industry back in 2006. 👴🏻

Back then, it was enough for a web business only effectively to operate on one channel—for example, Google Ads. If they could set up a reasonably well-set-up Google Ads account with the right keywords, ad copy, and bids, then they would likely start getting profitable sales pronto, assuming the website landing pages were decent.

The platform was simple: you chose your keywords and set your bids for clicks.

The customer was simple; they didn’t do as much research and had more trust in brands.

The competition was simple: fewer advertisers were competing on platforms, and fewer knew how to use them effectively.

In modern times, that’s not enough anymore. Here’s the reality:

  • Digital marketing channels are more fragmented, with more web traffic going to more websites more often.
  • Buyers are less impulsive to convert – becoming more “ad blind” and demanding a good web experience.
  • There is more advertiser competition – resulting in higher ad costs and less traffic.
  • Technology and market preferences are reset every few years.

This means it no longer takes more than just knowing the basics to see big, profitable results.  It requires “full stack marketing.”

What is Full Stack Marketing?

The term “full stack” comes from the software development industry.  It’s used to describe a developer proficient across the entire process, from the back end to the front end and all the technical layers in between.

These versatile coders have broad skill sets that allow them to execute effectively at every phase of front end design through development.

Full-stack marketing works similarly to full-stack development. Instead of a single channel specialist or siloed channel specialists, a full stack marketing team (or agency) has broader expertise across marketing disciplines.  Only by understanding the complete process of profitably generating sales online,  can a holistic and integrated program be created.

Think of a full stack marketing agency as a team building a house. The Growth Strategist is like the general contractor who knows the strategy and vision for the project and works hands-on with you to make sure you get the house you want. The specialists under them are the expert tradespeople who come in for specific parts of the house—the carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and painters. And the best part is that you don’t have to find and hire all those professionals. They’re already on call and ready to go.

At Upgrow, we believe full stack marketing is what sets up great marketing results apart from average.

We’ve set up several elements for our full stack marketing approach:

  • Each of our client accounts is led by a Growth Strategist who sees the complete picture and understands enough of each channel and funnel element to know when it’s the problem and who to work with to improve it.
  • Under this strategist is a group of specialized experts (channel specialists) in key disciplines, from keyword tracking to copywriting to ad creative.
  • Our standard scope of work includes not only PPC ads management or SEO, but also customer research and persona development, CRO landing page creation and testing, ad design, copywriting, and growth strategy.

 

Full Stack Marketing TeamUpgrow is a Full Stack Marketing Agency

What are the Advantages of a Full Stack Marketing Approach?

Full stack marketing has a lot of advantages over piecemeal marketing. Let’s look at 10 of the biggest ones:

  1. One Team, One Plan: Everything is coordinated, making your marketing more effective.
  2. Save Money: Using one agency for everything is often cheaper than hiring multiple specialists.
  3. Quick Changes: If something’s not working, a full-service agency can fix it fast.
  4. Expert Help: Agencies like Upgrow know your industry well, helping you get ahead faster.
  5. All-in-One Service: You get everything from one place, making your life easier.
  6. Better Data: With the same team looking at all the numbers, you get smarter, more useful insights.
  7. Long-Term Partner: More than just a service, you get a team that’s invested in your growth.
  8. Consistent Quality: It’s easier to keep everything looking and sounding the same when it’s all done by one team.
  9. Save Time: Dealing with one agency is less work for you.
  10. Tailored for You: The service is easily customized to meet your specific needs.

The advantages of a full-stack approach are numerous, but they all boil down to this: it’s about maximizing efficiency and results while minimizing stress and costs.

The Four Pillar Components of Full Stack Marketing

So how does full stack marketing work so well? What does it do that ensures a successful approach to digital marketing?

There are four pillars to full stack marketing that enable it to cover the whole marketing process from end to end.

Market Research

This is an often-forgotten building block for digital marketers and digital marketing agencies—but it’s actually the most important one, which is why full stack marketing starts here. Understanding your target audience, their pain points, competitors, and what offers will resonate is critical. Everything else fails if this isn’t done correctly.

This is typically not something that digital marketing agencies do by themselves. After all, you likely know the ins and outs of your audience and market better than anyone else. But these days, it’s increasingly important for the marketing agency you work with to at least weigh in and provide feedback on your market research, especially for a full stack agency that’s going to be involved with your entire marketing process.

Working with an account strategist with additional input from an account director, you’ll gain marketing strategy that extends beyond SEO or paid media management. This can include areas such as customer pain points and how your solution addresses it, how best to position your offer against your competitors, ads and offers for each stage of the customer journey, and more.

There is also exciting new world of market research accessible to even lean marketing teams with the development of AI and online reviews. With these tools, marketers can quickly understand your customers without spending months conducting surveys or running beta tests for you.

Traffic Generation

Driving targeted, qualified audiences is how you feed your sales funnel.  A seasoned Growth Strategist can identify when, how, and to what degree each traffic channel is best utilized.

Traffic can broadly be separated into paid and organic, then more granularly into channels, each with its own advantages and drawbacks, understood by the Strategist.

 

Digital Marketing Channels Cheat SheetPreview: Digital Marketing Channel Cheat Sheet

For a brief overview of the most common traffic channels, see our Digital Marketing Channel Cheatsheet.

Regardless of the traffic channel, the considerations for generating qualified, targeted traffic are the same.

  1. Reach the audience (determined based on market research) where they are influenced and where they buy.
  2. Segment the audience to deliver a relevant and timely offer.
  3. Use a strong hook that speaks to them and breaks through other distractions.
  4. Test different messages, mediums, and audiences frequently — and make changes based on the data those tests bring you.

It’s especially important to note here that this four-step process needs to happen on every channel you use. That makes it imperative to have channel specialists who know each platform inside and out. The UI, targeting features, best practices, and competition on each platform are changing rapidly, so keeping up is nearly impossible to do yourself if you’re not using a particular channel frequently and for a variety of clients. This is where a full stack marketing agency shines, as it has immediate access to specialists in every channel.

Conversion Optimization

Conversion optimization, often abbreviated as CRO, is the practice of increasing the percentage of users who take a desired action on a website or app, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.

Common conversion optimization activities include:

  • A/B Testing: Testing two versions of a webpage to see which performs better.
  • Landing Page Optimization: Improving elements like headlines, CTA buttons, and images to increase conversions.
  • User Experience (UX) Design: Streamlining the navigation and layout to facilitate user actions.
  • Data Analysis: Using data to understand user behavior and identify bottlenecks.
  • Heatmaps: Tracking where users click, scroll, and how they interact with the site.
  • Copywriting: Refining text to persuade and guide users toward conversion.
  • Sales Funnel Analysis: Identifying drop-off points and optimizing them.
  • Conversion Path Analysis: Studying how users move through the site and optimizing the journey.
  • Multivariate Testing: Testing multiple variables simultaneously to determine the best combination.
  • Personalization: Using user data to deliver customized experiences aimed at increasing conversions.
  • Website CRO tests – changing button texts, headlines, layouts, and personalization. We use VWO to launch and track tests quickly.
  • Funnel optimization – using dynamic content, split testing pages, and segmenting off new pages for new audiences. We use Unbounce to deploy and track these.

A full stack marketing agency may not do every one of these for every client on every channel, but they’ll know which ones will work best for you and how to set up and implement each of them effectively.

Analytics Analysis

Being data-driven begins with a robust and comprehensive analytics tracking setup.  For Upgrow, this typically begins with Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics (GA4), and platform pixel reporting (e.g. LinkedIn Ads pixel, Meta Ads pixel, Google Ads pixel).

Once everything is fully tracked, we can begin analysis.

Analytics Analysis is the process of examining, cleaning, and interpreting data collected from various sources to make informed decisions. It involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), user behavior, and other metrics to gauge the effectiveness of strategies and actions.

Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard Reporting for Analytics Analysis

Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard Reporting for Analytics AnalysisDigital Marketing Performance Dashboard Reporting for Analytics Analysis

Is Full Stack Marketing Right For Your Business?

Digital marketing has changed a lot in recent years. It’s now more complex and competitive. Full stack marketing is a modern approach that combines all aspects of your marketing in one place. It brings together every part of your marketing process instead of splitting it between different places. It makes complex tasks easier, reduces stress, saves time, and boosts your marketing strategy.

Working with a Full-Stack Agency Partner

Do you need an agency partner with the experience, team, and systems in place to deliver results with full-stack marketing? Book a free growth planning call with an Upgrow strategist today.

Full Stack Marketing FAQs

 

How Can Full-Stack Marketing Save Me Money?

By having one agency manage all your marketing needs, you save on the costs of hiring multiple specialists or agencies.

How Quick Can Changes Be Made in a Full-Stack Marketing Approach?

Changes can be made swiftly as the same team handles all aspects, ensuring quick communication and action.  Most changes can be made same-day or more substantial updates like new landing pages may take longer.

What Industries Benefit Most from Full-Stack Marketing?

While any industry can benefit, specialized sectors like b2b software digital marketing agencies and financial services marketing agencies often find it particularly valuable due to the industry-specific expertise a full-stack agency or full stack marketer can offer.

How Does Full-Stack Marketing Ensure Consistency?

With one team responsible for all activities, it’s easier to maintain a consistent brand voice and messaging across all channels.

What Types of Activities Are Typical for Full Stack Marketers?

Services range from SEO (search engine optimization), paid advertising, and social media management to web analytics, content creation, and web design.

How Customizable Is a Full-Stack Marketing Approach?

Very. The services can be tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of your business.

Is Full-Stack Marketing Better Than Specialized Agencies?

It depends on your needs. Full-stack offers convenience and coordination, while specialized agencies offer deep expertise in one area.

How Does Full-Stack Marketing Strategy Differ from Traditional Digital Marketing?

Full-stack marketing offers a more comprehensive approach compared to traditional digital marketing. It incorporates everything from search engine optimization and paid advertising to content marketing and social media marketing, all under one umbrella.

What Skills Do Full-Stack Marketers Need for Business Development?

For business development, full-stack marketers should be proficient in lead generation, email marketing, and customer success strategies. They should also understand the technology stack that their marketing tools operate on.

How Do Full-Stack Marketers Adapt to Startup Environments?

Full-stack marketers are often versatile and agile, making them great fits for startup environments. They can effectively execute marketing campaigns across multiple channels, from social media to Google Ads, and are skilled in growth marketing tactics.

How Can a Marketing Team Benefit from Having Full-Stack Marketers?

Having full-stack marketers on a marketing team allows for a more cohesive approach to online marketing. These professionals can work with marketing specialists in areas like video marketing, mobile marketing, and even guerrilla marketing to create well-rounded campaigns.

How Do Full-Stack Digital Marketers Measure Success?

Success is often measured using a variety of digital growth tactics, from tracking website visitors and potential customers to analyzing the performance of landing pages. Full-stack digital marketers use analytics to refine strategies and achieve desired results.

What are the Dos and Don'ts of Full Stack Marketing?

Dos:

  • Broad Skill Set: Do acquire a broad skill set that includes various aspects of digital marketing, such as SEO, content marketing, social media, email marketing, and analytics. This versatility is a hallmark of a full-stack marketer.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Do make data-driven decisions. Full-stack marketers should be proficient in using data and analytics tools to assess the performance of marketing campaigns and make necessary adjustments.
  • Adaptability: Do stay adaptable. The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving, so it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and technologies in the field.
  • Creative Problem Solving: Do excel in creative problem-solving. Full-stack marketers should have the ability to come up with unique and innovative solutions to marketing challenges.
  • Content Quality: Do prioritize high-quality content. Content marketing is a significant component of Full Stack Digital Marketing, so creating valuable and engaging content is essential for success.

 

Don’ts:

  • Ignoring Data: Don’t ignore data and analytics. Failing to analyze and act on data can lead to ineffective marketing strategies.
  • Neglecting SEO: Don’t neglect SEO. Search engine optimization is a fundamental part of digital marketing, and overlooking it can hinder your online visibility.
  • Overloading Campaigns: Don’t overload your marketing campaigns with too many channels or strategies. It’s better to focus on a few well-executed strategies rather than spreading yourself too thin.
  • Lack of Strategy: Don’t operate without a clear marketing strategy. Full Stack Marketing should be guided by a well-defined plan and goals.
  • Disregarding Trends: Don’t disregard current marketing trends. Staying updated and implementing new techniques can give you a competitive edge.

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Ryder Meehan

Ryder has been on a 16-year journey to master digital marketing from every aspect. His resume includes Razorfish, Slighshot, Fossil, Samsung Mobile and Tatcha before launching Upgrow. Ryder is the acting CEO, heading business development and account services. He has been featured as a digital marketing leader on Forbes, PRNews, Business.com, Workamajig, Databox, Fit Small Biz and other outlets.

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