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What is an Online Marketing Platform? Why Does My Business Need One?

Thursday, December 12, 2013
Online Marketing

As a marketer, you hear a lot of conversations about the importance of a high-performing web site, maintaining blogs and engaging with social media—and the analytics to track and measure it all.

Yet, marketing your company online successfully means thinking bigger than websites, blogs and social media.

Think of an online marketing platform—not just a website. Think of the stuff needed to make your company’s entire online system work successfully, with each of the following elements working inter-dependently for the benefit of your business as a whole.

What is an online marketing platform? An online marketing platform enables you to pursue your online goals—and accomplish the everyday steps required to get the most out of your efforts. An online marketing platform ensures you are getting results, are able to repeat your successes efficiently and improve over time.

Workbox considers these the 7 platform elements that companies—no matter how large or small – need for online success:

  1. Content management system (CMS) – text, images, videos, audio files need to be managed and presented quickly and easily
  2. Social media management tools – to give you control and make social media less time-consuming
  3. Customer relationship management system (CRM) – sales and support – easily manage your leads and customer communications
  4. Analytics platform – so you can see what’s working, what’s not
  5. Reporting system – be able to share what’s working, understand and interpret what it means and become more effective
  6. Search and display advertising management – so you can improve return on ad spend
  7. Hosting that is right for your online assets and applications (and reduces risk)

But don’t get overwhelmed by this list!

First, some of these elements are simpler and cheaper than they sound. For example, your CMS may be WordPress, and your reporting system might be Excel and PowerPoint files. Google Analytics is free! And your ad campaign management might just be Google Adwords and some elbow grease.

Just remember, these are the basic elements you need to be successful – and you’ll end up with some version of them whether you like it or not. So why not think about your online marketing platform in a methodical way rather than hacking it together haphazardly? And if you’re having problems now, look at this list and see what element isn’t working right or is missing – it might be just what you need to get to the next level!

Got thoughts about online marketing platforms? I’d enjoy hearing what your definition of what an online platform is! Leave some comments below and join the conversation!