Have you ever thought about how there are 1,000 ways to describe the color blue? Calming, peaceful, melancholic, gloomy, refreshing — it’s all correct, but none of it is definitive.
Well, the same is true of digital marketing platforms. That’s why we’re here with the ultimate marketing platform definition:
If you’re using it to create and distribute content, manage a marketing campaign, unite creative teams or otherwise tell your company’s story, it’s a marketing platform. These systems or software solutions help manage marketing activity in all its iterations — and as a result, they can take just about any size, shape and form.
Here’s what to know about digital marketing platforms: how they work, why you should use them and which one might be right for you.
What Makes a Marketing Platform?
OK, I’ll admit it: As far as definitions go, that one was pretty broad. But the truth is that there’s no other way to fully capture what a marketing platform can be, particularly because platforms are often reflections of the companies using them.
That’s why it’s helpful to look beyond what it says on the tin and find out what makes a marketing platform. Despite their impressive variety, they all have a few elements in common:
From content marketing management to individual stakeholder performance, a digital marketing platform is defined by how much power it gives you. Ideally, the software should put you firmly in control of everything, including due dates, role assignments, marketing tool utilization, delivery and more. At the same time, there should be some support for task and marketing automation — for example, notifications and email distribution — that eliminate the need to micromanage.
No digital marketer can succeed without visibility. A marketing platform should enable each contributor to see exactly what they need to see — no more, no less. This helps keep individuals and teams focused while giving management the insight necessary to keep projects, due dates and collaborative efforts on track.
If you want to bring your marketing team together, you need software that unites everything: conversations, assets, completed drafts, calendars and more. In this way, a digital marketing platform becomes an intelligent, intuitive workspace for creators.
For example, a single marketing campaign might include social media content, paid search ads, search engine optimization (SEO) and more. If all of these teams have to work individually because they can’t collaborate on a single platform, you’ll end up with a brand story that feels sewn together like Frankenstein’s monster.
Benefits of Marketing Platforms
Whether you’re a small business or a giant name brand, you can likely benefit from some kind of marketing platform. Here are just a few examples:
- Empower your online marketing efforts: If you want to build brand awareness and improve customer experience in the digital world, you need to make plans in the digital world, too. That’s why marketing platforms are a must-have in your toolbox: They help you understand your work in the most relevant context.
- Track your digital marketing strategy: As your target audience grows and changes, so too will your marketing strategy. The right platform helps you see what you’re doing in real-time and make updates whenever and wherever necessary.
- Unite marketing and advertising: It may be called a “marketing” platform, but that doesn’t mean you can’t weave in some Facebook ads or pay-per-click efforts, too.
- Get more from other tools: From Google Analytics to Sprout Social, you can often integrate other tools and platforms into your marketing software for a more comprehensive, strategic approach.
- Take charge of your data: Whether it’s customer data, original assets or an entire marketing campaign, a good platform can house your information and make it accessible to the right people at the right times.
No matter what kind of platform you use or how you choose to leverage it, you’ll find that this software might just be the Swiss Army Knife of the marketing world.
Top 5 Types of Marketing Platforms
You have a lot of options when it comes to online marketing solutions — like, a lot of options. That’s why it’s helpful to break them down by type:
#1: Traditional Marketing Platforms
These systems are at least partially designed around traditional or offline marketing. After all, the assets themselves might exist in the physical world, but your planning, collaboration and communication can still happen digitally.
#2: Digital Marketing Platforms
This umbrella term refers to systems that are all about digital efforts. The work you do, the content you produce and the strategies you follow will all be grounded in online channels like your website or favorite social media platform. (Hint: Most modern marketing platforms fall into this category.)
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#3: Email Marketing Platforms
If you’re a fan of email marketing, you’ve likely heard of tools like Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign. These platforms provide support for marketing automation, email templates, audience segmentation and more.
#4: Social Media Marketing Platforms
Not to be confused with social media platforms themselves, social media marketing platforms work behind the scenes to help you control what you’ll post to Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn and other apps.
#5: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platforms
Not every marketing platform is completely internal. CRMs are great tools for managing customer service, building unforgettable experiences and encouraging loyalty. Plus, you can gather and analyze customer data that will guide future marketing efforts.
How To Choose Your Marketing Platform
Remember when we talked about all the ways to describe the color blue? Well, when it comes down to it, none of that makes much difference.
What really matters is choosing your favorite.
So, how can you do the same with a marketing platform? Check out these simple tips:
Do Your Research
Don’t just jump into the first platform you see. Instead, take time to find out what’s going on behind the scenes. What kind of marketing is it built for? Who designed it and how experienced are they in marketing, advertising, software development and data protection? What do other customers say about the software?
For example, you don’t have to look very far to get the inside story on the all-in-one Brafton Content Marketing Platform. You can even see who’s using it. We don’t just provide this software to clients — we rely on it ourselves. (In fact, I’m using it as I write this!)
Compare Important Features
It would be difficult to put every platform side-by-side and compare them all — so instead, focus on the features that matter most to your business. For example, you may want to see how the system handles marketing analytics or whether it integrates with email marketing software.
Some platforms call out their best features with easy-to-follow videos or screenshots that show off their intuitive user interface and layout. Here’s what you should look for:
Workflow Management in the Brafton Platform
Digital Asset Management in the Brafton Platform
Get a Demo
Guesswork does not make the dream work, people. Before you decide on any marketing software, be sure there’s a free demo in your future. Look for banners like this one:
To get the most out of any trial, be sure to prepare a list of questions ahead of time. Ask stakeholders across your marketing team for input so you can identify priorities and save time in the decision phase.
Ask About Additional Services
It’s one thing to choose the best platform for your unique needs; it’s another thing entirely to ensure you’re getting the most out of your marketing campaign. Some platform developers offer marketing services to complement your internal efforts (and even handle entire strategies for you), so don’t be shy — ask what a provider can really do for you.
See a Marketing Platform in Action
At the end of the day, “the best digital marketing platform” will depend on your business, needs, target audience and brand story. All you have to do is understand 2 things:
- What the platform can do.
- What the platform can do for you.
From there, it’s far easier to choose software that combines all the most important marketing tools, creates measurable value and helps position your company for success.
Want to see a digital marketing solution that can do it all? You’re in the right place. Check out the Brafton Platform.