A platform is a software ecosystem that provides the framework for connecting tools, teams and data. It is a different type of product from a suite, as it focuses on growth through connection rather than building a set of features that can work together out of the box.
The word platform has had an eclectic life in technology. It was originally a specific kind of computer hardware, then it was a computer operating system and now it refers to the entire computing infrastructure on which other applications can be developed. The concept is also used in business, such as when companies develop platforms for their supply chain or when software developers refer to a specific development environment, such as the Linux operating system and the Hypertext Preprocessor programming language.
There are now many online platform services, including marketplaces, app stores, price comparison websites and social media. Some are consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and others are business-to-consumer (B2C). The popularity of these services is changing the way that people buy goods and services.
For marketers, a marketing platform can provide a much wider range of capabilities than an integrated suite because it doesn’t try to do everything itself and instead provides a base on which other more specialized products can be layered. For example, it’s common to see CRM and analytics platforms paired with a content management system, which is then plugged into an e-commerce or data management service. This allows marketers to create a complete digital marketing ecosystem that can evolve as their needs and the technology landscape change. platform