Building a Strong Business: 20 Marketing Technology Tools for a Solid Foundation

Here are the Lessons You’ll Learn in this Guide:

1. Top Marketing Tech Tools to Finish 2023 Strong

You wouldn’t build a house without the right tools — so don’t build your marketing strategy without the right technology. We’ll break down the top 20 marketing technology tools on the market — and give you the pros and cons for each.

2. Making Marketing Technology Work for You

Still can’t justify the cost? Take a look at how three popular martech tools can be used for more than marketing

3. Picking the Perfect Platform

Implement these steps to find the perfect platform for your business.

When it comes to the tools of the trade, most business marketers these days would say they’ve traded in megaphones for marketing automation and pen and paper for platforms that make communication with their target audiences more efficient than ever. But, with more than 5,000 marketing technology companies providing such a wide variety of services, choosing the right piece of technology for your company can be a challenge.

That’s why we’ve combed through our lists, found our favorites, and polled our subscribers. We’ve found the best of the best when it comes to the top marketing tech tools out there.

It wasn’t easy. The industry has grown at breakneck speeds. According to MarTech Today, the landscape of companies began in 2011, with 150 companies. This year, the graphic includes 4,981, enough that Scott Brinker, of ChiefMartec, called the list the “Martech 5000.”

There is an advantage to so many options, Brinker said.

“The average enterprises uses 91 marketing cloud services (a) because they can and (b) because it lets them tailor their toolset to their particular needs and wants,” he said in a piece that examines the future of marketing technology. “They don’t have to settle for what one or two major marketing clouds think is sufficient for everyone.”

We examined a few different pieces of criteria to give you the list of basics every small business needs to get started and grow.

  • Cost
  • Ease-of-use
  • Integrations
  • Analytics
  • Adaptability

You may be utilizing some or may have outgrown others. Maybe you opened an account but haven’t taken the steps to incorporate the platform in your business marketing plan. Today’s the day. Read through the list and see what will best meet your needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. You know what your company needs — and we want to help you find the platform that meets those needs.

1. Top Marketing Tools to Finish 2023 Strong

Hootsuite

According to Hootsuite’s website, it makes “connecting with customers faster, smarter and safer.” And, it uses social media to do so. In fact, this tool’s three main claims to fame include:

— Doing social in less time
— Measuring social return on investment (ROI)
— Protecting your brand on social

The over 15 million global users, including more than 800 of the Fortune 1000 companies, indicate this technology backs its claims. PCMag recognizes that “Hootsuite has earned its reputation as one of the most popular social media management and analytics tools on the market.”

While you may not be a Fortune 1000 company, Hootsuite offers packages to meet your needs, including free or customizable options. Features include:

— Bulk scheduling of social media posts
— Management of 10 to 50-plus social media profiles
— Real-time analytics and custom reports
— Premium app and unlimited RSS integrations
— Training and support

Hootsuite Pro provides a solid entry level option for small to midsize businesses at a modest price. Beware, however, that additional functionality increases the costs and may add up quickly.

Need examples of what Hootsuite might do for you? Check out this video on how this modern technology helps eHarmony manage their social networks. Or, view the global example of Accorhotels.

Marketo

Driving automation toward business success, Marketo promises solutions for your ambitions. This highly ranked marketing software company answers your questions in regard to:

— Lead management
— Email marketing
— Consumer marketing
— Customer base marketing
— Mobile marketing

In short, Marketo uses consumer activity to determine a buyer’s sales readiness. This vital information allows you to maximize your marketing content and strategies to successfully convert leads to customers.

Users find this lead generation tool easy to use and a time saver. For some, the setup time and training required to do so prove less than ideal. However, with provided training and online demos, this upfront investment does not deter Marketo fans from singing its praises in regard to its benefits.

A summary of reviews finds features of:

— Great functionality
— Integration with other software
— Personalization features
— Lead conversion improvement
— Sales revenue increases

The quote-based per-month cost runs on the steep side for small marketing budgets. However, pricing plans allow for some flexibility here, but if your finances allow, the ROI proves worthwhile.

Buffer

Again, finding the solution which fits your needs is the sweet spot of success with marketing tech. If Hootsuite does not provide the social media management you seek, Buffer may be your solution.

This social media management tool schedules posts across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Default time slots offer insight into the most active social media times. Customizing post times is always an option.

It’s very likely the free version of Buffer will provide all the features you need, including:

— Easy social media management across all platforms
— Post writing dashboard
— Posting schedule builder
— Engagement analytics
— Customizable settings
— Mobile app management
— Integration with other tools

Business plans and other upgrades offer advanced features for the social media geek. These options may include additional social accounts, team members and allowable scheduled posts. And, the bonus is that pricing is modest to accommodate the budget-conscious. (Who isn’t, really?)

Easy-to-use Buffer gets your message out across multiple social media platforms. At the same time, it lets you know how you are doing. This internet-based app saves time and focuses your efforts and breeds high scores for Buffer in customer satisfaction.

AdRoll

The suite of offerings from AdRoll retargets and prospects for you to generate leads and revenue. What exactly does this mean?

— Prospecting draws new audiences who are likely to convert to customers. AdRoll identifies these quality leads by finding profiles similar to your current customers.
— Retargeting addresses consumers lower in the sales funnel. Taking ads to sites (other than your own) where visitors to your site hang out, retargeting puts you on their radar once again.

What AdRoll features accomplish this task? Check it out:

— Partnerships with major advertisers such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and more
— Advanced targeting strategies including customer segmentation and geo targeting
— Easy-to-read analytics for keeping you in the know
— LiquidAds, which personalizes impressions based on the product page visited
— Self-service interface and excellent customer service

Kissmetrics praises AdRoll as a clear frontrunner in the arena of retargeting platforms. Moz seems to agree  that this technology lands at the top of the list. And, consumers concur, with a 97 percent user satisfaction rating, according to Finances Online.

Check out why Freshly, a competitive food subscription service, recommends AdRoll. Their testimonial just might inspire ideas for your company.

Unbounce

Any marketer knows that one of the most important things to do for your marketing success is enhancing your online presence. Unbounce is ready to help you do just that. This platform helps you build stronger landing pages and increase your conversion rates.

Unbounce offers options for different needs and companies both large and small. If you’ve been struggling to get your viewers past the front page of your website, Unbounce might be the perfect tool for you!

Customizable templates, conversion optimization tools and more are built into the Unbounce platform. Unbounce integrates smoothly with other popular marketing tools, like MailChimp, WordPress, Hubspot and Marketo. They also have a prestigious customer list. If nothing else, it should help convince you of how reputable and well-done their platform is – check it out here.

The Unbounce platform is simple to use – mainly drag-and-drop interfaces – but can be thoroughly customized to any brand’s vision. This makes it easy for even non-coders or companies without a web development team to use and build their website. In addition, the Unbounce website and blog are full of resources for marketers, examples of strong landing pages and more.

Google Analytics

Do you know your numbers? We’re not talking about phone numbers or the numerals you learned in school. No, we are talking about the kind of numbers that every marketer needs – the numbers that tell you what kind of traffic is going through your site, how many hits your blog receives, where visitors are coming from and more. Analytics are one of the most important tools in an inbound marketer’s toolbox. You need to know these things in order to improve your marketing. Are viewers coming from web searches? Social media? Email links?

The Google Analytics system is built to help you know all that and more. Once you set up an account, you receive a tracking code. Install this code on every page of your website so that the analytics work. There are various plugins and methods of doing this – it depends on what webhost you are using for your site. Look into your individual webhost’s instructions.

Using Google Analytics will give you more information than you ever thought you needed. Want an overview and step-by-step how-to for the system? Read this post on the MeasureSchool blog. More questions or ready for more in-depth information? Peruse the Google Analytics Academy. It’s full of free courses by Justin Cutroni and Krista Seiden.

MailChimp

Digital marketing relies on successful email marketing. Inbound marketers use emails by collecting addresses and compiling their list, then using that list to send out newsletters, offers, updates and more. MailChimp can help you make that happen.

The price points for this platform range from free to around $200 per month, depending on your needs and how much customization you want. It’s a tool available for all companies and all needs, even nonprofits and small businesses.

Built-in automation tools and list segmentation help you target your messaging to the parts of your audience that are most likely to be responsive. MailChimp also can help you make those messages better with in-depth reporting insights on click rates, open rates, bounces and more. Drag-and-drop templates are customizable to your needs, allowing you to tweak the style of different emails, but simple enough for non-coders to use.

MailChimp also integrates well with many other marketing tools including WordPress, SalesForce, Twitter and Facebook. Check out more about their features here. MailChimp offers a set of marketing resources and tools, as well as tutorials on how to get the most out of their platform.

WordPress

WordPress is known across the online sphere as one of the top CMS options available. Business.com estimates that 60 percent of websites that use a CMS use WordPress, while WordPress estimates that about 24 percent of the web runs through their platform. This certainly places it as one of the most popular CMS platforms!

One of the defining characteristics of WordPress is that it is an Open Source project. This means that you’re not required to have a license in order to use it for your company. WordPress is compatible with countless other services and plugins. Although it began as a blogging site, WordPress has grown into a comprehensive CMS with customizable themes and designs.

Here are a few perks of the platform:
– Built-in SEO
– Management controls
– Publishing tools
– And many others.

WordPress is a good choice for a CMS for both beginners and experts. If you’d like to know more about the pros and cons of WordPress, check out this post from Webnology. Overall, the consensus on WordPress seems to be that it has some drawbacks (especially with regards to ease of customization), but that the strengths and benefits of using it as a CMS outweigh the difficulties. If a traditional CMS like WordPress is not something you’d prefer, a headless CMS like Prepr can be an excellent option especially because they have a built-in personalization engine that will surely help marketers improve their content.

GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar

More and more, consumers are preferring video content over written. Marketers need to keep up with this shift. One way they can do that is by using webinars to spread content and using video meeting software for their in-company discussions. GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar are platforms built to facilitate this shift.

GoToWebinar has some awesome features. Here are a few:

– Live webinars can be recorded and posted to your site with Q&A’s, polls and more included in your events.
– A “Simulated Live” feature keeps the experience exciting for those who watch it later.
– Integrated reporting helps you pursue leads and analyze metrics after the webinar ends.

Companies that use GoToWebinar find that, on average, they generate 25 percent more qualified leads!

Consider incorporating webinars and video calls into your marketing toolbox. They’re a great way to break up the one-sided conversation that can form with text and comments. Instead, engage with your visitors and find out what they’re thinking in real time!

Curata

The sheer volume of information, websites and content that marketers have to wade through on a daily basis in order to curate applicable and exciting pieces is overwhelming. It can also be troubling and confusing to try and figure out if that content and marketing strategy is effective. These tasks alone can leave content marketers exhausted, with little creative energy left for creating their own pieces!

Thankfully, there is a tool to help. Curata is a content marketing curation software, created to bring the full power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to bear upon the swarms of informations content marketers face. It helps answer the questions marketers face every day. Curata offers two softwares: Curata Content Curation Software (CCS) and Curata Content Marketing Platform (CMP).

Curata CCS helps you discover, manage and share relevant information, like blog posts, news articles and more, depending on your industry. It’s a constant stream of fresh information that you can repurpose on your social media and blog.

Curata CMP gives you full analytics, an editorial calendar and more to help you visualize and understand how effective your marketing strategy is, and help you identify weak spots.

Overall, Curata’s focus is helping you optimize and improve your content intake, curation and creation.

Adobe Creative Suite

The Adobe Creative Cloud is at the top of every creative person’s wishlist for software – and with good reason. Thanks to its myriad of programs, Adobe is solidly positioned as a powerhouse in software, and its Creative Cloud is no exception.

Equipped with apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe Premiere and many more, the Creative Cloud is a toolbox full of vital programs for web, copy and graphic design.

Adobe Creative Cloud is unique among cloud-based programs because it doesn’t require to you work on your projects in the cloud. Instead, you download apps as desktop or mobile format and work on your projects locally. The flexibility of desktop and mobile apps means that you can use these programs however they best suit your needs, and that the projects can travel with you easily from meeting to commute and desk. This switch from a normal software package (Adobe Creative Suite) happened in 2013. There are a range of subscriptions available for individuals and businesses.

Here is some more information on the pros and cons of the setup. Adobe Creative Cloud is certainly something that every creator or curator should consider having!

HubSpot

HubSpot offers a full stack of MarTech programs, rather than focusing on just one aspect. You can find CRM, marketing and sales programs through HubSpot.

– Hubspot’s CRM manages and tracks insights for your marketing pipeline. It integrates easily to Gmail or Outlook to consolidate all of your contacts and it serves as a baseline program upon which their marketing and sales platforms build.

HubSpot Marketing lets you create, automate and optimize all of your marketing content. From SEO on blog posts to email blasts and landing pages, HubSpot Marketing is the platform for all your online marketing needs.

HubSpot Sales completes the stack, offering you the ability to automate sales tools you need as well as have better follow-up and insights into the success of emails.

If you want an all-in-one program package to complete your stack, HubSpot is a great place to start! If you’d like to read more about how it compares to other MarTech stacks, IMPACT has a comprehensive post on the pros and cons of using HubSpot – check it out.

Wrike for Marketers

Keeping track of what you have to do at work is tough enough – managing your to-do list plus the rest of your marketing team’s may seem impossible. Enter Wrike for Marketers. It’s a work management software aimed at streamlining and helping you keep your whole marketing team on the same page and moving toward goals and deadlines.

Using Wrike for Marketers, you can set deadlines, communicate with coworkers, submit documents for approval (or approve them, if you are a manager,) and integrate your calendar and email so that tasks convert seamlessly. Wrike also integrates with Adobe Creative Cloud so that you are able to use popular marketing programs like InDesign and Photoshop and connect them to your task management.

The program is built to accommodate the marketing workflow, from briefs at the beginning to approval at the end and analytics after the content goes live. Wrike also has a “Requests” option that lets you request creative briefs from team members, getting all the information you need in one go.

If your team needs help managing and organizing their tasks, Wrike is a fantastic option. Make your team’s efforts flow smoother – check it out!

Campaign Monitor

According to Smart Insights, email marketing continues to be rated number one in effectiveness by marketers. (Check out their informative infographic.) While they report that email is effective on its own, tools such as Campaign Monitor keep your email campaigns focused and measured at a low cost.

An easy-to-use drop and drag email builder gives you the ability to personalize and brand the emails you send. Segmentation allows you to speak to particular audiences. Plus, automation sets up your campaign and delivers it at the times you set while you are off doing other work.

Built-in analytics measure the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. After all, I am sure you are just a little curious as to how readers engage with and share your content. Knowing the response to your call-to-actions (CTAs) helps you know where to tweak emails to improve consumer response.

This list gives you a taste of Campaign Monitor offerings:

— Template designer
— Your own designs
— Dynamic content
— Mobile-ready templates
— A/B testing
— Social sharing
— Direct customer email sign up

User-friendly, easy-to-learn and loved by users, Campaign Monitor proves a worthwhile investment for any business email marketing campaign.

Google Trends

Google Trends helps you view information about any Google keyword search you can imagine. The data collected is categorized and aggregated so that you are able to browse by topic. You also – and this is a great tool for marketers – have the ability to view the popularity of searches over time, see the geographic location where it is most popular and a whole variety of other
trends associated with the search.

This information and data can be a goldmine for marketers. There are a lot of ways to use the wealth of information that Google Trends presents, but three major ways are:

– Keyword research
– Creating relevant content
– Geo-targeting your marketing

Keyword research helps you target the right terms for SEO and see how popular individual terms are. You’ll have a better grasp on whether there is consumer interest in a topic, which then helps you create wanted and relevant content. Geo-targeting helps you focus your marketing campaigns appropriately, especially with targeted ads.

Google Trends is a database full of vital information that can help you become a more effective marketer. Don’t let it go to waste!

Buzzsumo

Knowing the best blog topics or guide subjects to attract attention in your industry is no easy feat when the audience is not sitting in front of you. No body language. No facial expressions. No verbal feedback. How do you know if you are on the right track?

Buzzsumo solves this problem (and at a low cost).

This marketing technology tool analyzes the “content which performs best for any topic or competitor,” according to its website. And, it follows through on its claim. In fact, Search Engine Land finds little negative to say about Buzzsumo.

This marketing powerhouse will do just about anything for your content strategy. Detailed analysis helps you understand:

— Content which attracts your audience by topic, author, domain or type
— The most shared content whether yesterday or 12 months ago
— Sharing behavior across all the major social networks
— Social shares of backlinks to any domain or page
— Trending content
— Who the influencers are and the content they love

With the added abilities to integrate the data with other applications and receive content alerts for instant feedback, Buzzsumo supports your goal of curating effective content.

Akoonu

If there is any common advice in business marketing, it is “know your audience.” Likely, every marketing article you read contains this phrase or hints at it from another angle. Marketing technology tools give you the inside scoop on those consumers most interested in your product or service.

Akoonu helps create buyer personas and map their journey along your sales funnel. Can anything be more vital to your marketing plan? After all, you cannot create content without knowing the people who read it.

This marketing strategy product helps you develop and manage:

— Audience persona and journey insight
— Buyer-centric messaging
— Content plans

Be aware that these features come with Akoonu for Marketing. The flagship product, Akoonu for Sales, provides the ability to map buyer progress along the buyer journey. Both products integrate to bring you a complete profile and strategy insight into each consumer at a fairly reasonable cost.

Akoonu takes the frustration out of the process of understanding your buyer by comparing past and current behavior data. Tailoring content to fit your audience and to meet consumers along the sales journey, reaps greater results in terms of quality lead generation and conversion.

Canva

Let’s face it, while content is king, if it comes in an unattractive package, its reign is short-lived. Canva puts easy-to-use graphic design tools in your hands to create the total package. After all, as humans, we love the visual.

You may be concerned with the level of expertise required to spin out amazing designs (ahem, Photoshop). Rest assured, the drag and drop operation of this tool proves easy, even for the novice. Plus, Canva offers plenty of demos and how-to videos to support your creative side.

While basic Canva features are free, Canva for Work offers added benefits to businesses at a price. For instance, the Brand Kit stores your company’s logo, color palette and design to easily drop it into any product. A boost to your brand awareness!

For a low monthly cost, you can:

— Set up your brand kit
— Resize designs for any format
— Create customizable templates
— Upload your own fonts
— Share photo folders and designs with your team

In sum, Canva puts a pretty face on social media posts, ebook covers, infographics, print materials and more. For a quick video on features from Canva, click here.

Salesforce

Customer relationship management (CRM) is key to any marketing strategy. After all, the heart of sales is people. In an online world, managing and analyzing customer interactions over the lifecycle proves overwhelming. Marketing technology tools such as Salesforce offer a welcome solution.

With a 99 percent user satisfaction score on Finances Online and Business News Daily’s endorsement as the “best CRM software for business,” this tool is worth checking out. Its helps include:

— Contact management
— Lead generation
— Opportunity management
— Sales forecasting
— Automation
— Reports
— Collaboration tools

Cloud-based Salesforce gives you access to the platform no matter where you are, no matter the time of day. And, the mobile compatibility is a must have for marketers on-the-go. Unfortunately, the cost (while affordable to start) adds up and may push smaller businesses to go another way.

The ease of use and short learning curve of this software makes it even more useful. Plus, with a comprehensive customer service system, you are in capable hands. While the depth of SalesForce may prove to offer too much for smaller businesses, it is scalable to grow with your company.

Pardot

A product of Salesforce, Pardot brings marketing automation and lead management tools to your team. And, with the ability to integrate with other software, this marketing technology offers valuable insight for marketers at prices affordable even for small businesses.

Falling in the top 10 marketing automation software solutions as rated by Finances Online, Pardot grew quickly as a force among marketing technology tools once introduced. This software continues in the Salesforce legacy to support your online investment.

Check out what this means to you:

— Good integration with other Salesforce products for CRM and generally powerful campaigns
— Mobile usability to address a growing mobile culture
— ROI reporting to measure and track performance
— Quality lead generation to customize and target emails
— Customer behavior tracking for personalized campaigns

Unfortunately, several valuable features come at a hefty price. This fact leaves Pardot more viable for B2B companies than smaller B2C businesses. Still, marketers hail this martech tool as five-star.

To nurture and manage leads, create vital email and social media marketing campaigns and increase your sales intelligence, Pardot rises to the occasion. Plus, with ROI reporting, you know where you stand in terms of success.

2. Making Marketing Technology Work for You

Remember what Brinker said? The average enterprise uses 91 different cloud-based services. He noted that the report that documented the number included media tools like “Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter (although those are in the social category, separate from marketing). It also includes Skype, Slack, and WebEx in collaboration, Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive in cloud storage, and so on.

Even with those, though, that’s an impressive number that goes to show the pervasiveness of marketing technology in a variety of different business departments. Every area of your company can harness the powers of these platforms.

Take a look at just three of the marketing technology tools mentioned above to see how they can be applied in other areas of your company:

More than Marketing: Go with Google

Remote teams across the world are finding that Google provides a solution to a majority of theinternal and external communication problems; even businesses with all of the employees in one spot appreciate the flexibility it offers. In fact, Brinker wondered if Google could be considered “the ultimate cloud marketing company.”

We talked about the benefits of Analytics for your marketing — you can learn so much about your target audience members and website videos from one dashboard.

But look at some of the other benefits.

-Google Drive provides a centralized spot for any and every document you might possibly need. The ability to use a common login or share files with other team members by clicking on a button means that a team member in Ohio and a team member in Australia can be working on the same file, at the same time. These don’t have to be marketing team members, either. Sales team members can polish presentations. Analysts can run numbers. Anyone, in any department, can use Google Drive.

-Gmail: Not much needs to be said about the need for a reliable email provider — definitely not a platform specific to marketers. The fact that it integrates so easily with other platforms, though, makes it even more appealing. For example, if your company uses Dialpad for calls, drag and drop, or even click-through technology, makes placing a call even easier.

-Every other letter of the Alphabet: Alphabet Inc., restructured in 2015 by the founders of Google, as the parent company of Google and more than 40 other companies, including YouTube, Translate, Android, Patents, Self-Driving Car, FeedBurner, Books and Android — companies which, in and of themselves, have a wider base than just marketing.

Don’t Monkey Around: MailChimp for More Than Email

Email marketing is a key player in inbound marketing. It meets your leads right where they are in the funnel and buying process, tailors content based on their previous actions and helps move them closer to that current customer spot. It’s a key player in most small business marketing departments — but has the capability and innovation to provide top-level services to large businesses looking for a cost-effective way to scale.

However, marketing departments aren’t the only ones creating MailChimp accounts. Sure, it has the split testing and abandoned-cart tool that marketers love when it comes to reaching potential customers. But take a look at how some non-marketing departments can use an email platform to streamline their services.

-Nonprofits: Development departments — which work closely with nonprofit communication departments — are looking for the best way to turn prospects into donors. Taking a key from corporate marketing, these departments are using email campaigns for everything from newsletters to regular appeals. MailChimp usage doesn’t stop there, either. Volunteer departments, for example, have created automation around the entire volunteering process, from online applications to the training process, moving individuals from interested supporter to ardent cause cheerleader.

-Churches: True, they are also nonprofit organizations, but on a small budget, there’s no better way to reach out to church members and parishioners. Worship leaders can keep members updated with music choices and calendars, send links to music and find out who actually saw their email.

-Internal communications: In a large company, regular communication is key to keeping teams excited and engaged. Sending out newsletters and other communications via email is one way to make sure employees are staying on top of your company’s latest and greatest. It doesn’t stop there, either. HR departments can take advantage of automation to work with new applicants, for everything from applying to internal training modules.

The possibilities for emails are endless — but can be time-consuming. An email provider like MailChimp offers enough templates that individuals without graphic design training can put together and send out a compelling email without any marketing knowledge or experience. Data and analytics dashboards spell out the numbers you need to know about your campaign and list. New features are regularly added, as well, and have a reasonable price tag, which means there’s really no reason for any department not to be using this top marketing tech tool.

Create Compelling Content Without the Costly Degree: Use Canva

A relatively new kid on the block, Australian startup Canva has made outstanding graphic design a within-reach goal for marketing departments — and their coworkers — since its founding in 2012. Marketers love it; any photo can be made beautiful with perfect font pairings and filters and can then be posted to the brand’s social media pages.

However, the company provides service to more than marketers. Sure, in the end, most graphic design comes down to marketing, but for some, this includes branding and other business basics.

-Canva for Work launched in 2015, giving companies the availability to create a stylebook for their brand and allowe more than one employee to access this information. The templates for everything from letterhead and business card to presentations and invitations means that no matter who designs something, from a finance person making a thank-you card to a purchaser sending a letter, the company will present itself with a consistent, professional appearance.

-Take a hint from the company’s beginning. Canva started when its co-founders were working together in a previous company creating an online yearbook platform for schools — not marketing-related at all. They took that technology to create Canva and give everyone a way to create outstanding graphics.

Picking the Perfect Platform

With these nearly 5,000 marketing technology companies providing such a wide variety of services, how can you find the best one for your business? You’ll need something you can use in the marketing department, but wouldn’t it be better to find something that can be used in more than one department?

Ideally, your company will put together a marketing technology strategy. Brinker created a list of ten rules to make sure your strategy is successful. Having a strategy gives you a game plan to see how and when you’ll take the step to scale your platforms. Will it be once you’ve reached a certain number of individuals in a customer relations management software? What about when your budget hits a certain number? Those are questions only your company can answer, but it’s good to have those answers upfront..

Another key point to remember about your strategy?
“Technology is not a strategy — it is an enabler of the strategy,” says Matt Heinz, president of Heinz Marketing, Inc. “Don’t let the tail wag the dog. It is becoming more and more difficult to manage B2B marketing without the right technology stack. However, the stack will look different for every organization, it will depend on their strategy. The right marketing technology stack will be a powerful enabler of your strategy.”

Once your strategy is in place, you’re ready to look for technology that will make implementation of the strategy possible. Follow these steps to find the marketing technology that meets the most needs in your business.

  1. Start by looking at the workflow in each department. The way your sales department handles communications won’t be the same way the finance department handles their communications. Ask about each department’s challenges with the technology currently in place. Find out what they love and what tops each person’s wish list. Take what you’ve learned and compile it into a list of the components you need and the components you want to be included in your marketing technology — you’ll never find what you want if you don’t know what you want.
  2. Put together a team to start assessing available options. This should include someone knowledgeable in the IT availabilities for your company; no one wants to purchase or subscribe to a service only to later find out the supporting technology isn’t there. Examine the different purchasing points:

-Your budget and the pricing structure of each option

-Integrations: Which platforms will seamlessly work together to save you time and money?

-Long- and short-term solutions to the problems and challenges facing each department that will use the software

-Customer service: Will the company’s representatives provide training and support for the product?

-ROI: Is the cost of purchasing the product worth it in the long run?

3. Make a decision, purchase the platform and start to include it in your business marketing plan. You’ll only see the benefits of purchasing a platform if you actually implement it in your daily work. Set up any restrictions and guidelines for use of the platform, make sure all of your integrations are in place and hold some train-the-trainer events for software that will have a more widespread use.

Heinz has said that he’s expecting the growth in marketing technology to do two things:

– Create more tools and more consolidation

-Create more confusion and frustration as B2B marketers “struggle to identify and adopt the right tech mix to support their strategy.

Marketing technology shouldn’t make your life more complicated. No matter what department needs the marketing automation, design, storage or communication platform, the end goal is to make sure that each person using the program is able to quickly and easily implement the needed option. The right tool will not only help you implement your strategy, but will allow you to do so with greater efficiency and effectiveness.

Are you using the right software to meet your marketing needs? Give us a call today for a free consultation.

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