Marketers are expected to be experts in branding, advertising, direct marketing, content development and much more. And, in an increasingly digital environment, they need technology as an added skill set. Technology is a mainstay in our daily business lives, and it’s what fuels many marketing initiatives. Yet, staying on top of all the advances in technology is an ongoing task. In fact, 26 percent of marketers rate “identifying the right technologies for our needs” among their top challenges. Advancements in technology seem to happen in the blink of an eye. It’s only a moment before a new trend or development hits the industry by storm. That said, some technology tools are cornerstones for marketing communications programs.
Marketing Technology Tools
Marketing technology represents 33 percent of the average marketing budget. As you develop your annual marketing plan, make sure your budget includes technology. To facilitate the process, we’ve identified some key marketing software supports and the technology tools to sustain them. Use these applications to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and results.
- Paid and organic social media tools. The latest figures show that there are 3.78 billion social media users worldwide in 2021—a five percent increase from a year ago. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn connect you directly with your target markets. Plus, they allow you to share content, make connections and start conversations. Further, social media platforms are an excellent place for B2B company using six different social media sites, managing organic and paid social media strategy is extensive. Consider social media management tools such as SproutSocial or Hootsuite that enable you to organize social media content on one platform, create and schedule posts and interact with other content. Also, consider ways to use the onsite tools available on social platforms such as LinkedIn’s SalesNavigator and Facebook’s Business Manager to organize and schedule posts.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. It’s virtually impossible to operate without a practical, organized database of clients and prospects. CRM tools help you keep track of interactions and provide ways to Oracle, Salesforce or Hubspot create a structure of records that can be used to coordinate customer data from multiple sources and facilitate next steps based on individual interactions or triggers. Do your SCEX合约交易homework and look for the right fit based on your company size, industry, budget, technical skills and access to customer service functions.
- Data analytics. To make informed business decisions, it is vital to collect and analyze data related to your current marketing and sales metrics. InsightSquared or Actifio, in addition to free tools such as Google Analytics.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) and mobile optimization. SEO is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of inbound website traffic via organic search engine results. Today, 51 percent of online traffic arrives at websites via organic search. Further, 57 percent of internet traffic occurs via cell phones and tablets. Optimizing for search and mobile is no longer an option, but a necessity. Google and other search engines are now mobile-first to reflect the widespread use of smartphones and tablets over desktop computers. Consider popular SEO tools like Moz, SEMRush, as well as onsite tools like Google Analytics to better understand search results rankings and what is contributing to your organic or paid traffic. Continually look for ways to enhance your digital content to ensure marketing messaging and branding are consistent on all devices and are optimized for common search terms relevant to your audiences’ needs.
- Email marketing. While email marketing has been around for a long time, the technology is changing constantly. In fact, 54 percent of marketers say increasing email engagement is their top marketing priority. Email marketing software such as Constant Contact and Mailchimp make campaigns, newsletters and email blasts more manageable with options for automation and organized, segmented email lists to keep emails going to the most relevant target audiences. Some CRM systems including Insightly, Pipedrive and Hubspot offer integrated email marketing programs that keep track of conversations, reach out to prospects at the right time and automate manual sales and marketing tasks. Email marketing software can make incorporating graphics such as photography, graphs, charts, surveys and video easier. The use of varied media keeps emails fresh and appealing. Email marketing tools help you optimize the combination of text, graphics and subject line. Perhaps most importantly, email marketing software tracks engagement, so marketers know exactly who is engaging with their outreach initiatives and facilitating sales efforts to move them through the sales funnel.
When in Doubt, Seek Out the Experts
Using marketing technology tools is crucial to building and sustaining an effective marketing strategy. In addition, companies that invest in marketing technology are more likely to develop a competitive edge than those that don’t. Yet, incorporating the right marketing technology tools can leave even experienced marketers scratching their heads. If you need additional technical skills to select and implement new marketing technology, consider outsourcing to experts in that field to ensure your time, energy and budget are well-spent.