Since the beginning of civilization, man has used all kinds of shortcuts, helpers and tools to bring more order and (why not?) more comfort to his existence. From fire, shovels or moving vehicles to the magic of information technology, everyone needs their tools to carry on in this society. Arguably we make use of the biggest density of tools while we are at work, performing our jobs. Knowing which of them to pick and use can make the difference between a lousy worker and a true professional.
In the horizon of marketing, the list of tools and apps available is exposed to trends, but validated by years of practice. According to VentureBeat Insight’s great asset – “The State of Marketing Technology Report”, we are looking at a spectrum where 1400+ products are battling to be used by marketers. Speaking from our own experience here at 123ContactForm and from that of our customers, we have compiled a list of recommendations for you to orient in the “martech” industry. Dig in, evaluate and pick the ones that can truly add value to you and your business.
Marketing is part of any project’s life, as small or big as it may be. Small businesses striving to get off the ground need marketing in order to survive. Nonprofit organizations market their causes in order to receive the deserved attention, supporters and even donations. Educational institutions need marketing to maintain a good reputation and gather more students. Not to mention that any personal project, from a house bakery to an arts’n’crafts blog can largely benefit from marketing endeavors.
Now whether you are or are not a marketer by profession, there is a collection of tools that can make your life easier while promoting your business, cause or idea. Most companies do not have a job title that includes Marketing Technologist per se, but it’s undeniable that the well-adapted CMO of today has to think like a CIO in order to ensure the maximum effectiveness of his department’s operations.
There are tools and tools. Some of them hold a major importance in sustaining a business, while others are not lifesavers but still good helpers to have around. The SoMT report shows an enlightening distinction that most marketers make: must have vs. nice to have tools.
In the “must haves” the majority of those interviewed included email marketing, website analytics and CRM. As “nice to haves”, most marketers mentioned in-app messaging, social listening, marketing automation and mobile advertising. Pretty paradoxical, huh? We must add: do keep in mind we deal with an ever changing landscape here.
To help with your marketing needs, you will surely need more than one tool. Or you can pick an all-in-one marketing automation platform to act as a Swiss Army knife for your tasks.
In order to satisfy both the needs of SMBs and large companies, our recommended selection of marketing solutions (no hierarchy intended) is:
MailChimp – a user-friendly and feature packed email marketing application that is popular to all businesses, from small to enterprise-sized organizations (check 123ContactForm’s integration with MailChimp here).
AWeber – another popular email marketing application, with useful template collections and tons of predefined customizations for the time-crunched marketer (more info on our integration with AWeber is here).
Marketo – ranked #1 in Inc.com top of marketing automation tools, it is an excellent choice for organizing a company’s marketing campaigns from all angles.
Mixpanel – mobile and web analytics in a nutshell it’s what Mixpanel offers to their thousands of customers.
Optimizely – A/B split testing and multivariate testing is something you will surely need when launching a new website or landing page. When you will do, ask Optimizely for help.
HubSpot – the go-to platform for inbound marketers, HubSpot brings a lot of smart tools to use in all daily contexts.
CrazyEgg – for UX professionals and not just them, this tool is an invaluable source of heat maps and scroll maps for any website.
Beside the old and popular services listed above, here are other tools that we can recommend as emergers:
Marketizator – online conversion optimization software that anyone can use, even without technical knowledge.
QuickSprout – a great source of insight over content, conversions and everything in-between.
Feedly – one of the greatest tools for bookmarking content, staying organized and finding new relevant topics for your next blog posts.
TripAdvisor – okay, this one appearing in the marketing tools list is a joke. But still, marketers too need to relax at the end of the day and plan ahead for their well-deserved holidays, don’t they?
And a final thought on how to choose marketing software that would really work for you. Do value apps that offer good support. The SoMT shows that the vast majority of marketers are only using around 30 – 32% of the functionality available in the products they are buying. In order to make sure you are leveraging your tools of choice to the full, good support they offer is key to a good value for your money.
Choose wisely and good luck with your projects!