The 6 Tools Marketers Need to Be Successful
According to Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2016-2017, B2B marketers allocate 27% of their budget to marketing technology, putting them on track to soon spend more than enterprise IT departments. In his 2018 Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic, Scott Brinker reported an incredible 6,829 solutions now inhabit the marketing technology space – up 27% from last year. With literally thousands of options, how do marketers choose the right ones?
To help make your choices more clear, we’ve narrowed down six top tools and priorities top marketers use:
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A CRM system will help you report on your marketing performance and track customer and prospect interactions. Top marketers use these insights to learn which tactics yield the most revenue. It’s important to choose a CRM that connects easily with your other marketing technology systems. If it doesn’t you’ll be stuck generating multiple reports and trying to merge them.
2. Email Marketing Platform
Email is still a top tactic used by demand marketers to reach prospects. While it’s important to select a system with unquestionable deliverability technology and a snazzy WYSIWYG editor, you’ll want to keep your eye on how this system integrates with your other martech tools. Remember, making the results of your email marketing actionable is almost as important as the results themselves.
3. Website & Data Analytics
Web and data analytics tools help you understand who is engaging your brand and why. Tracking this info over time can help you align your marketing channels with your organizational goals and help optimize inbound marketing. Again, integration is paramount. Want to automatically send an email to a prospect that just visited your site? You’ll need to integrate your website data tools with your CRM and your email marketing system.
4. Social Media Marketing Automation
Social media allows you to show up as a thought leader in your space, as well as organically connect with your prospects and customers. A good automation tool will save you time by allowing you to schedule your posts and automate responses to different kinds of online interaction. And guess what else is important? Yep, integration. For example, a prospect just posted a question about your company – a truly integrated martech stack will automate the response with the right content across multiple channels (direct message, email, website link, YouTube video), giving the prospect the freedom to choose the one that works for them.
5. Content Management System (CMS)
CMS used to just manage site content, but they’ve grown to manage social, rich media, and affiliate network content as well. With that, the right CMS can be the central hub for all your marketing efforts. The only way it can be a “smart” hub though is through, you guessed it, integration. If all your systems connect properly, your CRM and marketing automation rules will be able to serve up the right content to the right prospect, at the right time. Food for thought though, CMS require a lot of content to work properly. So if your company is still building up its content, you may want to wait a bit before implementing one.
6. Prospect Data / Lead Generation Providers
With >40% of business technology buyers changing jobs every 12-months, reliable sources for accurate prospect data and initial brand engagements are essential. Every recent survey on the topic confirms that inaccurate prospect data, or aging databases, are a major obstacle to marketing success. Incomplete records, invalid emails or phone numbers, and duplicate records all stand in the way of marketing generated revenue. A solid prospect data provider will allow you to zero in on your ideal customer profile before accepting any lists or records. A good lead generation vendor will provide you accurate and up-to-date lead data and keep you from wasting valuable resources on mystery records. A top notch firm in either discipline will guarantee their accuracy and have features to prove it. We’re biased, but we recommend always choosing the one that requires the least amount of time from initial engagement to MQL.
We hope this short list gave you some things to consider as you build your martech stack. Are there other tools you think are essential to every marketer’s strategy? Let us know and we’ll update our list.