Header image via Cheifmartec.com
Running a business today takes more than just a great product or idea, in most cases it needs to be backed by streamlined processes that allow your business to operate effectively, maximize revenue and scale efficiently.
So, how do you do that?
With a marketing tech stack that addresses your company’s website design and optimization, email marketing efforts, social growth, analytics, SEO, CRM and the way that your employees collaborate internally.
What is a Marketing Tech Stack?
A marketing tech stack is essentially how you choose to organize the marketing tools and software that you use in your business. By leveraging specialized technology you can harness the benefits of each tool and build efficiency into your organization. The focus of marketing technology is to make processes easier and to measure the impact of those activities to better allocate budgets and resources that will allow you to maximize revenue.
How marketers use tech stacks continues to evolve to meet the needs of increasingly savvy customers, and to keep pace with new technological developments. To give an idea of the scope of the industry, ChiefMartec has been releasing a supergraphic of the companies that offer martech products since 2011. As you can see from the numbers below, the number of products has close to doubled year in and year out, but seems to be plateauing in 2019, although the author does note that the graphic is constrained by the resources needed to compile the list and as such many products may not be listed.
Year and the Approximate Number of Martech Companies:
2011 – ~ 150
2012 – ~ 350
2014 – ~ 1000
2015 – ~ 2000
2016 – ~ 3,500
2017 – ~ 5,000
2018 – ~ 6,800
2019 – ~ 7,040
The 25 Tools that Most Businesses Need in their Marketing Tech Stack
If you’re serious about scaling your business and want to develop a marketing tech stack that’s going to help streamline your processes and allow you to grow, these are 25 tools that will help you do it. We’ve grouped them into categories to make building your stack a bit easier.
Landing pages are specifically designed to convert website visitors into leads. Because they’re usually developed to receive paid visitors (from a Google or Facebook ad for example), the solution needs to be flexible, so that you can test different variables, and measurable, so you can quickly see what’s working and what’s not. Some of the most important landing page tools are:
1. A Drag-and-Drop Landing Page Builder
Unbounce, Leadpages and Instapage are different tools that offer similar functionality: the ability to quickly design, build and deploy landing pages in order to get more customers and sales. We love the advanced features you get with Unbounce but for those just starting off something like Leadpages has a much lower starting price.
2. Real User Feedback
To build a website that is optimized for the customer experience you need to know what people think. With User Testing you can see, hear and talk to your customers as they explore your website; looking at products, apps and messaging. Based on this feedback, you can build experiences that are customer-driven and ultimately get you more signups or sales.
3. Experimenting & Optimization
Once you’re happy with your site, you can start working on optimizing the experience for your users based on real data. With Optimizely you get access to a world-leading experimentation platform that allows you to test digital experiences to see what improvements are increasing your conversion rates.
4. App and Browser Testing
With Browser Stack you can ensure that everyone that uses your website has a seamless experience. Browser Stack allows you to test your website or app on over 2000 real devices and browsers so that you can check that your site is rendering correctly and working optimally. Make sure everyone has a good customer experience.
5. Conversion Optimization
Get polls, heatmaps and videos of visitors using your website and landing pages. Hotjar allows you to improve your site’s conversions (by seeing how users really use your website) collect feedback from users and turn more visitors into customers.
This is a big subject that we’ve covered extensively in the past. The best platform and tools for your business will depend on your needs, but we can help narrow it down. To compare the best email marketing companies, please have a look here, and if you’re looking for tips on how to select an email vendor, make sure you download our tip sheet.
6. Email Marketing Platforms
When it comes to choosing an email marketing platform there are a lot of choices. From Wired Messenger, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Klaviyo, and Drip. Choosing the right platform usually comes down to pricing and what key features you need for your business. Check out the articles mentioned above or reach out to us and we can help you make the right choice
7. Email Deliverability Reporting
If you want to know more about your email deliverability and performance, email analytics tool 250ok will help you do that. They’re one of the leading email analytics and deliverability platforms helping companies get insight into their email marketing performance, reputation and DMARC compliance. Return Path offers a similar service as an email delivery expert although there pricing starts a bit higher.
8. Email Testing and Rendering
Making sure your emails look good on any email client and device is no easy task. With over 50+ combinations . We’ve used both Email on Acid and Litmus and both tools are great for checking out how your emails look before hitting that send button.
9. Dynamic Email Content
Ensuring that you send the right content to the right person is becoming more and more important these days. The days of sending mass emails to everyone on your list is slowly going away and more segmented and dynamic emails drive much higher conversions and sales. One of our favorites in this space that have been doing it for a long time is Moveable Ink.
10. Subject Line Testing
Making sure people open your email is one of the most important things a marketer can work on. We always recommend A-B testing and digging into your data to see what’s working and what’s not. Our new Best Subject Line tool helps you boost the open rate of your emails by helping you write and choose the best subject lines for your emails.
Maintaining and growing your social channels requires constant management, but it’s possible to reduce the mental load with technology. Two important aspects of social media management include planning and publishing engaging content and interacting with followers who love your brand.
11. Plan and Schedule Content
Keeping your social media accounts updated with fresh, new content that is engaging is a challenge for any social media manager. The three top tools that businesses turn to for planning and scheduling their content are Buffer, Hootesuite and Sprout Social. Buffer is slightly smaller and doesn’t connect to as many networks as Hootesuite, it’s reporting is also more limited. Sprout Social is better for facilitating engagement once the post is live.
12. Find New Content and Identify Influencers
Finding new and relevant content for your social channels, and identifying key influencers is a challenge that all social media marketers struggle with. BuzzSumo addresses these challenges by analyzing what content performs best (you can search by topic or competitor) and helping you find key influencers that you can partner with to promote your content.
Website analytics give you the insights you need into your users’ behavior once they access your site. They also give information on who they are (demographics) as well as how they reached your site (traffic source). With analytics you’re quickly able to see what the most popular content on your site is, where pages are not performing well and how your site is converting.
13. Free Analytics Software
Google Analytics is possibly the best known, most widely used analytics tool, and for good reason. It’s powered by Google, and it’s free. It’s a flexible solution that allows you to configure a personalized dashboard so you can see the most important information first. You can easily track conversions, see how people find your site, track how users navigate through it, as well as identifying top and bottom performing pages.
14. Real-Time Analysis of Your Traffic
People are accessing your website all the time, and if you’re running a time-sensitive campaign, data that’s a day old isn’t good enough. Clicky different offers real time website analytics. This gives you in-the-moment information that allows you to monitor, analyze and react to your traffic as they interact with your site.
15. Customer Engagement Automation
For customer engagement automation, Kissmetrics is in a league of it’s own offering behavioral analytics and email campaign automation. Their tool allows you to analyze your website visitors and identify what your converting customers have in common. From there you can segment your audience more effectively.
Mixpanel software offers customer insights that allow companies to make better-informed decisions, and react quickly based on how users interact with your website. We like Mixpanel as it allows us to custom target segments of the website’s audience.
Understanding the efficacy of your SEO efforts is more important than ever as the costs and effort involved in gaining and maintaining website rankings continues to grow. SEO tools can help you keep on top of your progress, as well as giving fresh insights and ideas into new terms that can be targeted.
17. Research SEO Opportunities
SEMrush markets themselves as an online visibility management platform offering a range of solutions for SEO, PPC, content, social media and competitive research. We like this tool because it helps us to identify profitable keywords that we can target.
18. SEO Tools and Resources
Ahrefs allows you to audit your website, explore your competitors’ SEO, as well as research keywords and backlink opportunities. Their reports are extremely useful if you’re wanting to understand your backlink profile or that of your competitors. You can also use it to track your rankings.
19. SEO Software
Moz has built the largest SEO community in the world and they’re focused on building tools that make SEO, inbound marketing and link building easy. They’re always one of the first companies to analyze algo updates and their implications. We really enjoy learning about industry trends and developments as they happen with their free inbound marketing training.
CRM solutions offer companies a number of benefits including the ability to make better management decisions because customer information is organized meaningfully. CRM solutions help companies to understand their customers better, allowing them to segment and target their market more effectively.
20. CRM for Small Through to Enterprise Clients
Salesforce is the number one CRM solution. In addition to email marketing, it allows you to connect with your customers using marketing automation software to helps to build engaging experiences, allows for different app integrations, and offers advanced analytics. Their suite of tools can help streamline almost any customer-facing aspect of your organization.
21. CRM for Small Businesses
If you’re a smaller company and can’t afford the Salesforce monthly fees, Hubspot CRM is a good alternative. The Hubspot CRM platform for small businesses that helps sales teams to manage their clients effectively. It has all the necessary basic features which allows companies to get started quickly without having to make too many changes to their existing workflows. It also integrates seamlessly with their marketing, sales and customer service software. And the best part? It’s free!
22. Manage Your Pipeline with Pipedrive CRM
Pipedrive is a leading SaaS-based CRM for sales and pipeline management. The tool allows businesses to plan their sales activities and monitor the progress of deals. This is extremely useful companies that have complicated, in-depth and long-term sales processes.
It’s one thing to manage client relationships with a CRM system, but it can be difficult to keep track of the deliverables and responsibilities of team members internally. SaaS-based collaboration tools are streamlining these processes making it easy to keep track of the progress of a project, which team members are involved, and when the tasks are due.
23. Collaboration, Instant Messaging and Notifications
Slack helps you to manage your company’s workflows coordinating the people involved, the information that is needed and the tools that are to be used for the project to get it done. It is essentially an instant messaging and collaboration tool that integrates with a number of apps allowing you to centralize all notifications across different teams. We love the huge number of integrations that it offers which allows for the automation of some repetitive manual tasks.
24. Visual Project Management
For a free task and project management tool, Trello is a great solution for businesses. The collaboration tool organizes projects into boards that are flexible and shareable helping you to keep track of the big picture as well as the minute details. It’s a great way to visualize the flow of a project and because the boards are easy to move around and update, it can easily be updated for changes.
25. Cloud-Based Document Sharing
Google Drive is free cloud-based storage that allows users to store, access and share documents online. This opens up opportunities for collaboration within the company, as well as with clients and suppliers. It integrates with a number of different apps allowing for a central place where information can be stored and updated in real time.
As the number of martech products continues to grow, it’s helpful to identify the core functions and processes in your business and, from there, narrow down the marketing technology that your business needs. By implementing specialized tools to take care of specific areas such as website optimization, email, social, SEO, and CRM; you give your business the best chance of improving current process flows and growing into the future.