The marketing tech any business can benefit from
There’s been a lot of talk about marketing in recent months. There have been conversations about the role of the modern marketer, the rise of the CMO, data use, privacy rights, and the ins and outs of working with influencers.
And, as is so often the case in modern marketing, there has been plenty to say about the potential impact of new forms of technology.
But there are forms of marketing technology that any business—and any marketer—can benefit from. And smaller businesses looking to give more attention to their marketing work and to reach their target audiences are especially well-placed to reap the rewards if they introduce the right tech infrastructure.
Social listening is the monitoring of a brand’s social media channels for any customer feedback or direct mentions.
You can also search for specific keywords or topics or investigate competitors or other industries. A good social listening tool gives you a direct line to the people talking about your product or brand, and this is hugely valuable if you want to do marketing the right way.
By using a tool like Sysomos you have a connection to the people whose opinions matter most when marketing your product—and in real-time.
Social scheduling and reporting
Social now plays a major role in all our lives, and new platforms are emerging while existing ones are evolving. So, a powerful, all-in-one social media management platform is vitally important to any business.
You want to be able to understand and reach your audience, engage that audience and—crucially—measure your performance. Used alongside a good social listening tool, you give yourself a window onto the world of social and your place in it.
There’s a saying that what gets measured gets done, but what gets measured also gets improved. Great marketing isn’t about sending content out into the world and then hoping for the best. So, analytics tools that allow you to get feedback, adjust and then go again is essential.
With tools like these, you want value, impact, and ease of use: if you’re not experienced with data, complex analytics is going to throw you.
We use CrazyEgg, an underrated tool that uses heat maps to give you a visual representation of what parts of your page users click the most, where your visitors come from, which parts of your page are engaging visitors the most, and more.
There are many different CMS tools out there and they come in all shapes and sizes. None are quite the same, however, and as with all kinds of technology, you need to consider the options with your unique business goals in mind. It’s hard to find a strong e-commerce CMS that aligns content with merchandising, even if there are many platforms out there that offer a good selling experience.
In our case, we developed our own hyper-secure, single-screen and user-friendly CMS because none existed that met our needs and the needs of our clients. And this should give you some sense of how important it is from a marketing perspective to find the right CMS solution.
What’s great about some of the newer digital design tools is that they allow you not only to create prototypes of your ideas, and collaborate with others while doing so, but that these prototypes are fully interactive.
If you’re creating web and app designs you want to know how they’ll function—and if you’re part of an agency, your clients will as well. You can really get a feel for what you’re building if you use a good studio design tool, and this helps you to make more informed decisions about UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) well in advance of the development stage. Sketch is a great example of this, and it’s fast overtaking Photoshop in this area.
It’s no use having a great site if no one can find it. Website visibility, traffic and digital presence more broadly are becoming almost as important as the look, feel and function of the site itself. But a good SEO is an art as well as a science: the users themselves play a major role in showing your site to be valuable, and if it isn’t useful, your SEO ranking will pay the price.
SEO tools such as SEMrush help you to understand the technical performance of your site from an SEO perspective. These tools give you a comprehensive report on all things SEO, allowing you to gain real insight that you can turn into action. You can put together all kinds of strategies using this information and develop a better understanding of how the world of SEO is evolving.
Small businesses that don’t have the luxury of hiring experienced people can exploit the technology currently available to develop a solid marketing function. Of course, tech can’t replace people, and in the hands of good people, technology becomes even more powerful.
But in the interim, intelligent use of tech can give you the upper hand over your competitors and allow you to relate to your audiences in a sophisticated way.