Much has been debated and written about the changing role of marketing. Regardless of your opinion on the topic, it’s clear that today’s marketing looks almost nothing like the practices of just 10 years ago.
New marketing channels, the growth of big data and evolving technology are breeding a new kind of marketer, who we refer to as the Informed Marketer. This new type of marketer has a keen understanding of his organization and brand, recognizes how the organization solves customer challenges, and has tremendous insight into the customer based on the gathering and leveraging of data.
Behind every Informed Marketer is a plethora of tools and technologies that enable him to reach prospects and customers in a way that turns these relationships into revenue-generating streams. Of all these tools, here are the five most important technologies that today’s marketers need in order to drive results:
1. CRM solution: Every campaign is only as effective as the quality of the data powering it. It’s important to be collecting relevant information on your prospects and customers, as well as how your business interacts with them. Make sure appropriate expectations are set with the entire marketing team to ensure consistent use of the CRM tool. This will benefit you when it comes time to segment audiences, evaluate recent activities, and report on success metrics.
2. Analytics tool: An analytics engine is not a “nice to have”; it’s a must-have. There are free analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, which provide important insight into the people your brand attracts and how they’re interacting with you. Use this information to better understand customer interests and preferred methods of communication, as well as how specific marketing efforts are driving the right kind of engagement.
3. Marketing Automation suite: A marketing automation platform can serve as your all-in-one solution for tracking, measurement, campaign management and automation. Marketing automation solutions should integrate with your CRM system and Analytics tools. It should also include email, have form and landing page features as well as advanced lead and customer scoring models. Lifecycle marketing automation solutions are the newest tools in this category and provide the next evolution of features and functionality to help you track engagement and move prospects and customers from initial contact to brand advocate.
4. Social Media suite: While social media is the latest buzz, it’s important to make sure it drives engagement and supplements your more profitable marketing and nurturing campaigns. A social media integration and automation tool will allow you to spend less time posting updates and more time on bigger picture projects.
5. SEO tools: Search engine optimization is a behind-the-scenes tool that has front-line impact. Your brand’s online presence is how a majority of your prospects and customers will educate themselves on your company, product or solution. These tools will simplify and automate much of the manual work and will save time for prospects who are searching for you online.
As a marketer, strategy is paramount, but having the right tools goes a long way in helping you understand your prospects and customers, reaching them with the right message, and converting them into fans.
In the end, that’s what makes Informed Marketers successful.