Marketing technology has changed drastically in the last few years. Earlier, I wrote on how you shouldn’t ever be obsessed with your Tech Stack (your customers don’t care, really).
That doesn’t mean technology isn’t here to help. Businesses and startups now use 3D printing to “print” bridges, cars, bikes, entire houses, office buildings, spacecraft, and even little things that can be inserted into your body to aid surgery.
New CRM systems help you nurture leads, manage customers, and keep track of every single customer to help solve the “I called you 8 times already and you still don’t know my name, what I’ve been asking for, and you can’t bring up your collective effort to solve this problem for me” issues, maybe?
Or tap into the power of email marketing with email marketing systems that can help you truly maintain great relationships with your potential customers (and existing ones) while driving in an often touted 4300% ROI for your marketing efforts?
Use the explosive power of video, live streaming, video prospecting (sales prospecting with video) and generate results for your business?
How about plumbing into data to know precisely what your customers need, for market analysis, for competitor analysis, and more?
With so many new platforms to choose from, it can be hard to decide what kind of marketing technology helps your business. What kind of marketing tech stack should you embrace? What’s fancy and what’s absolutely essential?
It’s clear that marketing technology benefits businesses and entrepreneurs alike by helping them boost productivity, get results, and empower entrepreneurs.
But how do you arrive at marketing technology stack that’s best for “your” business? Let’s see:
Know your goals for Marketing Tech tools
Just like it’s easy to tempt yourself to poverty by “keeping up with the Joneses”, it’s easy to roll with all the free trials, demos, and fancy tech that just keeps popping up.
You have more CRM systems than you can count. Everyday, there’s new software that rolls in promising to do something or the other. There are more landing page builders and landing page software solutions out there than the grand total number of landing pages you can build.
Just as it is true with most things in our lives, it’s critical to start with your goals. Sit with your coffee (or beer or whatever) and think about this:
- Take inventory of your business. Are you a solo entrepreneur? Working with a team of 10 amazing folks? A mid-sized business? A large enterprise? Your answers will determine everything.
- How do you think using marketing tools help your existing marketing efforts? In what ways can using these tools help you save time, pull in revenue, boost profits, explode your productivity (or collectively for your team)?
- What are the list of things in your business that you need marketing technology for? Is it to automate a string of related tasks? Do you need tech to solve specific business problems?
- The marketing tools in question: Are they an absolute need or just “nice to have”?
If you buy it, use it
Most marketing tools just go unused — just like cars spending more time parked in parking lots or at the home garage. Similar to that extra farm house you got that you rarely go to, or that vacation home you got but barely ever go there, or like those expensive gadgets you purchased that you don’t use.
The problem with most marketing tools is that they are subscription-based. Even worse, some of them are subscription-based with additional licenses for entire teams.
If you don’t use these marketing tools, you are not only losing out on the potential of these tools but you are also spending real cash for nothing.
Do the math: Just how many marketing tools are you paying for and actually milk them for all that they are worth?
Free and cheap alternatives exist To replace your Marketing Stack
At least for solo entrepreneurs (whether you are a blogger, freelancer, or a one-person business of any kind), there are several workarounds, free options, or at least cheaper options for most marketing tools out there.
At least in the beginning stages of your business, you can afford to experiment, hack, tweak, and try things out.
There’s no shame in trying this out (don’t let the marketing teams of any of those marketing tools influence you when you don’t need to be destroying your fragile cash flow).
- Want to do email marketing? Try starting with email service providers that have free tiers or free plans such as Convertkit and MailChimp.
- There’s no need to trade your kidneys for HubSpot for Inbound marketing. You can start with WordPress.
- Use free tools for social media management.
- Don’t go for paid ads until your budget doesn’t allow you (or when you can work your way through with organic marketing). Pay for ads when you really can. This is also when other things come into play such as landing page software, analytics tools, and dashboards.
- You don’t need fancy tools for SEO — you just need to stick to the basics, maintain a publishing velocity, and work hard. Buy these later.
What marketing tools do you use? How do you make these decisions?