If you saw our post on Scott Brinker’s 2018 martech landscape, then you know there’s never been a better time for small businesses to build out their marketing strategy.
Brinker’s report highlights more diverse and affordable marketing technology solutions geared specifically toward helping small businesses compete in today’s digital world. The creation of increasingly niche solutions through APIs and microservices allows small business CMOs to make intelligent decisions about where they spend their marketing budget to maximize ROI. And with integration platforms on the rise, SMBs can piece together a martech stack that’s both affordable and brings together solutions that communicate with one another for more efficiency and effectiveness.
But for small businesses, figuring out which tools you need to get started can be difficult. So, the ReachForce team put together this post sharing five tools every small business needs in their martech stack:
#1. Social Media Marketing
There’s no question that social media is a necessary part of small business marketing plans. Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook serve as branding tools, but also can be a great solution for improving customer experience and lead generation.
But manually posting to social channels can be exhausting. Companies operating without a social media marketing platform tend to fall off the wagon pretty quickly on keeping up with the consistency and quality of engagement required to make social media worth your while.
And with many social media marketing platforms priced at very affordable annual rates, this is one small investment that will save you time, save your sanity, and bring you positive ROI.
#2. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the centerpiece of most lead nurture campaigns and investing in the right email marketing solution can be the difference between well-run, effective campaigns and total flops.
But that doesn’t mean small businesses need to pay an arm-and-a-leg to get a top-shelf solution. Many companies — including MailChimp and ConvertKit — offer affordable email marketing solutions built to help small businesses succeed. The key for SMBs is choosing a solution that integrates with the other tools in your martech stack, particularly your automation tools and data management solutions. Again, it’s all about maximizing efficiency: if you have to do manual data pulls from your data management platform to update subscribers in your email marketing platform, you’re going to fall behind quickly.
#3. Content Marketing
Of course, if you plan to engage customers through email and social media, you need to have some relevant content to share. A great content marketing platform will help you shape high-quality, SEO-focused content built to educate your customers and move them further down your sales funnel. Content marketing solutions are generally affordable. Some — like LinkedIn and Medium — are even free!
#4. Marketing Automation
In the early days of developing a marketing strategy, a lot of the work is manual. You need to analyze data, design campaigns based on that data, measure results, and make adjustments based on your findings.
But once you’ve figured out what works, a marketing automation platform allows small business owners to put their marketing strategy on auto-pilot. That means opening up time to focus on other aspects of the business, or improving your marketing even further.
Of course, all of these tools all rely on one final solution:
#5. Data Management
Without a data management platform to collect, organize, standardize, and clean your data, the tools in your martech stack could be rendered useless. Data management is a foundational tool in your martech stack because it ensures the insights you use to make decisions in every other area of your marketing strategy are based on accurate information about your target audience.
ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization, and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.