The most useful tools for a modern marketer
To manage a department efficiently, to steer carried communication, to hold up-to-date data and analysis of executed activities, lastly to keep full controls over marketing, a modern marketer should hold and what should use complex or at least complementary tools allowing for effective marketing management. This is to be able to attract and keep customers, being agile and efficient at the same time.
The challenge one faces trying to adopt any solution is that there is such a plethora of marketing tools and so many proposed solutions that marketers might get lost in this abundance of proposals. Agreed, but this does not change the underlying facts:
- marketing should focus on driving marketing strategy aimed at generating more sales or revenues.
- marketing should be, at least, as good or better as manufacturing, sales or logistics (I say better….)
In modern times, it simply cannot be achieved with creativity and wit. You need IT tools to help you. Same to other business areas. Hence all the other business departments in a firm (IT, finance, sales, HR or procurement) are well equipped with advanced IT systems to support their work, we have decided to have a short review of basic tools for a marketer.
The basic set of tools should embrace 2 areas:
Technologies supporting communication and design process
There are complex marketing management systems on the market, which help you automate your production process. In short, all creation, materials and data can be uploaded to one system instead of flying around exchange server or your mailbox. It’s the system, not you, who deals with proper distribution of tasks among your team and your vendors, keeps an eye on deadlines, makes sure designed workflow works and you get on-time reports.
These are the invisible creatures (otherwise called robots) that will automate your time-consuming processes related to the planning, preparation, approval and reporting phases of any campaign you need to run.
These systems can source data from any external data hubs containing campaign, market or competitors’ data, which can give you immediate and clear picture whether you’re running your campaign effectively, spending less money than required and benchmark you against your closest competition. Smart, huh?
In effect, such a system saves time and resources boosting efficiency of your activities and leverages efficiency of your entire marketing budget. This is rightly called a Holy Grail of marketing.
The world has ripe a long ago to launch marketing process automation platforms. Another story is why marketing is so stubborn to adopt it… Giants like Percolate, Bynder, IBM, Oracle, Terradata and others have their own systems supporting almost anything you want (sometimes too much, but you still must pay for it). Global players. The only such IT house in Poland is Brand Oriented. It has, obviously, its competitive advantages and benefits for its local Clients (and no… local language is not treated as an advantage). One of the prominent advantages is ease of implementation and Return on Investment that pays off within just 3 months after launch of the platform.
Technologies supporting consumer-corporate relations
Tools and platforms can automate communications processes with consumers, and monitor their behaviors. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence and increased use of Big Data marts, we can afford to have database-looped automated campaigns, automated segmentation or micro-segmentation tailored to our needs and analytics telling us how efficiently we managed our campaigns.
The key prerequisite in automation is personalization of any communication – with current or potential Clients. This personalization needs to be based on sound knowledge of consumers, knowledge acquired through our marketing activities and sourced from market researchers.
As an effect, you will have increased client base and optimized costs of such process.
Automation can be applied to the following (but not limited to):
- Email (Sare, Freshmail, Getresponse, MailChimp)
- Lead nurturing, lead generation, distribution of personalized content (SalesManago, Ipresso, Marketo)
- Analytics and reporting tools for all media (Tableau,Oracle Business Intelligence,QlikView, SAP BusinessObjects, iDashboards, Microstrategy)
- Analytics and reporting tools for social media (SoTrender, TrueSocialMetrics)
- Social media monitoring (Brand24, SentiOne)
- Client communication (UnifiedFactory)
One must remember that even the best marketing automation tools need to be customized to individual business objectives. Marketing management systems may be used not only to optimize and automate the core processes, but to design new ones, that never have been imagined without an automating tool.
It’s crucial to employ automation to a firm, not to cut costs by reducing the number of employees. Systems like these are designed, most of all, to optimize processes, boost their efficiency and effectiveness of our marketing comms which comes after precise customer targeting. Even more importantly, they allow marketers focus on the key aspects of their work: strategy, analytics and proper communication, not on repetitive manual or administrative processes. Well paid marketers should not burn money on a pure waste as I call admin tasks. Lower operating costs and decreased total costs of marketing come through better, more efficient work of all counterparties collaborating along any campaign. I call them side effect since they “lose sides” (as in a nutrition supplement commercial). This side effect will put smile on a CFO’s face and might be a stepping stone for a Marketing Director to convince other stakeholders. However, the main goal for a CMO should be better management, more executed campaigns and powerful strategy at work. The desired consequence will be higher effectiveness of the marketing budget.