Technology is a tool that can help amplify your company’s marketing efforts. During your early startup phase, it’s probably best to keep it simple and stick to the basics. But once you’ve hit your stride, you should start looking for ways to use technology to automate processes, improve your efficiency, and help you learn more about your clients.
From a marketing standpoint, after you’ve solidified your startup’s lead-generating process, use technology to learn from it, enhance it, and scale it.
I have tested out plenty of these tools in my efforts to expand my company’s marketing endeavors. Here are five types of technologies that have worked well for me:
1. Marketing Automation
Using software to manage the process of raising awareness and generating interest will save you from relying on face-to-face meetings to convert prospects into customers. It’s challenging to try to understand and nurture every possible lead, and it takes a lot of time. For B2B marketers, automation tools such as Pardot and Marketo are solutions to streamline this process.
Marketing automation tools delve into your site analytics and score leads based on what they click on and how they interact with your content. By the time you personally interact with a lead, you already know his or her interests and habits, allowing you to tailor your presentation toward what’s relevant to your prospective client.
2. Email Marketing
According to a 2013 report, email campaigns earned an average of $42.08 for every dollar spent on them. It’s definitely worth paying for a service that does this the right way.
Campaign Monitor and MailChimp help you send email that educates, engages, and sells to your audience. They also provide detailed analytical tracking to help you significantly improve your campaigns over time. You’ll learn which pieces of content your subscribers are most excited about.
3. Customer Relationship Management
You want your marketing and sales teams to be on the same page. CRM systems such as Salesforce and Zoho can help you achieve this by facilitating the exchange of data. Once a sale is closed, these tools allow your company to seamlessly transfer the client’s information over to your sales and customer success team.
CRM systems also help you identify problems in your sales process and build an accurate forecast for future quarters. These cloud-based solutions put your old spreadsheet system to shame.
4. Multi-Touch Attribution
When your company has a longer purchase consideration cycle, it can be difficult to determine which touchpoint led to an individual sale. Without that information, it’s hard to know where to invest your marketing dollars to achieve future results. Multi-touch attribution tools such as BrightFunnel and C3 Metrics deeply analyze every stage of your sale and can predict the future revenue impact of your marketing decisions.
My company is still in the early stages of testing multi-touch attribution tools, but our efforts are helping us move away from an overly simplistic view of first- or last-touch attribution. These tools weigh the touchpoints at different levels to get a truer sense of why a prospect closed.
5. Online Advertising
Early company growth comes from pounding the pavement. But once you’re ready to scale, you’ll want to invest in a variety of advertising options to drive leads beyond your organic reach. Using the Internet to advertise allows you to be discovered at any time. LinkedIn and Twitter are two great resources for around-the-clock marketing with a wide reach.
When you have enough time to meet with all your clients in person, you can read their body language to see what part of your message is resonating. There are technologies available that perform a similar function — reading your clients’ digital body language in the online world.
These tools can free up your staff to dig deep into your analytics and analyze what’s working. When these tools are used correctly, you no longer have to trade contextual relevance for scale.