Thanks to the current business climate, companies in almost every industry have had to reassess their marketing and advertising strategies. The sudden shift away from brick-and-mortar stores to an eCommerce-centric sales processes has left many organizations scrambling to adapt. At the same time, a reduction in consumer spending and B2B sales leads has slowed down companies’ efforts to integrate new marketing tools and optimize their online activities. This has raised a very important question: How can businesses improve their marketing performance without inflating their budgets or starting over from scratch?
Here are five key marketing tools every company should consider when planning for 2021:
The unexpected shift to remote work has created new challenges for project management teams, especially those that regularly collaborate with different business units. Rolling out a new product, for example, could require input from R&D professionals, sales and marketing managers, customer service technicians and other internal stakeholders. To ensure projects are completed on time, companies are turning to digital applications that help streamline workflows and keep everyone informed through progress updates.
Project management platforms like Monday, Basecamp and Trello allow marketers to maintain complete oversight and control over advertising workflows. And with a variety of data visualization tools available, management teams can track the progress of specific tasks while keeping an eye on the big picture. One report from the Society for Human Resource Management found that poor communication costs large businesses roughly $62.4 million per year and smaller businesses around $420,000 annually. Project management apps can streamline collaboration and iron out inefficiencies that lead to dropped productivity and missed business opportunities.
Although many companies rely on indirect marketing campaigns to source new leads, direct marketing typically has a much higher success rate. According to research from Hubspot, email marketing generates $38 for every $1 spent, making it one of the best advertising channels in terms of ROI. Of course, managing emails for a variety of different industries and customer types can get messy, especially if businesses use A/B testing strategies.
Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact can help managers segment their audiences into specific user groups, which can offer a 760% increase in revenue, according to data from Campaign Monitor. These platforms provide all the outreach tools businesses need to generate effective sales emails, track open rates and compare results from simultaneous marketing campaigns.
Now more than ever, it’s important to provide customers with the information they need to make informed purchase decisions. Creating educational materials for online audiences is nothing new, as content marketing has been a reliable profit driver for over a decade. This strategy is particularly relevant in B2B marketplaces, with roughly 91% of professionals in this space using content marketing to reach key decision-makers, according to research from the Content Marketing Institute.
Content management applications like WordPress, Drupal and Adobe Magento make it easy to create, format and publish a growing catalog of digital resources. Using these platforms, businesses can produce and manage marketing content through a centralized console, including blogs, infographics, white papers and even podcasts. These marketing materials should provide detailed information about the company and its core products, while also offering useful insights and thought leadership that can drive engagement and new sales leads.
Search engine optimization
Even the best marketing collateral can fail to deliver sound ROI if customers can’t find it through search engines like Google and Bing. When a business posts content online, they’re essentially competing with every other company in their industry, from large national retailers to small brick-and-mortar stores. To cut through the noise, companies need to create eye-catching headlines, develop accurate meta descriptions and weave in the right keywords.
Search engine optimization tools empower businesses to enhance the content they produce, allowing them to rank competitively and drive profitable outcomes. According to research from Zero Limit Web, the first five organic search results account for roughly 67.6% of all clicks. If businesses are unable to capture these top spots, there’s a chance their target customers will never stumble upon their blogs or product pages. SEO research applications like Moz, SEMRush and Google Analytics offer viable insights that can help companies compete in search results, including keyword recommendations, mobile device features and more. Although paid advertising can help businesses increase the visibility of their products and services, organic traffic is typically more sustainable in the long run (and it doesn’t cost as much).
Call tracking and analytics
Generating highly qualified inbound leads and accurately tracking advertising performance are essential to improving any company’s marketing efforts. While some businesses turn to anecdotal evidence on consumer shopping trends, most have a wealth of insight hidden in their call analytics. Instead of relying on guesswork, companies can generate actionable customer profiles by leveraging call tracking applications and tools.
Dial800 offers a host of call tracking features that provide added context to marketing campaigns. With real-time call performance monitoring, keyword attribution and seamless data integration, marketing managers can assess the impact of new strategies and personalize the customer experience. When paired with unique vanity numbers, call analytics can help generate more leads and attract buyers who are more likely to follow through with their purchases, giving a lift to conversions and revenue.