If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that, as marketers, we need to be prepared to tackle any challenge that comes our way.
In this case, continuing making every penny count in an environment where consumer needs are evolving more rapidly than ever before, and when marketing budgets are under increasing scrutiny. But, by having the right marketing tools in place, delivering better ROI and improving performance is still achievable.
So, sit back and relax! We have searched far and wide for the top marketing tools that are essential for your success as marketers in 2021, and here are our own recommendations for each of the key categories.
Adverity’s top 8 marketing tools in 2021 and beyond:
- CRM: HubSpot
- Web analytics: Google Analytics
- Website heatmaps: Hotjar
- Work management: Asana
- Form builder: Typeform
- SEO: SEMrush
- Graphic design: Canva
- Marketing analytics: Adverity
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
It is all about making the right impression with consumers, keeping them engaged and coming back for more. That is why CRM software is one of the first marketing tools businesses of all sizes should invest in. With the right solution, you can store and manage information about prospects or customers in a central location and meet customer unique needs. A CRM platform connects different departments such as marketing, sales, and customer service and increases collaboration and transparency by making information accessible to all.
As well as customer records such as name, email address, and account information, CRM systems can store details of all interactions, activities, and sales opportunities. This enables you to deliver a seamless, personalized one-to-one customer journey. When implemented effectively, CRM software increases lead generation, boosts sales revenue, and improves customer retention.
Our top marketing tool: HubSpot
We recommend the HubSpot CRM platform, which combines a range of tools and integrations for marketing, sales, content management, and customer service. HubSpot specializes in the inbound approach, enabling businesses to grow by delivering valuable content, experiences and assistance to prospects and customers, empowering them to reach their goals and resulting in meaningful long-term relationships. What also makes the platform stand out, is that it’s ideal for lead generation, turning leads into customers, and converting customers into loyal promoters.
Web analytics tools
You must already use some sort of analytics tool to understand who your visitors are, where they are coming from, and what they are doing on your website. At a basic level, you may be using web analytics tools to provide you with information such as visitor numbers, time spent on site, pages views, bounce rates and the ratio of new versus returning visitors. At a deeper level, you can gain insight into visitor demographics, referral sources, and the routes visitors take through your site. Either way, these insights enable you to optimize the performance of your websites against business goals.
Our top marketing tool: Google Analytics
So you probably know all about Google Analytics already but, before you roll your eyes, it still remains one of the most essential tools for any marketer and it’s crucial to make sure you are getting the most out of this fantastic tool. There are three sections that should be of particular interest to marketers. First is the audience section, which provides information on the age, location and interests of visitors. Second is the acquisition section which details where traffic comes from, whether they click a link on social media, follow a referral from a blog post, or enter a specific term into a search engine. Finally there is behavior, which tells marketers what visitors do on their website once they arrive at the landing page. Marketers can use Google Analytics at an advanced level by setting up goals to monitor conversions, or tracking events to learn more about user engagement.
Surprise surprise, Google Analytics isn’t the only way to discover what users are doing on your website and identify ways to improve their experience, and help achieve your own company goals. Heatmapping tools use color-coded representations of various elements of a website to show the type of content that gets the most and least interaction. The most viewed areas of the web pages will be red while the least viewed will be blue. Heatmaps help you identify the content users are interacting with, and the content they are skipping, allowing you to optimize websites and drive users to business-critical pages.
Our top marketing tool: Hotjar
We highly recommend Hotjar as it impressively complements data and insights from web analytics tools like Google Analytics. It tells you not just how your visitors are behaving on your website but why they are behaving that way. Using anonymized data to ensure user privacy, marketers can see recordings of user sessions to see where they click, how far they scroll, and where they get stuck or confused. Hotjar also allows in-the-moment feedback during the user journey so you can find out what users care about, and what they have to say.
Work management software
With marketing teams becoming less siloed and more collaborative, the need for work management software to lay out clear plans and streamline routine processes was already strong. But with the pandemic resulting in an enduring shift to remote working, this need is now even greater.
Work management tools allow marketing teams to plan, track, organize and review projects and tasks to improve business results and enhance team performance. They can simplify and manage routine processes or workflows, such as creative development or event planning, right through from concept to sign off.
Our top marketing tool: Asana
So if you need a tool to help teams organize, track, and manage their work, then Asana is for you. It’s certainly a hit with our team! It allows you to bring your marketing team’s goals, plans, tasks and files together in one shared space and seamlessly plan and execute marketing activities from beginning to end. It ensures everyone is aware of goals and expectations, as well as what they need to do to reach them, and allows teams to function as teams. The tool allows marketing strategies to be executed more efficiently, and allows you to add projects, plan timelines, balance workloads, automate standard processes, and provide feedback or approval.
Online form builder
Customer understanding is like gold dust for marketers as you can imagine, especially with needs and preferences continually changing. That is why online form builders are essential. They allow you to obtain valuable information from consumers by designing polls, quizzes, surveys or feedback forms that can be embedded into websites, sent out via email, or shared on social channels. The resulting insights can then be used to inform marketing strategy and wider business decisions moving forward.
Online forms can also be an effective source of lead generation, if they are well designed and deliver a positive user experience. Nobody wants to wade through endless reams of repetitive and often pointless questions, but a well-designed form can increase engagement, result in more considered answers, and boost completion rates.
Our top marketing tool: Typeform
Typeform, a people-friendly tool, is an intuitively designed form builder that aims to generate forms people actually enjoy completing. Forms are designed for humans and mimic conversation, with just one question at a time and conditional logic that determines which follow-up questions should be asked based on the answers given. Typeform makes form creation simple, with visually-appealing templates including images and video.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) software
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is an incredibly valuable marketing tactic that helps to drive traffic to your website at the very moment potential customers are searching for your product or service. SEO tools can deliver a range of services to help ensure your content is discoverable in the search engines and these span free organic search as well as paid search ad campaigns.
The purpose of search engines is to surface the most relevant, helpful content and deliver it to the user to satisfy their query. Effective SEO software is designed to help businesses make sure search engines know who they are, can find their content, and see it as the most authoritative and credible source to meet the user’s needs. Tactics that can be used within SEO include keyword research and placement, establishing an effective link structure and formatting content in a way that is easy to digest for both search engines and users.
Our top marketing tool: SEMrush
More than just an SEO tool, SEMrush is one of the top marketing platforms around, offering businesses insights and data to inform their online visibility strategies across multiple channels including search, advertising, social media and content marketing. SEMrush is a SaaS platform with a suite of services including SEO, pay-per-click (PPC), social media marketing (SMM), keyword research, competitive research, public relations (PR), content marketing, marketing insights and campaign management.
Graphic design platform
Whether you’re designing logos, customer emails, social media content, blog posts, or even marketing reports, professional and engaging design makes a huge difference. The right graphic design tool allows you to create stunning marketing materials quickly and easily, and share them with your team so you can work on them together.
Our top marketing tool: Canva
In our experience Canva is one of the simplest and most intuitive graphic design tools, allowing you to build designs from scratch or customize a wide range of professionally designed templates using simple drag and drop functionality. It has a vast library of premium stock images or you can upload your own photos and videos to form part of your design. There are also illustrations, stickers, charts and animations to bring your design to life. With a range of plans for small businesses as well as larger enterprises, Canva has a team feature to enable collaborative working.
Marketing analytics platforms
With marketers using a vast number of technologies – from email marketing tools to social media platforms – bringing together data from siloed systems to monitor performance is a real challenge. Marketing analytics platforms allow you to effortlessly gather, collect, and analyze information from diverse systems within one central location, creating a single source of truth and a holistic view of performance. The ability to understand how marketing campaigns are performing enables you to identify areas for development, make better decisions faster, respond quickly to customer engagement and improve performance across multiple channels in real-time.
Our top marketing tool: Adverity
Last but not least, Adverity, of course! Obviously we’re biased but Adverity is a flexible, intelligent, vendor-agnostic, end-to-end platform that makes it easy to demonstrate and maximize ROI across channels. The platform automates data integration from hundreds of sources and delivers a single view of marketing performance via powerful data visualizations and customizable dashboards - as well as budget recommendations based on real-time data insights. Powered by artificial intelligence, its predictive analytics functionality empowers you to be more proactive, answering questions before they are asked, identifying new opportunities and forecasting upcoming results.
There are so many marketing tools available but it’s essential to know which ones will help drive success. Book a demo today to learn how Adverity can fuel your company’s growth.