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As I can personally attest, working for a company that is quickly expanding has its perks and is an exhilarating experience. The environment is fast-paced, always changing and employees at all levels have opportunities to stretch the boundaries of their current roles to grow professionally. At the same time, setbacks are inevitable for any business — but for fast-growing companies in particular, scaling and resources can be some of the biggest challenges, which is why choosing the right marketing tools is crucial for long-term success.
Here are the five most indispensable marketing tools that will take your business to the next level.
1. Marketing automation software
What if you had a tool that could help you stay in front of your prospects and customers with content that is both timely and relevant? That is the power of marketing automation, making marketers more efficient and their communications more personalized. A recent survey we conducted found that email marketing was the most common area where B2B marketing leaders utilize marketing automation, though more are beginning to use it in other channels.
The same survey also found that 87% of respondents now have some or all of their customer journeys fully automated, with many respondents reporting plans to continue to optimize this piece of their marketing strategy. This isn’t surprising due to the host of benefits that can accompany the use of marketing automation — notably, it can help to eliminate mundane, time-consuming tasks for your marketing team, which in turn allows them to focus on the larger strategic initiatives to drive business growth.
As a fast-growing company, you likely don’t have the time or the resources to get it all done. Marketing automation is essentially an extra hand (or two) that can be a tremendous help. Plus, customers have no idea if something is automated or not because you can still personalize your content as though it was sent especially for them based on their preferences and behaviors.
2. SEO intelligence applications
You could be writing amazing blog posts and webpages, but if you’re not hitting on the right keywords, you’re missing the mark. Effective, optimized content continues to be the most long-term, high-value strategy that companies rely on. Without an SEO tool, your team is merely guessing and possibly flying blind. There are many choices available and some have ultra-low and even free entry points, so the message is clear: Pick one and act on it. These tools will help you choose the right keywords and phrases to use and help you monitor the competition to see where you can improve.
3. Middleware/app connectors
This is about leveraging the application programming interface (API) economy to connect and optimize all of your software tools. In 2022, organizations worldwide reported that they were using an average of 130 SaaS applications. That is a lot of software! It also means that integration is one of the keys to success for fast-growing companies, especially when it comes to applications. If your platforms aren’t “talking to each other,” your customer relationships will likely suffer as a result.
If you have a sales software program and a separate billing app and they aren’t synced, your customer isn’t going to be too happy when you reach out about a new feature if they were overcharged for something. But you won’t know this if your sales and billing software don’t integrate. By utilizing an app connector, you can create workflows across IT, marketing, HR, finance, sales and customer support to leverage your tech stack to its fullest potential. When the process is seamless, your growing customer relationships and profits will flourish as a result.
4. A project and task management tool
Your marketing team is an interconnected group of experts who rely on each other to achieve their goals. For example, when your digital marketers run an ad, they need the content team to write copy, the graphics team to design ads and the marketing operations team to schedule follow-up emails when people engage with ads. These things must happen in a sequence so that everyone meets their deadlines; e.g. the design team can’t design the ad without the copy coming first.
In short, communication and hand-offs among these team members are vital, and therefore a project management tool is a must. If your team is two or three people, perhaps a spreadsheet and a Slack channel will do. Any more than that, and you’ve got to up your game.
Related: 3 Marketing Trends to Adopt in 2023
5. A CRM that scales as you grow
Customer relationship management (CRM) is one of the most important tools that all companies, especially fast-growing ones, need to invest in. That’s because CRM enables a heightened customer experience by showcasing the status of each relationship in real time, which is critical. When utilized, you have a 360-degree view of each customer at all times across all of your internal teams. One important factor that fast-growing companies need to factor in when choosing a CRM is that it must be able to scale with you as you grow. Legacy CRMs can be limited in their scope as your business grows, but a modern CRM tool will do the opposite — they were built for businesses of all sizes, and the platform is flexible and scalable, which is key.
Being part of a fast-growing company is exciting and terrifying at the same time, but if you implement these strategic marketing tools into your plan (and budget), you can scale successfully to grow and flourish with the right marketing systems in place.