Sometimes it seems like every software engineering grad has a "revolutionary" new technology that promises to boost conversions, increase sales, and analyze your data. In other words, everything but fix your coffee in the morning.
Looking beyond all that noise to find the truly helpful technology can prove frustrating, especially if you don't know where to look. Your inbound marketing strategy requires reliable tech that makes your job easier and provides actionable results.
So how do you find the right marketing technology for your business?
Analyze Your Specific Challenges
What challenges does your marketing department face on a daily basis?
Before you can choose technology for your inbound marketing strategy, you need to know what problem you want to solve. Are you interested in improving the customer experience? Are you struggling to retain or re-target past customers?
The term "marketing" has become a catch-all word to reference a wide range of initiatives. When you boil down your challenges to specific issues, it's easier to develop a game plan and to find technology that facilitates your goal.
Narrow Down Specific Needs
- What are the goals and plans for your business?
- How many people are on your marketing team?
- What are must have functions that you want the software to do?
- Host your site and landing pages
- email marketing
- social media
- lead scoring
- marketing automation
- content calendar
- Are you willing to learn and use the technology you purchase?
- How much are you willing to spend?
Before you start comparing technology for inbound marketing, drill down on these key requirements. This knowledge will narrow down the possibility pool by a significant margin, so you won't feel quite as intimidated by the overwhelming variety of options.
Conduct Side-by-Side Comparisons
Many websites, such as Software Advice, and G2Crowd offer side-by-side comparisons of top software programs and other technologies. This eliminates some of the legwork that you'd have to perform to gather the data yourself.
For instance, you can compare 374 customer relationship management software platforms via Software Advice. The site allows you to use the data you selected in the previous step to narrow down your choices, such as by price or operating system.
Assess User Skills
Caroline Wilson of Smart Insights stresses the importance of ease of use. If you can't use the technology, it will gather metaphorical dust in a dark, lonely corner of your computer's hard drive.
You don't want to waste money or other resources, so be sure to assess the technology skills of the people in your marketing and sales departments. The more tech-friendly they are, the more sophisticated your technology can be.
Favor Automation Over Manual
Repetitive, manual tasks have all sorts of nasty side effects: stressed personnel, frustrated bosses, and carpal tunnel syndrome, to name a few. Automated software can boost your inbound marketing strategy into overdrive and allow you to maximize every hour of your workday.
Writing for Hubspot, Lindsay Kolowich asserts that the world's top marketers share a single common quality: they use automation software. If you want to join them, consider jumping on the automation bandwagon. Technology that has the power to intuit next steps and make decisions will eliminate the need to manage those tasks manually.
Choosing the right technology for your inbound marketing strategy might seem like an insurmountable task, but Mount Everest it is not.
Until next time,
If you're struggling to find the right approach, schedule a free inbound marketing assessment.