If I had an unlimited budget, what kind of marketing automation and demand generation tools would I use? I will dream about my ideal world in this post...

#1. Marketing automation platform. My pick: Marketo

WHY: We live in a connected world driven by data. You need a system that will let you see all the data and make decisions based on it. A marketing automation platform will do just that - help you manage, analyze and execute all your programs in one place. Why is Marketo my favorite? The biggest pro is that it has a huge user community and tons of educational resources available online, has many integration partners and nice API that allows you to plug in to pretty much anything you want. It is also the leader in the space and plays well with other major (and minor) tools.

#2. Social media management platform. My pick: SproutSocial

WHY: You need a social media management system to save time, primarily, and to figure out what kind of messages resonate well with your audience. Why SproutSocial? It integrates with most commonly used social media platform, and not only allows scheduling messages directly from the platform, but also allows to reply to messages addressed to you, follow, and assign tasks to people on your team. It's easy to use and affordably priced.

#3. Website testing software. My pick: Optimizely

WHY: We (marketers) *think* we know what the best message is and what image looks the best on the website. But in reality, our target audience might disagree. Data is the best decision-making tool you'll ever had and for that you need to test different theories and see what performs the best (without compromising your brand, of course). Optimizely is budget friendly (hint: license cost starts at FREE), super easy to use, requires no deep programming skills and drives results. It also has multivariate testing and custom targeting.

#4. Website personalization software. My pick: Marketo RTP/DemandBase

WHY: When your target prospect comes to your site, you want to show them content that is relevant and personalized to them. Showing a generic message won’t drive high conversion rate and might ***** lose your prospects' interest quickly. The good thing about solutions such as Marketo RTP and DemandBase is that they are intelligent and learn from user behaviors an action. Consumer companies have been using personalization practices for a while but B2B marketing now have ways to borrow and take advtange of the same techniques.

#5. Webinar platform. My pick: ON24

WHY: Webinars are a channel that you might want to start as a test. It tends to be among the top 3 lead drivers for high tech companies (at least from my experience). Webinar platform needs to support all the things you want to do during the webinar, before, and after. Cross-platform integration is critical so you aren’t pulling your hair out trying to synchronize data or do it manually. ON24 has a smooth Marketo integration, great customizations- so you aren’t forced to use badly designed forms, good customer service and above all it is reliable. Last thing you want is your webinar to tap out mid-way through your presentation.

#5. Revenue analytics platform. My pick: Brightfunnel 2nd choice: Marketo RCA

WHY: You want to keep improving your campaigns and optimize them based on revenue generated. You need a way to look at the ROI and compare returns of your programs. Marketing campaigns are not linear and most of the time leads have multiple touches with your content, so the system you choose needs to be able to differentiate between first touch and multi-touch generated revenue. I really like Brightfunnel's platform - it has cool features like waterfall charts and is very easy to use and visualize the data. Marketo RCA is my 2nd choice, because it also has the right data, but in order for it to makes sense there is some prep work and ground work that you need to do in Marketo that is not obvious. RCA is also free once you reach a certain database size.

#6. RSS-based email digest. My pick: Digesto

WHY: Yes, you can send monthly newsletter manually every 4 weeks or so, but you can also automate it to your blog readers by letting them subscribe to an email digest of your latest blog posts. Digesto is my favorite, because it integrates well with Marketo, is easy to set up, and requires no attention from me once I get it rolling.

#7. Paid advertising management platform. My pick: AdStage

WHY: In day to day campaign management I spend a lot of time setting up ads on various channels, figuring out what the best campaigns are, pausing under-performing ads, and looking at click through rates. Without paid ad management system this takes a lot of time, because you need to login to every single channel, optimize them individually, remember which ad is running where, and what you need to pause. A tool like AdStage plugs into all of your systems at once (currently, they support Adwords, Twitter ads, Facebook ads, and LinkedIn ads) and pulls the data and ads into one place, which is extremely convenient and time saving.

#8. Predictive analytics platform. My pick: Everstring

WHY: Once you reach a certain lead volume you might hear sales ask for a prioritized way to follow up on leads. This is a good problem for any marketer but can often be confusing if done manually. Predictive lead scoring platform will take your historic data, figure out what kind of lead is the best lead and surface those leads to you and/or your sales team. Everstring would be my pick because their system uses Hadoop, which means it can process HUGE volume of signals in real time, they have a prospecting module, and are easy to use.

#9. Data enrichment software. My pick: DemandBase

WHY: When people come to your website and start filling out forms, you want to ask as few questions as possible, because conversion rate is highly correlated with the number of form fields. Data enrichment tools will populate the values in the fields that are not visible on the forms. For example, you can as email address, company name and full name and have the form enrichment software supplement that data with company size, industry, address, HQ phone number, etc. Why DemandBase - they have the most comprehensive lookup tech, not IP based like most others, which overall drives much better data quality. This will also help standardize company names in your database.

 

I hope you found this useful. I am constantly curious about latest cool technology out there, so let me know your thoughts and favorite tools that you use for marketing.

 

Originally posted on LinkedIn: 9 Marketing Technologies To Maximize ROI | Masha Finkelstein | LinkedIn