You’re at your desk.
So you turn to the almighty Google…
And you’re flooded by thousands of options, you can’t seem to make sense of where to start. There are offers for trials everywhere, coupled with insane amounts of advice and you haven’t even figured out exactly what your team needs let alone looking at how much this tool is vs another…
*Insert panic screaming here*
Breathe, you got this. And if you don’t, well, this blog post will help get you through. You’ll learn how to:
- Prioritize your team’s needs.
- Learn the criteria you need to make the best decision when it comes to finding a marketing tool for your team.
- Learn how to pitch your winning tool to your boss.
- Learn how to pitch your winning tool to your team.
Before You Start Your Research
Don’t just start Googling.
Diving right into the research phase of your marketing tool selection process can quickly become overwhelming.
Just look at the first page of results when you type “marketing tool” into Google.
Don’t even get me started on the ads that will surface on your Google searches as well.
You’ve got advice coming at you left and right, and while that is great, it doesn’t necessarily give you the jumping off point you need to start making decisions about a potential tool.
There is a way to fix this.
Before you start your research, sit down and prioritize what your team needs in order to be successful.
It’s really that simple.
By knowing what your team needs to fix a broken process, or automate it so it goes faster, you’re able to walk into your search knowing what you’re looking for.
So how do you create that list?
Open a document or download Marketing Tool template.
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Once you've downloaded the template, click the second tab at the bottom:
Here's what you'll see next:
Begin to write down and prioritize what you think your team would need to be successful.
And now you're staring at a blinking cursor wondering what to write.
Here are some prompts that may help you begin your list:
- What does your team need to accomplish in order to be successful?
- What does your team want to accomplish that they think will make them successful?
- What's currently broken in your marketing process that you think a tool could help fix?
- What does your current process look like?
- What does your dream marketing process look like?
- How would you like to see your process flow in a new tool?
- Where are your team members divided into silos?
- What does this tool need to accomplish to break down those silos?
From the answers you write down, you can identify what qualities you are looking for in a marketing tool.
List Your Top 10 Must-Have Criteria
These are features that absolutely must be a part of the tool that you select.
They are you non-negotiables.
Your top ten list could include things like.
- Drag and drop calendar features
- Social analytics tool
- Task lists
- Being able to assign tasks to team members
- Team reports
- Email integrations
- Project management features like being able to group by content type
- Being able to add in all of your social channels
- Landing page integrations
- WordPress or other blogging software integrations
- Automated task reminders
- Comment section on projects
- Being able to group multiple pieces of content under one campaign
- Minimum or maximum number of users
- Price per user/social channel
I could keep going with this list but I don't want to bore you.
Your list may look a bit different from the one above and that's okay. Every marketing team is different, which means the end goals you have may be different then the end goals the team at CoSchedule has.
Now you have your must have criteria. You can start searching NOW right?
Sorry, I promise, we're almost there.
List Your Top Ten "Would Be Nice To Have" Criteria
Because you're going to be researching a lot of tools. Those nice-to-haves could be the determining factor between one tool and another.
Your initial list could look something like this.
- Automated optimum posting times
- Due dates that move automatically when you move a project
- Completion bar that shows the progress on a project
- Internal comment or chat system within the app
- Mobile app for on the go editing
- Approval process that let's a manager know if content has been reviewed or not
- Pre-made printable progress reports
- Social Media competitor analysis
- Google Analytics, bit.ly and other integrations
- The ability to separate different clients or projects by calendar
Again, your specific list will depend on what type of tool you're looking for.
Start Your Initial Research Phase
Yes, we finally got to the research phase.
But I'm not unleashing you on to Google just yet.
There's a good reason I promise.
How you research is just as important as what you research.
Pick One Researcher From Your Marketing Team
Having only one researcher pays off for a number of different reasons:
- We have innate nature to compete with one another. If you have 10 people researching 10 different tools, you suddenly have ten people championing their favorite tool. Not only is that a lot of noise, you have each person competing to say that they were the ones that picked the new marketing tool.
- You only need one expert. The person that is conducting your research knows exactly what your team needs. They in essence, become an expert in all things marketing tools, making it easier to make an informed decision.
- You don't want to waste the team's already limited time. You know you're team is busy. Taking away an hour of 10 people's time on your team is 10 hours that could have been spent elsewhere. Taking away even 3 hours of one person's time is a much more manageable task.Your team is already loaded to the max. Don't stress them out more then necessary.
Research Your Top Ten Tools
Okay, open up your browser.
You can finally start searching for your marketing tool.
You're going to have a lot of options and that's ok.
That's why we made your checklist.
As you go through the endless pages of tools, document them in your top ten in your spreadsheet that you downloaded earlier.
Get that done?
Ok, let's keep going.
Add up the totals in your spreadsheet and narrow them down to your top three.
Look for tools that:
- Meet your must-have criteria
- Meet your budget
- Meet most if not all of your must have's
Why three you ask?
Understand the Psychology of Three
First, Second, and Third.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Yours, mine and ours.
Lots of things come in threes.
Because repeating a message three times helps stop the internal noise and distractions going on around you.
Having three similar tools that meet your expectations will help solidify, in your mind, what tool you need.
Make Your Final Decision
So you've narrowed in down to your top three tools.
Check your point system again. Did one edge out over the others?
If so, there is your winner.
That was easy, wasn't it?
How To Pitch Your Favorite Tool
You did all that work and you finally have the results of all your labor.
This is the tool that you believe will revolutionize the way your marketing team works.
Now you just have to convince your boss to believe that too.
What if I told you I outlined your entire presentation for you? You can download the whole thing right now.
However, if you want to take the time to build your own presentation here's some things that you're going to want to cover.
What To Cover In Your Presentation For Your Boss
Depending on what your boss wants to see in your presentation, your list may vary. However, if it was me, this is what I would cover.
- What brought on the need for the tool?
- What did I hope the team would gain by investing in a tool?
- What qualifications would I be measuring this tool against?
- How many tools did I initially research?
- What did I narrow my decision down to?
- What qualities put this tool over the top?
- Price point
- Is there a demo or trail period that we could do to see if the tool works?
You convinced your boss.
They gave you the green light to move forward. Now the task lies on you convincing your team that they need this tool.
What To Cover In Your Presentation For Your Team
Convincing your team may be the hardest part of this process.
You work with these people everyday and you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but it's time to get brutally honest.
Change is hard for any team but with the right information you can smoothly guide your team where they need to go.
- Back up your problems with hard facts and data
- Show how the tool will help your team cut time out of their projects
- Present a "If we do this, we get this" slide
- If possible, find videos or schedule a demo so you're team can see the tool in action
- Roadmap what upcoming changes will look like
- How will content transfer to the tool
- What does the new communication process look like
- Prepare some standard FAQ answers that you think your team will ask
If you want a full process of how to handle change management check out this recent blog post.
That's All There Is For Today
You have the tools.
You have the plan.
Now go forth and research!
I'm not gonna lie, finding the right tool for your team will take some time.
See if CoSchedule could be the right fit for your team and schedule a demo today.