As a marketer in today’s world responsible for attracting prospective buyers and nurturing their interest past the point of conversion while keeping an eye on the latest trends, you need marketing platforms to support your activities.
You can’t expect to do it all on your own. That’s a recipe for inefficient processes that will dramatically undermine your ability to compete effectively in the marketplace.
The right software will help you optimize your performance to maximize results and achieve your overarching brand goals.
In this article, we will walk you through the different types of marketing solutions, why they matter, and how to choose the best ones to suit your needs.
Robust tools or software solutions that help marketers orchestrate experiences across different channels to strengthen the relationship between your brand and its customers or prospects.
They are designed to carry out multiple functions to enable you to drive engagement, build awareness, expand your reach, zero in on your target audience, and convert leads into sales in a streamlined manner.
Features Of Marketing Platforms
Any effective marketing tool aims to speed up productivity and make your job easier. Marketing platforms are packed with useful features you can leverage to fulfill various aspects of your marketing duties, from core activities to small repetitive tasks.
Here are some of the things you can do with marketing platforms:
- Visibility into the entire workflow. You can consolidate your marketing activities in one place for ease of organization and management.
- Team communication. Collaborate effectively with team members, assign tasks, track project status, reduce friction, and ensure everyone is on the same page while working together on marketing campaigns.
- Track sales and progress. Ensure your performances are moving you closer to your marketing and organizational goals.
- Pull reports. Measure individual campaigns’ ROI and overall marketing efforts by generating and analyzing reports. You can use the insights you gather to set goals and optimize performance in the future.
- Automate marketing tasks and campaigns. Redirect more time and effort to high-value tasks by handing off manual, repetitive tasks like scheduling content, monitoring brand mentions, sending email follow-ups, setting up drip campaigns, responding to customer queries, and more to your marketing platform of choice.
- Email marketing management. With the right software, you can create compelling, targeted messages to engage and connect with your audience, better categorize customers into segments, and efficiently deliver relevant campaigns at the correct times.
- Social media marketing management. Take the hassle out of creating and publishing social content, building an engaged community, monitoring engagement, and tracking campaign results across several apps.
- Resource management. Plan, schedule, and allocate resources efficiently to maximize their potential and ensure the successful execution of projects.
- Lead management. This feature helps streamline processes for acquiring, segmenting, scoring, qualifying, distributing, nurturing leads, and tracking pipeline trends to promote sales efficiency and conversions.
1. Traditional Marketing Platforms
Traditional marketing platforms are physical mediums that allow you to raise brand awareness, interact with your target market, and drive sales growth offline.
They are some of the oldest marketing channels and tools, and they don’t require your audience to have access to the internet to be able to consume your marketing messages and brand experiences. Think SMS, billboards, flyers, print ads, direct mail, and radio/television broadcasts, amongst others.
- TextMagic: SMS marketing platforms like TextMagic enable you to send personalized notifications, alerts, confirmations, and other marketing messages to prospects and customers via text messages. It also allows you to optimize and automate your SMS marketing campaigns.
2. Digital Marketing Platforms
A digital marketing platform is a comprehensive tool that utilizes technology to support diverse online marketing functions. They can help with marketing activities like boosting customer retention, measuring performance, optimizing campaigns, and refining brand communications.
Although the functionalities of these platforms are pretty extensive, they may not cover every single element of digital marketing. But an excellent digital marketing automation platform must be equipped to facilitate customer outreach, brand awareness, and conversions.
- Marketo: Ideal for small or large-scale businesses, this platform helps you engage with prospects and manage customer relationships from the initial point of interest until they become advocates for your brand.
3. Content Marketing Platforms
Content marketing platforms are tools that enable you to streamline, manage, and centralize content marketing processes from end to end.
They can help strategize, create, distribute, and promote content to ensure that your audience receives relevant and valuable messages that can help them solve their problems and deepen their connection to your brand.
Content marketing software can also help you track KPIs and quantify the ROI of your content operation and how it’s contributing to your business objectives.
- Percolate: This platform lets you organize and store all your content assets in one place. It allows you to schedule blog and social media posts, create a content calendar, and evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns.
4. Email Marketing Platforms
Email is one of the most cost-effective means of promoting your brand, engaging your audiences, and generating sales. However, manually sending emails and well-timed relevant content to every subscriber can be a time-consuming, if not impossible, task.
This is where email marketing platforms come in. They contain tools that can help you design templates, segment your list, personalize messages, perform A/B tests, schedule emails in advance, measure campaign performance, and automate email marketing workflows.
- ActiveCampaign: Leverage custom email templates, drag-and-drop email editing, list management, social analytics, automated triggers, landing page builder, click tracking heatmaps, and automated email delivery features to refine your email campaigns.
5. Social Media Marketing Platforms
Even the most productive and talented social media marketers cannot keep up with creating social content regularly and managing communities across multiple social platforms without technological help.
Thankfully, many social media marketing platforms can handle all kinds of social marketing-related tasks such as scheduling posts, social listening, and monitoring your organization’s social media campaign performance.
These platforms can also help with social media advertising, storing content, team collaboration, and improving audience engagement.
- Hootsuite: Implement social media strategies and manage multiple social accounts from a central location with this popular platform. It can do everything from automating posts to brand sentiment analysis.
6. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platforms
Tracking customer data and communications is the key to creating consistent, seamless experiences and building better relationships with your leads and clients.
CRM platforms are like spreadsheets on steroids. They allow you to connect all your customer information and interactions in one place. This central location makes it easier for you to analyze the data and provide your customers with personalized services that meet their needs in real-time.
- Zoho CRM: Increase efficiency, shorten sales cycles, impress clients, and save yourself the stress of pulling customer data from multiple sources and touchpoints with this powerful customer relationship management platform.
7. Marketing Resource Management (MRM) Platforms
With so many strategies to implement and channels to leverage to reach, engage, and acquire customers, marketers have more work on their plates than ever before. Marketing resource management platforms support marketers in planning, organizing, optimizing, and executing marketing tasks and initiatives.
These platforms also empower you to properly distribute resources and manage marketing projects internally and externally to execute projects successfully.
- Wrike: A collaborative and easy-to-use MRM platform for customizing workflows, tracking time and expenses, visualizing to-dos, and allocating and managing resources for various marketing tasks.
8. Digital Asset Management (DAM) Platforms
Sifting through multiple drives, folders, and applications whenever you need to find a digital asset can be disruptive to your creative process and workflow. With digital asset management platforms, you can house all your company’s assets—videos, photos, layout graphics, audio files, source files, and more—in a centralized location.
These tools allow you to sort and categorize your assets with a system that’s convenient for you. This way, you can effortlessly search for them and locate the right one in seconds.
- Canto: This tool gives you simple and advanced search tools, smart albums, custom shared libraries, user permissions, visual previews, sharing links, download options, and a host of other features you need to store and manage your digital assets efficiently.
9. Marketing Work Management (MWM) Platforms
How do you manage resources, facilitate communication, collaborate on projects, and structure your work day-to-day to ensure you reach your goals without exceeding the deadline or budget limit? With the help of marketing work management platforms, of course.
MWM platforms provide extensive capabilities such as budgeting, strategic planning, request management, multiple project views, task assignments, automated workflow templates, team communication, file sharing, time tracking, asset and resource management, and more.
- CoSchedule Marketing Suite: This Gartner-recommended platform helps you to coordinate all your marketing activities, processes, and projects from one place. It allows you to stretch your existing resources to get more work done, organize your brand assets, complete projects in record time, and reinvigorate your team by taking repetitive tasks off their hands.
There is no shortage of technologies for the different types of marketing activities that you may get up, but not all of them will be a good fit for your business or specific needs. Here are steps you can take when shopping for a marketing platform to help you pick the one that is best for you.
- Define Your Goals & Objectives. What are you hoping to achieve with your marketing efforts? Do you want to improve your customer experiences, engage your audience, manage resources, and figure out what people say about you on social media? Your marketing goals will lead you to the type of platforms for the job.
- Identify Your Audience. Who do you intend to serve with your marketing platform, and what will they get out of it? The platform you choose should be aligned with your audience’s needs, wants, and preferences.
- Know Your Budget. Think about the value a marketing platform can bring your business and how much you can realistically afford to invest in the one you need. Then choose a quality platform that falls within that price range.
- Determine Necessary Features. Make a list of features that are important to you and look for platforms that offer those functions. For starters, the platform you pick must be able to integrate with your existing tools and provide speedy customer support.
- Research Your Competitors. Find out what platforms other marketing teams and organizations in your industry use to get their work done. Knowing what is or doesn’t work for them can help you make an informed decision.
What Is The Best Marketing Platform?
The best marketing platform is the one that suits your needs and aligns with your overall business and marketing objectives. It has to fit within your budget and possess all the necessary properties to reach your target and complete your marketing tasks. Extra points if your competitors swear by it.
What Are The 4 Ps Of Marketing?
Product, price, promotion, and place form the four Ps of the marketing mix. These are the key factors in introducing a product or service to the public. They are the actions that will determine what you sell, how much you sell it for, where you sell it, and how you advertise what you’re selling.
What Is A Social Media Marketing Platform?
Any product suite facilitates social media content creation, account management, post scheduling, performance tracking, brand sentiment analysis, and other social media marketing-related activities.
What Are Examples Of Digital Platforms?
Digital marketing platforms help you carry out various online marketing activities like building awareness, customer engagement, running campaigns, and tracking KPIs. Examples include Marketo, Sharpspring, and Keap.