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Marketing Software Buyers Guide
- What is Marketing Software?
- What are the Ideal Features of Marketing Software?
- What are the Different Types of Marketing Software?
- What are the Issues Faced While Using Marketing Software?
- What are the Benefits of Marketing Solutions?
- What are the Trends in Marketing Software?
- How Much Does Marketing Tools Cost?
- Why Purchase Marketing Software from WareBuy?
What is Marketing Software?
Marketing software, or marketing automation software, refers to tools that assist businesses successfully tap into their target markets, execute campaigns, and convert leads into sales. Organizations, irrespective of size, can benefit from marketing tools, helping them to get rid of repetitive tasks and allowing them to maximize their resources. Online marketing software are also very helpful in expanding businesses’ reach and allow organizations to aim on more pressing matters.
In simple words, marketing automation software is a collection of applications and web systems that help businesses expand their outreach with engaging and profitable campaigns. There are different types of marketing programs, but most of them are developed for resource optimization and campaign management, and offer features such as branding, data collection, content distribution, event scheduling, and lead nurturing and converting.
What are the Ideal Features of Marketing Software?
The purpose of marketing automation tools is to make the jobs of marketers faster and simpler. Over the years, marketing software solutions have evolved to stay up-to-date with the latest communication and business trends. They possess extensive features that you can modify and use to suffice your business needs. Here are some features that you must look for while selecting a marketing automation platform:
- Campaign Management: Creating comprehensive marketing strategies will be easy using marketing software. Most software has in-built campaign management feature, which gives you an easy access to plenty of tools and integrations to assist you track, organize, and analyze the success of your marketing efforts.
- Lead Management: Marketing automation software can elevate sales efficiency and optimize marketing campaigns via efficiently managing the leads. With this feature, you must be capable to closely monitoring and nurturing more potential buyers with less effort. Lead management feature can offer you with the required information to make customized sales outreach a simple job. In addition to this, with just a few clicks marketing software lets you track sales activity and find pipeline trends.
- Sales Insights: The marketing automation tools must help your sales team to prioritize and interact with promising leads to close deals quickly. You must be able to recognize hot leads and engage them with customized campaigns. You must be able to identify when a lead shows interest in purchasing your product. This can assist your team be prepared at all phases of the sales cycle to interact with promising leads at the right time for effective results. In addition to this, it will also help in boosting profitability and customer satisfaction along with maximizing conversion ratios.
- Analytics: Making vital business decisions is a critical step towards improvement, but it must be supported by facts. An ideal marketing software assists in facilitating data-based decision-making process for your organization through analytics solutions. Developed to assist you measure your ROI and monitor your campaigns, this feature will gather data for you and show it in a comprehensible way, so you can take well-informed decisions while running your campaigns.
- Real-Time Notifications: Quick response time is an essential factor when it comes to closing deals. With real-time notifications provided by marketing automation tools, you and your sales team can engage leads faster and offer prompt assistance to your current clientele. Some software solutions may even provide trigger response features to assist you identify and act on your clients’ transaction patterns.
- Email Marketing: Being fast and cost-effective, emailing is one of the best methods to stay in touch with customers and increase brand awareness. On the other hand, increasing its measurability and efficiency can be handful, particularly when you have plenty of customers and leads to take care of. By using the email marketing feature, you can get rid of the trouble of manually sorting and sending emails. In this way, you can focus more on producing targeted messages that adheres to your client’s interest. Different marketing tools also have options to categorize your leads as per interests and demographics, so that you can prioritize specific groups in your email marketing campaign with relative ease.
- Customized Templates: In a business, a huge amount of communication is done using newsletters and emails. The marketing automation software you are opting for must allow you to customize your newsletter and email templates and create new templates without any trouble. It must allow editing pre-designed templates so that you can select designs from the software and use it for your business requirements.
- Social Media Marketing: An ideal marketing software must help you use social media platforms effectively to learn about your customers. You can use these platforms to engage existing customers, attract new customers, and create brand advocates by engaging them using sweepstakes, referrals programs, polls etc. You should be able to offer social media sharing options to allow your customers to share your content with their others. In addition to this, the feature also offers social metrics to see which social marketing activities drive sales and conversions.
- Social Media Automation: Using social media platforms has proven essential when it comes to interacting with and understanding your target market, but studying what and when to post can be challenging. If you wish to ease this process, social media automation feature may be the solution for you. Besides helping you navigate through social media platform, this feature can allow you to queue the publishing of your content, tell you about the best time to post, and notify you when your brand is mentioned online.
- Integrations: One of the things you must consider before selecting a marketing automation platform is its ability to integrate with your current systems. If you already have a CRM system that operates well for your company, the best marketing software must be the one that can operate best with your CRM. A smooth collaboration between these two programs can yield a number of advantages, such as prioritization of customer information and seamless transfer, among others.
- Basic Organized Workflow: Any marketing automation software must be capable of providing easy workflow management and creation. Since the aim is to increase productivity and have an organized process, it is essential to have a planned workflow that is simple to follow and optimize.
- Visitor Tracking: This feature allows to monitor every person who visits your website by tracking their behavior, including which pages they click, what keywords they entered in the search engine that landed them on your website, from where they access the website, etc. Since marketing software offers real-time notifications to sales representatives when a prospect, lead, or customer visits the website, visitor tracking becomes easy and allows you to segment your database upon those tracked activities.
What are the Different Types of Marketing Software?
Based on the different aspects involved in marketing, marketing software solutions are divided into 6 major categories. Let us have a detailed look at each section.
- Marketing Automation Software: Almost every organization has an online presence nowadays. Creating landing pages and managing the daily content on your online marketing platforms are tedious and no easy tasks. Marketing automation software helps set up your marketing campaigns, map your inbound marketing strategies, and drive traffic to your marketing platforms automatically. This way, you can connect with customers and maintain a personal touch throughout their buying journey.
In addition to this, these solutions make it far simpler to get tedious work done. For example, it is very tedious to copy-paste an email message to every customer. The bigger your list, the more time-consuming and tedious the task is. With marketing automation software, you can easily mail all your customers within seconds using features such as autoresponders and broadcast emails. Apart from automating your email marketing, these solutions are also used to manage your blogs and track your keywords.
- Marketing Analytics Software: Marketing analytics software works together with data collection tools and converts your data into a detailed report. Basically, the software makes all the metrics that you have collected about your company much more understandable. The software also helps to measure each step of your marketing journey to guarantee that you are not neglecting anything. Marketing analytics software will offer usable data on the effects of different marketing strategies on your overall goal. You can improve those strategies that are performing poorly and simultaneously focus on the best performing strategies.
In this way, you will have a much better understanding of what’s working and what’s not. You’ll find much of this information both insightful and surprising. And based on this information, you can modify your marketing strategies.
- Website Optimization Software: As per recent study, only almost 20% of websites have optimal conversion rates. This is majorly due to different problems on their landing pages. Website optimization software helps you optimize your pages and understand where the issue lies. It will test different components you have used on your website and evaluate their efficiency at converting customers. This, in return, will help you in reaching to more potential users.
- Social Media Marketing Software: Social media marketing is very efficient for promoting your online engagement and showcasing your brand’s personality. Social media marketing software will assist in scheduling, network management, and performance measurement of your social media marketing strategies. These solutions will make your social media marketing much more effective and efficient. Rather than spending hours on social media, you can post more efficiently, thereby saving time that can be otherwise used to focus on other business aspects.
Moreover, social media marketing software also tracks and reports how your fans, friends, or followers respond to your post. With this software, you will be capable of scheduling posts beforehand, attracting new people to your business, developing an attractive online personality, and reinforcing your existing relationships. This software makes it much simpler to get overall control over almost every aspect of your social media marketing efforts.
- Marketing Asset Management Software: This software is suitable for businesses that require to manage their marketing materials across a large organization with many locations. It is well suited for a business with employees in numerous locations or a larger franchise business.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software: Every form of communication with your customer increases your odds of closing a sale. But tracking of a customer’s journey to follow him/her up might be difficult. Customer relationship management software is developed to gather, store, and retrieve your customers’ data easily. It will assist you monitor buying decision of your customer and allow you to customize your communication.
Even though CRM software is a different kind of software itself, it is very essential when it comes to marketing. The better your relationship with your customers, the more likely they are to try out one of your products, place a new order, or suggest your business to friends and family. CRM software provides tools to assist you better track and measure your interactions with customers, manage your relationship with your customers, and evaluate how they responded to your marketing campaigns.
What are the Issues Faced While Using Marketing Software?
Every company or marketer faces different challenges. This is the reason marketing automation software solutions are used. Even though these solutions help marketers to make their strategies more productive, sometimes these tools might be a problem itself. There are different issues faced by marketers while using these marketing automation tools. Below are some common issues that are faced while using marketing software:
- Training: Even though most software solutions are user-friendly, it becomes very difficult to use a software when it is installed for the first time or when a new module is added. Hence, to use the software or the module in question, the company has to invest in training the staff. This is one of the major concerns that companies have nowadays for marketing software.
- Data Security: While using online marketing software, you entrust your data to a third-party service provider. This data is accessed with mobile devices everywhere by your employees. So, it is essential to make sure only the right people get access to the sensitive information. Ensure ex-employees are banned from accessing the system after leaving the organization. Therefore, select a vendor that implements the latest data security technology.
- Cost: The price of the software might be another issue for some companies. SMEs may have limited or almost no access to advanced features offered by these software applications, owing to high prices involved. In spite of the advantages outweighing these prices, some solutions may appear very costly for small businesses.
- Compliance: Since your data is saved in a third-party vendor’s datahub, it can be an issue to comply with government data-protection laws and regulations. Hence, it is necessary to understand which regulations have to be followed by your company. Failing to do so might cause dire consequences. Therefore, ensure that marketing automation platform helps you meet statutory regulatory requirements.
- Updates: Despite the uncountable upgradeable and updatable marketing software, some programs can eventually become outdated. This can only result in additional investment on new software and solutions. This can also cause to go out of budget and lead to a huge loss for the company.
- User-friendliness: The UI of software plays a major role in its adoption. Even though the software is easy to use and navigate, a bad UI might make it difficult for the users to use it. Hence, user-friendliness is another issue that occurs while using marketing software.
- Integration: A business always needs a software that can be integrated with different applications (for instance, customer relationship management software). But many software solutions may not support this feature and hence companies have to invest in buying separate software solutions for separate operations. This is one of the major issues faced by companies while using marketing software.
- Compatibility: There are different types of marketing software solutions in the market and not all are compatible with the users’ systems. This leads to non-functioning of some features, or, worse case, the entire software. Hence, the businesses have to make a huge investment in order to make the software compatible with their system.
- Data Mobility: The marketing automation tools you select might become outdated or you might need to change your software for some other reason. Hence, you need to ensure that you can easily move your data and processes from one software to another. Failing to do so might lead to loss of sensitive data while transferring.
What are the Benefits of Marketing Solutions?
Marketing automation software can be helpful if any organization capitalizes on it efficiently. SMEs can use this software to manage and monitor tasks while saving time with the help of automation. The major aim of marketing automation tools is to offer a unified communication platform, where the marketing team can understand and track different marketing strategies and campaigns. Here are some benefits of using online marketing software solutions:
- Streamlines Marketing Efforts: Marketing campaigns need the simultaneous implementation of different channels to communicate with your target audience. Marketing automation platform is developed to assist you coordinate different programs in an easy-to-manage, single platform. This means you no longer have to juggle between systems to execute your campaign flawlessly. Most of these programs also provide a complete suite of tools that allow you nurture leads, manage content, and evaluate your campaign efforts promptly, accurately, and efficiently.
- Reduces Tedious Tasks: The main objective of marketing software is to eliminate repetitive duties that take up a huge amount of your time. Tasks such as sending emails to your leads, compiling your clients’ information, and scheduling the posting of content can be time-consuming. Even though they are essential, they leave you with little or no time to focus on tasks that require your undivided, immediate attention. By using marketing automation software, resource optimization programs, and content marketing tools, you can get rid of the hassle of juggling everything manually. This allows you to delegate more essential responsibilities to your team.
- Makes Customer Management Easier: Developing relationships with prospective clients at each stage of the sales process is essential to help your business thrive. On the other hand, this is not as easy as keeping users posted on your offers or convincing them to purchase products. Attracting and retaining prospects are extensive processes wherein you must identify the people who will most likely require your services, get to know their concerns, and answer their queries on time whenever they contact you. By using marketing automation tools, you can effortlessly reply to leads promptly, schedule email campaigns, keep tabs on current customers, and build a better online presence.
- Improves Accountability: When it comes to analyzing or monitoring marketing campaigns and lead conversions, accountability has a major role. With the use of online marketing software, you can eliminate the risk of human errors and ensure you get all the statistics you require at a glance.
- Enhanced Personalization for Customers: A new product, promo code, or a flashy video will not grab the target audience’s attention in a customer-centric world. The trick is in knowing their name and what matters to them. As per recent study, customized or personalized emails leads to 29% more unique open rates and deliver 6 times more transaction rates. In addition to this, 78% of Internet users state that personally relevant content increases the odds that they will make a purchase. Moreover, 79% of customers claim they are more likely to engage with an offer if it is customized to reflect previous interactions. All these numbers show that personalized marketing efforts play an essential role to make your customers pay attention. When you implement a marketing automation platform, you can divide customers into groups to help send out and share only relevant material and content. You can also customize emails with particular customer data, including their name, transaction history, and preferences. In this way, you can offer customers what they are expected to be interested in, thereby increasing the odds to get a response from them.
- Enhanced Customer Experience: Delivering a seamless customer experience goes far beyond customization. Therefore, marketing automation tools are not just helpful for customer experience, it is necessary. Marketing software can be used to send out relevant email marketing campaigns and customized follow-up messages. You can track your online interactions to learn what actions and what content resonates the most with your consumers. Therefore, marketing automation tools help to simplify the complexity of customer experience.
- Document Progresses Faster: Keeping track of your resources, leads, campaigns, and content might sound easy initially, but it won’t be as simple when you are handling hundreds of customers, dealing with multiple campaigns, and generating a huge amount of content simultaneously. With marketing software, your company can successfully manage different marketing campaigns. You can quickly create accurate progress reports that might help you understand the effectiveness of your strategies and identify the factors that needs improvement.
What are the Trends in Marketing Software?
A lot of technological innovations and trends have been transforming the marketing landscape for better. Online marketing software solutions are evolving to better suffice the needs of marketers and to keep them updated with the changing times. Here are some trends that is already in use and will be seen in the future:
- Machine Learning and AI: Marketers across the globe have started using machine learning and AI in content creation and may continue to use these technologies for better engagement efficiency. Once a user clicks an ad, the behavioral data will be analyzed by the marketing software integrated with machine learning tools. This data will be used in future campaigns for enhanced engagement. Similarly, AI-assisted marketing automation tools will proliferate and technologies such as Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing will be leveraged to automate the study of online activity and user behavior, as well as to understand language and speech patterns.
Chatbots: Chatbots are being used by different established brands and start-ups for improving their customer engagement and customer service. In future, chatbots will become smarter and will be capable of behavioral suggestions in the coming period along with deep integration with online marketing software. As per a study by ZDNet, more than 54% of customers prefer engaging with a brand through a chatbot, and not an app. The potential for customer engagement is immensely huge, provided the chatbots are smart enough to hold up a meaningful conversation with multiple customers. In addition to this, different messaging platforms have had huge success with Chatbots. Have a look at the statistics below:
- According to latest survey, more than 60% of users who received a chatbot ping on Facebook Messenger engaged with the message.
- WhatsApp is now allowing companies to integrate chatbots with their API, thereby unlocking new avenues for brand-user engagement. With 1.3 billion daily active users, this is a golden opportunity for SMEs.
In addition to this, as per study by Business Insider more than 80% business are already using, or are planning to start using chatbots in the near future. In short, Chatbots are surfacing up as a plausible engagement solution for marketers.
- Predictive CLV (Customer Lifetime Value): As per Forbes, companies that are able to offer the most engaging and pleasant experience throughout a customer’s lifetime will have higher retention and conversion rates. If the customer experience is not up to the mark, users will avoid visiting the website again. Marketers have been studying for years about how essential knowing CLV is, and it’s still being underutilized or ignored. As per a UK study, only 24% of marketers felt their company was monitoring CLV effectively. Predictive CLV is going to be the new trend, as brands will aim on optimizing their advertising investments in real-time based on the projected revenue from their customers. With advanced online marketing software, brands will be capable to understanding low, medium, and high CLV users and accordingly create highly customized marketing campaigns with a reasonable marketing cost that does not exceed the company budget. Marketing automation tools will allow companies create precise user profiles easily by studying user behavior, attributes, and past purchase history, as well as create an exact CLV assessment.
- Mobile Approach: Mobile marketing is emerging as income-driving factor for companies as smartphones and tablets have become users’ primary device for communication. Marketers, with the help of marketing automation platform, can create an elaborate mobile engagement strategy, with the help of features such as SMS, push and web notifications, in-app notifications, and mobile wallet. Marketing solutions will be used to elaborate these campaigns and guarantee that they work efficiently. As per a recent study, mobile ad spends overtook desktop in the last couple of years and this will continue in the coming years with investment expected to rise by 8.5 %.
- Interactive Content: Interactive content is anything that users can swipe, click on, or interact with online. As per a study, 93% marketers claim that interactive content is highly effective at educating the buyer. In future, more businesses will experiment with interactive content types, such as 360-degree videos, augmented reality ads, and quizzes and polls. Marketing software with interactive content will offer people a more engaging, immersive experience. In addition to this, consumers nowadays want this type of engaging content from companies, as it helps them feel more connected to the brand.
- Voice Interaction: Due to Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, and different other virtual assistants, verbal interaction with devices is rising every day. This indicates that machines are finally catching up to the way customers want to shop, search, and discover new things. Conducting a voice search is very simple from typing a query.
How Much Does Marketing Tools Cost?
Pricing is an essential factor for organizations investing in online marketing software. Organizations want to reach prospective leads in the most cost-effective manner. Even though some vendors offer pricing plans publicly, others wish to be directly contacted for a quote. Marketing automation software vendors normally use a SaaS (software-as-a-service) pricing plan. Organizations pay a monthly subscription charge to access different marketing tools through the cloud. Here are two common plans that vendors apply for online marketing tools:
- Per Month Subscription Plan: Many vendors offer per month subscription plans with tiers on the basis of features and maximum number of contacts. The highest subscription plans often include the ability to categorize target audiences in order to nurture leads and integrations with sales platforms. This pricing plan is best for organizations that require enhanced functionality to convert leads, study their target market, or cross-sell products.
- Per Contact, Per Month Subscription Plan: In this type of subscription plan, vendors offer complete functionality and only take fees for the number of contacts in an organization’s marketing database. Some vendors offer an online calculator where organizations can add their number of contacts and get quote immediately. The minimum number of contacts is normally 1,000. This pricing plan works best for B2C organizations that require to reach high number of potential users with email marketing campaigns.
Additional Costs to Consider
You need to take care of some additional costs while investing in marketing automation tools. Here are different additional expenses that you may have to take care of.
- Implementation and Onboarding: A few vendors need organizations to buy an implementation and onboarding package during sign-up. This might include training sessions, dashboard and reporting setup, data migration, and post-implementation check-ins.
- Add-On Features: Even though some software solutions provide advanced features in their per month subscription plans, others offer specific integrations or features for an extra price. For instance, organizations can often buy a dedicated IP address as a separate add-on.
- Consulting: Most vendors offer consulting services for sales and marketing. This might come in the form of training webinars, one-on-one sessions, or feedback on particular advertising campaigns.
- Support: A number of vendors include basic support with their pricing plans. On the other hand, 24/7 responses, priority support, and a dedicated customer service manager usually require paying for an upgraded support plan.
Why Purchase Marketing Software from WareBuy?
WareBuy is the industry’s first dedicated marketplace for buying and selling packaged software solutions and services. Buying a software will be easy since the platform offers different benefits such as:
- Secured payment
- Multiple options for software
- Price Transparency; hence, no additional or hidden costs are added to the cart.
- 24/7 customer support
- Saves time
- Worldwide delivery
- Competitive pricing
- Shop by category (such as industry or skillset)
- Buy products from renowned brands
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