Marketing Tools for Business Development

You’ll find a vast number of marketing tools available to use, especially if you’re working with an online business. While these tools will help you to optimize your business processes, they will also help grow your business by exposing it to wider audiences. T

We all know that marketing tools are essential for winning new customers.   Still, there are countless examples of bleeding-edge marketing tools that do not increase the quality of leads you get. This time I’ve made a list (mini-review) that comprises the best examples of popular marketing tools.

What Are the Basics Of Business Development?

In the simplest terms, business development can be summarized as the ideas, initiatives, and activities that help make a business better. This includes increasing revenues, growth in terms of business expansion, increasing profitability by building strategic partnerships and making strategic business decisions.

“Business Development Executive,” “Manager of Business Development,” and “VP, Business Development” are all impressive job titles often heard in business organizations. Sales, strategic initiatives, business partnerships, market development, business expansion, and marketing—all of these fields are involved in business development but are often mixed up and mistakenly viewed as the sole function of business development. 

Understanding the Basics of Business Development

Business development activities extend across different departments, including sales, marketing, project management, product management, and vendor management. Networking, negotiations, partnerships, and cost-savings efforts are also involved. All of these different departments and activities are driven by and aligned with the business development goals.

Sales

Sales personnel focus on a particular market or a particular (set of) client(s), often for a targeted revenue number. In this case, business development assesses the Brazilian markets and concludes that sales worth $1.5 billion can be achieved in three years. With such set goals, the sales department targets the customer base in the new market with their sales strategies.

Marketing

Marketing involves promotion and advertising aimed towards the successful sale of products to end customers. Marketing plays a complementary role in achieving sales targets. Business development initiatives may allocate an estimated marketing budget. Higher budgets allow aggressive marketing strategies like cold calling, personal visits, roadshows, and free sample distribution. Lower budgets tend to result in passive marketing strategies, such as limited online ads, print ads, social media ads, and billboards.

Here are (mostly free) marketing tools for business growth that every small business owner should use:

Social Media Management

Social media is gaining popularity as a means of communication for businesses and individuals alike. It allows you to focus on promoting your brand and services to your target audience.

‌However, it also takes a lot of time to manage your accounts and post content to each one individually. Social media management tools allow you to schedule when you want content posted for each platform, giving you more time to focus on promoting your business elsewhere.

‌Most social media management platforms also provide reporting dashboards to help you track and monitor the performance of your social media posts. You’ll be able to see what content is resonating with your audience so you can optimize and replicate your future social media campaigns.

Email Lists

Email is a powerful marketing tool that you can use to market your products and services to people who have shown interest in your brand. The problem is that most marketing emails aren’t very effective, and your subscribers rarely open them.

Email lists allow you to manage the metadata for all of your email campaigns. This means that you’ll have a record of every single email you’ve sent so you can track which ones get the best open and conversion rates.

‌More advanced email platforms let you segment your lists. Doing this allows you to categorize your subscribers based on what they’re interested in. Only sending people the information they’re looking for can help you decrease your unsubscribe rate and increase your customer conversion rate.

Online Document Tools

Thankfully, keeping physical copies of business documents is no longer necessary for most businesses. Now, you can store anything from contracts to video content in the cloud.

Storing your documents online means that you can access them anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. Your employees don’t need to be in the office to access important documents anymore. This flexibility means your team can get more done without needing to call into the office to get information.

‌Online documents also let your team collaborate more effectively. You can allow other team members to work on documents at the same time without losing their progress.

CRM Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a tool that allows you to track your customer interactions. Instead of keeping that information in your head or on a spreadsheet, CRM tools for business development organize all your customers’ data into one database.

‌A database of customers lets you store much more than basic information. It enables you to keep track of the entire sales cycle for your customers.

‌The best CRM software also lets you keep track of your communications with clients. You can track phone calls, take notes, and mark important dates. If you have multiple employees who work with the same client, CRM software lets them work together to provide better care for that customer.

Project Management

If you’re working on a business development project, you need to be able to manage your team and keep track of what tasks your team has completed. Project management software lets you do this by creating a timeline for your business development campaign and creating tasks for your team to accomplish.

‌Today’s project management tools exist primarily in the cloud. This allows your employees to log in to an online portal to figure out what’s going on with their projects at any time. They can communicate with their teams, get their latest tasks, and gain important information about their projects.

Video Conferencing

If you have a business development team that travels a lot, or your company has adopted a hybrid work from the home model in the last year, you’re going to need to provide them with an easy way to communicate. That’s why video conferencing tools are essential.

‌Video conferencing tools let your employees speak face-to-face on important meetings and conference calls. Video calls enable you and your colleagues to read and send important visual cues that are often lost in remote work environments (body language, visual reactions, etc.) This will help you communicate more effectively and stay on the same page.

‌You can also use video conferencing tools for client meetings. Not every client will be able to make it to your office in person, but there’s no reason why you can’t share your screen and talk to your clients on video.

SEO Tools

If you’re trying to build your online presence, people need to see you as an authority in your industry. To do that, you’ll need to produce high-quality content that demonstrates your experience and expertise.

SEO tools will give you a leg up when it comes to selecting content ideas. You’ll start with keyword research tools to find highly-searched keywords. Finding highly-searched terms in your industry and writing quality content about them will help you get to the top of the search results on Google, giving you free organic search traffic.

‌Other tools will help you optimize the content on your website. These tools will look at your on-site SEO work and help you optimize your pages to rank better on search engines.

Business Intelligence

Intelligent business decisions are driven by data. If you don’t have the most up-to-date information about your industry and business, it’s hard to make the best choices for your company.

‌That’s where business intelligence helps. Business intelligence tools provide you with a way to gather all the information you have in a single place. Once your data is centralized, you’ll be able to create reports that provide actionable insights into your data.

‌You can track where your revenue comes from, how well each of your clients is doing, and the success of your business development campaigns.

Google Analytics

You have a website that you’re using to communicate your marketing message, reach prospects, and/or sell products.  But how do you know where they’re coming from or whether the optimizations you make are moving the needle?

Google Analytics helps you learn more about your customers by tracking where your visitors are coming from, what they’re doing on your website (i.e. pages visited or time spent), and ultimately, helps you figure out what messages are the most effective at compelling visitors to take a particular action.

SEMrush

If you want to grow your business with digital marketing, SEO should be something that is top of mind.

When you search for something on Google, how often do you search past the first page?  Probably not very often.  And you’re not alone – according to Search Engine People, the first position generates around 33% of the clicks with the next getting 15% and the 3rd getting just 9% and the drop-off gets steeper and steeper after that (here’s a chart for the data junkies out there).

SEMrush helps you develop a winning SEO marketing strategy by helping you with keyword research, SEO audits of your website, identifying backlink opportunities, and tracking the keyword strategies used by your competition. Check out our list of free SEO tools you can start using right now.

PitchBox

When it comes to SEO, one of the things search engines look at is how many other websites are referencing your content and how authoritative those websites are.  Since these websites influence your ranking, let’s call them “influencers”.

PitchBox makes it easy for you to find influential bloggers or publishers in your niche with their search and filter function and makes it easy for you to reach out to them via personalized automated email sequences.  If the influencers like your content and are willing to showcase it on their sites, your SEO ranking will go up.

Answer the Public

If you want to rank high on search engines, it’s important to create high-quality content around what people are searching for.  But how do you know what people are looking for and how do you come up with topics week after week?

Answer the Public works by generating a tree of potential blog topics based on the keyword you’re targeting and real search queries and trending topics related to your keyword.

Hootsuite

Today, in the UK 67% of the entire population are on social media so the customers you’re trying to reach are probably there too.

Social media marketing is a great way to reach new customers and build loyalty with your existing customers. Hootsuite helps you do this by helping you manage all of your social media accounts in 1 place. You can easily create an editorial calendar, schedule and approve posts, track social media engagement and ROI, and help you track what people are saying about your brand online.

Hello Bar

Once you have visitors, how do you get them to take action? Hello Bar makes it easy to design and add Calls to Action (CTA) buttons to your website through pop-ups, sliders, and even exit intent pop-ups to deliver your offer in a timely and engaging way.  Best of all, it’s free for most users (visit their home page and input your URL to get started).

Marketing teams can use Hello Bar to increase your landing page’s conversion rate by offering coupon codes, asking them to like your social media page, or collecting emails for your newsletter.

Canva

Whether you’re creating ads, social media posts, or email blasts, you’ll need eye-catching graphics that capture people’s attention.

Canva is a free tool for creating logos and designs. They have beautiful professional-grade templates for almost anything you can imagine from posters to email banners to Facebook ads.

Survey Monkey

To develop marketing strategies for business growth, you need to understand your customers. Collecting feedback allows you to improve your offering and find out who your customers are and what they care about so you can better craft marketing messages in the future.

Survey Monkey or TypeForm are two great tools to easily create beautiful forms and surveys (that people want to complete) and analyze the results. You can even generate presentation-ready charts and graphs automatically.

Hotjar

We already talked about how important it is to understand your customers. Hotjar, takes this concept further using heat maps to see what people are clicking on and how far they’re scrolling, collect user feedback via pop-up surveys and even run live recordings of user sessions to gain insight into user behavior.

The likes of Nintendo and Microsoft use this tool to help them improve their product, marketing funnels, and user experience but it’s not just a tool for large corporations. They have a free tier which is good enough for most small businesses.

To succeed in business, you need a sound strategy for growing your business through digital marketing that covers SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and landing page optimization. The marketing tools suggested above will hopefully make your life easier as you execute your business growth strategy.

Conclusion

Business development encompasses a wide scope of ideas, activities, and initiatives that a business owner and management implement to make the business better.

Business development can include many objectives, such as sales growth, business expansion, the formation of strategic partnerships, and increased profitability.

Successful business development impacts every department within a company, including sales, marketing, manufacturing, human resources, accounting, finance, product development, and vendor management.

Business developers should be aware of new market opportunities, possibilities for expansion, competitor developments, and the current sources of the company’s revenue.

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