What Are Marketing Tools and Techniques

In today’s world of business, there are many marketing tools from which to choose. The most essential of the marketing tools is the Internet. All businesses need a presence on the Internet. Whether a company chooses a local Visiting Angels Franchise Web site, a national brand website, or an international company website, they all need a presence on the Internet.  

Marketing tools are tools that companies use to develop and promote their products and services. In this context, the word ‘tools‘ refers to techniquesstrategies, and materials.

The vast majority of businesses use several different marketing tools, such as advertising, direct mail, and market research to boost their sales.

Companies have a range of marketing tools at their disposal. Some of them are specifically for boosting sales, while others focus on gathering consumer data.

It is important to know which tools are best for your business. In other words, which tools do you need to achieve your primary goals and objectives? In most cases, people use multiple marketing tools at the same time.

SmallBusiness.chron.com says the following regarding marketing tools:

“Businesses use various marketing tools to communicate company information, stimulate customer interest and motivate action. An integrated marketing approach applies several tactics to engage customers and build a business.”

Marketing Tools and Techniques

Marketing experts study data collection and analysis, consumer behavior, supply and demand, and other technical aspects of marketing theory and implementation. Small business owners without this training can still benefit from the best practices of this discipline by using basic tools and techniques to help plan marketing activities before they execute them. Review your products, prices, brand, and distribution to help create better advertising, public relations, and promotions that build your business.

The Four Ps

Marketing students learn about the “Four Ps” — product, price, position, and place — and use this knowledge the rest of their careers. This technique for evaluating your selling strategy requires you to perform certain steps: examine your product to see whether it satisfies consumer demand; evaluate your price to determine whether changing it will affect your sales; create a brand that positions you in the minds of consumers, and consider whether your selling locations support your brand and maximize your revenue opportunities. Selling a high-end product in a big-box store, for example, might damage your brand. Raising your price might increase sales because customers perceive that it must be superior to the competition.

Research

Bringing together a group of consumers to have a frank discussion of your product or service, prices, position, and selling locations provide invaluable information. Ask specific yes-or-no and multiple-choice questions during a focus group session, as well as open-ended questions that let your customers volunteer information you hadn’t considered. Ask them why they buy your product, what they think of your competitors and what you can do to get them to buy more often. Hold one or two informal meetings with six to eight customers and offer refreshments and a gift for their time. Surveys are invaluable in generating data that helps you understand your customers and the marketplace. Ask open-ended discussions during phone surveys conducted by your staff or use online surveys that gather short answers or multiple-choice and true-false answers. Websites such as SurveyMonkey let you create and use free online surveys which provide data to your desktop. Whichever method you use, survey all of the participants using the same questions so you can spot trends and consistent feedback.

Repetition

Advertising doesn’t often result in a consumer stopping what they are doing to buy your product. A key tenet of successful advertising is that repetition eventually leads to sales. Consumers will buy when they have a need or impulse, and your advertising should attempt to stick in their head so that when they are ready to buy, you come to mind. Budget advertising campaigns in such a way that audiences see your ad at least three times. It might be better to advertise in two magazines three times each than to advertise in six different magazines once. You might reach more people advertising in six magazines, but you will have less of an impact on each.

Branding

Companies that create a brand, or image, in the marketplace increase consumer preference and loyalty. A brand tells consumers that your product has a specific benefit, such as quality, affordability, status, or some other intrinsic value. Some footwear companies make only women’s shoes to communicate to women that the business is an expert in the female footwear category. Some companies price their products higher than the industry average so they can send a message of high quality. Ask your employees and customers what your brand is — if they can’t answer, you haven’t properly positioned yourself in your marketplace.

Social Media

Social media gets your customers to promote your products and services by recommending them to their friends. Add Facebook Like buttons to your website pages so the public can share them easily with their friends. Create a Facebook business page for a more powerful marketing tool than a personal page. Business pages let you track more data about your customers and website. Twitter allows you to send regular messages to customers and allows you to respond quickly to important events.

How to Create Effective Marketing Campaigns

Marketing includes the upfront research that leads to the development of the communication of a sales message. A marketing campaign starts with learning about your target customer, marketplace, and competitors. Using that information, you will choose different types of media and create your advertising and promotions. Start with number crunching, then use that information to create effective communications to boost your sales.

Research

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Research the marketplace. Determine if there is a need for your product or service, or customers might not want to buy it. Do this by looking for competitors. In addition to finding competitors, examine the differences between their business and yours. Look for a unique aspect of what you sell. For example, there might be many restaurants in your city, but you might be one of only a few that cater to budget-conscious families.

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Create a demographic profile of your potential customers. List the gender, age, race, location, marital status, parental status, and income level of your primary customer and secondary buyers. Conduct customer surveys if you have access to their phone numbers or email addresses. Contact your industry’s or profession’s trade associations for research they have conducted. Survey your website and offer a prize for participation. Limit this to people who have purchased your product online or who use a code on product packaging.

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Research your competitors to learn their price, selling message, and product or service benefits. Compare your business to your competitors.

Product Development

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Determine if you need to change your product or packaging to better compete in your marketplace. A menswear store might consider adding boys’ clothing. A hairstylist might benefit from adding facials, manicures, and pedicures and becoming a full-service salon.

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Develop a brand, image, or position for your product or service in the marketplace. Your brand might be that you offer low-cost quality or that you provide high-end service. You might offer name brands or focus on servicing what you sell. You can position yourself as the destination of young, hip consumers, or sensible, practical seniors.

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Price your product to achieve your marketing goals. Once you know what you need to charge to make a profit, determine if you will undercut your competition, sell at a competitive price, or price yourself higher. A low price positions you differently than a high price in the eyes of consumers. A low price decreases your profit margin but can help you take market share from higher-priced competitors. A high price might reduce sales but give you higher margins and might position you as a higher-quality product or service.

Promotion

Use market research and product development to guide communications efforts.

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Decide where you will sell your product. Based on your target customer and brand position, your best options might include retail stores, online, in catalogs, through TV offers, or with direct mail. Consider your price point and branding when you choose distribution channels. Selling a high-end product at Wal-Mart, for example, sends a mixed message.

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Develop a public relations campaign to generate free media attention about your product. Send press releases to newspapers, industry trade associations, magazines, websites, and radio stations. Write your press releases to focus on the newsworthiness to the public rather than making your communication read like a free ad. If you are a new business, stress that angle in local publications. If you have won awards, play that up. If you are creating jobs in a community, lead with that fact.

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Create an advertising campaign to send a controlled message to the marketplace. Research different media using each one’s media kit. A media kit contains the demographics of the readers, viewers, or listeners of a newspaper, magazine, website, TV station, or radio station. Using the reader profiles in the media kits, choose media outlets with audience demographics similar to your target customers. In the ads, sell the benefits of your product or service rather than the features. Have a grand opening.

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Use promotions to generate more brand or product awareness. Create in-store promotions, such as coupons, aisle displays, or product sampling. Sponsor events, such as charity balls, auctions, or sporting events. Donate products to charities to raffle or auction.

What Are Marketing Tools?

Marketing tools are designed to automate repetitive processes, tasks, minimize human errors, manage complexity, build strong customer relationship, maximize effort, and brings your brand to the spotlight.

An effective marketing tool should help you achieve either or all of these:

If you desire to be more efficient and productive, then, these marketing tools should be an integral part of your business.

Since you can’t watch over your shoulders and that of your competitors, manually, these marketing tools do that for you.

Marketing tools cut across diverse markets. For example:

  • Website analytics tools
  • Social media management tools
  • Conversion rate and funnel analytics tools
  • SEO tools
  • Marketing automation tools,
  • Email marketing tools

…And so on.

If you’re ready, let’s dive in.

1. Simply Measured

Are you tied down by big data?

Simply Measured believes that social marketing should be simplified, and not tied overwhelming with all the data. Ideally, the social data should drive your marketing.

Simply Measured provides easy social media analytics and measurement solutions for small and mid-size companies.

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Who are your Twitter followers and what do they care about?

Use the measurement platform by Simply Measured to fuel your social campaigns and gain deep insights at your fingertips.

Simply Measured is provides Facebook analytics, Twitter analytics, and more. You also get to know how healthy your Instagram fans are and what’s trending on your Facebook fan page.

Yes, being sensitive to what is trending in your social media accounts guarantees that you acquire customers from these networks, especially Facebook.

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Simply Measured rich features enable you to compare your Facebook fan page with your competitors – to know their weaknesses and strengths. Give it a shot today.

2. Open Site Explorer

Open Site Explorer is a search marketing tool that enables you to develop a high-quality inbound link profile.

For example, OSE helps you research backlinks, find link-building opportunities, and find potentially damaging links.

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Specifically, you can determine the number of backlinks your website or web pages have generated over some time (say 60 days).

Once you’ve found damaging links, the next vital step is to get rid of them. Else, your search rankings may drop.

Optimizing your web pages can dramatically improve your search rankings and drive qualified traffic to your website, especially when your content page ranks at the top of organic results.

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3. SumoMe

Website traffic is the fuel that powers your online business machine. Without traffic, you’re going to fail. Sorry.

In a recent article on the Huffington Post blog, Ian Mills summarized the importance of website traffic.

In Mills’ words,

“The single aim of all marketing efforts is to increase sales and to achieve this online, your website needs to have traffic to convert into a sale or a lead. You can’t convert anything without traffic, and without conversion your traffic is pointless.”

As you read this article, marketers are looking for ways to generate and grow website traffic.

If you’re one of them (well, I am), then Sumome is the simple but powerful marketing tool to leverage.

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Adding social sharing buttons on your posts alone can encourage people to share them. However, without Sumome, you’re allowed to customize the appearance of your sharing buttons to blend into your theme.

One of the greatest features of SumoMe is its mobile responsiveness. All of the accompanying tools that Sumome provides will fit into any mobile screen – and engage the audience.

Are your web visitors reading your blog posts?

It’s hard to tell. Really.

Content Analytics, a tool in the SumoMe warehouse will give you rich insights in this respect.

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When building social media campaigns, there is no room for assumptions. Don’t assume that your posts will be shared. You may not like the result.

Again, if you place your call-to-action wrongly, you won’t get people’s attention.

To know where to place your call-to-action, you need to analyze user behavior using Sumome’s tools.

4. Segment

A segment is an analytics software made simple.

Segment captures customers’ information through the API and makes them easy to understand and beneficial for your business. Here’s how it works:

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The processes done in your website and mobile apps can be captured and kept in the Segment Libraries, for your use.

5. Google Trends

Google Trends is a solution that shows the graphical representation of how a particular keyword or topic is trending in the US or globally.

It’s a free Google service for topic analytics. It’s very helpful in market research and web surfing behavior tracking.

For example, let’s see what’s trending right now around the world.

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With these tools, you can know what the world is thinking about your product and services.

You need Google Trend.

For example, if you’re a small business consultant and want to know how popular the market is, all you’ve to do is input the keyword into the Google Trends search box and search it.

Sadly, from the graph below, you can see that the demand for “small business consultants” is constantly going down. It’s now left for you to decide whether to move on or quit.

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6. Blog Topic Generator

Do you know what your next blog post topic is?

How do you craft the headline? Truth is, the headline is the most important element of your content. According to Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline.

If you’re stuck right now and don’t know what to write about, you’re not alone. You can use HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator.

To get started, simply enter your keywords into the blank spaces. Then click on the “Give Me Blog Topics.”

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Next, the tool gives you a Week of Blog Topics:

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Note: These topics are analyzed based on the keywords. The chances of going viral if you promote your content is high. You can see how clear the headlines are.

Moz confirmed that clear headlines with numbers are preferred by users.

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7. Content Idea Generator

Portent’s Content Idea Generator functions in a similar way as HubSpot’s blog topic generator.

The tool generates trending and irresistible blog post titles, so you don’t have to. Simply enter your keyword in the space provided and click on the white arrow.

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Next, the tool gives you an idea for a blog post. It may not be grammatically correct, hence, you need to tweak it.

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Content Idea Generator is your content creation guide when you’re looking to get more content out there – but don’t have the time to always write headlines from scratch.

When inputting your keywords, avoid CAPITALIZATION. Else, the tool will return headlines that don’t read well.

Moz confirmed that using Sentence Case in headlines converts 64 % while ALL CAPS convert at 21%.

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It’s ironic, but despite knowing how powerful content is in today’s digital marketplace, so many marketers have a hard time creating compelling content.

Creating a successful content marketing strategy is almost difficult, without making room for content creation and distribution. Let this tool guide you.

8. Evernote

It’s time to remember everything.

Evernote is a cross-platform marketing app, developed for taking notes, organizing, and archiving ideas. These notes can be in form of formatted text, full webpage/excerpt, voice memo, photographs, and even handwritten ink.

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Jotting down a few notes whether on a business call or meeting, helps you remember and make smarter business decisions.

But instead of using pen and paper, use the Evernote app on your mobile device and you’ll be fine.

When taking notes, they’re immediately updated on all your devices and stored in the cloud. So accessing your ideas from anywhere won’t be a problem.

recent study found that 54% of the most effective B2B Marketers have a documented content marketing strategy.

As we all know, ideas rule the world. Lots of successful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook started with an idea. I’m sure your business was a simple idea that you’re passionate about.

With the search button on Evernote, it’s very easy to find any note you’ve saved, even words on PDF documents. It also allows you to share your ideas in notes with your team.

9. Buildfire

Build fire is the easiest way to build mobile apps. And these are not your average mobile apps – you can check out the features.

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The use of the internet via mobile devices is always on the increase. As a marketer, can your customers access your products through their mobile devices?

According to a statistic by Statista in 2012, mobile in-application sales were predicted to exceed $36,887 billion in 2017.

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In-app marketing is too competitive with over 1.8 million mobile apps already available on the Google Play store and Apple store respectively.

If you wish to leverage mobile apps in your marketing, you need a robust drag and drop builder like Buildfire.com.

Irrespective of what your business looks like, Build fire has a variety of templates that will suit your business. Funny enough, you don’t need programming skills, yet, your mobile app can be a reader in 15 minutes.

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10. Buzzsumo

One of the reasons why most brands embrace content marketing is to create brand awareness. And this can only happen when you leverage social media.

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But the surprising fact is that only 38% of B2B marketers are reported to have effective content marketing. How sad?

How effective is your content marketing?

If you’re looking to improve performance and get your content shared across social networks, Buzzsumo is the right tool.

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Buzzsumo is a powerful tool that scours the entire web and shows you content that generated the most social shares – for a given keyword or topic.

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You can also use the tool to identify the social media influencers who can amplify your content reach.

11. VWO

Do you wish to get the best out of your web marketing?

With different marketing ideas and strategies available, integrating them into your business can be confusing at times. Because what worked for Mr. A. may not work for you.

To eliminate guesswork from your web marketing campaigns, you should split test.

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Knowing firsthand what people want from your landing page or ad copy (and why) is a huge step toward implementing a successful content marketing strategy.

That’s why you need VWO – the A/B Split testing software for marketers that work. Use VWO to tweak, optimize and personalize your website with minimal IT help. You can conduct A/B testing, Url split testing, multivariate.

What an easy way to ascertain the best strategy that works for you.

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VWO also provides you with real user feedback and analysis of your landing page performance.

This tool keeps you informed with analysis on your revenue, visitor segment metrics – improves your audience targeting, and uses personalized content to engage your audience.

This case study at Unbounce showcases several brands that use split testing to improve their conversion rates and increase revenue.

Conclusion

One of the greatest Marketing Tools is to ensure that you’re getting all of your ducks in a row before you start trying to sell or promote something. The more organized you are, the easier it will be for you to succeed. It’s okay if this doesn’t sound very exciting…

Marketing tools improve the marketing aspects of your business. Whether you are launching a new business or just planning on growing your current business, you will need marketing tools.

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