Must-Have Software for Your Small Business’s Martech Stack

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So, you’ve begun your small business growth marketing journey, and you know how much to budget for your marketing software.

Now, you’re asking yourself—what next?

Must-Have Software for Your Small Business' Martech Stack

One of your first steps is figuring out what software you absolutely need to launch and run competitive growth marketing campaigns.

And that decision? It’s no small feat.

Allocate your marketing tech budget for the basics

According to a recent Infusionsoft marketing survey, more than one-fifth of small business owners (21%) view finding time and resources to allocate to digital marketing as their top challenge.

With time and money at a premium, it’s vital to put both toward the right, must-have technology without wasting resources exploring options that aren’t useful to you or your business.

As we’ll detail below, the most basic forms of marketing software—marketing automation software, email marketing software, social media marketing software, and marketing analytics software—are where you should spend most of your technology budget in order to build an effective, vital marketing technology system—aka “martech stack.”

The 4 software pillars of a successful martech stack

Read on to learn how each of these four pillars of marketing software will contribute to the strength of your martech stack!

Marketing automation software

 What is it?  Marketing automation software helps businesses plan, launch, and track various types of marketing campaigns. It helps businesses automate manual tasks, improve coordination across entire marketing organizations, and better target potential customers, qualify those leads, and send them along to sales representatives.

 Why do you need it?  If you want to be competitive in your marketing, you must be able to automate rote tasks (e.g., automatic follow-ups, lead scoring) and connect the subdivisions of your marketing team through a central resource that serves as a single source of truth. That’s what marketing automation software does, and that’s why it’s the most vital component of your technological investment. It serves as the base on which the rest of your martech software will, effectively, be stacked.

What features does it include?

A screen shot of a campaign report page in SharpSpring

A campaign reporting dashboard in SharpSpring (Source)

Email marketing software

 What is it?  Email marketing software is used to create, launch, and track email campaigns. It helps businesses nurture leads through a series of automated emails, triggered by certain actions or timing, until they are ready to convert into paying customers. These systems improve efficiency by automating the more common activities of the email marketing processes, and provide insight into the success of each campaign.

 Why do you need it?  By centralizing your email marketing in one system, not only can you rate campaigns against one another and test to discover your most successful marketing methodologies, but you can also generate and maintain more consistent messaging across all email marketing communication. As so much of modern marketing takes place via email, it’s essential to invest right away in a system that lets you know what does and doesn’t work for your business’s growth marketing email campaigns.

What features does it include?

  • Lead capture
  • Basic segmentation
  • Email templates
  • Mass email delivery
  • Drip email campaigns
  • Email open rate and click-through tracking

A screen shot of an automated email scheduling feature in Campaign Monitor.

Campaign Monitor’s automated email scheduling feature (Source)

Social media marketing software

 What is it?  Social media marketing software helps you engage with customers on various social platforms and ultimately convert them into paying customers. This software lets you publish content to social media platforms, find social media users talking about your business/brand, and measure the relative success of your social media marketing campaigns.

 Why do you need it?  You probably spend countless hours each week on Facebook or Twitter, and if you don’t, you definitely know a lot of people who do. Smart businesses leverage that social media obsession by running campaigns to catch customers where they are. With the ability to run ads, schedule important posts, and engage directly with your customer base, social media marketing software is crucial to any growth marketing efforts you undertake.

What features does it include?

A screenshot of a feed management page on Hootsuite

A feed management page on Hootsuite (Source)

Marketing analytics software

 What is it?  Marketing analytics software provides customer and campaign insights by analyzing your data and creating customizable reports to help you make informed decisions going forward. The software works with other tools in your martech stack to provide the most up-to-date information on all of your campaigns across various platforms.

 Why do you need it?  You can’t know which parts of your growth marketing efforts are working if you don’t have any data on the success (or failure) of those efforts. Marketing analytics software provides that data so you can alter your campaigns—and even your overall strategy—to whatever works best with your unique customer base.

What features does it include?

A screenshot of a conversions dashboard on Net-Result

Net-Result’s conversions dashboard (Source)

How to find the right software for your martech stack

Now that you know the four types of software you need for your martech stack, you need to choose the specific vendors and products that are right for your business.

Here’s how you can learn more to help make that decision:

Note: The information contained in this article has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. The applications selected are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations.

Looking for Marketing Automation software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Marketing Automation software solutions.

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