6 tools you need to execute a strategic marketing plan

In physics, a simple machine is a mechanical device, or tool, that changes the direction or magnitude of a force. It has a mechanical advantage that enables the use of leverage to multiply force. The same principle can be applied in marketing.

We can multiply our impact if we choose the right tools. Here are six that can elevate your strategic marketing plan:

1. Digital assessment

Using a variety of tools like Moz, Google Analytics, Screaming Frog and Alexa you can assess the digital landscape, comparing your website to your competition’s in terms of site structure, content and engagement. Digital assessment enables you to identify new and missed opportunities to drive traffic and conversions.

2. Personas

Used in targeting and tactical development, personas are tools that can aggregate or group prospects and customers by type. They relate by psychographics more than demographics. A buyer persona represents a cluster of users who exhibit similar patterns around behaviors, attitudes and motivations that drive and inform:

  • Purchasing decisions
  • Use of services, technology or products
  • Customer service preferences

3. Content strategy

Content can be a valuable magnet for many businesses. Working in concert with personas, you can develop and deliver:

  • Messaging that engages intended audience(s)
  • A website that is tailored to your buyers’ needs
  • Content that will drive conversion and lead generation

This tool can be a low-tech spreadsheet that includes content strategy as well as a content calendar with timing and communication channels.

4. Marketing automation

You can efficiently and effectively execute campaigns using marketing automation software (sometimes called multi-channel campaign management systems) like HubSpot or Marketo. While there are many benefits of marketing automation, two game-changers are the ability to program personalized messages based on specific actions and real-time, in-depth reporting—from site traffic down to prospect level—on the performance of individual elements of your campaign. Marketing automation tools are designed for integration with customer relationship management systems like Salesforce or SugarCRM, which enable marketing to share valuable lead intelligence with sales.

5. Lead nurturing workflows

Workflows are a critical component of successful marketing automation, so it’s important to call them out as separate tools. These frameworks outline “if, then” scenarios and identify the most relevant messaging, content, channel and timing of communications in order to nurture individual prospects through the buyer’s journey.

6. Data visualization

While the marketing automation tool provides rich data points for your marketing team to use, a data visualization tool like Tableau will help you take these results and organize them in a way that is meaningful to the sales and leadership teams. Think of this as your marketing platform for storytelling through the universal language of results.

Just as simple machines are tools that work by exerting a small force over a longer distance, these six strategic marketing tools work by exerting a small force over a longer timeframe. Yes, these tools enable you to better focus your efforts today, allocate marketing dollars wisely and track results in real time. But their real power is seen over time. 

The longer these strategic marketing tools are used, the more data-driven insights you will have around:

  • Who is buying your product/service
  • What behaviors buyers exhibit when they engage with you
  • Which marketing efforts are directly influencing your sales
  • When buyers are ready for a sales conversation
  • How you can attract and convert more potential buyers
  • How you can shorten the sales cycle

Marketing tools have the potential to deliver meaningful, measurable results. But simply buying into them will not guarantee these results any more than going to the hardware store and buying a miter saw will make you a master carpenter. You must invest the time and resources to learn how to leverage these tools to their full potential, making sure that your objectives support the company’s overall business plan. Then—and only then—will they multiply the impact of your strategic marketing plan.


The blog first appeared on the Elevation blog at http://blog.elevationadvertising.com/blog/6-tools-you-need-to-execute-a-strategic-marketing-plan