What is Marketing Software?
Marketing software is any digital solution or tool that enables businesses and advertisers to effectively market on digital platforms and channels. Marketing Software is designed to help automate common processes and measure their performance. Their main aim is to make marketing easier and more efficient.
Marketing software typically helps automate tasks, such as customer acquisition and retention, email marketing, customer data analysis, social media management and others. With the increasing number of digital platforms and marketing subfields, the use of software can help streamline marketing processes across various platforms, allowing for improved productivity, monitoring and impact visualization.
Most Popular Marketing Categories
How to Choose Marketing Software
The main benefit of marketing software is that it aids marketers in becoming more resourceful and efficient. This is often achieved through the elimination of repetitive processes and the streamlining of outbound sales and brand awareness campaigns. These tools typically focus on online channels, however, some solutions offer assistance for offline activities as well.
The ability to automate the most common marketing tasks, such as creating and managing campaigns, inbound marketing, and email outreach are some of the highest value-adding automation features to look out for. Other marketing activities that are typically automated or aided through the use of software solutions are social media management, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) research and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). More advanced solutions often possess sophisticated features like smart data analysis to increase customer acquisition and user engagement. This can help create more personalized user experiences, and thus increase sales conversions. Another important aspect to pay attention to is the interplay of marketing software with other tools such as CRM and sales systems, ensuring a collaborative work environment through the use of integrations. In order to measure the success of campaigns and marketing activities insight and intelligence tools in the space can be used to assess the impact of activities giving you maximum control over your ROI.
Depending on the size of your business and the aim of the marketing activities you are looking to improve through the use of software, there are different types of solutions available. Small business solutions tend to provide fairly comprehensive and economical approaches to improving individual marketing channels and sales operations aspects. Marketing Software for enterprise businesses tend to be able to handle large amounts of data and often allow for more detailed analysis of campaigns and user interactions. They also allow for a high-level of synchronization with other parts of the business.
Subcategories of Marketing Software
- Advertising & Affiliate: These types of products provide a comprehensive management tool to monitor and optimize advertising and/or affiliate networks. Since affiliate marketing generally overlaps with other forms of marketing, they often integrate or work on top of channels such as Google AdWords or Rakuten. Real-time metrics, contact management, discovery facilitation of impactful ads and links, affiliate network result analyses, and payout management via multiple gateways are just some of the features advertising & affiliate software is used for.
- Brand Management: Brand management software is used by companies and agencies to build and protect their brand image across all the channels used to connect with customers. This software makes it easier and more effective to manage the chaos of multi-channel content creation and distribution, mention monitoring and brand building - allowing marketers to better approach the challenges they face in the modern, always-online world. Brand management tools utilize their centralization by providing self-serve portals for anyone who may need marketing collateral. This reduces the requirement for one-off asset creation, and gives more quality control to marketing managers.
- Campaign & Targeting: Software in this group typically helps launch, track, and manage a wide variety of ad channels. These solutions also ensure the right customers are targeted and retargeted to ensure a high ROI. Key features include the provision of a collaborative work environment, comparison and optimization of campaigns, management of customer data, unification of social marketing channels, customer segmentation, and the overall simplification of campaign workflows and activities.
- Content Marketing: Content Marketing is a very essential part in the advertising space. It involves the creation and distribution of content, with an aim of attracting customers and driving search traffic to target websites. Common types of web content include infographics, articles, podcasts and videos, among others. Content marketing software is often geared towards sourcing, designing, distributing and monitoring content on an ongoing basis and tends to allow for collaboration between marketing team members. Tracking of content performance and optimization based on impact analyses are often crucial to effective content creation.
- Digital Signage: This type of software allows users to create, display and remotely manage digital content at trade shows, offices and in public spaces for advertising or informational purposes. Some digital signage solutions include hardware in the form of touchscreens and spatial / body sensors. Some solutions have the ability to target specific users based on location and time. Common features include content scheduling, animation, remote deployment and personalisation.
- Email Marketing: The right software setup can greatly increase the efficiency and impact associated with email marketing activities. Most solutions in this space focus on the automation and compiling / sending of merge field emails or managing email newsletter campaigns. This is often paired with detailed reporting functionality, personalizable and customizable email templates, event triggers, A/B testing and content prediction features an external service integrations. Email outreach can help you target new customer bases, as well as retain existing ones. Most importantly, the ability to measure the effectiveness of activities through the use of software ensures cost-effectiveness and a good return on investment.
- Marketing Analytics: This group of software helps determine which marketing channels and campaigns deliver the most value and highest marketing ROI, ensuring resources are allocated correctly and the best channels are identified. Marketing analytics software tends to include features such as visual reporting, prediction and forecasting of customer behavior, identification of social trends, real-time campaign insights and optimization solutions for ill-performing activities.
- Marketing Automation: Software solutions in this group help users build and scale automated marketing campaigns to engage with customers in a personalized and tailored manner across various different channels. Some common software features include ad targeting, automatically generated content, real-time engagement, customer and data analytics, sales intelligence, the measuring and optimizing of campaign aspects and data integrations with other parts of the business.
- PR & Outreach: Outreach software helps businesses communicate with customers, bloggers, journalists and other stakeholders surrounding the business. It also helps with online reputation management (ORM), generating leads and prospecting. Key features include influencer research, building & managing relationships, executing and managing public relations campaigns, tracking competitors / trends, scheduling and tracking of content, press releases and more.
- Referral Marketing: Referral marketing software aims to utilise the benefits of customer advocacy for growing your brand. Refer-a-friend and other advocacy products will often embed seamlessly within your own website and marketing communications; empowering customers to spread the word about your brand, promoting referrals, and enabling your to track and monitor activity. A successful product will significantly increase referrals from word of mouth and social media sharing - leading to a great ROI.
- Reputation Management: Software in this area is used by companies across all industries to systematically track, control and build their reputation online and offline. This is often accomplished by monitoring user review sites, and other online channels. This type of software is equipped with a variety of features aimed at amplifying positive feedback and mitigating the negative impact of disgruntled customers. Some reputation management solutions are able to track mentions across the board, including print, TV, radio, magazines as well as digital media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other websites.
- SEO & SEM: Search engine marketing software helps businesses improve their visibility on search engine results pages, usually via paid advertising. SEM tends to be focused on two key areas - Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) optimization. In order to ensure a low Cost Per Click (CPC) through paid SEM channels, software often combines SEO and SEM principles to fine-tune the content and architecture of a website prior to the promotion of it. Besides leading to a potential decrease of the CPC across different channels, SEM software can increase the click-through rate and quality score of search ads and assist with bid management. While SEO is primarily the practice of promoting the visibility of a web page or website in a search engine’s organic results, it can have ancillary benefits in decreasing the costs of paid channels as well. Software can help improve the ranking of all types of content, including images, videos, and written content.
- Social Media: Software for social media marketing is used to outreach, interact and schedule communicate with a wide range of audiences such as clients, consumers, stakeholders and the general public. It can be used for the acquisition of new customers and helps understanding existing ones via engagement on various social channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Software in this space generally helps with gaining insight into trends and customer opinions, resulting in better and more targeted segmentation / personalization for current & future campaigns or automating parts of the management required for these channels. Other features include aiding online reputation management (ORM), analysing social trends, customer engagement, creation of social ads and unification of strategies. Lastly, many solutions provide analytical features such as detailed reports on social media metrics like virality, reach and conversions to ensure a focus on strategies with high ROI.
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