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Fresh Cuts

  • Drew Donaldson

The Who's Who of Marketing Technologies and What They Do


You’ve planted the seed for your small business and have started to watch it grow. Its roots are burrowing into the soil, forming a strong foundation. Tiny, dollar-bill-colored sprouts are popping up through the rich soil, evidence of a business on the rise. It is now time to pick a marketing technology stack (affectionately nicknamed Martech by those in the industry), so your seedling can flourish and thrive.


You start investigating the Martech stack options available to you, only to find a whopping 8,000 marketing technologies to choose from. Yikes! What’s an entrepreneur to do? How do you possibly choose?


Why, hello there! Coach Growth is here and ready to share the top marketing technologies available in today’s marketing technology panorama. Let my Martech green thumb guide you on the best ways to evolve that little business plant into a massive, money-making tree. Think of the Giant Sequoia variety.


Landing Page Builders

Thanks to Coach Growth’s landing page Olympic tips, you probably already know that landing pages are isolated pages created for a singular purpose or goal (usually in the form of a CTA). Websites, on the other hand, are designed to facilitate exploration, so there are usually many goals on a website. Building a successful landing page that drives conversion is a bit of an art form. Here are the companies with really awesome, swishy paintbrushes:



The Who’s Who of Landing Page Builders


Groove:

Using GroovePages, you can create landing pages with free hosting, custom domains, progress bars, upsells, downsells, and mobile-friendly designs. With its drag-and-drop editor, GroovePages makes it easy to get those conversions and that ROI. If you make a one-time payment of $1,497, you will get a lifetime subscription to GroovePages, which will earn you an unlimited amount of websites, custom domains, share funnels, and landing pages. Websites, for instance, are capped at 3 in the free version. Decisions, decisions.



Unbounce:

Fast and easy. That is what Unbounce offers when it comes to landing pages. It boasts pre-optimized landing pages that can be created in a matter of minutes. How? Well, using its “conversion intelligence platform,” you can create copy that’s written for you (as if it’s actually by you). It just pairs your “know-how with machine learning” and voilà, you have landing pages that get the results you want. And it kind of sounds like you get to jump up and down in a bouncy house when you get those conversions, so that’s cool, too. Price packages range from $90/month to $225/month.




Clickfunnels:

Clickfunnels is known as the mac daddy of landing page and sales funnel builders. The brainchild of wünderkind marketer Russel Brunson, Clickfunnels uses a streamlined drag n’ drop editor to create sales funnels that autopilot your sales process. Automation can be pretty enticing to busy entrepreneurs like yourself, but before you fall in love, CF can get pricey. They are currently offering a 14-day free trial, but the basic package will cost you $97/month for up to 100 pages, as well as some other limitations. Looking to live unlimitedly? You can opt for the Clickfunnels Platinum package for $297/month or the TwoCommaClub package for a whopping $2,497/month.




CRM/Marketing Automation

Customer relationship management software (CRM) and marketing automation software are often mistaken for each other, but they are different tools with unique personalities and should be treated as such — otherwise, watch out for explosive tantrums.


CRM software is used mainly for sales (as it relates to customer tracking), and marketing automation software is used mainly for marketing (as it relates to the creation and maintenance of marketing campaigns). The two are often used in conjunction with one another, forming a powerful superhero Martech team. #Batman&Robin



The Who’s Who of CRM/Marketing Automation

Here are the best CRM and marketing automation companies out there (yes, most companies offer dual functionality but not all so choose wisely). In no particular order...


Mailerlite:

From email campaigns to automation, websites to pop-ups, or even selling digital products for extra money, Mailerlite is a great choice for your email marketing needs. What’s more, it’s free for most small businesses unless your subscriber base becomes too large or you want to upgrade to premium features (Starting around $10/month). Then, you have to hand over the dough. Make sure it’s been kneaded properly.





HubSpot

HubSpot, a well-known authority in the marketing universe, offers free CRM software (until you go premium), which possesses the ability to “get full visibility into your sales pipeline in real-time.” Make sure you take a flashlight in there, though.


Similarly, HubSpot also offers marketing automation software, the free version of which includes forms, email marketing, ad management, landing pages, and a shared inbox. If you are looking for additional service CRM or marketing automation functionalities, then you can upgrade to the starter, professional, or enterprise packages. Note: Automation is currently only available for Pro packages and above.





Groove:

Ah, our old friend Groove. This dynamic software company founded in the alligator state recently rebranded itself as a CRM company. One problem, though: its CRM isn’t quite ready for prime time. “Now hold the phone,” you might be saying, ”What gives?” I thought you were going to be highlighting only the best and brightest. In our opinion, Groove has potential. An early backer of the program, Chief Strategist Drew Donaldson, has this to say about Groove:

“What excites me most about Groove is the unabashed passion for creating a Martech juggernaut. Pair that with amazing levels of corporate transparency, audience engagement, and customer service and the Groove team is one to keep an eye on.”


So there you have it. Maybe Groove isn’t the CRM you pick today, but keep an eye on it. Good things are sure to follow.




Webinar Platforms

Remember back to the days of your childhood, when your eyes were glued to the television screen, captivated by a cheesy infomercial? Well, there’s a reason for that: most infomercials included live demonstrations, and they captivated audiences.

And that is essentially what a webinar does. It is a live (or sometimes automated), engaging presentation that enables you to inform or sell to a specific audience, using a variety of tools like slides, video, real-time chatting or polling, and even promotions. Choosing the right webinar platform comes down to the audience size, the required functionalities, and the money allotment. If you are in B2B sales, this professional service platform is a must-have. So, in the words of the Grail Knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade...choose wisely.



The Who’s Who of Webinar Platforms

Luckily, Coach Growth has narrowed down the pool to the top two webinar platform companies. Here are the big fish in the webinar platform pool:



BigMarker:

Get ready to mark down some big features of the no-download webinar software, BigMarker: it publishes brand-specific videos with interactive properties (i.e., lead forms, polls, offers, etc.); it automates marketing, product demos, and onboarding; it allows you to host your own series, course, or summit; and it even streams to social network channels like Facebook or YouTube. This one is not free, though competitively priced, with a basic package starting at $79/month.




Groove:

Well, well, well, look who's back. Groove is making another cameo because, yes, it offers a webinar platform as well. While still in beta testing, GrooveWebinar shows much promise as a 4-tier webinar software platform. We’re talking automated webinars, live webinars, live streaming, and even meeting hosting.


By cutting out the grunt work involved in converting leads into customers, webinars can inform and sell to your audience simultaneously. And that is exactly what GrooveWebinar strives to do. With the added bonus of being able to adjust webinar schedule settings with a click of the button (one time vs. recurring, instant watch replay, late attendance permission, available schedule display, etc.), users can benefit from both the ease of the platform and its multi-functionality.


You can access the beta of GrooveWebinar by creating a free account, but the number of webinars you can create is limited. If you are interested in the capability of designing unlimited webinars, you may opt for the unlimited Groove plan, which gives you lifetime access to all things Groove, including its webinar platform. Should you opt for lifetime access, then you are looking at 3 monthly payments of $699, 2 monthly payments of $999, or a one-time payment of $1,997.




Full-Site Builders

Since we just talked about landing pages, which are parts of a greater website, let us now transition to tools that help you build full-fledged websites. To stay afloat as a business, you have to go digital and the first logical step is to build a business website. It sounds daunting, but luckily there are website builders out there that will help streamline that process. They wear cool construction hats, too.



The Who’s Who of Full-Site Builders


Wix:

Helping small business owners create websites to be “proud of,” Wix is a free website builder with many accessible templates to use when developing your pages. Should you go premium, you can expect to see more storage, video hours, and analytics tools for around $39/month. Also, the name is just cool. Doesn’t it remind you of those waxy, Wikki Stix you used to play with as a kid? Or maybe that’s just me...Just me? Got it. Check out one of our client’s websites that we helped them build on Wix.




Squarespace:

Can you make it with Squarespace? The company advertises that you can. With a free trial and pay for only what you need, Squarespace is a competitive contender in the website builder world. From free custom domains to SSL security, unlimited bandwidth and storage to SEO features, a multitude of templates to mobile optimization, its tools are as vast as they are varied. They also don’t judge a shape by its, well, shape; triangular, rectangular, circular...all shapes and sizes are welcome! We’ve created several websites for our clients using the Squarespace platform; check them out here.





Groove

We are continuing to groove to Groove (we apologize for our dance moves…) because it offers so much to small business owners and the capability of website creation is at the top of those services. From a drag-and-drop editor to a brand-specific domain, free hosting and SSL certificate to share funnels, countdown timers to progress bars, upsells to downsells, webinar accessibility to a mobile-friendly layout, the capability of GroovePages to build a successful business website is immense. With the free plan, you can create up to 3 websites. If you are interested in unlimited website creation, you will need lifetime access to GroovePages, which is a one-time expenditure of $497.


Interested in seeing a couple of Groove-created websites?

Check out these two websites: Fort Safety and Call Norm.






Marketing Analytics

Marketing 101 teaches us that you must evaluate the success of your marketing endeavors to weed out what works and doesn’t work. It can be a tricky process. Luckily, marketing analytic platforms exist to make that evaluation process easier. It’s all about measurable metrics, people! Here are Coach Growth’s top choices for marketing analytics services:


The Who’s Who of Marketing Analytics


Google Analytics

The tried and true of the marketing analytics universe, Google Analytics offers free tools (like conversions, explorations, reporting, and advertising, just to name a few) to help small business owners check the success of their marketing endeavors. It also uses its distinct machine-learning capabilities to connect that data to any Google advertising or publisher products that you may be using. Start measuring today. If you need a ruler, just let me know.




Hotjar

Spicy mustard, anyone? Nah. How about a spicy way to “understand how users behave on your site, what they need, and how they feel, fast”? Now, that’s more like it. Using Hotjar’s heat maps, recordings, incoming feedback platform, and surveys, you can track marketing analytics with ease. From a no-cost basic plan all the way to a $389/month scale plan, you can choose the right pricing plan for your business.




Heap

Heap brings to the light those things you “can’t see” that end up “undermining your users’ digital experience.” It uses a big ole’ flashlight to highlight every action a user takes while on your site. Interested in the number of drop-offs, interactions, time engaged, and revision rates? Heap can help. And the help doesn’t end with the data. Heap will interpret that data to offer suggestions on how to improve your website. From a free plan to a premier plan, you can customize exactly how much help you want: a small amount or a big heaping amount.




Oribi

Tired of orbiting the endless report universe, only to find yourself back at home base with no direction forward? If so, why not give Oribi a go? In being an “all-in-one” marketing analytics tool, Oribi can help you make data-driven decisions using “cutting-edge technology, powerful features, and top-notch optimization guidance.” Whether you are looking for a business website plan ($630/month), eCommerce shop plan ($540/month), or marketing agency plan ($750/month), Oribi has something for everyone.




Side Note:

One thing you will want to make sure you have at your disposal when playing the marketing analytics game is a client portal, particularly one with an accessible dashboard. GroHaus, for instance, provides all clients with a client dashboard where they can track site analytics, paid promotions, and access a suite of other tools and resources we provide to our clients.



Marketing Training

A marketing training company will help you create, execute, and maintain profitable marketing strategies. From conversion to sales to identifying your brand, marketing training companies will take the guesswork out of how to grow your business by helping you navigate the rocky terrain of entrepreneurship. We’re talking about roads even ATVs can’t travel. Here are Coach Growth’s top picks (disclaimer: the first option is heavily favored):



The Who’s Who of Marketing Training


GroHaus

If you are looking for one-on-one personalized training on how to market your business, then look no further than GroHaus. Offering custom guidance and support services in addition to unlimited access to a specialty-assigned marketing specialist, GroHaus is the premier marketing training company out there. It grows with business acumen. And it starts at only $297/month!




HubSpot

A three-tiered marketing training service, Hubspot offers marketing, sales, and service help to small businesses just starting out. With a hub of free online resources, it is a frequently referenced resource in the marketing world today. Additionally, HubSpot Academy offers small business owners opportunities to further their business acuity and business success by completing “industry-recognized” certifications. It’s the best way to stay sharp in a competitive industry (like a freshly-sharpened pencil sharp). Oh, and did we mention the courses and certifications are FREE?




Google

In addition to analytics, Google’s marketing platform also offers accessible and user-friendly tools for small businesses and more complex solutions for larger ones. It also has an extensive online library of free business resources. Looking for more freebies from Google? Look no further than Google’s very own Skillshop.


Google has developed a series of “e-learning courses designed by Google product experts.” It’s a way to get “Google-product certified,” which essentially means you can sharpen your skills with Google tools, like Google Ads, Video 360, or Google Analytics. With a total of eight courses and certifications, Google is offering entrepreneurs a chance to edge out the competition. Why not take that chance?



Meta Blueprint

Meta Blueprint has distinctive learning programs, training courses, and business certifications available to those just starting out. By focusing on Facebook marketing platforms, like Facebook Ads Manager, small business owners can build a Facebook knowledge base at their own pace. And the best part is these resources are free! How do you like them marketing resource apples? Crisp and tasty.




Acquisition

A self-made “entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist,” Alex Hormozi has spent his decades-long career surveying the business frontier for new and inspiring opportunities. He is a regular entrepreneurial cowboy. His company, Acquisition, now offers small business owners a 4-step program to scale their companies to the next level. Step 1 of this process is perusing the no-opt-in, free resources, which include courses, videos, eBooks, and other such downloadables. The company’s offer creation course, for instance, provides expert advice in such categories as “winning markets, “the value equation,” “bonuses,” and “scarcity and urgency.” Hormozi’s marketing training sets the bar high for cowboy marketing resources. Yee-haw.





Project Management

Is project management a part of marketing? Of course! Your ability to manage your internal and external projects effectively is sure to impact your customers’ experience and your customers’ experience is definitely part of marketing. Every project is bound to be a multifaceted undertaking in terms of deliverables, responsibilities, timelines, and workflows. A project management service provides an infrastructure to help you manage these items efficiently and effectively. Here are our picks for the best project management tools for your business.


The Who’s Who of Project Management


ClickUp

From daily tasks to important documents, internal chat, to weekly goals, ClickUp has a multitude of functionalities, making it the “one app to replace them all.” Its extensive hierarchy guide also provides a visual understanding of the more intricate details of the app. There is a free package and other packages available for a low monthly cost (the most expensive of which is $19/month per member).




Wrike

Wrike boasts “game-changing” project management software that enables small business owners to “monitor social channels, track results, and communicate in one place.” Additionally, it has recently premiered a new ability to give entrepreneurs insight into how they are performing across more than 50 channels. Say goodbye to spreadsheets and hello to streamlined data. With a 4-tiered pricing system, one of which is a free version, you can’t go wrong if you choose Wrike for your project management needs.




Notion

Do you have a notion that you would like more connectivity between your teams, projects, and documents? If so, Notion applauds that notion! By using Notion as your project management software, you can “build the workflow you want” by customizing Notion to work for you. Creating dashboards, websites, docs, and systems is as simple as dragging and dropping. Everyone loves a good drag and drop. So, pick up Notion today. Its basic package is free and one of the higher packages (“Team”) is only $8/month.





Calendar or Booking Software

According to HubSpot, stellar booking software should have three functionalities: 1) it should decrease the number of emails sent (especially in terms of scheduling meetings); 2) it should correspond with your calendar; 3) it should automate appointment reminders.


The Who’s Who of Calendar or Booking Software


HubSpot

Since HubSpot generated a list of calendar software criteria, it only makes sense that they are part of the booking software game. Say goodbye to tedious email communications and hello to a faster way to schedule meetings. Meet HubSpot’s free meeting scheduler, a streamlined calendar software that enables your clients or prospective clients to book time with you, so you don’t have to negotiate meetings yourself.


It automatically links to your Google or Office365 calendar, so you can ensure your presented availability is accurate. Automating meetings in this way is an ideal method to “free up more time and close more deals.” While this is a free service HubSpot offers, you may want to check out their priced packages for fewer limitations, which range from $45/month all the way to $3,200/month.





Acuity Scheduling

Looking for a virtual assistant to take charge of scheduling all of your business meetings? Well, look no further than Acuity Scheduling, a Squarespace-owned company. Too much of one’s day can be monopolized by calling a client, only to have no answer. Thus begins the dreaded phone tag game. Acuity Scheduling promises to end the days of phone tag and begin a new era of calling clients with ease.


From being able to control your availability around the clock to giving clients the power to schedule, cancel, and reschedule meetings, and even to requiring clients to fill out a client information form, Acuity Scheduling can meet all your calendar needs. Their most popular plan is just $23/month, but you can use it for 7 days for free to test the scheduler waters. Happy boating!




Calendy

Despite sounding like a celebrity’s unique name for a newborn baby, Calendy is where it’s at when it comes to schedule organization. There is both a free and paid version of Calendy. The free version allows users to join one calendar, schedule unlimited meetings, customize a Calendly link, and automate email notifications. The paid version (ranging from premium, pro, and enterprise) boasts different types of meeting capabilities (i.e., one-on-one, round-robin, group, etc. Martech), equips users with team pages and metrics and reporting capabilities, and manages admin features like bookings.




Messaging Apps

Communication is paramount in the business world and messaging applications help to streamline it so that both business owners and customers are happy, loquacious campers. So, let’s set up camp with these top three messaging apps. Keep in mind, though, that these solutions are designed for on-site chat.


The Who’s Who of Messaging Apps

In five words (because we respect a good irony):


  1. Tawk To: Free, Live/Team Chat, Ticketing

  2. LiveChat: Chat Tools/Reports, Customer Engagement

  3. Facebook Messenger: Instant Messaging, Group Video Calls


Okay, we can’t help it. We have to add a little more detail, straight from the horse’s mouth. Neigh.


  • Tawk To: “Monitor and chat with the visitors on your website, respond to support tickets, and create a help center to empower customers to help themselves – all 100% Free.”



  • LiveChat: “A complete customer service platform that delights your customers and fuels your sales. Create a chat experience your customers know and love, solve customer problems proactively, anticipate questions and respond faster.” Currently offering a 14-day free trialthe; the starter package is $16/month after that.



  • Facebook Messenger: “Group video calls, voice calls, text messaging, and more! Be together whenever, with our free all-in-one communication app, complete with unlimited text, voice, video calling, and group video chat features.”




E-Commerce

Also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, E-commerce is simply the act of selling/buying products or services using the internet. It is a huge source of business revenue for entrepreneurs. Luckily, there are E-commerce platforms that help newbies and oldbies achieve ROI. Drum roll for the top four…


The Who’s Who of E-Commerce


Groove:

Well, hello again. We’ve grooved with you to the tune of a landing-page builder, CRM platform, and webinar creation. Now, it’s time to bust a move with Groove’s E-Commerce platforms. There are two modes of selling on Groove: GrooveSell and GrooveKart.


While both modes allow you to sell products physically and digitally, they differ in the route taken. If you are interested in selling using a funnel, where you are in charge of the customer’s “purchasing path” (via upsells and order bumps), then GrooveSell is for you. If, however, you prefer selling products (like retail, print-on-demand, or dropshipping) on an online store, then GroveKart is meant for you. That’s not to say, however, that you can’t use them simultaneously for an ultimate “one-stop-shopping” customer experience.


Both platforms are free to use, even if you have a free Groove.CM membership! Now that’s what we call value.




Shopify

Looking to bring your business online? Shopify can help with effective tools that can build an E-commerce website from ground zero, find and retain customers, drive revenue, and regulate daily tasks. With its worldwide reach, Shopify is a popular option for an E-commerce platform. The basic Shopify package is $29/month, the medium package is $79/month, and the advanced package is $299/month.




Woocommerce

Another E-commerce website builder, Woocommerce is “a customizable, open-source E-Commerce platform built on WordPress.” Woocommerce will woo you with a store dashboard that can collect payments, track cash flow, and manage recurring revenue, without setup costs or monthly fees. It also offers a myriad of extensions (some free, others not) that will help make your E-commerce website stand out amongst the competition.




Bigcommerce

In addition to enabling users to create a storefront website for their E-commerce needs, Bigcommerce also has the added functionality of being able to “list, optimize, advertise, sell, and fulfill products across 100+ channels.” This means you can sell on Google, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Snap, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and Target. If you can think of a channel to sell on, Bigcommerce can make it happen. On Bigcommerce’s “Enterprise Plan,” you’ll be able to create a full-featured store and extend functionality to the App Marketplace in this way. Interested? Click here to get a free quote. Think big.




GroHaus: The Who’s Who of Knowing the Who’s Who

Okay, that may sound a bit like an owl, but Coach Growth likes nocturnal birds. Have you ever seen a Loon? Pretty darn cool bird. Looniness aside, we also like helping small business owners find their footing in the overwhelming Martech landscape. Our dedicated marketing specialists, to whom you would have unlimited access, are here to answer any questions about CRMs, webinars, analytics, and E-commerce —you name it. Get started today and watch your business sapling grow into the giant it’s meant to be.







Image by Canva


Other Sources:

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/what-is-a-marketing-firm-4017678#:~:text=What%20Does%20a%20Marketing%20Firm,and%20implement%20successful%20marketing%20strategies.&text=The%20goal%20of%20working%20with,grow%20your%20business%20and%20brand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ENNzjy8QjU

https://www.teamwork.com/blog/marketing-project-management/



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