Software That Fuels & Propels Businesses

SEO, cost-per-click, social media — modern marketing is an ever-evolving animal that seemingly adds a new component every week. Marketing managers hoping to keep up can’t do it on their own. That’s where inbound marketing platforms come into play. These systems can manage your entire online marketing strategy from unified dashboards. Track your affiliate leads in the same system you manage your social media connections through HubSpot, Marketo and Integrate.

If you’re not able to invest in one of these programs, free tools from WordPress, Google and Twitter can help you piece together marketing data that will keep your business sharp and relevant.

HubSpot

Marketers don’t have time to switch from platform to platform monitoring and modifying campaigns. Not only does HubSpot bring inbound marketing plans together, it also syncs up with your sales software to translate leads into customers. Tools include blogging software that spreads across your social media universe; analytics that reveal which marketing sources deliver visitors, leads and customers; and landing page templates that help can help you collect more prospects. HubSpot is also compatible with Salesforce, a popular CRM system, so these leads and prospects can feed to your sales team seamlessly.

Technology review firm G2 Crowd recently rated HubSpot number one in customer satisfaction for marketing automation software. If you manage a multi-pronged inbound marketing strategy, HubSpot can make your life easier. Pricing starts at $200 per month.

Marketo

Each cycle of a marketing demands your full attention, from budget management to content strategy to analysis. Marketo thinks it’s service is the fastest way to grow your business. With a comprehensive list of business services, it’s easy to see why. Email marketing, budget management, event marketing, social marketing, CRM integration, sales insights and reporting tools are all included in Marketo’s service.

Marketo prides itself on quality software, but it’s least expensive solution costs nearly $1,200 per month. A company with a six or seven-figure marketing budget is more likely to call on Marketo for its comprehensive software. T-Mobile, for example, has a wide array of online campaigns and strategies to pump its mobile products, so it could afford to spend more than $10,000 per year on inbound marketing software. A mom-and-pop shop, on the other hand, would look elsewhere. Inc.com declared Marketo the 7th fastest growing software company in 2012.

Integrate

Most small businesses don’t have a robust marketing budget. Young advertising firm Integrate wants to equip all businesses with smart inbound marketing tools. Integrate.com is a platform that enables users to play, launch and analyze their marketing campaigns. Rather than charging a monthly cost, Integrate takes a small percentage of each advertising transaction. In exchange, users have access to vetted media sellers and tools to track campaigns. It’s ideal for small businesses who desire smarter marketing practices.

The Custom Solution

Businesses that can’t afford these marketing services aren’t completely out of luck. Free online tools can help you plan, target and analyze your marketing campaign.

Google Analytics, for example, enables WordPress users to track page views, outbound clicks, visitor source and other valuable data. Twitter Analytics can help you optimize your Twitter strategy, relaying how many users see and share tweets and how much traffic tweets drive to your website. Individual inbound marketing tools may not be as convenient as the services above, but they’ll deliver similar feedback that can boost your marketing efforts.

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