What are marketing tools? Definition and examples
Marketing tools are tools that companies use to develop and promote their products and services. In this context, the word ‘tools‘ refers to techniques, strategies, and materials. The vast majority of businesses use several different marketing tools, such as advertising, direct mail, and market research to boost their sales.
Companies have a range of marketing tools at their disposal. Some of them are specifically for boosting sales, while others focus on gathering consumer data.
It is important to know which tools are best for your business. In other words, which tools you need to achieve your primary goals and objectives. In most cases, people use multiple marketing tools at the same time.
SmallBusiness.chron.com says the following regarding marketing tools:
“Businesses use various marketing tools to communicate company information, stimulate customer interest and motivate action. An integrated marketing approach applies several tactics to engage customers and build business.”
Types of marketing tools
Below are some marketing tools with an explanation of what they are and why businesses use them.
Classified adverts or classified ads are useful for generating leads. In this context, the word ‘leads‘ means potential customers.
Classified ads can direct people to a specific website or webpage (the word exists as one or two words, i.e., ‘web page’). They can also attract people who seek further information.
In the world of Internet marketing, social media is a marketing tool where you try to develop an interactive online relationship with consumers. Your aim is not, for example, to surreptitiously mine customer data.
Blogging, posting, sharing and tweeting are popular social media marketing tools. Media sharing, pinning, bookmarking, and commenting on social media websites are also popular.
Search engine optimization refers to techniques to increase one’s website’s appearance on search engines.
Surveys are useful for determining which products to create and also for improving or upgrading existing goods. The word ‘goods‘ in this context means ‘products.’
Surveys are also useful if you want to rate your and your rivals’ products. A survey can ask a representative sample of consumers what they like about your and your competitors’ products.
You can carry out a survey face-to-face, on the telephone, by normal post, or online.
Most marketing professionals will mention surveys when you ask them to list their most important marketing tools.
If you have an online business or your company has a website, Google Analytics is extremely useful. It gives you an overview of where your visitors are coming from. It also tells you what type of people are visiting, and which content on your website performs best.
You can also use Google Analytics to work out visitor conversions. This data will help you set up conversion goals.
Direct mail or direct mail marketing specifically targets potential customers. Traditionally, we have referred to the letters as ‘mailshots.’ Ever since the advent of the Internet and emails, we also have ’emailshots.’
Regarding emailshots, MediaTraining.Ltd.uk says:
“Designing an emailshot differs from creating a webpage or designing for print as you have to consider the specific needs of your target audience and the technical requirements of different email applications.”
Media monitoring tools
These marketing tools scan the web and inform you of conversations that are relevant to your company, product, or brand. These tools scan, for example, social media sites, forums, blogs, and videos.
In a Huffington Post article, Matthew Collis, a marketing and communications professional, makes the following comment:
“Media monitoring lets you discover what people are saying about you online so you can jump in and respond or react to conversations, decrease the spread of negative PR, and even help increase awareness of your product, service, or organization.”
Customer loyalty programs
Customer loyalty refers to the likelihood that existing customers keep coming back. In other words, how frequently customers come back for more again and again. It differs from brand loyalty.
Among marketing tools that many small businesses overlook, customer loyalty programs are one of the most common. This is a pity.
It is much cheaper and requires less time to get an existing customer to buy your products than new ones. Some studies suggest that it costs seven times more to get a new customer to buy from you than an existing one.
Automation tools are marketing tools that save a lot of time. Marketers can save time wasted doing those daily tasks like saving files and emails to spreadsheets.
Some tools allow you to create chains of applets. In other words, simple conditional statements or ‘if this then that’ statements. IFTTT (IF This Then That) is one of those services. It works with Facebook, Twitter, Fitbit, Google Drive, and Gmail.
There are hundreds of marketing tools out there. They all sound fantastic when you read about them. Many of them are fantastic! However, be careful. You will only need a few of them. Be selective.