The marketing toolbox for the 21st century

Did you know that 1.66 billion people shop online each year? The world of commerce has changed forever and with that has come a flurry of new ways to reach customers, increase your return on investment and spread the word about your business.

There is an unprecedented amount of data and ways of communicating now, but harnessing this power is only possible with the right tools. Getting your hands on these services and software gives you the opportunity to become a marketing powerhouse.

From data-driven calendars to collaborative tools to social media analytics, there is something out there for every task. One of the challenges is working out what is essential and what is chaff.

Luckily you don’t need to run through them all yourself. 

We’ve got the lowdown on what works and what doesn’t. 

Here we’re going to run you through the must-haves so you can be the best in the business.

Project management software

This is the foundation from which you will strategize and organise day-to-day. There are a lot of things to juggle for the modern-day marketer, and things are always moving quickly. Meeting deadlines and targets becomes a lot more manageable when you have access to the right software.

If you’re thinking of a diary in a Word document, dream bigger. These now come with a huge array of tools that streamline communications, automate tasks and pull together all aspects of your business.

Best of all, most are highly customisable too! Shaping your project management tool to your exact needs is not only doable but often easy and fun. Minimising the amount of time that you spend on busywork enables you to focus on tasks that create value and have a more rewarding work life.

Your needs will change but there are some project management software features to look out for that will benefit most marketers:

    • A calendar helps ensure that you’re updating feeds regularly and receiving reminders for tasks and deadlines.
    • A to-do list can be far more sophisticated now, allowing you to easily prioritise and delegate as needs be.
    • Automation features can be a huge time saver. From sending out messages an hour before a deadline or changing your status to available when you return from holiday, automation not only saves time but also decreases the likelihood of human error.
  • Collaboration tools allow groups to see one another’s comments on a project or remotely edit things in real-time. Essential for any marketer operating in a team.
  • Integrations enable you to continue using the tools you’re used to and fit them seamlessly into your project management. These enable adaptability and minimise disruption.

How these work will change depending on what tool you end up using. There are also more niche features that could suit your way of operating.

If this is new ground for you, check up on the learning curve of any software you’re hoping to utilise. Asana, for example, can be immensely helpful but will take a while to get used to. On the other hand, Trello is feature-rich but also famously accessible for marketers and project managers. 

Find one that works for you and get to grips with it. Once you’re in the swing, you won’t understand how you ever worked without one.

Content creation tools

This is the bread and butter of any marketing. No matter how well you know your audience and how consistently you advertise, if what you put out there isn’t connecting with people then it isn’t going to do well.

There are so many ways of connecting with people, especially online, that being able to produce it all means handling a lot of software. There are videos, photos, logos, jingles, writing and many more means of appealing to customers.

Being a top marketer requires you to be able to produce all of these for your clients or employers. 

Having the means to create mockups will help you to get off on the right foot and helps ease collaboration. 

When you know what you want, the Adobe Suite is a good option to turn to. Programmes like Premiere Pro, Photoshop and Audition are used by everyone from bedroom creatives to Hollywood editors.

Online tools are also available, which can be especially handy to people on less powerful devices. Websites like Canva allow you to get creative online but don’t expect the same standard of results as if you were to use Adobe, Final Cut or other premium software.

Written work can be completed to a high standard without paying a dime. Google docs will suit most writing tasks and grammar checkers like Grammarly have free options that are more than sufficient.

Post scheduler

Work used to be 9-5, but a top marketing strategy requires an online presence around the clock. Luckily, you don’t need to wave goodbye to sleep completely to be successful.

Once you’ve created your content, it’s important you put it out into the world at the right time. If you’ve got target markets in different time zones, then you may need to put it out in the middle of the day and the middle of the night.

A post scheduler, such as Buffer or Hootsuite, allows you to submit your content, pick the desired times and leave them to post it. This doesn’t just allow you to go to work reasonable hours but also lessens the likelihood of you falling behind on your feed.


This is how you can make sure your content is put to good use and scheduled appropriately. Analytics tools can help you learn when your target audience is most active, what trends are building up and what sorts of posts are performing well for you.

Most platforms come with their own-inbuilt tools but these can be improved upon. Third-party apps such as Flick allow you to research hashtags to include in your captions, connect with influential names and understand the market.

Understanding analytics is what makes a modern marketer different to a normal content creator or general manager. This should be one of your most highly-valued tools.

Rounding out your skillset

These are the essentials, but there are many more out there. Don’t forget about the offline tools either! 

What exactly you need will depend on your situation, but whatever challenges you face, know that there is a vast array of solutions out there!

Use these tools to build a successful future for yourself as a modern marketer.

Interesting Related Article: “What is a Marketing Plan? Definition and Examples