The best marketing planning tools are the ones that help you make the most of your time and your budget. The problem is, not all of them are created equally and there are a number of features that marketers often overlook until they come face to face with the “Dive Bomb.” Price, for example, may be an important feature when it comes to choosing your marketing tools but it can easily become a major distraction once you have set your budget for a particular project.
One such feature that all marketers should look for when selecting their marketing planning tools is a “To Go Roll” feature. A To Go Roll allows users to define and upload their digital media inventory in real time. All of the tools that allow users to create digital media inventory include web-based pricing and workflows that give you more flexibility than ever before. This means that you can adjust your pricing in real time based on the volume of inventory that you need to purchase.
Another great feature of the best marketing planning tools is the ability to easily manage social media. Social media can make or break your marketing campaigns so having a tool that makes managing your social media in a breeze is certainly worth the investment. One example of a great social media management tool is HubSpot. HubSpot allows you to set up and run accounts for your favorite social media sites while automatically publishing posts from your account to Twitter, Facebook and other sites.
A third feature that many marketers overlook is the ability to automatically import data from Excel or other data sources into their marketing campaigns. This is particularly useful if you want to quickly evaluate how your current campaigns are performing. Most marketers think that a weekly report is a great way to get a comprehensive overview of what is working and what is not. However, one of the biggest problems with weekly reports is that they can be difficult to read and can take a long time to prepare.
The best marketing planning tools should be able to automatically export data from Excel reports so that the entire week’s activities are available to the entire team. Having access to weekly activity reports will allow team members to quickly analyze the data to determine where any weaknesses might be and how to improve them. In addition, weekly reports provide a means for team leaders to see which areas each member of the team is contributing to. Sometimes, leaders may be able to identify a problem without necessarily identifying the specific skill or talent needed to fix it. The ability to quickly look at and quickly apply that knowledge will go a long way toward strengthening your marketing campaigns.
Once you’ve made a list of the features that you find most helpful in making marketing campaigns, consider whether you would like a web based tool or a desktop application. If you have a large budget then choosing a web based application is likely going to be your best option. These applications allow you to easily create marketing campaigns from anywhere with an internet connection. As you may have guessed, these applications also offer some of the best marketing planning tools around. With web-based tools you can access the program from virtually anywhere.
The best marketing planning tools won’t be complete without the ability to track the success of your social media marketing efforts. Google Analytics is probably the most popular application for monitoring social media. This application will show you what keywords were used to advertise your website throughout various social media channels. Google’s other tracking function, such as the Google Webmaster Tools also has valuable functionality, such as real-time analytics for Google AdWords campaigns.
Google’s other tracking and analytics programs include the Google Toolbar, Google Free Searches, Google Mobile Search, and the Content Spy software. The Google Toolbar allows you to customize many of your Google web site elements, such as colors, themes, and backgrounds. The free search tool allows you to search Google in order to find information regarding topics relevant to your website’s keywords. The Google Free Search tool lets you perform searches within specific niches in order to reveal more information about that topic. Finally, the Content Spy software offers up information such as RSS feeds, links, and other things that will help you build out your marketing plans.