Tools for Growth Marketing
Growth marketers have never been more agile, and I attribute this to the fact that there has been a proliferation of tools that have flooded the market. These tools help automate and extend a marketers productivity. As of 5 years ago most of these tools didn’t exist and you would need a team of software engineers to do most of what these tools offer. The barrier to entry for creating and launching world class marketing strategies has never been lower and continues to get better every year!
Imagine if you made a living by selling wood, and you spent 10 years of your life every day in the forest chopping down trees with an axe. Now, imagine someone walks up to you and gives you a chainsaw. That is what I am going to do with this article.
I use tools every day that automate parts of my work. It seems like over the last 5 years I add another tool to my arsenal every few weeks which makes me even better and more effective at what I do. Below you will find a list of categories and then from there I will dive in deeper on a few tools within each category that I highly recommend.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of every tool I use or have used, but rather an intro to some of my favorites!
Design - whether it is social media ad images, hero images, there are tools that help you create professional designs for all of your projects.
Video - creating commercials and animated videos has never been easier for someone who knows nothing about filming, editing and production.
Analytics - the old adage of “you can’t improve what you don’t measure” is a fundamental principle every growth marketer should understand, and there are no excuses in today’s market given what you have access to.
Analytics Aggregators - If you are a little more advanced with analytics I recommend using “Analytics Aggregators or Tag Managers” which help centralize all of your pixels, custom events, data distribution, etc.
Email Automation - the barrier to entry for email marketing and building a loyal audience is extremely low as of recent years. Use email marketing to communicate and nurture your audience.
Social Media Automation - if you hate the idea of maintaining 10 different social accounts and making sure you are posting consistently then get in line. If you want to take this burden off your plate use a tool in this category to make your life easier.
Performance Marketing - for those of you who are putting down advertising spend on Google, Facebook, Instagram or other platforms consider your options for automating and using technology to do the management of these campaigns more effectively than you can.
Search Engine Optimization - tools in this category make organic reach systemically possible.
A/B Testing - it is rare that I launch anything without some form of a test going on while it is live. A/B testing is a great strategy to put your ideas through the ringer to see what sticks.
Surveys & Forms - whether it is building lead generation forms, event registrations, or even selling products surveys and form tools make data collection seamless.
General Automation Platforms - there are platforms now that integrate with thousands of apps so you can automate laborious or even really important tasks.
Data - the data just doesn’t stop growing and becoming more important. Wrangle your data in so you can learn about your users and run your business better.
Sub-Contracting - sometimes you will need to hire people. New platforms that have popped up in the last few years make contract hiring extremely easy.
Free Images / Videos / Design Assets / etc. - there are hundreds of platforms that will give you royalty free assets and components for you to add to your marketing materials.
Each one of the tools below I have personally used and can vouch for. I didn’t get paid to promote these products, but rather I am a fan of them and use them often.
Canva - a graphic-design tool website, founded in 2012. It uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. It is used by non-designers as well as professionals. The tools can be used for both web and print media design and graphics.
Waymark - it’ll look like you have a professional production team behind you — because you do. Their team of expert directors, designers, and animators take each template through a 29-step process to make sure every single one is beautiful and effective.
Adobe Spark - Adobe Spark is a free online and mobile graphic design app. Easily create beautiful images, videos, and web pages that make you stand out on social.
Google Analytics - a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic, currently as a platform inside the Google Marketing Platform brand.
Google Data Studio - Blend data from different accounts, get Data Studio reporting to the next level! Reporting automation tool for PPC, SEO, social and web analytics. Add native data sources.
Super Metrics - Marketing reporting made easy. Pull all your PPC, SEO, social and analytics data into automated reports. Connect to Google Analytics, Adwords, Facebook, Bing, etc.
Segment - Simplify data collection with a single API. Collect clickstream data from your mobile apps, websites, and servers with one API. Use turnkey integrations to pull in contextual data from cloud apps like your CRM and payment systems.
Stitch Data - All your data. Where you want it. In minutes. Stitch is a cloud-first, developer-focused platform for rapidly moving data.
mParticle - mParticle's customer data platform integrates all of your data and orchestrates it across channels, partners, and systems.
Email Marketing Automation
The number of email marketing platforms is about the same number as there are stars in our universe so keep that in mind ;) I’ve probably used half of them so instead of listing too many I am listing a few of my all time favorite ones by tier.
Another thing to note about these platforms is most of them offer more than email marketing. The trend these days is to be called a “Marketing Automation Platform” because they typically will do landing pages, ad integrations, etc.
Tier 1 - Simple and Easy to Use for Beginners
Mail Chimp - Email marketing, ads, landing pages, and automation tools to grow your business on your terms. Get the word out with email, and social ads.
myEmma - Design and optimize targeted email marketing campaigns. Emma's digital marketing platform drives results with personalization, segmentation and automation.
Tier 2 - More Advanced Feature Set, but Still Good for Beginners
Hubspot - HubSpot offers a full platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software — plus the methodology, resources, and support.
AutoPilot - Marketing Automation Software, Autopilot is simple and visual customer journey software.
Tier 3 - Entry to the Big Boys Club
Salesforce Marketing Cloud - Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a provider of digital marketing automation and analytics software and services. It was founded in 2000 under the name ExactTarget.
Social Media Automation
Hootsuite - Learn How We Make Scheduling, Managing, & Reporting Social Media Content Easier. Powerful Social Tools For Business.
Sprout Social - Sprout Social’s social media management software and solutions help you find, form and deepen real connections with the people who love your brand.
Buffer - Buffer makes it easy for businesses and marketing teams to schedule posts, analyze performance, and manage all their accounts in one place.
Adespresso - AdEspresso supports Facebook, Instagram and Google Ads campaign creation – creating all your campaigns in one place has never been so easy.
Facebook Ads Pro Tip - If you are like me and have had a hard time coming up with new and creative Facebook Ads then I recommend using this free resource that has over 150k examples of Facebook ads.
Facebook Ads Manager - Ads Manager is your starting point for running ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or Audience Network. It’s an all-in-one tool for creating ads, managing when and where they’ll run, and tracking how well your campaigns are performing. Ads Manager is a powerful ad management tool, but it’s designed for advertisers of any experience level.
Google Adwords - Google Ads is an online advertising platform developed by Google, where advertisers pay to display brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, video content, and generate mobile application installs within the Google ad network to web users.
SEM Rush - offers solutions for SEO, PPC, content, social media and competitive research.
Search Engine Optimization
A/B testing is something that can be done in many platforms. The tools listed here are specific for web and mobile A/B testing. I recommend you do A/B testing in your email campaigns, ads you run and so forth.
Optimizely - the world's leading experimentation platform, empowering marketing and product teams to test, learn and deploy winning digital experiences.
Google Optimize - offers A/B testing, website testing & personalization tools for small businesses to help deliver engaging customer experiences.
Surveys & Forms
TypeForm - Turn data collection into an experience. Engage your audience with conversational forms & surveys — and get more data.
Survey Monkey - Use SurveyMonkey to drive your business forward by using our free online survey tool to capture the voices and opinions of the people who matter most to you.
Google Forms - Google Forms is a survey administration app that is included in the Google Drive office suite.
General Automation Platforms
Zapier - Connect the apps you use everyday to automate your work and be more productive. 1000+ apps and easy integrations - get started in minutes.
IFTTT - (if this, then that) is the free way to get all your apps and devices talking to each other. Not everything on the internet plays nice, so we're on a mission to build a more connected world.
These three tools below are quite different. Google Sheets being a simple spreadsheet tool then moving to AirTable which is essentially a more powerful spreadsheet tool. Last but not least is a datawarehousing solution I use all the time. Typically I will integrate other data tools like Segment or Stitch Data to send data to Redshift so I can have my data in a raw SQL format. I recommend this for more advanced analysts who know how to write SQL or Python.
Google Sheets - Create a new spreadsheet and edit it with others at the same time — from your computer, phone or tablet. Free with a Google account.
Pro Tip for Google Sheets - A resource of over 100 templates for marketers.
AirTable - works like a spreadsheet but gives you the power of a database to organize anything. Sign up for free.
Amazon Redshift - an Internet hosting service and data warehouse product which forms part of the larger cloud-computing platform Amazon Web Services.
Fiverr - an online marketplace for freelance services.
Free Images / Videos / Design Assets / etc.
Flat Icon - Free vector icons in SVG, PSD, PNG, EPS format or as ICON FONT. Thousands of free icons in the largest database of free vector icons!
Unsplash - Beautiful, free photos. Gifted by the world’s most generous community of photographers.
Bensound - Download Creative Commons Music / Royalty Free Music for free and use it in your project.