Because we talk so much about inbound marketing, clients and others who are interested in inbound marketing sometimes ask us which tool we use to stay on top of things. There are sites you can go to if you want to read up on the latest tips, apps and software. But here are the things we actually use on a daily basis in the real world of inbound marketing. They’re arranged here by job function so you can get a sense for which tool or app we find helpful for which specific task.
Inbound Marketing Director (me, Spencer Powell)
- HubSpot pulls all my marketing information into one place and makes it easy to build systems and develop best practices around marketing activity. It’s easy to track what’s working and what’s not—which lets me analyze and change strategy if needed. It gives a lot of power to smaller business that don’t have huge marketing budgets.
- With Basecamp/Highrise CRM we can easily track tasks and deadlines for our clients. I can easily assign tasks to team members. Convenient switching between Basecamp to the CRM Highrise lets me follow up with leads. And because it integrates with HubSpot, I don’t have to mess around with duplicate data. Plus, it closes the loop on our marketing efforts.
- Dropbox cloud storage gives me a server I can access from anywhere—even my iPhone and iPad. It’s very convenient for pulling up documents in meetings or on the go. It’s easy to share folders with team members or clients. And it’s inexpensive.
Account Manager (Jimmy Donnellon)
- Hootsuite allows me to monitor the top social media accounts in one place. I can monitor news feeds and Twitter lists, post to over 20 different accounts, and also track clicks and interactions.
- Basecamp lets me track the progress of the tasks for all my clients. Without this I would be lost or just have a ton of sticky notes all over the place.
- Pocket/Flipboard/If this then that (ifttt.com) are apps I use to consume content. Each has its own merit, but basically they all help me easily find and consume the best content and weed out the trash.
- Audacity is the program I use to record and edit our TMR podcasts. It’s simple and free.
Inbound Marketing Specialist/Web Designer (Taylor Vowell)
- Notepad++ is an advanced text editor created with web developers in mind that offers a few things I couldn’t live without: tab browsing of open documents (this allows easy switching between different pages and style sheets on the fly), a syntax highlighter (this makes reading through many lines of code easy), and an internal FTP tool that allows me to edit files directly in my editor.
- Firebug is a Firefox extension that lets me inspect the source of a web page. I use it almost daily when designing websites because it’s extremely helpful for coding custom designs onto strict CMS platforms (like HubSpot), which require tweaking of existing style sheets.
- Adobe Photoshop CS5 is something I have been using since it launched. I use Photoshop for web design, graphic design, call-to-action buttons, advertisements and even flyers.
(Click here for a more detailed account of the tools Taylor uses in web design.
Business Development (Chris Amber)
- LinkedIn allows me to research potential customers before I call and is a great networking tool.
- Highrise is really helpful for documentation and leaves a digital paper trail of all work that’s been done. That gives me better comprehension of where each customer is in the sales funnel
- My phone may not be an app, but it’s the tool I use most for sales!
Content Manager (Amanda Bray)
- LinkedIn Marketing & Advertising News is the first place I go when I’m looking for an easy-to-use overview of trending marketing topics. It doesn’t promote just one person, but rather the topics that are popular at any given time. I also like that it’s “honest” and will tell users when there’s nothing trending!
- Excel spreadsheets may not be new, but on any given day, I’m tabbing between 10+ spreadsheets that track my work. I see it as the best way to lay a foundation for software we will eventually build internally for content management. These spreadsheets give me a chance to test and track what works, what doesn’t work—and what items I may have missed.
What’s in your toolbox? Share with us what tools help you effective manage your marketing activities.