Regardless of what you decide, our data shows that small business owners need software to support their business model pivots, and they need to communicate that information to customers.
GetApp conducted a survey in June 2020 to learn more about how small businesses are reinventing themselves to survive, and hopefully thrive, during COVID-19. When asked what software small business owners needed to support their business pivots, owners most frequently cited marketing software, followed by customer relationship management, or CRM, software (read our complete methodology at the bottom of the article).
And when asked how they communicate business model changes with customers, small business owners most frequently cited social media.
Based on these insights, GetApp created a list of three software types you might want to consider for your marketing tech stack to make the most out of your marketing technology budget.
Food is the way to my heart, and whenever I need to know if one of my favorite local restaurants is open for takeout, the first place I look is their Facebook page. If information is hard to find or I’m not sure how they’re handling COVID-19, I may choose a different place rather than spend a lot of time searching for information.
I’m not alone, as many other customers are taking a similar approach to find out rapidly changing information related to the pandemic. Although things will eventually settle into a “new normal,” consumer expectations have likely been permanently altered. Customers will continue to expect being kept up-to-date by business owners on social media.
According to Pew Research, 72% of the American public uses some form of social media, so it’s safe to say this is an important channel for your marketing mix. Because of the volume and breadth of social media users and conversations, it can be almost impossible to manage social media completely manually. A social media platform will help save a ton of time when it comes to tracking, monitoring and reporting on marketing analytics.
As a result, it may be cost effective for small business owners to invest in social media management software, even for those with a tight budget. Smaller businesses may want to consider investing in individual software rather than a social media suite, but can plan to increase their investment as they scale. For a more-in depth look at social media marketing tools, check out our comprehensive guide.
Email marketing is another great way to stay in touch with customers and remind them about your product or service. For example, you can set up a newsletter to be sent out at a frequency that works for your business, such as monthly, seasonally, or quarterly.
In addition, you can send ad hoc emails if you have a new update or promotion to share. A nice feature of email marketing software is mailing list management for storing lists of your subscribers (as well as keeping track of those who unsubscribe). An email marketing tool can also help with customer segmentation, so you can customize your digital marketing messaging.
Email platforms provide marketing analytics so that you can see what’s working and can tweak your marketing strategy accordingly. More advanced platforms even make use of emerging technologies like AI, which can use your own customer data to further optimize your campaign. Learn more about the email marketing software market with our buyers guide.
In today’s service and information driven world, a company’s website is its most important asset.
In addition to simply informing customers of the basics, your web content can help serve the right information to customers at the right time so they’re more likely to purchase your product or service. Serving information to customers this way is content marketing. To effectively run a content marketing program, an effective content management platform is essential.
Content management systems (CMS) can be invaluable for the content creation process, allowing you to edit and publish content using a simple text editor. You can also manage documents on your website using your CMS, and grant different levels of access to different members of your team.
To take your marketing strategy to the next level, you can use your CMS to implement content marketing campaigns that speak to your audience at each phase of the customer journey that you’ve mapped.
CMSs truly run the gamut, so doing research is necessary to find the one that best meets your needs. A CMS can range from an out-of-the-box platform for someone who has no web design or development experience and needs full web pages created, to a platform for a company with web developers and designers on staff who may want a more customized content marketing tool to match the company’s workflow.
It’s a myth that the more digital you go, the fewer resources you need. As you transition resources from offline to online, it becomes more essential to have the right tools in place. As companies reinvent themselves due to COVID-19, it becomes incredibly important for them to have a marketing tech stack in place to help them scale.
Digital customer interactions are only increasing, and companies who don’t adapt their marketing activities will find themselves playing catch-up. Now’s the perfect time to take a deep look at your digital marketing systems, marketing technology stack, and marketing process to ensure your marketing team is ready to scale.
If you’re interested in seeing how to use data more effectively to boost collaboration check out The Big Data Secret Sales and Marketing Teams Miss.
Learn more about the effect of COVID-19 on small businesses so you can make better decisions about your own marketing strategy. Check out our research report, 92% of Small Businesses Have Reinvented Themselves that shares 5 business pivots that can help you get through a crisis.
The business model survey referenced in this article was conducted by GetApp from June 18 to June 23, 2020, among 577 respondents who reported executive leadership roles at small businesses with 500 or fewer employees.
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.