4 Tools Your Marketing Tech Stack Needs

Featured Image for Designing Growth Episode 32 showing host Sam Chlebowski.


Sam walks through the 4 essential pieces of technology every Sales & Marketing Tech Stack needs, details what software and technology Motion.io uses, and shares his favorite tools for streamlining marketing content creation.

Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] Sam Chlebowski: Business owners that I’ve spoken with try and use things like spreadsheets or just emails and when they do I think that they’re really missing out on a big opportunity. Not only to minimize the amount of like manual work that they have to do, but also if you aren’t using a proper sales and marketing tech stack, it’s gonna limit your ability to attract new clients and sell those clients. Whereas if you have these systems in place that automates things for you, that doesn’t require a lot of manual work each week to keep up with, that’s gonna really help you get a lot more leads and new clients.

[00:00:32] Happy Thursday everybody, and welcome back to Designing Growth, the podcast for business owners by business owners that provides tips, strategies, and advice for creating the business of your dreams while digging into the hard-hitting reality about what it takes to start, grow, and scale a successful business.

[00:00:50] My name is Sam Chlebowski, host of the Designing Growth Podcast.

[00:00:54] I was really excited to record this episode, it was actually inspired by a post that I saw on where a business owner who had launched their business in the past couple of month prior and basically made this post saying, “Hey, we have finalized our sales and marketing tech stack. Here’s what it is:”

[00:01:10] And he listed out all of the different technology tools that they were using to run the sales and marketing side of their business as a Co-founder of a tech startup, you can probably imagine that I love new tools and new technology and what it can do for your business, and I’m kind of always on the hunt for information about what people are using and what’s really working well within their businesses.

[00:01:33] So a little bit of my background when it comes to sales and marketing technology. Over the course of my time at Brighter Vision, where I was working as a developer, and then I actually went on to lead our sales marketing customer success teams.

[00:01:45] So we used one set of tools there After we were acquired, and I went to go work for the folks who acquired us I then actually worked. Five different companies at one time, and all of them were using something different then from there I worked for another startup and did a few consulting projects along the way. across all of these different experiences, I think what it gives me is a really good idea of the things that you must have and must be able to do with your marketing tech stack that are going to best facilitate your growth also help you save time so you can eliminate that kind of busy work that so often happens with sales and marketing. things like having to send manual emails to leads.

[00:02:24] Trying to build reports without any centralized or automated reporting.

[00:02:29] And also enable you to get the most amount of reach out of the marketing initiatives that you take on and the content that you’re producing while minimizing the amount of work that you have to do

[00:02:40] so I’m gonna talk about what I am using at Motion io in just a little bit. But first I want to talk about the things that I think every sales and marketing tech stack needs.

[00:02:51] Number one is customer relationship management software or a crm. The reason why having a CRM is so important if you can’t quickly understand what leads you’ve reached out to, what leads turned into customers, and what leads you might need to nurture a little bit to get them to become customers, you are missing out on a big opportu.

[00:03:12] What’s more is that a CRM is incredibly useful for understanding how new leads are finding you so you can get a better idea of the marketing initiatives that are working really well and that you should double down on. the marketing initiatives that you might want to kill off

[00:03:26] Many of them also enable you to do things like set automatic follow-ups and lead nurture sequences that are gonna help you increase your conversion rate. meaning the percentage of leads that come in that eventually turn into customers.

[00:03:39] As you can probably assume from the product that we are [email protected], I am huge on eliminating this type of busy work,

[00:03:46] whether it be working with customers, whether it be leads, whether it be marketing, because when you’re able to free up that time and you’re not doing things manually, it gives you more time to do this kind of deep work with either your customers or your business and spending time thinking about creative ways to bring in more customers or expand your reach.

[00:04:06] I think A C R M is critical for that piece. It’s gonna save you time. It’s gonna make everything that you do that much more efficient.

[00:04:13] some common examples of CRM technology that’s out there includes HubSpot pipeline deals, close.io, Salesforce. and that’s kind of just skimming the surface. There’s a huge range of CRMs out there that you can use. And they all come at a slightly different price point. HubSpot, Salesforce are on the upper end of that spectrum where things like close and pipeline deals are much cheaper, but may not have some of that robust functionality that you need.

[00:04:39] it kind of depends what stage your business is in and what type of functionality that you need.

[00:04:44] the next thing that I think every sales and marketing tech stack.

[00:04:47] Can sometimes be included with the crm, but sometimes it can be separate.

[00:04:52] Number two is an email automation or sending tool that allows you to both create a new. as well as a way to send bulk emails to leads, prospects and current customers.

[00:05:01] some of the more expensive and robust CRMs out there actually have a way to both send a newsletter and do bulk email But from my experience, most CRMs typically don’t handle the newsletter portion. The reason why this is so important, even if you don’t have a newsletter, Is because as your business grows, there are gonna be times where you want to send emails to all of your contacts, all of your previous customers, and all of your potential leads all at once. .

[00:05:28] If you’re wondering why you can’t just use your regular email for this, basically, if you want to send 150, 200 emails, that is the same email copy to a bunch of people through just your regular old inbox, what you’re gonna very quickly run into are spam violations. get a tool that allows you to send bulk emails and also send newsletters in the future.

[00:05:48] When it comes to newsletters, there’s tools like Constant Contact Mail. and my personal favorite drip when it comes to sending bulk emails or tools that are more specifically for like that sales process and cold outreach most CRMs are gonna have this functionality, but there’s also some standalone tools that can work really well.

[00:06:07] two of the tools that I’ve used recently specifically for cold outreach are Apollo.io as well as Lemlist. What’s cool about both of those tools is because they’re specifically for cold outreach. you can actually do like lead research in there and pull lists of folks that you want to reach out to and put them on an automated sequence in hopes that they are going to schedule a call with you.

[00:06:27] They’re interested in your service. They wanna learn more.

[00:06:29] The next thing that I think every marketing tech stack needs may be a little bit surprising to you,

[00:06:34] but it’s something that when I have not had, was really challenging to get around. Number three is a way to create landing pages. if you’re unfamiliar with the concept of landing pages, the first thing you’re probably gonna be wondering is how is a landing page different from my website?

[00:06:50] What a landing page is? And the, the way that I typically defined it is a standalone webpage that is created to drive a specific audience, to take a specific action.

[00:07:00] And It’s different from a homepage because a homepage is basically the hub for your brand’s website and your content, and includes multiple calls to action where a landing page that you create only has one call to action. You want somebody who is visiting that page to do a specific thing, it is filling out a lead form, whether it is entering their email so they can download some free resource, or whether it is scheduling an initial consultation with you.

[00:07:26] Having a landing page tool is something you can probably get away with not having right away, but it is incredibly important, especially if you run a business where you plan on doing paid advertising. If you are doing ads on Google or Facebook or any of the other advertising platforms, if you’re sending them to the homepage of your website where there’s a bunch of different actions on that page, a ton of different stuff for them to read.

[00:07:49] The chance that they are likely to take that action. You actually want them to take, fill out that form, schedule that call, enter their email to download something starts decreasing. And another great thing about landing pages is that when you set up standalone landing pages, it’s really easy to track the source and where somebody came from.

[00:08:07] When it comes to a way to create landing pages, this is also something that sometimes CRMs have the ability to do. And of course, if you want to create a landing page, you could always just build it on whatever tool you currently use for your website. whether that’s WordPress, or ShowIt or Squarespace.

[00:08:23] I personally prefer using a standalone tool to create landing pages just because I think that they are more equipped out of the box and set up so that I can create a landing page quickly. I can also do things like duplicate landing pages to reuse them use things like Zapier integrations to connect my landing pages to my crm or some automated follow-up sequences in automations.

[00:08:47] When it comes to standalone landing page creation tools, my personal favorite is Unbounds and I’ll talk about why and a little bit. but there’s also things like

[00:08:56] lead pages and get response that allow you to do that as.

[00:08:59] Onto the final thing that I think every sales and marketing tech stack needs. Number four is an analytics platform. I talked a little bit about tracking the sources of leads and how your new customers are finding you as a part of the crm, because that is the tool that I think is best equipped for that.

[00:09:15] When it comes to an analytics platform, I specifically use that for measuring things like website traffic.

[00:09:21] And what an analytics platform is going to enable you to do is see how people are finding you, how they’re landing on your website, what buttons they’re clicking, what content, what blog posts they are engaging with.

[00:09:33] The ultimate reason why I think an analytics platform is so important as with all of these things, help you save time and get more results from the effort that you put in.

[00:09:43] because while you could certainly just produce new content by doing some keyword research, if you know that there’s a topic that your audience specifically resonates with, You can turn that into a YouTube video.

[00:09:54] You can expand on it in a slightly different, Through a new blog post, you could even put out a podcast episode or a ebook about that specific topic and you know that there’s a much higher likelihood that people are gonna engage with that.

[00:10:07] When it comes to an analytics platform, and most of the time the one that I only see people use is Google We currently use Google Analytics four, because Google Analytics just did migrate from Universal Analytics, which is their old analytics platform to Google Analytics four, and they’re actually forcing everybody in, uh, July I think it is to switch to that, whether they want to or not. there are a couple of a other analytics platforms you may want to consider, if you want to track more specific things.

[00:10:36] My co-founder really likes a company called Clicky that allows you to do a little bit more of that granular, like who clicked on what on the website. there’s also tools like Hootsuite that allow you to build full reports on how your content is performing, that can be immensely helpful as well.

[00:10:52] So that does it for the four things that I think every sales and marketing tax tax should have. And now you’re probably wondering, well Sam, what do you.

[00:11:00] So let’s dive in, and this is gonna be really fun for me. What I’ll do is I’ll first go in the order of that list of the four things that I think every sales and marketing tech stack needs To tell you what we’ve used at Motion IO for our crm, we currently use HubSpot for that. I will first give a warning here that HubSpot is really expensive

[00:11:19] that said, I fell in love with HubSpot I was working for a larger company, we had, you know, thousands of employees I’ve used a number of CRMs over the years. pipeline deals, close

[00:11:30] Pipedrive. HubSpot though is by far my favorite. The reason why I love it is just all of the functionality you need is built in there and it’s also really customizable because I can set these very specific automations that allow me to automate parts of the sales and marketing process. So for example, like if a lead comes in on our website, that gets piped into HubSpot and they’re set as lead until they schedule a time to speak with us, or they sign up for a free trial at which point it changes them to a qualified lead status, and that type of automation makes it really easy. When I’m looking at a list of all of our potential customers, I can easily see, oh, great, okay.

[00:12:11] These three people filled out a form yesterday and today two of them have scheduled a call and they’re qualified leads, they’re ready to move forward. That one person who didn’t take any action, in a week if I still don’t hear from them or they don’t sign up put them on a slightly different email sequence that provides some more informational content

[00:12:28] In addition to the automations and workflows and sequences you can set up, is that it is super quick for me to build reports that break down.

[00:12:35] Okay, out of the hundred people that contacted us in the last month, here is the channel they came from, you know, 20% from social posts, 20% from Google searches,

[00:12:45] another 20% from YouTube ads, et cetera, et cetera. So out of just the leads that came to us from a YouTube ad,

[00:12:51] what percentage of those converted, who took an additional action? And it gives me that quick view into, this ad is either working or it’s not based on how these people are converting and how they’re moving kind of through our sales and marketing funnel.

[00:13:05] I will give another kind of disclaimer that in addition to HubSpot being expensive, it does have a pretty steep learning curve. I’ve been using CRMs for a long time, so a lot of that functionality was pretty intuitive for me. but if you are just getting going and Switching away from spreadsheets and using a CRM for the first time, there may be a better option for you. Something simple like a pipe drive or pipeline deals is a really easy way to keep track of, okay, here’s how people are finding me. Here is the status of these people, whether they converted to a customer, they’re still a lead in progress, and, allows you to still automate some of that

[00:13:41] what we do, send some emails through HubSpot for our newsletter. I actually have been using Drip for that, the reason why I’m using Drip, even though we do have some of that functionality within HubSpot, is because I’m just super familiar with the way that Drip works.

[00:13:55] What I really like about Drip is it has a powerful workflow builder, but it also allows you to very quickly build these kind of custom segments.

[00:14:03] So for example, if I wanna send a newsletter but exclude current customers from receiving that with Drip, I can do that in a couple seconds. I can tag people and put them into these buckets and very quickly control, okay, these people don’t get emailed, these people get email A, these people get email C.

[00:14:18] For our landing page tool. I use Unbounds for that this is another company I’ve been using for a long time and I love Unbounce. the reason why I gravitate to Unbound for creating landing pages is number one, it is super, super easy to quickly duplicate a landing page, change just a couple of elements, and then reuse it for a different campaign.

[00:14:39] The second reason I love unbounced is their landing page builder itself is super easy to use, kind of operates like Webflow. it’s totally just like drag and drop. It’s really easy to make things responsive,

[00:14:51] and then the final reason I love unbalanced is that it is dead simple to connect to my CRM and also set up Zapier automations, where if a lead comes in from an unbalanced form, I can automatically do X, Y, or Z through a Zapier connection.

[00:15:07] Some of the things I’ve done in the past with unbalance is set up a Zapier connection. If a lead comes in through an unbalanced page that Zappier connection, sends them to a Google sheet, that kind of functionality I just find is so incredibly useful for saving time and kind of eliminating that busy work

[00:15:24] for our analytics platform. What I use for that is I do use Google Analytics for Google Analytics for, there’s a lot of people out there who don’t really love it.

[00:15:34] I will say it is harder to use than Universal Analytics was, but after you get the hang of it, I’m really starting to come around. , the downside of Google Analytics four is that you really have to spend a lot of time setting it up.

[00:15:47] Because with Google Analytics four, what I’ve found is like basically a requirement for it now is that you can’t just set it up and have it work. You really need to spend some time in Google Tag Manager.

[00:15:57] And what Google Tag Manager will allow you to do is tag parts of your website

[00:16:02] and track those specific actions that people are taking and then pipe those into Google Analytics. Four.

[00:16:08] If you are like in the process of setting up Google Analytics four right now, there are two awesome YouTube channels out there. The first is Analytics mania. Julius holy cow, he taught me everything I know about Google Analytics Four. And then there’s also, uh, Benjamin from Benjamin loves data.

[00:16:24] Where I also learned a ton about the basic functionality of Google Analytics four and how it works, those two YouTube channels. if either of you two are listening to this, thank you so much

[00:16:34] also with analytics. I did mention a little bit earlier, but I do use Hootsuite to keep track of how our content’s performing. With social content, I want to see how that content’s performing so I can understand, you know, the things that people resonate with.

[00:16:48] And I can do more things like that, whether it’s repeating a similar format or whether it’s producing additional content about a similar topic. And I do have those reports set up in Hootsuite that, pull all of our analytics in automatically from TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram – all of those – and build these reports for me so I don’t have to manually hunt those things down each, individual reporting dashboards.

[00:17:13] So that makes up the bulk of our marketing tech stack [email protected]. These are things that I am using. Not saying that I recommend them for everybody out there, but I do find that they work best for me. I also wanted to talk a little bit about some of the other tools that I’m using because there are some really cool things in here, specifically when it comes to content creation. So when I started this podcast, it took me a huge amount of time to edit new episodes and put them out. I knew I wanted to do a video podcast, but actually the first couple episodes didn’t even have video because I just couldn’t figure out how to do it quickly. I tried hiring a contractor. I wasn’t super happy with the quality,

[00:17:51] Using the Adobe suite for my editing workflow was just taking so much time. I had tried to use Premier for the video section and then Audacity for the audio section.

[00:18:03] Descript is what I use now for all of the editing of our podcasts and social clips. And what I love about Descript is that I can edit audio and video simultaneously

[00:18:13] and it makes it really easy. You basically edit a audio or video file, like you’re editing a text document. And then when I’m done editing, I can export a audio only version to put out on Spotify, apple, et cetera.

[00:18:26] then a video version, which I’ll go ahead and put out on YouTube.

[00:18:30] And it’s just super simple and it cuts my editing time down to, basically if it’s a 30 minute podcast episode, it takes me only about 45 minutes to edit.

[00:18:38] But the other reason why I love descript so much is that when I want to go ahead and pull out specific clips from a podcast episode or from a video that I’ve recorded, I can do that in descript and apply those cool captions that you see. Descripts AI tool is amazing. And the way you are able to edit these audio and video files like a text document? is that when you import something into the script, it automatically gives you a transcript and you can use that trans. To create things like those fancy captions that you see people include when they post a TikTok clip of a podcast episode.

[00:19:15] That is super easy with Descript. What I’ve even done is like build a template. originally I’ll record my videos in the classic like YouTube landscape format, then I have a template that I can just apply to a specific clip that will turn that clip into the portrait format for platforms like TikTok and Instagram and automatically apply those really stylized captions for me.

[00:19:36] The other cool thing about it Is it, It has something called Studio Sound where basically you just click a button and it automatically balances your track. It removes some of the background noise. It makes it sound super professional without you having to worry about adding all sorts of effects like compressors, limiters,

[00:19:53] eq. You don’t have to do any of that manually. You literally just click this button and it makes your voice sound super professional in literally a single click. So I love DS script. probably one of my favorite tools on this list,

[00:20:04] when it comes to posting that content, especially Clips. Another tool that I’ve really loved lately is repurpose.io. That is a cool tool because basically what it does, You can create these workflows where if you post a video or a clip on one social media platform, it’ll automatically send it to all of the other kind of social accounts you have.

[00:20:25] So for example, I have a workflow set up that if I post a video on TikTok, it automatically sends that video to LinkedIn, YouTube shorts, Facebook reels, Instagram and Pinterest. All I have to do is post that clip one time on TikTok, it also removes the watermark from the original TikTok post, which is really, really helpful.

[00:20:44] So I love that. That saves me tons of hours of time each.

[00:20:48] And in addition to those two tools that I use for the content production itself, just generally like to use Grammarly. I have a mild case of dyslexia. So if I’m trying to get something out quickly, oftentimes I’ll like mix words up or move a letter from the end of a word to the beginning of a word.

[00:21:03] And I like Grammarly for a second check to do things, especially for stuff like blog posts. I use it all the time. It honestly saves my life and makes it so I just don’t have to worry about having to correct something after I send it out.

[00:21:15] I do use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for some things, but honestly lately, now that most of our big like marketing pieces are put together, I’ve been using Canva a ton just to quickly like have these templates within Canva. And all I have to do is drop a new headshot of a podcast guest or a new screenshot of a feature we’ve added to motion.io into one of these pre-created templates that I’ve set up.

[00:21:40] And it takes you. A single minute to get a new image for a YouTube thumbnail or a blog post. So that’s something that saves me a ton of time

[00:21:49] and an honorable mention for my marketing tech stack is definitely gonna be Zapier. Zapier has been just an absolute lifesaver for me over the years. I love the way that it can connect two pieces of software that don’t normally work together and make that connection smooth and make it happen so I don’t have to do some of this manual stuff.

[00:22:07] Because I have used CRMs that were set up for me in the past that I wasn’t totally in control of. where if somebody expressed interest in our service, I had to go manually fill in their email, their name, their company, how they heard about us, how to do that manually every time. And with something like Zapier, I can have all of that done for me and I just don’t even have to worry about it. And so that does it. That is my marketing tech stack. It’s something that I am really happy with the point to where we’ve gotten it. As with any new technology, you know, it does take some setup and refinement to get things right.

[00:22:40] but I feel like we’re at a really good place with ours. I will put links to the tools that I use in the show notes of this episode. So if you are interested, you can learn more about them. Not saying that they’re the perfect fit for everyone, but these are things that I have found work especially well for me after nearly a decade of sales and marketing and running sales and marketing departments.

[00:22:59] I hope that you enjoyed this episode and found the information that I covered. And maybe it even inspires you to add on one of these pieces of technology that you may be missing so that you can not only eliminate busy work, but so that you can scale and grow your marketing initiatives over time and build a more profitable business.

[00:23:18] Speaking of eliminating busy work, in just about a week, we are going to be releasing a powerful new form builder into motion.io. We are super, super excited to release this form builder. It’s been months in development what it’s going to allow you to do things like send your new clients custom onboarding forms where you ask about information about their business, what their goals for the project are, and get them to provide more details about the services or products that they offer, and have that all streamlined and automated

[00:23:49] so you don’t need to follow up with them to ask them to complete their onboarding form. Motion audio takes care of the follow up and you’re able to track what forms people have filled out, what you’re still waiting on in a simple admin dashboard. So we’re really excited to release that in just about a week,

[00:24:05] What it really means is that it’s a better time than ever to get started with motion.io throughout our early access period. You can sign up for motion.io totally for free and try it out and let us know what you think.

[00:24:17] So head to our website at Motion.io. Sign up for a free account. Like I said, totally free, no credit card, no commitment required. you literally just have to enter your name and email along with your business name, and you can immediately start using Motion.io.

[00:24:32] With that, my name is Sam Chlebowski. Hope you enjoyed another episode of Designing Growth.

[00:24:37] We released new episodes every Thursday. And if you are enjoying the information we cover on this podcast, would love for you to leave us a five star review on Apple or Spotify. It really helps us out and it gets the podcast in front of more people.

[00:24:50] Until next time, everybody. Have fun, good luck, and go crush it.

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