Whether you’re a beginner, starting your own small business, or an advanced user of a marketing agency, trying to take your marketing team to the next level, you’ll always need marketing software, and choosing the right one can feel like a daunting experience.
Selecting new software should be a decision that considers all the needs of your business, and remember that the best tool for your business may not be the best for someone else.
For most businesses, the basic tools when they’re starting are a website builder/sales funnels (to create your ‘storefront’), an email marketing autoresponder (to communicate with your customers), and a tracking/analytics software (to track your leads and data).
You can then scale and support your business and maximize your marketing efforts with other software categories such as sales, advertising, finance and accounting, supply and logistics, marketing automation systems, social media management, and much more…
There are numerous marketing tactics such as content marketing, email marketing, inbound marketing, search engine optimization, or landing pages that require specific software. Most tools available on the marketplace were made to simplify our work and make our lives easier, but with a vast amount of software to choose from, sometimes the task of searching for software is very overwhelming and time-consuming.
Where do you begin with and how can you be confident in your search?
To aid you in successfully finding the best digital marketing software for your business, we’ve created a list of 5 things we’ve learned about how to select software.
The problem you want to solve
The first step of the process of buying new software is figuring out the exact problem you want to solve (the more specific, the best) and making sure the solution is aligned with your ultimate goals.
You need to look at the “big picture”, review your current processes and identify your problems or areas of improvement.
For example, one of the most common issues is using too many business tools. Wherever the problem lies, try to identify it in detail and think about the possible solutions.
Once you’ve identified the problem, you can now find the solution.
Finding the solution: Your software requirements
To find a solution that successfully solves your problem you need to make a list of the specific needs of your business and marketing campaigns.
There are many different options in the marketplace that you can choose from, designed to address the problem that you’re having. Figure out with your team members what you need from a tool and then research for software that fits those needs.
The factors to keep in mind when buying are:
- Main Features: Similar products can have different sets of features. Avoid superfluous features and focus mainly on your needs.
- Intuitive/easy to use: The platform of the software should be easy to use, saving you time. Avoid super complex tools that need a lot of learning, especially if you’re not experienced.
- Versatile/flexible: Choose something with great customizability and prioritize automation platforms, able to suit your future needs.
- Integrations: If you use different types of software, you’ll need to connect them, so you should prioritize products that are easy to integrate with others that you have or will need in the future.
- Security features: You want your data and your customer data to be safe, so check if the software has multiple security layers and settings for you to have control of.
- Customer support: It’s important to check if a company gives you the proper real-time support in case you have an issue with the platform or an emergency that you need to solve.
- Price: Lastly, you have to consider the price. Most of the options have their prices matching their quality, so you just need to know whether the extra expenses are worth it or not.
Your next step is to make a list of all the solutions that meet your needs considering all the factors mentioned in the previous step. Your list doesn’t have to be exhaustive, just narrow it down to 3-5 realistic options so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Answer these questions to start comparing the software on your list:
- Does this software solve my main problem?
- Does this software meet my business requirements?
- Is this software easy to use?
- Does the software integrate with my current tools?
- Does the product offer good security features?
- What do other users say about the customer support?
- Is the software within your budget?
It’s simple: Just pause for a few minutes to think about your needs, write them down, take a look at the available options and start comparing by answering these questions.
How much are you willing to spend?
If you have a budget already, great, but if not, you need to establish the amount you’re willing to spend.
Take the time to think about the problems you’re trying to solve and how much your business would benefit from the acquisition of the new tool.
Consider all the expenses related to the implementation of the software and the time spent adapting your marketing and sales teams to the new processes.
Some products offer monthly and annual plans (annual plans are always the best deals), so it’s important to consider the cost in the long term rather than the short term if you want to save money.
Most of the options give you free trials, so you can use the software for a few days to decide. If you end up deciding that’s the best option, we always recommend that you choose the annual plan. Companies award those who commit for more time with the best discounts.
Purchase your new software
Now that you’ve mapped out the problems you want to solve, your business-specific needs, the available options and you’ve set your budget, you can jump into it.
Before you make your final selection make sure that you feel comfortable with the product that you’re buying as well as the vendor. If you feel that they are not able to provide you the information you need, don’t be afraid to ask their support for more information.
Remember that decision-making is very important for every entrepreneur, so don’t spend too much time waiting around to get the perfect infrastructure set up, you need to start moving.
There are no wrong choices because all your mistakes are lessons that make you more experienced.
Software Podium made all the beginner mistakes so you can now choose your software with confidence without getting distracted from your main goal: Building your business.
If you’re in a rush, please take a quick look at our Top3 of the main software categories: