The job of the marketing and advertising executive has managed to become exponentially more complicated from the days before the internet.  We used to rely solely on ad agencies with special tools and expensive access to data — now all of these have been made available in-app format because the internet has made it possible.

Changing from big business access to direct access opens you to hours in the day you never had to begin with.  And now the tools available for any specific set of needs tend to be stacked with competition, necessitating the time to evaluate the tools in any specific category.

In an effort to minimize the time needed to review such tools, we have rounded up some of our favorites and will continue to add to the list to help marketers like you save time when trying to simplify and grow their business.

Sales Tools

Panda Doc enables you to send a detailed proposal with multiple pages and imagery as well as video to your prospect and the agreement in itself acts as a sales tool to reinforce why they want to do business with you – it sells them all the way to the signature line, where you can sign right there without needing additional signature software.

Hubspot is a great sales tool that is free to use to collect inbound lead data. Simply create lead magnets which can be an e-book, infographic, original research or content of any value.  Now you advertise these lead magnets on social and ad words and you will find your database growing. Hubspot will also show you how many times each prospect has engaged with your content or visited your website and where they came from – pretty cool for free.

Hybrid meeting production has taken a whole new meaning in the last couple of years. You can zoom for simple meetings, but if you are looking to take technology to the next level, you will want to involve professionals.  Take for example needing to pivot the NFL draft from in person to virtual in less than two weeks.  Some production needs are greater than an app when you’re wanting to impress. Think CES Tradeshow and large sales opportunities.  This is where your hybrid excellence can make the difference between the multi-million dollar deal and falling flat with Zoom. From content creation, talent acquisition, motion graphics, scriptwriting, broadcast technology, audience engagement tools, and more, Van Wagner produces the best hybrid events around, including the 2021 NFL Draft (hybrid production).

Customer Service Tools

Loom is a fantastic screen recording tool that also shows your face as you are speaking with the screen recording.  This is great for providing service related troubleshooting feedback.  It’s also a great tool that is free to have your clients use to show you the challenge they are facing.

Enabling chat on your website is a fantastic tool to reduce call volume and provide electronic service where your agents can multi-task and build your FAQ database.  This option is great, but in 2022 you will want more. You’ll want to use chatbots which will free an employee that you pay and enable you to write rules for the robot to answer simple questions your program. Studies have found that you can answer nearly 50% of questions with your automated bot – imagine what you can do with the savings!  Intercom is one of the more popular and functional chatbot options available.

Reputation management is quite the task if you’ve ever set out to get a bad review removed.  However, it is becoming easier as the platforms recognize malicious use of the tools.  There are also other great tools available that provide automation. Bird Eye provides a simple review administration tool that enables you to publish or not publish reviews. It also will propagate all your positive reviews to your site, a review page where all reviews are placed in one spot on and it has the ability to solicit reviews by providing simple rules on who you would like to solicit reviews from.

Social Media Marketing is a fantastic Instagram tool that enables you to embed multiple links in the place where Insta gives you one URL to use. provides a single page where you can use a solid background or image to display buttons that will take your fans to a landing page.  You can see a live example of in action here>

Influencer marketing is another new strategy to the digital marketing industry – right when we found out that anyone can be an influencer and plenty thought, why not me, while the rest of us kept going to work.  Those that did successfully aligned themselves with brokers first and then realized just as the rest of the world can be automated, so can pairing brands with influencers.  Izea created the perfect marketplace to match brands and influencers – win win – start shopping now!

Sprout Social is an excellent tool to monitor your social media and set baseline numbers so you can set goals and watch what works, what doesn’t, and what sets your social channel on fire.  This tool provides publishing, listening, and analytics for the following platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and LinkedIn.  Check out Sprout Social now and get fabulous feedback to strategically grow your social following.

Deftly is another tool that provides for social media measurement as well as measurement across any campaign. This collaborative analytics platform connects to over 15 data sources as well as accepts raw data imports to look at longitudinal data and apply context to the data.  Great for agency and client communication.

Content Creation

Content creation is another daunting task that has marketers staying up to all hours burning the candle at both ends.  And while guest bloggers sound too good to be true…they ARE!  Guest bloggers want one thing – a backlink.  The quality of the content matters and so does voice.  Interview writers and find one that can emulate or define your voice so it is consistent and persuasive.  You can shop for content creators at Scripted, Content Writers, and Content Fly.

Design work is a skill that is coveted, much like copywriting.  The professional programs out there provide a vast array of output with a vast array of options, making design software almost impossible to self-teach. And we all know when we need something fast, we’d love to whip it up ourselves – well, we finally can with the simple tool of Canva that makes design production much more easy that Photoshop or Illustrator for us marketing folks.

Animoto is a tool that makes producing vivid and alluring Instagram video content a cinch.  This application has a library of templates perfect for any content, from reviews to portfolios and tutorials, Animoto has it all.  Not only are they simple to make, they also provide a free library for stock images and music – you won’t find this many places!  Now start capturing those video views when you sign on for your free trial with Animoto.

Contest Marketing

Contest administration is another tricky and sticky technology situation. There is a lot of technology and legal ramifications in this type of marketing, so you will want to trust the leaders in contest marketing.  Contest Factory ensures your contest performs exactly as you like while also ensuring you are legally compliant. They will even provide the legal documentation and prize distribution if you like. Solid solution used by big and small brands.

Local SEO

Google reports that when a user googles where to buy something, that the user shows up over 50% of the time within 2 hours.  That is some pretty powerful data for retail marketing.  And the good news is there is a big company that has made this easy on the small guys. Yoast has negotiated relationships with over 200 directories to supply them the data the business wants to show.  This helps standardize your listings as well as you provide a lengthy list of keywords you want to rank for and Yoast does an excellent job of ranking you in local SEO.

We’ve started you off with some fantastic tools that should save you time, improve your marketing skills, broaden your tactics, and make learning possible to improve performance.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew; make your list and prioritize it.  Don’t do more than one in 2 weeks unless you have a buddy as learning takes repetition.  Once you master these tools or have an employee master them, you will be well on your way to finding new customers and getting more from your existing customer base.

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