Tech tools – helping you get the basics in place before you work on your marketing strategy

Setting up a B2B Marketing Strategy business as a marketer, is fascinating. It’s a bit like an architect building their own house – everyone expects it to be and look amazing so the pressure is on!

The reality

When you start a business, you aren’t just doing the thing you have trained to do (in our case B2B Marketing). You are taking on a whole host of new job roles ranging from finance and legal to sales and IT. In large companies the tools that you have at hand are very different to the tools that will help you get your new business up and running. For one, not having an IT specialist or team can cause a few headaches!

So, to help others in this position I thought I’d share the tech tools that we’ve chosen to use and why.

Domain and hosting

There are many sites out there with offers selling both the web domain and the email hosting part. You may not get the best price if you purchase the domain first and then the email hosting so try to buy them at the same time. It’s good marketing strategy practice to purchase the .com and .co.uk sites. You can then set up a forwarding rule from one to the other. We used 1&1 Ionos for our because it was recommended as a reliable and great value hosting service. So far, they’ve been excellent. Once you’ve set up the email addresses you can easily map them into your Outlook or Gmail accounts.

Website

There are some amazing free tools out there which have so many great templates it is something you can do yourself – if you have the time. Established businesses with projects and an active client base probably won’t! For your website to be successful and as a key element of your marketing strategy you will also want to implement these basics:

  • Ensure you have a great value proposition to clearly demonstrate the benefit of your product or service
  • Create a content strategy
  • Place targeted content on social platforms and add blogs to your website to help search engines to find you more easily (it makes your content active.)
  • Include lead capture forms

We used WordPress – check out You Tube for ‘how to’ videos (give yourself at least an hour to watch properly). Creds to @orlamurphy who built our site www.see-blue.co.uk – let us know what you think!

CRM

There are loads of options out there for CRM tools. Your business needs a tool to help manage and develop customer relationships over time. This should form a central pillar of your marketing strategy. From a KPI and revenue perspective it will help you to manage the conversion of prospects to leads and sales. It will also enable you to integrate your emails and social accounts so that you can track all communication with a particular contact or customer. And when you reach the stage of hosting or managing events, it can manage your invite process too. We reviewed Hubspot, Zoho and Sugar CRM. All have free options for small businesses, in the end we chose Hubspot because we felt it integrated with more apps and because it remains free (the basic version at least) no matter how large your business grows.

File sharing

This is another important thing to get organised. Of course, there is We Transfer which is probably the most basic and simple to access as no account is needed. However, if you need more collaboration options (one location to securely manage and share content from) then Box was recommended to us. I’ll let you know how we get on with it!

Legal

If you are going into business with a partner, you’ll need a partnership agreement. You can of course always use your local solicitor’s firm and I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t. We were interested in using an ‘as a service’ type business who have re-shaped the traditional business model into something more cost-effective and flexible. I came across Rocket Lawyer who provide access to legal documents and advice online and have received funding from Google among others investors. As long as you don’t have a complex set-up structure you can get a basic agreement written and signed in a day. 

It’s only when you start looking that you realise just how many cool technology solutions for businesses there are. Next time I find something I love I’ll let you know!

#entrepreneur #newbusiness #startup #B2Bmarketing #marketingstrategy

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