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Illustration showing a stylized desktop computer with several icons and tools such as an analytics graph, smartphone, clock, and email. Blog post on top marketing tools and software

Marketing Tools and Software: How to Choose the Best One for You

Perri Robinson

Feb 1, 2024

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In an ideal world, marketers would have all the budget they need to invest in marketing software and tools, but in reality, budget restrictions force us to prioritize decision-making.

Without having a ‘trade-off checklist’ in mind, you run the risk of putting all your eggs in the wrong basket. So to ensure that doesn’t happen, we’ve put together a list of considerations for marketing pros to bear in mind before deciding on the most appropriate marketing software.


What Are Marketing Tools and Software?

Marketing software refers to the variety of tools and platforms that enable businesses achieve their goals or objectives.

By helping teams to successfully plan, implement, analyze and measure their marketing strategy efforts, these marketing tools reduce wasted time, missed opportunities, and free up space for more accurate forecasting and creative campaign strategizing.

The combination of these tools and software is also known as the “marketing technology stack” or "MarTech stack" for short.

Tip: These are the Top Marketing Campaign Measurement Tools on the market

Regardless of whether you work for a global brand or a small business, all companies can benefit from marketing tools. Using software and marketing automation offers a wide range of benefits including:

  1. Efficiency
  2. Increased ROI and average deal value
  3. Improved marketing accountability
  4. Less repetition, more creativity
  5. Improved customer experience
  6. Increased customer lifetime value

With advantages like the above, it’s no wonder that "Global martech spend is projected to surpass $215 billion annually by 2027" ( But investing in tools is one thing. Having them work for you is another.

Read on and find out how the marketing leaders in your organization can ensure they’re on the right decision-making path.

Different Types of Marketing Software

The growth of the MarTech category over the past decade+ is astounding. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to purchasing marketing tools, 50% of professionals said their biggest frustration is the volume of solutions in the market.

Additionally, MarTech software covers a very broad range including:

CRM tools

Top recommended CRM tools:

  • Salesforce
  • Hubspot
  • Zendesk
  • Marketo

One of the most important marketing tools, the Customer Relationship Management solution (CRM) is a cross-departmental, team-agnostic platform and could be thought of as the heartbeat of your company.

All customer data, from demographics to transactions, is stored in your CRM. Every company has one in some form or another. Some use a simple spreadsheet to keep track of their sales and marketing information, others use sophisticated enterprise-level software.

Regardless of what system you use, your CRM is the place to go if you have a question about your prospects or customers. This is where your team keeps on top of critical marketing information.

Whatever CRM vendor you choose, it’s imperative that you do your due diligence and research first. You'll want to stick with your choice since migrating customer, prospect, sales, and marketing information to another system, while not impossible, it is a logistical nightmare!

Tip: Learn more about customer intelligence and retrieve customer intelligence analytics from customer intelligence platforms.

Website & mobile analytics tools

Top recommended web analytics tools and software:

  • Google Analytics
  • Hotjar
  • Kissmetrics
  • Adobe Analytics

Web & mobile analytics platforms inform the understanding of user behavior across web pages and mobile apps. This software helps companies gather information on the micro-moments that matter to audiences during their exploration of your website. They do this by analyzing audience behavior such as:

  • How many people are coming to your site
  • How they found your site (organic, referral, paid)
  • How often are they coming to your site (single vs multi-session users)
  • Most popular pages (traffic volume, time spent on page)
  • Where your audience moves to as they navigate from page to page
  • Which pages cause your audience to bounce and leave your site
  • How many, and which, touch-points take place before a conversion
  • What pages influence the most conversions
  • Which devices, networks, and operating systems are used to access your website or app 

Curious about the most popular devices, websites, and other consumer behavior statistics from around the world? Check out the 2024 Global Digital Report.

Content marketing tools

Top recommended content marketing tools and software:

Tools for content marketing help with content curation, workflow, promotion, and creative, as well as measuring exactly what kind of content your readers prefer and how they like to consume it. By arming yourself with these insights, your content marketing strategy and campaigns are much more likely to perform well.

A note on the importance of social media:

As the global use of social media continues to rise, so does its importance for brands. Marketing pros can’t afford to miss critical mentions across social networks.

Social media management tools like the Meltwater social media management suite help teams meet this challenge and perform a diverse range of activities including social listening and community management.

Tip: Check out the best content marketing tools for your company.

A man sitting at his desk working on his laptop.

SEO tools

Top recommended SEO tools:

  • AHREFs
  • SEMRush
  • Brightedge
  • Moz

There are a few major players in SEO software, making this area a bit more consolidated. SEO software tools generally offer either a free trial or a free version making it easy to determine which one is the best fit for your team. With SEO tools you can track things like inbound links, page rank, domain authority, SERP activity, and analyze which keywords you should be targeting with your content.

A note on links: inbound links are an incredibly important SEO signal. They are powerful indicators that strengthen your page authority, especially when they come from other high domain and reputable websites. Increasingly, PR activities are tied to the goal of gaining backlinks, and PR pros should know about this facet of SEO in order to achieve the maximum results for their clients.

For smaller companies, a commonly used free option to track media hits and gauge the health of your backline profile is Google Alerts. However, while the price may be right for those working with a limited to no budget, there are several limitations, not the least of which is human error. To save time, reduce mistakes, and to get better analytics, consider a media intelligence platform like Meltwater.

With Meltwater, you can track and share all things PR and marketing related in real-time through interactive dashboards. Having both your PR and marketing data analyzed in the same tool eliminates silos and ensures that all teams work from a single source of truth.

Marketing automation tools

Recommended marketing automation tools:

  • Drip
  • Marketo
  • Hubspot
  • Salesforce

Marketing automation tools are designed to work seamlessly with your CRM software, making it easy to implement personalized programs at scale, such as a email drip campaign to help nudge prospective customers further down the funnel.

Moreover, many marketing automation tools have features like lead scoring, which determines the engagement threshold at which warm prospects are sent to sales. They also have landing page creation options, used to encourage clicks to become conversions.

Image of a hand touching a graph on a tablet

Data visualization

Popular data visualization tools:

  • Meltwater
  • Tableau
  • Zoho
  • Domo
  • Looker
  • Ceros

Data visualization is becoming increasingly more important for marketers. It not only helps break down important marketing metrics and KPIs for sharing internally with executives and leaders, it is also a powerful tool for presenting information in blog posts, guides, webinars, white papers, and any other marketing collateral that you might create and share.

Image of a hand pointing to a command centre graph on a computer screen

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Marketing Software

Due to the volume of marketing tools available, we recommend working backward and thinking about your specific business needs. This makes it easier to rule out the software solutions that aren’t suited to fulfill them.

Here are some pointers and questions to consider before making your final decision:

1. Ease of use

An often-overlooked factor when deciding on the most appropriate software solution is the ease of use. In many cases, it’s adoption and learning curves that hinders the implementation of new tools rather than the technology itself.

You need to consider your needs carefully, particularly when it comes to the actual members of your team who will be using the tech most frequently.

Stakeholder buy-in and change management is critical for marketing tools to be effective. If a new process doesn’t fit with your teams’ workflows and objectives, it’s not a good investment. So before choosing marketing software, ensure it’s easy to learn for the range of experience levels that will be logging in.

An ease-of-use question checklist:

  • How diverse is the skillset within my team? Are the majority advanced or beginners?
  • Is the tool user-friendly?
  • Is a free trial available?
  • What is the onboarding process?
  • Are there further training sessions we can join?

2. Account management

Garner's 2023 report found that marketing professionals use only about a third of their MarTech stack. There’s a number of reasons for this, but in general, it comes down to product enablement. If you don’t have a dedicated account manager that works with you as an extension of your team, guiding you on how to get the most value from the tool, then it’s likely the solution will remain sitting on your desktop collecting digital dust.

An account management question checklist:

  • Do we have an account manager to support us?
  • Where are account managers located?
  • How involved is the account manager? 
Two men in deep thought

3. Future-Proofing

A question that is often overlooked when researching marketing tools and software is “Can this tool fulfill the needs that I already have and the needs that I am going to have in the future?”

Depending on the tools in question, switching vendors can be quite a cumbersome and complicated process, especially if they’re used globally. With this in mind, it’s important to think strategically about your future as well as current needs.

A future proof question checklist:

  • Does this tool meet my current goals?
  • Will this tool help me meet the goals I want to set in the future?
  • Does this vendor operate and offer support in a range of countries and languages?
  • Does this vendor offer bespoke solutions that I can cater as my needs change?
  • Will I need to integrate this tool with additional applications in the future, if so, what applications will they like to be and does the vendor support them?

4. Data integration

We briefly mentioned the need for data integration above, but considering the importance of the topic, it warrants its own section. You see, data shouldn’t exist in a vacuum, except unfortunately it does. That’s why the majority of transformation efforts today are focused on breaking down silos. If your marketing data hasn’t already been scrutinised by your CIO about how siloed it is, it’s only a matter of time. With this in mind, it’s vital that you invest in tools that work together efficiently. While some marketing tools are built to play nicely with technology you may already have, other tools can be a problem to integrate.

A ‘data integration’ question checklist:

  • Is there an API available?
  • What external APIs does the vendor support?

5. All-in-one options

For enterprise-level companies especially, an all-in-one solution that integrates the many needs of digital marketing is a recommended way to go. This helps reduce silos, saves time, and minimizes confusion allowing your marketing efforts to serve and talk to each other more seamlessly.

For example, when our clients use the Meltwater Suite, it enables PR teams, marketing and social teams, and sales teams to conduct research, plan campaigns, and measure results all from the same data sources and, therefore, same source of truth.

An ‘all in one options’ question checklist:

  • What other solutions does the vendor offer?
  • Is there a product bundling discount?
  • Do the vendors score high in the business-critical areas important to me?

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Ready to see how Meltwater can help bring your marketing strategy to next level? Fill out the form below to schedule a demo.