Take a guess:
What are the top three most effective marketing and sales tools successful entrepreneurs use?
Seriously, write on a piece of paper: what do you think are the three most important marketing and sales tools you should focus on to maximize your startup or entrepreneurial business success?
In a fascinating and thought-provoking interview with Mark Schafer, whom I see as the leading marketing expert today, he said:
“The question I’m wrestling with now is that everywhere I go, marketing seems to be stuck. There are a few symptoms:
- People are overwhelmed by technology in marketing
- They are overusing technology in marketing
- They’re stuck in ineffective patterns
Many of the companies today, either big or small, have social media departments that were established in 2010 to 2014, and I can assure you that almost none of the output these teams are producing have been updated. So much has changed with social media during the last few years.
Marketing is too tech-centric instead of human-centric. We don’t want to talk with our customers anymore; we just want to monitor them on Twitter. We automate everything and we are losing our hearts, our souls, and our way.
Marketing is sick right now!”
Longtime readers and listeners know that I am all about being customer focused.
However, neither Mark Schaefer nor I think that the new marketing technology tools are bad. The opposite is true; I believe that the new technological tools and methods allow marketing communication, engagement, and are personal in a way we've never dreamt of.
The point is which tools regarding customers, marketing, and sales are the best to maximize your entrepreneurial business.
I often feel entrepreneurs don’t fully understand the role of marketing and what the difference is between marketing and sales. They also don’t know how using marketing well enables you to take a significant short cut in reaching massive revenue and building a leading brand.
Sales are usually done one on one, when you try to convince your potential customer to buy the product or service you offer.
Marketing, on the other hand, usually aims to reach a big crowd in the shortest possible time, with minimal expenses.
My definition of marketing is ‘looking at things from the point of view of your target audience’. The money we are looking for is in their pocket.
Therefor, the best marketing tools are those that enable us interact and engage with our potential customers.
Let’s look at which our opinion leaders and successful entrepreneurs recommended.
The winner is: The email.
In the Reach or Miss podcast, I ask my interviewees for their recommendation of the best marketing tool.
Chris Brogan, Tomas Laurinavicius, Joe Pulizzi, Mike Stelzner, and others, all recommended the email as the most important, effective marketing and sales tool. Here is how Michael Stelzner answered the question:
“Even though I run a company and conference called Social Media Examiner and Marketing World, I think the best technology is e-mail. So many businesses are building their “house” on rented lands – social platforms – suddenly those platforms change their rules and we are no longer able to reach our audience.
That’s why every business must have a strategy for building their email list. For not being dependent on somebody else when they want to contact their audience.”
187 million emails sent every minute in the internet. Although all of us use emails consistently, I didn’t meet many entrepreneurs and startups that managed systematic email Marketing Campaigns.
The second most effective tool
Samuel Pavin, Erik Huberman, and Dan Knowlton recommend this second most recommended tool. However, the biggest fan of this tool, which is so much more than just a tool - is Marcus Sherridan
From Marcus’ review of HubSpot:
"Competitors: Do you know how good your competitor’s websites are? If you don’t, then you’re missing out. HubSpot not only tells you all the words/phrases your competitors rank for in Search Engine Results, but they will also tell you about the links your competitors have coming into their sites, the grade of their site, and if they’re moving forwards or backwards in terms of web effectiveness. Simply put, this tool is incredible and a must for any business."
The top recommended tool is email, the second is Hub Spot to manage your customers, what do you think is the third most recommended tool is?
Among the leaders that recommended this third tool you will find Carla Johnson, Amos Talmor, and Guy Kawasaki. I decided to bring you the recommendation of Martin Hiesboeck, who lives in Taiwan, and uses this tool as his leading work tool.
Recommendation of tools for customer focus, marketing, or sales
My most effective marketing tool is LinkedIn. It’s a great marketing tool for b2b in Taiwan. Facebook is strong, but it mostly used as an entertainment tool after work, while LinkedIn is considered a tool for work.
What is your one key success factor?
I think the key for our successes is responsiveness. A lot of people use these tools, but they use them passively. I made an effort to be active there, to engage with people, to try to answer every message, and to try to follow any link.
In LinkedIn, there is a tool that many entrepreneurs are not familiar with. Here is the important recommendation for the LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Get the full most highly recommended tools list for customer approach, marketing, & sales