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What Is Marketing Software? 15 Types & What They Do

No marketing toolkit is complete without marketing software. But you might be wondering: “What IS marketing software?” I’m here to walk you through it. My hope is that you’ll discover how marketing automation software can take some of the burdens off of you as you build out your marketing and ecommerce strategy.

In this article, I will cover some of the most common marketing software types that you can use for lead generation, lead nurturing, and marketing management. For every marketing campaign you have, there is at least one marketing tool you can use to enhance results. 

In most cases, you can use a combination of several digital marketing tools to enhance the overall experience and efficiency of your digital campaigns.

Jump to a specific type of marketing software here:

  1. Social Media Marketing Software
  2. Email Marketing Software
  3. SMS Marketing Software
  4. Influencer Marketing Software
  5. Content Marketing Software
  6. Multi-Level Marketing Software
  7. Affiliate Marketing Software
  8. Digital Marketing Software
  9. Customer Relationship Management Software
  10. Marketing Attribution Software
  11. App Store Optimization Software
  12. Marketing Automation Software
  13. Marketing Project Management Software
  14. Mobile Marketing Software
  15. Marketing Analytics Software

What is Marketing Software?

Marketing software, simply put, is any digital tool that helps you guide a customer through the sales funnel, from awareness to interest, decision, and finally action. 

Marketing software will typically focus on one of these sales “funnel” layers and help you speak to the customer in the best possible way depending on where they are in the “Should I buy this?” thought process. 

  • Awareness: Marketing software for awareness might include social media advertising help or market research apps. 
  • Building interest: Marketing software for building interest might include email newsletter tools or influencer outreach. 
  • Decision-making: Marketing software for the decision phase could include apps that trigger a coupon code if the user moves to exit their e-shopping cart or that offer algorithms for personalized product recommendations. 
  • Moment of sale: Marketing software for the action (moment of sale) might include payment apps, e-receipt automation, or feedback/review mechanisms.

As you can see, there are plenty of applications for marketing software. Now I’m going to walk you through 15 types of marketing software and briefly outline what they do and how they can help you. 

1. Social Media Marketing Software

Social media marketing has become one of the best ways for entrepreneurs to market their products and services all over the world.

Brands use social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram to run ads and nurture leads in real-time. Social media marketing software might be platform-specific (ie. WhatsApp marketing software for text promotions or customer service assistance) or platform inclusive (ie. general social media scheduling software that pushes posts to multiple sites simultaneously). 

Social media marketing software is as vast in focus as the social sites are themselves. Do you want help with targeted ads? Graphic design for posts? Prescheduled posting to better engage your audience? You get to decide this and then pick the software that best suits your needs.

Some examples of social media marketing software include:

  • Hootsuite
  • Sprout Social
  • Sendible
  • SocialPilot

2. Email Marketing Software

In 2019, 3.9 billion people reported using some form of email platform, and this number is expected to grow to 4.3B by 2023. With email marketing tools, you can update your address list about sales and new products, maintain brand awareness in the minds of past customers, and deliver company information like awards or events to interested parties. 

This is a great way to keep in contact with previous customers; after all, it is almost always cheaper to maintain a past relationship than foster a brand new one. 

Email marketing software is convenient because it does all the behind-the-scenes coding and design work for you. All you have to do is plug in your information and pick a send date. You can send it immediately or schedule it for later.

Examples of email marketing platforms include:

  • Mailchimp
  • Sendinblue
  • ConvertKit
  • Constant Contact
  • Drip
  • Aweber
  • GetResponse

If you need help upgrading your email marketing skills, here are some best practices for email marketing and subject lines

See a full list of ecommerce email marketing software here.

3. SMS Marketing Software

Most businesses have picked up on the potential of SMS marketing, what with the number of time people spend on their smartphones. SMS marketing software is a great way to meet people where they are and build the most personal relationships—after all, receiving someone’s private number is an honor! 

The best SMS marketing software will be somewhat of a marketing automation platform that neatly packages the information you are trying to send and then delivers it to a designated audience upon your request. Be sure to do your research and come up with an engaging and convincing copy, lest your message is interpreted as spam. 

SMS marketing tools can be used to answer customer questions, deliver promotions and coupons, announce events, manage drip campaigns, ask for feedback or poll your audience, or distribute multimedia ads. 

Remember that, like email, you must have a user’s express written consent in order to send them SMS marketing items. Have them opt-in in-store, online, or through social media prompts. 

Examples of SMS marketing automation tools include:

  • UltraSMSScript
  • Sendinblue
  • Bulk SMS Text Messenger
  • Trumpia
  • Atomic SMS Sender
  • TextMagic

4. Influencer Marketing Software

Influencer marketing remains a good marketing strategy across various business categories. Companies bank on the popularity and credibility of online influencers to act as their brand ambassadors and endorse their products to an audience. When people see that their favorite celebrity (or ceWebrity) is using a certain product or service, it builds a sense of trust in that brand. 

In the modern world, influencer marketing has taken a turn from the usual global celebrity marketing system to instead heavily feature people who are only famous within a given geographical area or niche online community. This system includes people who have built a huge social media following and can convince prospects to invest in certain products.

Influencer marketing software helps companies to find, build, and maintain proper working relationships with celebrities and social media gurus in order to disseminate their marketing content and promote their brand.

Examples of influencer marketing software include:

  • Pitchbox
  • Node App
  • Klear
  • FamePick
  • Onalytica
  • Heepsy
  • Socialix
  • Tribe Dynamics

5. Content Marketing Software

You have probably heard the phrase: Content is king. That’s because it’s true. Content marketing encompasses everything from blog posts to long-form articles, email marketing, social media content, videos, infographics, e-books or whitepapers, press releases, and more. 

You’ll notice that content marketing links up with some of the other types of marketing we have talked about so far. That’s because every marketing style or campaign is going to need to produce content at one point or another. 

Content marketing touches everything that you do, which is probably why some teams opt to organize and amplify the creation process using content marketing software. This type of tool will help you brainstorm, design, review, proof, revise, and approve marketing materials for each campaign and platform. 

Content marketing software may overlap with whatever tools you are already using. For example, Mailchimp could be considered both email marketing software as well as a content marketing software. This is a great way to get additional value from the tools you pay for or invest time in. 

Examples of content marketing tools include:

  • Feedly
  • OptinMonster
  • Tailwind
  • Buffer
  • AnswerThePublic
  • CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
  • MozBar

Find a full list of content marketing platforms here, along with notes on key features and how to choose the right tool based on your needs. 

6. Multi-Level Marketing Software

Multi-level marketing software is designed to address the specific needs of MLM entrepreneurs. There are various multi-level marketing tools designed to cater to their needs—such as streamlining sales, remuneration, distribution, downlines, uplines, training programs, and internal communication. 

These network marketing companies need a two-pronged approach, as they are marketing to paying customers just as much as they are to other potential entrepreneurs who might want to join the sales team. MLM software can help ease the burden of navigating so many simultaneous communication streams. 

Examples of multi-level marketing software include:

  • Cloud MLM
  • MLM Software Central
  • Rallyware
  • Infinite MLM Software
  • MarketPowerPRO
  • Plexum
  • Hybrid MLM

7. Affiliate Marketing Software

Without the existence of affiliate marketing and affiliate marketers, most businesses would find it hard to replicate their marketing efforts and reach out to consumers across different geographical locations.

Affiliate marketing allows businesses to bank on the help of affiliate marketers by getting them to market their products and services on the company’s behalf. Through affiliate links that are unique to each marketer, affiliate marketers for a given company get commissions or flat rate payments each time a customer purchases a product or service.

Affiliate marketers rely on the audiences they have created across different media such as email lists, blogs, websites, ecommerce stores, and social media where they can strategically place relevant content and link to the company’s online store or website.

Examples of affiliate marketing software include:

  • Referral Rock
  • Post Affiliate Pro
  • Scaleo
  • Partnerize
  • Circlewise
  • AffiliateWP
  • Pepperjam Ascend

8. Digital Marketing Software

Digital marketing involves the use of digital technologies to promote products and services to reach a wider audience across different geographical locations. 

This type of software is very versatile and comprehensive, so it encompasses all types of marketing and acts as an umbrella that covers other forms of marketing such as social media marketing, certain forms of content marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, and more. The rule of thumb is that if it is online, it is digital.

In this category, some of the most popular marketing tools include:

  • HubSpot
  • SEMRush
  • Mapify360
  • Marketo
  • Campaign Monitor
  • AdRoll

9. Customer Relationship Management Software

Customer relationship management software comes into play to help businesses capture, store, retrieve, and use customer data for effective lead management, as well as analyze marketing metrics and data.

Each CRM software helps a business store customer information such as email addresses, location, names, work titles, and company names where they work. Some CRMs can go further and track customer interactions, follow-ups, and more.

Some popular CRM software include:

  • Zoho
  • Freshworks CRM
  • Salesforce
  • Keap
  • Less Annoying CRM

Learn more about ecommerce CRMs here.

10. Marketing Attribution Software

Tracking the entire customer journey from the time the customer first engages with an advertisement to the point at which they buy a product or service becomes easy when companies use attribution software. 

This helps find out what hurdles the customer might have had along the way, what influenced their decision to make a purchase, and how they interacted with the company and product throughout the process. It helps identify the areas the company needs to improve on in their marketing platform.

Some common attribution software used for marketing automation are:

  • CallRail
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Pardot
  • SharpSpring

Find more examples of marketing attribution software here!

11. App Store Optimization Software

Companies that neglect their apps end up losing a lot of traction in their marketing efforts. The modern customer scours the web for more information about a company or business before they make the crucial decision to buy a product or service.

If you have applications on app stores like the Huawei AppGallery, Google Play Store, or Apple App Store, you need to constantly optimize them so that they rank higher when customers search under their category.

Some of the ways to position your app for better click-through and conversion rates include optimizing the name of the app, store title, icon, description, updates, accompanying screenshots, user reviews, and rating.

For this, you can use popular app optimization tools like:

  • Adjust
  • MightySignal
  • AppFollow
  • ASOdesk
  • AppTweak

12. Marketing Automation Software

To best automate your marketing tasks, streamline marketing workflow systems, and measure the results of every marketing campaign, it’s best to use a marketing automation tool. 

With these tools, you will have a stable and reliable database for all your marketing efforts across different marketing platforms such as email, lead generation, direct mail, social media, digital advertising, and more.

These marketing automation tools are also useful for digital analytics, as they allow you to see the progress and success of the marketing campaign in its entirety across the mentioned channels.

The most effective marketing automation tools include:

  • HubSpot Marketing Hub
  • Klaviyo
  • Omnisend
  • Thryv
  • Exponea
  • RD Station Marketing
  • ManyChat
  • Autopilot
  • Act-On

13. Marketing Project Management Software

You will need the right software to manage your marketing projects. These tools help you plan, implement, collaborate with key stakeholders like project managers, and track the progress of your marketing projects.

Marketing project management software fits marketing teams across various sectors such as marketing consultancy, freelancing, marketing agencies, internal marketing groups, advertising agencies, brand management firms, and event management companies.

The best marketing project management software you’ll find is:

  • Toggl Plan
  • Basecamp
  • Brightpod
  • Filestage
  • WP Project Manager
  • Trello
  • Wrike
  • Kanban Tool
  • Podio
  • Asana

14. Mobile Marketing Software

While most companies focus on web-based marketing platforms, those that capitalize on the mobile phone market reach out to an even wider audience since most people today access the Internet through tablets, smartphones, and other hand-portable communication devices.

Mobile marketing tools are effective in leveraging mobile advertising and outreach through mobile-based apps and browsers. They help track ad engagement data and launch marketing campaigns like push notifications, mobile advertisements, web-based ads, in-game ads, and in-app ads.

Some of the most common mobile marketing tools used by marketing professionals include:

  • AppsFlyer
  • Attentive
  • MoEngage
  • Braze
  • WebEngage
  • Emarsys
  • Sailthru
  • SendPulse

Find out more about mobile marketing software here, and review a list of the best options for 2021. 

15. Marketing Analytics Software

There’s a reason we brought this down as the very last item on our list. Not that it’s any less important. No. It’s the icing on the cake. Look at it this way. What use would it be to carry out your marketing efforts without pausing to see how you are progressing?

That’s where marketing analytics software comes in. It helps you track the progress, success, or failure of every marketing campaign so you can see what works and what doesn’t. This is important because, without this, it is impossible to know your weaknesses and areas to improve on.

Through marketing analytics tools, businesses can enhance the return on investment once they identify the most effective marketing strategies and adjust their campaigns accordingly to maximize conversion rates and boost sales. 

This is possible since these tools collect marketing data across the campaign’s channels and monitor the response and behavior of the target audience. They also analyze the collected results, so it’s easy to break them down into a palatable state for a better understanding of the target market.

Among the best out there, you’ll find:

  • Looker
  • SharpSpring
  • Pathmatics
  • TapClicks
  • AgencyAnalytics
  • Adverity
  • Funnel
  • Force24
  • Moat Analytics
  • BlueVenn
  • Tinyclues
  • Bright Analytics

Looking to buy analytics software? Here’s a list of the best marketing analytics software for 2021.

The Takeaway

Whatever your marketing plans, there is marketing software designed to help. So stop asking “What is marketing software?” and start asking “How can I best use it to meet my sales goals, build customer relationships, and deliver great products?”. Feel free to share some of your ideas in the comments. 

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