With some 4,000 marketing technology companies out there, there are a ton of B2B marketing tools to pick from. And just like with ice cream, when you have too many choices, how do you know which one to pick?
The short answer: There is no “universal” MarTech stack that works for everyone.
Your business is different than other business. You are different than other people. And that means your favorite B2B marketing tools are going to be different that what other folks want.
So, here’s the deal.
The B2B marketing toolbox we’re recommending here might not be right for you. But it might be. It’s what we’ve grown to love in more than 15 years helping business-to-business companies identify, activate and convert audiences in niche spaces.
Whatever you choose, as long as it’s strategic, it won’t be a bad call. I promise.
Here’s the core of our dream MarTech stack:
- HubSpot, etc.
B2B Marketing Tool #1: WordPress
What is WordPress?
Why? For one, it’s ubiquitous. You can probably throw a rock out your window and most likely hit a WordPress developer. They’re everywhere.
Further, WordPress is extremely user-friendly, both for building and maintaining sites. And with so many options and integrations, it’s the core of a great B2B MarTech suite.
PSA: Don’t actually throw a rock out your window, nor at a WordPress developer. They don’t like that.
Why We Love WordPress
- Again, it’s incredibly easy to find a developer. “Enterprise” content management systems make it almost impossible to find help. Not WordPress.
- It’s easy to add functionality to a WordPress site. Done are the days of from-scratch custom development. On WordPress, the functionality you’re looking for almost always exists.
- It’s increasingly secure. Although there were some security issues in the past, (especially when you use cheap, pre-built themes with common plug-ins), WordPress has truly come a long way. So long as your hosting environment is solid and you follow basic security best practices, there’s no reason to worry about WordPress.
With WordPress powering 32.3% of websites on the entire internet, building your site on it is a no-brainer.
B2B Marketing Tool #2: Unbounce
What Is Unbounce?
For our money, Unbounce is the best WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) landing page builder out there. Even if you have WordPress, Unbounce makes it incredibly fast to create new landing pages. This is particularly important for Google search advertising, where you want landing page to match ad and search very closely, and you can’t delay spinning up new ad groups because you can’t get your creative done.
You can even use it as a temporary solution for a website. We had a client with a 20-year old website that died and only brought up a heart-wrenching ‘404 Page Not Found’ message. Luckily, Unbounce saved the day: Within hours, we had a temporary page up, at the right URL, and site visitors were none the wiser about what happened. Ta-da!
Why We Love Unbounce
- It lets you spin up pages and microsites as fast as you can conceptualize them.
- Don’t worry about code, programming, launch, or hosting – it takes care of it all.
- It natively connects to HubSpot, Campaign Monitor and a ton of other services. Plus, it has that critical integration with Zapier, allowing you to take form data from Unbounce and place it anywhere. You’ve got to give them an A+ for convenience.
- It’s cheap. Their “Essential” plan (which includes everything you need to build, test, and optimize for more conversions), starts at just $79 bucks per month.
Unbounce is the hero we need – not the hero we deserve!
B2B Marketing Tool #3: Zapier
What Is Zapier?
This B2B marketing tool is pretty much a universal integration engine. Basically, it allows anyone to pretend they’re a programmer.
With Zapier, you can connect almost any app to almost any other app to trigger actions, flow data, or do whatever you want to do. And you can do it all without custom code, with APIs, and all without having to call a developer.
(Again, do not throw rocks at developers. Seriously, bad idea.)
Why We Love Zapier
- It is a completely open book. You can be as creative as you want to be. Case in point, some of us at the Altitude office were joking about how cool it would be if we could get an alert through Slack every time Funk (a local brewery; go there) had a new beer. And you know what? Zapier could actually do that. Every 15 minutes, Zapier would crawl Funk’s Twitter for the words “new,” “release,” and “tap” and alert us if anything juicy was found. If you can dream it, you can do it … including having one too many Double Discos.
- The concept of RPA (robotic process automation) is getting hot. Zapier allows anyone to build software bots, rendering human tasks automatic. Remember that Twitter crawl example? You no longer have to even read the tweets; the robot can do that for you.
For what it gives you, it is so underpriced. Where else can you get professional-level integration services at 50 bucks per month?
(Plus, you get to pretend you’re a software engineer!)
B2B Marketing Tool #4: HubSpot, etc.
What Is HubSpot, etc.?
Yes, we mean HubSpot, etc. Here’s why.
Regardless, if you’re building a suite of B2B marketing tools, you need an automation platform and a CRM. Pick HubSpot or another platform. Just don’t have nothing.
Why We Love HubSpot, etc.
- Enterprise marketing automation platforms allow you to respond faster, build deeper relationships with prospects and gain a greater understanding of how they’re engaging with you.
- On the CRM side, it’s all about organization. Making sure you have everything you could possibly need to know about prospects in one place is pretty much table stakes these days.
- The big ones are ubiquitous. HubSpot and the other major players all integrate with just about anything else on the web. The days of a landlocked CRM and home-grown marketing automation are dead.
- The prices have also come to the point where every business can afford them.
And frankly, no business can afford to be without them.
B2B Marketing Tool #5: UpLead
What Is UpLead?
A data aggregation tool that lets you find specific contact info for individuals at millions of companies.
But there’s one big advantage to UpLead: The price.
Why We Love UpLead
- Some of these platforms easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars a year. Uplead is about 100 bucks a month. Yes, you heard that right.
- The quality of the data might not be quite as good as ZoomInfo, but a Chevy can get you from point A to point B just as well as a Cadillac. Same goes with UpLead.
- Marketing in general has gotten impersonal. Because so many mass communication tools are available, people are spitting out campaigns across the globe in a matter of minutes. UpLead is great because they let you reach out to individual people with context – before you call them or email them, you can learn something about them.
This B2B marketing tool is the best sweet spot between price and quality.
B2B Marketing Tool #6: WordStream
What Is WordStream?
It’s software that sits on top of Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Facebook Ads, allowing you to optimize and manage your campaigns incredibly easily from one place.
Additionally, WordStream provides AI-driven insights into what’s working, what’s not, what you might want to try, and what you should probably stop doing.
Why We Love WordStream
- It’s centralized and easy to use. The Google Ads interface is tough — everyone knows that. Bing and Facebook are tricky, too. And when you’re running campaigns all over the place, you need something that can flow through different platforms and have one spot where you can see how you’re doing and how you can make improvements. That’s where WordStream excels.
- Their consulting rocks. It’s inexpensive when included in a subscription. They work their butts off, answer super specific questions, and create a tremendous value-add.
- Their “20 minute-work week” feature gives you highlights from your campaigns and puts the stuff you need to be looking at right in front of you. If everything is humming along fine, they’ll tell you. If everything is not-so-fine, they’ll make sure you become aware ASAP.
While a little bit on the pricier side, WordStream is an independent third party that can help bring you back down from whatever craziness is going on in your digital ad campaigns.
To wit a lot of SEM consultants charge based on spend. And consultants at Google, Microsoft and Facebook certainly want you to spend more. WordStream is more interested in helping you optimize your digital advertising.
If you’re looking to expand your arsenal of tools to help crank out successful B2B marketing campaigns, you can’t go wrong with any of these six top picks. Or maybe you can.
Again, build the B2B MarTech stack that works for you. Want DiscoverOrg instead of UpLead? Or Salesforce/Pardot instead of HubSpot Sales/Marketing? Whatever! The world is your oyster.
(Of course, we’re standing by with the butter, spinach and romano, happy to help. Give our B2B marketing consultants a buzz today, and we’ll help you build the business-to-business toolbox of your dreams.)