The Latest from the ABM Experts
February 17, 2017
13 Digital Marketing Tools to Crush On
Written by Annie McMindes
Tis the season of love, and we’re spreading it around by sharing our very favorite digital marketing tools we’re crushing on right now.
Now sure, we realize people aren’t really capable of loving a brand – not really, I mean, if we’re going to define love as a timeless, permanent state of emotion, connection and devotion. But it’s definitely possible for people to crush on a brand. And a crush can get a brand pretty far.
Crushes are defined as an intense (and usually passing) infatuation. For these digital marketing tools, though, it’s important they stay relevant and crush-worthy as trends change.
Here are 13 brands we’re totally crushing on right now:
Litmus lives where we want to go. Their brand is clean and their value is unmatched. Let’s start with the blog – which talks about everything email. They’re one of the most reliable digital marketing tools to see statistics, quality information and entertaining content. Their website is user friendly and easy to navigate. And their platform helps to test, optimize, simplify and amplify your email marketing.
Interactivity served up with a side of simplicity, Asana is the total package. Clean aesthetics and intuitive design make this digital marketing tool a total stud in our eyes.
Design aside, we’re in love with what we’re able to do with the platform. We can see the whole team and work off the same platform. We can create separate boards, and see day-to-day tasks. We’re able to tag each other and customize how we work – so I can organize my tasks different than my teammate, but we’re still able to work together.
MailChimp’s model is to actually help their customers – and keep them by providing stellar service. As you’re building your email list, MailChimp isn’t going to charge you – in fact, the service is free if you have 2000 names or less. After the 2000th subscriber, the price bumps to about $15 a month. And the platform integrates with social media, showing it plays well with others. They’re totally under the impression email is a piece of your marketing strategy, not your entire marketing strategy, and they’re there to support your mission in totality.
Your custom analytics give a detailed look at how many emails were opened, what links were clicked, is your email working – and help you optimize it to work harder for you. Then several times a year MailChimp shoots out reports that show the best times to send, best ways to engage and overall email best practices based off the data you’re collecting.
We’re crushing on their writing team so hard. They’re so fun! The content is not only informational, but actually valuable. They produce the content we want to see and they do it so it’s fun to read, watch, see, listen to, etc. Even their prospecting emails are on point with helpful content that is sure to give readers a smile.
This digital marketing tool has a friendly user interface that uses simplicity as the ultimate sophistication. The illustrations in their design are fun and engaging, while functionality is equally as basic to help the user steer their own path.
Box’s design is informative, intuitive and pretty – for instance, the very slick gifs that slide in on the home page. On first look at their website, there is no question what they do. And they really want to make sure you understand their product. And then get to know you to make sure your user experience is simple and personal.
Another thing they do well that we love is on the pricing page. They segment by a user’s buyer persona by offering three options at the top: “Individual Plans,” “Business Plans,” and “Platform Plans.” Making it a personal experience for the user – after all, if you’re thinking about buying Box for yourself, there’s really no reason you’d need to see the business plans (and vice versa).
Touting a client list of Uber, Slack, Square, Facebook, Yahoo, Warby Parker, Airbnb, Lyft and about a bazillion others, the crew at Sandwich Video delivers an authentic personalized experience we’re obsessed with. The first step in working with Sandwich Video is shooting them an email. Give them all the details on your project and why it’s the next big thing. Then you wait for their response – which is from another human, usually within an hour. When they message back, they’ll ask you a ton of questions to really get to know you and your brand. As they say, they’re fans of “real talk.”
The full-service creative agency out of Los Angeles is so intent on getting to know you and your brand. They’re interacting with a single goal in mind, and it has nothing to do with their bottom line. In fact, on the contrary, it’s all about your bottom line, and helping you become successful. We love brands who build others up!
Built on laser-focused targeting and personalized messaging, BBDO is the group responsible for Snapchat-centric Lowe’s campaign, Snicker’s “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” which extended into the snacks packaging; haunting anti-texting, “It can wait” efforts for AT&T and the liberating “Imaging the Possibilities” campaign that helped reverse a three-year decline for Barbie, raising the sales by double-digit percentages, according to Ad Age.
In the business since 1891, BBDO has spent more than a century learning to embrace data strategically, without sacrificing their core creativity. As Omnicom’s largest portfolio, the agency has expanded to 289 offices in 80 countries.
Square is on a mission to make life easier – and that starts on their homepage. Starting at the top, navigation is sleek and the headline is interactive. They want to make the experience as personal as possible, which helps give users a customized journey through their website.
And their product is just cool. It’s something that actually helps people start selling faster. My salon uses Square, my neighbors at the Farmers Market uses Square, my favorite boutique uses Square. It’s a real product, that helps real people, with a real solution.
The home services industry is not a particularly sexy topic to market, but Nest has glammed it up. Starting with the awesome product, it’s a little piece of cool hanging on the wall – not just a beige box that gets overlooked. Because it’s more art-meets-functionality rather than a product you don’t pay attention to, consumers are often more aware of the energy they’re using, which is good for the environment and their pocket book.
And for the digital marketing tools inspiration, the design of the website is almost as sleek and simple as the product’s interface. The design is clean with stark contrasts. Oh and as a little bonus, the screwdriver comes in the box, so you don’t have to worry about finding the right size.
Rocking the product world in pink – Pendo, the analytics platform that helps your product development folks track user behavior to build more engaging software, does SaaS with style. Originally just an accent color in the product, the pink was so well received, the marketing department snagged it right up and made it their trademark. And it’s impossible to miss.
Add in their unique sense of humor – they brought a 6-foot dinosaur to SaaStr 17 this year – and obvious talent and we’re hooked.
What kind of Martech writer would I be if I failed to mention the king of digital marketing tools on our crush list? But why do we love them like Ross loves Rachel? Our reasons go far beyond the (drool-worthy) design. Apple understands consistency – no matter what platform you’re on, you know what kind of user experience to expect. And speaking of user experience, Apple knows good usability. It’s easy. It’s quick. And it creates trends, knowing what users are going to want next before they know they want it.
Every company, in every industry, should do customer service like Zappos. The world would be a happier place. The company (which is now a unit of Amazon) has been called “insane” and “fanatical” for the lengths they go to deliver happiness. Like that time sent flowers to a lady who ordered six different pairs of shoes because her feet were damaged by harsh medical treatment, or when they overnighted a free pair of shoes to a best man who had arrived at a wedding without his shoes (oops!).
They take personalized service to new levels by delivering consistent, user-friendly experiences 365 days a year. (Yes, even on Christmas.)
We love literally everything HubSpot does. The number one reason? Because it works. It works every time. It’s so stupid simple, the whole marketing team is able to use it. HubSpot drives real results and helps keep us on task and accountable. Not to mention, their team of a cool 1,000 (ish) employees are constantly working to improve their product. HubSpot didn’t just create a product, but it pioneered a movement to inbound marketing. And it’s leading by example.
And then, if you’re in a smaller agency or new to marketing, there’s a really great chance you learned the ins and outs of the marketing industry through reading their (auh-mazing) content.