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24 Agility-Enhancing Marketing Tools for Small Businesses on a Tight Budget

A woman utilizing a laptop for agile marketing on a table.

That’s how much the average company invests in marketing, as part of their annual revenue. For any business, 11% of revenues is a significant amount of money. For small businesses, that figure represents cash the company might need in the event of a catastrophe.

With the company's overall budget stretched thin, it's often more ideal to save as much cash as possible — even if that means withholding critical marketing funding. As it turns out, most small businesses opt for this safe play. According to Statista, most small businesses in the US reported spending less than $10,000 on marketing initiatives in 2017.

We can see from this study that small businesses typically spend significantly less than 11.2% of their revenues on marketing efforts. Instead, many have figured out how to squeeze as much value as possible from their smaller marketing budget. This is where agile marketing comes in. Agile marketing is when teams maximize the value of their output by focusing on principles like autonomy, flexibility, collaboration, experimentation, and iterative growth.

What Tools Do You Need to Implement Agile Marketing?

With all that goes into agile marketing, technological assistance helps greatly. These low-cost tools and software will allow you to accomplish your marketing goals effectively.

But before we get to the tools, check out these other related reads from PostFunnel:
13 Tools to Get Inside Your Customers' Minds
4 Tools That Make Delighting Your Customers Easier
7 Innovative Marketing Tools to Drive Customer Loyalty

Tools for Agile Marketing Research

One of the main goals of agile marketing is to react quickly to changes in your niche or industry and make appropriate adjustments in real time. To have your finger on the pulse, you'll need tools that'll aid your research:

  • Trend- and Keyword-Tracking Software: Tools such as Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner provide insights into what your audience is talking about, what questions they're asking, and what solutions they're finding.
  • Curation Tools: Curata and Feedly compile content related to your industry from around the web.
  • Online Forums: Sites like Reddit and Quora are prime resources for trending information in almost any industry imaginable. On these forums, you'll find highly-engaged individuals asking relevant questions — and receiving relevant answers.
  • Survey Tools: Survey software — SurveyMonkey, GetFeedback, AskNicely, etc. — allows you to gather insights from various audience segments regarding their experience with your brand and their needs and expectations moving forward.

You'll also want to automate collecting industry information and data as best you can. Tools like Google Alerts and Mention scan the web for new content related to your brand, niche, or any other topic — then point you directly to this further information.

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It's also important for agile marketing teams to always have access to this data. Tools like Tableau automatically collect and process information (both internal and external), then present the relevant data on a user-friendly dashboard:

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Data-driven marketing is critical to your marketing initiatives. Stay on top of the goings-on in your industry, and you'll know exactly how to proceed in your marketing efforts.

Tools for Agile Communication and Collaboration

To take immediate action on all this data, your marketing team must be able to communicate with each other anywhere, at any time. There are a variety of workplace chat apps that make real-time communication easy, including:

  • Slack: Perhaps the most popular workplace chat tool, Slack allows individuals and groups of team members to chat, send and receive files, and perform other customizable, collaborative tasks.
  • Microsoft Teams makes it easy for remote teams to collaborate on Microsoft Office and other third-party documents while communicating via text, video, or audio call.
  • Flock works like an internal message board, allowing teams to document conversations between individuals and larger parties on an ongoing basis. This allows all involved to quickly refer back to past discussions, ensuring everyone remains on the same page.

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Agile communication involves basing your decisions on the most up-to-date information possible. Creating open lines of communication among all team members on multiple channels is vital to your initiative's success.

Tools for Agile Recordkeeping and Accessibility

Agile marketing requires that a company's data and information are accurate and accessible at all times. Below are some tools that allow you to keep track of processes, customer engagements, and other such events.

Project management tools like Asana and Trello were designed with the Agile team in mind. These tools allow teams to track projects from start to finish while working based on a collaborative real-time to-do list.

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Customer relationship management platforms, such as HubSpot, are also vital to agile marketing. With a good CRM, marketing teams can track overall consumer trends and individual customer engagements, using the data to inform future campaigns.

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Agile operations mean minimizing redundancies and wasteful output. These pitfalls are avoidable with easily accessible, real-time recordkeeping.

Tools for Agile Content Management

Integrating a digital asset management tool into your processes ensures that your marketing team can pull information for creating new campaigns with confidence that the data is up to date. Digital asset management software can often be expensive, but many providers offer free or lower-tier versions. Small marketing teams working on a tight budget may want to consider the following free or low-cost tools:

A robust digital asset management tool allows you to grow your content library, enabling your team to pull pieces from your existing content in future campaigns (rather than starting from scratch with each new initiative). This also sets your team up to begin implementing dynamic range in their marketing campaigns at some point shortly.

Tools for Assessing Agile Processes

We mentioned earlier that agile marketing is iterative, in that evolution and improvement are essential parts of the overall process. Analytics tools like Cyfe allow you to track various information, from engagement metrics to sales data, as you run various marketing campaigns on multiple channels.

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On a more granular level, Optimove's engagement tools include robust reporting on individual campaign performances:

Optimove creates A/B tests using dynamically created versions of existing content. This allows teams to quickly and effectively assess different aspects of their marketing campaigns. What's more, Optimove's Optibot tool uses the information gleaned during this testing phase to generate self-optimizing campaigns automatically. Optimove's software creates dynamic marketing content, delivering the suitable campaigns to the right audience at the right time.

Agile operations push effectiveness and efficiency. The focus is always on streamlining processes, eliminating downtime and friction, and getting the most value in return for your efforts and spending. When implemented within your marketing strategies, the goal of ‘going agile is to maximize audience engagement while spending as little money and as few resources as possible. In doing so, you'll set your company up for significant success in the future, as you'll soon be able to invest even more into your marketing initiatives.

Customer marketing challenges and opportunities

Matt Duczeminski

Matt is a professional writer specializing in helping entrepreneurs improve customer relationships. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Sarah, and he'd probably get much more work done if his cat stopped bothering him.

This article was originally published by our friends at PostFunnel.

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