The Startup Marketer’s Tool Stack

Over a pint of Boylan Bridge Brewpub beer, Jonathan Stephens shared an idea for a new post.  He’s my former business partner, but now does something important for Republic Wireless.  At least that’s what he tells me.

Jonathan politely observed that The Expert Generalist’s audience needs a go-to resource for the types of startup marketing tools available, and examples of each.

toolboxAround here we call that list of tools a “tool stack”, which is fun to say.  Kind of like the word “sconce”.  Or “taco” or “booyah”.  They roll off the tongue nicely.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let us remember that marketing begins with a great product.  Many of the tools below help with the outer circles in the “Circles of Marketing“.  If your product stinks, no fancy-pants tool will overcome that.

Here’s my list of best marketing tools for a startup, based exclusively on my own experiences, hearsay, and conjecture, and slanted towards B2B marketing.  If you’ve got other suggestions, comment or email me, and you’ll get an e-booyah in return.

Click on any header to sort.

The Startup Marketer's Tool Stack

CategoryToolWhyWhenPrice
AnalyticsGoogle AnalyticsYou can only improve what you measure. NowFree
AnalyticsMixPanelThey allow you to get absolutely freaky with your data.Established product-to-market fit accompanied with healthy budget.Multiple price plans from ~$0/mo up to $2,000/mo.
Customer Relationship ManagementSalesforceYou've outgrown Excel and have more than 500 prospects or customers.Early product and small budget. Multiple price plans for $5/mo per user up to $300/mo per user.
Customer Relationship ManagementuservoiceThey provide fantastic tools to gather product feedback and manage customer support ticketsNow$0/mo to $95/mo per user
Customer Relationship ManagementExcelIt's cheap, easy, and does the job. Until it doesn't.NowFree, if pre-installed on your computer.
Email MarketingBrontoBronto is the dino-fied king of ecommerce email marketing. Own your relationship with your customers.Established product-to-market fit accompanied with healthy budget.If you have to ask, you can't afford it.
Email MarketingMailChimpEmail marketing remains the best way to own your relationship with customers.NowFree to paid plans
Event HostingEventBriteA simple way to keep track of who attends any event you hostNowFree to paid plans
Event HostingMeetUpA fantastic way to build community by finding like-minded professionals in your area.NowAffordable monthly paid plans
Marketing AutomationMarketo / Hubspot / PardotReduces the noise of by ranking hundreds of in-bound leads, allowing your team to focus on & nurture the leads that matter most. Established product-to-market fit accompanied with healthy budget.Multiple price points ranging from free trials to thousands per month.
Office ToolsGoogle Apps For BusinessIt's dirt cheap and provides excellent email functionality with basic docs, spreadsheets, presentations, and forms [surveys].Now$5/mo per user. Best deal in town.
Office ToolsAdobe IllustratorCreate PDFs and sales collateral. Requires learning. Otherwise use PPT.Early product and small budget.$30/mo through Adobe Creative Cloud.
Paid AdvertismentsTwitterCrazy, ridiculous targeting capabilities to reach exactly the audience you desire.Early product and small budget. Priced on a per campaign basis.
Paid AdvertismentsFacebookCrazy, ridiculous targeting capabilities to reach exactly the audience you desire.Early product and small budget. Priced on a per campaign basis.
Paid AdvertismentsLinkedInCrazy, ridiculous targeting capabilities to reach exactly the audience you desire.Early product and small budget. Priced on a per campaign basis.
PodcastsGarageBand by MacEasily create podcasts about your industry or your customer's industry to drive more brand awareness and leadsNowFree if you've got a Mac. My apologies for lacking a PC solution.
PresentationsPower PointA simple way to present your ideas to customers, prospects, investors, family, pets.NowFree if you've got MS Office
PresentationsPreziVery cool animated presentation tool, but takes a little getting used to.NowFree to $5 to $13/mo
Press ReleasesPRWebIf you feel like a press release will add value, use PRWeb.Only when you have something truly worth saying.$200-400 per release
Project ManagementGoogle DocsEasy collaboration by using their docs or spreadsheetsNow$5/mo per user. Best deal in town.
Project ManagementBasecampYou've got multiple projects going and need a more sophisticated tool to track them.Early product and small budget. Starts at $20/mo.
Screen Sharing & Conference CallsFree Conference CallJoin multiple people together on the phoneNowFree
Screen Sharing & Conference CallsGoTo MeetingRock-solid reliability for screen sharing your PPT or Prezi.Early product and small budget. Free Trial. ~$20/mo.
Screen Sharing & Conference CallsJoin.meThe best free screen sharing and conference call tool around now.NowFree
Screen Sharing & Conference CallsGoogle HangoutsShare screens and see each other in person. Great for remote employees.NowFree
Social Media ManagementHootSuiteMakes sense out of Twitter's various feeds and streamsNowFree for a single user. ~$10/mo for additional users.
SurveysSurveyMonkeyGain quick feedback from customers, end users, and prospects to make better marketing and product decisions.NowFree to affordable tiered pricing plans.
SurveysGoogle FormsGain quick feedback from customers, end users, and prospects to make better marketing and product decisions.NowPart of the Google Business suite, which is $5/mo per user.
Website ManagementWPEngine.comTo run a Wordpress.org site and host yourname.com, you need hosting engine.NowStarts at ~$30/mo
Website ManagementWordpress.orgIntegrated in to everything, and thousands of plugins.NowFree

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