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There are many ways to make your marketing team the most efficient in the business, but some technologies are essential. When asked what kinds of tech belong on every business’s marketing wishlist, three non-negotiables spring to mind:

1. Robust email/task management software

Software to manage the endless projects and communiqués coming from all sides are critical for any marketing team these days. Business happens at the pace of technology, so trying to keep track of things manually is counter-productive. So is bothering with separate email and task programs when there are combo options are available. The most basic will keep all project-related communications and assignments in one place – cutting down on distractions that crop up when people are in their personal inboxes. Fancier options incorporate document creation, sharing, storage and a host of other features. Organization is paramount, so prioritize this if you’re not already using something.

2. Social media listening technology

Whatever business you’re in, but especially consumer products, retail, media, and entertainment brands, a social listening platform is a must. Your brand will be left far behind if you don’t know what your audience is talking about or how they feel about all they share on social. It’s definitely a more is more scenario – in that you don’t want to stop at what they’re saying about you, you want to know what they’re saying about your competitors too. And most importantly, you need to know what outside your brand matters to your customers and prospects – gaining insight into what they want, need, think is cool, think is passé, etc.

And here’s what you may not realize about social listening: it’s not just about mentions and retweets, or watching how your hashtag is faring. Real social media listening platforms go several layers deeper into the emotions behind those tweets – even to analyze how emojis are being used and what they mean for you. It’s like having a special key. When you can speak the language, and understand how people feel, you can engage them on the personal level they – frankly – expect. And this is how you build relationships that evolve into brand loyalty. If you’re not using a social listening platform to monitor and analyze your audience’s sentiment on social media, you’re missing out.

3. Innovation management technology

Innovation is a word that gets thrown about so much it would be easy to shrug it off as a buzzword and nothing more. But that would be a mistake. Show me a company that isn’t growing and changing with technology as it advances, and I’ll show you a company that won’t be in business in ten years. Innovation shouldn’t be mistaken for a lucky “lightbulb” moment, because it’s actually an intentional process that can and should be managed and measured. And when you have tools to help you brainstorm and track ideas, progress, and ROI it gets all the easier. Platforms like Brightidea take the mystery out of innovating so it can become a priority resulting in progress, instead of just an empty concept.

By the way, innovation platforms track social sentiment during the ideation process, to see how new ideas are received “in the wild” – which tells you how important social is on all fronts.

If you’re a digital marketer, you should be leveraging the technologies above at a minimum – to work out next steps, run campaigns, and check in on how they’re going. There’s nothing wrong with relying on technology to help you and your team think outside the box, create authentic relationships with your audience, and stay on track. In fact, it would only be wrong if you didn’t.

Do you have anything to add? What’s on your marketing tech wishlist? Let me know on Twitter, or ask your own question!

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