If customer-centric tools are too difficult to use or poorly designed, they won’t be very helpful, no matter how much they promise to be.
Customer-centric marketing is vital for creating a modern marketing plan for an online product or service. Marketers who focus on the customer, instead of the company, are better able to connect with customers, increase retention rates, provide high-quality customer experiences, and understand what people love (and don’t) about their product or service.
By focusing on the customer, marketing can move beyond the basics—ad copy and promotions—and into inspiring, and educating customers throughout your marketing.
With a marketing team focused on the customer base—and potential customers—marketing can be used to share important details about your product as someone decides to make a purchase and throughout the life of their interactions with the brand.
To enable your marketing team to truly understand your customers and make the best decisions, be sure you give them the right tools for the job.
Keep reading for tips on how to choose customer-centric tools for marketing, plus eighteen top tool recommendations.
Tips for Choosing Customer-Centric Tools
Once you’ve got a customer-centric marketing plan in mind, it’s time to find the tools that’ll help you make it happen.
There are thousands of them out there. It’s important to do some research, try some options out, and find the best fit for your particular case. As you vet prospective tools, consider the following factors:
Is the tool customer-focused?
There are lots of customer-centric tools out there for marketing, so be sure to make sure the ones you use understand the importance of focusing on the customer. Some channel-specific tools are still valuable, but be sure they center the customer as the reason you’re using them.
Look for a tool that considers things like a customer’s satisfaction, the sentiment of their messages, and other indicators of how they feel about your product or service, rather than only tracking stats in a broad and generic way.
Does the tool support multiple channels so it’s able to provide a look at the whole customer experience?
Just like looking for a tool that’s focused on customers instead of the best of a specific marketing channel a tool that can cross boundaries and connect data from various resources will go a long way in making it easier to take action from the information you collect.
A cross-channel approach to customer experience—including marketing. That means a tool able to span across channels will be valuable for understanding customer behaviors and the reasoning behind them across their entire experience.
However, there are lots of great customer-centric tools that focus on understanding one thing very well. So if a tool doesn’t combine channels, don’t immediately consider it a dealbreaker.
Is the dashboard easy for your team to use?
If a tool is too difficult to use or poorly designed, it won’t be very helpful, no matter how much it promises to be. As you choose one to use, be sure to pay attention to how intuitive it is and where your team struggles while trying it out.
A bunch of data and insight into your customers won’t matter if it’s not organized effectively for your needs.
Top Customer-Centric Marketing Tools
To assist you in developing and growing your customer-centric marketing plan, we’ve rounded up 18 tools. They’re focusing on customer insight, experience, social media, targeting, and beyond—that’ll help:
Google Marketing Platform: Test variations of your site, track analytics to see which keywords bring people to your site, create personalized landing pages to see how they each perform, and more with Google Marketing Platform. Because it’s Google, they can handle your business no matter the size.
Hootsuite: Hootsuite is widely used across businesses of all sizes for good reason. It connects with over 30 social networks, and beyond the social media scheduling basics, the social monitoring tools provide useful data for your team.
Nicereply: Nicereply is a customer experience management platform used to measure Customer Satisfaction, Customer Effort Score and Net Promoter Score.
Hundreds of teams at companies like Microsoft, Lenovo, Hubspot and Buffer use Nicereply to collect customer feedback. They want to improve the quality of their customer support, service, product and marketing.
PopSurvey: PopSurvey promises to help create questionnaires people will enjoy taking. The tool includes reports, customized design, mobile surveys, and beyond.
Optimove: Grow your business through existing customers with retention marketing through Optimove. It provides insight to boost customer engagement and lifetime value, as well as understand customers’ needs and automate campaigns across multiple channels.
Buffer: Manage multiple social media accounts in one spot with post scheduling and detailed analytics. It’s great for identifying the best times to reach your customers, as well as schedule content in advance.
Twitter Analytics: If you’re on Twitter, using their analytics tool is necessary to get the most out of it. Use Twitter Cards, run ad campaigns, and understand who your audience is and how they engage with your Twitter feed in detail.
Pinterest Analytics: If your marketing team has a Pinterest account, using their in-house analytics tool is a must. Use the data to drive conversions and better understand your customers and how they interact with your pins across devices.
Quintly: Track and optimize social media performance with Quintly. This tool includes a way to benchmark your numbers against your competitors’ too.
Little Bird: Use Little Bird to find experts with influence to engage with your brand and segment your social data to understand the details better.
Keyhole: Track keywords, hashtags, and URLs in real time with Keyhole. You’ll be able to watch how influencers engage with your brand to spot the right people to reach out to for collaborations, and the dashboard can be shared with colleagues to share the value of your marketing work with outside teams.
Brandwatch: Brandwatch provides insight into public opinion on any topic on social media. Use it to understand trends impacting your brand to make informed decisions and stay ahead of competitors.
BuzzSumo: Use BuzzSumo to see how content performs for any topic or your competitors, as well as find the best influencers to promote your product or service.
Tailwind: Manage and optimize your brand’s campaigns on Pinterest and Instagram. Track conversions, understand trends, and see how users interact with your content.
Social Mention: Social Mention is a social media search engine. It searches user-generated content to help your brand track what people are saying about you across social platforms. Set alerts and understand customer sentiment all in one single stream.
PlaceIQ: Understand the location and real-world behavior of your audience with PlaceIQ. Use it to send the right message at the best time for a specific audience.
Perch: With Perch, you can track reviews and social posts about your brand in one spot. Perch allows you to easily see mentions on Yelp, Foursquare, and beyond, plus set daily alerts to stay on top of the latest updates.
Urban Airship: Urban Airship helps drive engagement and revenue through mobile apps. If your product or service has a mobile-specific component, be sure you’re using a tool like this to understand what’s happening there too.
Start with Customer-Centric Tools for Marketing Now
Take your marketing to the next level by focusing on your customer, instead of simply selling your product or service. With the right tools, you can better understand your audience and find the best ways to market to them. If you’re just starting out with customer-centric marketing, implement changes a little at a time.
Find a few areas you’re already active. Like Twitter or Instagram. Choose tools that will help you center your customer within the data you’re collecting from them.
Once you understand how current and potential customers engage with your marketing content, you’ll be able to target more accurately and truly understand what they’re looking for from your brand.
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About the author Sarah is a freelance writer specializing in technology and customer support for Supported Content, and former Happiness Engineer at Automattic. When she’s not renovating her house in Dallas, you’ll find her baking in her (new) kitchen or reading romance novels. Find her on Instagram: @sarahblackstock.