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Fine tune your automation tools - what B2B marketers are sharpening skills with today

With a recent indexreport produced by the AMA indicating that investment in marketing tools will increase ever more in the coming years, thousands of businesses have created proprietary tools to help their customers streamline and simplify the process of marketing and selling their own products.

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As a businessperson with aspirations for a company's growth, tools and resources must propel business forward and a recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine outlined why it is important to select the right tools from the beginning, and implement them strategically in ways that aid current processes and workflows.

Among some of the top tools for B2B companies trying to build targeted prospect lists, prioritize leads and opportunities and glean insights about potential partner companies, Unomy was recently cited as the top performer in lead management software for 2016. The platform is recognized for its ability to identify new prospects but also prioritize leads and opportunities while gleaning insights about potential partner companies.

For social media marketers, Mention is one of the early-stage SaaS startups in France, part of the emerging "French Cloudscape." Mention is a media-monitoring app for brands to obtain filtered, organized, and prioritized information from the web and social networks. With Mention, a marketer can track key phrases and brand names in real time, giving sales and marketing an edge as they launch into meaningful conversations with sales prospects and leads.

GrowthList is a B2B sales tool for start-ups that is geared towards small and mid-level businesses. If you’re a B2B business that relies on having a consistent stream of sales prospects at your fingertips, you may find GrowthList helpful. Billed as a sales tool for startups, GrowthList is actually helpful for small and mid-level businesses, as well. There are features like a comprehensive database of more than 10,000 B2B tech companies that are currently in growth mode, along with pertinent details about them. If B2B companies are the target customer base the list will save months of research in finding the right founders and companies to build relationships with.

There is no question that content marketing industry has become a burgeoning sector within B2B marketing. It is more important than ever to improve the quality and relevancy of content and a company like BuzzSumo is a powerful research platform that identifies the topics, keywords and ideas that matter. From browsing the most shared articles to the most effective headlines, BuzzSumo or research platforms for content management are an important new addition in the B2B marketer’s arsenal.

Twitter is a powerful social media platform that can be both a marketing and branding tool and a resource for finding and reaching out to sales prospects. With Socedo, leads can be qualified on Twitter by entering things like hashtags and keywords into the search bar. The tool returns a customized prospect list and helps you to follow up. Socedo has been used to promote thought leadership, products, and events and to increase traffic.

When it comes to email marketing from inbound to outbound emails, Reply helps businesses automate their communications with prospects who are early in the sales funnel without making things feel impersonal or irrelevant. Whether you're sending a sequence of emails or looking for in-depth analytics, Reply is a versatile tool and has just recently signed an exclusive agreement with The Data Incubator. This is a program aimed at the training of "data scientists", who in the coming years will become a vital fulcrum for companies, with the task of leveraging the enormous existing data repositories through new, big-data technologies, with the use of advanced machine learning models.

While social media, content marketing and landing-page development often take up a lot of a digital marketer’s time, DeepCrawl can quickly analyze a company website’s architecture to understand and fix a variety of technical issues affecting SEO performance -- and thereby eating away at conversions. Most recently, DeepCrawl has partnered with Conductor Searchlight, a leading content intelligence platform that provides unique insight into content performance competitors. Searchlight helps marketers understand their customers intent by providing rich data about the terms they are searching for at every phase of the purchasing process.

The more veteran Google Analytics offers a major opportunity to understand whom the audience is and how to connect with its members. From measuring website performance and tracking conversion goals to learning about your target market’s demographics, Google Analytics is a powerful, free tool.

Finally, from inputting data to following up the Salesflare platform integrates with Outlook, Gmail, and mobile devices

Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

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