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10 Must-Have Marketing Tools in 2016

10 Must-Have Marketing Tools in 2016

“Money coming in says I’ve made the right marketing decisions.”- Adam Osborne

Marketing is the backbone of many businesses today, and without tools that support your business, your competitors may very well outclass you. While you can spend a hefty budget on finding the best resources for your business, hire manpower to work for you and get along with your business, there are several marketing tools that you can use on your own and get the best bang for your buck.

Marketing tools make things easy and simplify the process of professionally representing your brand. From small bloggers to top brands that rule the global market, everyone is looking to grow and marketing tools help them to increase their effectiveness.

Here are the 10 must-have marketing tools in 2016.

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1. Google Analytics

In order to implement different strategies and measure the impact of any business, one needs to know the frequency of the customers or visitors that they get online. Google Analytics, a simple tool developed by the tech-giant, Google, the tool makes it easy to find details about visitors, measures the impact of social media presence, and calculates conversion rates.

Google Analytics today is so developed that one can find customized reports including demographics, age, sex and user activities on their site. This helps companies to implement different strategies according to their needs and requirements.

2. Unbounce

Apart from just creating a website and a blog, many online businesses lack the capability to create conversions and generate leads. Landing pages are what makes things easy and boosts sales these days. This is where Unbounce comes in. This easy-to-use marketing tool helps marketers to create landing pages without needing to know the technical knowledge behind coding.

In order to develop conversion rates substantially, Unbounce helps to create, customize and publish beautiful landing pages to improve marketing campaigns without the help of an expert.

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3. RightlyWritten

While images are said to speak a thousand words, content is what really boosts rankings on search engines today. RightlyWritten provides premium copywriting services including blog posts, website content, product descriptions, and more to businesses of all sizes. The monthly blog packages available at RightlyWritten allow businesses to put their website blogs on autopilot. These packages are fully customizable and businesses can choose packages per their needs and get content idea generation, pitching, creation and publishing, all taken care of.

With a fully intuitive client dashboard made available, the service also provides businesses with the ability to track their content orders in real time, place new orders and communicate in no time. Last but not the least, the quality of content delivered is second to none and does not cost an arm and a leg.

4. Mention

The internet has so much that people are always talking about new online businesses. Be it on social media or blogs, businesses are being discussed everywhere. This is where Mention comes in handy. This tool helps to keep track of your business as well as your competitors and helps you to get to know what people are saying.

By tracking brand names and key phrases in real time, Mention helps businesses to reach out to their potential customers and never miss out on any conversation about them.

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5. Crowd Reviews

A crowd-driven, verified review site currently in its beta stage, Crowd Reviews is a marketing tool that helps both businesses and consumers to find legitimate online reviews about technology services and software. A consumer-friendly site with transparent details completely driven by the crowd, this tool provides free access to meaningful reviews and rankings while also taking into account the strength and validity of these reviews and rankings.

6. IFTTT

IFTTT stands for “if this then that.” Considered to be an amazing tool by many, IFTTT helps marketers to automate their business. From social sharing to different networks, receiving notifications about a sale in real time and more, this fantastic tool helps businesses to set protocols based on specific actions as desired.

Also said to be a useful tool for time management, IFTTT is a perfect automation tool for marketers today.

7. Canva

Infographics and other visually appealing images create a better buzz today. You might not be a graphic design expert and this is where Canva comes into play. Helping to create simple images to engaging presentations, appealing social-media images and great looking infographics, this tool provides templates that are easy to use. On top of that, they also store everything online, meaning that you don’t lose your material.

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8. Mailchimp

While there are several email marketing tools available to use, MailChimp is often considered to be the best in the industry. With its incredibly simple platform, MailChimp offers free as well as paid plans which makes it easy for marketers to create robust email campaigns and find their customers.

9. KissMetrics

Another innovative marketing tool for analyzing site analytics, KissMetrics helps marketers to analyze data more than the vanity metrics. Apart from just analyzing page views, bounce rates and time spent by a visitor, the tool actually digs deep into finding how current or potential customers interact with the website.

KissMetrics analyzes data that has a direct impact on revenue which includes conversion rates, average revenue per user, and churn rates, among other factors.

10. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is another great marketing tool that helps marketers to analyze online trends and the performance of their content. The service also helps with uncovering details relating to factors such as social media shares and the broader impact of this for your business.

Featured photo credit: Startup via pixabay.com

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Grishma Giri

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Last Updated on March 21, 2019

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

“What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

1. Start Small

The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

Do less today to do more in a year.

2. Stay Small

There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

Why?

Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

Peter Drucker said,

“What you track is what you do.”

So track it to do it — it really helps.

But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

5. Measure Once, Do Twice

Peter Drucker also said,

“What you measure is what you improve.”

So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

For reading, it’s 20 pages.
For writing, it’s 500 words.
For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

6. All Days Make a Difference

Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

Will two? They won’t.

Will three? They won’t.

Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

What happened? Which one made you fit?

The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

7. They Are Never Fully Automated

Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

10. Punish Yourself

Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

11. Reward Yourself

When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

In the End, It Matters

What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

“Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

Keep going.

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More Resources to Help You Build Habits

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
[2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
[3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
[4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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