Marketing tools — definitions and examples

A man in an office uses his laptop to learn about different marketing tools.Digital marketing tools such us email lists, SEO, and surveys target customers and personalize their experience.

The right marketing tools can help you develop better marketing strategies, increase efficiency, and spur business growth in uncertain economic times. But there are many marketing tools available today, and it can be confusing and overwhelming to keep track of them all — especially if you’re just starting out.

Learning about marketing tools will help you better understand how the right tools can help you build and improve your overall marketing strategy. Our guide defines marketing tools and gives examples to show the wide variety of options available to help your next marketing campaign succeed.

This guide will cover:

Marketing tools defined

Broadly speaking, marketing tools refer to tools, techniques, or strategies used to help develop, improve, and promote a business’s products and services. You’re probably familiar with some of the more commonly used tools for marketing, such as:

Most businesses choose to take an integrated approach to marketing, which means they utilize several marketing tools at the same time. This can be beneficial because different tools serve different marketing purposes.

For example, social media can be a great marketing tool for building connections and spreading awareness of new products or promotions, which then helps boost sales. Surveys and analytics, on the other hand, are better suited for gathering and collecting data.

Understanding which marketing tools are best suited for different marketing tasks is an important part of strategy development and key to reaching your business goals. Let’s explore a few examples, starting with the broader categories of traditional and digital marketing.

Traditional marketing tools

These marketing tools category includes anything that has been traditionally used to market to consumers offline. Some traditional marketing tools include:

One of the biggest advantages of traditional marketing is the physical, tangible aspect. Nothing quite compares to an honest conversation with a real person face-to-face or the repeated exposure you get when a consumer sees your logo every time they write something down.

The downside to traditional marketing methods is the lack of customization. Traditional marketing tools deliver one message to a very diverse audience and don’t have the ability to deliver tailored messaging or unique experiences.

Digital marketing tools such us email lists, SEO, and surveys target customers and personalize their experience.

Digital marketing tools

Digital marketing tools are designed to reach people online and in targeted ways that are personalized to their interests. Some common digital marketing tools include:

The biggest advantages of digital marketing tools are the relative ease of use, lower cost of production on a large scale, and the ability to customize ads to personalize content to consumers.

While the world is becoming increasingly digital, there’s still value in observing real-time, in-person reactions to products and services through more traditional marketing tools. It’s also important to consider the demographic you’re trying to reach as older demographics generally tend to respond better to traditional marketing tools than digital ones.

Social media marketing tools

Though part of the digital marketing tools category, social media has become so integral to marketing strategies that it needs to be given its own special attention. The main goal of social media marketing is to create connections and develop relationships with customers. Some social media marketing tools include:

One of the greatest advantages of using social media marketing tools is the level of loyalty it can build among followers. By connecting directly with your audience, you create memorable experiences and a strong, authentic bond.

Brand loyalty and meaningful relationships unfortunately aren’t built overnight, so social media marketing is often more time-consuming than other digital marketing tools. However, for those who are willing to put in the work, the rewards can be significant.

How to get started with marketing tools

Now that you’re more familiar with the different types of marketing tools available, you can start building your own marketing strategy. Remember to think carefully about what mix of marketing tools is right for your business. The best marketing strategies use a combination of the tools discussed above with other techniques across various platforms and channels.

Once you have a strategy ready to execute, Adobe Marketo Engage can help you coordinate your online and offline efforts in one accessible platform. With tools to generate leads, segment your audience, and analyze data, you’ll have everything you need to launch a successful marketing campaign right at your fingertips.

Request a demo to learn more about how Marketo Engage can help you achieve your marketing goals.