Marketing is about expressing ideas, articulating value and developing and nurturing relationships. No amount of technology can absolve a marketer from the hard work of implementing the fundamentals, but once a marketer develops a foundational strategy, exciting technologies can help them maximize their ROI while reducing the time they spend on each task.

SMS: Old School Tech for the Modern World

In 2012, every technology publication worth reading celebrated the 20-year anniversary of a revolutionary communication tool that preceded the mainstreaming of email, the Internet, cellphones, VoIP and modern arrivals like apps. It was the short message service communication, or SMS text – and in the ensuing decades, nothing has come along to replace it or even rival it as a tool for marketers.

SMS messages are opened at a rate of nearly 100 percent, compared to around 20 percent of marketing emails. SMS marketing is cheap, direct, powerful and personal. Use it for both marketing and customer service.

Analytics Tools

According to the Harvard Business Review, retail and advertising pioneer John Wanamaker once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half.” As discussed in the article “Expert Interview with Glenn Gow on Marketing Technology,” it’s important to understand your marketing ROI – even if it’s just because your CEO wants to know what, exactly, his or her marketing budget is actually buying.

80 percent of small- and mid-market websites use Google Analytics, which is a free tool that shows savvy marketers where their money is being spent wisely, where it is being wasted and where it is and isn’t needed. There are also many other tools beyond the search giant’s industry standard to measure conversion rates, conduct A/B testing and more.

Marketing Automation

Amazon has reached the pinnacle of marketing automation, which enables the online retail giant to create, track, nurture and convert legions of online prospects through software that understands their needs, wants, reservations and price points. Most businesses will not use marketing automation to that extent, but the category of software can help generate inbound leads and free up the user’s time by automating tasks that they would otherwise have to do manually.

SMS is one of the most under-utilized, yet most powerful marketing technologies ever devised. Like any marketing technology, however, it should constantly be improved upon and measured with analytical software. Finally, utilize marketing automation to remove the human element wherever possible while streamlining and improving all your marketing efforts.