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Written by the Marketing Team May 23, 2022

Marketing software and platforms – which is best for you?

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How to choose the right digital marketing tools for success on social.

Which marketing software tool or platform will help your business, agency or brand reach greater performance, grow and scale? Are some better for B2B and others at B2C? Which is best for social insights and which is optimised for Google Attribution? We look at how to pick the tool that’s right for you.

According to a 2021 report from Statista, the average American now has more than 10 connected devices in their home, including mobile phones, home computers, smart TVs, smart speakers, and more. With all these digital touchpoints, most brands and agencies use SaaS solutions to help them plan, manage, and execute digital marketing campaigns. 

But an increasing problem for many of us is that no single tool does everything well. And with music streaming platforms, podcasts, connected TV, and other new ad destinations pouring into the market, legacy advertising tools often struggle to keep up with the latest developments.
Below we look at what functionality is available in a variety of marketing software platforms, and how to select the features that are right for your objectives.


Automation.

What does automation do?

Ad automation tools help marketers test and deliver social ad campaigns on social and Google. Automation is designed to save you time on low-value, repetitive tasks.

For example, say you want to test slightly different permutations of your creative – a different image, a different headline, or a different call to action. Automation software will create and run dozens, hundreds or even thousands of different permutations, then collect data on which achieved the best results.

Is automation right for you?

If you are running large, complex campaigns with large numbers of different creative executions, automating these tasks could save you considerable time. If you want to manually tweak and test your creative, or you only need to run a few different permutations of ads, then automation software probably isn’t worth the additional cost and onboarding.

Pro tip:

If you want to automate, make sure your automation software is omnichannel, and can create, upload and analyze data from all the social platforms in your omnichannel mix.


Creative analysis.

What does creative analysis do?

It’s currently estimated that strong creative is the reason for around 75% of clicks on ads. Creative matters – as much as or even more than accurate targeting. Creative analysis software will examine the quality of the creative in your ads and make recommendations to improve engagement and ROAS by changing elements of your ad. This could include color-scheme, font, image type, size and composition.

Is creative analysis right for you?

For those using a dedicated creative agency to dream up and design their ads, this is not a necessary tool – your creative agency should have a better idea of what makes good creative than a piece of software (if not, change your agency). If you’re making your own ads or creating dozens of different types, then creative analysis will help guide this process towards greater success. 

Pro tip:

Some creative analysis software won’t work well with video, so think whether you’re running any (or all) video ads and test any software first, using real ads from a previous campaign to see how the software’s results gel with your own findings. 


Cross-network reporting.

What is cross-network reporting?

Cross-network reporting presents metrics and insights from all the digital platforms where you run ads. Ideally, this data should be presented on one, easily customizable dashboard, so you can quickly compare the performance of, say, your Facebook ads with your Pinterest ads, your TikTok ads, your ads on LinkedIn, and any other network where you’re running your campaign.

Is it right for you?

You live in an omnichannel world – and so do your customers. It’s a no-brainer that the right marketing software must be able to analyse and report results from all the digital platforms you use to serve ads.

Pro tip:

Even if your ads currently run on only a couple of digital platforms, it’s likely that your strategy will grow to include new channels in the future, especially given the meteoric rise of newer social apps such as TikTok. Get ahead – pick digital marketing software that already covers all social and digital channels, so you don’t have to switch further down the line as you scale.


Attribution.

What does attribution do?

Attribution software analyzes which ads and creative were seen by a consumer before they successfully converted. The most sophisticated and useful are able to show you which ads or combination of ads lead to that sale or conversion.

Is attribution what you need?

Getting a clear picture of attribution can revolutionize an ad campaign by showing you which ads on which platforms, targeted at what type of customer actually lead to sales. This allows marketers to cut off spending where it’s not leading to sales, and pump up budgets on platforms and tactics that really do lead to conversions. When done right, this is the Holy Grail of smart performance marketing. 

Pro tip:

A lot of the data used to track attribution comes from Google – as Google is able (still) to track the purchase journey of consumers across search, social, and other touchpoints. Ensure your marketing software solution has a robust integration with Google Analytics’ attribution features.


Demand generation.

What is demand generation?

Demand generation software helps marketers find new customers, stimulate consumer interest, and generate sales leads. This could be by requesting a demo, signing up to receive a sales call, or joining a newsletter about a product or service.

Is demand generation what you need?

This depends on your targets and the objectives of your campaign, but if you’re in the B2B sphere, or your campaign is tailored to generate leads, sign-ups, demo-requests or the like, then your software should understand and facilitate demand generation.

Pro tip:

Make sure any demand generation software solution integrates seamlessly with other CRM software you use, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, etc.


How to choose the right performance marketing solution for your business.

In addition to the functionality outlined above, you should ensure your marketing software platform suits your budget and has the right level of complexity. Some platforms are designed for professional data analysts, and will require too much time and onboarding for a smaller team made up of generalists. Likewise, some basic tools just repackage data from Google Analytics without delivering insights or any added value. 

The solution you choose should suit your budget, your team’s capacity, and your objectives. If you’re employing an omnichannel strategy then Paragone may offer the combination of features you need. It compiles data from all social media channels plus Google (including Google Attribution), and presents metrics and recommendations in one dashboard that can be endlessly customized to deliver fresh insights. 

You can use Paragone to analyse different creative approaches to see which works best, on which channel, for which target customer. Paragone’s labelling feature allows you to squeeze the data for more insights, such as how effectively different teams are performing and spending their media budgets. All these insights can be populated into graphic reports with just a few clicks, so it’s fast to share results with clients or team members

Paragone not only unlocks all the data from social platforms in one space, it sorts and analyses it, so you achieve insights fast, without spending days poring over spreadsheets and crunching numbers. Faster insights mean faster results with less spend – which should be the ultimate test of any digital tool you use. 

On top of all that, Paragone’s new strategic service has recently been released: audience-based advertising. This new approach to paid media will enable companies to rapidly scale demand by uniting the worlds of lead generation and advertising, whether they’re in the B2B or B2C space. LinkedIn has played a big role in this story, and together with Paragone, they are here to show us that, in today’s advertising world, sales and marketing teams can work together to achieve incredible targets.

Paragone is adding more channels to its functionality all the time, with plans to integrate Amazon, Spotify and connected TV, as well as Shopify and Google Display & Video 360, making it the best way to monitor and optimize a truly omnichannel marketing strategy.

G2, the software rating platform, has placed Paragone.ai in the “High Performers” quadrant for its cross-channel advertising software. For new generation marketers with a performance mindset, it’s a one-stop solution for optimizing results, unlocking insights, and automating reporting.

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