Marketing Tools Suck the Energy out of Execution: What to Do Instead

As a marketing agency owner that has shiny object syndrome, my quest for the next great tool that will solve everything has to stop.

A marketing agency could be run on Google's free suite of tools – from forms to slides – and perhaps one marketing pro subscription in your zone of expertise.

Quick bullet points on my thoughts:

  • Marketing tools are seen as godsends to help us do great marketing
  • They position themselves as the solution to “xyz”
  • But they delay what you need to do best and first: have a clear marketing strategy & execution playbook
  • Marketing strategy is nothing without execution, execution is random without strategy. You heard that here first.
  • Chris of Refine Labs had a good quote on this – about how martech companies have been pushing their tools on us, yet they don't have our best interests in mind all the time.
  • The goal of martech companies is to sell us on their software – of which they get very nice software margins of 80-90% plus.
  • But imagine that you are running lean as a marketing agency owner, yet you have been convinced that you need to pay $500 – 2,500 a month to get your tools running.
  • The more you use tools the more you have to context switch
  • My God, does anyone actually properly use Zapier? I have been subscribed forever out of FOMO (along with Typeform)
  • Honestly, at the end of the day, I think this is the huge argument for HubSpot existing.
  • I will say there's 3 types of people: 1) Everything free, lean assassins (Design Joy) 2) Lean, top class tools at 80% of value, 20% of cost (Apollo vs Zoominfo?)

What to do instead:

  • I think you should get really clear on marketing strategy first and foremost, based on proven marketing frameworks
  • Have clear, achievable goals that drive business value in the marketing strategy
  • Do it all on free tools first – only when you stretch the limits of free tools should you slowly start adding in selective powerful tools when it's clear how to speed up workflow
  • Less tools and less context switching is always best to allow high performers to perform
  • Steps and tools on how to do the work are clearly needed for juniors. The pros who get really good in their position and career need the tools the least.

Last Updated on August 31, 2023 by Joe

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