How to Choose Marketing Technology Tools: A Beginner’s Guide


We understand. You’re searching for effective marketing technology tools but aren’t sure where to start. How will you know if a solution is effective? Is all marketing software expensive?

Don’t worry. Refactored’s proven approach will help you choose marketing technology that’s cost-efficient, results in higher ROI, and aligns with your business goals. 
In this blog you’ll learn:

  • The right way to start any technology search

  • How to assess the solutions you do or don’t need

  • Why best-of-breed is better than all-in-one

  • Tips for cutting costs

Just know, you’re not alone in the MarTech tools search

This is a common problem for many companies, and it deserves careful consideration. A wrong decision is costly—both in money spent on a solution but also the resources and time lost to configuration, training, and implementation. 
Most organizations face a limited budget, requiring strategic use of funds. Plus, you must consider your existing infrastructure and digital maturity. Your business likely uses a considerable amount already, and any new solution must integrate well.
According to, mid-sized companies—defined as 21-1,000 employees—use 27 marketing technology tools on average.
It’s no wonder then that many organizations struggle with finding the right marketing technology. The sheer volume of options available on the market is overwhelming.
Refactored can help. We’ve seen a lot of solutions over the years and have firsthand knowledge of which ones work well in different types of applications. We’re experienced with:

  • CMS

  • Marketing Automation

  • CRM

  • Social Management

  • ERP

  • AMS

  • Website hosting

  • Ecommerce

  • Analytics, website monitoring, and reporting.

Have MarTech questions that you’d rather discuss over a call? We can help you with a free needs assessment, contact us to schedule a call.

The secret is how you start

Stop. Before you schedule any demos, download any free trials, or even think about typing a search term such as “Great CRMs” into Google, you need to do this.

Outline the needs of your business and customers.
Most companies searching for marketing technology tools share similar needs. You want solutions that are:

  • Easy to use

  • Affordable

  • Provide visibility into performance

  • Automate routine tasks.

But most of all, a solution that solves a defined problem in your business.

But how do you outline your company’s deeper, more specific needs? What questions do you need to ask?   

Start by assessing your company’s digital maturity. By using our digital transformation assessment guide, you will understand if you need a full-scale digital transformation or if you might be best served by optimizing or enabling your existing marketing technology.
Assessing where you fall on the digital maturity scale helps you focus your search, including which areas to allocate most of your investment and resources.

Next step: Common questions and pitfalls to avoid

Ok, you’ve finished the hard part: outlining your needs. Now, you’re ready to search for MarTech tools. But you still have outstanding questions. Find answers to some of the most common ones below.

What’s better: All-in-one or best-of-breed?

Here’s the truth: While all-in-one tools sound simple and effective, these ambitious solutions often fail to meet needs. Why?
Because there’s too much ground to cover, too many needs to fulfill. Trying to serve everyone results in weak links in their offerings. You’re left frustrated and waste money paying for features that you don’t use.
There’s a strong case for the specialization that best-of-breed solutions provide—especially if you’ve done a good job of identifying your needs. A solution like this can effectively handle what your customers need. All you need to do is ensure a best-of-breed tool can integrate smoothly into your existing MarTech system.

Is there a B2B MarTech solution I should start with?

A high-performing Content Management System (CMS), a capable marketing automation software, and a flexible CRM are three core tools for establishing a solid foundation.
A good CMS is core to managing the most valuable online space: Your website. The right solution will make it easy to manage and distribute your content, as well as scale for future growth.
Marketing automation software is important because it will help you accelerate marketing campaigns and help you produce results that deliver essential momentum.
CRM solutions put a solid foundation on your business by helping you identify, segment, and manage customer relationships over time.

How can I cut costs and maximize my budget’s reach?

Answering this tricky question boils down to your business goals, budget limitations, and current technology you have in place.

We advocate for a lean best-of-breed approach as it ensures you’re paying only for what you need.

However, if you’re a growing business with limited budget, a B2B MarTech solution such as Hubspot, which offers specialized modules, may make fiscal sense. When choosing this route, apply your needs analysis knowledge and select only the modules you need. This approach can significantly lower costs.

What marketing technology tools does Refactored recommend?

We have deep migration, integration, and implementation experience across several martech tools. We’ve grouped the list below into disciplines to kickstart your marketing technology search.
Content Management System (CMS)
We live in an omnichannel environment, meaning consumers interact with brands across several devices and engage with content in many different formats.
Successfully reaching buyers requires unprecedented flexibility, scalability, speed, and accessibility. That’s why we recommend moving to a headless CMS, which simplifies content creation, management, and distribution.
Leading tools include:

Need a headless CMS hosting recommendation? Look at:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A customer relationship management tool (CRM) is essential for all businesses. With an effective CRM, you can collect and manage valuable data on your customers. This data fuels marketing and sales campaigns that convert.
Here are three top CRMs you should evaluate as a B2B organization:

If you’re a member-based association, you may want to consider these AMSs (or Association Management Solutions):

Marketing Automation
If you want to generate more leads, engage customers in a scalable, personalized way, and refine your strategy to increase conversion then you need marketing automation software.
Choosing the right marketing automation software depends on your needs and the channels your business uses (email, social media, landing pages, etc.). Some top options include: 

Website optimization, reporting, and analytics tools
Your website is prime real estate for marketing and sales efforts. Finding tools that help you monitor, measure, and analyze data on site visitors is critical to improving conversion and engagement rates.
While Google Analytics is the unquestionable website traffic tool, picking the right monitoring and reporting tools is less clear.
For monitoring user experience on your website, we recommend:

When looking for reporting tools, these three should be top of mind:

Social media
Channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more offer the opportunity to increase your brand’s exposure. Implementing a tool to simplify social media management saves time and helps you gauge how well you’re engaging customers.
At Refactored, we use Hubspot’s Marketing Hub for social outreach, but you may also consider:

Managing subscriptions and processing payments are common needs our clients have. These ecommerce tools empower a frictionless experience:

Messaging and website chat
Visitors to your website likely have questions. Live chat tools are a popular way to not only address buyer’s questions but also move them toward conversion.
Check out:

And, if you’re a SaaS company looking to increase product adoption, these in-app messaging service are worth evaluating:

Remember: Needs first, tools second

With our proven approach, you are now better positioned to choose marketing technology that’s right for you. A smart purchasing decision starts by identifying your needs first and then selecting the technology that will help you achieve them.  
We know how stressful searching can be. Often, trusting an experienced partner with deep knowledge and decades of experience in marketing technology is the key to saving time, money, and producing results.
When you work with Refactored, you can trust us to act in your best interest—whether that’s introducing new technology to your martech stack or maximizing the value of existing solutions.
If you’d like to talk with us about your technology vision, contact us.