Optimizing Marketing Tools

Examining marketers’ abilities, goals, and analysis of the most effective tools they use to grow their skills and find success.
Optimizing Marketing Tools


Marketers Share the Best Tools for Success

Key Findings

  • Marketers plan to spend $5,290 this year on marketing tools. 
  • Marketers’ biggest goals for 2022 are to increase consumer value and brand awareness.
  • Social media tools are the most desired for marketers in 2022. 


They say a poor workman blames his tools, but successful people often have a trove of tools that can really help get the job done, especially in the world of marketing. From social media to email marketing and even the metaverse, it’s crucial to arm yourself or your marketing team with the right equipment. 


To help you or those on your team communicate your brand’s vision to this modern world as effectively as possible, the team at Unsupervised spoke with 748 marketing professionals. This knowledgeable and experienced group shared their go-to tools for various marketing goals, how they’re spending in each marketing area, and what their intended plans are for 2022 and beyond. To make sure your marketing toolkit is prepared, keep reading. 


Average Approach to Marketing Tools and Expenses

The first thing marketers shared was how much they were spending and where that support was coming from, which we compared by B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) sales models. We followed up by asking respondents to divulge their perceived weaknesses. 


The vast majority of marketers—both B2C and B2B—were receiving financial and logistical support for their efforts in the form of company support, staffing, funding, and additional resources and tools, all of which indicate the heavy lifting that modern marketing requires. In 2021, B2C marketers were spending only slightly more than B2B. But B2C marketers were planning much larger expansions than their B2B counterparts. 


When asked which marketing segments they felt were weakest, most cited email marketing. This represents a huge miss for companies, as email marketing is still considered the single most effective form of marketing as far as conversion rates are concerned. Email regularly delivers the highest ROI of any form of marketing—an average of $42 back for every dollar spent. That said, it must be done well, which 39% of marketers seem to agree is not happening. Another 39% felt their team’s writing was weak, which perhaps ties into their email efforts. 


Marketers’ Biggest Wants

Looking further into 2022, marketers were next asked to share their desired areas for growth and the segments for which they were hoping to use some more tools.


Surprisingly, email was not the most desired area for growth, in spite of its potential and most marketers agreeing that the area was weak. Instead, most had their sights set on social media marketing. Perhaps email reigns supreme as of now, but social media marketing may soon take over. The future of marketing is always foreshadowed by youth culture, and Gen Z has agreed they make more of their shopping decisions from social than they do email. Moreover, this generation of true digital natives is quickly figuring out how to make millions of dollars on social media seemingly overnight, without the help of any support staff at all. Nearly half of all marketers in this study intended on expanding their social media marketing. 


As far as tools were concerned, social media was again the No. 1 area in which marketers expressed interest for finding and utilizing tools. One in 5 also wanted tools for video marketing, which may very well coincide with their social media plans. After seeing the success of TikTok (which is exclusively video content), Instagram has begun factoring video content much more heavily into their algorithm for success. 


Tools of the Trade

The next logical question was asking marketers which specific tools they found most effective for each area of marketing starting with the responses for social media, email, and design. Marketers voted Hootsuite as the most effective social media marketing tool. Hootsuite offers one single dashboard with which to manage every social media account, boasts more than 21 million users, and even offers a 60-day free trial. Fortunately, even after the 60 days, the program is relatively affordable, costing $129 per month at most. Compare this number to HubSpot Social, which marketers also considered effective but can cost upwards of $3,000 monthly. HubSpot’s tools are focused on helping marketers determine which specific customers and types of engagement are more valuable and worth their time, perhaps accounting for the relatively hefty price tag. 


For email marketing (which most marketers had described as internally weak), the most effective tool was Campaign Monitor. Campaign Monitor enables teams to both create and execute email campaigns, while also monitoring and managing the entire customer journey and lifecycle. It is, however, one of the more expensive email marketing tools, costing $149 each month. Something like Constant Contact, which was voted as slightly less effective, costs just $45 monthly.


We also asked marketers to share their preferred tools to execute all types of marketing projects, as well as their go-to for SEO and data analytics. Data collection and analysis has become the name of the game for many companies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the field will only continue to explode over the next decade, while the value of big data is already estimated to be a nearly $150 billion industry. Our marketers agreed that Google Analytics was the best tool at their disposal for data analysis. In fact, this tool was closer to unanimously voted as effective than any other tool for any other type of marketing. And while  the premium plan may cost $12,500, Google offers a free version that is very extensive meeting most business needs.


Whether you’re looking to manage your data analysis goals, your social media content, or even SEO, the programs you choose to manage your projects can make or break the success. For most marketers, HubSpot Projects was considered the most effective, but it was also vastly more expensive, multiplying other similarly effective tools more than 32 times in price. ProofHub, for instance, costs just $99 per month, and more than a quarter of marketers considered it the most effective marketing tool. Asana was even more affordable, at just $30 a month, and was voted as most effective for project management by 15% of marketers. Even at this lower price tag, Asana offers users the ability to track and manage all projects across remote and distributed teams and even offers a free version for teams with 15 or fewer people. 


Choosing the Best Marketing Strategy

Marketers ultimately diverged in their methods and approaches yet had some very unified intentions and suggestions for 2022 and beyond. While most agreed their email marketing was the weakest, this area wasn’t slated to get much increased attention. Instead, we’ll likely see an increase in social media and video efforts. For this, most marketers were considering Hootsuite as their most effective ally. 


Social media is far from the only type of marketing, however. Your brand may very well want to focus here as well as on data analysis, which plays into every area of marketing, including social media. If you’re looking to analyze internal data and optimize the way your team functions and sets goals, Unsupervised is the reigning expert in that exact area. We offer an affordable and professional deep dive into your internal KPIs and deliver valuable insight into what’s working and what’s not. To start getting straight to why your business is doing well or not, head to Unsupervised.com today. 


Methodology and Limitations

We surveyed 748 American marketers, of which, 514 were B2B marketers and 234 were B2C marketers. Survey data has several limitations due to self-reporting such as telescoping, exaggeration, and selective memory. Monthly prices were gathered from each company’s website.


Fair Use Statement

While it’s hard to keep up with a world that’s evolving so quickly, your marketing can catch up just by knowing about a few effective tools. If you think someone on your team or in your audience would find this information helpful to their efforts, you are welcome to share the research. Just be sure you link back to this page and that your purposes are noncommercial.

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