Regular listeners to B2B Nation, the TechnologyAdvice podcast for B2B marketers by B2B marketers, know there’s one question we ask almost everyone who appears on the show.
What’s the one tool or application you cannot work without?
The answers to this question are far more varied than we expected, with many marketers choosing productivity and collaboration tools over applications that have been labelled as marketing technology or “martech.”
Here are the answers 17 B2B Nation guests gave us when we asked them about the tools they can’t work without.
Head of Growth at Promo Prep
Chantelle says she can’t work without Google’s tools for digital marketers, the Yoast plug-in for WordPress and Canva.
On the Google tools: “They have a suite of tools that are just unbeatable and they’re just baked into everything: Google Trends, Search Console, Ads, Keyword Planner. All of those tools are just so essential and they cover such a broad spectrum of digital marketing functions.”
Listen to Chantelle’s episode: Building Your Brand on Social Media.
Digital Marketing Consultant at John Mann SEO Consulting
John also mentioned Google tools like Google Analytics and Search Console, but he also likes to work with websites built in the WordPress content management system.
On WordPress: “When you compare that with Joomla or Squarespace websites, they just can’t compare… I love clients that have WordPress websites.”
Listen to John’s episode: Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses.
Global Marketing Leader, IBM Cloud
Kate focused on collaboration tools because even prior to the pandemic she worked on a global team that wasn’t able to collaborate in person. She mentioned tools like Slack and Box, as well as her favorite tool from a previous role: HubSpot.
“We work on a global team. We don’t have the luxury of being in person with your teams in Europe or Asia Pacific all the time. IBM has always been a big user of things like Slack and Box and Mural. But this year I think things like Slack and Box have become so critical.”
Listen to Kate’s episode: What’s the Next Stop for Your Marketing Career?
Director at StudioHawk
Harry chose web-based project management tool Monday.com as an application he and his team can’t work without. But he also mentioned SEO tool SEMrush as a tool that he and others find essential to their work.
“I’m seeing random people on trains and trams with SEMRush now… that are pulling up websites or doing their blog. It’s amazing to see how SEO has grown from this very specialized industry to anyone that has a blog is doing it.”
Listen to Harry’s episode: SEO Techniques to Know for 2021.
Chief Operating Officer at Dale Carnegie Chicago
Karen considers herself a connector, so it’s no surprise the tool she can’t work without is LinkedIn. Some people might get down on the platform because it’s so often used to sell, but Karen values LinkedIn for its core purpose: connections.
“A lot of people use it for the selling piece of it. I use it to connect. I’ve been very fortunate to work for a lot of different companies and lived in a lot of different places, and I have amazing contacts — amazing business contacts. I love it because I can stay connected with all of these different leaders and different people and I can see what they’re interested in.”
Listen to Karen’s episode: How People and Processes Can Help Marketers Drive Growth.
President at Avani Media
Always on the lookout for tools to help increase his productivity and organize his thoughts on various topics, Jason chose Roam Research as the tool he can’t work without.
Roam is a productivity app that operates like a bi-directional database, and makes it easy to capture ideas from anywhere, including a book you’re reading on your Kindle.
“I’m a productivity nerd, so I like to try all of the tools. But this one has stuck.”
Listen to Jason’s episode: Your Guide to Media Buying and Planning in 2021.
Founder at Horseshoe & Co.
As an inbound marketing guru, Andrea thrives on HubSpot. But for the tool she cannot work without, she chose online video creation and distribution tool Loom, which she uses for quick how-to videos for her clients working in HubSpot and to introduce her company to new prospects.
“I love Loom. I will Loom any opportunity that I can… There’s so many different applications for Loom… It’s a productivity, a project management, a sales, a marketing tool… It’s a business tool. It covers so many bases. I love it.”
Listen to Andrea’s episode: B2B Inbound Marketing Tips for 2021.
Founder and CEO at Huckabuy
As someone who operates in the technical SEO space, Geoff uses a number of SaaS SEO tools, but his favorite is Ahrefs, which gives his team much of the insight they need into a website before they even speak to a potential client.
“It is a tool that allows us to analyze peoples’ websites from an SEO perspective from afar… We know what’s going on before we even talk to them.”
Listen to Geoff’s episode: Why SaaS Marketing Leads the Convergence of B2B and B2C.
Sales Enablement and Skills Transformation, IBM
Georgia described for us a dream tool that gave her visibility into all of her sales enablement training and outcomes. But the tool she’s currently using that she cannot work without is online whiteboard and collaboration tool Mural.
“It just offers such a flexible space around collaboration. And particularly, one of my passions is around innovation and design thinking, and it offers a really great tool to help do that.”
Listen to Georgia’s episode: Sales Enablement Strategies for 2021.
President & Global Head of eCommerce at Lenovo
Lenovo is an Adobe shop, relying on the vendor’s tools to collect data and manage the online experience across its B2C and B2B online channels. While Ajit says his phone is the device he relies on the most to keep him connected, it’s the data in his dashboards that inform him of the state of the business.
“I’m a salesperson, so I always look at numbers and data, so I’m always tethered to the dashboards that are available that tell me where the business is going… The dashboards that I get are mostly data articulation that comes from Adobe Analytics engine.”
Listen to Ajit’s episode: How to Improve the B2B and B2C Journey in a Digital World.
Founder at Thrive Agency
Tracey Fudge also chose an application that helps people collaborate and stay connected regardless of their physical location: Slack. Like many Slack users and tech industry watchers, Tracey is wondering how Salesforce, which announced in the fourth quarter of 2020 it was buying Slack, would further incorporate the technology in the years ahead.
“Well, Slack, before the acquisition, the integrations were unlimited. You could tie in everything. And for Salesforce to have the ability to have all of that data… That’s a data play. They want to compete at a level with Google and all of the others.”
Listen to Tracey’s episode: Cutting Through the Noise in B2B Marketing.
Executive and Career Coach
Terry is a veteran marketer who started her own career coaching business. The dream application she wants to develop is one platform that manages all of the things that are important to her as a coach, from sending contracts and billing, to having a private portal where she could interact with clients. But for now, Terry says her Acuity Calendar is the tool that she relies on to maintain her productivity and her schedule.
“It has been such a huge time-saver. It’s just so beautiful to set up different kinds of links for different types of meetings and send them out to people so they can find their own spot on my calendar. I can keep track of how many meetings I’ve had with clients. There’s just so many great things about it.”
Listen to Terry’s episode: Career Advice for Young Professionals.
CEO and Co-Founder, Casted
Lindsay is the CEO of Casted, which created a podcast platform for B2B marketers who want to add audio to their content marketing strategy. For Lindsay’s team, Google Drive and the Google Apps like Docs, Sheets and Slides are the productivity tools that drive the business.
“It’s such an obvious thing that everybody uses now. And I’m just so glad that it’s commonplace… You can literally run a company through Google Drive, and I don’t know how we would without it.”
Listen to Lindsay’s episode: Podcast Marketing Strategies for 2021.
CEO, Talkwalker Americas
Todd joined us on B2B Nation to discuss the evolution of social media monitoring into “conversational intelligence,” where companies can get a more detailed view of the data and sentiment associated with their brands on social platforms. But as audio and video account for a greater share of online content, Talkwalker has found itself listening to and analyzing more content formats than Facebook and Twitter. Todd chose Otter.ai, which he uses to turn audio and video into text and the tool he can’t work without.
“Basically, you can get live transcriptions of your audio and video right into text, which is really good.”
Listen to Todd’s episode: How to Leverage Conversational Intelligence in Social Media.
Dr. Carmen Simon
Chief Science Officer, Corporate Visions
Dr. Simon joined B2B Nation to discuss the neuroscience behind making your B2B content memorable and effective. We talked a lot about presentations and the use of visuals in content, so it’s no surprise she chose the popular screen capture tool Snagit.
“Every so often I want to capture things that are important, either to exemplify something [or] make something visual. So if you want to make something visual to someone else’s brain, you can give them an example, and Snagit helps you capture that.”
Listen to Dr. Simon’s episode: How to Create Content People Remember.
Kristjan is an inbound marketing expert, so naturally he listed HubSpot as one of the tools he can’t work without. But he also cited a number of applications he uses for SEO and to help him research audiences, including Talkwalker, SEMrush and SparkToro.
“SparkToro is another tool I really like. It’s a new tool that came out in the US, I think last year, which I really love. It has a lot to do with intent. If you want to do intent and understanding [intent], SparkToro is brilliant.”
Listen to Kristjan’s episode: B2B Inbound Marketing Strategies for 2021.
Sr. Director of Growth, Nextiva
Gaetano emphasized getting back to the basics of B2B marketing in his appearance on B2B Nation, urging marketers to think about content and SEO as the foundation of a solid marketing strategy. Ahrefs is the tool he uses to help build and support that foundation in his work.
“What can I say? [Ahrefs is] my favorite data source. I can find out trending topics. I can find out backlink analysis. I can do competitive research, keyword research. I can do advertising research — what competitors are spending on what keywords. I can find broad ways to pitch topics to journalists for press and PR. There’s a million things you can do with Ahrefs. It would be the one tool that, if it were gone tomorrow, it would probably hurt my chest a little bit.”
Listen to Gaetano’s episode: Is It Time to Rethink Your B2B Marketing Strategy?
Visit our B2B Nation page to catch up on past episodes and subscribe on the podcast platform of your choice. B2B Nation is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Soundcloud.