Man and woman digital marketers reviewing Jakes list of tech stack tools to run a digital marketing agency in Toronto

The Best Tech Stack For Running a Digital Marketing Agency in 2022

August 24th, 2022 | Author: Jake Matzanke | Strategy

I’ve heard prospects say, “I’ll just take this in-house,” all too often. But, strategy aside, have you ever considered what technology is required and how much it costs to operate like a digital marketing agency? 

I look at my credit card statement every month and am constantly blown away by the number of different vendors we use to run the agency.

My name is Jake Matzanke, and I’m a digital marketing expert and the owner of Consultus Digital, a performance marketing agency headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.

I’ve written this blog to give whoever may be interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the engine that runs a digital marketing agency – the tech stack!

This list is extensive, so it’s broken down by the three core functions of any business:

  1. Sales & Marketing
  2. Finance
  3. Operations

In an industry that is continually evolving, it’s important to stay in the know with the latest technology; otherwise, you’ll get left behind. There are several ways of achieving something, and there are certainly many ways to run an agency. Our tech stack works for us, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. 

I look forward to any feedback and recommendations on tools I may be missing out on!

Tech Stack for Sales & Marketing

CRM – ZOHO ONE 

  • What is it? ERP with over 30 applications… accounting, e-signatures, email marketing and many, many more.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? It’s inexpensive, highly customizable, and integrates with many of our other tools natively and practically all with Zapier. 
  • Why we like it: I once heard a simile about ZOHO that I think holds true. “Zoho is like a Hyundai Sonata with a BMW 7 series engine”. If you take the time to understand the software, it can solve just about everything.
  • Cost: Approximately $75.00 per user.

Agency Analytics

  • What is it? An online marketing reporting platform that integrates over 70 platforms so we can track and report on SEO, PPC, email marketing, social media etc.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? It allows an agency to monitor all your clients’ marketing channels via customizable dashboards.
  • Why we like it: It integrates the metrics we want to monitor in one place, allowing us to share custom reports to show off progress to our clients.
  • Cost: $18 USD/mo per client.

ZOHO Sign

  • What is it? A digital signature app for business.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? It cuts down on time and paper/ink costs to get documents signed.
  • Why we like it: It saves our team and clients time by having documents signed by multiple parties quickly and easily. Bonus for adding your company name and logo to docs.
  • Cost: Approx $80/mo per user.

Calendly

  • What is it? Meeting scheduling software.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? Enables prospects to schedule a meeting with you at a click of a button. No more back and forth sending available times.
  • Why we like it: Saves us a lot of time. Integrates natively with Gmail.
  • Cost: $100 annually per user.

Vidyard

  • What is it? Screen recording tool.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? We use it to send clients and prospects ‘opportunity videos’.
  • Why we like it: Easy to use, enables us to communicate complex ideas with ease.
  • Cost: Approx $250 annually/user. Free version available.

Proposify

  • What is it? Proposal making software.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? Enables us to create professional proposals quickly with consistent messaging.
  • Why we like it: Saves us time, can be automated.
  • Cost: $600 annually.

Wistia

  • What is it? Video hosting platform.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? Wistia embeds allow the videos we upload to perfectly match our clients’ brands while using the tool belt of features to evaluate metrics and help drive leads where we want them.
  • Why we like it: It’s smart, customizable and just as obsessed with analytics as we are.
  • Cost: Free – $3800 annually.

Tech Stack For Operations

Call Tracking Metrics

  • What is it? Phone call recording software.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? Tracking and listening to customer interactions with our clients provides valuable insights.
  • Why we like it: Conversion analytics can be reviewed to make data-backed strategies so we can improve ROI.
  • Cost: $39-$329 USD/mo.

Zapier

  • What is it? It allows you to pass data from one software to another automatically.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? An agency is only as good as its data. Zapier allows us to connect multiple data points with ease.
  • Why we like it: It helps boost the efficiency of our business. Another option is ZOHO flow. 
  • Cost: Free – $788.67/annually.

HeyOrca

  • What is it? Social media post scheduling software.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? Allows our social media team to post to multiple platforms; Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, etc., with the click of a button.
  • Why we like it: Offering social media management wouldn’t be possible without a scheduler like HeyOrca. It also has a great approval feature that is used with clients.
  • Cost: Cost depends on the number of calendars you need, which can fluctuate.

Grammarly

  • What is it? A cloud-based assistant that we add as a Chrome extension that provides feedback on spelling, grammar, punctuation, and other writing prompts.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? It helps make sure you and your team don’t make any careless mistakes.
  • Why we like it: Sometimes our fingers feel bigger than they are, and we type the wrong keys. It’s a contingency plan to make sure we type what we mean. 
  • Cost: Free – $15 USD/mo

Synthesia

  • What is it? A web-based platform that allows you to create videos with AI avatars.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? It’s an easy and efficient way to create training, how-to and marketing videos.
  • Why we like it: It’s a powerful, user-friendly tool that allows us to create certain videos quickly.
  • Cost: $30+ USD/mo

Ahrefs

  • What is it? A powerful SEO software suite that helps marketers with link building, keyword research, competitor analysis, rank tracking and auditing websites.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? It’s kind of like a Swiss Army knife for SEO tools.
  • Why we like it: It packages several tools in one suite really well so we can research and intelligently strategize our SEO efforts with data.
  • Cost: $99 – $999 USD/mo.

Unbounce

  • What is it? An innovative landing page builder with A/B testing and AI built-in.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? High-performing paid media campaigns often require custom landing pages and variant testing.
  • Why we like it: It’s smart, easy to use, and we’ve had a lot of success with it. 
  • Cost: $90 – $225 USD/mo.

Typeform

  • What is it? An online form building and survey software. 
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? User experience is very important for lead capture. This tool takes boring forms and makes them look much sexier.
  • Why we like it: It’s relatively simple to use and has increased our yielded measurable results for us. 
  • Cost: $25 – $83 USD/mo

Bright Local

  • What is it? An SEO tool that helps marketers with optimizing local business listing.  
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? Ranking locally for you or your clients’ business is important for generating traffic and leads. This tool helps with this.
  • Why we like it: It’s a great tool to have in our belt to audit local SEO efforts and make tweaks when needed.
  • Cost: $8 – $79 USD/mo 

No BS Market Place

  • What is it? Link building/content marketing tool.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? NO-BS Marketplace provides you access to writers and domains from across the world. 
  • Why we like it: Easy to keep track of your efforts.
  • Cost: $130 – $2000+ USD (various offerings).

ClickUp

  • What is it? ClickUp is a project management and collaboration tool used by teams to work through projects and tasks.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? It’s an excellent cloud-based platform to streamline the journey of tasks and projects that your team is working on.
  • Why we like it: It saves us a lot of time and, when used to its potential, helps us build out higher quality projects more efficiently.
  • Cost: Free – $29+ USD/mo per user.

Google Optimize

  • What is it? A free A/B testing platform.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? A/B testing is the heart of optimization, which is the foundation for higher leads and sales.
  • Why we like it: It’s an effective, user-friendly free A/B testing tool that integrates with your Google Analytics reports.
  • Cost: Basic version is free.

ZOHO Page Sense

  • What is it? It’s a tool that tracks website visitor behaviour, so you can make informed changes to your web pages. Heat maps, scrolling, etc.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? It provides you with the data required to make data-driven decisions.
  • Why we like it: Included in our ZOHO One, it does the same as other similar tools.
  • Cost: Free with ZOHO one.

Canva

  • What is it? A cloud-based graphic design platform.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? Many services offered rely on graphic design. 
  • Why we like it: It’s user-friendly, affordable and has a wide range of uses for many of our graphic design needs. It also has a great importing tool that allows you to edit PDFs.
  • Cost: Free – $199.90 USD/year (for the first 5 people)

Shutterstock

  • What is it? American-based stock photography, stock music, and stock footage provider and editor.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? It’s not always feasible to create your own images so having a huge library of images to source from fills this gap.
  • Why we like it: Large compository and easy to share with clients.
  • Cost: $49 – $479 USD/mo

Nitropack

  • What is it? It’s a cloud-based performance optimization service that helps speed up your website considerably. 
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? Page speeds and stability are crucial elements to a website’s success. 
  • Why we like it: Not many options on the market. It’s a pain to implement, but it’s proven to work well.
  • Cost: Free – $176 USD/mo

WordPress Paid Plugins 

  • What is it? Although there are tens of thousands, paid plugins can be tools or features that are added to your WordPress website.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? Depending on what you need to improve or what features you want to add, paid plugins can often fill that gap. 
  • Why we like it: They’re often plug-and-play tools that help with website improvements or additional features that we want to add to client websites we work on. 
  • Cost: Various costs.

Google Workspace (formerly G-Suite)

  • What is it? A collection of Google cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools that can be used to connect your team. 
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? You need to send emails, right? 
  • Why we like it: Gmail is significantly better than outlook, hotmail, etc. It was a no-brainer.
  • Cost: $7.80 – $23.40 CAD/user/mo

Udemy Business

  • What is it? Udemy Business is a cloud-based learning solution that can be used to educate your team(s) on a variety of skills or subjects. 
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and Udemy Business is a great resource to source courses to learn from. 
  • Why we like it: The platform is intuitive and allows me to ensure everyone has done their homework. 
  • Cost: Little secret, courses always have ridiculous sales at like 80% off for a course – don’t pay full price!

Upwork

  • What is it? It’s a digital marketplace for freelancers that work in a variety of fields.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? You’ll realize it often makes sense to hire a contractor than a new employee. 
  • Why we like it: It’s an excellent platform to source top talent on an ad hoc basis. 
  • Cost: Let’s be honest, you take your contractor off the platform to save 15-20% in platform fees.

AB Test Guide

  • What is it? It’s an A/B testing tool calculator.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? If you provide conversion rate optimization (CRO) for your clients, you’ll regularly be performing some hard calculations.
  • Why we like it: It allows us to evaluate the results of two variations to make discoveries and assumptions based on data. 
  • Cost: Free.

Google Analytics (GA3/GA4)

  • What is it? Google Analytics is a platform that collects and reports on data from your website that can be used to make insightful decisions. 
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? There’s the relevant saying, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” It’s crucial to collect data about your visitors to measure what’s working and what’s not.
  • Why we like it: It’s the only show in town!
  • Cost: Free – $500+ for Google Analytics 360 reporting.

Tech Stack For Finance

ZOHO Books

  • What is it? Accounting software.
  • Why is this important for a digital marketing agency? It’s an excellent platform to manage your company’s accounting needs in addition to creating client portals to collaborate with clients.
  • Why we like it: Allows you to create recurring invoices, and integrates with Stripe and the rest of our ZOHO apps.
  • Cost: $80 USD/mo (various options based on tier needed).

We Grow When Our Clients Grow 

I hope sharing the list of the tech stack my team and I use at Consultus Digital provided a glimpse of what might be needed in your own digital marketing toolbelt. Individually, each of these tools helps accomplish something, while holistically, they help drive the efforts of our successful digital marketing agency.

Although we’re happy with the success of this list of tools, I wouldn’t be surprised to add (or subtract) a tech stack vendor from this list in the near future. There’s always something new or innovative on the horizon, which helps us be the best marketing partners to our clients. We grow by helping our clients grow, and one way to do this is by carefully selecting and using the right tools that help deliver exceptional results. Consultus Digital is the premier Digital Marketing & Sales Enablement Agency in Toronto, Ontario. If you would like to grow with us or have recommendations on some tools we should look into, contact us!

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