There’s an app for that. Maybe. But chances are that you are buying too much stuff when it comes to marketing apps.

If you are like me, I bet you’ve gone out of your way and invested in a boatload of marketing apps to maybe make it easier for yourself to do digital marketing. Or maybe automate some of those marketing tasks.

The “marketing stack” definitely sounds cool. If you geek out on tech, it’d also mean lifelong indulgence in software which could get really expensive (on a monthly basis).

Expensive is something small business owners, bloggers, bootstrapping businesses can’t afford.

After a lifetime of spending on marketing tech, I can only imagine what that kind of spending can do to a small business.

Also, I realized that a lot of what’s out there isn’t really important at all. Here’s how you might be buying too much stuff when it comes to marketing stack, and what you need to do about it.

Wants are getting ahead of needs

With digital marketing, all that you need is a website built for the single purpose of getting leads. That website can be built with HTML/CSS by using a platform such as Webflow (which also takes care of page load speeds, hosting, CDN, etc).

Or, you’d choose to be on WordPress, and you’ll be better off using specialist WordPress hosting platforms such as Kinsta, WPEngine, or Flywheel. Want some freedom to customize and design your WordPress? Try Divi (and this is a one-time purchase).

Both Webflow and WordPress are complete CMS platforms, so you’ll have the blogging thing taken care of. Divi lets you customize, and spectacular hosting platforms will take care of WordPress security for you.

Beyond that, all you need is a tool to help you manage social media (I use Hootsuite). And, you’ll need an email marketing automation tool such as Drip, which you can start for free).

Need to generate leads by using landing pages? Use Leadpages or Unbounce.
That’s all that you want. Anything else you buy is a sign of your needs getting ahead of your wants.

At this point, you need to put in the work.

No fancy tools will cover for the fact that you don’t have regular blog posts being published, no presence on social media, and no active email marketing campaigns going out.

Marketing tools are overrated

Let’s just say that you do feel compelled to invest in a few marketing tools. You should know that all those “very expensive” marketing automation tools and other marketing apps, SaaS tools, and others don’t do you any good if you aren’t putting in the actual back-breaking job of creating content.

Pardot, Marketo, and Hubspot are very expensive but those aren’t magic bullets that’ll automatically transform your business. It just doesn’t happen that.

Doing digital marketing with nothing more than a WordPress website is enough for you to start with; you need no Hubspot.

Most marketing tools are overrated. Period.

You don’t need 10X tools to do 1X work

If you spend 10 hours per week writing blog posts (on schedule), 2-3 hours per week on social media, and just about 2 hours per week on your email marketing, you are roughly putting in 15 hours per week for ongoing, continuous marketing that works to pull in leads for you all year round.

As far as digital marketing goes, all you need to do is:

  • Blog regularly.
  • Share posts on social media (along with actual interactions)
  • Work with email marketing.

Let’s peg that as 1X work. So, why do you need 10X tools to do that? Sometimes, I think buying too much stuff when it comes to marketing apps is an escape route people take instead of putting in the actual work that you need to put in.

I think we all have a tendency to just buy too much stuff (for marketing and generally in life).

Photographers and filmmakers end up with gear lust.

Auto enthusiasts end up with more cars than they can ever drive at any time.

Wealth hoarders stash up more cash than they need.

It takes work to scale back and take a few steps backward. Stop buying useless stuff.

Just put in the work.

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