How to Choose the Best Marketing Toolkit for Your Budget

Best Marketing Toolkit

Do you sometimes feel as though, in the past, marketing was based more on intuition? It seems like it must have been forever ago but it actually never happened.

Marketing has always relied on data. And recently that relationship has only grown stronger.

Customer insight helps predict the market, for instance. Historic data validates new decisions and visitor behavior aids in delivering a targeted message.

But data comes at a cost and many businesses prefer not to endure it. What they don’t realize though is that a small boost of data budget can increase their marketing ROI. Here, let me show you how.

Typical Marketing Activities

There is an infinite number of ways to market a business online. But the majority of those activities will fall under one of these categories:


There is no growth without traffic online. So naturally a lot of a business’ effort will always go towards bringing new visitors to the site. And needless to say, those various SEO techniques, AdWords campaigns and other advertising methods generate and also require a lot of data.

Email Marketing

It’s an undeniable fact: email is the best converting marketing channel. According to this Conversion Academy study, conversions from email account for about 67 percent of all transactions. For comparison, search traffic accounts for just less than 4 percent, while PPC advertising contributes just less than 1 percent.

It comes as no surprise that companies put so much focus on email, and with that, all the customer data required to set up, segment and deliver successful email campaigns.


Email rocks conversions but nothing beats content when it comes to raising brand awareness. Customers prefer to buy from someone they know and therefore gaining as much brand recognition has never been more crucial.

While content production is mostly free, insight that helps to identify topics, creating, and then promoting content costs money.

Social Media

Even though it started as a way to bring people together social media has now grown into a marketing powerhouse. But to market on social media effectively, you need to process a lot of data and customer insight.

Online Reputation Management

Reputation matters. 85 percent of customers will research a business online before buying from them. But building a solid online reputation means more than preventing negative reviews. It requires instant response but also, in-depth data analysis.

And I believe that even a small increase in the amount of data a company gathers can make a huge difference to their marketing ROI.

Marketing Toolkits Experiment

To prove my point I decided to conduct a quick experiment – create marketing toolkits for three distinct data budgets. In doing so, I had to make some predictions about each business case.

I had to generalize but I also tried to be as much accurate about each business.

Data budgets

(Disclaimer: While preparing these marketing toolkits, I deliberately omitted certain tools. Google Analytics or AdWords, for instance are free and most companies would use them regardless of their budget.)

Top 10 Free Third-Party Tools To Use:

  1. BuzzSumo – content marketing and influence marketing tool. Free version has limited functionality, yet provides enough info for you to find the best content and experts.
  2. SumAll – a powerful data analytics tool covering 42 platforms. The tool provides insights for your social media profiles and a lot more.
  3. Postcron – for scheduling posts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Free version allows users to schedule up to 5 posts.
  4. SimilarWeb free domain report for competitive, keyword and traffic analysis.
  5. Ubersuggest for search marketing. The tool provides keyword ideas.
  6. Feedly for content curation.
  7. Canva for creating visual content. (Tip: use images from free resources like and
  8. Adobe Color CC for choosing the best colors for the images you create for any marketing channel.
  9. Klout for searching and connecting to influencers in your niche. I strongly suggest that you install Klout Chrome extension that helps you identify influencers directly on social media.
  10. Talkwalker alerts for media monitoring and social listening.

Please also note that the below choices of software are for illustration purposes only. The choice of data provider is a subjective matter and I recommend researching various vendors before you select the best one for your needs. I didn’t include any high price plans these tools offer.

Toolkit #1 – $100/month budget

Best Marketing Toolkit

Traffic (SEO/PPC)

  • Authority Labs Plus Plan $49/month

Email Marketing

  • Active campaign Basic Plan $9/month or
  • MailChimp (free up to 500 subscribers)

Online Reputation Management

  • Mention Starter Plan $33/month
  • Ahrefs Alerts FREE (limited)

Social Media

  • Hootsuite Pro Plan $9/month

Total cost: $100

A typical business operating with a $100 a month budget would have to rely more on manual labor in gathering and processing data. In many cases, the owner would look after marketing activities of the company. Their online marketing activities would revolve around to bringing traffic to the site (SEO and PPC).

  • Authority Labs

Why: Authority Labs includes similar features set as many other rank trackers (i.e. SERPs). It however beats them on price. With 100 keywords in a lowest plan and 250 in the one we mention here, Authority Labs is simply the most affordable option for SMEs.

  • Active Campaign
  • MailChimp

Why: This tie in is mainly due to functionality. Both tools feature an impressive toolset allowing managing not only simple newsletters but marketing automation.

But they can serve two different small business’ needs.

For a low price, Active Campaign offers full marketing automation tools. Mailchimp however is ideal for a business looking for a simpler solution. Any company interested in starting off in email marketing will find their free plan irresistible.

  • Mention
  • Ahrefs Alerts

Why: Another tie. This time however both tools compliment one another.

Mention has already become the most popular online reputation management tool on the market. For a relatively low monthly price a business can monitor and respond to anything that’s been said about them online.

Ahrefs Alerts is a new entrant to the market focusing primarily on media mentions. Its free plan may sound limited. But it’s a great place to start if you want to focus on monitoring your brand on the media.

  • Hootsuite

Why: Hootsuite is undeniably the first choice for many businesses wishing to listen and engage with audiences on various social media platforms.


Even though it’s quite limited, this toolkit allows businesses monitor the most important data for a small business – rankings and online reputation.

At this price level however, even the best tools can provide only a limited set of data. For instance, Authority Labs will allow monitoring 250 keywords only. It means that as soon as the company outgrows that number, at this price point the tool will become insufficient.

Toolkit #2 – $250/month budget

Best Marketing Toolkit

Set #1

Traffic (SEO / PPC)

  • SEMrush Pro Plan – $69.95/month
  • Ahrefs Lite Plan – $79/month


  • MailChimp Up to 2000 subscribers – $25/month

Online Reputation Management

  • Mention Starter Plan – about $33/month
  • Rankur Business Plan – $24/month

Social Media

  • Hootsuite Pro Plan $9/month

Total: $239.95


Set #2

best marketing toolkit

Traffic (SEO / PPC)

  • Moz Standard Plan – $99/month
  • Ahrefs Lite Plan – $79/month


  • MailChimp Up to 2000 subscribers – $25/month

Online Reputation Management

  • Moz Fresh Web Explorer
  • Rankur Business Plan – $24/month

Social Media

  • Hootsuite Pro Plan $9/month

Total: $236

Businesses with this type of budget would often have more demanding marketing needs. They might have a dedicated in-house person who will look after their day-to-day promotional activities and with that, defined and higher targets. With all that comes a need to analyze various data points when making decisions.

  • SEMrush
  • Ahrefs
  • Moz

Why: SEMrush is invaluable when it comes to overseeing an entire online marketing strategy. From organic to paid traffic and competitor research, SEMrush offers access to almost unimaginable amount of data any advanced marketer would need for their work.

Ahrefs excels in one area, backlinks management.

Any business engaging in SEO needs to monitor its(not to mention its competitor’s) backlinks. For that, Ahrefs with its huge index of links and regular data updates, among other features, is invaluable and an absolute must have.

Similarly to SEMrush, Moz offers the ability to monitor almost every aspect of online marketing campaign: SEO, local, content, social media and more. It’s a great choice for businesses focusing on organic search. It also offers a brilliant brand monitoring tool, Fresh Web Explorer, making it a worthy Mention alternative.

SEMrush on the other hand includes various PPC analytic tools, making it ideal for businesses engaging in both SEO and PPC.

  • MailChimp

Why: We’ve already discussed the Mailchimp’s free plan. The tool however is suitable for businesses with bigger budgets as well. Its simple interface, multitude of templates and long history on the market make it a good choice for medium businesses.

  • Mention
  • Rankur

Why: It’s easy to admit Mention’s usefulness. But even though it boasts a similar features set, Rankur offers more data for a similar price, making it a strong alternative depending on a business’ data needs.


With 2.5-times higher budget than its predecessor, this business will have no problems in gaining a thorough overview of not only its but its competitor’s marketing activities.

Software like SEMrush, Ahrefs or Moz will allow an in-depth monitoring of their rankings, PPC strategies and more. They will also help conduct a detailed competitor research to uncover their most successful strategies, improve decision making and spot new marketing opportunities.

Moreover, at this budget, companies can fully avail of tools like Rankur to avail of comprehensive data set about their audience and market.

Toolkit #3 – $500+/month Budget

best marketing toolkit 3

Traffic (SEO / PPC)

  • SEMrush Guru Plan – $149.95/month or Moz Medium Plan – $149/month
  • Ahrefs Standard Plan- $179/month


  • MailChimp Up to 2,000 subscribers – $25/month

Online Reputation Management

  • Mention Starter Plan – about $33/month
  • Rankur Business Plan – $24/month

Social Media

  • RivalIQ Hero Plan – $199/month

Total – $609

The last group is large business with in-house marketing team and huge expectations. A toolkit allowing them to gather and process all the data they need could potentially look like this:

  • RivalIQ

Why: The only new tool compared to a previous toolkit. RivalIQ is powerful digital marketing and social competitor analysis tool. Given its price point, it’s accessible on the enterprise level only. Its feature set however can satisfy even the most demanding marketer.


The major difference after doubling the second budget lies in the amount of data you can receive. At this price point, Ahrefs for instance offers 30M total data rows limit. That’s over 142 percent increase versus the data businesses with half of the budget can access.

More Data Equals More Opportunities

The above experiment showed that there is a tremendous difference in marketing insight a business with $100 and one with 2.5 times more can gather.

The former can resort to mainly monitoring rankings and responding to brand mentions. The latter however can openly monitor their vast marketing strategies, analyze their competitors strategies, greatly improve decision making and ensure consistency in their own activities.

And all that happens without a significant increase to their software budget.

Tools Concept Image via Shutterstock 8 Comments ▼

William Johnson William Johnson belongs to the most creative field of digital media - web design. He is currently an Editor at Big Eye Deers and he is obsessed with the latest trends in ecommerce, SEO and social media analytics. He has been a regular contributor to leading online portals such as SEMrush, Small Business Trends and SocialMediaToday.

8 Reactions
  1. Alannah Gibney

    Been using Raven Tools, it automates monthly reports for each of my clients.

  2. I’ve been using Klout, Feedly and Ubersuggest. I love uber suggest for keyword research. It helps in looking for those longtail terms.

  3. Mobile marketing can tend to have the highest ROI in the industry, and with the right company you can get wholesale prices to suit your company’s plan. SMS marketing is an eco-friendly and inexpensive way to reach thousands and start growing your database. Check out this blog to read more about some successful SMS marketing campaign types and how they can help you increase sales today:

  4. Good post. I use Hootsuite for my Social Media Dashboard and it works well.

  5. Since I started using the tools my use of the Internet has changed drastically. With the ability to track different mentions about me and my blog, about my projects and products, as well as competing brands, I’ll improve my personal branding and content management.

    I’m strongly reccommend to try Brand24 as an good example of monitoring tool. I’ve started from Brand24 and I think that is the best of all 🙂

  6. and i use K-meta for my SEO and PPC campaign!