The Wax Blog

top tech toolsBusiness owners have ranked their favorite business tools for 2016 in SurePayroll’s third annual top tech tools survey. The survey was included as part of part of the July 2016 SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard®.  I've been posting the Scorecard on the Examiner for a few years now, and it's  turned out to be a fairly informative and reliable SMB metric. (It's also a great example of strong B2B content if that's what you're interested in creating for your brand. ) Google Drive was the most used app among small business owners – for both organization and Cloud storage. SurePayroll asked small business owners and entrepreneurs nationwide to rank their favorite business top tech tools in the categories of Cloud Storage Providers, Organization Apps, Social Networks, Social Media Management, Customer Relationship Management and Email Marketing Software. Facebook and LinkedIn were cited as far more useful for business than other social media outlets such as Twitter or Snapchat. Perhaps surprisingly, Google Plus ranked higher as a social media platform for business than Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest. Other important tools included Mail Chimp for emailing marketing, Dropbox, and Salesforce for customer relationship management. “Our average customer tells us, for example, that they use Mail Chimp to communicate with customers, Google Drive to store important documents and SurePayroll to pay their employees. Those are the building blocks and beyond that upgrading technology becomes costly,” said SurePayroll General Manager Andy Roe. “Small businesses with only a few employees are typically not going to have a lot of resources for extensive technology systems. Fortunately, there are some really beneficial, low-cost tools available.”

Business Top Tech Tools

  • Cloud Storage – Google Drive (Note: last year’s winner was Dropbox)
  • Email Marketing Software – Mail Chimp (Note: last year’s winner was Constant Contact)
  • Organization App – Google Drive
  • Social Network – Facebook
  • Social Media Management – Hootsuite
  • Customer Relationship Management – Salesforce

Push notifications have been around since 2009, starting with Apple’s release of iOS 3.03. Since that time consumers have become increasingly accustomed to this service, particularly as used in apps and more recently in web applications. Rich Media Push Notifications in particular offer marketers a new channel to connect with consumers, especially in this era of increasing adblocker usage. Consumers enjoy receiving push notifications that are relevant. According to a recently released report by Vizury, static push notifications receive abysmal click through rates (CTR) ranging from 4% to 8%. The reason for the low CTR is that mobile users don’t like wading through dozens of generic and irrelevant messages before finding one that is actually useful. Think of this as the modern day equivalent to email inbox overload, except worse. Push notifications are highly distractive and you can’t quickly scan through them in the same manner as your email inbox.

Out of control e-mail chains. Confusing shared spreadsheets. Files carelessly strewn about multiple cloud storage accounts. If your marketing team isn’t using project management software, you’ve probably encountered these problems at least once…if not every day. E-mail, while a go-to for convenience, is not agile when it comes to keeping a team of employees on the same page. And trying to manage the unpredictable situations that crop up in marketing – like a client’s change of mind about details of a project – can quickly turn into a nightmare without a central hub to get the word out to the whole team fast. That’s where project management software comes in. This kind of software reliably tracks progress on tasks and projects, hours spent, budget, reporting and allows teams to communicate in one central place.

Online dating sites cater to every age and income bracket. For many years, niche online dating sites specially catered only to ethnic and religious groups. But today there are sites for every kind of single person. Online dating sites use many integrated marketing tools and techniques to get visitors to the critical point where they feel it's worthwhile to join. The tools they use and the messaging that drives their marketing depend heavily on the audience they hope to reach. When Jerry Miller launched the FarmersOnly.com dating website in 2005, he filled a niche for people to connect to others in similar circumstances. Farmers, ranchers, and people who live in the relative isolation of small towns can browse hundreds of profiles of people just like themselves. FarmersOnly.com  has quickly carved out a unique place in an overpopulated online dating market. Miller was working in agricultural marketing and heard the same story from many farmers: Dating was tough. Nobody else understood the relentless hours and how everybody knows everybody in their small rural communities. If they didn’t marry their high school sweethearts, they had a serious problem. So he started FarmersOnly, where over 4 million people have created profiles  in the hopes of harvesting a relationship.