As you might have guessed, I’ve worked with a lot of marketing teams in my time, and one thing I’ve noticed most?
They’re the kind of busy where they eat on the move, apply lippy in the car with one eye on the road and the other on their mirror, and can squeeze you in for a five minute meeting in 2025 (if you’re lucky).
But you don’t need me to tell you that, because chances are if you’re reading this - you already know the struggle!
Between seeing this first-hand for myself, plus doing the whole small business owner and mum juggle for the past few years, it got me thinking about all the tools and systems that make my work possible day-to-day.
So if you’re the proud member of a bustling marketing team, grab yourself that 3rd coffee of the day and settle in, because I’m going to share with you 7 tools to make your job just that little bit easier, less hectic and more manageable.
If you’re in marketing, you’ll know how important social media is for just about every business. And if yours falls into that category, then this is probably an area that requires your attention on the daily.
You’ll also know just how time-consuming it can feel when you’re constantly trying to think up creative new content ideas, all while keeping everything looking amazing.
In comes Later.
Later is my go-to social media management tool for planning and scheduling content. It helps you stick to your posting schedule, check the best times to post for your audience, see a preview of your grid to keep your theme consistent and get fantastic analytics to boost your results.
What’s not to love?
AKA: your lifesaver.
Now confession time: I’m actually a totally old school list maker myself, but after talking to some of my peers about this topic, Asana is a tool I definitely had to share with you here.
In my circles, this is the go-to project management tool right now. There are lots of alternatives out there; Trello, Monday, Wrike, Basecamp - but Asana seems to be the personal top pick for most of my marketing friends.
When you think Asana, think organisational simplicity. No more Post-Its crowding out your computer monitor, no more ideas scribbled on the back of receipts or so many Notes app memos that your iPhone storage is full every five minutes.
Asana is your new organisational best friend.
It’s great for coordinating campaigns, managing agency workflows, sharing files and tracking progress on tasks, all without that email chain dating back to ‘97.
But the best part of all? Asana makes it so easy to collaborate with other agencies, consultants, freelancers or anyone else you’re working with. Simply assign them to the tasks they’re working on and bada-bing bada-boom - you’re good to go.
Now stay with me, don’t let the name scare you.
A Brand Illustration System (BIS) is what you call a set of branded illustrations that you can take, use, customise and repurpose in any which way you like.
It’s a way of saying goodbye to the same old stock images you and every other marketing professional are using (there are only so many times we can see the same flatlay of a laptop, a diary and perfectly placed glasses on a desk).
I get it, when you need the perfect visual in a snap, stock photos can be tempting, but a BIS helps to circumvent this and set you apart from competitors.
Curious? I’ve explained a little more about how these work in this blog post.
Zapier is an online automation tool, which is another one of those things that sounds way more complicated than it really is. Essentially, it helps automate repetitive tasks by connecting the apps you use everyday.
For instance, if you’re a little like me, you like keeping on top of your emails. Even more than that, you like keeping a record of all email attachments (invoices, briefs, etc).
One thing Zapier could do for you, is connect your email app of choice (e.g. Gmail) to your filing system (e.g. Dropbox), and set up an automation. Maybe when team members send through photos, you want to automatically save them in a Dropbox folder of future content ideas. There’s a Zap for that!
You could also set up automations for things like compiling leads into a Google Sheet, syncing new subscribers into your email marketing platform or adding new projects into Asana.
Goodbye admin, hello productivity.
This handy little tool here? This one is for all your email marketing needs.
Like project management apps, there are so many email marketing platforms out there today. To be honest with you? They largely do the same job. But for my personal use case, I really enjoy Active Campaign.
It helps you set up advanced automated emails with detailed segmenting and rules, shaving off all those hours you might normally spend crafting and drafting emails, or filtering the right people into a list.
They’ve really thought of everything when it comes to communicating with customers at every step of the buying process, which is why it’s my current go-to.
If you’re in agency land or work as a consultant, you will know exactly how it feels to have too many incoming projects to keep track of. Things get missed, projects get overlooked, and you’re left feeling unprofessional and deflated.
We’ve all been there at some point, but let me tell you, having something like Dubsado in place can really help avoid these dramas altogether.
You can use it to capture leads, send proposals and contracts, issue invoices, track what’s in your pipeline, automate customer service emails and just about anything else you’d want from a CRM designed for creatives. Believe me when I say this is one tool I really couldn’t function without.
Save the best ‘til last, right?
This is my final go-to time-saver for marketing teams. Take it from me, it’ll make your life a hundred times easier when working with graphic designers, especially if they’re external.
If you implement this, you might even have time to eat lunch sitting down and put lippy on in front of an actual mirror (yes, really).
I’m talking about none other than a set of formal brand guidelines.
So why should we be excited about this handy little PDF document?
Having a set of formal brand guidelines (and sticking to them) really is the best way to make your branding consistent across the board. We’re talking web, social, in-office - you name it, formal brand guidelines will have it looking stunning and consistent with your brand.
Not only does it make it easy for you and your marketing team to keep things consistent, it makes it easy to share your branding with any external suppliers, contractors or anyone else working with or for your brand.
No one likes going back and forth 19 times trying to get a colour just right or to select the perfect font. These details should be set in the stone and ready for anyone to run with when you need to turn around some collateral in a jiffy.
This is something I specialise in. Branding is my jam, and the key to strong branding is consistency. My job is to develop your perfect brand guidelines and ready-to-use assets that keep your business looking profesh and help attract more customers.
Thinking it might be time to put some formal brand guidelines in place? Book a free 15 minute chat and I can point you in the right direction!
So, there you have it. A neat little list of all the tools that will make your life as a marketer easier.
What did you think? Are you already using some of these tools in your team? Or do you know some other great tools that I need in my life? Let me know through the message form at the bottom of the page - I’d love to know what you think!
Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the links in this blog are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small percentage of the sale if you sign up using my link. I only share affiliate links for tools that I genuinely love and use here at Little Black Kat. I hope you find them just as useful as I do!
P.S. If you decide Dubsado is the CRM for you, just follow this link and use the code littleblackkat to score 20% off your first years subscription.