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The Growth Toolkit: 14 Marketing Software Essentials for Service-Based Businesses

by Patrick Dilloncirle-animation

by Patrick Dillon / Business Strategy

March 21, 2024

  • 5 min read

Implementing a growth strategy should always be the first step in expanding your business. But once you’ve done that, you need the tools to amplify your efforts. That’s where these 14 marketing apps for business growth come into play. While this growth toolkit is by no means a substitute for strategy, it is an essential part of it. Let’s explore how these pieces of marketing software can help jumpstart your success.

A Business Email Account

Imagine receiving a sales pitch over email from a business using a personal email account like Gmail—or worse, Yahoo or AOL. You’d probably question the credibility of the source. I certainly know I do; half the leads that come through our website are like that, and I ignore most of them. You need a legitimate business email account to convey the right message, establish trust, and simplify account management. You’ll find many options, but no one beats Google in terms of price, reliability, and ease of use.


What’s worse than sending a business message from a personal account? An incoherent email that’s rife with grammatical errors. Tools like Grammarly leave no excuse for lousy writing anymore. Grammarly will catch and correct your mistakes and ensure you maintain a consistent voice tailored to your unique audience. At WISE, everyone in our company is required to use Grammarly for all communications, internal and external. Inefficient communication costs businesses way more than most people realize.


This cloud-based platform streamlines everything from payroll processing to managing employee benefits. At WISE, we use Gusto to centralize some of our company’s most important daily tasks in a single location, simplifying operations while keeping us organized and compliant. Here’s a referral link to get $100 off when you sign up for the platform.

Document Storage

If you’re still chasing around hard copies or figuring out who has the latest version of essential company documents, you’re wasting time and creating unnecessary confusion. A digital document storage solution like Google Drive allows you to securely store important documents and customize access.

Automated Calendar Solution

Setting a single meeting takes an average of six to eight emails. Scheduling software like Calendly reduces back-and-forth communication to virtually zero.If that’s not incentive enough, consider that scheduling software like Calendly integrates with other digital calendars, allows for self-service booking, automatically adjusts for time zones, and creates customizable scheduling links.

Digital Contract Software

Printing, signing, and scanning hardcopy contracts takes time, especially when handling multi-party documents. DocuSign or Dropbox Sign simplifies this process, allowing you to upload contracts with just a few clicks and then send them directly to email for digital signing.

A Billing & Accounting Solution

Cloud-based tools like Xero and Quickbooks automate tedious and time-consuming accounting tasks and give you real-time access to financial data—including details about your income, revenue, expenses, profits, and losses. This ensures you stay informed about your financial standing and have the data you need to fine-tune your growth strategy.

Consider going outside these accounting solutions for payment processing. Advanced billing solutions like Stripe bring enterprise-level payment processing and financial solutions to businesses of any size. I’ve found that most companies today can handle these activities independently, even into the multi-million dollar revenue range.

Video Conferencing Tools

Zoom may be the most widely used conferencing platform, but Dialpad earns extra points for its AI-powered transcription, dictation, and note-taking features. And perfect video call recordings are available instantly. These features allow me to review call details, see how many questions attendees asked, identify who spoke most frequently, and determine who used language indicating a high intent to purchase.

Digital Marketing Analytics Tools

At WISE, we use Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Microsoft Clarity, and others to track data from multiple sources. These marketing apps for business growth give us insights into our clients’ performance, which we then leverage to fine-tune our strategy. 

But since this information comes from multiple sources, we use a marketing analytics platform to centralize the data. This approach streamlines analysis, saving time that would otherwise be spent logging into multiple platforms. It also allows us to share robust yet digestible information with our clients, eliminating the need to toggle through screens to find relevant data.

A Lead-Tracking Solution

There are many ways to gather website leads, whether through contact forms, requests for quotes, phone calls, or live chat. But without a lead tracking platform, you’ll never be able to interpret that data from all these unique sources. A lead-tracking solution, like what we implement for our clients at WISE Digital, tracks interactions across different channels, giving you a complete picture of the customer journey. This data will tell you which leads are most likely to convert, where they come from, which marketing channel outperforms the others, and more. Ideally, you share access to this solution with your digital marketing partner so that you can communicate in real time on lead quality and attribute success to the proper channels.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Too many businesses spend money chasing leads without a written sales process. I’ve also seen companies that are great at acquiring new customers but fail to stay in touch with them. So fish are getting in the net only to swim out of gaping holes. CRM software offers a central hub to collect, organize, and analyze customer data and interactions. This allows you to track sales opportunities, manage leads, and engage with customers where they live in the sales funnel.

Web Hosting & ADA Compliance Services

Your website looks great. But is it reliable, secure, quick to load, scalable, and ADA-compliant? You need a web hosting service that does more than simply host your website. Use one that offers user-friendly interfaces and tools, tech support, reliability, and scalable solutions that grow as you do while keeping you secure and compliant.

Phone Answering Support

What hurts your company more than unanswered phone calls? Those that were answered by distracted business owners. Ruby is an essential marketing app for business growth for a few reasons: It’s $350/month, US-staffed, and on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They take messages, vet inquiries, and schedule appointments on your behalf, freeing you up to do what you do best—run your business, not answer the phone. If you like what Ruby offers, reach out, and we’ll get you a $150 referral credit.

Outsourced Live Chat

Live chat is an essential service if you want to maximize the leads your website generates for your business. We see about 25-40% of all online leads across our professional service clients stem from live chat.

The problem is that I’ve seen too many business owners try to keep live chat services in-house—at least at first. Inevitably, you’ll get busy and hand the task to someone else. Then, like you, they’ll get distracted or sick and stop answering altogether. Get live chat, but skip the headaches by outsourcing it.

From Strategy to Success. It’s Time to Get WISE.

These marketing apps for business growth work if you learn to use them, but remember: No amount of technology will ever substitute for a growth strategy that incorporates a predictable sales process, a marketing strategy, or the time you spend preparing for that new surge in revenue once you achieve it.

WISE Digital Partners is a strategy-first marketing agency. That means everything we do begins here—whether it’s defining your brand, extending your reach through paid media or SEO, or building a new website that looks great and converts. Contact us today to get started!

You can also read about our process in my latest thought leadership piece at Forbes Agency Council.


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