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Strategy & Marketing Planning Tools for Startups

11 Best Strategy & Planning Tools for Startups in 2022

I love doing strategy and planning sessions with clients and colleagues. Thanks to more companies being remote, using the right tools can really enhance the experience, as well as ensure members involved in sessions and workshops are engaged.

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Miro

About: 
Meet Miro. This platform has become my new favourite go-to tool when it comes to doing strategy planning for startups, growth marketing and business planning in general.

Top Features:

The team behind this platform have done an amazing job creating something so easy to use, and actually really fast. Draw, design, drag-and-drop elements, and even run video chats within the platform itself. Pretty awesome. The collaboration features overall are fantastic.
It takes literally seconds to create and start brainstorming, planning and more. They've got a good library of templates, whether you want to create project kanban boards, mind maps, flowcharts, matrix's, customer journey maps, affinity maps and lots more.
You can also upload your own files, whether documents, sheets and images. Plus, power your experience with your favourite tool integrations.
Whiteboard
Video
Templates
Pricing: 
There's a really good freemium plan available for unlimited team members. To have more boards that you can edit, you will need to upgrade with pricing starting from $10 per member, per month. Business and enterprise plans are options for larger, fast-growing businesses.
Web/App
Freemium
$-$$$
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Sparktoro

About: 
If you're wanting to do more in-depth audience research about your niche for developing new strategies, then you should check out Sparktoro.

Top Features:

This is a seriously impressive platform which pulls in various data sources based on queries for your audience. In fact, it pulls together millions of data points across millions of websites and social profiles, to deliver you a custom data to help you better understand people engaged heavily in your niche, top websites and so much more.
You can discover opportunities for publications, websites and even link building opps. You can analyse the audiences of your competitors, to influencers you can reach out to. There are a lot of possibilities with the data you can recieve.
You can also build lists of potential customers and run your own email outreach campaigns. There's an integration with Hunter.io which makes this process easy.
Research
Personas
Data
Pricing: 
You can test out the platform with 5 free searches per month, with plans then starting from $50 per month for up to 50 searches per month.
Web/App
Freemium
$-$$$
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Lucidspark

About: 
Awesome online whiteboard for brainstorming and planning with your team is Lucidspark.

Top Features:

Brainstorm and strategise in real-time with your team, where you can have multiple users in the one canvas, adding sticky notes, draw, add shapes and more. Each cursor for every user is a different colour and labelled with names, making it easy to see who's contributing.
A couple of really nice features include the ability to run timers, as well as voting systems within the interface, ensuring you keep things on time and also making sure everyone agrees on key decisions that come up in your sessions.
There are also numerous integrations available, as well as a rich library of templates to help you get kick started.
Virtual
Real-time collaboration
Freehand
Pricing: 
Signing up and using Lucidspark is free, for up to 3 editable boards. For unlimited boards and more features, pricing begins at $10 per month for solo users. Team plans are available from $13 per user, per month. An enterprise is also an option.
Web/App
Freemium
$-$$$
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Lucidchart

About: 
Within the same product family as Lucidspark, Lucidchart enables users to create smart diagrams for strategy and planning.

Top Features:

Start creating diagrams right away by opening up a canvas, and using drag-and-drop components to build out your diagrams. There are also templates you can choose to help you kickoff.
Collaborate with your team in real-time by inviting them to the board, where they can share and make comments to provide feedback. Make changes on the fly.
The interface is simple that no matter the skill level you can use Lucidchart, so you don't need to be a tech-whizz. There are also many integrations.
Diagrams
visualise data
intuitive
Pricing: 
Pricing is the same as Lucidchart.
Web/App
Freemium
$-$$$
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Mindmeister

About: 
One of the most popular mind mapping software platforms in the world is Mindmeister.

Top Features:

With over 25mil+ users, Mindmeister has done a wonderful job at creating a product seamless and easy-to-use that any skill level can use this tool for strategy and planning.
Whether you're wanting to create mind maps, org charts, sitemaps, brainstorming, SEO/content maps, project planning, etc. - you can do it with this platform. It becomes more powerfuwl when you include others users, where they can add comments, commenting and more.
Bolster your experience with integrations, upload your own attachments and documents, import and more.
Customisation
embedding
advanced features
Pricing: 
There's a free basic plan available for up to 3 mind maps, which includes collaboration in real-time with users. Then pricing begins at $4.99 per month.
Web/App
Freemium
$-$$$
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Openboard

About: 
If you're looking for a simple whiteboard app, that also happens to be free, then Openboard is your answer.

Top Features:

It's a free download, where you can create anything that comes to mind. Whilst the interface is minimal, you can draw, write and annotate.
You can use this tool on your own tablets where you can handwrite with a tablet pen, perfect for taking notes on the go. Or even perfect for remote workers at cafes wanting to brainstorm.
There are also some integrations available.
Tablet
Whiteboard
Pricing: 
It's free to download and start using right away.
Web/App
Free
$
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Coggle

About: 
Coggle is a platform that focuses on giving the best, and more simple experience, when it comes to creating mindmaps.

Top Features:

It's really easy to use Coggle. Select which branches and loops you want, and start linking and building out your flows. Easily add labels to your flows and select from many shapes.
You can add images to your flows via drag-and-drop, straight into the canvas. Also select from over a 1000 icons that you can include.
The most awesome feature is the ability to collaborate in real-time with your team members. Everyone can edit and contribute at the same time.
Mindmap
Flowcharts
Collaboration
Pricing: 
There's a really good free plan that's of great value. For more advanced features, pricing starts at $5 per month.
Web/App
Freemium
$-$$
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Ziteboard

About: 
With Ziteboard, you can whiteboard on any device, perfect for remote teams and workers.

Top Features:

The lightweight platform focuses on keeping things simple. Whilst it has some good features available, it's not like most other platforms which are feature-rich. It's an app focused on creating the best experience for online whiteboards with core features you expect.
Add sticky notes and edit them the way you want, create boards, add shapes, import images to your whiteboard via drag-and-drop and more.
A couple of features which I think are awesome include interactive calculators, as well as video and online chat within the whiteboard interface.
White label
audio/video
insert images/files
Pricing: 
You can get started on the free plan to test out Ziteboard. There's a one-week special plan for just $5, then monthly plans starting from $9 per month. Annual and enterprise plans available.
Web/App
Freemium
$-$$
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Allo

About: 
Allo is a platform I came across not long ago and it's great for remote teams to collaborate and do brainstorms/strategy sessions.

Top Features:

It's like a combination of some of the tools we've mentioned already with their main features. The team behing Allo have done a great job building a seamless experience, as well as supporting templates.
Whether your planning for projects, doing weekly/daily meetings, UX research, or other planning/strategy, then you can do this with Allo. A really cool thing they have is the ability to test the demo of the tool, even before signing up. Just click on one of the templates on the homepage - really cool!
Customise templates and create a canvas in whatever way you choose, chat with team members through voice chat within the interface, easily see through cursors who's contributing and lots more. You can also export your canvas and projects into PDFs.
great UI
Native Mac App
voice memos
Pricing: 
Anyone can signup and enjoy the freemium version where you get up to 13 canvases, with unlimited guest viewers and access. Then there's the team which is $12 per user, per month which unlocks more features and storage.
Web/App
Freemium
$-$$$
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Diagrams.net

About: 
For developers, tech teams and product managers, a really good tool for online diagramming is Diagrams.net

Top Features:

Create detailed, complex diagrams and flowcharts all within the browser. Security is a key focus, and you can store your data whereever you decide to choose.
Select from a library of shapes and symbols to start building out flows. You can annotate and draw hand-free within the canvas, add/change colours, labels and loads more.
There are a few integrations available for more advanced workflows and customised use cases. You can also export files and share them with ease with your team.
advanced features
Sharing
Integrations
Pricing: 
It's free to use.
Web/App
Free
$
Favourite

Zen Mind Map

About: 
If you're looking to build mindmaps, then you should check this platform out called Zen Mind Map.

Top Features:

The interface and canvas is really slick and simple to use. I've found it really enjoyable to use for my own projects.
In just clicks, you can build out branches, edit the labels, add emoticons and more. You can download your mind maps in seconds.
What's really cool is that you can get started for free. Plus, the upgraded plan is quite affordable for more features.
Fast building
great UX
All-in-one
Pricing: 
Freemium plan available, then the pro plans costs $4.90 per month.
Web/App
Freemium
$-$$
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Updated on:
April 4, 2022
Note: Pricing, plans, and homepage images change overtime. Pricing recorded as of 3rd April, 2022. If you see any changes required, please let me know. If you suggest any tools to add, get in touch. 😊

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⚡ Frequently Asked Questions ⚡

What are the best collaboration tools for doing strategy and marketing planning?
Traditionally I've always used the Google Suite (Google Docs, Sheets, etc) for most strategy and planning work. And, I still very much do. However, for more sophisticated, user-friendly and more 'fun' tools which are great for collaboration between teams and working with other consultants include: Miro, Lucidspark and Allo. Each of these come with awesome templates whether it be for customer research, team meetings, brainstorming, customer journey mapping and loads more.
Why do you need marketing strategy tools?
There are a few reasons why you should invest and adopt these tools in your organisation, but a main factor is collaboration on strategy and planning. In addition to collaboration, other reasons include; having all important strategy documents in one place, easily make and leave post-it notes (great for remote teams), do screen shares, integrate with key workflow tools for project management and communications, and lots more. My favourite tool to execute marketing strategy sessions that incorporates all facets of the organisation is Miro. It's beautiful software that any strategist, marketer or anyone involved in business strategy should use.
What is the top flowchart and mind mapping tool?
For me personally, the Zen Mind map platform is awesome. Really easy to use for any skill level and just beautiful to look at.
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