This is a Quora question I was asked to answer.  My answer is as follows.

Content marketing, organic SEO and ecommerce.

I use a WordPress website. This platform is very conducive to creating and publishing content for content marketing and organic SEO. It can also be customized extensively and functionality extended with plugins.

I augment Worpdress with Cloudflare and WP Engine, a top-rated hosting service.

The ecommerce plugin I use is Woocommerce, which I have customized extensively to function like a funnel with a rules engine that shows upsells/cross-sells/downsells based on what the customer has in their cart.

I have written more my sales funnel, including background as to why I built it rather than using something else, what makes it smart, and results.

Data-driven/database marketing.

I use an online relational database that I customized to hold all of my data, from customer relationship management, transactions, inventory management, facilities management, accounting and other specific database objects to serve my needs.

For marketing in particular, my database captures all of my customer and transaction data, which I augment with additional data entry based on interactions with customers and through third party data purchase.

There are many things that can be done with this data, including:

  1. Interest: create customer segments based on interest data (through product purchases) to drill down into who my customers are and how to market to them based on their purchase and activity history with me.
  2. Acquisition: create customer segments based on how they were acquired can be based on browsers used, devices and marketing campaigns.
  3. Demographics (if this data is collected or appended to the database): segments customers based on age, gender, income, etc.
  4. Context: where your customer is located.
  5. Visitor (non-buyer) segmentation: I create segments based on non-buyers who subscribe to my email list.
  6. Lifetime value: I identify the lifetime value of customers and design my marketing and communication around those levels.
  7. Recency, frequency, monetary: I develop marketing to those customers who are recent, purchase with frequency and have higher monetary value, as they are most likely to keep purchasing.
  8. Ascension: I design marketing to ascend my customers up my value ladder with more purchases that will help them.
  9. VIP’s: I identify my best customers and take care of them.
  10. Non-customers or low spenders: I identify those that may have accepted a free product or are on my email list but have never purchased a product or purchased a products but it was a low spend and try to ascend them to becoming paying or higher paying customers.

I think the specific database does not matter, as long as you chose a platform that will meet your current and future needs as you grow, and which is best suited to bringing data in from other platforms.

I use Knack and have found it to be well suited to my needs for a business from 5 to 8 figures in annual sales.

While I use a database developer to do the heavy lifting on setting up my databases, Knack makes it easy for lightweight developers like me to work with it on the back end. That way, I can customize it on my own and tweak it as needed without having to ask my developer every time.

Channel marketing

Specific channels that work for me are email and social.

I use Mailchimp which has worked very well for me over the years.

For social, I currently like Meet Edgar for automatically reposting previous content for me.