9 Tools to Optimize Your Best Marketing Asset: Your Brain
It’s an amazing time to be a marketer. Now more than ever before, we have access to tools, channels, and resources to achieve quantifiable and measurable results. The digital world is a blank canvas, and we have free reign to create anything. Just take a look at some today’s most creative digital marketing strategies (like Refinery29’s digital magazine or ModCloth’s community features).
What’s important to note is that these campaigns and programs didn’t just materialize out thin air. They are the result of a methodical planning process, and there’s one ingredient that’s responsible for fueling success—time.
It’s time that gives marketers the space and bandwidth that they need to be creative. But unfortunately, most of us don’t have enough hours in the day. We’re too busy running already-profitable campaigns to test out new experiments. And with the end of Q4 around the corner, we have even less time to explore new opportunities, technologies, and interests.
With time being our greatest asset, we need to carve out as much of it as possible—to optimize every micro-moment in our day to day. There are a handful of tools that can help. Here are 9, loved by the marketing community, to help alleviate your biggest pain points and time sinks.
Function: Discover learning resources from the marketing community
GrowthHackers.com provides a low-touch, peer-driven forum to learn new skills.
One of the biggest challenges that marketers face is content discovery. We need to read blogs to learn, but few of us have the time to actively scour industry publications for the best content. That’s where GrowthHackers.com enters the picture. A digital community run by marketers for marketers, the forum makes it easy to surface interesting content. All that you need to do is sit back, wait, and wait for others to post their best resources.
What differentiates GrowthHackers.com from other resources is that its most popular discussions are tactical in nature. The GrowthHackers.com community cares about achieving results. Rather than posting fluffy pieces, members will tend to share and promote resources with hard data.
Cost: $0-$49.99/month depending on email volume
Function: Queue up emails to send later
Boomerang gives you control over when and at what frequency you’re sending emails.
This tool is especially valuable for the night owls who do their best creative work at strange hours of the night. What happens when it’s 2AM and inspiration strikes for your best campaign yet?
You want to harness that energy into a team memo, but you definitely don’t want to bug everyone on our team before sunrise. What do you do?
Don’t forget about your message in your email drafts folder. Instead, queue it up using Boomerang–a Gmail app for scheduling and sending emails. Work your night owl hours, without weirding out (or putting unnecessary pressure upon) your email recipients.
Cost: $49 for your first 10 videos; $99 per video after your first 10
Function: Get feedback on your marketing campaigns
UserTesting makes it easier for marketers to get quick feedback around a concept, mockup, prototype, or webpage. Here’s what you get with every test:
- A short video of someone in your target audience using your website while speaking their thoughts out loud
- A short, detailed report along with every video
- The option to run tests among your own customer base or UserTesting’s participant panel
Rather than pinging random people in your network for advice, you can go straight to UserTesting and get the advice you need delivered in under an hour. The value?
- Catch holes that you may not have otherwise seen in your campaigns
- Figure out what your audiences are finding valuable and how that feedback might be different from your messaging
- Make last-minute tweaks to your website experience and descriptions (to counteract elements of your website or marketing campaign that audiences might find confusing.
Keep watch over your budget by running as many or as few user tests as you’d like. Get the insights that you need, quickly, without the overhead of reaching out to individuals in your network.
Function: Build a lightweight event app for your meetups and events
Attendify makes it possible to create an event app in under an hour.
If you’ve ever run an event of any size, whether internal to your company or community-facing, you know how hard it is to keep logistics in order. You know you’re feeling the pain when you find yourself answering the same questions over and over.
Attendify gets rid of all these headaches while eliminating the overhead, commitment, and expense of building a custom app. You can give your attendees everything that they to manage their schedules, discover event content, and network with fellow-attendees.
No more paper. Re-use the app for recurring events. Free up your brain to focus on learning about your attendees and deliver the best experience possible.
5. Product Hunt
Function: Discover new, awesome products
Product Hunt is an online community that makes it easier to discover new technology products.
The company hosts an online forum that allows its members to post and upvote products products that they love (and then uses these nominations to create curated lists like this one).
It’s a great way to develop time-saving products from indie developers and startups that are tackling the same productivity challenges that you’re tackling each day.
Use ProductHunt to discover and enjoy new tools.
6 – Narrow.io
Function: Grow your Twitter following, without the manual effort
Narrow.io is a SaaS app that uses modern Twitter marketing techniques to grow your following on the platform.
Organic growth on Twitter doesn’t just happen. Whether you’re managing your personal or company account, there’s some leg work involved, and it’s this necessary effort that is likely keeping your follower count stagnant.
Narrow.io is a tool that makes it easier for Twitter account holders to target their audiences and grow their followings. It automates the grunt work so that you, as a marketer, can focus on studying patterns, monitoring trends, and growing your audience. In other words, the tool frees up your brain to tackle the social media challenges that matter.
Function: Simplify the meeting scheduling process
Assistant.to is an email plugin that makes it easier to schedule meetings.
How much time are you spending on scheduling meetings? If the answer is longer than 20 minutes per week, you are wasting too much time (not to mention, end scheduling and re-scheduling requests can be disruptive to your workflow.
This tool automates the scheduling process. Using technology, you get the benefits of working with an assistant, without needing to hire someone. Not to mention, it integrates with GoToMeeting, UberConference, Cisco WebEx, and GoToMeeting.
Function: Get fast, expert advice
Clarity.fm makes it possible to get fast answers to your marketing-related questions.
Ever find yourself needing a quick answer to a tough question, with zero time to conduct research? It’s these moments that are the reason why Clarity exists.
It’s simple to get started:
- Start with a question. Focus on a niche problem that you’re looking to solve.
- Hop on clarity to find someone who can answer that question.
- Schedule your call.
Find the people and the information that you need in a matter of minutes. Don’t waste your time conducting research when a Clarity expert is likely to have the answer that you need.
Cost: Free to $49+ per month
Function: Learn about your prospects before you reach out to them
Reach the right audiences with the right messaging at the right time. That’s the marketer’s mantra – but it’s easier said than done.
CrystalKnows is an artificial intelligence tool that addresses this pain point by providing access to millions of personality profiles. In other words, you can better understand how to communicate with people based on their personalities.
Stop making assumptions before hitting “send” in your emails. Instead, tailor your messaging to individuals’ personality profiles.
Have you ever used these tools? Are there others that you’d recommend? Please share your thoughts, comments, and feedback in the comments section below.
As you’re well-aware, productivity is an art and blank canvas. You need to choose tools that are right for you. The challenge? Inspiration is tough to find, as many productivity tools are, themselves, time sinks.
So let’s simplify the process a bit and keep adding to this blog post–for the sake of your fellow marketers’ sanity. What apps do you use? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
About the author: Ritika Puri is a San Francisco based blogger who writes about trends in business, internet culture, and marketing. She’s inspired by the intersection between technology, entrepreneurship, and sociology. Follow Ritika on Twitter!
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