Using Google Apps for Sales and Marketing
by Scott Lorenz, Westwind Co.
Anyone involved in marketing or public relations, like anyother profession, can only maintain their competitive edge by keeping pace withall the available time-saving and energy-saving tools technology offers. Butyou don’t have to invest huge sums in software applications each year to keeppace.
The budget-friendly approach I follow is to take advantageof the wide array of Google marketing apps, many free and the others at low,pain-free prices. And Google apps perform just as well, in my experience, asthe high-priced “premium” business software. The money saved can be betterspent on professional membership, services or office supplies.
Some Google apps are intended to be used with yourBlackberry, iPhone, Android or other smart phone. Other Google apps are used in conjunction with your browser. Among some of my favorite easy-to-use and effective Google Apps are:
MailChimp – An app that makes it easy to send newsletters to your customers, manage your subscriber lists, track campaign performance, and synchronize your email marketing with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks. Because MailChimp uses an open programming interface it can easily integrate with other Google Apps and e-commerce systems. MailChimp has more than 650,000 users, ranging from one-person startups to nonprofits with tiny email lists to Fortune 500 companies with lists in the millions.
SurveyMonkey – This powerful but simple survey creator provides fast and flexible response gathering as well as intelligent reporting and analysis. SurveyMonkey is a browser-based tool for users of all levels, so there is no software to download. Surveytemplates and pre-formatted question types help you get a professional surveyup in minutes. It is easy to add your logo, match colors to your website, and create a survey URL using your company name. You can view responses in real time, and easily export the data or import it into Excel. SurveyMonkey is a wonderful tool for marketing and product research, to survey customer satisfaction, to gather product feedback, and several other uses.
Weespr – Publishyour own magazine quickly, regularly and automatically, both print and online,with Weespr is a neat tool that blends the best of social networking with thestrengths of traditional publishing. Weespr, which integrates with Facebook,Picasa and Flickr, makes it easy to manage and track viewership. Yourpublication is downloaded in the universally-accepted PDF format and allows youto send magazines either electronically or by print.
Smartsheet – This is a sales pipeline management app that allows you to track deal status,close date and next steps, and receive alerts and follow-up reminders. Withlittle effort you can attach documents to the relevant deal or contact. If youare using a spreadsheet to manage your sales pipeline you will soon outgrow it,if you haven’t already. Smartsheet works like a spreadsheet but has a betterreminder structure, better maintains information on leads, and provides a greatway to quickly locate notes and documents associated with the sale. You can also track key discussions and emailcorrespondence related to the prospect or sale, get at-a-glance highlighting ofwhat’s changed, and access summary reports.
myBrainshark –This is a free service that makes it easy to create, share and track onlinevideos presentations for sales, marketing and other functions. myBrainsharkmakes it easy to create and narrate online videos, share presentation links and embedded videos, track and analyze viewing results. You can start by uploadinga PowerPoint presentation or other document and add your voice by phone,microphone or MP3 upload, and then enhance your content with video clips,photos, surveys, polls or other attachments. With each video you create withmyBrainshark, you can share a link byemail or through social media sites, embed the presentation within your websiteor blog, or easily publish it on YouTube. Use this tool to promote yourproduct, service or expertise – a great tool for authors, lawyers andinventors.
Web Survey Master – This professional online survey tool provides instant preview surveycreation, an easy to use publication wizard, and real-time analysis. This is abrowser tool that gives you quick access to several easy online software toolsso you can use professionally designed survey templates, predefinedpresentation styles, answer validation, custom branding, password protection,and much more. This tool is very useful for event planning as well as surveytaking.
Google Analytics Dimension Analyzer – This free app allows you to identify and analyzetop landing pages, campaigns or keywords by any metric such as top landingpages by conversions, top traffic sources by new visitors, or other metricsthat better suit your purpose. No software or set up involved.
DirectIQ –This is another Google App to create and send email newsletters that is aimed at small to medium business needs. DirectIQ offers high delivery rates, an easyto use web interface, detailed reports, loads of free email templates, a simplecontact list and seamless contact creation, and in-depth reporting onopen/click rates, bounces, etc.
NetConference –This is a wonderful app for anyone who relies on webinars or videoconferencing. NetConference makes it easy to record, save and sell webinarevents, to upload and broadcast High Definition Videos and to share files toolarge for email as well as conduct Web Video Conferencing. This app can storeall of your important files, share information with colleagues, host digital conferences,present videos or PowerPoint presentations, and more while talking with up tosix people on video camera. Web Conferencing is the future of the way we willdo business and NetConference contains all the necessary tools in onepackage.
VerticalResponse – In addition to sending and tracking email campaigns, VerticalResponsecan be used for direct mail postcards and online surveys. This Google Appprovides self-service email and direct mail marketing and survey solutions forsmall and medium businesses. This app can avoid most spam blockers and processbounces and unsubscribe requests so you can see who’s responding and who isn’tin real time. This app can also automatically share your email newsletters onFacebook and Twitter.
Salesforce –Salesforce for Google AdWords is to be used by companies to manage and measuretheir search engine campaigns. Those businesses who seek to generate new leadsby using Google AdWords can turn those leads into new customers by usingSalesforce to gain greater control over their search engine marketinginvestments.
You likelywill not find all of these Google Apps useful for your marketing, PR orbusiness needs. They are simply a list of my favorite Google Apps. But I’m pretty confident that within thislist are two or three apps that you will love and that will have immediatepayoffs for you. But rather than take my word you can instead spend an hour orso researching Google Apps at the Google Marketplace at www.google.com/enterprise/marketplace.
About Scott Lorenzand Westwind iPhone App Publicity
Scott Lorenz is President of WestwindCommunications, a public relationsand marketing firm that has a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneursto help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handledpublic relations and marketing for numerous Smart App developers, authors,doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. Learn more about WestwindiPhone App Publicity at https://www.iPhoneAppPublicity.comor contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@iPhoneAppPublicity.com or by phone at 734-667-2090