Four Indispensible Tools For Any Marketer
1. Google Reader
If you don’t know what an RSS feed is, learn about it now and start using them! For the rest of us, we all know the number one challenge (in any industry) is keeping up to date with what is happening in your field.
RSS feeds make life 1000% easier since you can easily track the blogs/websites/people that you find most interesting.
Google Reader is in my opinion the best way to manage and keep track of your RSS feeds especially you’ve got a built-in network of colleagues who are also using it to share items of interest.
2) Screen Capture Tools
Believe it or not, I have three (3!) screen capture tools installed in my browser.
Although anyone in the online field (online media, marketing, web development, product management) would I have more uses for these tools; I find it hard to imagine a job where there is no need to ever capture an area of the screen.
- Notable App: I recently discovered NotableApp and have started using it. The best things about NotableApp is that it allows you to quickly and easily highlight certain areas of your screen capture and add notes. You can also email the link to the screen capture with your notes; though I generally end up saving and sending a pdf. The personal version is free to use, allows for up to 3 users and 3GB of storage. Noteable has a firefox plugin which makes it very handy. The big drawback is that it doesn’t let you grab an image outsize of your browser screen – and sometimes you need to include info on browser setting (i.e. for reporting bugs) or the date and time the screenshot was captured.
- Aviary is a mind-bogglingly cool company. This have a full suite of tools online applications for editing including an image editor (Phoenix) a vector editor (Raven) and a newly launched audio editor called Myna. Given our internet speed; full-fledged image editing online is a little too slow; but this company is definitely going to be a game changer for things like Photoshop and Illustrator in the future. (Are they watching and creating their own competitive products? Hello… anyone out there?) Anyways, I mostly use their screen capture tool called Talon. Again it has a Firefox extension so image capture is an easy one-click away. Talon let’s you capture an area of the screen or the full screen and you can edit the image using Falcon which is an image mark-up tool, if needed. Again there is no way to capture info outside of the browser scree
- Screencast is by TechSmith makers of SnagIt. In my previous job as product manager SnagIt was probably the most used tool. But since there is not free version of the tool I’ve had to go greener (cheaper?) pastures. Screencast needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. You can capture a whole page, visible page only or a portion of the page but the best part of Screencast is that you can capture videos. This is really handy if you want to explain an interaction to a developer, or need to capture an interaction. You also get space to store your videos on Screencast which is great as you can easily add links to things in presentations without blowing up the size of your presentation.
3) Delicious Using delicious is probably nothing new for most marketers, I add this to the list because it’s probably one of the tools I use every day. I’ve become a religious bookmarker and I save anything I find remotely interesting – creating presentations becomes so much faster when you don’t have to hunt for the right references and examples. Searching for your bookmarked items in delicious is usually pretty good as you can search based on title, tags or comments. Probably one of the under-used items in delicious is where you can explore other people public tags of things; it’s a good way to hunt out relevant pages/sites/things/ideas.
4) Brand Monitoring Tools
There are tons of tools that help you monitor your brand online; totally indispensible if you are a brand / marketing / product manager. Although there are many, Viral Heat, PeopleBrowsr and more, the only one I’ve used is Social Seek because again its free.It takes less than 5 mins to download, install and setup SocialSeek. You enter your brand name and it will monitor it on a range of websites including Blogs, Twitter, YouTube and Images on Flickr.
This is just my list; what would you add to it?