Product Management tools for when your hair is on fire

When your hair is on fire, when you’re on a deadline, when you need to get your team to get a product, a post, a contract out the door, what are the last things you need to spend half an hour searching for?

  • Passwords
  • A headshot of the boss, the one she liked that was almost exactly like the 40 others from the same photo shoot
  • The HEX color number for your new logo
  • The text you use describing your company, which is the same every single time
  • The deadline for that next thing you have an intern gathering resources on

Luckily there are platforms where you can store this information and share it with your team. They’re not Digital Asset Management platforms (they’re less expensive and don’t encode work), and they’re not communications tools between teams. These are Project Management platforms that allow you to track projects for different teams, store boilerplate press releases and social media, you can park logos and images you use a lot, you can even use them to store the passwords for all those other tools you use to get things done.

The following are Product Management tools for marketers:

Basecamp is a cloud-based project management solution designed to be easy to use by anyone. With Basecamp, users can share and collaborate on documents, assign tasks and due dates, share calendars and track to-do lists. Message Boards discussions are threaded, organized, and easy to reference later on.
BEST FEATURE: Campfire is a chat room for discussions and brainstorming sessions.
PRICING: Basecamp is $99 monthly, for all sized-teams.

Trello is a collaborative project management tool that allows teams to organize their ideas and notes into a visual platform. Teams can add as many people they want to their project. Teams are be limited to 10 open “boards” for task management unless they are upgraded to Business Class or Enterprise accounts. Trello has updated its permissions and added restrictions so only account administrators can add Trello features to each account.
BEST FEATURE: Power-Ups include features that are paid for by the instance. Power-Ups include “Travel Planner” and “Custom Fields” and integrations with platforms like Slack and Google.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $9.99 monthly.


Asana
is a highly customizable project management platform for team collaboration of all kinds, including campaign management, product development, bug tracking, daily task management and more. Conversations and tasks are collected all in one place, so everything is actionable, searchable and transparent. Create tasks for planned work for yourself or for a teammate.
BEST FEATURE: Includes timeline view, which translates the project components into a horizontal representation, with color-coded boxes splayed across a calendar layout.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $9.99 monthly.

Monday is project management software built for start-ups designed to centralize all company communication in order to keep everyone engaged and focused. Teams can plan and execute projects in one central place, create a knowledge base and communicate in context.
BEST FEATURE: Search everything in your entire account, including images, posts, updates, mentions and projects.
PRICING: Flexible pricing from 5 users and up, starting at $25 per month billed annually.

Aha! is cloud-based product management platform built for use by both engineers and marketers. Build dynamic roadmaps with automatic notifications of changes.Create wiki-like notes to capture and share additional product and team related information (e.g. meeting notes, competitive research, user personas). View features as cards and drag and drop them into planned releases.
BEST FEATURE: Capture ideas from customers, employees, and others via a custom branded portal.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $59 monthly.

Airtable works like a spreadsheet for organizing any kind of data, but advances the concept with drag and drop functionality, visual containers for images, easily linked connection between related records and simple sharing and collaboration features. Link contact records to company records. Linked records appear as expandable, clickable “cards.”
BEST FEATURE: Native mobile and desktop apps make it easy to edit, comment, and collaborate in real time — changes are instantly synced across everyone’s devices.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $10 monthly.

Smartsheet is an online project management platform using forms to make it easy to collect and act on data, and with easy-to-configure rules that automate repetitive actions. Multiple views allow managers to track work across projects or departments. Share your work with other team members, or simply collaborate on a specific task. Get a clear view of team availability and progress on projects. Smartsheet online web forms are easy to create and customize. It’s the perfect tool to effortlessly collect any kind of information.
BEST FEATURE: With Smartsheet, it’s easy to roll up several project sheets into a master sheet by linking cells across sheets.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $14 monthly.

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Acquia Cloud updates security for Drupal-based platform

Acquia Cloud, which enables customers to build and manage Drupal-based digital experiences, has security capabilities now upgraded to manage risk and comply with a pare of new U.S. regulations. The upgrades include unified management of international and external user authentication, better visibility of incident detection, and updates to the private isolated cloud that is Acquia Cloud Shield.

From the release: “These new capabilities for Acquia Cloud empower our customers with insightful governance by providing foundational security principles directly to our customers,” said Joseph Janik, chief information security officer at Acquia. “Built on AWS’ platform, these innovations provide deeper insights into hosted applications along with a comprehensive set of security capabilities.”

Link: Acquia Newsroom

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Digital Asset Management for specific industries

Digital Asset Management is for so much more than cataloging the images used by the content team. DAM systems can store your videos, PDFs, composites and sound files for easy retrieval using metadata informing the manager who created the material, who has rights to it and whether that file is current.

Some DAM systems are available as stand-alone platforms; Others are bundled as part of a Content Management System (CMS) or a marketing automation platform.

Some are made for the specific industry it serves. The following tools were created to help specific marketers stay organized:

 

Barberstock is a leading digital asset management (DAM) solution for tourism and travel. ITS system seamlessly brings together customers’ entire photo, video and document library saving their team members time, while also increasing productivity and efficiency. The Barberstock asset management system is ideal for internal file organization, external media distribution, collaboration, archiving, or all of the above.
BEST FEATURES: Barberstock enables the elimination any duplicate and corrupt files during the initial migration of assets. Barberstock will convert files into multiple file formats and sizes – from high-quality TIF photos and 4K video to logos and documents.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

BiblioDAM is a digital asset management solution purpose-built for publishers. BiblioDAM that provides complete control of assets, from print files to contract storage, from marketing materials to jacket images. Powerful tools ease the management of digital assets; assets can be locked for editing, access controlled at various levels, and different versions held within the system allowing users to revert back to previous files at any time.
BEST FEATURE: Maximise revenue by providing read only access to content to prospective customers.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

Aetopia is a Ditgital Asset Management platform for security companies and police. Enterprises can upload, store, classify and share evidence such as video (including CCTV), audio, images and documents efficiently with our highly-secure and evidence-centric Police DAM solution.
BEST FEATURE: The system complies with data protection, GDPR and MOPI guidelines, and seamlessly integrates with validated third parties such as the Crown Prosecution Service.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

 

The Eloquent WebSuite from Eloquent Systems offers a Digital Asset Management platform for collections owned by museums, libraries and municipalities. Eloquent codes and stores PDF documents, archival material, folders in offsite storage, photographs, museum artifacts, audio recordings, videos – anything that is relevant to the organization.
BEST FEATURE: The Eloquent Website includes four knowledge applications – Archives, Library, Museum, Records.
PRICING: See vendor for details.

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Brandwatch acquires survey platform Qriously

Brandwatch is adding research tool Qriously to its social intelligence platform. The acquisition of Qriously will bring real-time survey functionality to the Brandwatch platform, as Qriously replaces ads with surveys on smartphones to conduct real-time research anywhere in the world.

From the release: “Our strategy to create a new kind of intelligence started with social intelligence: a well established approach to structuring a hugely valuable, but difficult to wrangle, set of unstructured customer conversations. However, social intelligence is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to the complex notion of consumer opinion,” wrote Brandwatch Founder and CEO Giles Palmer on the Brandwatch blog. “This new addition to the Brandwatch portfolio furthers our strategy by including quantitative solicited research at the same scale and speed as social data. Not only does this add a new information source to the Brandwatch library of consumer opinions, it will enable market researchers to go deeper into their queries by launching targeted surveys with global reach and fast results.”

Link: Brandwatch Blog

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Neurala updates Brain Builder with visual tagging capabilities

Neurala has updated its AI-creation tool Brain Builder to include custom vision solutions. Users may now upload images to Brain Builder, leverage the platform’s annotation tool to tag data, and the platform will train as they tag. The platform automatically creates an AI solution that’s custom-fit for businesses’ specific use cases and can evolve with the businesses’ changing needs.

From the release: “While investments in AI have increased exponentially in recent years, a staggering 91 percent of organizations still face significant barriers to adoption, including a lack of IT infrastructure and a shortage of AI experts,” said Dr. Massimiliano Versace, CEO and co-founder of Neurala. “These challenges are compounded by the fact that every company has their own unique data, use cases, workflows and problems they wish to solve, which demand customized – and resultantly complex – AI solutions.”

Link: BusinessWire

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Citizen Developer, we have tools for you

It used to be that to build software to send bulk emails, make a report out of telephone data, add up the number of conversions in a week, what have you, you needed to be able to write sophisticated code. Lacking that skill you needed to buy something that fit right out of the box, or you needed to throw weight around to get on IT’s developer calendar. Those days are gone, and the days of the Citizen Developer are here.

Need a tool you can quickly customize with zero or almost-zero coding? Increasingly sophisticated tools are being developed with back ends that are drag-and-drop for the Citizen Developer. Here’s a few examples:

Tools for Citizen Developers

Quickbase Low-Code Platform for Citizen Development is an online tool that empowers non-developers with the ability to design and launch their own custom apps, automatically fully optimized for mobile. It’s a guided, wizard-based drag-and-drop interface that automatically creates app workflows, making it easy to publish time-saving, streamlined automation for a variety of tasks.
BEST FEATURES: Quickbase’s platform allows relatively low-skill users to create and prototype apps in real time while avoiding burning IT Department time.
PRICING: Tiered pricing plans start at $15 per month per user, starting at 10 users.

 

Formidable Forms is a form creation and content management plugin for WordPress. With Formidable, WordPress users can quickly and easily create and incorporate any kind of form into a WordPress site. Users of any skill level can create and insert contact forms, registration forms, feedback forms, and many others, with no code required.
BEST FEATURES: Connects data from forms to other programs like MailChimp (email) or Highrise (customer database) without tons of code.
PRICING: Packages range from $34 to $397 for an enterprise with up to 200 websites.

 

SkyVisualEditor is for marketers looking to make Salesforce pages work for them without a developer. Make Visualforce pages with advanced functionality that simply would be impossible to make with Salesforce’s default layouts, not by coding from scratch, but using an intuitive drag & drop WYSIWYG studio.
BEST FEATURE: Use SkyVisualEditor’s templates and layouts as a starting point for your pages. When you’re finished designing your page, simply deploy it directly to your Salesforce organization for use. Assign the Visualforce page to any location you would like to use it.
PRICING: See vendor for details.


Kameloon automates A/B testing and optimization. The software includes: a DMP coupled with powerful predictive algorithms to customize site content and sales management and a library of templates for real-time marketing messages. Kameleoon has been designed to allow marketing teams to manage the maximum number of test cases without writing a single line of code or seeking assistance from your technical team. No technical knowledge is required. Users can modify text, color, product images, button sizes, banners, block placement without technical knowledge.
BEST FEATURES: Not a bug — anonymity is preserved because IP addresses or personal data are not stored.
PRICING: QuickStart is 50 Euro per month for 15,000 tested visitors per month; Learner is 150 Euro per month for 65,000 tested visitors per month; Standard is 400 Euro per month for 200,000 tested visitors per month; Premium is 600 Euro per month for 300,000 tested visitors per month; and Enterprise is available with custom pricing.

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Podcasting tools for beginners

Content right when your customers need it and while they’re on the go? How perfect a format can podcasting be?

Answer: It’s pretty snazzy.

Back in the day – 20 years ago – the way to reach customers on-the-go was on the radio. Now listeners have iPods or other MP3 players they can take anywhere, and on those pod devices you can play podcasts.

Podcasts are downloaded audio files intended for listening on the move. Your subscribers get a podcast pushed to them when new content is produced. The content can be anything you can record as an audio file – discuss your industry, your products, customer uses cases… anything to market your business.

The following tools make podcasting a little more simple for the novice.

GarageBand is an audio workstation software application for Apple device users. With GarageBand, users of any skill level can create jingles, theme songs, podcasts or any other recorded asset.
BEST FEATURES: Enables users to create multiple tracks with pre-made MIDI keyboards, pre-made loops, voice recordings, and an array of instrumental effects.
PRICING: Free

 

Libsyn offers a podcast hosting and publishing service that enables users to easily publish new episodes. The platform permits users to upload podcasts directly to the hosting site instead of saving it on their website, which allows content to load more quickly. Users have the option of scheduling automatic delivery of the completed project to both iTunes and Stitcher.
BEST FEATURES: Single click multiple destination publishing.
PRICING: Packages start at $5 monthly.

Adobe Audition is a comprehensive tool set enabling users to record, edit, and create audio content including waveform, spectral display, and multitrack. Learn the basic steps of recording an audio file in Audition, including how to adjust recording levels and work with playback controls. Find and remove unwanted sounds and background noise, and learn how to export clips in the proper format.
BEST FEATURES: Adobe is attached to the platform Behance, where podcasters can be discovered or find other podcasters.
PRICING: Packages with just Adobe Audition start at $20.99 monthly.

 

Podbean is a web-based podcasting platform where users can easily create professional podcasts without any programming knowledge. Upload, publish, manage and promote podcasts with just a few clicks. Built in are templates for the podcasting website, as well as a statistics system to give you an in-depth dimensional view of your audience, episodes and trends.
BEST FEATURES: Unmetered bandwidth and unlimited storage.
PRICING: Free. Paid packages begin at $9 monthly.

 

Auphonic is an automatic audio post production web service for podcasts, broadcasters, radio shows, movies, and screencasts. It includes features such as “Intelligent Leveler” which balances levels between speakers, music and speech – no compressor knowledge required, and “Loudness Normalization” to broadcast standards, including a true peak limiter.
BEST FEATURES: Use the Auphonic Leveler and Auphonic Multitrack to compute our algorithms offline on your desktop.
PRICING: Two hours of process audio is free. Packages start at 9 hours of processed audio for $11 per month.

 

Buzzsprout offers a podcast hosting service that enables podcasters to host, promote, and track their show, all from one place, without the need for technical training.  Get behind-the-scenes statistics to learn how and where your listeners are finding your podcast. These include: each episode’s play count over time, the geolocation of your audience, what device or directory they’re using, and the total size of your audience.
BEST FEATURES:  Buzzsprout’s embeddable audio players, directions for getting into iTunes, Stitcher and other podcast directories makes it easy to share podcasts on multiple platforms.
PRICING: See vendor for details. 

 

Hipcast is an audio and video podcast creation and publishing tool. Hipcast enables users to record and post video using a phone, a webcam or microphone and a web browser, or by simply uploading audio and video files from a computer. Delivers the podcast to subscribers at high speeds to ensure that the podcast can be listened to as quickly as possible.
BEST FEATURES: Record the podcast by phone, Web recorder, upload multimedia, or post by email.
PRICING: Paid packages start at $4.95 monthly.

 

Blubrry is a podcasting community and directory with a PowerPress pluggin for WordPress sites. It contains more than features and is regularly upgraded to remain the most powerful podcasting plugin.
BEST FEATURES: Blubrry is also a community forum, matching advertisers with podcasters, and supporting networks of support among users.
PRICING: PowerPress is free, see vendor for details. 

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Club OS launches new fitness industry management product

Club OS has launched Studio, its platform for business processes and marketing operations for the fitness industry. Its features include SMS and email marketing tools, gym and fitness center scheduling platform for staff and classes, and  an intelligent CRM for customer contact information.

From the release: “The fitness landscape is changing and Club OS is ready to meet that challenge,” says Adam Stokar, Founder and President of Club OS. “Our company mission is to help every fitness and wellness business reach its goals. We can’t do that if we aren’t servicing a rapidly growing market segment.”

Link: PR Newswire

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Facebook opens Group Stories to all, allows reactions with emoji

Facebook is enabling all users to add Instagram-like stories to groups via mobile devices. The feature, which launched in beta earlier this year, also allows members of the group to respond to the story with emoji. Facebook Group members can view Group Stories on both mobile and desktop, but only add to a story from their mobile device. To add to a Group Story, members tap on the Story located at the top of the Group mobile page and select the “add” button.

Link: Marketing Land

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BabbleLabs’ Clear Cloud App uses AI to clean up audio recordings

BabbleLabs unveiled its Clear Cloud App now available to Android and iOS users. The app quickly improves audio and video recording quality by removing virtually all unwanted noises like traffic, crowds, wind, fan, and machinery, among others. Original files are cleaned and enhanced by Clear Cloud with fast turnaround – up to 10x faster than real-time.

Link: Xpress Release

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