Let’s face it, your CMO is busy, and as marketing becomes increasingly accountable for revenue performance, the workload will only intensify. When it comes to “managing up,” the challenge you face is not an easy one: How do you get more of your CMO’s attention when the demands on her time are multiplying?
The solution: Help your CMO manufacture more time.
Following are 22 mobile apps that are sure to help your CMO get much more done in far less time, which, hopefully, translates to faster responses for your projects.
Instapaper: Although Apple’s new Lion OS promises similar functionality in the operating system, experts maintain that a full-featured Instapaper app is still beneficial enough to justify the $4.99 price tag. Instapaper is an easy way to archive long-form content (articles, blog posts, etc.) for later reading. It keeps your CMO’s email box free of productivity-sapping messages containing links to articles she hopes to read, eventually. Available for iOS devices
Trimit: Your CMO’s in-box is full of articles, press releases and papers someone believes are “must read” pieces of content. Trimit’s super sophisticated algorithm allows your CMO to plow through these materials by automatically shortening the content to just the essential messages. It runs on iOS devices and costs $0.99.
Reeder: Arguably the most revered RSS reader for the iPhone is now available for the iPad too. It’s available here for $4.99.
Textmode: A mobile browser designed specifically for viewing text, Textmode cuts page clutter, allowing the reader to read more copy in less time. The $2.99 app is available for iOS devices.
TripIt: It’s the must-have travel app. All of your trips, all of your itineraries, all stored in one place – and all easily sharable. The social component lets you know who from your network will be in your destination city when you arrive for a little dash of “organized happenstance.” It’s free for iOS and Android devices, but the company also offers a service-rich premium version for $49/year.
FlightTrack: Arguably the easiest way for your CMO to stay up-to-the-minute on her domestic and international flight status. FlightTrack makes travel logistics considerably less stressful. It is priced at $4.99 and is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Siri: This app is the digital equivalent of a personal assistant. Perfect for the CMO on the go, Siri helps iPhone users find restaurants, movies, events – even hail a taxi and check the weather forecast. Somehow it’s also free. Grab it here.
Locale: Battery life is a major challenge for busy travelers. One of the biggest culprits is WiFi. The more your device looks for a WiFi signal, the more the battery is drained. Locale allows Android users to manage multiple device settings (from WiFi settings to ringer) – based on time and location – saving your CMO’s battery (and ensuring proper mobile etiquette). It costs $9.99 and runs on Android devices.
Battery Ultra: This iPhone app promises longer battery life. For $0.99, however, it may be a “you get what you pay for” product, because I have tried it but am unsure if it has added a measurable amount of life to my device. Nevertheless, they promise it works and for under a dollar, what’s the risk in being wrong? It can be downloaded here.
Chatter: Social media doesn’t only mean communicating with those outside your company. It also means staying connected in real time with your colleagues. For companies who use Chatter for behind-the-firewall communications, the free Chatter mobile app is a great tool. It’s available for both iOS and Android devices. For companies that use Yammer for internal communications, their free mobile app also runs on iOS and Android devices.
Boxcar: I am going to assume your CMO has one of the many Twitter apps running on her mobile device. I’ll also assume her Facebook app gets plenty of use. But when traveling, these firehose apps can be overwhelming. That’s where Boxcar fits in: this free app can be configured to alert the user to status updates, tweets or blog posts by specific accounts. It’s a massively helpful way for your CMO to narrow her social purview to just the essentials (e.g., spouse, CEO, competitors, direct reports, investors) when out of the office. It’s available for iOS devices.
Project Management Apps
Evernote: Arguably the first app any marketer should buy, Evernote helps users to easily capture, store and organize every thought. From ideas for new campaigns to favorite hotels by city, to what to get the kids for their birthdays, Evernote is the brain’s memory bank … outsourced. Available for all iOS and Android devices. Price ranges from free to a $5/month subscription.
Dropbox: A must-have for a hands-on CMO who participates in content creation. Move files effortlessly from device to device, department to department, all while locking down version control. It also makes it easy to files that are too big for email gateways. Dropbox is available for iOS and Android devices, and price ranges from free to $19.99/month. Note that Box.net is another viable option, and is similarly available for iOS and Android devices.
Basecamp: 37signals created an immensely easy-to-use Web app for its killer Basecamp project management product. If your organization relies on Basecamp, then this Web app is a must-have. Available for free at the Basecamp mobile site and because it’s a Web app, it can run on any device with a browser.
Goodtodo: There are countless productivity tools available for mobile devices. I’ve found that when it comes to these apps, the fewer features the better – especially for the time-taxed CMO. My favorite lightweight tool is Goodtodo. It’s based on the premise that managing your time through Outlook is a model for inefficiency. Instead, simply email actionable items to your Goodtodo profile, and operate from “Inbox Zero.” Price ranges from free to $3/month, and Goodtodo is available for iOS and Android devices.
Analytics Pro: This one is simple: Google analytics on your iOS device for $6.99. No brainer for the digital CMO.
Just Cool Apps
Qwiki: Think of Wikipedia-like content, but presented in a visually stimulating, multimedia fashion. That’s Qwiki. Millions of topics, each packaged and delivered beautifully to your iPad. The app is free.
Penultimate: For $1.99, this app turns your CMO’s iPad into a physical notebook. She can write notes directly on her iPad’s display – then archive and share them electronically. Because the user’s finger doubles as the writing instrument (a stylus is also available), no more forgotten pens. It’s available here.
100 Cameras in 1: Every CMO should half at least one “show off” app … you know, the kind that earns pre-meeting adoration. Enter 100 Cameras in 1, a photography app that manages to stand out in one of the most crowded of all categories. The $1.99 app can be purchased here.
Want to discover and recommend even more compelling apps, download Frenzapp (free for iphone), a social sharing site where members recommend apps they love.