By Scott Lorenz

All businesses need to keep pace with technology but you can avoid paying an expensive entry fee to enter the technology race by investing instead in Google Apps. These easy to use software applications can be used on your smart phone or web browser. Some are free but all are great values.

Anyone involved in marketing or public relations, like any other profession, can only maintain their competitive edge by keeping pace with all the available time-saving and energy-saving tools technology offers. But you don’t have to invest huge sums in software applications each year to keep pace.

The budget-friendly approach I follow is to take advantage of 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, as the high-priced “premium” business software. The money saved can be better spent on professional membership, services or office supplies.

Some Google apps are intended to be used with your Blackberry, 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. Survey templates and pre-formatted question types help you get a professional survey up 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 – Publish your own magazine quickly, regularly and automatically, both print and online, with Weespr is a neat tool that blends the best of social networking with the strengths of traditional publishing. Weespr, which integrates with Facebook, Picasa and Flickr, makes it easy to manage and track viewership. Your publication is downloaded in the universally-accepted PDF format and allows you to 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. With little effort you can attach documents to the relevant deal or contact. If you are 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 better reminder structure, better maintains information on leads, and provides a great way to quickly locate notes and documents associated with the sale.  You can also track key discussions and email correspondence related to the prospect or sale, get at-a-glance highlighting of what’s changed, and access summary reports.
  • myBrainshark – This is a free service that makes it easy to create, share and track online videos presentations for sales, marketing and other functions. myBrainshark makes it easy to create and narrate online videos, share presentation links and embedded videos, track and analyze viewing results. You can start by uploading a 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 with myBrainshark, you can share a link  by email or through social media sites, embed the presentation within your website or blog, or easily publish it on YouTube. Use this tool to promote your product, service or expertise – a great tool for authors, lawyers and inventors.
  • Web Survey Master – This professional online survey tool provides instant preview survey creation, an easy to use publication wizard, and real-time analysis. This is a browser tool that gives you quick access to several easy online software tools so you can use professionally designed survey templates, predefined presentation styles, answer validation, custom branding, password protection, and much more. This tool is very useful for event planning as well as survey taking.
  • Google Analytics Dimension Analyzer – This free app allows you to identify and analyze top landing pages, campaigns or keywords by any metric such as top landing pages by conversions, top traffic sources by new visitors, or other metrics that 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 easy to use web interface, detailed reports, loads of free email templates, a simple contact list and seamless contact creation, and in-depth reporting on open/click rates, bounces, etc.
  • NetConference – This is a wonderful app for anyone who relies on webinars or video conferencing. NetConference makes it easy to record, save and sell webinar events, to upload and broadcast High Definition Videos and to share files too large for email as well as conduct Web Video Conferencing. This app can store all of your important files, share information with colleagues, host digital conferences, present videos or PowerPoint presentations, and more while talking with up to six people on video camera. Web Conferencing is the future of the way we will do business and NetConference contains all the necessary tools in one package.
  • VerticalResponse – In addition to sending and tracking email campaigns, VerticalResponse can be used for direct mail postcards and online surveys. This Google App provides self-service email and direct mail marketing and survey solutions for small and medium businesses. This app can avoid most spam blockers and process bounces and unsubscribe requests so you can see who’s responding and who isn’t in real time. This app can also automatically share your email newsletters on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Salesforce – Salesforce for Google AdWords is to be used by companies to manage and measure their search engine campaigns. Those businesses who seek to generate new leads by using Google AdWords can turn those leads into new customers by using Salesforce to gain greater control over their search engine marketing investments.

You likely will not find all of these Google Apps useful for your marketing, PR or business needs. They are simply a list of my favorite Google Apps.  But I’m pretty confident that within this list are two or three apps that you will love and that will have immediate payoffs for you. But rather than take my word you can instead spend an hour or so researching Google Apps at the Google Marketplace at

About Scott Lorenz and Westwind iPhone App Publicity

Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handled public relations and marketing for numerous Smart App developers, authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. Learn more about Westwind iPhone App Publicity at or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090.Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

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