What Marketers Are Geeking Out On – Big Time

Embrace Your Geekness Day

Today’s constantly evolving trends, emerging technologies and cool tools keep marketers on their toes.

With so many new ideas, strategies, approaches and platforms to experiment and play with (and to learn), it’s enough to make your head explode.

And marketing is only going to get more and more geeked out!

Whether you are seeking to make your marketing programs more effective you’re your work lives easier, or simply want to have a clue what your peers are talking about at the next networking mixer, these are some of the things that are geeking us out most right now – and also helping us keep our clients ahead of their competition.

Was your favorite geeky trend or tool left off the list? Let us know! We’d love to hear what got your attention and is making your job both more successful and more fun.

Geek Out On: Apps

Today, marketers have much more on their plate than ever before. Although many of the newly added responsibilities (and headaches) are the direct result of new technologies, technology can also be your best friend when it comes to increasing productivity while reducing stress. Here are the five apps worth checking out for just those reasons.

Slack / Teamwork is essential for productivity, and Slack is ideal for streamlining the mess (read: inefficiency) that typically goes hand in hand with collaboration. With fewer meetings and less internal email, no wonder Slack calls itself “team communication for the 21st century.” From direct messaging and video conferencing to file and screen sharing, Slack puts everything your team needs in one place. Its messaging function alone is a reason to try it. You can set up separate channels for every project or topic, as well as one-to-one channels, and they all work just like text messaging. An added convenience: Slack is available for both desktop and mobile.

LastPass / Ranked as the top password manager of 2017 by PC Magazine, LastPass lets you create one master password to access all your accounts and platforms. Gone are the days of having to remember multiple passwords – instead, sign into all the sites you visit with just one click. You can also create shared folders and secure notes, giving team members a way to access the sites they need to visit with far less risk.

Workflow / If you’re an iOS user, this app is worth checking out as it’s bound to simplify your life. Workflow takes complicated tasks that you do on your iPhone or iPad and turns them into a single button (a workflow). Workflow has the added bonus of allowing you to get rid of a bunch of apps that you’ll no longer need. For extra geeky fun, take a look at this list of user-submitted workflows – proof that workflow possibilities are endless. Note: to use these workflows, you’ll need to get the app first.

TextExpander / Stop wasting time typing the same information or answer again and again. TextExpander lets you instantly insert snippets of text from a repository of emails, boilerplate and other content, as you type – using a quick search or abbreviation. Organize your snippets in one convenient place and you can even share them with the rest of the team.

UberConference / This free conferencing app takes away everything you hate about virtual conference calls – getting into the conference, figuring out screen sharing, overlapping conversation and not being sure who is speaking. With UberConference, there is no pin required and visual profiles show you who is talking when. The app works well on mobile devices, so you can conference with your team, customers and prospects from anywhere. Aren’t you ready for a better conference call experience?

Geek Out On: Writing Helpers

There is no doubt that writers top the geek heap. These sticklers for impeccable grammar live for pointing out that you’ve split your infinitive. This is why we adore them, of course. If you’re a writer or language geek, or aspire to be one, check out these resources:

Grammarly / Grammarly is an online grammar and spelling checker. Although it does not replace a human or the need to learn the fundamentals of English grammar, it can certainly save you from major humiliation. It also offers a handy Chrome extension that you can use to avoid embarrassing mistakes when writing on social media.

Grammar Girl / It’s helpful to have tools like Grammarly catch your faux pas, but to avoid them you need a trusted grammar sherpa. The Grammar Girl website is packed with English grammar tips and tricks, and their creator Mignon Fogarty also has a Quick and Dirty Tips podcast that offers “short, friendly tips to improve your writing.” / Ever feel like what you just wrote sounds familiar? Maybe like something you’ve heard or read somewhere rather a completely original thought? If in doubt, plagiarism-check it!

Title Capitalization Checker / If your writing style guide calls for headlines to be title case, remembering which words should be capitalized and which should not can freak out even seasoned writers. Take the guesswork out of the title writing equation with this great tool for those who live and die by the perfection of their titles.

Headspace / If you need to clear your mind before jumping into the next writing project – be it a proposal, an expert article or a blog post – head out to Headspace for much-needed brain rest and refocusing.

And finally, for the favorite grammar geek in your life, check out this Ultimate List of Gift Ideas for Grammar Geeks and Word Nerds.

Geek Out On: Design Tools

Designers proudly argue that the “the geekiest of the geeks” title belongs to them. The design profession is inseparable from tools and technologies that help create more inspired things for all to see, use and enjoy. Here’s what has our designers hooked right now:

Colormind / Creating multi-color palettes can be a difficult and often frustrating process. Colormind is a color scheme generator that helps create sets of five-color palettes; they can be generated at random, or you can choose to “lock in” any number of colors and let the app generate the rest. Colormind also can extract color palettes from user-uploaded images. Different datasets are loaded each day, providing an endless stream of color inspiration.

Video Brochures / Add more oomph to your print collateral with embedded videos. Whether showcasing projects, people, corporate culture or client testimonials, the possibilities are endless. And how cool is this? If you are not familiar with the concept, check out various ways in which you can take advantage of this technique and FAQs (please note, MediaWrite is one of many vendors that offer video brochures).

Digital Doodling Pads / Doodlers, rejoice! With this smart pad from Wacom, you can take your paper notebook further. Write or sketch a smart ballpoint pen on any paper and then instantly digitize your sketches (or store up to 100 pages and sync later).

WhatTheFont Mobile / Have you ever found yourself wondering what exact font is used in a particular graphic or photo? WhatTheFont promises to solve this dilemma once and for all (at least for iPhone users). Snap a photo within the app or choose one of your saved photos, and the MyFonts-powered database will find the best match.

Adobe Express (formerly Adobe Spark) / Express your creativity with Adobe Express! Ideal for internal communications or interactive online reports, Adobe Express helps create modern and dynamic magazine-style web stories. It’s free, but you’ll need an Adobe ID, and your final pieces will be stored on the Adobe website (an “embed code” feature is available for embedding pieces into your web pages or blogs).

Geek Out On: Hot Marketing Trends

There’s no shortage of hot marketing trends: AR/VR, bots, artificial intelligence, big data, IoT, CX, ABM, omnichannel – oh, my! Among this never-ending stream of trends promising to reshape the way we see and do marketing, the two that recently caught our attention and got us geeking out are predictive and hyper-personalized marketing.

Predicting the Future

More and more companies are experimenting with new methods and tools for extracting and using information to reach customers more effectively.

Predictive marketing, for example, uses advanced analytics to gather and analyze customer data in order to find patterns and make smarter decisions more quickly and with better results – in other words, it uses past customer behavior to “predict” which marketing actions are most likely to succeed in the future.

Although more sophisticated technology platforms and analytics tools will provide a more granular view of customers and behavioral patterns, any “small data” can provide predictive insights and enable marketers to make more informed decisions when prioritizing their future strategies and tactics.

Hyper-Personalization Is All the Hype

The only way to get the attention of today’s busy, impatient and savvy customers is to communicate with them in a way that feels personal to them. For companies to connect at this deeply meaningful and relevant level requires an ongoing commitment to collecting, analyzing and making usable large amounts of customer data.

Practices such as Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and Dynamic Websites (a website with the ability to change its content in real-time for a select visitor based on a set criteria) have already paved the way to adapting content and functionality to create individualized experiences.

Hyper-personalization takes into account not only customers’ individual preferences but also their constantly evolving needs, expectations and other factors that influence decision making, and it ensures that companies provide contextually relevant content and communications at every stage in the customer lifecycle. What’s more, it allows companies to create dynamic, personal experiences for customers on their terms – when, where and how they want them.

So that’s just a sampling of what’s geeking us out right now. Of course, with the world of marketing spinning at neckbreaking speed, it might be a completely new list tomorrow. We can’t wait to find out what will capture our interest next!

Substance151 is home to the best design and marketing geeks in the business. If you want to stand out from your competitors, put us to the test. Contact us at 410-732-8379 or and let’s discuss how we can help you take your marketing geekdom to the next level.