Monday, July 13, 2015

Top 6 Ways to use Google Apps for Sales and Marketing


Most of us have been using Google Apps for a while now, but I wanted to share a few specific ways these Apps can help us go beyond just email and cloud storage. From managing assets to creating a functional website, you have full control and freedom to collaborate across each one of your teams. 

Here are the top 6 ways Google Apps can help marketers and sales people daily at their job. For all you technical marketers out there, make sure to read down to #6 at the bottom of the list for a pro tip on lead-generation using Google Apps...


1. Share creative assets with your company, agency, or clients

Following the trail of emails and spending time searching through attachments is not most people's idea of fun. Good thing Google Drive makes it incredibly easy to setup folder and file structures, then share those folders and files with anyone that needs them.

Need a to share design assets with your creative team? How about sending mockups to a client? Need your legal team to check over a contract before you sign it? Google Drive's file sharing settings make it dead simple to provide access to individuals or even whole teams and departments. If any changes are made, Drive keeps track of all revision history so you can always revert back.



2. Manage trade shows and conference attendance

Got a trade show or event coming up and multiple teams to manage? Need members to sign up for booth duty? Google Sheets provides a single location to store, share, and update all of your information in real time. 
  • Collaborate with teams, whether they’re onsite or remote
  • Anyone can always access the most up-to-date schedule, no matter where they are in the world
  • On-the go check-ins and updates are a breeze. Share your schedule during a meeting and anyone on the call can update it in real-time

To take it a step further, using Google Forms you can easily create surveys and opt-ins to record who came by your booth, or as a way to send free content and information to people you meet at the event in exchange for their email address. All the data from your form is immediately sent in real-time to a Google Sheet for easy access and analysis.


3. Analyze feedback from customers and leads

Google Forms is probably the most under-utilized tool in Google Apps. Having the ability to quickly create feedback and information forms, then store and access the data with zero IT involvement ... priceless!

Building a Google Form is a great way to solicit feedback from current customers and leads. Surveys to your clientele can provide valuable feedback that informs product development. Sending a questionnaire to attendees after a webinar or to your email marketing list is a good way to know whether or not your content is successful.

To make a feedback form in Google Forms:

  1. In Google Drive, click New > More > Google Forms.
  2. In the new form, click Add item to add feedback questions.
  3. When you’ve finished adding questions, in the toolbar, click Responses > Choose response destination to choose where to send people’s responses.
  4. Select New spreadsheet and click Create. Or, select New sheet in an existing spreadsheet and click Choose.
  5. In the top corner of the form editor, click Send form and enter people's emails.
  6. Click Send.
  7. Click View response in the toolbar to see people’s responses to date.

4. Create and share calendars with your different teams

Working with multiple teams and managing all the different meeting times and deadlines can be overwhelming. This is where Google Calendar steps in and cleans up that mess. Creating and sharing calendars between your different teams is a great way to stay in control of your teams' and your own schedules.

Some Google calendars are made available to the public by URL and can easily be added to your own. Here's some instructions from Google on how to add a calendar by URL

PRO TIP: Use the "Find a Time" tab to search across team members' schedules to find a time where everyone is available



5. Easily create an internal website to share valuable information and updates

Google Sites is another hidden gem included in the Google Apps offerings. Sites is an easy-to-use tool that allows anyone to build a basic website or repository of important information.

You can use Sites to create a section for new hires, complete with tax forms and on-boarding documents. It's very easy to build a page that holds training videos and important product information for new customers. You can include a Google Form on the site that allows employees to sign up for shifts. Even embed a Google calendar on the site so everyone can stay updated on important dates and deadlines.


6. PRO TIP: Create lead capture and opt-in forms for your website and blog

Now this one is a bit advanced since it requires being comfortable with a little HTML and CSS. However, this is one of the most useful marketing "hacks" to put in your toolbox. 

Running a contest? Want to grow your email marketing list? Google Forms is a great way to create lead generating opt-in forms in just seconds. Just create the Form like you normally would, and then click the option to View Live Form. 






Once you're looking at the live version, open your browser's inspector by right-clicking with your mouse on the form itself and choosing "Inspect Element." 




Find the div class called "ss-form", then right-click and copy that line.










Now you've got your entire form copied and it's ready to be pasted anywhere that you would like to capture leads - your website, landing page, blog side bar, etc. If you're comfortable with manipulating HTML and CSS, you can even style the form any way you want to match your branding and style.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Why Micro-Moments bring Brands and Consumers Closer



That New Years resolution to start running. That time when you refused to go to the mechanic and changed your own oil. The minute you break your favorite coffee cup and can't survive without it.

These are the moments that have a huge effect on us every day, and is also where brands have the potential to connect with us and make a lasting impact. Google calls these Micro-Moments.

They happen all day, every day in countries across the globe. They are the want-to-know moments, the want-to-go moments, want-to-do moments, want-to-buy moments. And after doing a little research of their own, Google thinks they know a thing or two about them:
  • 82% of smartphone users turn to their phone to influence an in-store purchase decision
  • 62% of smartphone users are more likely to immediately work solving an unexpected problem or new task because they have a smartphone
  • 90% of smartphone users have used their phone to make progress toward a long term goal or multi-step process while “out and about."
  • 91% of smartphone users turn to their phone for ideas while doing a given task

These are just some of the moments that give your brand an opportunity to save the day.

Whether it's making a how-to video on drywall repair, or creating an infographic on the importance of properly hydrating, your brand has the opportunity to connect and make a lasting impact with your customers. And they will thank you for it!

5 ways to help you be there when you're needed


Map your key moments - Walk through the entire decision making process for customers/clients of your business - from product education to an in-the-moment purchase. Which key moments does your business need to win, and which moments cannot be lost?

Know what customers need in-the-moment - What are they doing? How are they searching? What device are they using? Look through the eyes of your customer and ask yourself how you can make their lives easier.

Deliver the right experience through context - What time of day is it? Where are they located? Use contextual signals to deliver a tailor-made experience to your customer, like time-sensitive deals or when products they're looking for are available for in-store pickup.

Optimize the consumer journey - Multiple pages, multiple departments, multiple screens. The consumer journey of today can be very complex and fragmented. Make sure your brand experience is seamless across all devices and built around the consumer's important moments.

Measure moments that matter - This can be a challenging task, but it's very important if you want to improve. Use credible estimates and test which analytics and metrics can signal a win or loss for your business in the consumer's journey.


Question: Which micro-moments do you think matter most for you - before, during, or after the decision-making process?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Chromebox for Large Meetings: Bigger, Better, Louder

When Chromebox for meetings first launched last year, Google had one goal in mind: to help teams meet face-to-face or room-to-room, no matter where they are located. One year later, Chromebox for meetings has been widely adopted and regularly used to lessen the barrier to remote collaboration.

This is why the team behind Chromebox for meetings is excited to announce that they now support larger meeting rooms. Now, groups of up to twenty people can experience meeting with colleagues and counterparts around the globe, all while feeling like they are in the same room.

Companies like Netflix, Pinterest, and Whirlpool Corporation have already had great experiences using the new Chromebox for meetings platform.

According to Pinterest's Head of IT, Matt Thorne, "The price was right, which is important for a young company. While legacy video conferencing systems can cost millions, we’ve spent a small fraction of that with Chromeboxes."

With over 100,000 employees world-wide, Whirlpool Corporation needed a seamless technology to bridge the geographical gap.  Whirlpool's Sr. Manager of Collaboration, Troy McKim, attributes Google's Chromebox for meetings with bringing the global team closer together. "Expanding Chromebox for meetings to larger rooms continues to improve Whirlpool Corporation's face-to-face collaboration across our global meeting rooms, and with the price point and simple installation, we're able to bring room-to-room video conferencing to many more people.”

Key new features to the Chromebox for Meetings platform

The bottom-line on brand new Chromebox specs...

Upgraded hardware for larger rooms:
  • Pan-tilt-zoom camera, USB-enabled and 1080 HD
  • 2x inputs for microphones and speakers
  • Enhanced dual screen support allows you to connect two monitors to the camera, mic, and speakers, giving users the richest video conferencing experience available


Upgraded screen-sharing experience: your presentations have never looked so good with the new full-screen mode provided with Chromebox for meetings

Upgraded management controls:  the Admin panel is now beefed up with even more Chrome management controls, including the remote ability to monitor the health of all Chrome devices from one interface. See which devices are online or offline, and delegate the administration of Chrome devices to users besides the super admin.

Despite all the new upgrades, the Chromebox platform remains just as simple to use as when it was first released. Running on ChromeOS, the platform is quick, highly secure, and extremely simple to manage. Not only is Chromebox for meetings deployable in just minutes, but remotely managing tens of thousands of devices has never been so easy, even from a central, remote location.

At just one tenth the cost of legacy video conferencing systems, Chromebox for meetings start at just $1999 for the large room, and includes everything you need to bring video conferencing to your business - just BYOS! (bring your own screen)

Click here to learn more about Chromebox for meetings and how to get your own.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Google for Work - Atmosphere Live 2015

Atmosphere Live 2015

Chrome Live

Where does innovation start? Right here.





Join us on June 2 for Google's biggest digital work event:
Atmosphere | The Anatomy of Innovation.
What do innovators all have in common? A drive to disrupt the ordinary. At Atmosphere, Google and industry experts will reveal what sparks innovation, what kinds of tools truly support it, and how you, your team, and your entire organization can bring a greater level of innovation to your work. Discover how to make it happen.

Register today to take part in our digital event on June 2 at 9:00am PDT.

#Atmosphere15


Monday, April 20, 2015

New Sharing Permissions for "Departments" and non-Google Users

Two new features for the Google Apps admin console were recently released that grant more advanced controls to sharing permissions.

Here's a quick video explaining the features:



New Feature 1: Allow non-Google Users to Preview Files

Since the new sharing feature was released, Google Apps admins can allow Drive content to be previewed by non-Google account users who are outside of their domain, without needing them to sign in or create a new Google account.

In the past, we could get around this by setting link sharing permissions to “Anyone with the link” can access. With this new update, your link stays private, but you can still share and allow viewing for individuals who do not have Google accounts.

Users will still need to sign in to a Google Account in order to comment or edit the doc, even with the new setting enabled. By default, this feature will not be enabled but can be in the Admin console under Google Drive Sharing settings:

To learn more about this new sharing setting, check out the video overview.

New Feature 2: Enable Sharing Permissions per Department

You may find that different departments within your organization have different needs when it comes to sharing content outside of your domain. For example, you might have an accounting department that needs to keep documents confidential but a sales team that needs to share documents and videos with their clients.

Apps Admins are now able to set Google Drive sharing permissions based on organizational unit (OU). Many folks have set these up as departments, as you currently can with other apps like Gmail and Calendar.

To enable sharing from the Admin console, click on: Apps > Google Apps > Drive > Sharing settings. Click on an OU/department on the left and adjust settings accordingly for the selected OU/department.


Sharer Beware

This update to sharing permissions is much needed and opens up ease of sharing and collaboration with non-Google users. However, be aware that with these features enabled, non-Google users who receive a sharing invitation can forward it to other people. The invitations expire after 14 days. You can also go into the sharing settings and change the access permissions at any time.

What do you think?

In my opinion, allowing non-Google users to preview Google docs and files is a pretty nice feature addition, especially if you consistently work with non-Google users.

It's a step above the old way of "anyone with URL can view file", would you agree?



Thursday, April 9, 2015

The One Meeting with Google That Will Change All Our Future Meetings




Lots of things have changed in the past 6 years... Our cellphones have two cameras on them, because no one wants to guess at how good their selfie looks; “friends” are no longer required to be people you’ve met in real life; and the mention of a “cloud” has absolutely nothing to do with the weather.

There have been some big changes, but among the biggest of them all applies to businesses everywhere, both big and small… this is Google Chrome for Work.

Since the inception of their search engine back in 1998, and the addition of their Chrome browser in 2008, Google has been changing our perceptions of online connectivity. They’ve also learned a few things about the current business landscape:
  • Connectivity and collaboration aren’t as smooth as they could (or should) be
  • As remote collaboration increases, so does the difficulty of keeping technology standardized and running reliably
  • New tech investments must deliver solid ROI and enable secure sharing and innovation
  • It’s difficult to manage all the vastly different solutions currently being used company-wide
  • Critical tasks end up taking the back seat to troubleshooting issues, like lost emails and conferencing difficulties
  • It’s difficult to onboard employees with new technologies
All of this is about to change.


Here’s quick look at what we can expect to hear about during this event:

Google Chrome yesterday and today
Come see Chrome’s evolution and how security, speed, reliability and manageability are at the core of Google’s mission to provide the best business tools available.

How to organize and securely manage your team’s apps and devices
Enable your IT department to easily and securely manage the chrome suite from a central, robust, and reliable location. Increase security and decrease costs through Chrome’s advanced admin apps.

How to increase productivity, performance, security, and control
Come see real demonstrations of how Google Chromebooks are essential business tools, including user cases on console-based actions, virtualization, and as an everyday tool for knowledge workers. 

Come see how top companies like Netflix, Pinterest and Chico’s are making the web work harder for their businesses - join us online for Chrome Live on April 22!


The new platform for meetings and collaboration
Without the need for expensive video streaming equipment, Google’s Chromebox for Meetings brings people together from all over the world to meet in a virtual face-to-face environment, allowing teams to collaborate more efficiently.

Discover the power of intelligent kiosks and signage
With Google’s Chromebox, your organization is empowered to take full advantage of all signage and screens in production. Easily editable and configurable for up to date communication, enabling a secure, reliable element of interactivity.

With Google products being so widely adopted in the personal environment, it would be a smooth transition for any business to adopt Google for Work. Will we see you there? Let us know in the comments below!



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Google Geo for Good Summit Presentation on the WorldPop Project

We are proud to share a recent presentation given by Nirav Patel, one of Dito's lead Google Maps & Imagery specialists, at the 2014 Google Geo for Good Summit.

Nirav speaks about "providing open-access to high resolution, contemporary data on human population distributions” for the WorldPop Project.