Business Power Tools: Must-Have Apps for Your Marketing Pipeline

By Rob Marvin Features PCmag

Enterprises are always looking for more engaging ways for their employees to collaborate and present information during team and company meetings. Many businesses have begun turning to large, interactive touchscreens installed in conference rooms and offices. Recent such offerings, like the Google Jamboard and the Microsoft Surface Hub, have gotten a lot of attention lately. But digital workplace solution provider Prysm has been building these kinds of solutions for more than a decade for customers, including GE, Sprint, and Under Armour.

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Prysm began as a manufacturer of video wall displays for enterprise offices, but has evolved into a combined hardware and software platform called "Prysm Digital Workplace." The offering integrates third-party applications, content, and services into a centralized business dashboard that plugs into everything from Dropbox, G Suite, and Microsoft Office 365 to NetSuite, Salesforce, and Tableau Desktop. The company also still sells in-room presentation hardware.

Paige O'Neill is Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Prysm, overseeing the company's marketing and sales campaigns across its product portfolio. O'Neill has more than 20 years of marketing experience across enterprise software, cloud computing, customer experience, green technology, and social media at companies including IBM and Oracle. O'Neill joined PCMag for our latest installment of "Business Power Tools," discussing the communication, customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, and social tools that she and her team heavily rely upon in day-to-day marketing operations.

Prysm's Marketing and Social App Arsenal

1. Salesforce

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Unsurprisingly, O'Neill said Salesforce is Prysm's go-to app for CRM. But that's only half of the equation. Salesforce is one half of the two-headed beast that makes up Prysm's sales and marketing automation funnel.

"I'm using Salesforce to track conversion in my marketing campaigns. So, Salesforce and HubSpot are a tandem team for our organization," said O'Neill. "Where HubSpot leaves off, Salesforce picks it up, and then we can track all the way through to revenue. So [with] Salesforce, I'm looking at our pipeline, our conversions to customers, and the lead source and where it came from."

2. HubSpot

As mentioned earlier, HubSpot is the other side of Prysm's marketing pipeline. O'Neill said HubSpot is her essential dashboard as a CMO for overseeing the totality of inbound and outbound marketing efforts.

"I'm looking at traffic to our website, I'm looking at how campaigns converted, I'm looking at a team's productivity in terms of what campaigns are going out and what channels are most effective," said O'Neill. "Really anything having to do with marketing, I'm able to see in HubSpot. HubSpot also gives me these great dashboards where I can track it on a day-to-day, weekly, or monthly basis. So it's really a great snapshot of what's happening with your campaigns—from both an inbound and an outbound perspective."

3. Social Apps

There are plenty of social networks and buzzy apps available today. But, from a marketing perspective, O'Neill focuses on three networks in particular: Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. From a business-to-business (B2B) standpoint in particular, O'Neill discussed the evolving value of LinkedIn.

"Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are my big ones. From both a CMO perspective and personally, I'm more into Instagram these days. I've always got Instagram going to look at what's trending and what people are talking about," said O'Neill. "Then Twitter and LinkedIn are our two biggest B2B enterprise social apps. LinkedIn has really evolved, I think, from being a networking and job seeking application to actually being a channel for marketing. We see some of our highest conversions of campaigns on LinkedIn. It's also valuable from a recruiting and networking standpoint, obviously."

4. Hootsuite

To manage social media presences, O'Neill uses Hootsuite. From Hootsuite's central collection of curated feeds, it's easier to identify targeted groups of followers to gain audience insights or categorize influencer groups for future marketing campaigns.

"I use HootSuite to manage all the complexity in my Twitter feed. I've got about 7,000 followers, so just going into Twitter is not that meaningful," said O'Neill. "In Hootsuite, I've got different streams set up of hashtags and influencers. So I can go in at a glance to look at streams on Hootsuite and who's saying what. That's where I really get my engagement: looking at those streams as opposed to the overall news feed. It's a great way to get meaning out of the followers I want to pay attention to."

5. Skype for Business

Lastly, O'Neill revealed that Prysm has ditched landline phones in favor of company-wide business video conferencing. In place of office landlines, Prysm uses cloud-based Voice-over-IP (VoIP) to stay connected wherever employees and managers are and on any device.

"We just, as a company, got rid of all the phones in offices. We've gone to Skype for Business. So, no one in the whole company has a phone in their office," said O'Neill. "Our business is a little on the older side so people are still getting used to it, but it's been interesting because we're using Skype in a very integrated way.

"We're using it from a chat perspective [and] we're using it for video conferencing and content sharing. The transition has been fun, seeing people's reactions when we take the phones out of their office," O'Neill continued. "But, after the initial uproar died down, the transition has been relatively seamless. It's everywhere now. I get a call from my CEO, sometimes I'll be in my office with my Mac open and my phone sitting there, and I'll simultaneously get the Skype call on a few different devices. It follows you around a lot more easily than just having a phone in your office and forwarding calls."

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.