Two Martech apps to improve productivity and make us more efficient

Profile picture for user barb.mosher By Barb Mosher Zinck August 3, 2020
Summary:
Picking out two Martech apps that caught my attention of late...

innovation chart
(Pixabay)

There are over 8,000 marketing technology solutions listed in the most recent Marketing Technology Landscape by Scott Brinker. Many of these solutions are specialist apps and ecosystem or citizen apps that provide specific capabilities. In my work as a marketer and someone who follows the marketing technology space closely, I see a lot of interesting applications, two of which I’m showcasing here. 

Podcastle 

A new text-to-speech converter came across my inbox the other day. It’s called Podcastle. A free Chrome extension, Podcastle automatically converts blogs, news, and other articles to speech so you can listen to your favorite content, not read it. You can listen to a man or a woman’s voice, and you have the option of speeding up the audio if you want to listen to it faster.

The app is currently built on Google’s DeepMind WaveNet technology, which is a deep generative model of raw audio waveforms. This technology does a very good job of mimicking the human voice, including emotions, emphasis, and tone.

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(via author )

Right now, you can listen to articles in real-time, but creator Artavazd Yeritsya tells me that the firm is working on queuing and playlist functionality in the next release. The app will also move to its own AI technology, which will also consider the context and tone of the writer.

One shortcoming of note - although it works in Chrome on the desktop, you can’t use it on your mobile phone just yet, which is where I would make use of it. However, it will be available on both iOS and Android phones, tablets, and iPads in the future.

Podcastle is targeted at users between 25-44, which Yeritsyan says is the primary market for podcasts. This is just the first version of the app, he says: 

We want to power everyone to have their voice heard, by creating end-to-end podcast creation platform without any barriers for entering podcasting game.

Punchli.st

How many times have you had to provide feedback on a website or content and worked via email? How frustrating has that been for you? For me, it’s usually a pain because I have this list in email, sometimes multiple emails depending on how many people are reviewing the website, and I have to go back and forth between the site and email to make the changes. It’s a major pain. 

Punchli.st is an app that can help change that by giving everyone the ability to review a website and provide feedback in a single location. And it’s straightforward to use.

To start, you create a project that links to your website. There’s no code to work with and nothing you need to install. It works from your desktop or tablet, with only the ability to view items on your mobile device, not add new ones. You share the project by sharing the URL to anyone you want to review. Guest commenters are free, and they can like and comment on any part of a web page by simply clicking the plus sign or Add Item and moving the cursor to the location they want to add the comment. The Item also tracks additional related comments if there are additional notes or questions. When an item is fixed, the team member who fixed it can go into Punchli.st and mark it done.

You’ll also see in the image below that you can view the website on mobile, tablet, or desktop, and any comments you add in each view belong to that view only. So, for example, if a headline is overrunning on the mobile view, you could add a note to shorten the headline for mobile.

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Another nice feature is the ability to upload documents to a comment from your desktop, Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive. Consider a developer that needs to change an image on a web page. The designer can upload the image with the comment giving the developer quick access. The same would work for changes to content. We all know that Lorem Ipsum text that is often placed as filler for headlines or descriptions. A content creator can add a comment to the appropriate section and upload the text from their Google Drive for the developer, or content editor to add to the page. 

As developers, designers, or content authors fix anything related to the feedback, they can mark the work done. There is a report view rolling up all the tasks for your project, along with a detailed report of all tasks, and you can edit those tasks from that view. For those that use task assignment tools like Jira, Tello, or Asana, you connect one and either automatically or manually choose to add the tasks created in Punchli.st to them. Items marked complete in Punchli.st are updated accordingly in the task tool but not the other way around (this will come in a future update).

Pete Bernardo, founder of Punchli.st tells me that upcoming features, include:

  • Providing video feedback using your webcam.
  • Supporting flat file designs to work on early designs of websites and applications.
  • A presentation mode that agencies can use pre-sales to provide a potential client with ideas of how they would improve a website.

My take

There is a lot of focus on the more prominent marketing technology solutions that help us improve productivity, but if we take a look around, there are many other smaller, lesser-known apps that work equally well. It’s a testament to the innovation that’s continually happening in the Martech space.