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The Barnacle

Tools of the Trade

Sometimes, the marketing world feels like IYKYK—if you know, you know. But it’s often hard to describe for those who don’t know. Do you build websites? Yes. Do you send email messages? Yes. Is it advertising? Yes. Does it include branding? Also, yes. That is a daunting and confusing list of services to someone new to marketing or from outside the marketing world (like mothers and mothers-in-law).

In this month’s Barnacle Blog, we want to give you a behind-the-scenes look to show you some of the tools we use—and we use a lot of tools—to provide the list of services we offer.

SCOTT, Partner + Creative Principal:
For It’s a Jolly Good Fellow

Early in 2023, the team at 2 Fish Company felt that project details were still falling through the cracks despite their best efforts. The big picture and some details were captured in our project management system, Workamajig, but the platform wasn’t flexible enough to handle minutiae well. Bits and bobs like microtasks within a step couldn’t be captured well.

Most of the team kept their own notes, checklists, or task management systems to compensate. And while tools like Apple’s Notes or Todoist were great for individuals, they weren’t easily shared with all of the team. Evernote came to the rescue, and we were all synced up and in love for a time. But like so many software companies these days, the tight focus that Evernote once had gave way to feature bloat and a business model that exceeded our needs and cost way too much.

So, we pivoted again. We have a Synology Network Attached Storage device as our server, and we’re all a big fan of it, in large part because it integrates with our workflow fairly easily. Synology’s operating system, DSM, features a plug-in or app-oriented system, which allows us to add sharable features. We worked in their Note Station Client to replace Evernote for a time, but like many software developers, there were never enough users to merit a lot of attention to make it the tool it really needed to be.

And that’s when we came across Fellow. Fellow is mainly focused on meeting notes and making notetaking within meetings easier. But the killer feature is that a note can be shared with all participants, and each participant can update the note in real time. Let that sink in; we can all take notes in the same meeting on the same note. We didn’t even know we needed that! But once we started using it, it quickly became indispensable. There are a million templates in the system for all kinds of notes, and one of our favorites is the checklist. Yep! Just what we needed.

We can’t imagine our work without it now that Fellow has been integrated into our workflow. Our SCRUM meeting is organized around the checklist in Fellow. The checklist allows the entire team to check off microtasks all day long, and everyone on the team knows when those tasks are complete. Notes are easily sharable with, well, anyone, including clients. Sure, it’s not without flaws—I’m looking at you, perpetually replicating to-do list items if you don’t check them off—but is is a fun, efficient, and effective way to manage our day.

SHELLY, Managing Partner + Relationship Director:
Staying in Close Contact

Constant Contact Lead Gen & CRM is a tool we use the most for email marketing and converting leads into customers by fueling our campaign creation, marketing automation, and workflow creation. We use the Life Of the Lead feature to track where customers are on the buyer’s journey and what they want. By monitoring where customers are going on our website and how long they linger on a specific page, we can tailor our next interaction to meet the prospective customer’s needs. This gives us fertile ground and a warm lead to call on. The email templates and newsletters can be easily customized to meet our needs, providing dozens of premade templates with its simple email editor. It also offers automated workflows for users to choose from and customize.

Relationships are important for 2 Fish Company, and staying in contact is key to building relationships!

ADAM, Senior Creative Lead:
Experiencing Arc

I regularly use dozens of apps and tools on a weekly basis, but none more so than the best browser known to humanity: Arc. As the self-proclaimed Chrome replacement we’ve all been waiting for, Arc reimagines the experience of browsing the internet from the ground up. Pillars of browsers such as tab management, bookmarking, password management, integrations, and speed are designed seamlessly and smartly so that I can use Arc as a dashboard for managing the plethora of marketing-based websites and apps that we use at 2 Fish Company while keeping an entirely separate space for managing my personal accounts such as email and social media.

As the user, I can fully customize everything from when my inactive tabs wait before archiving themselves to the actual colors and fonts displayed on my favorite websites (so the internet can finally look how I want it to.) The best part? It’s entirely free and constantly updated by a great team of developers and designers. Check it out (and be a part of the future of the internet)!

KATHY, Content Lead:
Words Matter!

As a former English teacher, I didn’t want to use any writing tools in my new job at Content Lead. I, of course, know it all. (wink wink) However, I quickly learned that writing for marketing is very different from writing about literature. And while Chat GPT is alluring, the best tool for me at 2 Fish Company is Grammarly.

Beyond fixing grammar and punctuation mistakes, Grammarly assists with tone and clarity of writing. This means any created content is free from mistakes and makes the right impression. We can also apply our own 2 Fish Company (and our clients’) guidelines and common words and phrases so that Grammarly recognizes and accepts language and tone unique to us (and our clients’ language and tone). Grammarly doesn’t fix everything—I have cut out important words more than once. But this is a tool that makes our content better and more interesting.

I’m even learning how to use exclamation points more regularly!

Do you have tools that help you do your job better? Do you stick with the tried-and-true tools or seek new and better ones? We would love to hear from you!