Tired Presentations? Alternatives to PowerPoint

We recently discussed some top tips for creating great presentations. However, in this post we’d like to discuss some great alternatives to just defaulting to Microsoft PowerPoint. There are a growing number of people now relying on cloud based Internet hosted applications for presentations, without the need for desktop software. Not only does this make presentations easily accessible, it also provides some fresh alternatives to the look and feel of your presentations.

We’re not here to bag PowerPoint at all, it’s a great piece of software that many of us rely on daily. However, since it was launched in 1990 there have been a range of other presentation tools that have come onto the scene. We’d like to share some of the other alternatives out there that might be better suited to you, make your job easier and help your next presentation stand out from the norm.

Prezi

Prezi was launched in 2009 and is a web based presentation application that brings a new perspective to the traditional whiteboard and slide formats for sharing of ideas.

We all know just how important visuals are in your presentation. That’s one of the reasons why the zoom functionality of Prezi is so popular, it allows you to zoom and rotate around your page or ‘virtual canvas’ to help the audience visualise your ideas. These may be in text, images or even video.

Many presentations are also not linear, often there are many concepts that are inter-related. Instead of jumping back and forth in your presentation deck, with Prezi you just zoom up, down, left or right as you please. If your presentation is more linear, you can even create a storyline to take your audience on a journey.

Prezi also has a cool Prezi Viewer iPad App so you can present from your iPad.

Google Docs Presentation

Google Docs is actually a suite of tools on the web that allows you to create and edit documents online so you can collaborate with others in real time.

The Google Docs Presentation component has come a long way since it was launched in 2007. Not only can you create your presentation online, you can store it there so you can access it almost anywhere. There is also a great selection of interesting themes, custom drawings and animations to make your presentation more exciting.

Another great feature of Google Docs is you can collaborate in real time with others whether they’re in the same room as your or on the other side of the world.

Google Docs is also easy to access on any device so with many of us now having tablets and smartphones, this functionality is really handy.

Keynote

Keynote is developed by Apple and was first launched in 2003.

Keynote is a favourite with the Apple crowd and for good reason. It’s a very advanced presentation tool. One of the main benefits of Keynote is that it’s compatible with all your Apple devices and by using iCloud you can create presentations and access the latest version from any device. There is also a great collection of themes and we all know one thing Apple does well is design.

The software has a similar feel to PowerPoint but has it’s own unique features and functionality such as great graphic tools and drag and drop for images, video and music. You can even add on the Keynote Remote which lets you use your iPhone as a wireless controller.

SlideRocket

http://youtu.be/nija_9mLTPE

SlideRocket was founded in 2007 and is a web based presentation platform with a slick set of professional design tools with eye catching themes, charts, tables, images, audio and Flash. What is particularly cool about SlideRocket is the ability to measure how effective your presentation with the great analytics feature.

As with other web based presentation solutions, you can access SlideRocket from anywhere and make your presentations available via computer or mobile devices. SlideRocket also integrates with Google Docs and Flickr so you can pull in live data and content easily.

So there are just a few of the great alternatives to PowerPoint. Go forth and challenge yourself to try one for your next presentation. Just remember to give yourself some training time so you can learn the full functionality first before you get in front of your audience. Better yet, have a few practice runs with your friends or colleagues.

If you want some more great ways to reinvigorate and deliver your presentations, check out these handy tips for creating great presentations. If we’ve missed anything you’re using that’s not listed, please let us know in the comments.

Digital Marketing in 2012: Will it be the year of the application?

Now that 2012 has gotten off to a roaring start, perhaps it is time to take a look at what’s in store for the digital marketing industry for the year. As with any industry, in any year, there will be challenges as well as successes.

From our extensive research (well, we did a bit of a Google search), we reckon that 2012 will be the year of the application. Bet you didn’t see that one coming did you? (Side note: if you didn’t see that one coming, and you are working in the digital marketing space, we suggest that you change careers NOW!)

As such, we’ve put together our five top items that you might want to put on your digital marketing agenda for the year.

  1. Get mobile: we don’t mean that you should rush out to Telstra and arm all your employees with the latest iPhone. What we do mean (and we’re talking to all you marketing and advertising execs out there) is that you need to work out how to effectively integrate ‘mobile-ness’ into your annual business plans and budgets. With consumers increasing their use of mobile devices exponentially every year, mobile marketing is no longer optional (at least, not if you want a successful brand). It is now indispensible. In 2011, Google estimated that 44% of last-minute shopping searches were from either smartphones or tablets. In 2012, if you do not optimise your website for ‘mobile-ness’, with a specific format and landing page for mobile devices, you will be at a serious disadvantage.
  2. Better methods of measuring Return On Investment: as with any type of expenditure by a company, there has to be a clear Return On Investment (ROI). To calculate and better demonstrate this ROI, there has to be a solid foundation of digital marketing measurement metrics. Generally, in the world of digital marketing, this is currently based around the concepts of ‘cost per click’ and ‘conversion rate’. However, as companies begin to allocate more funding to the digital marketing pool, there will need to be a more direct correlation between digital marketing expenditure and profit (and obviously a means by which to measure this).
  3. Increased focus on research: for a relatively new marketing medium, most companies do not undertake a great deal of research into the field of digital marketing. As overall budgets for digital marketing increase, so will digital marketing research budgets. There is no industry standard for digital marketing, like radio and television rating schemes. Research will help build on aspects such as this.
  4. Integrated marketing methods: this phrase has been hanging around for a few years now. The reason that it is still around is that most companies still haven’t quite got it right. Integrated marketing is not simply about using all marketing mediums; it is really just the first step. The second step is using one channel to promote the other channels. What you really need to do is leverage the use of each channel through an integrated marketing plan. Sound tricky? Well, that’s why it’s still on the agenda. It requires innovative thought, big ideas and artful execution.
  5. Customer engagement through digital marketing: we all know that customer engagement (and to a lesser degree validation) is vital in any marketing strategy these days. This is where social media comes in to play. Customers (or consumers or clients or whatever term you like to use) like to feel as though they are part of the process and can shape your brand, product or service with their feedback. So, we believe that in 2012, companies will tap into this, particularly during the lifecycle of new products (it’s free feedback throughout the planning, concept development and testing and launch phases). In 2012, companies that are digital marketing savvy will use social media to ensure the product they are launching is popular, the process will bolster their online community, strengthen their brand and give them a competitive advantage. Ticks all the boxes really.
Marketing.com.au would like to thank Sally for her fantastic ongoing contributions.

 

 

Interesting Trends in Mobile Access in Australia

With smartphone usage in Australia estimated at a whopping 40%, if you’re not already getting serious about mobile, now may be the time.

According to Morgan Stanley research mobile internet access will be greater than access from laptops and desktop computers. And according to Google, 44% of searches last-minute gifts will be performed on mobile devices.

12.81% of all visitors to Marketing.com.au are using mobile devices. At the time of writing iPhone, iPad and Android are the top device type. I’ll post a follow up article with more detailed statistics in a few weeks when the sample is larger.

I’ve checked a few other sites and the stats range from 5% to 20%. I’d be very interested in your stats, in particular the overall percentage of mobile visitors.

These exciting figures provide great opportunity for savvy marketers, but it’s not just the mobile web where the action is. The Envato Marketplace Newsletter has 223,000 subscribers, with over 6000 new subscriptions every month. The Envato infographic itself is quite interesting, however most interesting of all is the “most frequently used mail client” being the built-in iPhone mail app client.

If you’re keen on getting into mobile, you might be interested in a group called Mobile Monday. There are chapters all around the world with groups in most Australian cities.

Image taken from Google Analytics.