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Apps That Leading Marketers Love

Mobile has become a marketing essential for customer interactions. But it’s also essential to marketers’ business and personal lives. We asked the Direct Marketing News 2015 40 Under 40 award winners: What’s your favorite mobile app? Their responses run the gamut of fun and function, including favorites serving them as well in business as in their personal lives.



Danielle Avalone, VP, Account Services, Lanmark360 Inc.
Get Fit. It’s important to stay healthy because, if not, I’m no good to anybody.

Jessica Nable, Vice President, Strategic Communications, Epsilon
I’m really into my Fitbit right now. I use it a lot to see my activities, my sleep, things like that. Having two young children, I actually care a lot about my sleep. All of the social media apps are important, too.



Dan Barcus, Executive Director of Acquisition Marketing, Comcast
Bitmoji. It’s hilarious and brings levity to my day.

Brad Bedoe, Director, Lead Generation Marketing, Fleetmatics
Sonos. It has nothing to do with business. It’s an app that controls the speakers in my house [through wireless]. My speakers are incredible and the app is awesome.

Adam Bravo, Executive Director of Loyalty Marketing, MGM Resorts International
This is an easy one: Pandora.

Kyle Christensen, VP, Marketing, Invoca
Yelp is the mobile app I use most often. I travel a lot, for both work and fun, and I use it to figure out where to stay, where to eat, and where to get a good cocktail. It’s almost the perfect mobile app and is so much more valuable on-the-go versus on desktop.

Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, CEO, Chairman, and Owner, Hawthorne Direct
I’m on the go so much that probably more entertainment-related apps would be my favorite apps, so that would be Pandora for music or Netflix on the entertainment side. [They’re] easy access wherever I am—whether it’s on the road or in a hotel—they know my likes and dislikes, and it’s always a bit of a comfort away from home.

Amrit Kirpalani, Founder and CEO, NectarOM
iTunes, because it allows me to enjoy music, but at the same time it ties in radio.


Donald J. Gallant, Director of Analytics, Marketsmith Inc.
I like all of the social media apps, but I have to say that my favorite app is Google Maps because I can always rely on it if I get lost. It’s always recommending the shortest possible distance, or the shortest possible time on the road.

Aaron Ginn, Growth Product Manager, Everlane
I really like Uber‘s app. It’s straightforward. It’s also clean and direct in what I’m supposed to do. They’re not trying to do anything else. It’s really good at that narrow band area it focuses on.

Judge Graham, President, Sq1
It’s not anything fun; it’s the American Airlines app. I spend a lot of time on airplanes, so [it’s] just the ability to check in, change things, and board easily.

Patricia Korth-McDonnell, Partner and Managing Director, West Coast, Huge
Probably the Delta app, just because I travel so much. I remember pre-airline apps, having to save things and forgetting my confirmation number and which day I’m travelling. Having it all at my fingertips and knowing that I can just open that app in the morning and remember what time my flight is and get in the car and click a button for my boarding pass, probably saves me hours a week.

Donald Patrick Lim, Chief Digital Officer, ABS-CBN Corp.
Waze. Traffic is bad in Manila. Waze gets me to every meeting almost always on time. And of course, Spotify to go with it.

Dhanusha Sivajee, EVP of Marketing, XO Group Inc.
Well, if I was planning my wedding, it would obviously be The Knot Wedding Planner app. But since I just moved to the ‘burbs and am coming up on my 10-year wedding anniversary, my favorite app right now is actually a very boring and functional one: The Metro North train schedule app. I enjoy running onto the train just as the doors are about to close on me.

Cecile Thirion, Marketing Director – Government and Transportation, Xerox Transportation
Google Maps. It makes it so convenient when you go any place. It’s a traveler’s best friend; it’s so convenient.



Kirsten Bjork-Jones, Director, Global Marketing Communications, Edmund Optics
I would not be able to live without Cozi, a family app perfect for managing the individual household schedules, shopping, and to-do lists.

Chad Hallert, Strategy Director, Noble Studios
I don’t think I have a favorite mobile app. My feeling on apps is a lot of them tend to have a short lifespan. They’re engaging for a little while, and then they tend to fizzle. The apps that I use most frequently now are apps that align with my day-to-day life from a utility standpoint, so a workout app, diet app, things like that.

Ben Roberts, VP of Marketing Operations, Acumen Brands
I love Evernote. It’s basically where I put anything that I can’t remember.

Greg Mazen, Director of Creative Services, Boy Scouts of America
CP Clicker. It’s an app to access Internet content. You can put the app’s logo on your flyer, and it will take you to a Web page with all of the flyer’s content, or whatever it is.

Tania Yuki, Founder and CEO, Shareablee
Right now it’s Slack. It helps me in a sort of aggregated way to stay in touch with everybody on my team and it helps me keep on top of things when I’m travelling or in the middle of other stuff. 


Cristina Bozas, Creative Chief Officer, Pólvora Advertising
Instagram. I’m a marketer, but I’m also an artist—a painter.

Courtney Caldwell, Founder, The Write One
Sparksfly. It’s a new social discovery app that personalizes your search experience based on the user’s constellation. Think about your favorite social media channels all in one but rolled up by topic. At work, it saves me time when identifying online buying behaviors because I can organize customer archetypes into routines and share them with my clients in real-time.

Coltrane Curtis, Founder and Managing Partner, Team Epiphany
Instagram. It allows me to give people a look at what inspires me.

Bhumika Dadbhawala, Senior Director of Business Development and Partnerships, Drawbridge
I’m a big fan of Pinterest. I enjoy being creative; I absolutely love doing DIY projects and I love fashion. I spend a lot of my time on this application because it’s a place for ideas to grow. [It’s] not necessarily just things that I’ve searched for, but [it’s also] a place that helps propel and collaborate on concepts. I can spend endless hours on Pinterest, and I can go from one idea to another idea. It breathes creativity in me, which I really like.

Jerry Jao, CEO and Founder, Retention Science
 I like Houzz a lot. It’s like Pinterest; basically, it shows you pictures based on kitchens or bedrooms or outdoor space. You browse through photos; I really like architecture…. Going through photos is one of my favorite pastimes.

Jessica Nielsen, VP, Communications and Marketing, Information Systems and Global Solutions Division, Lockheed Martin
My favorite mobile app is Periscope because it’s really reinforcing our increasingly globalized world. It’s simultaneously fun and scary given how cool the technology is, while the privacy concerns open up whole new discussions.

Amanda Todorovich, Director of Content Marketing, Cleveland Clinic
Facebook. It’s the one I use the most. Facebook is a huge factor in our content marketing and social media success. We have more than a million likes on our page, and I’m always interested in what content is performing well for us and what interesting comments it elicits. We’re really aggressive on the platform, posting six to seven times a day, and our organic reach has remained higher than most brand averages.


Jennifer Capistran, Senior Director, Merkle Analytics, Merkle Inc.
I am a fan of the B&H Photo, Video, & Pro Audio app. It does everything that I want from a retail app and it does it well. The layout of the categories and filters makes it quick and easy to find products. The app features make it easy to browse and review product imagery and specifications.

Alia Kemet, U.S. Media Director, IKEA
It’s the IKEA store app; we just launched a new one. I use it a lot for professional reasons, but I also use it personally, when I’m shopping. It’s more like a store-shopping companion. It does a great job of helping customers navigate to their store and plan their store trip.

Adam Padilla, President and Chief Creative Officer, Brandfire
Amazon is my access to literally anything in the world. They constantly improve the experience, the interface is exquisite…without it I would be lost.

Charlotte Tsou, SVP, Regional Head of Analytics and CRM, HSBC
Gilt: My one stop shopping for all trendy goods for the household.


Elizabeth Holub, Marketing Manager; Interim Manager, Performance Promotion, Carl Fischer Music & Theodore Presser Company
It’s called Steve Reich’s Clapping Music. It’s a piece of music he wrote just for percussionists. This school in England turned it into an app; the app itself teaches you about the history, helps you learn it; it’s about rhythm…if you play the game you have to be able to keep the rhythm straight with all the stuff going on around you. It’s highly addictive…. If you do really well on the app, if you win, you have a chance to go and perform in London with the London Symphony Orchestra. It’s been out for a few months.

Pedro L. Rodriguez, Director of Integrated Marketing, People en Español
Words With Friends. I play eight or 10 games at any given time; it’s like a constant challenge of figuring out how to get the most triple-point words, and it’s fun to play against random people or against myself.


Rachel Carpenter, Global Marketing and Sales Leader, Mercer
Currently, Seamless and Delta are my favorite apps for the utility they provide. Instagram wins for pure entertainment value. After conducting mobile usability studies while at eBay, I find it fun to analyze the customer experience in apps and spot ways it can be improved. 

Yasmeen Coning, VP, Head of Marketing, Genesis Media LLC
It‘s a tie between Spotify and Fitbit. Music and health are two of my passions and a part of every day for me.

Jamie LaRose, VP, Digital Marketing, Home Lending, Wells Fargo
I use LinkedIn quite a bit, as well as the Uber app. Uber, especially, was a game-changing app. For a brand new app, the user experience is incredible. I also like Waze, which I think has a neat experience.

Betsy Miller Daitch, Senior Marketing Manager, Investment Management, S&P Capital
I love reading, so I’d say my favorite app is Kindle Unlimited. I also like Scribe, Evernote, Pandora, and Spotify.

Joel Moore, Director, Strategic Leadership, Force 3
ESPN and Groupon. I’m a sports junkie, and the formal place to find your sports is ESPN. I use Groupon for Michigan State gear, and golf shoes and clothes.

Natasha Raja, VP of Marketing and Customer Service, Dice Holdings
I’m a phone addict. Apps I love: The New York Times, The Economist, Amazon, Pinterest, Open Table, Lugg; they let me be connected and creative, and make my life easy.

Justin Yoshimura, SVP, Loyalty Services Group, Merkle Inc.
My favorite mobile app as a consumer is Uber, then Gmail, and Postmates; in retail it’s Amazon.


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