Storytelling for Brands: Can Marketers be Eloquent Storytellers?

If it looks like marketing, acts like marketing, smells like marketing…it’s marketing! So, what’s a marketer to do?

This is the dilemma for all of us who are trying to tame the beast that is “content marketing.” How can we get people to engage with our brand, share our content, and maybe buy whatever the hell it is that we’re selling – without being salesy? This is counter-intuitive to a lot of traditional marketing best practices that I’ve learned. But wait a second…

I hate being sold to, yet I have an online shopping addiction. So how do brands convince us to buy? They tug at our heartstrings with videos of puppies. They captivate us with powerful moments captured by people just like us. They remind us that we can make an impact that is “Bigger Than Us.”

I love these brands because they appeal to me on an emotional level; I can relate to them, my beliefs align with theirs, and suddenly I care about all this amazing content they’re sharing with me. Simon Sinek’s TEDx Talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, really helped solidify this idea that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. The key is showing your customers what you believe in so that they can decide if it aligns with their beliefs.

Everyone in marketing can do this! It’s called storytelling. And the good news is that humans have been successfully telling stories since… forever! Seriously, like thousands of years ago we were carving narratives into the walls of caves and sitting around a campfire sharing stories. Shane Snow wrote a great article about storytelling as the top business skill of the next 5 years, in which he said, “now more than ever, businesses, workers, and leaders have opportunities to stand out, spread messages, and make change through storytelling”.

So in reality, how lucky are us marketers?! Instead of having to go old school and sell a product, we have the freedom to craft these really beautiful, funny, and honest stories that reflect our brands.

I hope you’ll subscribe to our newsletter and let the quirky personalities of Axosoft into your inbox each week to share our collective knowledge!*

*We reserve the right to share our stories in the form of novels, short stories, haikus, infographics, videos, or whatever else strikes our fancy!

Axosoft Software Review (Spoiler Alert: It ROCKS!)

They like us! They really like us! Axosoft is kicking agile ass and helping software developers make a name for themselves in 2015… HUZZAH! We know what you’re thinking, This is Axosoft’s blog, of course they’re gonna toot their own horn, duh.”  So don’t listen to us, listen to the leading reference for project managers, Project-Management.com

Axosoft enables users to plan for their product with the tools that can collect all details and information. With the right product backlog, the team can start the needed project, release, version and sprints and bring them to completion. Velocity charts and capacity indicators make sure the estimates and workload are just right. With predefined workflows, users can use Scrum, Kanban or a fully customized one to support a specific type of process. With a visual drag-and-drop Kanban board, they can work on their user stories, defects, or incidents quickly and easily.

Collaboration and Reporting Tools – The Daily Scrum mode provide project managers, Scrum Masters and others the information which tasks have been completed by whom, what they are working on currently, and issues that have come up regarding the tasks. For any updates, customized email notification will make sure everyone is informed. Filters, views and wikis provide the right information for everyone involved. From the dashboard, users can easily see progress with the help of visual information showing burndown charts, velocities, workloads and projections. Reports are generated quickly from any backlog view.

Customer Portal, Integration and more – Axosoft Scrum software puts the customer at the center with a branded Customer Portal. Customers are informed about any specific project, release, wiki or development information. With email-to-ticket automation, canned response, and in-app conversation threads, they will always feel prioritized as their issues are tracked and resolved. Also, the API enables the software to connect to a number of services and tools such as Bugsnag, GitHub, Salesforce, TestLodge, Slack, Visual Studio, Usersnap, and Zendesk.

Read the rest of the Project Management Software Review of Axosoft! And we can’t say anything yet, but, um, well… Zapier!

What’s New in Axosoft 14.6?

Happy 2015 Axosoft users! We’re greeting the year with a smaller release as we prepare for a few ambitious releases later this year. Here’s what’s new in Version 14.6:

  • Centralized Pick Lists and List Types
  • Updated importing
  • Daily Scrum update

Of course, we squashed some bugs along the way. Check out our Version History page for a list of bug fixes in this release.

 

Let’s elaborate on feature updates! First, you’ll notice we’ve centralized all pick lists and list types when you go to Tools / Fields / List Types. Pick lists and list types such as status, billing type, and time units can all be modified in one place.

All pick lists and list types in one place.

All pick lists and list types in one place. 

So if for example you need to change the default status options, select ‘status’ and customize the list to match your preferred statuses.

Add or adjust your fields consistently and easily.

Add or adjust your fields consistently and easily. 

 

Next, we’ve updated the importing UI. Things are cleaner, simpler, and familiar to anyone who imports often. Like before, you are able to save import templates so Axosoft remembers how you like to map your .csv spreadsheets columns to new item fields.

Import is updated!

Import is updated! 

 

Lastly, we have included a Teams dropdown menu in the Daily Scrum. Use this to focus on your specific team’s list of items for any given release.

Filter your Daily Scrum further with teams.

Filter your Daily Scrum further with teams.


Short and scrumptious, yes? Expect numerous more updates throughout the year. And if you like these updates in video format, please subscribe to our lovely Youtube channel.

Automate Bug Reporting with TestLodge & Axosoft

Software testing takes time. Much of this time is often spent writing bug reports for failed tests. Integrating Axosoft with TestLodge can save you and your team time by improving this process. TestLodge Test Management is an online test case management tool that allows you to store and manage test plans, test cases, requirements, and more. QA teams love using TestLodge because it helps them stay organized and ensure their testing process is smooth and documented with ease.

testlodge integration with axosoft

Axosoft integrates easily with TestLodge, allowing you to automatically create bug reports in Axosoft whenever a test fails in TestLodge. This leads to a more streamlined testing and bug reporting process and eliminates the time testers spend creating bug reports manually.

axosoft integration with testlodge

Setting up the integration is simple. First, you need to allow TestLodge to access your Axosoft account. Once you’ve permitted TestLodge to access your Axosoft account, you’ll need to associate a TestLodge project with an Axosoft project.

Now when a test is marked as “failed” in TestLodge, a bug report will automatically be created in the Axosoft project, including relevant information such as steps to reproduce the bug, the expected result, and the actual result. You can select the Axosoft release, the priority, and assign a user to the bug directly from TestLodge. TestLodge will even set the reporter of the bug as the person who failed the test.

Learn more about setting up the integration in this short video:

As you can see, this integration provides instant communication of bugs and necessary information from your testers to your developers, which leads to a more efficient testing process. Once you’ve completed a round of testing and bugs have been fixed, you can then re-run all failed tests in TestLodge to verify the fixes.

By integrating these two products you’ll add value to your testing and development teams in a number of ways:

  1. Save time spent logging bugs manually.
  2. Streamline communication by instantly sending failed tests as ‘bugs’ to Axosoft.
  3. Synchronize your testing and development teams by ensuring both sides have the information necessary to resolve bugs and make quality software.

To learn more about TestLodge, check out this video or start a free 30-day trial of TestLodge to see how you can automatically create bug reports in Axosoft from TestLodge.

Axosoft Integration with Zendesk

zendesk axosoft integration

We’re excited to announce the start of a beautiful new friendship with Zendesk! Axosoft Scrum and Axosoft Bug Tracker integrate easily with Zendesk to seamlessly connect your support and development workflows.

We’re hoping your first reaction is to go into a zen-like buddha position (see image above for reference) and soak in the awesomeness! But your second thought might be, why would Axosoft integrate with Zendesk? After all, Zendesk is a customer service and support ticketing software and so is Axosoft Help Desk. Well, here at Axosoft, we embrace diversity, even when it comes to integrating with competing help desk solutions. We realize that there are different solutions for different needs. Thus our new friendship with Zendesk opens the door for our customers who are using Zendesk as their Help Desk solution.

By integrating these two great products, you can quickly escalate Zendesk support tickets to user stories or bugs in your Axosoft backlog, and eliminate all the time your support and development teams spend duplicating items and communicating status reports. Automated workflow step actions take your productivity to the next level by eliminating the need to update the workflow status of a linked Zendesk ticket. You can even include a public or private message when the item’s workflow status is updated. The two-way communication between Axosoft and Zendesk allows your support team, developers and project managers to clearly see how an item is progressing through development.

Bonus! You can keep overhead down by not having to purchase additional licenses for your support team to access Axosoft and your devs to access Zendesk because comments and status updates flow seamlessly between the two. It’s easy then for support to respond to customers about the status and resolution of items without ever leaving Zendesk, and developers get all the details they need to resolve issues in Axosoft.

All-in-all by integrating your Zendesk and Axosoft accounts your whole team benefits:

  1. Reduce time spent managing user stories and bugs.
  2. Gain visibility into the status of tickets from inception to close.
  3. Save money and keep communication flowing from customers, to support, to development and management.

We’re excited to help Zendesk and Axosoft customers be even more successful! So if you don’t have an Axosoft account yet, get started here!

If you already use Axosoft, learn more or enable Zendesk to get to work!