Producing relevant content is front and centre of the marketing game. To achieve this, marketers not only require the time to create great campaigns, they also need the right tools to effectively manage their creative projects. Brands that are taking the plunge and switching from traditional tools to marketing project management software are achieving some great results. Let’s take a closer look at marketing project management software and how it can benefit your marketing operations.
What is marketing project management software?
Marketing project management software is a centralised, online solution that enables marketers to manage the entirety of their creative projects, from briefing jobs to collating feedback to final approval and assets. With marketing campaigns launched through a range of print and online platforms today, marketing project management software should also support a number of different file types as well as offer collaborative and resourcing features, among other essential tools. Most importantly, marketing project management software provides marketers with greater visibility over their marketing projects and is flexible to changing work priorities.
Most common challenges to managing marketing projects
What factors are driving marketers to implement marketing project management software?
One of the major challenges for marketers today is remaining competitive in an omnipresent marketplace. Marketing teams are under enormous pressure to produce more marketing content in less time with more clout. Unfortunately, the way in which marketers are managing their creative projects is impeding production.
Factors impeding the effective production of marketing projects:
- Incomprehensive marketing briefs
- Using traditional tools such as spreadsheets to manage projects which are time consuming and tedious to manage
- A lack of visibility over creative projects and resources
- No effective framework from which to plan and organise projects
- Disorganised review and approval processes
- Laborious marketing administration involving repetitive tasks
- A lack of collaboration with stakeholders
- Too many artwork changes leading to high revision counts
- Remote workers can’t access files for review or approval
- No digital asset management to save final files
- No effective reporting tools
Marketing project management software provides marketers with greater control and transparency over their creative projects. It also eliminates time-wasting administration which means that marketing content can be turned around at a faster rate while still giving marketers time to be creative. Marketing project management software can also increase the quality of marketing output by decreasing the risk of marketing compliance issues.
Must have features of marketing project management software
In the ‘2016 Buyer Report’ by Software Advice, 56% of businesses surveyed said they were keen to replace their project management software. The top reason for the switch was that their current tool wasn’t comprehensive enough. It can’t be emphasised enough that, if you’re keen to implement marketing project management software, you select a solution that has all (or most) of the features you need to manage your projects seamlessly.
Let’s take a look as some of the must have features of marketing project management software:
- Project dashboard that provides an overview of all projects in progress
- Centralised marketing calendar
- Resource feature with an overview of all resources and scheduling tools
- Task management feature
- Brief, resource, task and approval templates to eliminate repetitive administration
- Online proofing tools with feedback collation and compare/revision tools
- Approval lists and tiers
- Online timesheets
- Request notifications
- Automated reminders
- Reserve buttons to reserve work (great for marketing compliance)
- Marketing asset management
- Reporting tools
- Remote access
Project Management Software for Creative Teams
The multiple benefits of marketing project management software
The benefits of marketing project management software are manifold. In the same report by Gleanster and Kapost , 100% of “efficiency experts” invested in technology to improve their marketing processes. The report also found that the same professionals produced twice as much content as other brands at an accelerated rate. Here are more benefits to implementing marketing project management software.
- Greater visibility over marketing projects and resources
- Plan and schedule tasks and resources with ease
- Avoid an over reliance on freelancers
- Eliminate chaotic workloads and tedious administration
- Greater control over your marketing compliance with an automatic audit trail of work
- Produce more marketing content while increasing the quality of output
- Greater collaboration between stakeholders (including remote workers)
- Collate feedback and approvals with a failsafe process
- Meet deadlines and stay on budget
- Decrease artwork revision counts – finally!
- Have more time to be creative (the fun stuff)
- Generate reports instantly
- Save final assets in a secure location
10 great benefits of agency project management software
Selecting the RIGHT marketing project management software
If you’re thinking about implementing marketing project management software, don’t jump straight into the process of researching vendors. It’s critical that you first collate a list of all the issues that are currently impeding the production of your marketing content. Without this list, it’s going to be difficult to find a system with the features you need to solve your current problems. Be sure to get input from all of your stakeholders so that the software you select benefits everyone. Doing so improves your chances of the software being adopted later on.
Potential marketing issues:
- Too much time is spent on managing marketing projects
- Setting priorities for projects and tasks is difficult, even confusing
- Projects are often delayed and not enough marketing content is being produced
- Resources are always overloaded or double booked
- Briefs are often missing information which means someone has to chase it up
- Stakeholder feedback is frustrating and time consuming to collate
- Feedback and approvals are often missed in the approval workflow process
- Artwork revision counts are always high
- Marketing compliance issues are a common occurrence
- Approvals are often delayed
- Deadlines are missed more often than not
- Projects typically go over budget
- Time tracking is non-existent
- Estimating resources for marketing projects is difficult
- Remote workers don’t have access to files which causes approval delays
Once you understand what your issues are, it’s easier to match your requirements with a solution that has the inbuilt features that can fix your problems. Here are a few things to consider when selecting vendors that provide marketing project management software:
- Is the system user-friendly?
- What does the implementation process involve?
- What kind of training is offered?
- Does it manage all file types: digital, traditional and websites?
- Does the solution offer remote access (cloud-based software)?
- How much does the solution cost and what’s the upkeep?
- Does it provide the capacity to upscale, and add more users or clients?
- Does it provide the flexibility to change work and task priorities?
Selecting the right project management software to replace your current system
Is it time to implement marketing project management software?
By now you know all about the benefits and great features of marketing project management software. You might even have a few vendors that you’re currently checking out.
But how do you know it’s the right timing to implement a project management tool? If you’ve invested time in the selection process and you feel confident in your requirement list, then it’s time to implement a tool that’s going to help you solve most of your marketing challenges. Just make sure that you’re not implementing the software at your busiest time as you need to make sure everyone is on board for training and adopting the new system.
To make sure that your implementation is a roaring success, here’s a some reading to help you get the best uptake of your marketing project management software.