Ways to solve your marketing project management issues
The challenges of planning and tracking marketing projects are many and varied today. Just keeping abreast of the multiple campaigns that go live via a range of platforms is difficult in itself. But it’s behind the scenes where the real headaches lie. With so many different types of campaigns to create and manage, marketing teams are feeling overwhelmed with a lack of transparency over their projects and resources. Chaos often ensues and there seems to be no way out of the constant daily grind. Nonetheless, there is a way to solve your marketing project management issues. Firstly, you need to identify where the challenges lie.
Typical challenges experienced by marketing teams in managing marketing projects
1. Poorly briefed marketing projects
Unfortunately, what some classify as a brief comes by way of a “conversation”, a few lines in an email or an incomplete brief document that is missing vital information about the project. You can’t hit a deadline, if you don’t know what it is. Likewise, you can’t create artwork if you don’t have the right spec’s. One thing’s a given, you and your team will now have to waste time chasing up brief details before the project has even commenced.
3. No central platform from which to manage marketing projects
2. A lack of transparency over marketing resources
A new project has been created and now you need to plan the work. But who’s available that matches the skills required for the task/s? You open a spreadsheet where you’re tracking your resources, but it’s not clear straight away who’s at capacity and who’s not. You spend the next fifteen minutes trying to choose a resource and then you realise you’re not sure if this is the latest version or not. Sound familiar? A lack of transparency over marketing resources is a common challenge for today’s marketers. This not only causes headaches for management but for the marketing team who feel they have no control over their workload.
Many marketers are still managing and executing projects in the absence of an organised, central framework. Therefore, emails with vital information such as artwork feedback and approvals get confused, the correct brand assets are difficult to find on the server, project briefs and estimates go astray, and then marketers spend much of their time administrating the project instead of being creative.
4. Ineffectual reviewing processes and tools
When there’s no definitive or effective reviewing processes or tools in place to manage artwork changes, errors will and do occur. For example, when using email to receive feedback and artwork versions, it’s easy for details to get lost or confused in an overflowing inbox. Likewise, if you’re relying on handwritten feedback there’s no better way to make it harder and more time consuming for the designer to decipher changes. Ultimately, ineffectual processes and tools lead to costly and high revision counts.
5. Ineffectual approval workflow processes
Many marketing projects still lack a customised and dedicated approval workflow process to approve artwork. One of the most common issues with this is that artwork goes to the wrong stakeholder at the wrong time in the process. So while it might seem like a good idea sending artwork to every stakeholder at the one time, in actuality it’s counter-productive. For example, if legal needs to review the artwork just before it’s completed, then there’s no point sending it to them any earlier. It’s also problematic receiving feedback via email because it can potentially be overlooked.
6. A lack of collaboration
Marketing departments are still over-reliant on spreadsheets to manage both their projects and resources. In this case, the issue with using spreadsheets is that other departments or remote workers can’t view it if it’s saved on the server. This means they have no idea what the capacity of the marketing team is when briefing new tasks and projects.
7. Unproductive project meetings
Project meetings can be really draining on your marketing resources. For one, it often takes someone in marketing a few hours to collate a manual WIP report prior any project meeting. In addition to this, meetings can waffle off point, unnecessary stakeholders may be present in the meeting that aren’t required, and additional tasks (to solve your problems) may get added to your already burdened load.
If some or all of these challenges sound too familiar, tune into next week's blog where we will look at solutions to these common marketing management challenges.
In the meantime, you may benefit from downloading our white paper - Understanding Approval workflow solutions.