We increasingly hear about the pressure of working in the marketing, the constant growth and fast pace. There is an expectation that marketers needs to produce more content and deliver more campaigns via a growing number of channels. And, it is starting to take its toll with Forbes reporting that burnout is becoming more common, and growing numbers are looking to leave the industry.
With this in mind, we can start to see the importance of adopting the best tools, processes and culture to support marketing and creative teams. Businesses that continue to rely on out-dated systems such as email and spreadsheets and manage projects without a dedicated creative project management tool need to start considering the impact of using these not fit for purpose tools.
Let?s take a look at how a more advanced, collaborative tool can boost your efficiency and better support your most important assets - your people.
1. A lack of cohesion delays marketing projects
Does this sound like a typical week? Briefs are submitted with very little information. Worse, they keep getting sent to the wrong person. You need a resource urgently for a task but you can?t figure out who?s free because you?re not sure how current your resource spreadsheet is. You have no transparency over projects so you can?t give your manager an update without having to ask around first. Approvals are delayed again because of constant changes going back and forth, and you?re not sure you?re going to make your deadline.
Unlike the previous scenario, project management software ties all facets of your projects together in one neat platform. You can save all files and documents in the system which then creates an automatic audit trail of work so you can track who?s done what. The software also provides a range of features that enable marketers to manage everything from briefing and resourcing projects to approval workflow management to storing final assets.
2. Email approvals lead to high artwork revisions
Email is a great tool for communicating simple messages that don?t require complicated feedback. Unfortunately, when you have multiple reviewers sending feedback on several deliverables, email isn't an effective tool. In fact, it can be downright confusing having to sift through streams of email trails where reviewers drop off, changes are missed, versions get confused, reviewers change their mind ? I?m sure you can add to the list of woes.
By comparison, a project management tool has one collaborative interface where you can gather feedback quickly and easily. Approved reviewers can log in and markup artwork as well as add text comments so that feedback is always clear and concise. You and other reviewers can always view everyone?s changes, so that any conflicting feedback is transparent and can be sorted sooner than later. When changes are finalised, you simply batch them up and send them on to your creative team. This intuitive feedback system helps to eliminate high artwork revisions which would otherwise cost you time and money.
3. The daily grind of spreadsheets
Many marketers and project managers still use spreadsheets to plan and track their projects. This means that every time a change occurs, the information has to be manually updated on a spreadsheet. If the creative team or other stakeholders need to be updated, a new version has to be created and usually distributed via email. This labour-intensive task can steal hours of anyone?s day.
Wouldn?t it be easier to use a tool that allows you to set up a project and have it automatically appear on a realtime Dashboard? Status icons will keep you in the loop with how projects are progressing. Whenever a task is assigned, the resource is automatically notified. To get a project update, approved users can log in and view the Dashboard at any time, which eliminates the need to create multiple versions and send email updates. If someone requests a WIP report, you can generate one in no time at all sans the gruelling work.
4. Losing creative time to repetitive admin
Using traditional tools to manage your content production results in poor briefing, manually updating spreadsheets to schedule projects and resources, having to interpret handwritten mark ups and long email trails, and chasing stakeholders for feedback, to name but a few.
Meanwhile, marketers who have implemented marketing management software have been found to be 7x more efficient. And it?s easy to see how. This software solution reduces repetitive tasks with tools that automate and customise much of the work that goes with project management. Some key features include: online brief and approval templates, a central Dashboard, task lists, a resource planner and tools, automatic reminders, reporting tools and much more.
5. Resourcing with no visibility results in errors
Managing resources on a spreadsheet can lead to double booking resources or potentially not using the resources you have effectively. It?s also difficult to assign or reassign work quickly if an urgent job comes in. In addition, your resources themselves never have a clear picture of how their day or week looks.
A tool with integrated resource management provides greater transparency over your resources. Planning and scheduling tools enable you to see a complete picture of your resource capacity and simple drag n? drop tools allow you to assign and reassign tasks in just seconds. The system will also highlight any issues such as overloading a resource with a 100% workload meter. If a stakeholder wants to find out who is available for an upcoming project, they can log on and view the resource capacity for themselves without having to bother you.
6. Compliance issues occur when old assets are used in campaigns
If brand assets aren?t filed in an organised manner on the server, it?s easy for a designer to get confused about which is the most current asset. If an old brand asset gets used in a campaign, you then have an internal compliance issue on your hands. If old messaging goes public, you might have an even bigger problem with an external compliance issue.
Project management software with integrated Digital Asset Management features enables you to save only your most current assets to ensure that the correct assets and messaging are always used in your marketing campaigns. In terms of licensed imagery, the system will send an automated reminder when the license has expired. You can also view a download history to ensure only the right users are accessing your assets.
If you?re keen to increase efficiencies to save your brand both time and money, read our white paper on The Essential Buyers Guide to Marketing Project Management Software.