The tools that marketers use to produce marketing content can differ from brand to brand. Depending on the size of your business and the complexity of your projects, your marketing team may comprise of just a few people or a large number of staff. This is an important distinction because, while there are various solutions that can help streamline the production cycle, you want to select the one that is right for your needs.
There are literally hundreds of marketing management solutions available in the marketplace, but today we’ll be looking at task management, process management and project management software. So how do you know which know the difference between them and know which solution is best for managing your creative projects?
Tasks, Processes and Projects are both interdependent and independent
The first thing you need to understand is that tasks, processes and projects are interdependent. That is, you’ll always have tasks that need to be completed within a creative project which usually follows some kind of process. At the same time, each can be managed separately depending on your own requirements. Let’s break each one down for you.
Task management is the method by which marketers structure and prioritise tasks to achieve greater expediency and productivity. Think about it like setting out a checklist of things to do, with a focus on assigning and tracking tasks to ensure that deadlines are met.
While task management can oversee both short-term and longer-term projects, as a standalone tact it’s usually implemented by smaller marketing teams that don’t have multiple, complex projects on the go. Task management software then is perfect for managing simple projects, as it enables users to identify, schedule and track tasks with basic communication tools.
Processes are created to enhance workflow that is repetitive. While built around a range of individual tasks, a process maps how these tasks are to be completed. For example, an approval workflow process will outline how artwork is to be briefed, created, approved and finalised. Process management is a way to guide marketing teams to ensure that processes are being followed and work is being produced in an efficient way. Once a process has been created and implemented, there is ongoing tracking, measurement, even tweaking to guarantee the process is getting optimum results.
As processes are generally long-term fixtures in a marketing department, some marketers implement process management software to better structure workflow and administer tasks. If you need to get a process in tip top shape, then this solution is right for you. If your issues are not just process based, then you might need to consider a more comprehensive solution such as project management software.
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Project management is the framework by which people plan and organise one-off projects with the objective to produce a final product or service. Project management should provide visibility over every aspect of your project, from briefing to approvals to final artwork, so quality and timeliness are key. Project management is required for more complex projects that have various stages and roles involved to bring it to fruition. If you’re having problems with transparency, managing project tasks, scheduling and resourcing work, collaborating with stakeholders, and getting approvals over the line, then project management software is the solution you need.
Essentially project management software is required when a marketing department has a range of intricate projects on the go (though it can also help manage smaller, more urgent projects in the mix). While the software has integrated task management and approval workflow features, it enables marketers to manage every aspect of their projects. Other features of project management software include project and approval dashboards, document templates, tiered approval pathways, resource management, online timesheets and marketing asset management.
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