Aah, deadlines. As a marketer you'll face a lot of them. Actually, when you manage creative projects, they?re par for the course. Some of them you make, and it?s inevitable that you?ll miss some. Hey, it happens, and most clients understand if you miss one occasionally.
The problem is when you start missing a lot of them. This shows you that there?s a problem in your process. Typically, marketing projects involve several team members who all have to manage deadlines, review and approve content, and manage communication with other team members.
Now, this can be simple if you're working with one or two projects but add a few more projects into the mix and it becomes very complicated, very quickly. When this happens, you'll need to inject some sort of structure into managing your marketing projects so that you'll deliver them on time and within your budget.
With that in mind, let's look at some of the things you can do to manage your marketing projects better.
Things That Are Important To Manage Marketing Projects
To streamline your process and make sure that you deliver marketing projects on time, there are a few important things that you should look at to manage them.
Any effective marketing project management strategy will always rely on a defined workflow. When using one, you?ll have a workflow where every team member knows exactly what to do and when. Your workflow should, for example, define how many steps there are, at what stage of the process do different stakeholders need to give feedback, and what happens after an approval.
Keep in mind, though, that there should be enough steps to ensure high quality results but not too many to delay the creative process. Luckily, you're able to change and tweak your workflow as you go along, but the key is that you have one that breeds consistency in your process.
Now, once you have a defined workflow it will involve a few different processes. You have, for instance, project intake, briefing, feedback, and approval processes.
It's vital that these processes are clear so that everyone on the team knows what's expected of them. You?ll, for instance, need a clear process for getting feedback so that you eliminate conflicting instructions and confusion which ultimately leads to time being wasted, excessive revisions and deadlines being missed.
Likewise, you need a proper project intake process so that all the necessary information is available from the start. This saves you time by not having to follow up with clients for any missing pieces of the puzzle. These are just two examples, but you must make sure that all the process is in your workflow are clear and unambiguous.
A crucial ingredient to managing your marketing projects better is proper communication between all team members. Despite this, stakeholder feedback and approvals are still getting lost among the email clutter and important information is missed in spreadsheets.
Also, a frequent problem is that many stakeholders are still giving feedback via email or marking up artwork by hand which often needs further clarifications or conversations to know exactly what the feedback means.
So, to manage project deadlines better you must put systems in place that make communication more efficient and effective.
When you use spreadsheets to track and manage your marketing projects, it gets complicated to see where each project is in the process. It?s also difficult to see who still has to give feedback, who has to approve, and when.
It's simple, when there?s better visibility over your projects everyone knows what to do, by when, and where every project is in the process. This also improves collaboration and lets you prioritize different tasks based on when their deadlines are.
Using the Right Tools
To implement all these, you probably need the right tool for the job. Let's face it, the days of communicating and collaborating through emails and spreadsheets are long gone.
To be successful in marketing today, you need project management that keeps everyone on the team up to date, with everyone knowing what to do and by when. This is simply impossible when you're still stuck using spreadsheets and emails because it's harder to track information through emails and project information on spreadsheets can differ between different team members because they aren't updated in real-time.
This means everyone's out of sync, which, ultimately, leads to delays and missed deadlines.
How Can Marketing Project Management Software Can Improve Deadline Management
The solution to all the challenges you face while managing marketing projects is to use marketing project management software. This will not only streamline your process and make it more efficient, but you?ll manage marketing deadlines better.
Some of the benefits you?ll gain when you start using marketing project management software are:
? You?ll be able to better track and manage your timelines, deadlines, and every step in your marketing workflow.
? Everyone on the team will be able to better communicate and collaborate without using emails or spreadsheets. This means you're able to manage approvals and feedback in one place so that everyone on the team is on the same page.
? It gives you the ability to have a complete view of every project so that you?ll be able to monitor progress, track processes and eliminate the parts of the process that cause delays. This makes your whole workflow and process far more efficient.
? You?ll be able to manage all your marketing resources in one place which is vital to manage digital projects. So, you?ll be able to store all your relevant content and other assets and this makes it easier for your team to use them and, in the process, you?ll eliminate duplication.
? You'll end up being more organised because you're able to keep track of every task and deliverable in one place.
? When you're organised and your process is efficient, the whole team is more productive. To help you with your productivity these tools often also provide calendars and alerts that give the team a clear view of what has to happen next.
Must Have Features
Okay, so now you're convinced that you need marketing project management software. Is it as easy as just going online, finding the first best product, and signing up? Not so fast, there are certain vital features that a project management system should have to make your marketing project management as efficient and productive as possible. And not all solutions are equal - be sure to do your research.
Online Project Briefs
With this feature you?ll be able to formalize your project intake process and receive requests for projects in one central location. It lets you create a request form or project briefing template that will record the necessary information.
This means the right people get the information they want when they need it and it also eliminates follow-up emails to get further information that was not obtained during the briefing stage.
Approval templates lets you use customized approval pathways for your marketing projects. These pathways then ensure that artwork is consistently sent to the right people at the right time.
When this happens, you eliminate delays and the need to send out more emails to follow up if the artwork reached the right person at the right time.
Online proofing tools give you a range of options for reviewing work clearly, efficiently, and on time. With it team members can easily annotate work on-screen without having to scan through handwritten changes, and their feedback is always available for everyone on the team to see.
In this way, you eliminate conflicting and duplicate feedback, while version controls help you to see if the feedback was incorporated into the final product. This, ultimately, streamlines your process and saves you time.
Resource Allocation and Task Management
With a resource allocation tool, you're able to utilize your resources to their full capacity with a real-time department dashboard that aligns with your team's workday.
With it you're able to plan and maximize your work capacity effectively by creating, assigning, and reassigning tasks to optimize your available resources and deliver projects faster and more efficiently.
A marketing calendar feature allows you to view your projects under a weekly, monthly, two monthly, or three-monthly calendar view. It's as simple as creating a project, filling in the key dates, and the system then will automatically mark the important dates on the calendar.
This gives you more visibility over your projects, allows you to keep track of milestones and deadlines in one place, and lets you prioritize better.
The Bottom Line
If you want to make more deadlines more often, it's vital that you use marketing project management software. More importantly, though, is that you use software with the right features to make your marketing project management process efficient, streamlined, and productive.
If you need to know more about admation and what it can do for your marketing project management, visit our website, or contact us today for a demo.