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Best Project Management Software to Streamline Your Workflow in 2022

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Best Project Management Software to Streamline Your Workflow in 2022

Project management is the alpha and omega of your business development. The better you can set up your workflow, the more you’ll succeed at the outcome. But the truth is, unless you’re a solopreneur, the project doesn’t revolve around you only. You’re just one element in a more complex chain that consists of other team members, executives, and clients.

It’s not enough to keep things in order for yourself and call it a day. As a project manager, you must streamline the processes for everyone else on your team.

Are your teammates stuck in the maze of countless tasks, with new stuff showing up every single day? Are they moving in the opposite direction because project updates don’t reach them in time? Is there no decent communication on your team, which causes a lot of misunderstandings and slows down the process? To handle these and other setbacks, you need project management software.

You’ve probably heard the names like Trello, Asana, and Wrike or even used some of these tools. But there’s actually a much wider choice on the market. At the moment, Capterra has 1,375 items in the category of project management software and employee time tracking. And imagine how many other developers haven’t added their products to this business directory yet…

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If you’re open to trying a new tool with its own sophisticated features and flexible pricing plans, you’re in the right place. Check out the best project management software that will help you become a better PM in 2022.

Geekbot

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Geekbot is a go-to tool that enables easy, effective, and transparent collaboration with all of its tricks and turns. The main goal of Geekbot is to automate routine tasks like running standups, conducting surveys, polls, reporting, and everything in between. It takes like a minute to add it to Slack or MS Teams but can save hours every day.

Having to complete a few tasks here and re-do a few more there, you can easily forget about something important on your agenda. That’s why Geekbot lets you set friendly reminders for yourself and your teammates. Due to the support of local time zones, they’ll receive such reminders during working hours, not past midnight.

You never know what’s on your teammate’s mind until it’s too late and they send you a leave notice. Powered by AI algorithms, Geekbot can give you more insights than your intuition does. It analyzes natural language responses to keep you up on everything happening on your project – people’s mood, topics discussed, achievements, blockers, timeframes, anything. For convenience, this information is illustrated on a Team Happiness graph, Sankey diagrams, and Gantt charts.

To track engagement on your team, you can check a participation overview. It reveals who’s involved the most, based on their reporting activity, and who’s procrastinating. The bot also prompts the latter to catch up with the others by submitting their reports.

Float

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Float is a resource management software for taking a people-first approach to project planning. It brings together your team members, projects, and all of their variables like availability, skills tracking, budgets, billable rates, and more, so that you have one single source of truth to plan and assign your work.

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While project management tools are great for organizing and collaborating on tasks, resource management software like Float ensures that you schedule workloads based on your team’s actual capacity.

Float can give you a centralized view of your team’s time so that everyone knows who’s working on what, when, and from where. With real-time project tracking, you’ll get live insights that will help to assign the best person for the job (based on their skill set and capacity), balance shared workloads, monitor utilization rates across your team, and forecast your capacity for future projects and hiring needs.

Plan ahead with project planning features like phases, milestones, and linked tasks. Manage everyone’s availability in one place with work hours, time off, and synced calendar events. Customize workflows that fit your team with flexible permissions to specify who can see, edit, and approve what. Add time tracking to monitor your budget spend (billable hours worked) in real time and to plan your future projects for optimal profitability.

The team at Float provides 24 hour support, with an impressive average response time of under 30 minutes.

Office Timeline Pro+

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Office Timeline Pro+ is the right software for reporting on your project management efforts to teammates, executives, or clients. It is an intuitive PowerPoint add-in that will quickly turn any complicated project data into visually appealing and easy-to-understand timeline slides.

Just import your project or program plan from your favorite PM tool (Microsoft Project, Excel, Smartsheet, or Wrike), and the add-in will automatically transform it into a PowerPoint timeline, roadmap, or multi-level swimlane. Whenever the data in your source file changes, you can refresh your slide at the click of a button to reflect the most relevant progress. To visualize schedules of long-term projects, you can add up to three timescales to a single timeline.

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As for functionality, Office Timeline Pro+ comes with a rich set of features to add, edit, duplicate, or even hide swimlanes and sub-swimlanes. The higher-ups are usually too busy to go through loads of data, so you’ll have an opportunity to show them what matters only. Thanks to a drag-and-drop functionality, it’ll be easy to do all the rearrangements and updates across your projects.

To make sure the look and feel of your slides match your brand identity, the tool provides a bunch of styling options. With their help, you’ll be able to set colors, fonts, and shapes in line with your corporate style.

SwiftEnterprise

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SwiftEnterprise is an Agile project/work management platform based on a visual, multi-board hierarchy of programs and projects. It runs a user-friendly STaRT system to help you handle all your tasks. You can plan, schedule, reschedule, and automate repetitive tasks, making all the necessary updates along the way.

SwiftEnterprise provides timesheets in two views: one for logging time against work items and another for approving or rejecting timesheets submitted. The document management module can take good care of all the data in your workspace. Everyone on your team will have access to the latest versions of your docs and easily manage them with review, sharing, and approval options.

Resource availability reports can help you distribute the workload among your team equally. Due to the integrated database of skills, you’ll identify the right person for a certain task and have realistic expectations of your team in total.

When the workflow starts, a lot of issues usually show up out of the blue. For effective project execution, SwiftEnterprise can let you manage issues and report on their status, due date, and resolution method to other teammates or stakeholders. The same goes for risks. You’ll be able to identify, assess, and mitigate them before they affect your work progress.

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Striven  

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Striven is a cloud-based, all-in-one business management software system that will set you free from the chaos of jumping between many different apps. Its full-featured dashboard can cover all your needs in one place:

  • set a project budget, deadlines, and keypoints;
  • create tasks with detailed descriptions, doc attachments or links;
  • collect e-signatures on important documents
  • categorize tasks with smart labels;
  • manage the task flow with a drag-and-drop functionality;
  • enable alerts for new tasks and those with close deadlines;
  • set private access to some tasks and share permission with pertinent employees only
  • turn emails into tasks automatically

It can be a challenge to organize team meetings, especially if you have remote workers from different parts of the world. Striven’s built-in calendar will help you identify and solve conflicting timeframes to arrange a meeting when everyone is available.

Special focus is put on assessing project profitability. With detailed reports, you’ll be able to analyze what brings profit and how that aligns with the time invested. When it comes to the project showcase, there’s a wide choice of Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and other ways that your project data can be viewed. Besides viewing the entire project, you can also zero in on any specific part by date, task type, or by assigned employee.

Effective collaboration between you and your clients is another strong point of Striven. It lets you share project access with them so that they can keep an eye on the progress and status of every task and assignment. By making your work transparent, the trust your client has placed in your business will increase, and in turn will help leave them more satisfied than ever.

Whenever there’s any kind of status update on a project or task, your clients will be notified to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you aren’t, they can send a change order for you to update project milestones and costs according to their requirements.

Bottom Line

As you can see, each project management software listed here provides its own gimmicks to play with and see how they can help you streamline your processes.

No matter which tool you’re going to try, you’ll have an opportunity to set your workspace in order, improve communication on your team, boost profits, and save a lot of time. With data visualization, you’ll also find it easy-breezy to track each project aspect and never miss a thing.

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With such a wide choice, most likely you’ll find the best project management software for your specific needs. If you know about any other cool tools for PMs, feel free to drop a comment under this post.

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

As we march closer to the 2024 U.S. presidential election, CMOs and marketing leaders need to prepare for a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape. Election years have always posed unique challenges for advertisers, but the growing dominance of digital media has made the impact more profound than ever before.

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that will shape the advertising environment in the coming months and provide actionable insights to help you navigate these turbulent waters.

The Digital Battleground

The rise of cord-cutting and the shift towards digital media consumption have fundamentally altered the advertising landscape in recent years. As traditional TV viewership declines, political campaigns have had to adapt their strategies to reach voters where they are spending their time: on digital platforms.

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According to a recent report by eMarketer, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. is expected to reach 65.1 million by the end of 2023, representing a 6.9% increase from 2022. This trend is projected to continue, with the number of cord-cutters reaching 72.2 million by 2025.

Moreover, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2023 found that 62% of U.S. adults do not have a cable or satellite TV subscription, up from 61% in 2022 and 50% in 2019. This data further underscores the accelerating shift away from traditional TV and towards streaming and digital media platforms.

As these trends continue, political advertisers will have no choice but to follow their audiences to digital channels. In the 2022 midterm elections, digital ad spending by political campaigns reached $1.2 billion, a 50% increase from the 2018 midterms. With the 2024 presidential election on the horizon, this figure is expected to grow exponentially, as campaigns compete for the attention of an increasingly digital-first electorate.

For brands and advertisers, this means that the competition for digital ad space will be fiercer than ever before. As political ad spending continues to migrate to platforms like Meta, YouTube, and connected TV, the cost of advertising will likely surge, making it more challenging for non-political advertisers to reach their target audiences.

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To navigate this complex and constantly evolving landscape, CMOs and their teams will need to be proactive, data-driven, and willing to experiment with new strategies and channels. By staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the changing media consumption habits of their audiences, brands can position themselves for success in the face of the electoral advertising onslaught.

Rising Costs and Limited Inventory

As political advertisers flood the digital market, the cost of advertising is expected to skyrocket. CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) will likely experience a steady climb throughout the year, with significant spikes anticipated in May, as college students come home from school and become more engaged in political conversations, and around major campaign events like presidential debates.

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For media buyers and their teams, this means that the tried-and-true strategies of years past may no longer be sufficient. Brands will need to be nimble, adaptable, and willing to explore new tactics to stay ahead of the game.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Perfect Storm

The challenges of election year advertising will be particularly acute during the critical holiday shopping season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which have historically been goldmines for advertisers, will be more expensive and competitive than ever in 2024, as they coincide with the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

To avoid being drowned out by the political noise, brands will need to start planning their holiday campaigns earlier than usual. Building up audiences and crafting compelling creative assets well in advance will be essential to success, as will a willingness to explore alternative channels and tactics. Relying on cold audiences come Q4 will lead to exceptionally high costs that may be detrimental to many businesses.

Navigating the Chaos

While the challenges of election year advertising can seem daunting, there are steps that media buyers and their teams can take to mitigate the impact and even thrive in this environment. Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind:

Start early and plan for contingencies: Begin planning your Q3 and Q4 campaigns as early as possible, with a focus on building up your target audiences and developing a robust library of creative assets.

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Be sure to build in contingency budgets to account for potential cost increases, and be prepared to pivot your strategy as the landscape evolves.

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Embrace alternative channels: Consider diversifying your media mix to include channels that may be less impacted by political ad spending, such as influencer marketing, podcast advertising, or sponsored content. Investing in owned media channels, like email marketing and mobile apps, can also provide a direct line to your customers without the need to compete for ad space.

Owned channels will be more important than ever. Use cheaper months leading up to the election to build your email lists and existing customer base so that your BF/CM can leverage your owned channels and warm audiences.

Craft compelling, shareable content: In a crowded and noisy advertising environment, creating content that resonates with your target audience will be more important than ever. Focus on developing authentic, engaging content that aligns with your brand values and speaks directly to your customers’ needs and desires.

By tapping into the power of emotional triggers and social proof, you can create content that not only cuts through the clutter but also inspires organic sharing and amplification.

Reflections

The 2024 election year will undoubtedly bring new challenges and complexities to the world of digital advertising. But by staying informed, adaptable, and strategic in your approach, you can navigate this landscape successfully and even find new opportunities for growth and engagement.

As a media buyer or agnecy, your role in steering your brand through these uncharted waters will be critical. By starting your planning early, embracing alternative channels and tactics, and focusing on creating authentic, resonant content, you can not only survive but thrive in the face of election year disruptions.

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So while the road ahead may be uncertain, one thing is clear: the brands that approach this challenge with creativity, agility, and a steadfast commitment to their customers will be the ones that emerge stronger on the other side.


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Tinuiti Marketing Analytics Recognized by Forrester

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Tinuiti Marketing Analytics Recognized by Forrester

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By Tinuiti Team

Rapid Media Mix Modeling and Proprietary Tech Transform Brand Performance

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Tinuiti, the largest independent full-funnel performance marketing agency, has been included in a recent Forrester Research report titled, “The Marketing Analytics Landscape, Q2 2024.” This report comprehensively overviews marketing analytics markets, use cases, and capabilities. B2C marketing leaders can use this research by Principal Analyst Tina Moffett to understand the intersection of marketing analytics capabilities and use cases to determine the vendor or service provider best positioned for their analytics and insights needs. Moffett describes the top marketing analytics markets as advertising agencies, marketing dashboards and business intelligence tools, marketing measurement and optimization platforms and service providers, and media analytics tools.

As an advertising agency, we believe Tinuiti is uniquely positioned to manage advertising campaigns for brands including buying, targeting, and measurement. Our proprietary measurement technology, Bliss Point by Tinuiti, allows us to measure the optimal level of investment to maximize impact and efficiency. According to the Forrester report, “only 30% of B2C marketing decision-makers say their organization uses marketing or media mix modeling (MMM),” so having a partner that knows, embraces, and utilizes MMM is important. As Tina astutely explains, data-driven agencies have amplified their marketing analytics competencies with data science expertise; and proprietary tools; and tailored their marketing analytics techniques based on industry, business, and data challenges. 

Our Rapid Media Mix Modeling sets a new standard in the market with its exceptional speed, precision, and transparency. Our patented tech includes Rapid Media Mix Modeling, Always-on Incrementality, Brand Equity, Creative Insights, and Forecasting – it will get you to your Marketing Bliss Point in each channel, across your entire media mix, and your overall brand performance. 

As a marketing leader you may ask yourself: 

  • How much of our marketing budget should we allocate to driving store traffic versus e-commerce traffic?
  • How should we allocate our budget by channel to generate the most traffic and revenue possible?
  • How many customers did we acquire in a specific region with our media spend?
  • What is the impact of seasonality on our media mix?
  • How should we adjust our budget accordingly?
  • What is the optimal marketing channel mix to maximize brand awareness? 

These are just a few of the questions that Bliss Point by Tinuiti can help you answer.

Learn more about our customer-obsessed, product-enabled, and fully integrated approach and how we’ve helped fuel full-funnel outcomes for the world’s most digital-forward brands like Poppi & Toms.

The Landscape report is available online to Forrester customers or for purchase here

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Ecommerce evolution: Blurring the lines between B2B and B2C

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Ecommerce evolution: Blurring the lines between B2B and B2C

Understanding convergence 

B2B and B2C ecommerce are two distinct models of online selling. B2B ecommerce is between businesses, such as wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers. B2C ecommerce refers to transactions between businesses like retailers and consumer brands, directly to individual shoppers. 

However, in recent years, the boundaries between these two models have started to fade. This is known as the convergence between B2B and B2C ecommerce and how they are becoming more similar and integrated. 

Source: White Paper: The evolution of the B2B Consumer Buyer (ClientPoint, Jan 2024)

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What’s driving this change? 

Ever increasing customer expectations  

Customers today expect the same level of convenience, speed, and personalization in their B2B transactions as they do in their B2C interactions. B2B buyers are increasingly influenced by their B2C experiences. They want research, compare, and purchase products online, seamlessly transitioning between devices and channels.  They also prefer to research and purchase online, using multiple devices and channels.

Forrester, 68% of buyers prefer to research on their own, online . Customers today expect the same level of convenience, speed, and personalization in their B2B transactions as they do in their B2C interactions. B2B buyers are increasingly influenced by their B2C experiences. They want research, compare, and purchase products online, seamlessly transitioning between devices and channels.  They also prefer to research and purchase online, using multiple devices and channels

Technology and omnichannel strategies

Technology enables B2B and B2C ecommerce platforms to offer more features and functionalities, such as mobile optimization, chatbots, AI, and augmented reality. Omnichannel strategies allow B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to provide a seamless and consistent customer experience across different touchpoints, such as websites, social media, email, and physical stores. 

However, with every great leap forward comes its own set of challenges. The convergence of B2B and B2C markets means increased competition.  Businesses now not only have to compete with their traditional rivals, but also with new entrants and disruptors from different sectors. For example, Amazon Business, a B2B ecommerce platform, has become a major threat to many B2B ecommerce businesses, as it offers a wide range of products, low prices, and fast delivery

“Amazon Business has proven that B2B ecommerce can leverage popular B2C-like functionality” argues Joe Albrecht, CEO / Managing Partner, Xngage. . With features like Subscribe-and-Save (auto-replenishment), one-click buying, and curated assortments by job role or work location, they make it easy for B2B buyers to go to their website and never leave. Plus, with exceptional customer service and promotional incentives like Amazon Business Prime Days, they have created a reinforcing loyalty loop.

And yet, according to Barron’s, Amazon Business is only expected to capture 1.5% of the $5.7 Trillion addressable business market by 2025. If other B2B companies can truly become digital-first organizations, they can compete and win in this fragmented space, too.” 

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If other B2B companies can truly become digital-first organizations, they can also compete and win in this fragmented space

Joe Albrecht
CEO/Managing Partner, XNGAGE

Increasing complexity 

Another challenge is the increased complexity and cost of managing a converging ecommerce business. Businesses have to deal with different customer segments, requirements, and expectations, which may require different strategies, processes, and systems. For instance, B2B ecommerce businesses may have to handle more complex transactions, such as bulk orders, contract negotiations, and invoicing, while B2C ecommerce businesses may have to handle more customer service, returns, and loyalty programs. Moreover, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses must invest in technology and infrastructure to support their convergence efforts, which may increase their operational and maintenance costs. 

How to win

Here are a few ways companies can get ahead of the game:

Adopt B2C-like features in B2B platforms

User-friendly design, easy navigation, product reviews, personalization, recommendations, and ratings can help B2B ecommerce businesses to attract and retain more customers, as well as to increase their conversion and retention rates.  

According to McKinsey, ecommerce businesses that offer B2C-like features like personalization can increase their revenues by 15% and reduce their costs by 20%. You can do this through personalization of your website with tools like Product Recommendations that help suggest related products to increase sales. 

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Focus on personalization and customer experience

B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses need to understand their customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors, and tailor their offerings and interactions accordingly. Personalization and customer experience can help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy, as well as to improve their brand reputation and competitive advantage. According to a Salesforce report, 88% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services.

Related: Redefining personalization for B2B commerce

Market based on customer insights

Data and analytics can help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to gain insights into their customers, markets, competitors, and performance, and to optimize their strategies and operations accordingly. Data and analytics can also help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to identify new opportunities, trends, and innovations, and to anticipate and respond to customer needs and expectations. According to McKinsey, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times more likely to retain customers, and 19 times more likely to be profitable. 

What’s next? 

The convergence of B2B and B2C ecommerce is not a temporary phenomenon, but a long-term trend that will continue to shape the future of ecommerce. According to Statista, the global B2B ecommerce market is expected to reach $20.9 trillion by 2027, surpassing the B2C ecommerce market, which is expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2027. Moreover, the report predicts that the convergence of B2B and B2C ecommerce will create new business models, such as B2B2C, B2A (business to anyone), and C2B (consumer to business). 

Therefore, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses need to prepare for the converging ecommerce landscape and take advantage of the opportunities and challenges it presents. Here are some recommendations for B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to navigate the converging landscape: 

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of your customers, competitors, and market, and identify the gaps and opportunities for convergence. 
  • Develop a clear vision and strategy for convergence, and align your goals, objectives, and metrics with it. 
  • Invest in technology and infrastructure that can support your convergence efforts, such as cloud, mobile, AI, and omnichannel platforms. 
  • Implement B2C-like features in your B2B platforms, and vice versa, to enhance your customer experience and satisfaction.
  • Personalize your offerings and interactions with your customers, and provide them with relevant and valuable content and solutions.
  • Leverage data and analytics to optimize your performance and decision making, and to innovate and differentiate your business.
  • Collaborate and partner with other B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses, as well as with other stakeholders, such as suppliers, distributors, and customers, to create value and synergy.
  • Monitor and evaluate your convergence efforts, and adapt and improve them as needed. 

By following these recommendations, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses can bridge the gap between their models and create a more integrated and seamless ecommerce experience for their customers and themselves. 

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