As society has struggled to cope with the COVID pandemic, the past year has brought great change to the way people around the world live and work. For several reasons, these shifts have impacted marketers especially dramatically, heightening the need for marketing work management tools that help them navigate more complex workflows.
But deciding whether your company needs a marketing work management platform calls for the same steps involved in any software adoption, including a comprehensive self-assessment of your organization’s business needs and resources, staffing, management support, and financial resources.
Use the following questions to help you gauge your organization’s need, and readiness for this kind of tool:
Explore capabilities from vendors like Adobe Workfront, Wrike, Airtable, Smartsheet and more in the full MarTech Intelligence Report on marketing work management platforms.
In some cases, it might be worth changing your workflow to take advantage of a tool, but, in others, the need for that change may create more problems than it solves. Ideally, you want to find a tool that can be easily adapted to the way your employees are accustomed to getting tasks accomplished. Doing this will also enable staffers to learn the tool more quickly, as their familiarity with the process will make the tool more intuitive.
The people fulfilling the functions within an organization will typically have their own ways of working to achieve their objectives. Some may use the Pomodoro method to maximize productivity, while others might subscribe to the GTD (Getting Things Done) philosophy. Knowing how your employees work best will help you determine the best tool to adopt.
Marketing work management tools can serve as the foundation of an enterprise’s activities, and some objectives – cross-departmental coordination, for example – are more easily reached if a tool has executive support and is adopted companywide.
Many companies have strong commitments to existing tools like an office suite (Google Workspace or Microsoft Office), a CRM or a creative editing platform. Which integrations are must-haves and which are nice-to-haves?
If you find a tool that works well for you but doesn’t have an out-of-the-box integration that you require, can you dedicate the development resources to creating a connection?
It is vital to train any employees who will be utilizing the platform, ensuring that they are educated on the tool itself as well as what is expected of them when they assign or are assigned a task. If you will be using the tool to engage with outside entities – clients, contractors and the like – you will also need to familiarize them with the platform.
If you’re justifying the investment in a tool by how it achieves the desired results, ensure you have ways to compare the before and after so you know whether you are getting a good ROI. For example, are you experiencing fewer snags in producing deliverables? Do clients ask fewer questions about the status of a campaign because they’re able to obtain the information themselves through the tool?
Just licensing a marketing work management platform won’t instantly get your operations organized. It takes time to customize a tool for your needs, for employees to be trained and become familiar with the platform, and for projects to get off the ground.
Get the daily newsletter digital marketers rely on.
Marketing work management: A snapshot
What it is: Marketing work management platforms help marketing leaders and their teams structure their day-to-day work to meet their goals on deadline and within budget constraints, all while managing resources and facilitating communication and collaboration. Functions may include task assignments, time tracking, budgeting, team communication and file sharing, among others.
Why it’s important today. Work environments have changed drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has heightened the need for work management tools that help marketers navigate these new workflows.
Marketers have been at work developing processes that allow them to work with those outside their own offices since marketing projects—campaigns, websites, white papers, or webinars—frequently involve working with outside sources.
Also, with marketers required to design interfaces, write content, and create engaging visual assets today, more marketers are adopting agile workflow practices, which often have features to support agile practices.
What the tools do. All of these changes have heightened the need for marketing work management software, which optimizes and documents the projects undertaken by digital marketers. They often integrate with other systems like digital asset management platforms and creative suites. But most importantly, these systems improve process clarity, transparency, and accountability, helping marketers keep work on track.