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How work management tools are connecting marketing teams and processes



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Work management tools have become an efficient way for marketers to complete tasks and collaborate with other people. Customizable work management systems give businesses of all sizes the ability to build out the right workflows to match their organization’s needs. And a robust ecosystem of app integrations enables marketers to make sure that work management includes important marketing functions and customer data.

As a result, marketers expect more from these systems and get rid of them if they don’t deliver. Work and project management tools were the fifth most replaced tool in the latest MarTech Replacement Survey. Roughly 17% of businesses in the survey replaced them this year, up from 15% in 2021. And this number climbed to 22% for midsized companies.

From project management to marketer-centric work management

Because marketers execute a wide range of projects that need to cover an increasing number of marketing channels, vendors are creating market-centric systems. Project management and work management tools geared to marketers include Acquia, Smartsheet, Aprimo and Wrike. Adobe’s 2020 acquisition of Workfront also addressed this growing need. joined this group when it launched Monday Marketer earlier this year.

“We noticed that a lot of our users were using for marketing purposes such as project planning, strategic planning, SEO, rebranding campaigns and product launches,” said Galit Avior, a product manager for the company. “Much of the work came down to marketing-related efforts, so why not take that a step further and create an end-to-end system with a nice bow on it?”

Frequently, marketers will first adopt a project management tool for a specific function, a product launch, for instance, or to help manage the creation of content for social media campaigns.

But as soon as that task is completed, it leads to another step, like distributing content on social media and executing the campaign. After that, the team wants to measure and analyze the results. And the campaign metrics and customer data resulting from the campaign are then used to inform the next campaign, and so on.

Therefore, the cyclical nature of marketing work lends itself to an end-to-end work management tool that includes all these functions, and that can adapt and grow to include new tools as an organization’s stack expands.

Integrating DAM, CRM, events and other tools into work management

The company understood that a marketer-focused product would help their customers meet a lot of challenges. “The whole goal is to bridge silos between marketing and creative people throughout the entire company,” said Avior.

Read next: How marketers are leveraging digital channels during the Super Bowl

Monday Marketer allows creatives to post and track new content assets, while also streamlining requests and approvals. These are typical project management capabilities. However, it can also connect to a DAM containing previously used assets. This makes it easier to find and use content for ads and messaging through campaign tools, including email campaigns.

The company found marketers were also using the general OS for events planning. So, the new product lets marketers use assets for promoting events and managing registrations. It also adds registrants to the system’s CRM function.

The campaign tracking tool allows executives and managers to have a high-level view of performance. Having all the workflow in a single place also allows team leaders to identity bottlenecks.

Integrating apps and CDPs into marketing work management

When interviewed customers, they discovered that businesses were using five to eight tools to manage marketing functions, in addition to external ad campaign platforms.

Digital experience company Acquia recently launched an integration between their CDP and workflow automation platform Workato. 

“The CDP informs how experiences are executed over time,” said Alex Dal Canto, senior director of product marketing at Acquia. “Marketers can work quickly to create customer experiences and test the new experience.”

There are over 300 tools connected to the Acquia CDP integration with Workato ranging from platform-specific social media campaign tools, marketing automation platforms like Adobe and Salesforce, email service providers and lookalike modeling tools, according to Dal Canto.

The expanding capabilities of work management tools is a big help for marketers. They help increase communication and efficiency for organizations of all sizes.

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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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How A Non-Marketing Content Approach Produced Award-Winning Results



How A Non-Marketing Content Approach Produced Award-Winning Results

Matt Hartley is not a marketer.

And yet, he is a 2022 B2C Content Marketer of the Year finalist.

Though seemingly incongruous, it’s not. Companies don’t all approach content (or marketing) with the same organizational structure.

Matt leads editorial strategy for TD Bank Group as a senior manager in the corporate and public affairs department. Under his leadership, TD Stories took home top honors for Best Content Marketing Program in Financial Services and earned finalist mentions for Best Content Marketing Launch and Financial Services Publication in the 2022 Content Marketing Awards.

Those results prove that department, title, and reporting structure don’t matter if the content works.

“We tell stories aligned with (the company’s) communication goals. We’re not necessarily looking to sell something. It is about brand building, thought leadership, financial literacy,” Matt explains.

Here’s how a non-marketer finalist for Content Marketer of the Year built an award-winning program.

If the #Content works, details like reporting structure, title, and department don’t matter, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Launching the newsroom

In 2018, Matt joined TD as a content strategist. He was hired partly because of his background in reporting and creating new content products. Matt had worked as a technology reporter at The Globe and Mail and the National Post. He also created the Financial Post Tech Desk, a home for Canadian and international tech news, and was the founding editor of the Post’s arcade video-game news site.

TD leadership had recognized the shifting media landscape. They saw fewer earned media opportunities and turned to Matt to help scale a TD-owned channel called TD Newsroom.

While TD Newsroom aligned with the external communications goals, it ended up with an internal audience – less than 10% of visitors came to the site from outside the bank.

Turning the content program inside out

TD Newsroom’s importance grew when the pandemic hit in 2020, making some forms of traditional customer outreach impossible. No longer just another tool in the communication toolbox, TD Newsroom became pivotal.

“Creating our own content and being able to distribute it became crucially important to us,” Matt says.

The TD Newsroom team focused on creating branded service journalism (content intended to help customers), and traffic to the site increased substantially. Topics such as banking tasks you can carry out online, budgeting for income impacted by COVID, and planning an emergency fund took center stage.

That was the beginning of the TD Newsroom evolution.

“We were rethinking how we did content and where the customer was in their journey,” Matt says. The team also doubled down on data-driven content and refined its content strategy.

In 2021, TD Stories debuted. “It places the customer at the center of the story. It tells stories that resonate with customers and colleagues,” Matt says.

The site’s tagline – “Enriching lives one story at a time” – reflects this mission.

TD Stories organizes content around five pillars (as shown in the site navigation in the screenshot above):

  • Your Money features financial tips and advice.
  • Innovation highlights new technologies to create more personalized banking experiences.
  • Community features stories about TD’s involvement in the communities where it operates and where its employees live.
  • Colleagues tells the stories of employees.
  • Insights features thought leadership from the bank’s executives.

TD Stories places the customer at the center of the story, says @thehartleyTO of @TDnews_Canada, via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Making everything count

“We’re a small but mighty team within corporate affairs. It’s a flat team – everyone brings ideas to the table. It really wouldn’t work if it wasn’t as cohesive as it is,” Matt says.

The digital content team also functions a little like an agency. In corporate affairs, they work with relationship managers for categories such as personal banking, insurance, US banking, etc., as well as product, partnership, and philanthropic managers.

“We work with them to create the stories. We may pitch to them, asking for a subject matter expert to help us tell a story, etc.,” Matt explains. “We could not exist in a vacuum.”

He oversees a digital content team that includes a data-driven strategy role that has been critical in the TD Stories evolution. That added focus has helped the team in its content development.

For example, the bank’s editorial calendar revolves around repeating deadlines and patterns. Deadlines for retirement plan contributions and income tax returns occur during the same period every year. And each spring, more people begin house hunting.

With TD’s digital content team amping up the content measurement strategy, Matt and team can analyze how well those yearly content pieces perform. They also can better understand what people are searching for, so they can refine and improve the next content iterations.

“We can take those moments and make those moments fresh,” Matt explains. “We can ensure the customer gets the best and most accurate information possible.”

The metrics reflect the team’s dedication to excellence. In 2021, traffic to TD Stories grew more than 125% year-over-year. Almost all the traffic (98%) comes from external sources, including 25% from organic Google searches.

Knowing the real goal

“At the end of the day, the content is not the end goal. The goal is to help educate the customer and help them feel more informed and financially confident. When you keep that in mind, the actual structure of a story or every sentence is a means to an end,” Matt says.

Educating the customer is the goal – story and sentence structure are the means to that end, says @thehartleyTO of @TDnews_Canada via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

That’s part of the secret science of brand journalism. As Matt explains: “Take the objectives of the business and marry them with stories that the customers find engaging and useful.”

And that’s an award-winning formula regardless of department name, title, or organizational structure.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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