3rd Wave Research Rocks Marketing and IT Consulting by Delivering Better Solutions with Wrike's Help
Marketing Research & Consulting
Organization. 3RD Wave Research (TWR) is a marketing and technology consulting firm that helps clients gain competitive advantages through customer analytics, demographic analysis and customized CRM solutions.
Challenge. Organize the work of a global team in one place with the ability to give clients insight into the project flow.
Solution. Adopted a centralized project management portal that allowed TWR to coordinate its international team effort. Offered high-level status reporting for clients.
Result. Faster customer solutions delivery and improved corporate image thanks to enhanced communications and easier workflow coordination.
Interview with Aaron Anderson, Account Strategy Manager, 3rd Wave Research
Aaron, could you say a few words about your business?
Our company specializes in providing customers with integrated information solutions and conducting various types of marketing research and analysis. For example, recently we helped a major national retailer cut its national direct marketing campaign budget by 85% and generate $13.5 million in revenue by recommending a RFM based market segmentation system. We also help clients gain marketing insight from customer data, analyzing such things as lifetime value, customer segmentation, geographical distributions, ROI reports and demographic gaps.
Why did you need a system like Wrike?
Our staff is distributed across 4 geographic locations and 4 time zones. 3RD Wave Research has offices in Verona, Wisconsin (USA); San Francisco, California (USA); Dubai, UAE; and Chennai, India. Each office handles different aspects of our client services work. We felt that we needed a tool that could help the teams collaborate in real-time, share ideas and issues, as well as allow our clients to get a clear picture of where the project stands at. Without such a system, project efficiency losses would compromise our ability to deliver complex marketing solutions to our clients.
Why did you choose Wrike over other project management software?
When we first sought out a project management solution we tested numerous online services, such as Google Docs, Basecamp, Zoho Projects, Central Desktop, Intuit QuickBase, MS SharePoint and Sales Force. We had several criteria. Our system had to be:
- Easy-to-use with a short learning curve
- Compatible with Microsoft Office products
- Able to let us track tasks of individual employees
- Able to let us manage projects on a high level with the help of Gantt Charts
I came across a review of Wrike in Inc. Magazine which rated Wrike as No. 1 online project management solution. Upon my initial review of the service I realized that it fit our needs in every way.
Tell us, please, how does Wrike help you save your clients up to 85% of their marketing budget?
The duty of my team is to communicate with clients via the phone, email and during visits. As an Account Strategy Manager (ASM) I am responsible for converting this constant flow of communications into manageable tasks that can be passed along to programmers and analysts. Here's where Wrike is irreplaceable.
We create tasks in Wrike by simply by forwarding our email conversations to wrike at wrike.com. We also create additional tasks online and then organize them in a shiny project plan that any member of the team can access on the Web. For us, Wrike is also a client-facing portal that offers automated project status reporting. It allows our clients to create ad hoc data requests right there in our project management system. This is a great cutback of routine operations and a huge step forward in project communications.
What challenges did you have while organizing your project workflow before adopting Wrike? How did Wrike help you overcome them?
As the ASM I literally was receiving 20 or 30 emails per client project and I have about 10 such project per each client. Each email represented an ongoing conversation about a single aspect of our project. If I ever needed to reference a prior email discussion, I needed to dig through my inbox to locate the relevant message. We didn't have a centralized project management system, so each client project required a separate management document, containing all the project data. If a project plan was adjusted we needed to update each document individually. This often caused confusion over different document versions and made us waste hours distinguishing the old version from the new one.
Wrike centralized all these efforts into a single portal that everyone can access. No more digging through emails for us. We now maintain ongoing discussion threads within project specific folders. We don't have to keep track of document version numbers because we have a single project document stock on Wrike. All the distributed team members have the project data at hand, so there's no need to ask and look for it.
Besides that why do you like Wrike? What are your favorite features?
Without a question, it is the ability to jump between task level and Gantt chart (timeline) views. Both the task view and timeline view offer us the ability to change the task's status, start/end dates and priority in seconds. This is an incredible feature that allows everyone on our team to visualize how their tasks integrate into the larger project.
The next best feature is the daily digest! Each morning I have an email delivered to me that contains all the newly created, completed and changed tasks. This saves everyone on our team the time of logging into the system and trying to find out the project's current state. Wrike has done this for us.
In fact, I think it's obvious from Wrike's design that the system engineers all have project management experience. It's seems like they took our feature "wish list" and built a service around it.
Do you plan to extend the use of the Wrike services?
Yes! We're currently using six internal and four client Wrike accounts. There are a couple of clients using the software as a test case. Wrike has raised the level of our client operations visibility, which has increased our productivity and client satisfaction. Because our clients are able to view the project status and work in progress they are able to provide feedback at all project stages. With the daily digest feature we don't have to send out reminders to clients when we need their input. Accordingly, our projects don't get held up because of faulty communication.
Recently, our client that uses Wrike with us was so impressed by the value Wrike brought to our relationship that they're reviewing the service for internal use. I had the opportunity to demo Wrike for the company's CIO. The CIO was blown away by the ease of use, full feature set and, most importantly, the amazing pricing.
Thank you Wrike! You've helped turn our company into project management rock stars!