In 2009, Apple released its famous iPhone 3G commercial touting “There’s an app for that.” Whether you want to check snow conditions, see how many calories are in your lunch, or find where you parked the car, there’s an app for that, the commercial says.

No phrase better describes the current marketing landscape. Want to send an email? Run an ad campaign? Chat with your colleague? There’s a tool for that.

This sounds great in theory: A marketing tool for everything you could ever need! It’s a bit different in practice.

Social media management platform Buffer recently released an article titled “The Marketer’s Toolbox: The 60 Marketing Tools We Use at Buffer.” Yes, 60. That’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.

Both managers and line workers cite working across too many systems as the number one reason their teams are unable to execute flawlessly, according to Wrike’s 2018 Operational Excellence Survey Report.

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Important information is isolated, or siloed, when these tools don’t “talk” to each other. Details get lost and work is duplicated. Employees waste valuable time navigating and copying/pasting text across browser tabs in brain-numbing work.

To better organize projects and tasks, many marketing teams consider implementing a work management system. However, work management should never be just another tool your team has to use.

The best work management platforms seamlessly centralize information and simplify your team’s workflow across these existing systems. Here are five tools every marketer should sync with their work management platform to limit marketing silos, minimize switching costs, and streamline workflows.

1. Gmail

Despite the proliferation of social networks and chat apps, email is still top dog for communication. With 1 billion active users worldwide and 53% of the US email market, Gmail continues to gain tens of millions of active users each year.

But digging through threads for the right information, consolidating feedback from multiple stakeholders, and fielding ad-hoc email requests is haphazard and time consuming.

Work management features like dynamic intake forms, real-time @mentions and comments, and proofing and approvals offer marketers a more effective way to handle projects and requests. But with half the world’s population using email, your inbox is still an important and necessary place to be.

Rather than require users to work in two tabs at once, leading work management platforms send automatic email notifications when important task changes or updates occur. Some even provide a Gmail add-on so users can manage tasks inside the work management system without ever leaving their inbox.

In addition to viewing and editing tasks associated to notification emails in Gmail, you can also create tasks from new email threads, attachments and all!

2. Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe’s Creative Suite is arguably the most important of all the solutions in a creative marketer’s tool belt. From Photoshop to Premiere Pro, your team lives in these programs—and every time they navigate away to answer an email, upload a file, or update a spreadsheet, it pulls them out of the creative zone.

About 25% of creatives spend less than two hours a day actually doing creative work, according to an iStock-commissioned survey of 400 creatives across the US and UK. Don’t let this happen to your team!

Choose a work management tool that integrates with Adobe’s Creative Cloud® Suite. This allows creative marketers to view creative briefs, leave comments, upload documents, and more from directly within Photoshop, Premiere Pro, InDesign, and Illustrator. Keeping creatives in the tools they love helps improve their concentration and gets work done faster.

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Real-Life Recap: Seconds spent switching between tabs, exporting files, and completing other administrative tasks add up when you manage up to 400 creative requests each month. The OSF HealthCare creative team was struggling to keep its head above water before they found Wrike’s Adobe Creative Cloud® Extension.

“It’s so nice,” says Heidi Wessler, Graphic Design Coordinator at OSF. “From InDesign, I just go into the Wrike extension, see what changes need to be made, and then upload a new proof until we land on a final version. I no longer have to adjust my PDF settings, export to desktop, start an email, attach the asset, and send it. I just click the add button in Wrike directly from within InDesign and it's out there.”

3. Dropbox (or other file storage tool)

How many times have you searched for a final file...only to find you have five? Few marketing tasks cause as much frustration as file management.

Using a file storage tool like Dropbox is a step in the right direction. But organizing assets and making sure your team can find the latest version is tricky. Distributing assets to stakeholders is another hurdle: First you must locate the right “final” file, then draft a lengthy email describing its use case.

The ability to pull files directly from Dropbox into your work management system saves marketers many headaches. First, it eliminates the need to search through Dropbox for the correct file. Once an asset is attached to a task, it can easily be found by all collaborators.

Second, it minimizes version control issues. The latest files are always displayed front and center. Lastly, it keeps documents in context, allowing marketers to look back through earlier task comments and follow the evolution of a file.

4. Slack

Less than 30 years ago, workers had to take the stairs to ask a colleague a “quick question.” Today, you send them a “ping.”

Slack is one of the most popular chat apps in the tech industry, and users spend an average 10 hours each weekday plugged into the application. Reducing the time and effort it takes to share ideas and get answers is extremely valuable.

But problems arise when project details and requests get lost in a long string of short, unrelated messages. Rather than digging through conversations or racking your brain for missing ideas and requests, choose a platform that uses Slack’s Dialogs feature.

Dialogs can allow users to fill out a short form to create tasks in their work management system from directly within Slack. Some work management solutions also send real-time project notifications directly to Slack, where users can view task previews inside chat windows.

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Real-Life Recap: In two short years, Unbounce’s lean eight-person marketing team tripled in size. To help manage its increasing volume of work and improve communication across the growing team, Unbounce implemented Wrike.

“We love the Slack integration!” says Chelsea Scholz, Marketing Manager of Brand Promotion at Unbounce. “My team is pretty large, and sometimes I'm in meetings all day, so I don't get to be in Wrike as much as I'd like. It’s so convenient for me to quickly open my unread Slack messages and see, ‘Okay, Tania completed this; Rebecca's working on that mood board; there's a brief coming to me in five days.’"

5. Marketo

A single marketing campaign has many moving parts, from ebooks and emails to ads and landing pages. Getting the go-live greenlight depends on more than a few cooks in the kitchen.

Forwarding test emails to key stakeholders and sending out landing page links is a hassle. Navigating back and forth between email chains of revisions and your marketing automation platform is even worse.

What if you could quickly capture and easily share emails, forms, or landing pages with multiple stakeholders at once? It’s possible with the right work management platform!

A simple Chrome extension allows marketers to take a snapshot of any Marketo page and quickly create a task requesting review and approval. All comments and edits are then made and centralized directly within the project management tool.

When you return to the email or landing page in Marketo, the extension reminds you there is a task associated with this page. A simple click takes you directly to the task in the work management platform so you can make any necessary changes.

There’s an Integration for That

Today’s proliferation of marketing tools is a double-edged sword. While using dedicated, state-of-the-art systems gives marketers a competitive edge, more isn’t always better.

Work quality and team productivity suffer when information gets lost and employees spend more time switching tabs than completing tasks. Don’t let your marketing team become a slave to technology!

Choose a work management platform that helps break down marketing silos and works well with the tools your team already uses. Make centralizing information and streamlining workflows a priority and watch your team achieve far more in less time.

Integration with Gmail, Slack, Adobe Creative Suite, and other leading tools is only one of the reasons why marketers choose Wrike. But don’t take our word for it! Download our new ebook and see why marketing teams from companies like Airbnb, Umpqua Bank, and Stitch Fix love Wrike.

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