Marketing teams have it rough.
Endless revisions. Overflowing inboxes. Daily deadlines. Drawn-out meetings. Priorities that shift with the wind. Not to mention coordinating work with other departments, freelancers, and clients. And yet marketers are expected to deliver even more campaigns, faster than ever. Does the process really need to be this complicated?
As many teams have discovered, tapping into proven project management strategies to build a better marketing workflow can make work more manageable — and more effective. Instead of fighting the chaotic marketing machine, build a better workflow and let the process work for you, not against you.
Benefits of Project Management for Marketers
Project managers know that the right approach to managing projects can not only mean better payoff for your hard work, but fewer headaches and less stress along the way. Here’s what marketing teams stand to gain by taking a page from the project management handbook:
- Cut duplicate efforts and lost tasks. When your team has an efficient project and task tracking tool, they know exactly who’s responsible for what, and the status for each task. You’ll never hear “I thought so-and-so was on top of that?” or, “I already did that last week!” again.
- Make work transparent for easy collaboration. Total visibility makes it easy for teammates to help each other out, contribute new ideas, and coordinate their efforts with other departments.
- Lean processes. Take a hard look at your marketing process. Does every single step add real value? If not, cut it and focus on what does.
- Transfer lessons learned. Every project holds takeaways and lessons you can apply to future campaigns. Record and share them in the tool and you'll up your game with every new project.
- Manage multiple projects simultaneously. Project managers have mastered the art of juggling several projects at once, making sure resources are spread evenly across the board, every deadline is on track to be met, and all projects are in a healthy state. Take advantage of PM tools, like the Gantt chart, to manage all your live and upcoming campaigns in one place.
Improve Your Workflow with Project Management Principles
Now that you’re on board with the benefits project management brings to the marketing table, how can you start actually applying those principles?
- Consolidate. Conversations, resources, and status updates should all be in a central location, where they’re easy to find. Everyone stays on the same page since discussions, decisions, and files are all kept where the entire team can see them (or at least know where to locate them).
- Balance your team's workload. When you’ve got all hands on deck working to their highest potential, productivity and efficiency will soar. You shouldn’t have one key team member drowning in deadlines while someone else is twiddling their thumbs. Keep track of everyone's assignments and deadlines, and redistribute tasks as necessary to avoid project bottlenecks and stalling progress.
- Standardize. When you standardize processes, every team within the marketing department can follow a clear approvals procedure and easily align campaign elements around brand identity. And if you've got recurrent tasks, using the same schedules, formats and outlines will save time and cut down on errors.
- Track your time. Knowing how long recurrent tasks took in the past will make it much easier to plan future projects and set accurate deadlines.
- Share. Not only will everyone know what needs to be done and when, but your teamwork will improve by leaps and bounds. When everyone can contribute, you’ll get innovative ideas, faster execution, and become a true high-performance team.
Additional Marketing Workflow Resources:
Learn how Laura Roeder, online marketing strategist and social media expert at LKR Social Media, used collaboration to save time and help her team be more productive. Or find out how Kat Holt, head of marketing at The Huntercombe Group, updated her team’s workflow to make the marketing process more efficient.
Curious about how our own marketing team uses Wrike to build a better workflow? Check out How I Use Online Collaboration Tools to Run a Marketing Team by Tom Treanor, Wrike's very own Director of Content Marketing & Social Media.
You can get your own free trial of Wrike web-based project management software today.