Articles & Resources for Marketing Leaders | Wrike Blog
Please enter your email
Server error. We're really sorry. Wait a few minutes and try again.

Marketing Leaders

Please enter your email
Server error. We're really sorry. Wait a few minutes and try again.
The Three R’s of Work Management: A Blueprint for Marketing Efficiency
Marketing 5 min read

The Three R’s of Work Management: A Blueprint for Marketing Efficiency

Wrike’s Industry Principal for Marketing, Shannon Riley, shares his tips on receiving, resourcing, and reviewing work.

Understanding Competitive Advantage in the Business Landscape
Project Management 10 min read

Understanding Competitive Advantage in the Business Landscape

In the highly competitive business landscape, organizations are constantly striving to gain an edge over their rivals. This is where the concept of competitive advantage comes into play. It is crucial for businesses to understand and harness competitive advantage in order to thrive in their respective markets. Defining Competitive Advantage Competitive advantage can be defined as the unique attributes or strategies that set a company apart from its competitors and enable it to outperform them consistently. It is the key factor that allows a business to attract and retain customers, achieve higher profitability, and ultimately, establish a strong market position. In today's highly competitive business landscape, having a competitive advantage is essential for long-term success. Companies that fail to differentiate themselves from their competitors often struggle to survive in the market. Therefore, understanding and leveraging competitive advantage is crucial for organizations seeking sustainable growth and profitability. Key Elements of Competitive Advantage There are several key elements that contribute to a company's competitive advantage: Innovation: Developing cutting-edge products, processes, or services allows for a distinct advantage in the market. Companies that continuously invest in research and development and stay ahead of industry trends are more likely to create innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of their customers. Brand Image: A strong and well-known brand image can be a powerful competitive advantage, as it helps build customer trust and loyalty. Organizations with a positive brand reputation are often preferred by consumers, even if their products or services are priced higher than those of their competitors. Quality: Consistently delivering high-quality products or services can differentiate a company from its competitors. Customers value reliability and superior performance, and businesses that prioritize quality control and customer satisfaction can gain a significant competitive edge. Cost Efficiency: Utilizing cost-effective production methods and supply chain management can give an organization a cost advantage over its rivals. By optimizing operational processes and minimizing waste, companies can offer competitive prices while maintaining profitability. The Role of Competitive Advantage in Business Competitive advantage plays a crucial role in shaping the success and longevity of a business. It allows companies to generate higher profits, attract investors, and secure a sustainable customer base. With strong competitive advantage, businesses can weather economic downturns, withstand competitive pressures, and retain their market share. Moreover, competitive advantage enables companies to adapt to changing market conditions and seize new opportunities. By staying ahead of their competitors, businesses can proactively respond to industry trends, customer preferences, and technological advancements. Theories Behind Competitive Advantage Competitive advantage is a crucial concept in the field of business strategy, and several theories have been developed to provide insights into the nature and sources of this advantage. Let's explore two prominent theories that have shaped the way organizations approach competition: Porter's Generic Strategies One of the most widely recognized and influential theories is Michael Porter's Generic Strategies. According to Porter, businesses can achieve competitive advantage through one of three strategies: cost leadership, differentiation, or focus. Cost Leadership: This strategy involves offering products or services at lower prices than competitors. By minimizing costs through efficient operations, economies of scale, or other cost-saving measures, companies can attract price-sensitive customers and gain a competitive edge. For example, large retail chains like Walmart have successfully implemented cost leadership strategies by negotiating favorable deals with suppliers and optimizing their supply chain. Differentiation: This focuses on creating unique and desirable products or services that stand out in the market. By offering distinct features, superior quality, or innovative designs, businesses can command higher prices and build customer loyalty. Apple Inc. is a prime example of a company that has achieved competitive advantage through differentiation, with its sleek and user-friendly products setting it apart from competitors. Focus: This tactic calls for targeting a specific niche market segment and tailoring products or services to meet the unique needs and preferences of that segment. By concentrating resources and efforts on a specific customer group, companies can develop deep expertise and establish strong relationships. For instance, luxury brands like Rolex cater to a niche market of affluent customers who value exclusivity and craftsmanship. Resource-Based View of the Firm Another influential theory is the Resource-Based View of the Firm. This perspective suggests that a company's competitive advantage stems from its tangible and intangible resources, as well as a skilled workforce. Tangible Resources: These include physical assets such as manufacturing facilities, distribution networks, and machinery. They also encompass financial resources, such as capital and access to funding. For example, automobile manufacturers like Toyota leverage their extensive production facilities and global supply chain to achieve economies of scale and cost advantages. Intangible Resources: These are non-physical assets that contribute to a company's competitive advantage and can include intellectual property (e.g., patents, trademarks, and copyrights), which provide legal protection and exclusivity. Organizational capabilities, such as efficient processes, strong brand reputation, and effective management systems, also fall under this category. Companies like Google have leveraged their intellectual property and organizational capabilities to dominate the search engine market. Skilled Workforce: A company's competitive advantage can also be influenced by the knowledge, skills, and expertise of its employees. Having a highly skilled workforce that possesses specialized knowledge or unique capabilities can give a company a significant edge over competitors. For instance, technology companies like Microsoft and Apple invest heavily in attracting and retaining top talent to drive innovation and maintain their competitive positions. Types of Competitive Advantage Competitive advantage can manifest in different forms depending on a company's strategic focus. The two primary types of competitive advantage are cost advantage and differentiation advantage. Cost Advantage A cost advantage involves the ability to produce goods or services at a lower cost than competitors while maintaining acceptable quality. This enables businesses to offer products at lower prices, capturing price-sensitive customers and potentially dominating the market. Achieving a cost advantage often requires operational efficiency, economies of scale, and effective cost control measures. Operational efficiency: This involves streamlining processes, reducing waste, and maximizing productivity. By optimizing their operations, organizations can minimize costs and increase profitability. For example, a manufacturing company may invest in advanced machinery and automation to improve efficiency and reduce labor costs. Economies of scale: When a company produces goods or services in large quantities, it can benefit from lower per-unit costs. This is because fixed costs, such as machinery and equipment, can be spread over a larger production volume. As a result, the cost per unit decreases, allowing the business to offer competitive prices while still making a profit. Effective cost control measures: This means closely monitoring expenses, identifying areas of waste or inefficiency, and implementing strategies to reduce costs. For instance, a retail company may negotiate favorable contracts with suppliers to secure lower prices for inventory, thereby reducing overall costs and maintaining a competitive edge. Differentiation Advantage A differentiation advantage is achieved by offering unique and valued products or services that are not easily replicated by competitors. Differentiation can be achieved through product features, superior customer service, brand reputation, or technological innovation. What's more, a differentiation advantage allows companies to command higher prices, gain brand loyalty, and create a perception of superior value among customers. Product features: By incorporating unique and innovative features into their products, companies can stand out from the competition. For example, a smartphone manufacturer may introduce cutting-edge technology, such as facial recognition or augmented reality capabilities, to differentiate their product and attract tech-savvy consumers. Superior customer service: By providing exceptional service and personalized experiences, businesses can build strong relationships with customers. This not only leads to customer loyalty but also creates a positive brand image. For instance, a luxury hotel chain may offer personalized concierge services and exclusive amenities to differentiate themselves from other hotels and attract high-end clientele. Brand reputation: A strong and positive brand image can differentiate a company from its competitors and attract customers who value the brand's reputation. Businesses with a well-established brand reputation often have a loyal customer base and can charge premium prices. For example, a sportswear company known for its high-quality and durable products may have a strong brand reputation, allowing it to command higher prices compared to its competitors. Technological innovation: By continuously investing in research and development, companies can develop new and innovative products or services that are ahead of the market. This not only differentiates them from competitors but also positions them as industry leaders. For example, a software firm that consistently introduces groundbreaking features and updates to its products can maintain a differentiation advantage and attract customers who seek cutting-edge technology. Building a Competitive Advantage Building a competitive advantage requires a proactive and strategic approach. Two key strategies that businesses can employ to establish a strong competitive advantage are innovation and strategic alliances. Innovation is essential for creating and sustaining a competitive advantage. By investing in research and development, organizations can develop new technologies, products, or processes that differentiate them in the market. Additionally, innovation enables organizations to stay ahead of market trends, address changing customer needs, and continually improve their offerings. Strategic alliances, formed through partnerships, joint ventures, or collaborations, can also contribute to a company's competitive advantage. By joining forces with complementary firms or industry leaders, businesses can leverage each other's strengths, share resources, and access new markets or technologies. Strategic alliances can enhance a company's competitive position by providing access to economies of scale, knowledge transfer, and increased market reach. Sustaining Competitive Advantage While gaining a competitive advantage is crucial, sustaining it over time is equally challenging. Businesses must be vigilant and adapt to changing market dynamics to retain their competitive edge. One challenge in sustaining competitive advantage is the constant threat of imitation. Competitors may attempt to replicate successful strategies or products, diminishing a company's unique position in the market. Additionally, changes in technology, consumer preferences, or industry regulations can undermine a company's competitive advantage if not anticipated and addressed proactively. Strategies for Sustaining Competitive Advantage To sustain competitive advantage, companies need to continuously innovate, invest in research and development, and stay attuned to market trends. They should foster a culture of learning and adaptability, empowering employees to generate fresh ideas and drive continuous improvement. Additionally, businesses can focus on building strong relationships with customers, investing in brand equity, and nurturing strategic partnerships to create barriers to entry for competitors. Understand Competitive Advantage with Wrike Understanding your competitive advantage is key to success in the business landscape. With Wrike, you can easily manage your competitive strategies. Wrike allows you to create individual folders for each competitive initiative, serving as a central hub for all relevant information and updates, fostering a better understanding of your competitive advantage. Beyond just understanding competitive advantage, Wrike offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to streamline your workflows, foster collaboration, and drive productivity. From real-time communication to intuitive task management features, Wrike provides everything you need to understand your competitive advantage in the business landscape. Ready to understand your competitive advantage and drive business success? There's no better time to start than now. Get started with Wrike for free today. Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

Make Marketing Magic at Siemens With Wrike
Marketing 10 min read

Make Marketing Magic at Siemens With Wrike

Wrike CMO Esther Flammer is joined by Virginia Forgiarini and Tony Drews of Siemens, who share their insights on how they tackle the evolving marketing landscape.

Top Operational Efficiency Metrics for Your Business
Project Management 10 min read

Top Operational Efficiency Metrics for Your Business

In today's highly competitive market, businesses need to constantly improve their operations to increase their efficiency and reduce costs. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by tracking operational efficiency metrics. In this article, we'll explain some of the most important operational efficiency metrics that you should be tracking and how you can use them to improve your business operations.   Try Wrike for free Understanding operational efficiency metrics Operational efficiency metrics are critical for any business that wants to optimize its operations and stay competitive. By tracking these metrics, businesses can gain insights into their performance and identify areas that require improvement.  What are operational efficiency metrics? Operational efficiency metrics are quantitative measures that help businesses track their productivity levels, resource utilization, and overall operational effectiveness. These metrics can measure the efficiency of specific processes, tasks, or even entire departments. The two broad categories are as follows: Input metrics measure the resources being invested in a particular process or task, such as time, money, and manpower. Output metrics measure the results of a particular process or task, like quality, quantity, and customer satisfaction. Why are they important for your business? Tracking operational efficiency metrics is essential for businesses that want to stay competitive and profitable because they can help to: Identify inefficiencies: Take corrective action to eliminate inefficiencies. This can help reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve overall performance. Track progress: Setting benchmarks and tracking performance over time keeps you on track to meeting targets. Make data-driven decisions: Making more informed and data-driven decisions will improve your bottom line and increase your overall competitiveness. Key operational efficiency metrics to track In this section, we will explore some key operational efficiency metrics that businesses should track to improve their bottom line.  Employee productivity This metric measures the output of employees in terms of the work they complete in a given time period. To track employee productivity, consider completed tasks, sales revenue generated, or the number of errors made.  By monitoring employee productivity, you can see areas where employees may be struggling and take corrective action, such as providing additional training or resources. Additionally, you can recognize high-performing employees and reward them for their efforts. Asset utilization This metric takes a look at how effectively a company is using its assets, such as equipment, machinery, or vehicles, to generate revenue. To track asset utilization, measure the number of hours an asset is being used or the amount of output generated by that asset.  By monitoring asset utilization, you can recognize underutilized assets and take corrective action, such as selling or leasing them, to improve your bottom line. You can even identify assets that are being overused and may require maintenance or replacement. Inventory turnover This metric measures how many times inventory is sold and replaced over a given time period. To calculate it, divide the cost of goods sold by the average inventory on hand.  By tracking inventory turnover, you can identify slow-moving inventory and take corrective action, such as discounting or liquidating it, to improve your cash flow and profitability. Additionally, you can take note of fast-moving inventory and ensure that you have enough stock on hand to meet customer demand. Order fulfillment cycle time Order fulfillment cycle time is the time it takes to process and deliver an order to a customer. This metric is critical for businesses that prioritize customer satisfaction. To track order fulfillment cycle time, measure the time it takes to process an order, the time it takes to pick and pack the order, and the time it takes to ship and deliver the order.  By monitoring order fulfillment cycle time, you can notice bottlenecks in your order fulfillment process and take corrective action, such as automating certain tasks or investing in faster shipping methods. You can also communicate with customers about expected delivery times and provide updates on the status of their orders. Energy efficiency This metric measures how effectively a company is using energy to power its operations. To track it, measure the amount of energy consumed per unit of output.  By monitoring energy efficiency, you can see areas where you can reduce energy consumption, such as by replacing outdated equipment or adopting energy-saving technologies. Additionally, you can communicate with employees about the importance of energy conservation and encourage them to take actions such as turning off lights and equipment when not in use.   Try Wrike for free Implementing operational efficiency metrics in your business Implementing operational efficiency metrics allows you to identify areas of your business that could benefit from improvements, track progress toward specific goals, and make data-driven decisions to improve operations. Setting goals and benchmarks Set clear goals and benchmarks to determine which metrics to track and ensure that your efforts are aligned with your overall business objectives.  When setting goals, it's important to be specific and realistic. If you want to improve your order fulfillment process, set a goal to reduce the average time it takes to fulfill an order by 20% within the next six months. It's also important to consider how you will measure progress toward your goals. This might involve tracking metrics such as order processing time, inventory turnover, or customer satisfaction ratings. By setting specific targets, you can measure your progress and identify areas where you need to make improvements. Choosing the right tools and software Once you have clear goals and benchmarks in place, the next step is to choose the right tools and software to help you track and analyze your operational efficiency metrics. There are many software tools and platforms available that can help you monitor and analyze your data, ranging from simple spreadsheets to more advanced analytics software. Remember to consider factors such as affordability, ease of use, and compatibility with your existing systems and processes. You may also want to research whether the tool offers features such as automated data collection, real-time reporting, or customizable dashboards. Training your team on metric tracking Even the best tools and software won't be effective if your team doesn't know how to use them. That's why it's important to provide training and support to ensure that your team members are comfortable using the tools and understand how to interpret the data. Emphasize the importance of operational efficiency metrics and how they can be used to improve operations. Keep your employees updated on the latest tools and techniques for tracking and analyzing metrics. Analyzing and interpreting operational efficiency data Operational efficiency is a key factor in the success of any business. It refers to the ability to produce goods or services with the minimum amount of waste, expense, or unnecessary effort. Analyzing operational efficiency data can provide valuable insights into your business operations.  Identifying trends and patterns By looking for patterns in your data, you can identify areas that may require improvement or optimization. For example, if you notice a drop in productivity among a particular team, you may want to investigate whether additional training or resources are needed. Similarly, if you notice a spike in production costs, you may want to determine whether there are inefficiencies in your supply chain. Identifying trends and patterns can also help you anticipate future challenges and take proactive steps to address them. If you notice that your sales tend to drop during the winter months, you may want to plan ahead and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Comparing your metrics to industry standards Comparing your metrics to industry standards allows you to benchmark your performance and identify areas where corrective action may be necessary. Research industry benchmarks for the operational efficiency metrics you're tracking, and compare your own metrics to these benchmarks.  Comparing your metrics to industry standards can also help you identify best practices that you can adopt to improve your operations. If you notice that your competitors are able to produce the same product at a lower cost, you may want to take a look at their manufacturing processes and adopt similar practices. Making data-driven decisions Finally, use the insights gained from your operational efficiency metrics to make data-driven decisions that can improve your business operations. Utilize this data to identify areas where you can optimize your operations, reduce costs, and improve your bottom line. By making data-driven decisions, you can ensure that your business is running at peak efficiency and staying competitive in today's market. If you notice that your production costs are higher than industry standards, you may want to consider switching to a more cost-effective supplier or investing in new technology that can streamline your manufacturing processes. Similarly, if you notice that your sales tend to drop during certain months, you may want to adjust your marketing strategy to target customers during those months. Conclusion Tracking operational efficiency metrics is critical for businesses that want to improve their operations and increase their bottom line. By understanding and implementing key operational metrics, such as employee productivity, asset utilization, inventory turnover, order fulfillment cycle time, and energy efficiency, you can gain valuable insights into your business operations and optimize your resources for maximum efficiency. With the right tools, goals, and training, you can use these metrics to make data-driven decisions that improve your business and keep you ahead of the competition. Leverage top operational efficiency metrics by implementing Wrike's powerful work management features. Try Wrike for free and transform your organization's effectiveness and profitability.   Try Wrike for free   Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

How Enterprise Advertising Professionals Use Project Management Software To Succeed
Marketing 7 min read

How Enterprise Advertising Professionals Use Project Management Software To Succeed

In the advertising industry, project management has become an essential skill for advertising professionals. Advertising campaigns require a team of highly efficient and skilled professionals who leverage available tools to streamline processes, manage budgets, allocate resources, and achieve success within tight deadlines.    Try Wrike for free The Growing Importance of Project Management in Advertising With the increasing complexity of advertising campaigns, it is essential to have a structured approach to managing projects. Project management ensures that all elements of the advertising campaign are effectively managed, creating positive outcomes for clients and their audiences.  The Evolution of the Advertising Industry The advertising industry has come a long way since its inception. From print ads in newspapers to digital advertisements on social media platforms, advertising has transformed into a multi-faceted industry that requires a diverse set of skills and expertise. The rise of technology has also played a significant role in shaping the advertising industry. With the advent of smartphones and the internet, advertising campaigns have become more targeted and personalized, allowing advertisers to reach specific audiences with precision. Advertising campaigns are becoming increasingly sophisticated, involving teams of professionals working on various components such as social media, video production, copywriting, and product design. The demand for high-quality content has also increased, with consumers expecting brands to produce engaging and relevant content that resonates with them.  The Need for Efficient Project Management Solutions Project management software allows teams to collaborate in real time, track progress, and manage resources efficiently. It also provides a centralized location for all project-related information, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. With the help of project management software, advertising professionals can manage their time effectively, meet deadlines, and deliver high-quality campaigns that meet their clients' expectations. Key Features of Project Management Software for Advertising Professionals In this section, we will explore some of the key features of project management software for advertising professionals. Task Management and Collaboration Task management functionality allows teams to assign tasks, set deadlines, and monitor the progress of individual team members in real time. This tool helps to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and that tasks are completed on time. Collaboration features are also essential for advertising teams. They allow team members to share ideas, communicate effectively, and work together to achieve campaign goals. They may also include chat functionality, document sharing, and video conferencing, among others. Time Tracking and Resource Allocation Time tracking lets teams track the time spent on different tasks, monitor resource allocation, and use data to optimize the use of available resources. It also helps advertising teams to establish patterns and work in a more predictable and efficient way. Project management software allows professionals to allocate resources effectively and ensure that everyone has the tools and support they need to do their job. This feature can include resource calendars, workload management, and resource allocation reports. Budgeting and Financial Management Project management tools allow professionals to easily monitor budgets, track expenses, and keep all campaigns within budget. Some top features include budget tracking, expense tracking, and financial reporting. Reporting and Analytics Reporting and analytics functionality provides analytics and reporting functionality, which enables advertising professionals to evaluate the performance of their campaigns, identify areas of improvement, and optimize their processes. These features can include campaign performance reports, ROI analysis, and data visualization tools and assist professionals in delivering high-quality results that meet the expectations of their clients and stakeholders.   Try Wrike for free How Project Management Software Enhances Communication and Collaboration Let’s go over a few of the main ways project management software can help teams communicate better. A Centralized Information Hub Project management software offers a centralized location for team communication, making it easy for team members to communicate and collaborate on specific tasks, projects, and files. This centralized hub ensures that all team members have access to the same information, eliminating the need for multiple communication channels, which can be confusing and time-consuming. Real-time Updates and Notifications In addition to an information hub, project management software provides real-time updates and notifications that help advertising professionals stay informed about their projects and tasks. This feature ensures that teams work collaboratively and all members are kept up to date with the latest developments via email, SMS, or push notifications, depending on the user's preference. Real-time updates and notifications are particularly beneficial for advertising professionals who work remotely. Remote workers can stay connected with their team members and receive updates on their projects, even if they are not physically present in the office. Seamless Integration with Other Tools Most project management tools integrate with other software, such as social media or email marketing tools. This integration allows advertising professionals to combine all of their tools in one place and manage their workflows with ease. With seamless integration, advertising professionals can streamline their workflows and eliminate the need for manual data entry, which can be time-consuming and error-prone. They can also automate their workflows which would reduce the amount of time spent on repetitive tasks. Boosting Creativity and Innovation through Streamlined Processes It is crucial for advertising professionals to find ways to streamline their processes and enhance their creativity and innovation. Here are a few ways to do it: Reduce Administrative Burden Advertising professionals often find themselves bogged down by administrative tasks such as tracking project progress, managing budgets, and communicating with team members. In fact, project management software is specifically designed to reduce this administrative burden. By automating routine tasks and providing real-time updates, project management software helps to unlock the full potential of advertising teams, enhancing their performance and productivity on the more creative tasks. With more time and energy freed up, advertising professionals can dedicate themselves to developing new ideas, exploring innovative approaches, and creating compelling campaigns that capture their audience's attention. Foster a Culture of Continuous Improvement In the fast-paced world of advertising, it is essential to stay on top of industry trends and best practices. Project management software provides regular feedback, allowing advertising professionals to identify areas of improvement and optimize their workflows. Additionally, this feature fosters a culture of continuous improvement, ensuring that teams stay on top of their game even in a highly competitive industry. Encourage Cross-functional Collaboration Advertising campaigns involve a wide range of professionals, from copywriters and designers to marketers and project managers. Project management software promotes cross-functional collaboration, encouraging professionals from different departments to work together and bring diverse ideas and perspectives to the table. Ultimately, this cross-functional collaboration is critical to unlocking new ideas, developing winning advertising campaigns, and staying ahead of the competition.  Conclusion Project management software has become essential for advertising professionals to manage their projects efficiently and effectively. Key features such as task management, budgeting, time tracking, and collaboration help advertising professionals to streamline their processes and deliver high-quality campaigns that meet their clients' requirements. Advertising professionals must embrace project management software to succeed in an industry that is constantly evolving and where competition is fierce. Propel your advertising success with Wrike's advanced project management tools tailored for enterprise professionals. Begin your free trial now and experience a world-class platform that drives results. Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

3 Templates for Performance Improvement Plans
Leadership 10 min read

3 Templates for Performance Improvement Plans

In today’s fast-paced work environment, it is crucial to identify areas where an employee’s performance may need improvement. Employers use performance improvement plans (PIPs) to help employees improve their performance. PIPs need to include a timeline and steps to follow. In this article, we will cover the top three performance improvement plan templates that can effectively boost performance. Empower your organization with Wrike’s high-performing templates, designed for enhancing employee performance. Start a 14-day free trial with Wrike and establish effective performance improvement plans (PIPs) tailored to meet your team’s needs. Try Wrike for free Understanding performance improvement plans Before diving into the templates, it is essential to gain an in-depth understanding of what performance improvement plans are. PIPs are a formal process that employers use to address an employee whose performance is below expectations. The primary purpose of a PIP is to provide a roadmap to these employees, so they can see the changes that must be made in their performance.  The importance of performance improvement plan templates A PIP is not just a tool to corner employees or to justify taking disciplinary action. It is an opportunity to provide a clear roadmap and encouragement to employees to help them strengthen their work. When handled positively, PIPs can enhance productivity and morale in the workplace. Employees with a PIP believe their employer supports their success, motivating them to improve their performance. Key elements of an effective performance improvement plan An effective PIP is characterized by several elements. First, it must be specific and measurable, outlining a clear course of action and time frame. The worker needs to know what is expected of them and how to improve their performance.  Second, it should include support and resources via training or mentorship, as employers can use these to help employees succeed.  Last, an effective PIP must provide regular check-ins to track progress and make adjustments accordingly. The employee and their manager would meet regularly to discuss progress and make any necessary changes to the plan. Overall, an effective PIP can be a valuable tool for both employers and employees. By providing a clear roadmap and support, employers can help employees improve their work and create a more positive work environment. Wrike can help employees achieve their personal development goals Wrike can empower employees to achieve their personal development goals through a performance improvement plan by offering a centralized platform for goal setting and tracking. Wrike allows employees to collaborate with their managers in setting goals and targets. This ensures that their personal growth is in line with company priorities. The platform also helps employees stay on track and get feedback, creating a supportive environment for personal and professional growth. Template 1: Basic performance improvement plan Overview of the basic template The basic performance improvement plan template is a simple strategy for first-time offenders or employees with general performance concerns. It is a useful tool for managers looking to help improve employee performance. This template provides a structured approach, where clear action steps are outlined and assigned to each struggling employee. When to use the basic template The Basic PIP template should be used when the expectations of employees are not being met for the first time. This template is for employees with general performance issues that can be improved with guidelines and better communication. In addition, the basic PIP template is a proactive approach to addressing performance issues before they escalate and become more serious. It’s important to note that the basic PIP template is not suitable for all performance issues. If an employee’s performance issue is more complex or requires significant training or development, a different PIP template may be more appropriate. Tips for implementing the basic template To use the basic PIP template effectively, managers should provide clear guidance and support to employees. This includes breaking down the expectations clearly, providing training tools if required, and sharing feedback when necessary. It is essential to provide routine checkpoints to monitor progress and identify slight tweaks to increase positive outcomes. Managers should also create a supportive environment for employees to boost their performance. This includes providing regular feedback and recognition for progress made. It is important to approach the basic PIP template with a positive and constructive attitude, focusing on betterment rather than punishment. Template 2: Goal-oriented performance improvement plan Overview of the goal-oriented template The goal-oriented PIP template is an effective strategy for addressing specific areas of improvement that can be measured. This template is ideal for managers who want to help their employees achieve their full potential by setting clear and achievable goals. By using this template, managers can provide their employees with a roadmap for success, which can increase their motivation and productivity. Additionally, this template provides a structured approach to addressing performance issues, which can help to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. Excel by setting SMART goals The SMART goal technique is ideal for this strategy, emphasizing that goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Managers and employees can set clear goals that match the company’s objectives and the employee’s career goals. For example, if an employee is struggling with time management, a reasonable SMART goal could be to reduce the time it takes to complete a task by 20% within the next month. The goal sets a specific time and amount for the employee to improve in a task. This makes it easier to track progress and provide feedback. Monitor progress and adjust goals After setting SMART goals, it is essential to monitor progress regularly and adjust goals based on employee feedback. For this template, it is beneficial to schedule short meetings to discuss performance and make adjustments continually. During these meetings, managers can provide feedback on the employee’s progress and offer support and guidance to help them achieve their goals. If the employee is making progress, more challenging goals can be set. If the employee is struggling, the manager can provide additional resources and support to help them overcome the obstacles they are facing. Template 3: Skills development performance improvement plan Overview of the skills development template The skills development PIP template is a great option for employees who display a specific skill set gap that requires improvement. However, it is important to note that this template is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each employee has unique strengths and weaknesses, and it is necessary to tailor the plan to their individual needs. One way to identify skill gaps is through regular performance evaluations. These should be conducted in a supportive manner, with managers providing constructive feedback and guidance for improvement. Also, employees should be encouraged to self-evaluate and identify areas where they feel they could improve. Identify skill gaps and areas for improvement Managers should work with employees to identify areas of development and the necessary skill sets required. Similar to the goals outlined in Template 2, this template also requires setting SMART goals. Breaking tasks into smaller steps helps employees reach goals and feel accomplished. It is also crucial to provide adequate training and support to help employees develop the necessary skills. This may involve providing access to online courses, workshops, or mentoring programs. By investing in employee development, organizations can show they value their employees and are committed to their growth. Create a skills development action plan The skills development PIP has a heavy focus on the development of specific skills. As such, managers must document critical elements such as training modules, the designated trainer, and the expected outcomes. This documentation will confirm that the plan is being followed and that progress is being made toward the goals. It is also important to regularly review the plan and make adjustments as needed. As employees develop new skills, their goals may change, and it is essential to update accordingly.  This template has multiple uses within a company. It can be used to improve communication and teamwork. It can also be used for learning coding and data analysis. By providing employees with the tools and support they need to develop their skills, organizations can enhance their overall performance. Conclusion PIPs are an essential and effective tool for meeting improvement goals for an employee’s performance and productivity in the organization. Choosing the right template that suits the nature of the performance issues can make all the difference. By providing a clear roadmap, setting specific goals, and providing training and ongoing support, employees can excel and grow in their roles.  Take the time to implement PIPs effectively to maintain a positive work culture and invest in the success of employees. By doing so, your organization can create a productive workforce with a successful team that knows how to go about achieving the company’s goals. Boost your team’s performance even further by creating effective performance improvement plan templates in Wrike. Start your free trial today and leverage powerful tools to foster a performance-driven culture. Try Wrike for free Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality. 

4 Easy Ways To Improve Marketing Team Efficiency
Productivity 7 min read

4 Easy Ways To Improve Marketing Team Efficiency

As a marketer, you know that efficiency is key to achieving success. Your team’s productivity and ability to collaborate effectively can make all the difference in whether or not you meet your marketing goals. Fortunately, there are several ways you can improve your team’s efficiency to help maximize output and ultimately drive greater results — let’s take a closer look at our top four ways.    Try Wrike for free 1. Streamline Communication Channels Effective communication is essential for any team, but it can be a major challenge for marketers who work remotely or in different time zones. By streamlining communication channels, you can make sure everyone is on the same page and reduce the chances of miscommunications that can lead to mistakes and lost time. Here are some ways to do it: Implement a Centralized Communication Platform Using a communication platform like Slack or Microsoft Teams can bring all of your team members into one place for easy and efficient communication. Communicate with one another in real-time, ask questions, share files, and collaborate on projects all in one place. You can create different channels for different projects or topics, so team members can easily find the information they need quickly without having to search through endless email threads or chat logs. You can also integrate other tools and apps into your communication platform, such as project management software or video conferencing tools, to further streamline your team's workflow. Encourage Open and Transparent Discussions Encouraging open and transparent discussions can help build trust and a sense of shared purpose among your team. Employees should feel free to share their opinions, concerns, and feedback without fear of retaliation or judgment. This can lead to more creative thinking and, ultimately, better results. Schedule regular team meetings or brainstorming sessions where everyone can contribute their ideas and thoughts. Also, set up a feedback system where team members can provide constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. Remember, communication is a two-way street, so it's important to actively listen to your team members and value their input. Set Clear Expectations and Deadlines Make sure everyone on the team knows what they are responsible for and when their deliverables are due. It is important for each team member to understand what is expected of them and how their deliverables contribute to the overall team’s goals. When everyone is on the same page and knows what they need to do, your team is better able to complete projects on time and meet deadlines. Make sure to communicate any changes or updates to the project timeline or expectations as soon as possible to avoid any confusion or delays. 2. Utilize Project Management Tools A project management tool can be a game changer when it comes to managing your team's tasks and monitoring progress. It can help you stay organized, keep track of deadlines, and ensure that everyone is on the same page. However, not all project management tools are created equal, and it's important to choose the right one for your team's specific needs. Choose the Right Tool for Your Team Some popular options include Trello, Asana, and Wrike, but there are many others to choose from as well. When selecting a tool, consider the features that are most important to your team. Do you need a platform that allows you to assign tasks, monitor progress, and communicate with team members in one place? Or do you need a tool that offers more advanced features, such as time tracking or resource allocation? Remember to choose something that fits your team's specific needs. Establish a Consistent Workflow Establish a consistent workflow so that everyone knows what they need to do, when they need to do it, and who else might be impacted by their work. A consistent workflow can also confirm that tasks are completed in the correct order and that everyone is working toward the same goal. Imagine that you're working on a web development project. Your workflow might include tasks such as designing wireframes, developing the front-end code, and testing the website for bugs. By organizing these tasks into a clear workflow, you can ensure that everyone on your team knows what they need to do and when they need to do it. Monitor Progress and Adjust as Needed By tracking tasks and deadlines, you can identify potential roadblocks and areas where your team can work more efficiently. Use the data provided by your project management tool to analyze work patterns. If you notice that certain team members are consistently falling behind on their tasks, reassign some tasks or provide additional support. Alternatively, if you see that certain tasks are taking longer than expected, adjust your workflow or allocate more resources to those tasks.   Try Wrike for free 3. Foster a Collaborative Environment The success of marketing programs often relies on collaboration and teamwork.  Encourage Cross-Functional Collaboration Involve team members outside of the marketing department in your projects. Encourage your employees to consider perspectives outside of their own expertise to promote creative thinking and problem solving. This also allows teams to learn from each other's experience. If you’re working on a campaign for a new product launch, include members from product development, sales, and customer service. Each team member can offer unique insights and ideas to bolster the campaign’s effectiveness. Provide Opportunities for Skill Sharing Enable team members to share their knowledge, techniques, and skills with one another via training sessions, attending conferences, or sharing articles and other relevant resources. By doing so, the entire team can benefit from shared knowledge and skills. You could even set up a mentorship program. Pair up team members with different skill sets and encourage them to work together on projects. This helps to develop skills and promotes collaboration and teamwork. Celebrate Team Successes Recognize and celebrate your team’s successes. This means things like bonuses, company-wide announcements, and team lunches. Celebrating wins, both big and small, keeps the morale high, enforces team bonds, and promotes repeat success. Consider creating a “Wall of Fame” in the office as well. This can be a physical or digital display that showcases the team’s achievements. By having photos, awards, and other memorabilia that highlight the team’s accomplishments available for viewing, your employees will have a daily reminder of what they have achieved and what they have yet to achieve! 4. Prioritize Data-Driven Decision Making By prioritizing data-driven decision making, you can help your team make informed choices based on evidence rather than intuition. This is particularly important in today's fast-paced business environment, where decisions need to be made quickly and accurately.  Implement Analytics Tools Implementing analytics tools is key to making data-driven decisions. These allow you to track website traffic, engagement, and conversions. By analyzing this data, you can identify trends and areas where improvement is needed.  Some popular analytics tools include Google Analytics, Moz, and SEMRush. Google Analytics lets you track how many people are visiting your website, how long they are staying on your site, and which pages they are visiting. This information can help you identify which pages are popular and which pages need improvement. As for Moz and SEMRush, they flag which keywords are driving traffic to your site and which pages are ranking well in search engine results. Set Measurable Goals and KPIs Setting measurable goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) is essential for evaluating progress and success. When setting goals, use the SMART framework — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. If your objective is to increase website traffic, a SMART goal might be to increase traffic by 20% within the next six months. This is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, thereby making it easier to track progress and success. Regularly Review and Analyze Data Regularly reviewing and analyzing data is crucial for making data-driven decisions. You will be able to see the underperforming areas and opportunities for improvement. This allows you to make changes to your campaigns as necessary, redirecting resources to areas of high performance. If you notice that a particular marketing campaign is not performing well, you can analyze the data to identify the problem. Perhaps the messaging is not resonating with your target audience, or the campaign is not being promoted in the relevant channels. By identifying the problem, you can make changes to the campaign to improve performance. Conclusion By streamlining communication, utilizing project management tools, fostering a collaborative environment, and prioritizing data-driven decision making, your marketing team can become more efficient. These four easy steps should adequately equip your team with the tools and techniques they need to drive results, meet deadlines, and achieve all marketing objectives effectively. Amplify your marketing team's efficiency with these seven practical strategies and Wrike's feature-rich project management software. Begin your free trial and transform your marketing campaigns for the better.   Try Wrike for free   Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

Create the Ultimate Event Planning Template
Project Management 10 min read

Create the Ultimate Event Planning Template

Event planning can be a daunting task. Without a proper plan in place, it can quickly become disorganized and overwhelming. An event planning template is a useful tool that can make your planning easier, keep things organized, and save time. This article will talk about the significance of an event planning template. It will explain the important parts of the template and the different formats you can use for your organization. To manage your event planning process more effectively, a comprehensive platform like Wrike can be a great help. Experience firsthand how it seamlessly enhances your event planning by taking advantage of a 14-day free trial of Wrike. Try Wrike for free Understanding the importance of an event planning template You can avoid getting lost in the small details by using an event planning template. The template should outline the various components and tasks involved in planning an event. This will make it easier to anticipate problems, plan contingencies, and stay within budget. You can use the template when planning for various events, such as a small gathering or a large conference. Streamline the planning process One of the biggest advantages of using an event planning template is the ability to streamline the planning process. Break plans into smaller tasks to track progress and ensure everything is on schedule. This makes it easier to delegate tasks more efficiently and avoid misunderstandings and communication breakdowns. If you’re planning a conference, an event planning template can help you identify all the tasks involved. This should include booking a venue, hiring speakers, arranging travel and accommodation, and managing registrations. By dividing tasks into smaller parts, you can be confident that everything will be done on time and within budget. Ensure consistency and organization Consistency and organization are key to a successful event. An event planning template ensures that all aspects of the event follow a structured process. From handling registration to catering to speaker management, each item follows a predefined guideline that can be replicated for future events. This consistency helps ensure a smooth experience for attendees and minimizes disruption. Try Wrike for free Save time and reduce stress Organizing an event from scratch can be intimidating and time-consuming. An event planning template saves time by breaking down all the planning into manageable chunks. Once the template is created, you can reuse it multiple times and make minor adjustments that are tailored to the specifics of each event. This reduces the workload, as well as stress levels in the long run. Because you don’t need to start over every time you plan an event, you can focus on other important things, such as marketing and promotion. Identifying the key components of an event planning template An event planning template should cover all aspects of event planning and include the following essential components: Event objectives and goals What are you trying to achieve with this event? Identifying the main objectives and goals will help shape the direction of the event and prioritize tasks. Ensure this section is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART)! If you are planning a charity event, your objective might be to raise a specific amount of money for a particular cause. You can break down the goal into smaller, more achievable targets to track progress. Alternatively, if it is a corporate event, your goal might be to increase brand awareness and generate leads. You can measure the success of the event by tracking the number of attendees who become leads or the number of social media mentions. Event budget template and financial planning Creating a budget template is vital to prevent overspending as well as underspending. It will assist you in identifying the necessary funds and ways of sourcing them. It can also indicate areas where you might need to cut costs and create savings. When creating a budget, consider all the expenses you might incur, such as venue rental, catering, entertainment, and marketing. Allocate funds to each aspect of the event and leave some room for contingencies. Venue selection and logistics Selecting the ideal venue is crucial. When choosing a venue, consider the location and accessibility for attendees, since it should be easy to find and have ample parking space. Ensure the venue can accommodate the number of attendees you expect and has the necessary amenities, such as restrooms, parking, and catering facilities. Marketing and promotion You must promote the event effectively to attract and retain attendees. This section should outline the marketing channels to use, such as social media, print media, email, and the corresponding marketing materials. Remember to consider the target audience and the most effective channels to reach them. If the event is targeting young professionals, social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter might be more effective than print media. Additionally, creating engaging marketing material such as videos and graphics is an effective strategy to attract attention. Guest list and registration You need to keep track of who is attending the event, who has registered, and who has canceled. A smooth registration process helps track attendee details and gather their information and feedback. Make the registration process as easy to use as possible and provide all the necessary information, such as the event date, time, and location. You could even collect feedback from attendees to improve future events. Entertainment and activities Attendees expect to be entertained and participate in engaging activities. This section should outline the entertainment and activities that have been planned and how they will be coordinated. Consider planning activities that are engaging and relevant to the event’s theme. They should be well coordinated and have enough staff to manage them. Timeline and schedule A clear timeline will hold everybody involved accountable when it comes to meeting deadlines. Your schedule should be as detailed as possible, with an outline of each task and an estimated completion time. Try to make the timeline as realistic as possible and provide enough time for each task. Also, don’t forget to communicate the timeline and schedule to all involved parties to avoid confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page. Choosing the right format for your event planning template There are different formats you can use to create an event planning template, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Spreadsheet templates A spreadsheet template can be a useful tool for event planning because it allows you to capture all the information in one place. You can create columns for different categories, such as the event date, location, budget, vendors, and attendees. By using formulas, you can easily calculate costs and create a budget tailored to your needs. You can also track RSVPs and create a guest list.  However, spreadsheets can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with them, and they may not be visually appealing. Project management software Project management software like Wrike can help manage tasks and deadlines and track progress. It’s easy to collaborate in real time using software like this, making it ideal if you’re working with a dispersed team. You can create boards for different categories and even assign tasks to team members and set deadlines. To give you a quick peek into Wrike’s capabilities, here’s a screenshot demonstrating its ability to manage tasks and track progress.  Try Wrike for free Customized event planners You can also create your own customized event planning tools using platforms like Canva or Adobe — perfect for creating a visually appealing template that you can customize to match your event’s theme. Create an attractive template with pictures, colors, and graphics, then customize it to include all the important details.   However, creating a customized event planning tool can be time-consuming, and it may require design skills that you may not have. No matter which format you choose, the most important thing is to have a plan in place. By using an event planning template, you can stay organized, save time, and reduce stress. You’ll be able to focus on the creative aspects of planning your event, such as choosing the perfect venue, décor, and menu, knowing that all the logistical details are taken care of. Conclusion An event planning template is a must-have to ensure the success of your event. It helps streamline the planning process, maintains consistency and organization, saves time, and reduces stress. Identifying the key components of an event planning template and choosing the right format are also essential. Even though creating a template may seem daunting, it is well worth the effort. You will have the confidence and ability to run a smooth, successful event and create future efficiencies. So, get to it and create a template today! Master your event planning process with an efficient template crafted in Wrike’s customizable workspace. Begin your free trial now and ensure the smooth execution of your events from start to finish. Try Wrike for free Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

Top Priorities for Marketing Success During the 2023 Recession (Part Two)
Marketing 5 min read

Top Priorities for Marketing Success During the 2023 Recession (Part Two)

From anticipating shifts in buying behavior to shifting operational infrastructure, marketers will lead the way in doing more with less in 2023, according to Wrike’s CMO, Esther Flammer.

Top Priorities for Marketing Success During the 2023 Recession (Part One)
Marketing 5 min read

Top Priorities for Marketing Success During the 2023 Recession (Part One)

2022 was certainly a year for the books. Marketers have faced unprecedented challenges following a global pandemic and rapid digitalization, including a switch to hybrid work and transition challenges posed by employee turnover during the Great Resignation. New market trends also necessitated a fundamental shift in the way we work, engage our buyers, and connect with customers.  Turbulence ahead 2023 is shaping up to be just as challenging, but we see an opportunity for growth if planning is done both thoughtfully and creatively now.  A recession is on the way, and it’s looking to be an unavoidable one. We’ve seen hints of it on the horizon as well, with the US Labor Bureau reporting a labor productivity decrease by 4.1% in the second quarter of 2022, while hours worked increased by 2.6%. Wrike’s own research also demonstrates how most marketers are still working in silos, which contributes to mounting stresses and burnout while we juggle multiple tasks, systems, and applications.  As marketers, most of us know what that means — increased internal pressure on ROI and performance, decreased budgets, and changing buyer behavior. However, these incoming challenges are far from insurmountable. Marketers are a resourceful, tenacious kind — and as always, a little planning and foresight can go a long way in meeting new expectations. Here are the five most critical considerations for any marketing teams looking to tackle a challenging 2023 and establish their department as a primary driver of business in the year to come.  Accelerate time to market Do more with less — sound familiar? It'll be a necessity as teams race to beat the competition in a highly competitive market that's more conscious than ever about their budgets and bottom line. A study from McKinsey & Company discovered that being late to the market by six months can potentially cut earnings by up to 33% when compared to an ideal, earlier launch. Don’t fall behind — plan in advance, and execute on time. Stay focused on ROIIt’s not always easy for marketers to demonstrate ROI, but doing so and optimizing it will put you ahead of the curve. With organizations holding teams accountable for every dollar spent, being able to maximize the utility of each cent of spending will not only help your department survive and thrive, but give your campaigns the edge against fierce competition. Execute omni-channel campaignsNew challenges and a recession doesn’t mean you should reduce your marketing footprint – consistent messaging across all available channels, specified for each audience, is still necessary. Companies with omnichannel engagement strategies retain an average 89% of customers compared to just 33% for companies without. Omnichannel strategies are also essential to eliminating silos among different marketing functions — keys to driving productivity and efficiency during a time when they're needed most. Optimize resources Newfound attention on budgets and resources makes optimization key. Time and money management will make or break many marketing departments this year. Three things to focus on to make sure you make it:        - Accurately measure project resource needs through campaign resource planning        - Workload optimization based on team availability, capacity, and strengths        - Clear-cut, no-nonsense budgeting  Keep employees happy Unengaged employees are unproductive employees — this is particularly true for marketers, who happen to be a creative bunch that need the time and space to think big. Employee burnout can contribute to churn and turnover as well, costing companies serious time, resources, and funds needed to replace them and train new employees.  And a bonus tip — establishing a single source of truth is the answer to ensuring visibility and efficiency across your projects and teams. The good news is that most of us already know this. 86% of business leaders made it a top three priority to create a single source of truth for the information and activities ongoing in their business functions.  Opportunity to lead It’s undeniable that 2023 will be a challenging year for many of us, but it's also a huge opportunity for marketing teams to set a precedent and take a more strategic role at the head of the organization.  What will set us apart is our capability to better understand and speak to our customers, especially during a tricky situation like a recession. By nimbly responding to changes in demand and long-term shifts in consumer values and attitudes, and navigating changes within our own business, marketing teams will have an exceptional opportunity to emerge as a north star for their organizations to look up to.  In part two of this blog series, I’ll discuss the marketing trends to watch out for this year. Look out for my top tips to factor into your 2023 planning!

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Automation in 2023 [With Examples]
Project Management 10 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Automation in 2023 [With Examples]

What is digital marketing automation and how can it help marketers reduce their stress and workloads? Our guide to marketing automation tools explains it all.

Top Tips to Nail Your Event Budget Planning
Marketing 7 min read

Top Tips to Nail Your Event Budget Planning

The most important step in any event planning process is to plan an event budget. If you’re an employee involved with event management in any way, estimating costs, allocating funds, and mastering your budget outline is an absolute must.  Let’s dive deeper into budget planning and explore some must-know tools that will make the process both easier and more efficient. We’ll also cover how you can use Wrike to budget for your event with our ready-made event budget template. If you’re not already a Wrike user, you can start a free two-week trial, no credit card required.  Why is event budget planning important? Event budget planning is important because it prevents overspending. Good planning allows the team to measure their progress and identify areas to improve, so they can have the most successful event possible. Budget planning helps event organizers work within their allocated budget without constantly requesting expense approvals. With an event budget, the entire team can keep track of costs related to their event and limit them to a certain amount.  Within event marketing, there are many types of planners who coordinate to plan events and meetings. Some of these are corporate meeting planners, event planners, and third-party planners. Event budget planning will benefit them all.  There are many different levels of budgeting that include full event budgets or subsegments, such as chair rentals. From a general budget for all events to a specific program for each event, it’s critical to keep track of all the predicted purchases associated with each one, so the planners can stay on budget.  The purpose of an event also affects the budget. If the event aims to raise money, then sponsorships can provide a great deal of revenue, which you can account for in your budget. If the goal is to improve brand awareness, then attendee feedback is also an important metric to measuring event success, which may result in additional spending — like conducting a survey. If you use event budget planning, you can ensure that the cost doesn’t exceed the goal, no matter what it is.  Last but not least, budget is also a vital component of event ROI. The budget can be used to determine how much revenue the event should generate or how much money it should cost. Without information about how much you can spend, it will be challenging to approve event plans or connect all of the money, time, and effort spent to any real results.  How to create an event budget Creating a budget can be overwhelming, especially if it involves handling a long list of expenses. But starting with the right template and establishing good event budget management practices can help you execute efficiently and create a higher likelihood of success. Build a strong budget in less time by working through the following steps:  1. Consider your “why” Why are you planning this event? What does this event mean to your client? Before you start planning an event budget, consider your audience so you can understand the resources required to create an event they’ll love. Since the budget will have a direct impact on spending, it needs to be clearly defined based on your goals and the type of event you're producing. 2. Look at related budgets Your past events can help you create a budget for your next event. Look at old budgets or recurring monthly budgets and identify areas of improvement. For example, if you overspent on food during an event, you might want to cut back for the next one.  3. Do your research Examine the average budget for your chosen event type and audience. A budget for a small charity event will likely be more reserved than a budget for a highly anticipated corporate conference or party. Along those same lines, an audience of charitable donors may not be as invested in quality table linen rentals as an audience of industry executives, which will be one budget area you can save on. 4. Define the big picture A good event plan should outline your goals and provide a basic idea of how you'll manage all of your finances. Mapping out all of your major expense categories can help you start estimating. 5. Fill in the blanks This is when you’ll receive quotes, estimates, and pricing for your event budget line items. Get real data directly from the sources in order to accurately lay it all out.  6. Get approval  If someone needs to sign off on the budget, make sure you present the information in a way that will make sense to them. Once it’s approved, you can share it with the team.  Key event planning expenses to consider Venue plus valet, decor, and supplementary lighting Speakers and sound equipment Live music or DJs Staff for both the event and catering Signage, branding, and onsite advertising Drinks, food, and snacks Attendee safety and experience features Marketing and promotion Event technology Transportation to and from the venue Rental furniture Event check-in software Wages and fees associated with vendors How to keep track of your event budget It's important to keep track of your expenses so that you can make adjustments when needed. Doing so can help you identify areas of your budget that are not as bad as they seem. A paid project and budget management tool may be worth the time it takes to manually track it all.  During the event planning process, make a note of all of your event-related accounts to keep track of how much money you spend. Also note which accounts it’s all coming from. This will help you get a better understanding of your cash flow.  Also, group all of your expenses into a few categories so that you can easily identify which ones are costing you the most.  Aside from spending on fixed expenses, make sure to set aside a portion of your income for other unexpected event expenses that may come up. Keep in mind that lowering your fixed event expenses, such as venue rental or insurance, can make a big impact on your budget. Why use Wrike's event planning template to help with event budgeting? Event planners typically use a variety of tools to manage their projects. Some of these include budgeting, task planning, and communication apps. With Wrike’s event planning template, event managers get all three in one.  Wrike’s budgeting feature gives event planners the opportunity to easily organize and monitor their budgets throughout the entire timeline of their event. Here are a few features and budget-related tasks you can manage with Wrike’ event planning budget template: 1. Event calendar Sync all your company events to one shared calendar. With this master calendar, you can select filters to view event tasks for a specific team or department, such as Marketing, for example. 2. Request forms Forget chasing down stakeholders for event details and instead consolidate all requests in one place. With Wrike request forms, you can capture all the necessary details to start working on your event and assign out action items to the appropriate teammate immediately. What’s more is that our request form can be shared with external stakeholders and used as an event brief. 3. Gantt Chart view Monitor your overall event timeline with our interactive Gantt chart view. Here, you can add milestones and due dates to keep your event on track. Should dates and deadlines change, you can easily drag and drop tasks and the dynamic timeline automatically adjusts all related work items and shares the updates with stakeholders.  4. Event asset requests and vendors dashboard ​​Tired of losing file versions or misplacing vendor contact details? Bring your creative asset requests and vendors together to access the event info you need in one click. 5. Event management dashboard In addition to asset requests and vendors, our event planning template also gives you access to a dashboard where you can track task statuses — including Not Started, Overdue, High Priority, and Unassigned — to ensure you hit your event deadlines. Think of it like a bird’s eye view look at all the tasks and their current state. 6. Custom Item Types Not all projects are created equal, and events have their own unique terminology, so it makes sense to label the work accordingly. With Wrike Custom Item Types, you can manage your unique requirements with event terms you’re familiar with, such as Vendors, Assets, Brochures, and Booth Graphics. Use the Wrike event management template for your next project Event planning and budgeting is a complex process that requires a high level of planning and organization expertise. This template simplifies the work of event managers by providing a complete event management system that works seamlessly across various platforms. Not only that, Wrike's event planning template also streamlines budget-related tasks that hold teams accountable for managing expenses at every stage of the event. Master your next event budget planning session by starting a Wrike free trial today.