Restructured Marketing Agency into Specialized Departments and Improved On-Time Project Delivery by 20%

Matt Bitzer

CEO and Co-Owner

Blue Magnet Interactive — located in Chicago, a leading provider of digital marketing services to hotel companies, ranging from small independent hotels to major brands with hundreds of locations. Clients include Embassy Suites Hotels, Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, and Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts.

Their story

As Blue Magnet Interactive grew, they wanted to restructure into specialized departments to optimize results, while increasing their speed of delivery

Previously, one Account Manager managed implementation of all services, but going forward, implementation would be delegated to specific, specialized teams: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media, Marketing, Website Design and Development, Digital Advertising, and Email Marketing. They needed a system to align the Account Manager with implementation teams to ensure nothing would fall through the cracks. "It becomes a lot more difficult when you’re relying on others to get you timely information and quality products that you can then deliver to the client.” — Matt Bitzer, CEO and Co-Owner of Blue Magnet Interactive.

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We know that Wrike has improved the efficiency of operations. Nothing is falling through the cracks.

Matt Bitzer

CEO and Co-Owner of Blue Magnet Interactive

Wrike was selected because it offered the combination of task management functionality and ease of use they were looking for. A core requirement of the system was the ability to quickly enter and update tasks. "Wrike offered the simplicity of being able to assign tasks to someone without having to enter too much unnecessary information," says Bitzer. "Wrike was a good balance of a simple, very intuitive interface, and complexity that made sense — it wasn’t counter-intuitive."

Wrike illustrates the value that we provide to our clients. They get to see every little thing that we put into their campaign. Now, we have a complete and clear list of everything we have done to achieve results for a client.

Matt Bitzer

CEO and Co-Owner of Blue Magnet Interactive

Their victory

Wrike's ability to provide transparency to stakeholders and prioritize tasks helps management report on productivity levels

Better Client Service and Reporting to Clients

Since all clients' work in Wrike is clearly organized and updated constantly by the team, Account Managers can share current status of projects instantly with clients. In the past, this would require manually reviewing files and notes. "Now, the Account Coordinator can go into Wrike using filters, and search on tasks completed within a date range, and share that with the client. This documentation benefits our clients because they can see how all of the pieces of their campaign fit together."

Surfacing Hidden Value to Clients

Much of the work that Blue Magnet Interactive delivers is behind the scenes vs. design-oriented, and can be overlooked by the client. With Wrike, the team can easily report on the impact this work has on a client's campaign results. "Wrike illustrates the value that we provide to our clients. They get to see every little thing that we put into their campaign. Now, we have a complete and clear list of everything we have done to achieve results for a client.”

Ensuring That Every Step is Followed for Projects

Blue Magnet Interactive uses carefully defined templates and task checklists to ensure every step of the process is completed and reported in Wrike. “Being able to create templates has been phenomenal. It’s helped us keep on top of our services. It’s a checklist to make sure all of these tasks have been done. As an owner I can make sure that all of these initiatives have been executed the same way every time.”

Finding Answers Faster & Having Fewer, Smaller Meetings

When people are looped into projects, they can quickly get up to speed by reading through project details in Wrike, instead of requiring a meeting to transfer that knowledge. Bitzer estimates that meeting time has been reduced by approximately 20% across the organization. "With Wrike, because everything is so well categorized by client or department, it makes it easier to reference information from past projects or those in-progress,” says Bitzer. “I don't have to cc everyone, I can tag people in Wrike as I need them. We tend to get bogged down in meetings and Wrike has really cut down on that.”

Easier Involvement of Management to Resolve Issues

One of Bitzer's goals was to increase visibility on key issues and make it easier for teams to loop him in to resolve issues. Using Wrike's @mentioning breaks down barriers and makes the process simple. “That’s a huge benefit. We’ve always told our team: communication is everything," says Bitzer. “If there is a project that I haven't been involved in someone can just tag me. They don’t have to come to my office and spend an hour and a half telling me what happened."

Team Embraces Wrike as a Tool to Help Them Perform Better

Bitzer knew that to ultimately succeed with the restructuring effort, all team members would have to find the system easy to use. In comparison to other software launches, Bitzer found that the team embraced Wrike and saw positive results. “Anytime we introduce a new software to our team, it is met with resistance", says Bitzer. But with Wrike, everybody seemed to really like how it was helping to keep our team more organized. Our team actually welcomed it because it helped them visualize what was on the horizon.”

Employees Are More Effective Planners and Able to Onboard More Projects

Typical projects last up to 12 months and resource planning is needed to account for spikes in delivery across client campaigns. Wrike not only supports Account Managers in this effort, it increases the amount of client projects they can onboard.

Using Wrike also helps to reduce the stress of the team because delivery timing is clear, and work has been balanced across the team ahead of time. "It helps our Account Coordinators sort through what tasks are important today, vs. those that are important 3 months from now. Before there was always a sense of urgency to everything we did. With Wrike it allows them to pace that out and prioritize their tasks,” says Bitzer. “Their time is better spent executing campaigns vs. keeping themselves organized. They can onboard more work because they are aware of what the team is working on.”

Improved Accountability to Clients and Company Transparency

Bitzer wanted to increase accountability of the company to their clients, as well as senior management to their employees. “I can log into Wrike and see what a given Director or team is working on at any given time," says Bitzer. "It has helped to hold everyone more accountable, including myself. I have a responsibility to make sure that our company is growing and to make sure that we’re serving our clients the right way, says Bitzer. "Transparency has been a huge benefit for us.”

Their superpowers

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Templates for Key Processes

Blue Magnet Interactive uses templates to ensure all steps are followed with particular types of projects such as website development and social media campaigns. "We've created a template of items that need to be executed consistently for every client, over a 12-month time frame," says Bitzer.

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Custom Team Workflows

Each Blue Magnet Interactive team has its own workflow per team. Some teams have a linear process, assigned by the Account Manager. In other teams, the departmental manager assigns tasks based on expertise and availability. “The SEO team adds tasks to a department-specific folder; they then assign the task themselves. It works really well for us," says Bitzer. "The Director can also assign tasks to members of her team based on their particular skillset.”

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Flexible Folder Organization

Wrike enables the team to organize content and cross reference it by client, team, and/or project, making it easy to onboard new employees and serve clients quickly. "Organization and categorization, and being able to tag and label things was an important feature for me," says Bitzer. "I needed to be able to organize our clients and work into categories, and group activities within client accounts."

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