As a marketer, you might not think of yourself as a project manager. But don’t you have deadlines? Performance metrics? Budgets? Face it, you manage projects. And that’s exactly what project management software can help you do better.
You’ve got to get the creative work out there, whether you work for an agency, an in-house team, or a studio. As you already know, managing workflows, communications, and schedules can be a nightmare. That’s the purpose of a project management solution–to make all that easier.
Your project management performance can be affected by all kinds of factors outside of your control. Internal red tape, miscommunication, and unclear instructions can hamper your process. But what is in your control is making sure you’re using the best project management solution to work within the parameters you’re given on any particular task or campaign.
Project management software allows you to coordinate and consolidate many things you’re probably already doing elsewhere, but in a way that cuts down on inefficiency, allows you to track your efforts and minimizes rework. If you, for example, rely on a mix of spreadsheets, emails, and files spread across various libraries, you might benefit from a project management software that combines all of those into one system.
For marketers, project management software can take care of all the headaches around process, file management, and workflow. These solutions can provide dashboards to show you insightful information you need, without having to create pivot tables in Excel. They can provide an interface for you to show your clients your work, without having to fumble with permissions. They can measure and report your productivity and financials quickly. In essence, project management software makes you more efficient and lean.
Here are some signs you might need project management software:
- You feel overly stressed just sitting down at your desk
- You’re missing deadlines no matter how many hours you’re working
- You have a hard time finding your files, especially ones from past projects you want to reuse
- You’re paying lots of little software-as-a-service fees for various systems that don’t integrate
- You have to copy and paste information between these systems
- You feel too overwhelmed fighting daily fires to focus on big-picture strategies and objectives
Here’s what project management software often provides for marketers:
- Task management: deadline and progress tracking, as well as tools for collaboration
- Time tracking: tools to quote and track the time spent on each project
- Dashboards: views to see how your performance as it related to projects, finances, and return on investment
- Scheduling: calendar interfaces to help you understand who’s doing what and when
- Workflow: digital proofing and approval processes to cut through red tape
- Digital asset management: everything you need to handle files for print, online publication, interactive, and video
If you’ve never used a project management software, it’s difficult to imagine the change that it can bring to the way you work. It can seem like an investment in time to research and select the right project management software, but once you implement it, you won’t believe you ever lived without it. You’ll soon realize the edge it gives you over less organized and automated competitors who will still be fumbling around with spreadsheets and email chains and wondering if they’ll make their deadlines this month.