How to Choose the Best Marketing Campaign Management Software
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Successful marketing campaigns involve TONS of moving parts. To visualize and manage all those parts, you need the right tool. One that can organize your:
- Project timelines
- Team workloads
- Social media
So which marketing campaign management software is best for you and your team? And how can you convince stakeholders the benefits are worth it? We’ll dig into those questions in this post. You’ll also find out how CoSchedule can organize all of your marketing campaigns in one place.
1. What is Marketing Campaign Management Software?
Marketing campaign management software supports the operational requirements for campaign execution. It helps marketing teams plan and organize everything they need to keep every piece of their campaigns synchronized, so they can effectively plan their work, hit deadlines, and achieve success.
While this definition could certainly cover a wide variety of marketing campaign management tools, this post excludes any tools that aren’t expressly designed for marketing purposes. That includes CRM and customer contact management platforms, along with general office and business software.
2. Six Capabilities Your Marketing Campaign Management Tools Need
What capabilities should your campaign management software include? Working within the definition outlined above, here’s what to look for.
1. Developing Project Timelines
Any given campaign will have several different pieces within it. Mapping them out from beginning to end is vital for understanding how those pieces fit together. The ability to create clear visual timelines for campaigns is essential functionality for whichever tool you choose.
2. Visualizing Work With Kanban Project Management
With the increasing adoption of agile marketing, more teams are opting to use kanban boards to visualize workflows within campaigns. A solution that offers this type of view can help your team commit to and complete the right amount of work. This is especially useful if you’re currently going agile, or considering moving in that direction.
3. Storing Ideas for Future Use
What happens to new ideas for projects that you don’t have the time or resources to pursue right now? They can easily get lost in the shuffle of current projects and pressing deadlines.
A tool that includes a dedicated place to organize and save your ideas for later can be highly valuable, especially within agile teams. It allows you the freedom to revisit those ideas later and pursue them when the time is right.
4. Integrating With Key Marketing Tools and Platforms
Marketing teams often use tons of different tools for their work already.
Switching between tabs multiple times a day can get tiring. Worse, it can result in mistakes and inefficient workflows when various pieces of a campaign exist in different places. For example, your email newsletter is in your email service provider. Social posts are in your social media automation tool. Content is in your CMS.
Unifying your tools with integrations can make managing campaigns exponentially easier by eliminating time-consuming, tedious tool hopping.
5. Automating Workflows + Task Management
Tracking task completion throughout a campaign is essential for managing its progress. Automating your task management and approval workflows streamlines and simplifies your project management process, too.
Having all this functionality in your tool means you’ll be able to know who’s getting what done, and whether they’re on time, effortlessly.
6. Reporting and Analytics on Productivity
Are your campaigns being managed effectively? One way to know is with software that tracks your team’s on-time task completion and ability to hit deadlines. A tool that can automate this as well makes the process much less time-consuming (so you can focus on more important things).
3. How Does CoSchedule Support End-to-End Campaign Management?
And before we dive in, what is CoSchedule?
CoSchedule is a family of agile marketing campaign management tools that empowers marketers to stay focused, deliver more projects on time, and make their teams happy.
The CoSchedule suite includes these organizers that are available independently or all together in one marketing software suite:
- Content Organizer: Plan and publish content marketing campaigns.
- Social Organizer: Create, schedule, publish, and measure social media campaigns.
- Work Organizer: Manage your team’s work across every campaign.
- Asset Organizer: Easily organize, locate, and share all your campaign assets.
- Marketing Calendar: Get global visibility across everything you’re working on.
So how can CoSchedule support your end-to-end campaign management?
1. By Developing Project Timelines
CoSchedule has a feature (fittingly) called Marketing Campaigns, which makes it easy to plan and organize campaigns with visual timelines on your Marketing Calendar:
Here’s a quick look at how it works. Campaigns in CoSchedule start with the Marketing Calendar. Click on the day you’d like work to start on the calendar, and you’ll see an option for Campaign:
Then, give your marketing campaign a title, end date, and maybe even a Color Label:
Click each day on the calendar where you’d like to add the individual projects and pieces that will comprise your campaign.
This can be anything you’re working on (and with WordPress posts, social media content, and email, you can even leverage integrations to schedule that content to publish automatically):
Here’s what the calendar now looks like with some projects added to the campaign. Clicking into the color timeline for the campaign from the calendar will show only the pieces that are a part of this campaign, making it easy to visualize all the work and deadlines required:
Pretty easy. Once you have a plan for your campaign together, getting it visualized and organized in CoSchedule is simple and intuitive.
2. By Visualizing Work With Kanban Project Management
Want to view the progress of your campaigns using kanban boards? You can do that with the Kanban Project Dashboard in CoSchedule. It shows you the status of each project so you know exactly what’s coming up:
3. By Storing Ideas for Future Use
Marketing campaigns start with an idea or a message you need to convey.
And if your marketing department is like most, you have more ideas than you know what to do with. That can make keeping everything organized a challenge.
CoSchedule supports ideation with Idea Board, which functions like a repository for your ideas (or a sprint backlog for agile teams).
4. By Integrating With Key Marketing Tools and Platforms
Automating execution makes campaign management much easier. CoSchedule enables this with key integrations with your favorite workflow, content, email, and social media tools.
Here’s what you can connect:
- Workflow integrations that create a cohesive working process for your whole team (Zapier, Asana, Trello, Wrike, Basecamp)
- Content integrations that allow you to sync and automate your content publishing (WordPress, Google Docs, Evernote)
- Social integrations that schedule your posts to publish at the best times and reshare your top posts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest)
- Email integrations that efficiently coordinate and schedule your email campaigns (MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact)
That makes meeting deadlines easier and frees your team’s time and energy to set it and forget it.
5. By Automating Workflows + Task Management
Within each project, you’ll need to manage the tasks that need to get completed. For example, if someone on the team is writing a blog post promoting your campaign, there are several steps they’ll need to follow.
Here’s a hypothetical list:
- Do keyword research
- Write an outline
- Create a draft
- Review and edit
- Make suggested changes
- Import into CMS
- Schedule to publish
The specifics might vary, but you get the point. Every project your team executes within a campaign can be broken down into its own set of steps in a checklist.
With CoSchedule, you can build those checklists using Tasks and Task Templates. They’re easy to set up, allowing you to add steps, deadlines, and assigned team members for every task:
Plus, you can automate email notifications for team members each time a task is completed or changed. Even with a complex campaign, you’ll stop missing steps, and work will get completed more accurately. That definitely makes management a lot easier, too.
6. By Reporting and Analytics on Productivity
Managing campaigns is all about making sure the work gets done on time. CoSchedule tracks and reports your team’s productivity and output using a pair of reports: Team Performance Reports and Project Reports. Together, they help marketing teams show their work and prove campaigns are being executed effectively.
Use the Team Performance Report to track who’s completing tasks on time (tabulated from the tasks you’ve assigned to each project in your campaigns). Plus, use Project Report to see the current status of all your projects (exportable as .csv or PDF):
4. So…Why Do You Need A Marketing Campaign Management Tool, Anyway?
The simple answer is because you have marketing campaigns to manage, which is tough, and you need some help.
A much better (and slightly more complex) answer is that having the right tools for the right job can lead to dramatically better outcomes. That means buying software that helps you do more, more easily, is actually shown to improve results.
Consider this statistic: organized marketers are 397% more likely to report success.
And how can you most effectively keep your campaigns organized? With a suite of products that are actually designed for that EXACT purpose (instead of retrofitting something else for marketing purposes).
Still not sure if you ACTUALLY need one of these tools? Here’s a handy checklist to help you decide:
- Do you and your team manage multiple marketing projects?
- Do you need one place to plan, schedule, and complete those projects?
- Do you have a goal of meeting more project deadlines?
- Do you want to see what team members are working on–and when?
- Would your team benefit from time-saving automated workflows?
- Do you need a place to organize and save project ideas?
- Do you want to track and optimize your team’s performance?
- Does your team already use these types of tools?
- Workflow (Zapier, Basecamp)
- Email (MailChimp, Constant Contact)
- Content (WordPress, Google Docs)
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter)
Still Need To Get Your Boss On Board?
Need more proof points to help convince your boss or stakeholders that CoSchedule is the tool for you? Build your case for CoSchedule in just a few simple questions and see how much time your team could save.
5. How to Build Your Own Marketing Campaign Planning Process
That’s the 30,000-foot view of how CoSchedule supports campaign management. But, in addition to having the right tools, you need to have the right processes in place to make your campaigns successful. Here’s a brief collection of resources to help with that:
Get Started With CoSchedule
If you’re ready to get organized with CoSchedule, try a demo to see how you can stay focused, deliver more campaigns on time, and make your team happy.
This post was originally published on August 9, 2019. It was updated and republished on January 16, 2020.
January 16, 2020