Marketing Project Management Software: How to Choose and Use the Best Option
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Marketing project management isn’t easy. Projects can turn into team fire drills, and working under disorganized conditions negatively impacts results. Research data bears this out, too:
- Marketers who are organized are 397% more likely to report being successful.
- In addition, marketers who proactively plan projects and campaigns were 356% more likely to report success.
Success requires having the right tools for the job. And with so many marketing project management software tools to choose from, picking the best one for your team is important. We’ll help you choose and use the best option.
1. What is Marketing Project Management Software?
Marketing project management software describes purpose-built tools that help marketing teams manage workflows, plan campaigns, and support effective processes. It supports end-to-end management of workflows and campaigns from planning to execution. It often includes marketing-specific features, such as integrations with other marketing tools.
2. Tool Analysis: Pricing Breakdown And Feature Checklist
What do marketing teams get for what they spend on each tool? Here’s a visual pricing breakdown for each option:
In addition to pricing, how do each of these tools stack up on paper (or rather, on your monitor)? Take a look at this point-for-point comparison table to find out:
3. Top 15 Marketing Project Management Tools, Compared
The CoSchedule Marketing Suite is the only way to organize your marketing in one place. It’s a family of agile marketing products that will help you stay focused, deliver projects on time, and make your team happy. Here’s what it includes:
- Content Organizer: Robust content marketing software
- Social Organizer: Manage all things social from scheduling to measurement
- Work Organizer: Organize your team’s projects and workflows
- Asset Organizer: Digital asset management software for managing all your files
- Marketing Calendar: Get global visibility across everything you’re working on
Wrike is an online project management tool that helps organize teams of 20 or more people. It includes some features that cater toward marketers and others that are ideal for project and product managers. Wrike integrates with CoSchedule using Zapier.
- 3-pane project view provides extra visibility
- Task tool easily tracks work progress
- Activity stream provides team communication
- Analytics help teams monitor results
Trello is a popular Kanban project management tool used by all kinds of different teams. Its simple focus on visual features—boards, cards, and lists—makes it easy to create and manage workflows. Like Wrike, you can sync Trello with CoSchedule using Zapier.
- Boards represent projects that are being worked on
- Cards serve as individual elements of each project
- Lists help teams decipher project progress
Asana is a work management platform made to help many types of teams organize their work. Their mission is to “help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly.” Similar to Wrike and Trello, this tool also syncs with CoSchedule via Zapier.
- Manage team projects with boards
- Keep deadlines on track with Timeline
- Save time with task automation
- See and schedule work in a calendar
- View progress with Portfolios
The last tool on our list that connects with CoSchedule thanks to Zapier (clearly it’s a great integration), Basecamp is a popular long-running player in the team management and communication space. It combines all the elements teams need for total work collaboration.
- Individual projects track work to be done
- Message boards provide space for updates
- To-dos provide assigned tasks to team members
- Automatic check-ins keep everyone in the loop
- Docs & files allow for easy sharing of assets
Brightpod is cloud-based project management and time-tracking software. With a primary focus on creating workflows, it’s mainly used by marketing teams and marketing agencies who need visibility across team projects.
- Projects (“pods”) help teams stay organized
- Milestones, tasks, and files can be added to pods
- Workflows can be pre-built or customized
- Team members can choose their own views
RedBooth is an intuitive tool that focuses primarily on organizing, visualizing, and communicating around task management. It’s made to improve team collaboration and efficiency with straightforward, easy-to-use features.
- Task management includes statuses, tags, and time tracking
- Timeline view allows for easy task dragging and dropping
- Zoom HD video meetings take place inside RedBooth
- Dashboards and reports track project results
FunctionFox is a clean, simple project management platform that works for a wide variety of creative teams. It includes features like task scheduling and reporting, along with online timesheet and billing capabilities.
- Easy monitoring of project time and expenses
- Project estimates ensure teams stay on budget
- Real-time reports provide details about each project
- Advanced gantt charts keep projects on track
Workfront is a robust online work management platform. It provides workflow solutions for multiple types of teams, including marketing teams, agencies, IT teams, product development, and professional services.
- Individual tasks allow for easy tracking of project progress
- Consolidated task views create transparency for teams
- Various permission levels provide custom visibility
- Integrates with a number of different software platforms
Workamajig offers robust task and project management for creative teams and advertising agencies. It’s an ideal solution for teams who need to manage projects, track time, and monitor financing and accounting information.
- Custom dashboards feature views based on user roles
- Time-tracked tasks provide transparency into workflow
- Marketing data can be turned into a sales CRM
- Reports are automatically generated from templates
WorkBook is a project and resource management tool that’s made for agencies. It helps them manage their projects, employees, and budgets with three main modules: CRM Management, Finance & Accounting, and Project Management.
- CRM & Pipeline Monitoring helps manage customer relationships
- Finance & Accounting connects and simplifies all financial data
- Resourcing, Project Management & Collaboration provides one space for all related tasks
LiquidPlanner is a cloud-based platform that help larger teams manage projects and track the progress of their work. It also features added capabilities like checking and managing the availability of staff members.
- Resource Workload Report shows each team member’s progress
- Smart Schedules auto-adjust when changes happen
- Integrations provide the ability to upload files and link documents
- Sharable dashboards allow for easy sharing with stakeholders
monday.com is an online tool and mobile app that allows teams to plan projects, manage workloads, and collaborate. It can be customized for many different types of teams, from customer management and marketing to research & development.
- Convenient templates get projects off the ground quickly
- Trackable tasks provide visibility into statuses and deadlines
- Chart view allows for progress and resource management
- Product integrations include Dropbox, Google Drive, and Trello
Project management platform Mavenlink offers teams the ability to execute projects, plan resources, and report on results. It’s made for services firms who need a more efficient way to manage their projects, teams, finances, and business intelligence.
- Resource management provides visibility into capacity and skills
- Project management shows updated task statuses and progress
- Team collaboration keeps team members and clients in the loop
- Project accounting offers detailed financial control
- Business intelligence provides customizable project reports
Clarizen is a cloud-based work management tool with a focus on providing teams with transparency and collaboration. It helps enterprise businesses manage projects, create automated processes, and solve workflow challenges.
- Easy-to-use, personalized interface helps boost productivity
- Project dashboards encompass workflows from beginning to end
- Automated request processes allow for easy handling of projects
- Pre-built and custom reporting templates can be shared and archived
4. What are the Benefits of Using Marketing Project Management Software?
There are a number of upsides to using purpose-built tools, including:
- Getting organized.
- Publishing more work.
- Hitting all your deadlines.
- Keeping your team happy.
Right now, your team may be using spreadsheets, sticky notes, and generalist apps to manage tasks and store assets. But these tools nearly always lack functionality and connectedness that marketers need, resulting in frustratingly disjointed workflows. CoSchedule calls this phenomenon “makeshift marketing,” and it’s corrosive for productivity and success.
Purpose-built software, designed with marketers in mind, is a more effective option. This category includes general tools with available offerings for marketers, and software that’s made specifically for marketers to do their best work.
How is this Software Used?
Some common applications for these types of marketing project management software include:
Managing Team Members
Cross-functional teams bring together the diverse skill sets needed for modern marketing. But they can also be complex to manage. A good marketing project management tool will allow you to see all their work in one place (and for everyone else on the team to see what their teammates are working on as well).
Planning Projects and Campaigns Around a Calendar
Using a Marketing Calendar to organize projects and campaigns in advance helps busy teams stay on the same page.
It’s frustrating to have work fall through the cracks because it was buried in a bottomless email thread or lost in a chat app. Assigning and managing tasks within your marketing project management software ensures nothing gets forgotten, making it easier for teams to manage their work, track their progress, and be held accountable for hitting deadlines.
Without clear workflows in place, it can be hard to know how work should be completed. This can make project handoffs difficult too, if one team member isn’t sure where they’re needed in that workflow. Workflow automation makes it easy to set up repeatable lists of tasks, with assigned team members and deadlines, to make sure the work is completed correctly every time.
How much work is the team actually getting done? Are all your deadlines being met? Team reporting features can quantify this by tracking how much work gets completed (and whether it’s getting completed on-time) within your software.
5. How To Develop Project Management Workflows With CoSchedule
So how do you, an intrepid marketer, actually get started and use CoSchedule to organize all your marketing projects? Here’s a quick guide to getting the most from the CoSchedule Marketing Suite, fast. If you’re starting a demo, this will be especially helpful for getting a strong sense of what you can do.
1. Setting Up Your Calendar
First, get things set up the way you’d like. This entails getting a handful of things configured the best way for your team:
- Setting up Color Labels. This helps keep the calendar visually organized.
- Creating Custom Project Statuses. This helps everyone understand project phases.
- Selecting Custom Content Types. This helps customize the calendar to support the types of projects you’ll be creating and managing.
- Adding Saved Views. This helps you set up filters so team members can see only the projects they need to access.
- Connecting integrations. This helps you consolidate and connect other tools you’ll need to manage workflows effectively.
Fortunately, getting up and running doesn’t have to take much time at all. Plus, you have plenty of flexibility to customize the calendar exactly the way that works best for you.
First, Color Labels allow you to color-code your calendar in a way that makes it easy to understand what is what at a glance.
Here are some ideas for ways color labels can be used:
- By Team
- By Project Type
- By Business Segment
Next, establish Custom Project Statuses.
Here are some ideas for setting Custom Statuses:
- Content: Draft / Write / Design / Review / Publish / Promote
- Design: Creative Brief / Plan / Design / Review / Publish
- Video: Plan / Storyboard / Script / Shoot / Edit / Review / Publish
Essentially, this allows you to use the exact verbiage your team uses to denote project phases, and have that reflected on your marketing calendar. So, however you usually denote steps in projects with your team, you can build it out in CoSchedule.
Next, add Custom Project Types. Do you have types of projects your team executes frequently? You can set up your calendar to represent those projects visually. You can customize them using tons of different options (or by creating your own):
Next, setting up Saved Views makes sure team members can filter the calendar by the projects they need to see (and without the ones they don’t).
2. Creating Marketing Projects and Campaigns
Adding projects to the Marketing Calendar is easy. To add a project, select a day on the calendar and click the + sign:
Next, select a Project Type (for this example, we’ll choose a MailChimp email):
Then, enter a title for your project and click on “Create MailChimp.”
You’ll now see this screen, where you’ll have the following options:
- Title: Edit the title for your project or content.
- Description: Add a brief description to provide context for your project or content.
- Tags: Tagging can help make content easier to find later.
- Color Label: Add a corresponding color label that makes sense for your project.
- Owner: Who on the team is leading or owning this project?
- Date: For content, this will be a publish date. For campaigns, this will be a start and end date (more on this in a bit).
If you’re creating a marketing campaign with multiple projects that need to be managed, the process is similar.
3. Setting Up Task Templates
The next thing we need in order to manage this project is a Task Template. This is a checklist of tasks that will help keep the workflow organized and make tracking project progress easy.
You can either add one task at a time (with an assignee and a due date):
Or, you can create a list of tasks, save it, and apply it as often as you need:
Here’s an example of the Email Template we’ve created. It has all the tasks, deadlines, and team members we need to write a blog post successfully already applied:
Clicking each task will increase the completion percentage, so we can know how far along this post is toward being finished:
4. Establishing Approval Workflows
Putting consistent review processes into place is essential for ensuring work is completed accurately and on time. With CoSchedule, you can add an approval step to any task. Click into any task on a project, then select an assignee and who needs to approve it:
You can also add simple if-this/then-that logic to determine what happens next once a task is complete:
This makes it easy to automatically change the project’s Status or Color Label once a task is complete. Or, you can automatically send a notification to a specific team member (like a project manager) to let them know it’s done.
5. Managing Tasks With Team Management Dashboard
Once you have a number of projects and tasks assigned, you’ll need one place to manage them all. That’s where the Team Management Dashboard comes in. It takes all the tasks assigned to all your team members and puts them in one place. You can view your team’s tasks in a vertical layout:
6. Measuring Output With Team Performance Reports
How are your team’s project workloads looking? Who’s getting their work done on time, and who isn’t? Who might need more tasks, and who might need some things taken off their plate?
Team Performance Reports can help answer these questions. They provide teams with tons of useful performance and productivity data (which can be delivered via email in attractive reports to whoever on the team needs them):
You can see:
- Tasks completed on time.
- Tasks completed past due.
- Tasks currently overdue.
Plus, you can get a detailed breakdown for each team member:
With this data, you can:
- Know who’s smashing their deadlines.
- Better allocate team resources.
- Show your results and prove your project management processes are effective.
Start Managing Projects With CoSchedule
Ready to see how CoSchedule can help get your team organized and improve your marketing project management? Schedule a demo and see how it works.
This post was originally published on July 12, 2019. It was updated and republished on January 15, 2020.
January 15, 2020