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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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are a number of upsides to using purpose-built tools, including:
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.
Some common applications for these types of marketing project management software include:
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).
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.
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.
First, get things set up the way you’d like. This entails getting a handful of things configured the best way for your team:
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:
Next, establish Custom Project Statuses.
Here are some ideas for setting Custom Statuses:
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).
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:
If you’re creating a marketing campaign with multiple projects that need to be managed, the process is similar.
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:
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.
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:
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:
Plus, you can get a detailed breakdown for each team member:
With this data, you can:
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.
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