This report is the second in a two-part series on the most requested project management (PM) tools by marketing companies. We discussed four PM tools and their benefits for small to midsize businesses (SMBs) in the first installment.
In this report, we focus on the remaining four marketing project management tools and elaborate on their use cases and benefits.
Quick recap: The above chart represents the most requested project management (PM) tools by marketing departments that consulted us in 2017. This report looks at the last four tools and their importance to SMBs.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
1. Task Management
Core Use Case: Marketing teams are diverse: you have event marketers, social media marketers, product marketers, market researchers etc. What they need is a common task management tool that keeps everyone on the same page.
The marketing department of a U.S. based maintenance and repair service company contacted us with the following pain point:
When a business unit of our company wants to log in to view the status of a project, they have to go through the intranet, which is very hard to navigate. Usually, the project manager has to create an email and send it to the people who are requesting the status updates, which is very time-consuming.
Eliminate these time-consuming obstacles by using a PM tool with task management functionality.
SMB Benefits: Task management is an essential feature offered by most project management tools. Let’s look at how it benefits marketing teams:
- Know who’s working on what: Task management tools come with visual dashboards, such as Kanban and Scrum screens, that help different teams quickly know who is assigned what tasks.
- Manage iterations and approvals: Tasks, such as brochure designing or story pitching, often require real-time collaboration with multiple rounds of review and feedback. These tools help teams collaborate on tasks with a simple drag and drop interface.
- Assign and track tasks on mobiles: Marketing teams that are involved in organizing events and trade shows have to manage tasks on the go. With mobile task management tools, such as Procore, teams can create, assign and track tasks using their smartphones.
OUR RECOMMENDATION: While evaluating task management software, it’s important to determine whether the solution has the features you need. This includes creating to-do lists, managing project documents, assigning timelines, setting up task reminders and many more.
Make sure that that the tool you select helps you in the various aspects of task management, specific to your business.
Core Use Case: Project reporting for marketing teams is about allowing different stakeholders to effectively review the progress of projects.
An entourage business development company providing marketing and campaign consulting services reached out to us with a similar requirement:
Software with reporting dashboards delivers this functionality.
SMB Benefits: PM tools offer visual dashboards for tracking key project metrics. Some of the key benefits of such reporting dashboards for marketing teams include the following:
- Improve project visibility: Marketing teams need to share reports with different project stakeholders, including clients. Dashboards help keep everyone updated regarding project details, schedules and progress.
- Understand project risks better: Risk identification is a product of constant scrutiny. Daily status reports keep everyone on the same page and help with understanding risks—such as task interdependencies—to a project.
- Measure project ROI: Marketing teams are constantly using new techniques to grow business revenue. Using project performance reports, teams can identify the ones bringing in the most revenue and double down on them.
OUR RECOMMENDATION: Joel York, CEO of Markodojo, highlights the importance of integration in PM tools for creating marketing-centric reports. A tool that integrates with marketing automation tools or customer relationship management (CRM) software helps marketing managers and other stakeholders access various reports—from website performance to customer conversions—without having to leave the project management tool.
Besides this key capability, there are many functionalities that reporting tools must offer. For a deeper understanding, read our comparison guide of the five best project reporting dashboards.
3. Resource Management
Core Use Case: Resource management is a key requirement for small marketing teams that need to work within tight constraints.
The marketing department of a resort and spa that contacted us wanted to track how project resources were being used:
The solution to simultaneously solve all these problems is resource management functionality.
SMB Benefits: Resource management tools help marketing teams boosts project transparency and drives team efficiency. Here are some key benefits of such tools:
- Plan employee and skills effectively: Using these tools, you can create project workflows that match employee skills and availability. For instance, marketing managers can quickly find out whether a designer is available for an upcoming web design project.
- Track employee time on projects: These tools help you manage a timesheet for employees. A typical use case is tracking time of freelancers. An automatic update is sent to managers as soon as a freelancer logs into the system.
The other is to check if the tool offers you complete visibility and control over different aspects of resource management. Things to look for are visual dashboards that allow you to quickly check work allocation and an easy-to-use, drag and drop interface for making quick changes.
Core Use Case: Budgeting is about tracking expenses and making job costing forecasts.
A U.S. based nonprofit looking to create marketing budgets for their events and conferences called us for a consultation:
Budgeting dashboards make solving this problem easy.
SMB Benefits: Projects that run over the budget was a major issue for SMBs we surveyed, with only 8% finishing projects within the initial budget. Marketing teams are no exception when it comes to exceeding project budgets and that’s the reason they need budget management software. Here are the key benefits of using this tool:
- Prepare project budgets: These tools allow marketing managers to accurately estimate a project budget by analyzing staffing expenses, available funds and team workloads.
- Create invoices and reports: Budget management tools help marketing companies create and send different reports such as employee costing, budget status and more.
OUR RECOMMENDATION: There are many different aspects of budget management. This can include cost estimation, bill creation, tracking expenses and much more. To help you understand the tool, we have created a quick list of the best budget management software.
To get a list of the top budget management tool specific to your marketing needs, you can call us at (844) 680-2046 for a free consultation with a software advisor.
Additional Tools to Explore
This report looks exclusively the use cases of marketing project management tools—and our last report looks at four additional tools. However, at Software Advice we cover many tools that are designed specifically for marketing teams. Here’s are some popular tools:
Marketing analytics software: Analytics tools help you calculate ROI of marketing projects, understand email engagement rates, analyze leads data and much more.
Lead generation tools: These tools help you capture new leads on websites, social networks and other online channels using forms and surveys.