Have you ever seen the inner workings of a machine? It’s a full set of individual spare parts. All of them are in the exact same place they are meant to be in. Even if one part is misplaced, the machine will not work the way it is expected to. The machine looks glamorous and complete on the outside, but it’s all these nuts and bolts inside that make it useful.
This is a perfect analogy for marketing campaigns according to me. On the face of it, marketing campaigns are glamorous and burst with energy. It is the inner workings of a marketing campaign that really make it what it is. Just like the machine it is the various aspects/teams/individuals involved in a marketing campaign that make it deliver what it is designed for.
Research has proven that any activity that has more than five tasks will be done efficiently with a tool. This applies to marketing campaigns as well. Each marketing campaign has a start and an end date. It is the exact same scenario with any project too. There is a start and end date/time. There are other similarities like objective, line of reporting, costs/budget and human resources. So, all things that apply to project management apply to marketing campaigns too, including project management tools.
There are a lot of project management tools specifically designed to help handle various marketing campaigns. Tools like Asana, Basecamp, Float, Trello, Wrike and so many more are designed just for this purpose. These tools come with features for all aspects of a marketing campaign management; collaboration, ideation, updating on progress, communication and so on. If you as a marketing campaign manager can put these features to optimal use, then you have literally achieved the pinnacle of using project management tools.
All tools have an optimal point of usage. Knowing this and putting this knowledge to use differentiates a successful project from a mediocre project. Here are some important tips to put project management tools to use in running marketing campaigns.
A marketing campaign is a project by itself. There are multiple sub activities in it that are no less than a project. If you are using a tool for project managing your marketing campaign, it helps a great deal to assign the status of project to these sub activities. It will help you monitor the progress on each of these critical projects that have direct bearing on the outcome of the marketing campaign.
Templates are a blessing to humanity when it comes to repetitive and regular tasks. Each project is bound to have a set of such activities. It might seem simple to you to manually put the data needed for such tasks. However, it is impossible to do this and do this well almost every day manually. This is where templates help you. Templates make recording important data on a regular and repetitive basis without any loss of information. Plus they are not prone to human fatigue. Make maximum use of templates wherever you can in your marketing campaign project management.
Dashboards have multiple uses. A well designed dashboard puts together all critical inputs from a project in one place. This becomes an important and effortless way of communication to all key stakeholders. It further gives an overview of progress. In a marketing campaign, dashboards play a super important role. Unlike technical projects, marketing campaigns involve dynamic changes in costs that affect budgets. In such scenarios having a dash board that is updated on a regular basis keeps everyone concerned with the project up to date.
Project management tools have now evolved to a stage of perfect personal assistants. Some tools are built in a way that they can be integrated with other software like CRM to process payments too. There are always bound to be a set of repeat or recurring payments in a campaign. Automating such payments saves time and effort. Further it makes sure that even the slightest unintentional delay will not set off alarms.
Milestone events in a project are most celebrated. As a starter, a milestone event completed means a stage of completion or achievement. Further it sets the stage for taking up a next level or parallel task. Project management tools help keep an eye on such tasks. A simple way to do this is to set alarms or triggers or alerts for milestone events. These alerts can also be programmed in a way that the project management tool or software you are using performs key tasks like raising an invoice, closing a payment, initiating a follow up and so on.
Using a project management tool for ensuring your marketing campaign runs smoothly is totally upto you. You can go by the book, be innovative, experiment and come up with your own ideas too. The kinds of features available in latest project management tools/softwares are unparalleled. For most part, they do the thinking. You have to be smart enough to figure out how best to put these tools to use.