Who hasn’t missed an important message because it got buried in an endless email chain or felt completely confused while scrolling through a giant color-coded spreadsheet? Marketing project management tools get everyone on the same page from day one so your team can focus on the creative, not the administrative. With hundreds of different project management tools all offering similar features, however, trying to figure out which platform is right for your agency can quickly become a project in and of itself. Ask yourself these questions when evaluating your options:
What features can I not live without? In addition to standard features like task tracking and project status overviews, some tools may also include integrated time tracking and invoicing, budgeting, and risk analysis, as well as CRM or marketing automation integration. If your agency already has a great invoicing system in place and loves the current CRM platform, then these extra features in a project management tool might just make the entire system unnecessarily complex. On the flip side, they could streamline your entire agency’s workflow and make you wonder how you ever lived without them! Take advantage of free product demos and trial offers to determine which features you can’t live without and which hold you back.
Will it grow with us? Are you a small agency on a rapid growth trajectory? If so, some of those unnecessary or redundant features could become critically important as your agency grows– and play a major role in fueling this growth. For example, seamless CRM or marketing automation integration can eliminate task redundancy and prevent leads from slipping through the cracks. While it’s always possible to upgrade or switch our platforms in the future, doing so can cause lost time due to onboarding and changeover. Look for a platform the can grow with your agency.
Do I need to customize it for my agency? Want to pick the exact features you need and eliminate those you don’t? Sounds like you need a fully custom solution. Central Desktop, for example, has a team of dedicated experts that will customize the features and appearance of its marketing project management to match your company’s current style guide. This is a great feature for agencies who will be giving clients access to the management system and want to consistently reinforce their brand across all client touch points. If you’re just using the software in-house, however, a big customization project might be overkill.
Am I overpaying for features I don’t need? When compared with onsite hosted enterprise solutions, web based project management tools naturally tend to be less expensive and offer better mobile access, which is a huge plus for agencies that rely on remote workers or freelance teams. However, it’s easy to end up overpaying for features you don’t need, so check price plans carefully. Some options, like Basecamp, charge based on the number of projects and file storage space necessary, so you can scale up or down as your needs change. Other options, like Asana, offer a free basic version and then charge per month for a premium version based on the number of team members.
Erin M delivers innovative work that directly connects her clients with their target audiences. From optimized web copy and marketing collateral to white papers and eBooks, she’s done it all.