Integrated marketing means managing a lot of different channels, including the synchronization of those channels. Lately I’ve met more and more public relations and communications professionals who are training in project management, even going so far as to receive their PMP certification. Most of us, however, are using a mix of online tools, spreadsheets and even sticky notes to manage our work. Mike Salem, CEO of Vorex says that “Online business management solutions – such as professional services automation (PSA) and project management platforms – automate your daily operational tasks so you can have more time to think big picture and how to strategically grow your business.”
PSA and project managemetn tools can help keep you organized and on track toward greater efficiencies. Here are some examples of common challenges that many marketers face and how PSA and project management tools help combat these issues:
1. Complex tasks
In the marketing world, projects are very much deadline-driven. Each integrated marketing project has a multitude of tasks tied to it that each have a specific deadline that must be met if you want to deliver the product on time and keep the client happy. Time is an invaluable business asset, and maintaining control over a project schedule can be the difference between profit and loss in any given month. With a project management platform that ties tasks to a time-associated schedule, marketers can have visibility into the status of projects and ensure teams are on track to meet all pre-determined deadlines.
2. Dynamic workforce
One of the biggest hiring challenges for marketers is the difficulty in forecasting project-based work. You have to focus on the now and the natural ebb and flow of revenue and profitability. Understanding the complete financial landscape is critical in making intelligent task allocation decisions that positively influence the business. Having a PSA tool that not only tracks budgets and expenses, but also provides reports and overall visibility into the financials of a business can help analyze task assignment and overall project ROI. The ability to allocate tasks and automate dependencies and assignments is key.
3. Too little time
The sole salesperson at most small services organizations tends to be the business owner. Tasked with operational management, sales, strategic growth and overseeing day-to-day project management, it’s hard for an agency owner to find time to plan and execute their big picture strategy. We need to be able to see every aspect of the business to make sure it’s running smoothly and efficiently. By automating simple, yet time-consuming tasks such as time and expense tracking, billing and invoicing, and project statuses, business owners can quickly and easily keep track of how their company is doing by looking at a single, cloud-based dashboard. This frees up time to focus your efforts on securing new business and growing the company. Project management tools should be easy to use, with a “view” into the status and task allocation of every project at any time.
If you’re interested in trying out cloud-based PSA/project management tools, Vorex currently is offering a free 14-day trial here.