At a glance, managing creative projects may seem straightforward: Start things off with a kick-off meeting. Assign deadlines to everyone involved. Finalize communication methods. Then, work on the project and launch it! It’s that simple, right?
Wrong! Managing a creative project comes with a variety of nuances that traditional project management doesn’t have to worry about. Creative projects can take a mind-boggling amount of shapes and sizes—from a single thumbnail for a YouTube video to the global branding initiatives for a single product.
Because creative projects come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, the process for each marketing project can vary greatly. For example, small creative projects require agility, whereas large projects require detailed tracking and cross-functional coordination.
So, the challenge for brands and their marketing project management is this: How can brands consistently deliver quality results when the processes for each project are anything but consistent?
The answer: A flexible project management software and other collaborative tools that can adapt to every project’s process.
The key word there is “adaptable.” Most project management software solutions available today are limited in their scope. They aren’t flexible enough to handle the diversity of creative projects.
Today, we’re going to discuss which features and functions brands should be looking for when investing in project management software to help solve the unique challenges that accompany marketing projects.
Creative projects often involve multiple teams. For example, a web design project might involve a marketing team, as well as an IT team. Because of this, companies need to ensure their project management tools are accessible to everyone. Otherwise, they’ll run into time wasted in meetings, email overload, information silos, and mixed strategies.
Incorporating a digital asset management (DAM) software into their processes is a must for brand teams that want to avoid those pitfalls. With a DAM solution, brand teams can house their digital assets in a centralized location, easily granting access to those that need a specific asset, and not allowing access to those who should not be using the asset.
Information silos are also eliminated with DAM software, as are the number of email requests and update meeting invites that flood inboxes. Issues can be dealt with as they arise. Furthermore, when everyone accesses the same information, it’s easier to keep everyone on the same page, and your decision-making—as well as your creative quality—improves.
Workflow management is essential for creative projects. This is because workflow management, as a whole, is distinctly different from managing projects in other disciplines.
Requests come into the marketing department at an unpredictable pace—the size and scope of each project varying wildly as well. This often creates a “fire drill” mentality within creative teams, where priorities shift, and any number of projects are interrupted. Often, the result is that deadlines are missed, and work can be lost or forgotten.
With workflow management technology designed specifically for marketing, however, marketing teams can access a single platform to track projects, tasks, and timelines. Managers can assign to-do tasks, set email notifications, manage timelines against deadlines, and download reports to better understand the creative projects in play and the capacity for resource planning.
In addition, managers can monitor alignment with priorities and allocate resources in accordance with these priorities. Ultimately, project delivery time is improved, marketing team productivity is increased, and with creatives out from underneath the “fire drill” mentality, creative quality improves as well.
Collaboration is not only crucial for making sure that teams are working together to accomplish projects within the allotted time frame. Collaboration is also important for proofing. Without collaborative proofing, marketing projects may be riddled with errors by the time the due date rolls around. The more transparent brands can be with their proofing, the less rework and conflicting feedback the marketing teams can expect.
Think about it—a large scale marketing project may involve graphic designers, copywriters, agencies, printers, freelancers, bloggers, and more. By using a project management tool that allows for complete transparency with all these different parties, brand teams can avoid having mixed messaging in the final result. It will also help to streamline any edits that do need to be made.
When brand teams have collaborative proofing, they can streamline the approval process, capture all feedback at the point of hand-off, and gain access to feedback history. Marketing teams find they can move work forward without additional meetings, conference calls, and burnout. And with this kind of granular control over artwork assets, brands can improve creative quality, manage brand value, and ultimately drive customer engagement.
How WebCenter and MediaBeacon Can Solve the Challenges of Marketing Project Management
WebCenter and MediaBeacon are essential for keeping everyone in sync throughout a marketing project.
MediaBeacon is one of the most functional DAM solutions on the market today. With the ability to store all of the digital assets in a single location, employees who need assets can easily find them through advanced search capabilities. In other words, no more scouring past emails or endless folders to find what they need.
WebCenter is a collaborative workflow solution, guiding teams through the entire process of a project from the beginning all the way to distribution. Made specifically for brand needs, WebCenter enables cross-functional teams to deliver quality content, simplify the view of the project information, and overall, do more in less time. WebCenter will make your marketing projects much, much more efficient.
To learn more about WebCenter and MediaBeacon, reach out to Esko today! And, if you’re interested in a demo, fill out this brief form to get started.