The Essentials of Managing Marketing Workflows in SmartSuite
Go with the flow!
What is a Marketing Workflow?
At this point, we’re all familiar with the wide range of workflow tools for marketing. Everywhere you look, there’s a tool for:
- Marketing planning
- Team meetings and chats
- Digital asset storage
- Content creation and editing
- Social media scheduling
- Finding independent contractors
- KPI tracking and reporting
And that doesn’t even take into consideration the 8,000+ marketing technologies for specific functions like gift-giving, event planning, funnel-building, and more. How is a marketer supposed to juggle all of this in addition to your day job, which should be driving growth and revenue, understanding your customer needs, and building your own career? It’s as if you’re planning a cross-country trip with a specific destination that you need to reach at a certain time. But instead of your team all being in the same bus (or at least on the same highway), you’re all driving separately, with different maps and types of vehicles. And some of you aren’t even sure where you’re going or why.
Research Shows That People Can Handle only 2-3 Projects at a Time Without Productivity Suffering. Project Managers May Handle Up to 20 Projects Simultaneously. Automation Tools Can Close the Gap!
Why Does Marketing Need So Many Tools?
The marketing process is complex and multi-faceted. A typical marketing manager or agency may be handling multiple projects at the same time, with a wide range of people involved in each project. Many of the technology companies that are developing solutions either focus on just one pain point or they get too consumed with cool features, without totally understanding the needs of the customer (i.e., the marketer).
But two of the biggest challenges today are:
INTEGRATION: Do your platforms really “talk” to each other?
INTUITION: Can you and your team easily learn to use the platform without a 6-week training?
We at SmartSuite believe we’ve solved for the two “I’s” and are now giving marketers the ultimate intuitive workflow tool for marketing. That, in turn, enables marketing project managers and the teams they work with to handle ALL the projects on their plates without a productivity loss. In fact, SmartSuite saves hours of time and confusion, giving people more time outside of work to enjoy life.
What Do Most Marketing Workflow Lead to Detours and “Crashes”
Playing off our road trip analogy, let’s look at typical workflow tools.
- They may solve for one challenge (i.e., communication) but don’t take all the other marketing tasks into consideration. For example, a platform that’s built primarily as a scheduling tool can’t easily morph into a KPI tracking tool. A 2-seater sports car is not designed to transport a team of 100 on back roads.
- They are difficult to learn. If you don’t drive a stick shift and need to get somewhere quickly, a manual transmission won’t do you any good.
- They don’t take into account that humans are behind every project. If your travel team is in separate vehicles, they miss out on the communication and interaction that comes from being on the same bus.
- They don’t make KPI tracking and reporting simple. Monitoring and calculating expenses and mileage is virtually impossible if multiple people have receipts tucked into their pockets
Why You Need an All-In-One Tool
SmartSuite is a marketing workflow solution that works for a wide range of projects. Whether you’re using it to manage an entire year’s worth of marketing initiatives or an individual project, you’ll be traveling down ONE highway with the best roadmap possible.
Every great road trip (and marketing effort) has a few common parts:
- The roadmap: An integrated marketing plan that details where you plan to end up
- The route and schedule: The steps along the way
- The drivers: Who are the people who are behind the wheel, and who are needed to support them
- Navigation of speed bumps and detours: The process for troubleshooting and problem-solving
- Tracking mileage and expenses: Managing results and reporting against KPIs
- Snacks and songs: Collaboration and celebration: A way for the team to share a common experience, which ultimately leads to better business results.
So, are you ready to climb aboard?
Here’s what you’ll find when you enter SmartSuite:
Marketers and project teams won’t need to constantly have 20+ tabs open or scrounge around looking for that ONE piece of information you need. Your info is brought into one place.
So, You Love the SmartSuite Route in Theory...How Does it Actually Work?
Let’s use a simple example. Your company is planning a major launch of a new product. You develop the marketing plan and load it up into a section of SmartSuite and label it so that all stakeholders can find it.
Benefit: No one can say “I never saw the plan.” (Well, they can still say it but it won’t be true.)
You have a choice of 40 different field types, so you can create separate labels for the plan itself and the KPIs around it.
You plan out the team members who will need access to the plan and include them as part of the group. You can set permissions individually, so that certain information is available to only the team members who need it. Collaboration begins here. Although only a few people may be crafting the plan, people can step in and ask questions or offer-up suggestions along the way.
Benefit: More great opinions lead to more great ideas.You create a schedule and task responsibilities. That will also help you figure out who else you might need on the team.
You have the ability to search within your own organization to find the people with exactly the skill set you need to fill the gaps. It’s like having a recruiter at your fingertips!
Benefit: Throughout the process, your key team members are collaborating and discussing, so all critical stakeholders feel involved and engaged.
As with any good collaboration, you agree on the frequency and types of communication you’ll need throughout the project. Team members can see when and how team calls are happening and can also “chat” throughout the project with questions, highlighting the people who might be able to answer them.
Benefit: Start every day with a smile and a sense of control because you can view -- simply and graphically -- what needs to get done.
Your creative team develops logos, taglines, social posts, and more. While they’re working, you’re viewing and commenting. But the best part is all the assets they’re creating are stored in ONE room in the SmartSuite, so you don’t have to spend hours poking around for that high-res image you need for the press release.
Working with an agency? No problem! They can use SmartSuite too. As creative is developed, it’s loaded on the platform and you can review, comment and approve.
Benefit: Time saved and aggravation avoided. Just think about what you can do with those extra hours.
The CMO wants to know where the project stands. No problem! Although you may not be able to totally avoid jumping on a call with them, you don’t have to create lots of “show and tell” for your meeting. Everything they might want to know is in SmartSuite, on an easy-to-navigate platform.
(And if you don’t want them to see EVERYTHING that’s going on behind the curtain, you can control their permissions!)
Benefit: You’ll look so smart and on top of things. Is a promotion in the offing?
Finance usually wants to know the numbers, but doesn’t need to see your entire workflow. They can have access to results tracking in one place. Whether it’s a running record of what you’re spending or the financial impact of a marketing campaign, you can use a section of SmartSuite to store everything related to forecasts and results. Just load up those spreadsheets and make them available anytime, anywhere.
Benefit: Credibility with the ‘numbers people.’ They will have more confidence that you’re as concerned with financial performance as they are.
In short, all the marketing-related stakeholders (internally and externally) have access to ONE platform that can provide everything they might want to know -- concisely and graphically.
- Simple to navigate
- Totally intuitive
- Customizable for different types of marketing projects
- Super-affordable for companies of all sizes
- In-tune with where marketing is going. We expect to add even more functionality as we get feedback from the market
So, start your engine, get on the bus, and prepare to ride smoothly along the way to marketing success.
The best way to understand how this all works is to take SmartSuite for a test drive. And the best way to understand a new marketing workflow platform is to ride with your colleagues.
Start your trial today and get on the road to the best ever marketing workflow tool.
All Types of Marketing Projects Can Benefit from SmartSuite
Here are just a few ways SmartSuite can be used by marketing teams:
Project Management: From simple campaigns to complex events with multiple moving parts, everyone knows what’s going on and when.
Remote Work: Having team members all over the country (or the world) is the norm these days and giving key players access to the tools and information they need -- 24/7/365 -- is essential to success marketing campaign delivery.
Risk and Compliance: Marketers often don’t like to “follow the rules” but alas, we have to. Having immediate access to disclaimer language and giving gatekeepers the ability to see and sign-off on creative real-time speeds up project delivery (and keeps you and your team out of trouble)
Content Production: 82 percent of marketers use content today. You’re probably juggling videos, social media posts, blogs, e-books, long-form content, landing pages, and who knows what else. Keeping track of all those pieces as they flow through the creative and review process can be daunting. But not if they’re all in one place!
Human Resources and Recruiting: “What does that have to do with marketing?” you might ask. But we all know that the right creative and operations team can make or break a campaign, an event, and any other type of marketing initiative. With SmartSuite, you’ll be able to pinpoint the resources you need to get work done and enlist other people, inside and outside your company, to find them.
Product Management and Marketing: When engineers and marketers communicate well, magic ensues. SmartSuite facilitates cross-functional sharing and communication. You, as a marketer, can weigh in on products and services before they hit your desk (and the customer’s inbox). That leads to better results and more successful launches.
Sales: No more finger-pointing and confusion. When you and your sales team are on the same bus, your leads move faster and better through the funnel.