Planning Your Marketing Campaigns: How a Project Management Solution Can Help

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Friendly executive sitting in front of laptop Depositphotos 6082622 xsPlanning marketing campaigns is not a walk in the park. There is so much at stake, not the least of which is the reputation of the marketing team. It’s the entire organization, however, that suffers when all the planning crashes and burns.

It must be noted that when creating marketing plans, a good chunk of the marketing planning effort is spent on communication and coordination, and not on the actual conceptualization.

As BrandMaker’s focus paper on integrated marketing planning details, these essential but time-consuming tasks include:

  • Distribution of content and other materials
  • Details coordination
  • Approvals
  • Marketing plan updates
  • Consolidation of different departmental plans
  • Other administrative tasks that can fall prey to human error

The software advantage – nipping human error in the bud

In today’s highly competitive marketing landscape, agility is no longer optional. The ability to quickly respond to contingencies is a must, or you risk getting trampled by the competition. It’s no surprise that marketing teams are now using work and business management software not just to stay afloat but to stand out from the crowd. One key advantage of using business software is the dramatic reduction, if not total elimination, of human error through automation.

And because the planning process is such an integral part of the overall marketing strategy, here are some software features to watch out for when considering a software solution to simplify your marketing planning activities:

1.    Priority-based planning

Successful marketing campaigns have a lot to do with proper timing. Muddled-up schedules, however, are scenarios marketing departments contend with on a regular basis. Often, there is something somewhere that won’t happen as scheduled. Worse, even before the marketing lead realizes what’s going on, the domino effect of disastrous events cannot already be prevented.

A software solution with an automated priority-based planning functionality schedules projects for you based on task priorities and resource assignments. Any change in plan results to an automatic rescheduling of the whole plan. What’s more, the effects of the changes are immediately seen so there won’t be any unwanted surprises along the way. This equates to considerable time savings spent on project planning versus manual scheduling.

Scheduling would depend on staff availability and project deadlines. Tasks that rank high on the priority scale are scheduled first. If team members also participate in other projects, the software monitors their workload, alerting the team lead to reassign tasks as needed, which then results to automatic rescheduling of the project plan.

2.    Predictive Gantt chart

The predictive Gantt chart keeps track of each project’s progress and automatically moves all undone tasks to the future. All uncompleted tasks including those that are dependent on them are rescheduled. Not only does this eliminate guessing which tasks have been completed or not, it also provides a realistic picture of how the project is faring versus the initial plan, preventing managers and other key stakeholders from being overly optimistic.

With the predictive Gantt chart, managers see whether or not a project is going to miss its deadline, allowing them to reschedule or add in more people to help, if necessary.

Having this built-in feature is an advantage to marketing teams, as it keeps everyone alerted to whatever change has occurred in scheduling. Further, team leads stay on top of the situation without going through several accomplishment reports.

3.    Visual resource management

When working on multiple marketing projects with fluctuating deadlines at any one time, effective resource management is critical. This means finding the right people to fill in the right roles at the right time while not working them to the edges.

Software like Comindware Project has a visual resource management feature that allows team leads and managers to:

  • Identify and manage resource overload. A color-coded chart tells you, at a glance, the work status of the members of your team, where red means overloaded, blue for busy, and gray to indicate that the employee is on vacation, weekend break, or a holiday.
  • Resolve resource scheduling conflicts. This functionality ensures that people assigned to multiple projects aren’t given overlapping schedules.
  • Utilize resource pools. Resource pools are resource categories listing every employee in the company with skills and experience matching that category. Category examples can include Design, Engineering, Marketing, and Analytics, among others.

Final word

The key to most successful ventures is keeping things simple. Even the most meticulously planned projects can benefit from a simplified tracking system. The right software with the right features can guide teams through the whole process of planning, execution, and collaboration. As marketing teams fully know, these three factors are crucial to the success of a marketing campaign.

This article is from our guest author Maricel Rivera. Maricel is a research writer with a computer programming degree under her belt. She manages content for Comindware, a software company that delivers work management solutions for project management, Comindware Project, and process management, Comindware Tracker.”

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