Managing the Marketing Workload for Results

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Marketing leaders are constantly striving to achieve the highest possible levels of customer engagement and to get the biggest bang out of their campaign efforts. But it's often what goes on behind the scenes - and how well those activities and processes are managed - that ultimately determines the success of marketing programs.
Technology

Marketing leaders are constantly striving to achieve the highest possible levels of customer engagement and to get the biggest bang out of their campaign efforts. But it's often what goes on behind the scenes - and how well those activities and processes are managed - that ultimately determines the success of marketing programs.I recently had an opportunity to talk about marketing work management with Max Cheprasov, vice president of project management and operations at Covario, a leading global searching marketing agency. Max joined Covario a few years ago and established a project management office (PMO) for the company. As part of his directive, Max evaluated the company's current state of managing marketing and other projects and the gaps it needed to fill.

"We wanted to create a centralized project repository for projects, timelines, and deliverables and schedule work requests for our clients," says Cheprasov. In addition, Covario also wanted to make this information visible to its clients.

Covario uses AtTask to manage its day-to-day project workloads. Prior to its use of AtTask, Covario used a mix of software tools, including Excel spreadsheets, to manage marketing and other projects. Some of the key challenges with systems used were that the software tools were limited in their abilities for project team members to look up information about a particular task with a marketing project. It was also difficult for project team members to track who issued a request for a particular task and why it was requested in the first place.

Covario could be managing 50 to 60 projects at a time for each of its larger clients, encompassing thousands of tasks. Manual, siloed project management tools weren't able to help Covario's project teams track project executables effectively, much less share them transparently with clients.

"Tracking this was virtually impossible," says Cheprasov.

Covario's use of AtTask has provided its marketing teams and other groups in the company with multiple benefits. For instance, AtTask is highly customizable - Covario's software and marketing teams use different project development methodologies (Agile is used by the software group while the agency teams use a mix of Waterfall and Agile). In addition, Covario's software projects tend to run longer than its agency projects and follow different steps and require different access levels for those projects.

Gaining the ability to provide its clients with accurate and timely project updates has helped Covario to make its marketing projects more transparent. By doing so, Covario's clients can better track performance on different projects along with the available budget that's in place to better determine how to allocate resources - and maximize the impact of their marketing programs.

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EXPERT OPINION