Marketing agencies may manage the needs of a long list of clients, all of which have their own unique projects, initiatives and campaigns. For every client, there could be dozens of ongoing tasks, assignments and projects that all fold into a larger picture.
Whether the project is a digital marketing campaign, influencer outreach or in-house publicity campaign, every single effort has to be tracked and measured to guarantee a positive ROI.
The success or failure of any campaign relies on seamless communication between everyone on the team. Knowing the big picture is important, but seeing the steps involved to that final outcome is just as pertinent.
A workflow management tool is essential to keeping these processes streamlined.
What are the most important workflow management tools that agencies need?
Communicate/Chat on the Task Page
Software should allow the agency team members to pull up an individual task (like an article assignment) and view all the details of that task. However, seeing the project information isn’t where the communication ends.
Team members who are involved in any project should be able to chat and communicate on the main task page. This allows the team to share ideas, ask questions about an assignment or to provide updated information from the client.
Communicating within a task assignment is important, because that on-page communication serves as a repository for information related to the project.
In the past, agencies communicated via text, Skype or other social channels. However, this meant that pieces of the communications puzzle were scattered, and, at times, more difficult to find for reference when needed.
Share & Store Unlimited Files
Does your software offer unlimited file storage and sharing capabilities? It should! Many agencies need to share and swap videos, sound files, high-res photos and other large files. If your storage is limited, so is the means to share ideas and materials.
Ideally, your agency’s software should allow for file sharing to happen on quickly and easily.
Your marketing team working on influencer outreach might need to view a video that was created by a YouTube personality who was involved in a campaign. Yes, you could email the video or share via social media channels, but a video may get lost in the noise and content of those larger spaces.
Every piece of the communication puzzle is important, and the agency needs to be able to share and upload files with as little friction as possible. No one should worry about a high-res graphic taking up too much space!
It’s a waste of team when team members have to hunt down necessary pieces of the puzzle.
Create Separate Workspaces for Each Department
Agencies typically offer a wide variety of specializations, and each department might be composed of unique teams. While different departments still need to communicate and share information, agencies might wish to organize each department’s tasks and projects separately.
Workflow management tools should enable agencies to create separate workspaces. Although all workspaces might be visible to all members of the agency, the projects within them may be visible or assigned only to certain team members and their unique department (e.g. marketing, public relations, influencer outreach, SEO, etc.).
This separation also ensures that any proprietary information stays visible only to those who are authorized.
Does your agency utilize freelancers? Juggling a long list of contractors can make invoicing a hassle. If they all bill at separate times and via different payment channels, you could find pay periods to be a massive pile of digital invoices located all over the internet.
Invoicing should be seamless and easy. Workflow management tools should include invoicing capabilities on each task or project page. This allows freelancers to invoice each task after it is approved in the system.
Project management software also should allow for all approved projects to be accounted for on one invoice generated by the software. All freelancers or contractors should have the option to invoice their work in the system, and this means the agency can track all expenses paid and flag any unpaid projects for follow-up.
What projects have fallen behind deadline? What team members have many overdue tasks? What clients are over budget during a specific pay period?
Marketing teams should be able to create dynamic reports that answer any questions they have about their processes. Fixed reports may not offer what the teams or managers need. Instead, workflow management software should allow teams to create and save the reports they need as part of their duties.
They key is flexibility. What one manager needs may be very different than what another manager is looking for. Your software should give you the flexibility and ease to find the information you need, anywhere in the system.
The best workflow management tools?
So what are the must-have features of the best workflow management tools?
The ideal software for any marketing agency should feature five key workflow management processes: on-page task communication, unlimited file sharing, separate workspace functions, invoice generation, and project reporting.
If your software doesn’t include these five features, it’s time for an upgrade! Want to see if Gryffin is right for your team? Try it out for 30 days free.