Project management to the rescue for coronavirus-hit marketers

Read time 2min 40sec

Marketers are increasingly turning to project management and workflow tools to manage the challenges that have arisen as a result of having to work remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s according to Matt Malanga, chief marketing officer at NewsCred, an enterprise content marketing platform provider, who says that marketers generally are spending an increasing amount of time involved in “work about work” rather than focusing on marketing campaigns.

Delivering a presentation at a recent Discover MarTech webinar, he said that while this was not new, an April 2020 NewsCred survey of 100 enterprise-level companies revealed that the challenges were exacerbated by having to work remotely. With nearly the entire marketing workforce at these companies working remotely as a result of the pandemic, the challenges were being felt particularly keenly.

Among these new challenges were having to shift and communicate team priorities and objectives remotely; an increase in the number of required meetings for planning or team checkpoints; an increase in the number of mundane tasks and status updates, e-mails and reporting; difficulty in maximising distributed teams and resources; an additional burden of having to report on team efforts, production or results; and an inability to effectively collaborate in real time.

However, the NewsCred survey found that companies that use project management tools such as monitoring and results measurement (MRM), marketing work management, and content marketing platforms faced fewer challenges in adapting to the radical changes than those that don’t.

Malanga said that this was particularly evident in challenges relating to realigning people to new initiatives; providing visibility and managing plans; managing vendors and other non-employees remotely; discovering and repurposing marketing assets; managing shifting priorities and strategies; realigning budgets to new initiatives, and generally managing the remote/distributed marketing team.

The survey’s findings dovetail with a recent Martech Intelligence Report, “Enterprise Workdflow and Project Management Tools: Crucial for Marketers in 2020 and Beyond”.

Pamela Parker, Third Door Media’s research director and author of the report, noted that marketing is not immune from the growth of the “project economy” which is being driven largely by business’ need to transform their operations for the digital age.

“We expect that the impact of COVID-19 … will spur even greater interest in enterprise workflow and project management solutions, because they provide transparency and accountability, in addition to collaboration and file sharing – all features that help marketers (as well as C-level executives) keep projects on track whether employees are at home or in the office,” she said.

While it was difficult to estimate how many marketing departments were using workflow and project management tools and how much they’re spending on them, Parker pointed to a recent Capterra user survey that indicated that marketing and advertising companies were outpaced only by IT and financial services businesses when it came to utilisation of this type of software.

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