Productivity Tools Your Marketing Team Needs

A marketer’s work is never done. From driving awareness and executing campaigns to promoting loyalty and conducting analyses, marketers are constantly juggling different channels and tasks to deliver optimal customer experiences.  

To figure out how marketers manage to stay on task, we reached out to some folks in the industry and asked them to share their favorite time and project management tools. Check out their responses below. Also, feel free to share your favorite tools via the form at the bottom of the page.

1. Projectplace

What it does: “[The collaborative planning and execution solution] enables your team to create plans, organize their work, and track tasks with Kanban boards—[which break down tasks into visual cards]—and Gantt charts, [which monitor productivity over time].”

The pros: “Using the Kanban board you can easily move cards (tasks) from the backlog, to ‘in progress,’ to ‘done.’”

The cons: “The ability to assign one card to multiple people at once might be a nice feature to [add]—if it is not abused by the user.”

– Allison Smith, Digital Marketing Manager, The Pedowitz Group

2. Google Sheets

What it does: “Spreadsheets were created for organization, analysis, and storage of data in a tabular form. [With Google Sheets], data is entered in columns and rows and the software has built-in formulas and functions that make it simple to interact and present your data in a variety of ways.”

The pros: “I like the incredible flexibility of spreadsheets. They’re a blank canvas that allow you to easily organize content. Of course, you can use spreadsheets to aid in calculating CAC [customer acquisition cost], conversion rate, or lifetime value. But they’re also useful for creating Gantt charts, editorial calendars, and even brainstorming content ideas. Because Google Sheets allows you to create multiple worksheets (tabs) inside one workbook (document), it’s easy to create a sense of order out of material that would be unwieldy inside of a regular long-form text document.”

The cons: “I wish there were options that made it easier to interact with charts in Google Sheets. That’s definitely an area where Excel is superior.”

– Brent Summers, Director of Content Marketing, Segment

3. Basecamp + Harvest

What it does: “Basecamp allows our team to collaborate on our projects’ lifecycles from kickoff to completion. For Gravity, it’s organized by client per project, which inevitably cuts down on the time that would be spent reading through countless emails. Not only is this very effective for project management, but colleagues also use this as a communications platform for quick and thorough updates, feedback, approvals, and anything else related to an overall effort. The Web-based platform also easily allows users to check-in whether they are at their computer, in the office, or on-the-go from their mobile device.

Harvest is used to track and report hours spent on a project and/or effort, [as well as] related variables—including budget. Additionally, it allows us to understand employee bandwidth, as well as… opportunities…for maximizing efficiencies. For example, you can add a project’s budget into Harvest and it calculates how much percentage has been spent on the project. This provides transparency and alerts us if we’re spending too much time, too little time, etcetera.”

The pros: “The best part of these two tools is that they complement one another and work hand-in-hand. With the ability to sync the overall time spent on a project from Basecamp, we can then also capture this in Harvest under the specific client. Basecamp also serves as an archive tool…[giving] us the opportunity to review projects at any time to source information, assets, etcetera.”

The cons: “For Basecamp, their search feature could improve, such as [by] adding a filter functionality. For example, you’re not able to go to a specific date without having to scroll through every project under each account. If we want to review a project from January 2014, [we] have to scroll through two-years worth of data/threads to find what we’re seeking. Adding a filter method would be a quick fix to this.”

– Candy Tse, Director of Production, Gravity

Note: Some entries were edited for clarity. Also, some submissions were not accepted because they focused too much on an overarching vendor rather than a specific productivity tool.

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