Collaborating with the Dispersing Marketers

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ADOTAS — It’s no surprise that today’s marketers are becoming increasingly mobile and need to perform more of their duties while “on the go.” Whether it’s working from home, airports, hotels, or coffee shops, they need access to information when and where they want it. In addition, organizations are dispersing domestically and globally. Organizations are opening offices in a variety of cities, states and even countries at a rapid pace. It is not uncommon to be a part of a creative or marketing team with constituents who are across the country or even around the globe.

As marketers continue to push the workplace boundaries and companies continue to globalize, one issue organizations must consider is how they can keep their creative and marketing teams connected and collaborating. Regardless of location, marketing and creative groups must be able to complete mission-critical projects in a timely manner. These teams still need the capabilities to divide responsibilities, access all the necessary information, and work through review and approval processes in order to complete projects on time and on budget.

As a result, organizations are looking to online technologies and the cloud to provide the tools and capabilities needed to keep teams communicating, collaborating and working more efficiently. With the proliferation of software as a service (SaaS), marketing project management (MPM) solutions have become one type of technology that organizations are implementing.

Although it’s still common for project managers to physically assign tasks, maintain spreadsheets, and stop by desks to check the status of projects, MPM solutions provide a way to take these processes and accomplish them in a much more efficient, cost effective way. These technologies allow for tasks to be done virtually in a browser-based (i.e., no software required) environment.

Many organizations that are letting their advertising and marketing employees travel regularly are concerned with how they can still hold employees accountable. With MPM, it’s easy for project managers to see into a team’s workload and the technology even imposes a certain degree of discipline that can be difficult to accomplish in a manual environment.

In addition, the value of an easily-accessible online tool becomes compelling from a time and cost perspective. These online solutions provide a centralized repository of all information on numerous projects, allowing anyone on the team with access to the web to gain immediate access to the information they need, when they need it. In essence, it becomes a self-service tool that reduces the time employees take to obtain the right information and helps them complete their assignments in a more efficient manner. MPM solutions can also measure the time it takes to complete projects, giving organizations the data it needs to measure the ROI on any creative projects as well as maintain an audit trail of revisions and sign-offs.

As marketers continue to demand a more on-the-go working environment, organizations must ensure that they give employees the tools to improve their workflow that are cost-effective, easy to use, and affordable. From a business standpoint, these tools must also have reporting capabilities that can simplify annual planning, resource forecasting, and data analysis, allowing organizations to review how exactly resources are being allocated. This helps in future market planning, budget allocation and overall business strategizing.

Mobilized marketers will continue to increase as organizations expand both domestically and internationally. In efforts to be successful, organizations must assess how they are managing this workforce and provide the right solutions that will advance the productivity of their creative and marketing teams, no matter where they are located.

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