click to shareFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

So, I found myself on an airplane to Cork, Ireland, to meet the awesome team behind Teamwork.

Teamwork, is a leading online project management and chat messaging software, and it is our tool of choice to run our projects internally, with customers, and partners here at Pravda Media Group.

You may be wondering why am I traveling all the way to the “foodie capital” of Ireland to meet them? Let’s find out…

Marketing is not only an art and science – it’s an operational challenge

Remember when we had print, events and PR? How about when B2B marketers didn’t own P&L and were not measured on business results? Those times are long gone, as B2B marketers are now required to run omnichannel marketing programs that can be measured and show business impact. These marketing programs require various skills, some within the marketing department, some within the company and some with vendors. This means that running a marketing initiative today is far more complex compared to several years ago.

Marketers are crushed by the complexity of modern marketing programs

I hear it again and again – talented marketers are stuck when it comes to planning and running their marketing endeavors. Today, marketing programs require IT resources (marketing automation, CRM and BI), creative thinking (internal and external creative groups), budget management (media buying and content production), social media channels, and marketing operations (web personalization, landing pages, etc). This is no longer a simple process that requires 2-3 meetings with a handful of team members.

While top management invests in numerous demand generation tools and methodologies, it does not necessarily view marketing as a part of the business. A business that needs training and skills such as project management, risk analysis and vendor management. Marketers are required to focus on bringing MQLs, while the effort needed to do so is rising in both volume and complexity. The result is a daily challenge by marketing directors and VPs in moving the needle.

We share the frustration

Here at Pravda Media Group, we provide services to clients that ask us to plan and execute parts of their marketing programs. We have faced the same complexities internally and when collaborating with clients.

Several years ago, we began to invest in processes and tools to improve communication, collaboration and tracking of our programs’ success. The first decision we made was to kill all internal emails. Yes, that’s right! We no longer send emails to one another. Email is a productivity killer and we needed a better way to get things done, so we decided to work on two main platforms – a collaborative project management system and a chat solution.

At first, we began using ‘Basecamp‘ and ‘Slack’. Today, ‘Slack’ is still with us, but our needs have become more sophisticated and eventually outgrew ‘Basecamp’s’ capabilities. That’s when we went ahead and switched to ‘Teamwork‘ and since then we have never looked back.

Removing email increased our team’s productivity by approximately 40%. We then decided to let our team members work remotely four days a week and work from the office one day a week. Teamwork was an essential piece of the puzzle in making this change. It not only improved the quality of life of our team members, but also increased our productivity greatly. Simply put, with Teamwork, we are able to generate more impact in less time. Teamwork is the operation system of our business and having such a robust OS enables us to better plan, move faster and quickly focus on our bandwidth where it matters most.

The tool is just a part of the puzzle

In parallel to introducing Teamwork, we have formalized our methodology for running marketing and digital transformation projects. Marketers are facing constant changes in resource availability, shifting priorities, changes in buyer behaviors and in the platforms that they are using to reach their customers.

We see this happening within our clients’ organizations and as a marketing service provider we are facing the same challenges on a daily basis. Therefore, we have formalized a project planning and management methodology focused on: a rapid planning process, with a strong emphasis on enabling team members, vendors and managers to quickly understand the status of their marketing and digital transformation projects, prioritize tasks and activity, and understand the impact of their decisions on their ability to deliver. Combining a robust methodology with a powerful product, results in a superior ability to create impact, instead of getting stuck yet again in operational hell. 

So, why am I flying to Cork?

I’m heading out to Cork, Ireland because marketers and digital transformation leaders can no longer succeed without the ability to manage complex endeavors. We the marketers, are always understaffed and under budgeted, yet always expected to deliver more with less. Ever since I traveled to meet my friends from Marketo and Salesforce, I have realized that project and initiative management are just as important skills, as learning about the latest and greatest in demand generation tools and methodologies.

Teamwork, combined with our methodology, is an excellent way to face and tackle all of these challenges. So, that’s why I’m hopping on a plane to Cork and, in addition, I’ve also heard they have some excellent IPA there as well…cheers!