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So, I found myself on an airplane to Cork, Ireland to meet the awesome team behind Teamwork. Teamwork, a leading online project management and chat messaging software is our tool of choice to run our projects, internally, with customers, and partners here at Pravda Media Group.

Why am I traveling all the way to the “foodie capital” of Ireland to meet them? Let’s find out…

Marketing is not only 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 weren’t measured on business results? These 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, meaning that running a marketing initiative  today is way 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, 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 doesn’t necessarily view marketing as part of the 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’ve faced the same complexity internally, and when collaborating with clients.

Several years ago, we’ve started 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 ever since, 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 to make this change as it not only improved the quality of life of our team members, but also increased our productivity even more. Simply put, with Teamwork, we were 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 plan better, 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’ve 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’re using to reach their customers.

We see it happening within our clients’ organizations, and as a marketing service provider we are facing the same challenges on a daily basis. Therefore, we’ve formalized a project planning and management methodology, focused on a rapid planning process, and 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 robust product results in a superior ability to create impact, instead of getting stuck again and 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 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’ve 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!