Many project management software solutions — such as Asana and Trello — are generic, limited, and not intended for the rigors of marketing campaigns.
Our agency customers’ common pain points with using Asana to manage their workflow include:
- Only covering part of the marketing workflow process. Agencies have to use different tools for different activities — for example, one tool for order management and another for reporting and analytics — that don’t necessarily work well together.
- Not being customized for agencies out of the box — you need to work to tailor it to fit your operations as an agency.
- A limited capability while not being scalable — despite Asana handling some tasks well.
Here, we’ll do a deep dive into the challenges with using Asana for marketing agencies, and how they can be solved by our solution instead.
TapClicks offers an end-to-end software solution: handling a marketing agency’s workflow in one platform — including order management, approvals, and workflow throughout the planning and execution process.
We also show how TapClicks can handle all your reporting and analytics needs, and why it’s important to have this capability within the same software platform.
If, after reading this article, you think TapClicks could help your marketing agency, you can try our 14-Day Free Trial to experience how it works.
8 Reasons Why Asana Falls Short for Marketing Agencies
Asana works well for some marketing agencies, particularly smaller ones who are willing to use a generic project management solution in conjunction with several other third-party apps.
However, for larger agencies or agencies handling a high volume of paid media orders, using Asana for your marketing project plans and management does not give you a complete solution. Here are the issues:
- Asana is a generic project management solution, not one that has been designed specifically for marketers and marketing agencies. So, while there is some good customization available, it likely will not meet all your operational requirements because it’s not been designed to do that.
- Asana does not cover the whole workflow process of your marketing campaign, from the time an order is created by your sales team, through to reporting and analysis. So you will need to use it in conjunction with additional reporting and analytics software solutions which may or may not be fully compatible and will almost certainly mean extra time and effort are required for your marketing team and other stakeholders.
- While it may be suitable for smaller marketing campaigns and agencies, Asana is limited in its scalability. For example, Asana divides generic projects into tasks and task lists which can work well when managing a small number. However, this type of task management becomes unwieldy when the scale increases and you have multiple different marketing programs in one contract or order. This makes it difficult for stakeholders to see the bigger picture. TapClicks’ workflow tool automatically generates the tasks that are necessary based on the program booked, and organizes them into easy to manage queues for better visibility. Additionally, the deep visualization capabilities of TapClicks dashboards allows for customizable views of tasks.
- There are mixed feelings on how best to use Asana. On Asana’s forum, there is a discussion about which feature is most effective for work management: “teams” or “projects”. Each has their pros and cons. In particular, when you use “teams”, you’re unable to archive projects which limits your ability to reference them in the future.
- Client buy-in to Asana can be lacking. Agencies need to share certain information with clients but some clients don’t want to use Asana or, if they do have it as a project management tool, some may not like it and are reluctant to use it.
- Likewise, some project managers find Asana difficult to learn how to use and are not keen on its graphics and interface. Onboarding training is required to get the most out of Asana but this can be expensive in terms of time and cost and may not even be an option if you opt for the free version of Asana.
- There is no time tracking functionality for team members working on tasks; therefore, time spent on different clients, tasks, or subtasks cannot be monitored. This capability would need to be added with third-party software.
- If you want to access a file outside of Asana, there are limited options for exporting files. Asana can only export in JSON or CSV files but does not offer a PDF or Excel format option. This could be an issue for marketing team collaboration and working with clients.
How TapClicks Workflow Software Is Tailored for Marketing Agency Project Management
TapClicks Workflow has been designed specifically for marketing agencies to solve many of the disadvantages listed above.
Out of the box, it is set up to connect your sales teams, account managers, creative teams, and ad ops teams, and structured to match the exact way a marketing agency campaign is planned, executed, and reported on.
We’ll explain these specific features below and walk you through the steps from order creation to reporting.
Each of the fields and steps in our workflow tool are customizable, whether you are an SEO agency or a paid ad agency.
And, unlike other platforms such as Asana or Basecamp, where you need to bounce to third-party tools to analyze and report on campaign performance, TapClicks allows you to do this in the same platform.
Here’s how it all works.
TapOrders and Workflow: How TapClicks Optimizes Order Management and Workflow
First, your sales team (or anyone who wants to start a new project) creates an order.
In the TapClicks dashboard, you’ll click on the “Create New Order” button in the left navigation menu.
This takes you to a form you can fill out with all the relevant information in your order.
The forms are customizable and it’s easy to tailor them to your agency’s specific needs.
Custom fields can be set up to suit your agency’s particular workflow and document objectives and due dates right from the outset.
You can include campaign details and budgeting information as well as related assets and comment history, all of which are not offered by Asana (more on this later).
Note: These custom fields are set up for you when you first open your TapClicks account but can be modified as your business grows or changes.
All the information included in an order can be easily referenced.
And at the top of the order screen, you can see a high-level overview of where the order sits in your specific approval workflow.
Plus, there’s space on the right-hand side of the order info screen for team members to collaborate.
This helps promote teamwork and reduces the time your team spends finding who (or what platform) has the necessary information.
So, if someone in ad ops has a question or comment about an order, they can begin a message string in the comments section of an individual order.
That way, all discussions pertaining to an order can happen in the same place as the order details so everything is easy to track. This reduces the need for messaging in outside platforms like Slack.
And, unlike Asana, TapClicks features a “team member unavailable” option so that a task can be reassigned quickly if required. This avoids time being wasted when someone is off.
Now we look at where the order is fulfilled and where the ad ops manager needs to keep track of all the tasks being executed by the various contributors.
For example, if you work for a digital marketing agency, this could include copywriters, SEOs, web developers, and designers.
From this single page, you can search, sort and edit any order.
And there could be hundreds or even thousands of orders to manage, so it’s vital that all the information is organized in a logical manner.
TapClicks flags any orders that are hung up in the process and allows you to view archived orders so everything is easily accessible from this one view.
Within each order, you can view the details of each task by clicking on “task”.
This brings up a list of all the activities, relevant information, due dates and delays — a function that is not easily accessed from most project management solutions, including Asana.
The ad ops manager can get a snapshot status of any task, order, or across all orders, in this single place.
And communication with the person associated with the task can be done in the comments section on the same pane, in the same way that it can within the order view.
All tasks are scheduled and assigned so that they are completed in the most efficient way to prevent anyone waiting on someone else to complete a task before they can proceed.
For further efficiency, if you want to incorporate time tracking functionality, which is not an option within Asana, this is easily done with TapClicks.
Tasks can be configured to allow or require self-reported time tracking before the task is marked complete. This allows you to see how long projects are taking, make adjustments accordingly, and better forecast timelines and resources for future projects.
And, unlike Asana, tasks can be allocated to more than one person providing more flexibility, especially if a team member is unavailable.
Although, if this is the case, the “team member unavailable” facility (explained above) can be used.
Tasks can be viewed as line items which are the individual deliverables of each order.
Each line item contains all the information associated with it, such as order details, budget, and target audiences.
All these fields can be created by the salesperson or added later on, as needed.
As the work is completed, assets such as ad copy and landing page URLs can be added and stored ready for later use.
Because the TapClicks system is set up to maximize workflow efficiencies as tasks are completed, it automatically pushes through to the next tasks in the sequence, like a fine-tuned machine.
If anything holds up the system, for example if a resource is out, this can be viewed and acted on to prevent any hold ups, ensuring your project is executed with optimum efficiency.
How This Transitions Across to TapClicks Reporting & Analytics
In addition to handling marketing campaign workflow, as outlined above, TapClicks is well known as a marketing reporting and analytics tool.
Unlike project management only tools like Asana, TapClicks allows you to easily associate marketing campaign results with each campaign.
With TapClicks, instead of using reporting software separate from project management software, the three pillars of marketing operations — Planning, Execution and Measurement — are all covered seamlessly in one place.
Handle Workflow, Reporting, and Analytics in One Place
How TapReports and TapAnalytics Works
TapClicks currently has over 250+ marketing-specific live API connections to leading platforms.
This includes live connections with popular advertising and social media channels (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.), SEO platforms (MOZ and Google Search Console), CRM tools, and more.
We can pull ad, SEO, and organic social performance data from any of those platforms into the same tool that is managing your campaign or order workflow.
Note: As well as capturing and reporting on your Google Ads campaigns, we also have a push integration for launching Google Ads campaigns straight from within TapClicks, further increasing the efficiency of your workflow. This is the first of many push integration channels that TapClicks will be supporting.
Most of these connectors can be set up to pull real-time data within an hour. Plus, we can pull in historical data (up to 12 months on most platforms) so you can start making more informed decisions from day one.
When your data is pulled into TapClicks, you can easily sort it into a dashboard template.
We have ready-made templates for PPC, social media channels, email campaigns, and more.
Each dashboard is made up of highly customizable widgets.
For example, your dashboard on Google Ads performance can be reflecting the past month of data, while your widget that displays impressions can show the last two months of data. This lets you create custom reports that more accurately depict the value of your marketing services to clients.
You can also roll data from multiple platforms into one metric. For example, if you want to show your client the total cost of ad spend across Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, you can roll those numbers into one metric and call it: Total Ad Spend.
Though this is a small example (totaling ad spend from 3 different ad platforms), it’s symbolic of the larger advantage of using TapClicks for marketing analytics and reporting.
Normally, multi-platform analysis or calculations — even as simple as calculating total ad spend — has to be done manually by going to each platform, getting the respective stats and adding, averaging, and comparing them offline.
This is most often done with laborious, manual spreadsheet work. In TapClicks, it can be done in a few clicks or often done with automation on a weekly or monthly basis with saved report templates for your clients.
Note: On the off chance you need data from a platform we don’t have an Instant-on connector for, you can set up a Smart Connector with TapClicks, which automatically pulls in data from an Excel spreadsheet so your dashboard is up to date.
For agencies, client reporting is a fundamental part of demonstrating your value to stakeholders.
Without being able to share wins or tell compelling stories to your clients, it’ll be more difficult to retain them for the long run.
That’s why a core functionality of TapClicks is devoted to marketing reporting.
With TapClicks, you can set up recurring reports, quickly create last-minute reports, and even give your clients access to customized dashboards (with the permissions set by you).
Unlike Asana, you can set up dashboards to only display what you want clients to see. For example, you can hide markup costs or other internal agency information.
We also have ready-made report templates that let you match your performance to your client’s expectations. This includes starting the report with an executive summary where you can list milestones and contextualize your agency’s performance towards the client’s big-picture goals.
By setting up recurring reports, you can significantly cut down on the time your team needs to spend preparing reports, without sacrificing the quality of the report itself.
And if you have a client who requires a file in a certain format, such as a PDF or Excel, that’s also supported by TapClicks, unlike Asana which can only export JSON and CSV formats.
Some users find the Asana graphics unappealing. We’ve taken great care to ensure our graphics are attractive, plus, you can easily customize the branding colors and logo of any of your dashboards to match your client’s brand.
Note: TapClicks also integrates with billing systems to allow you to handle billing within the same platform as well.
The TapClicks marketing operations platform has been designed specifically for marketing agencies. It provides the ideal solution to manage and facilitate your entire marketing process.
Ready to see how you can use our software to streamline your entire marketing operations, from ad order to campaign launch? Try our 14-Day Free Trial.