For most marketing teams, the lifecycle of their services from planning and launching campaigns to measuring and reporting on performance is handled through several different online tools, most of which do not communicate with one another seamlessly.
But the more fragmented your marketing operations, the more likely your business will reach a point in which the manual work required by your team is too much to keep up with the demands of your marketing initiatives or services.
The solution is to find a marketing-specific work management platform built to help you perform and scale.
Today's post covers the 4 must-have features of a marketing work management platform.
Plus, we provide an in-depth walkthrough of how TapClicks our marketing operations solution for agencies, brands, and advertisers works to streamline your marketing workflow, from planning and execution to analytics and reporting.
Are you looking for a solution to centralize your marketing activities into one platform? Try our free 14-day trial to see how TapClicks can streamline your operations.
An Overview of the Marketing Work Management Process (And the Features You Need in a Work Management Platform)
But the usefulness of these platforms only goes so far because while you can plan and manage tasks through them, you can't manage the entire life lifecycle of a marketing campaign. You still have to use several different platforms to perform your work. The same goes for gantt charts which have been traditionally used in project management.
To demonstrate this, here's an example of a typical workflow process we see at companies who come to us for help:
- An account manager or project manager gets a service order via email for a paid media campaign across several social media channels (this is usually sent by the sales rep or whoever handles communicating directly with the customer).
- The account manager delegates that work to a team member who creates tasks in Asana or Trello that correspond to the work that needs to be done.
- From there, marketing teams will coordinate several different handoffs to execute those tasks, such as reaching out to creative (design and copywriting teams), SEO, accounts payable for invoicing, developers, and so on.
- Once the deliverables have been finished and approved, fulfillment teams go to the chosen advertising platforms, build them out, and hit launch.
- Lastly, someone exports data out of the advertising platforms and gathers it in an Excel spreadsheet, a PPC report template, or a Google Data Studio dashboard to run analytics, create performance reports, and adjust campaigns as necessary.
While project management software plays an important role, you're still left operating across many different platforms to manage your workflow and operations.
To combine task management with order management on the front end, and reporting and analytics on the back end, you can use a collaborative work management platform to centralize more of your processes into a single place.
There are 4 must-have features that set a marketing work management platform apart from the standard tools used for project planning.
- An efficient way to capture orders, create line items, and share order details between all of the people involved in marketing services (sales, account management teams, ad ops, etc.).
- A way to streamline communication and approvals between team members or departments (eg. finance) during planning and execution.
- A customizable dashboard that lets your marketers perform advanced analytics, optimize marketing initiatives for better performance, and create beautiful client-facing reports.
- A way to automate as much of the process as possible (including task delegation, pulling in data, and sending out reports).
Next, we're going to look at how TapClicks, our marketing operations platform, helps incorporate these must-have features into your business.
How TapClicks Allows You to Streamline and Scale Your Marketing Operations: An in-Depth Walkthrough
TapClicks is a marketing operations platform that focuses on optimizing what we see as the three core pillars of marketing work management.
- Planning: Where you discuss, ideate, and document your tasks and strategies.
- Execution: Where you build-out and launch your marketing campaigns.
- Measurement: Where you bring in the data and insights you need to evaluate campaign performance, as well as share its performance with internal and external stakeholders.
Below, we look at the tools we developed to help with each of those pillars, by showing what it's like to create, launch, and measure a Google Ads campaign with TapClicks.
Note: While the example below is Google-specific, we have over 250 instant-on data source connectors to meet all of your omnichannel needs.
Whether you're taking service orders from clients or internal stakeholders, your marketing team must capture all the relevant information to plan and launch a campaign.
With TapOrders, your marketing team can create a product catalog of services that you offer along with templates that your sales team can use to create orders. These templates ensure you capture the exact information needed to set your campaigns up for success.
This is what it looks like to create an order in TapClicks.
From the side-panel of your dashboard, click on Orders, and then select Create New Order.
Here you can input all relevant information, from scheduling (the start and end dates of a campaign), to client information (which can be automatically pulled in if it's a client you're working with again), and so on.
A little further down the order template you can enter the budget, objective, and list whatever products and information are needed to make this campaign successful.
Product templates are easily customizable to fit your marketing team's specific services as you grow.
Plus, our analytics functionality which we cover in detail below can help you tailor your product catalog to the services that bring you the most profits and the highest client retention rate.
You can get a high level view of your orders and see all of your company's ongoing marketing activities in TapOrders.
TapWorkflow automatically routes tasks based on the business processes and approval workflow you've outlined within TapClicks.
This streamlines your resource management because you can have several different approval workflow processes outlined, such as a different workflow for a specific client or campaign, where the right team members are always getting alerted to new tasks they need to do.
This means instead of manually sending out emails, Slack messages, or following up on overdue Asana tasks, you can automate your marketing team's workflow and approval process.
In addition, you can easily push information through a webhook to Zapier or serving platforms like Google Ads, Google Ad Manager, or Facebook.
When creating your Google Ads campaign with TapClicks, a common workflow management process could look like this:
The campaign order is filled out and submitted with TapOrders. Then it's automatically routed to your fulfillment team. All of the order details your sales team filled out are centralized in one area.
In the right hand column, you can see a messaging feature where team members can communicate with each other about the task.
This cuts down on having to use Slack or email to communicate.
Below, you can see each deliverable of the order broken down by line items.
Each line item is a task that needs to be completed. You can click on each line for more information, such as comments, due dates, budget, and more.
When deliverables are submitted for review, they automatically go to approval where your decision-makers can leave comments on any suggested edits.
This saves your ad ops team time because they don't have to worry about exporting out deliverables and attaching them to an email to notify all the right parties.
Once deliverables are agreed upon, it's time to launch the campaign.
Using our new Google Push Integration, marketers can launch Google campaigns directly from their TapClicks dashboard.
This means they don't have to take the assets out of TapClicks and build them into their Google Ads account, saving them time and reducing the potential for errors.
Note: Pushing campaigns live from within TapClicksis a new feature that for the moment is exclusively available for Google Ads. However, we are currently working on setting up the same functionality across commonly used advertising platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram.
Once your campaign is live, it's time to measure performance.
We currently have over 250 Instant-on Connectors. We call them Instant-on because you can set up most of them with a live connection and pull in data within an hour.
Plus, we pull data in from marketing platforms in a way that matches how you built your marketing campaign in the first place.
For example, when you build a Google Ads campaign, you're using specific demographics or time blocks to capture the best conversion rate.
So, when you get Google Ads data in your dashboard, you can segment the data down to those same metrics. This means in your dashboard you can see ad performance broken down by age, race, device, time, and more.
TapAnalytics Bonus: Blending Your Data
With TapAnalytics, we have two ways for you to enhance your data to get more valuable insights:
- Blending and transforming your data
- Creating advanced calculations
Blending your data isuseful for marketing teams who want to evaluate ad performance within a larger context.
For example, we worked with Smartbox, a full-service digital agency that works exclusively with healthcare providers. Smartbox needed a way to find valuable opportunities for their clients while honoring strict HIPAA guidelines based on patient privacy.
Using TapAnalytics, SmartBox created a Practice Health Score.
This score was built around 4 factors that predicted client retention and growth. By blending data from CallRail an analytics platform that tracks in-bound calls and web forms with data from various advertising channels, our client was able to track the most valuable opportunities for their clients.
In addition, they saw an 80% reduction in time spent building reports, and were able to drive an additional 9,000 new patient opportunities per month for their clients.
Within the same dashboard, you can easily create advanced white-label reports with TapReports.
TapReports takes the data you put together in the dashboard we discussed above and lets you share it with stakeholders (both internal and external) in three ways.
- Reporting automation: Sending out reports on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, to the right people, in the file format they prefer.
- Creating ad hoc reports as needed: If a last-minute report is requested, you can use TapReports to quickly include the metrics requested and create a report.
- Giving stakeholders custom access: You can give your audience a special login to an interactive dashboard (with custom permission set by you).
By automating as much of the reporting process as possible, TapReports reduces the time marketing departments need to spend on exporting data sets, organizing them in spreadsheets, and sending them to various recipients.
A TapReports Plus for Agencies: Margin Markup
When your agency creates reports or gives your client custom access to their own interactive dashboard you can use our margin markup feature.
This way your client isn't focused on the specific cost of a service, and can better see the value your marketing team is bringing their business.
Final Thoughts: Optimizing Your Marketing Operations with TapClicks
We built TapClicks over the past decade using direct input from our user base, which is made up of digital marketing agencies, media companies, and large retail brands.
In doing so, we created a marketing work management solution that embodies the 4 must-have features for optimizing marketing operations.
With TapClicks, you can:
- Efficiently share order details from your sales team to your ad ops team.
- Streamline communication between team members during all stages of the process.
- Use our customizable analytics dashboard to optimize ongoing campaigns and increase performance.
- Automate manual and recurring tasks, such as creating and sending out reports, pulling in data sets, and handing off tasks from one team to another.
If you're ready to centralize your marketing operations into one platform, try our free 14-day trial to see how TapClicks can drastically improve your efficiency and results.