5 Things You Need To Know When Choosing Marketing Project Management Software In 2019

Iliyan Germanov
Ora Blog
Published in
9 min readNov 7, 2019

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“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” ~Albert Einstein

“Human stupidity is infinite…” — Einstein said it. But that’s not an excuse for some people to get scammed, taken advantage of, or misled!

However, in reality when those people make a terribly wrong decision, instead of support they receive laughter and the label “Stupid”…

But in fact, they’re equally smart people whose problem isn’t their intelligence but rather their lack of information on a particular subject.

The goal of this article is to inform you of the must-have features to look for in a marketing project management software in 2019 and show you the common mistakes, and costly pricing traps to avoid.

The 5 Basic Features that the best marketing project management software in 2019 must have are:

  1. File-Sharing: without limit or quality lose
  2. Customizable Marketing Workflows
  3. Time-Tracking & Reporting
  4. Task Relationships
  5. Gantt Charts (Schedule)

1. File-Sharing: without limit or quality lose

Has this ever happened to you? You start a task that requires something from a teammate. You open your project management software and there’s nothing attached in the task…

You start scrolling Slack’s chat history, searching 12354 emails, and 10 more channels to just find out that you don’t know where the file is… Frustrating isn’t it?

Wouldn’t it be better to have everything clean and prepared in your task? Well, that’s why modern marketing project management systems support drag & drop file attachments without quality loss or limits.

Suggestion: Be extra careful with the free file storage limits. Some longer projects can easily turn big, resulting in you paying much more than expected for a “budget” project management software.

2. Customizable Marketing Workflows

Every company is different and has its own workflow. Do you agree? Then if we look at the big picture that applies to industries, too.

Now imagine using Microsoft’s enterprise software development workflow (designed for 43,680 software engineers) for the needs of your 8 people marketing team. How would that go?

My assumption — not very well… That’s why your project management software must support fully-customizable marketing templates that match your company’s size and processes.

Suggestion: For Marketing teams consider using the Kanban methodology with additional custom columns specific to your business. Common ones are “Ideas”, “Research”, “To Do”, “In Progress”, “Blocked”, “Draft Ready”, “Review”, “Live/Done”.

If you’re not sure exactly which project management methodology to choose — check our detailed guide on Kanban vs Scrum vs Scrumban: What Are The Differences?

3. Time-Tracking & Reporting

Imagine that you have the best marketing workflow possible. What’s the point of it if your employees are chilling most of the time and not working with it at all?

Well… Your team might be an exception but let’s get back to reality… In every team, big or small laziness happens and it might not even be employees’ fault at all.

It’s the project manager who keeps everyone busy, assigns tasks and ensures their successful execution.

For example, If John in your team is blocked or finished his tasks earlier, it’s not his fault that he’s watching 4 hours of YouTube… And if you’re not on his desk would you even know that?

So would you like to know who, how much, on what and when was working? Here your project management software with its Time-Tracking and Reporting features can come in handy!

A good Time-Tracking feature must allow:

A good Reporting feature must allow you to see:

Suggestion: Choose marketing project software that supports built-in Time-Tracking and Reporting without the need of installing additional plug-ins.

⚠️ Care with Additional plug-ins! In some cases, “a FREE forever with unlimited accounts” project management software can cost you more than the most premium one while you actually end up paying $$$$$ for shitty plug-ins and mediocre user experience. If you are still not convinced why you and your team should track your time — Check out our blog post explaining The Benefits of Time Tracking

4. Task Relationships

When you have optimal Workflow and Time-Tracking to ensure your team’s productivity the biggest challenge arises…

A challenge that prevents even the most loyal and hardworking employees to deliver on time. In programming, they call it the Deadlock but I’ll give you a marketing analogy.

“””
Imagine that Project Manager Pippin must deliver a very important, on-demand, and urgent hamburger marketing campaign for its biggest client.

So without much planning, Pippin assigns Marketing Marry to run the campaign and Designer Dom to design it.

Of course, Marry opens the task with priority, read the requirements, writes down a comment saying that she needs the design from Dom first and leaves it there.

On the other hand, Dom opens the task immediately, writes down that he needs a briefing from Marry first and leaves it there.

Two days have passed…

Dom and Marry are still blocked on the priority task and haven’t even started it! The client is impatiently calling Pippin to see the progress but there’s no clue of the crucial hamburger campaign…
“””

Now imagine that you’re trading places with Pippin and the CEO of the hamburger company calling you is the CEO of McDonald’s! Not cool, isn’t it? The overtime that Marry and Dom will have to deliver won’t be cool, too.

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In reality, being blocked happens a lot and as you know the processes aren’t simple as in Pippin’s story. So the question is how to prevent that from happening?

Let’s think for a moment! If Pippin knew that Dom needs a briefing from Marry first he would structure the tasks the following way:
1. Marry briefs Dom
2. Dom makes the design
3. Marry runs the campaign

Easy but if Pippin just knew…

The solution to this problem is having Task Relationships feature in your project management software. Tasks Relationships allow tasks to relate to other tasks and subtasks in a way that notifies the project manager if they’re blocked or have high chances of being blocked.

A good Task Relationships feature must support:

  • Task Dependencies
  • Task Causes
  • Many-To-Many Relationship
  • Custom Relation Types

Suggestion: When choosing project management software beside features also pay extra attention to the UX and performance. Otherwise, your employees won’t even use the features (you pay for) if the features are ugly, hard-to-understand and slow.

5. Gantt Charts (Schedule)

In business, time is money and chasing deadlines is more usual than you think. It gets even trickier when the deadlines are short, resources depleted and the client wants the job done yesterday.

However, If you’ve assigned deadlines and estimations to your tasks, having a Gantt Chart feature in your marketing project management software can save the day.

A Gantt Chart is a type of bar chart that illustrates a project’s schedule, tasks, progress, and deadlines.

You can think of a Gantt Chart as a long-term timeline for your project that lets you:
1. See the big picture
2. Know if you’ll hit your big deadlines
3. Prevent people from getting blocked in future sprints/iteration

A good Gantt Chart feature should:

Suggestion: When looking for a Gantt Chart in a marketing project management software think for yourself first. So before buying anything request a free trial play around with the whole system and see for yourself if it’s good or not.

BONUS: Project Observers (Clients)

As a Marketing team, you often deal with clients and stakeholders that usually want to see the progress of their projects.

So to be transparent with clients, your team must spend time creating reports, presentations, joining meetings and after all not everyone is always fully satisfied…

However, A Project Observers feature in your project management software can fix that by:
1. Allowing your clients to see the progress of the project themselves. (build trust)
2. Saving you time from creating monthly/weekly reports. (gaib more time)
3. Allowing clients to review progress and provide feedback earlier. (less iterations -> more work done).

A good Project Observers feature should do two things:

  • Allow you to fully-control what Observers can see or do
  • 🤩 Be pleasant to the eye and easy to use because the observers won’t use it otherwise

Suggestion: When choosing Project Observers feature be extra careful with the Observers limit because as you run multiple projects Observers will multiple and that can hit you seriously on the pricing.

I’d recommend going for a marketing project software with unlimited observers.

If you’re also wondering what is the best project management software on the market in 2020, check this detailed listing on the 17 best project management solutions in 2020 (including free ones).

Conclusion

Choosing the best marketing project management software in 2019 within all available solutions is not an easy task.

Taking your team size, processes and niche in consideration let’s also recap the features a good marketing project software must have:

  1. File-Sharing: without limit or quality lose
  2. Customizable Marketing Workflows
  3. Time-Tracking & Reporting
  4. Task Relationships
  5. Gantt Charts (Schedule)

Now our final suggestion for you is to go out and see as many project management software tools and choose the one which best fits your needs.

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Software Suggestion: Ora - Marketing Project Management Software

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Ora believes in and implements all the features described in this article with attention to detail and UX simplicity. Check the shortlist to see what Ora’s Marketing Solution supports below👇

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Ora’s Core Features for Marketing

1. Marketing Kanban Board

2. File-Sharing

3. Time-Tracking

  • Team members can track time as easy as playing music
  • Tracking of individual tasks
  • Tracking of subtasks
  • ⚠️ No add-ons or additional plugins required

4. Reporting

5. Task Relationships

  • Task Dependencies
  • Task Causes
  • Task Relates to (Custom)
  • Many-To-Many Relationship Support

6. Gantt Charts (Timeline & Schedule)

7. Unlimited Project Observers

Ora runs on all platforms — Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux! That ensures that you’ll be on the top of your game at the office, while travelling and at home!

We also know that sometimes you work harder than most people and we want to make your experience better! That’s why we’ve included Dark Theme, Night Mode, Reading Mode, and more small details to make you feel better. 😊

With Ora, you’ll always be on the top of your game and shatter productivity limits! Try Ora’s Marketing project management free software now!

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⚠️ Ora is free forever for up to 3 team members! For more info, you might want to check our pricing.

What do people say about Ora?

Ora: 4.5/5 (68 Reviews) on Capterra

Ora on Product Hunt 5.0/5

Ora 4.5/5 on G2

An Interactive demo of Ora for Marketing Projects👇

Try Ora Professional with a 30-day free trial now and save 20% if you decide to go with it!

Originally published at https://ora.pm on November 7, 2019.

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Iliyan Germanov
Ora Blog

Software Engineer: Android | Functional Programming - Kotlin & Haskell. Excited by innovation and science.