First a brief note on web seminars: Free seminars on almost any marketing topic are now common on the web. Use them to hone your skills and stay abreast of new marketing and management strategies. Who benefits?

  • Independent marketing pros
  • Marketing managers with small firms, and
  • Business owners with limited training budgets (they’re free professional development tools).
  • Project Management Software for the Marketing Dept.
    Marketing managers are required to plan, implement, manage, and measure multiple concurrent projects, usually with limited to non-existent capital budgets. The use of PM software is a wise investment if you expect to maximize your marketing department ROI.

    Finding the right PM software for your operations can be a daunting challenge. Do you need customized software for your marketing department? Shouldn’t the PM software you use for your IT department be just as effective for tracking marketing projects? After all, a project is a project isn’t it? Unfortunately, large enterprise software systems generally don’t work well for the marketing department.

    I participated in this web seminar:

    Event Topic: Using Technology to Manage Your Marketing Projects
    Date: Tuesday, March 7, 2006
    Seminar Sponsor: American Marketing Association (AMA).
    Presenter: Patrick J. Campbell, Dir. of Client Technologies, Aquent
    Moderator: Andy Grieser, AMA

    Here’s a brief summary of my notes:

    The content of this web seminar included:

  • Why all marketing organizations don’t have the same PM needs as the rest of the world.
  • Why marketers are struggling with project management.
  • Why generic project management solutions don’t work.
  • The trends that are happening in Marketing PM software.
  • How a company should go about selecting a Marketing PM tool.
  • The costs associated with the various tools.
  • The most common obstacles/mistakes that can occur once a company has selected a solution.
  • However, if you’re looking for a review of PM software packages you’ll need to look elsewhere.

    Trends in Marketing PM Software

    Third Party Installed Solution

  • Costs for Third Party Installed Solution range from $10k to $500k
  • Annual maintenance cost average is 20 percent of list price
  • Additional hardware required, cost depends on the size of your ops; $1k-$50k
  • Internal Build Solution

  • Happening less and less as other solutions become readily available.

  • General Trends and Other Considerations:

  • Multi platform (including the Macs now common)
  • More robust today than in previous years
  • Faster implementation, user-friendly
  • Workgroup level solutions now available
  • More modular solutions, scalable, more price points, less one size fits all
  • Don’t demo (sales people are experts at demos and they are limited in value)
  • Always involve your IT department even if it appears unnecessary; sooner or later you’ll need their help.
  • Training is very important; make sure it’s in the budget before buying
  • Ask the software provider to set up a sample project. It should only take a few minutes.
  • Firewall issues: ASP solutions sit outside the firewall and IT generally doesn’t like this at all. Make sure IT is involved and the provider has extensively tested security and backup systems.
  • Open Source Software: still not that common so make sure you make the right choice given customization could cost you.
  • If you want a copy of the entire slide presentation, let me know. It will be available shortly. Feel free to comment or contact me if you have any questions.

    – Greg Magnus