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Five Trends For Marketing Project Management in 2021

The start of any year is a great time to get on the front foot and look at the processes and tools you have in place to streamline your marketing projects for the year to come. While many of us may be a bit more cautious about what trends we prepare for, thanks to the volatility of 2020, at we now have a better idea of what to expect.

2020 has completely changed the landscape of the modern working environment, with up to 60% of Australian workers now preferring to work from home, or have a work and office home split. Last year may have seen marketing teams implement rushed systems for remote working, but this year will be the time to hone in on them, making operations and project management even more streamlined. Businesses who take the time to actually look at what processes they have in place and improve them will ultimately receive the biggest benefits.

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Whether you?re a marketing agency, team of remote workers, or a hybrid of internal staff and outsourced consultants, here are some trends that can help your marketing operations get on the front foot for 2021.

Remote Working Is Here To Stay

2020 will go down in history for many things. But one of the most relevant to business, it will go down as the catalyst of the demise on full-time working onsite, with remote working becoming more mainstream. The varied facets of marketing have always leant themselves to remote working more than other industries, and when businesses were forced from home it was often marketing and IT teams who led the pack.  

With staff continuing to work from home in 2021 and choosing to do so even when restrictions are lifted, it?s up to every business to make sure their processes are properly in place to facilitate this. After stumbling through systems last year, take the start of this year to look at these and make sure they are actually doing what your business needs them to do.

Are your communication tools making interaction and updates easier, or adding further stress to the steam? Do you have systematic processes for marketing workflows and approvals to make sure assets are designed and sent out on time, or have you been missing deadlines? Do you have the right digital storage in place to make sure you can find these assets again when you need them, or are these getting lost in a sea of emails and individual drives?

Investing in the right marketing operations software for 2021 will save you money in the long run. A platform that can set individual deadlines, access rights across different stakeholders, and approval processes for the right people will not only streamline your processes at home, but also make them easier if you do head back into the office. 


Online Staff Engagement Will Be More Important Than Ever

While not a new concept, last year the term ?Zoom fatigue? became a regular in our office vocab. Zoom fatigue essentially describes the added level of exhaustion that comes from using video chats and communication for both the workplace and your personal life. Unlike meeting in person, video calls make it harder for the brain to relax, meaning staff constantly must be switched on. If they?re not, they risk getting lost in the conversation, leading to unengaged staff who are tired and confused.

The drastic changes in 2020 meant that businesses were given some leeway when it came to online staff engagement. But businesses slow to adapt will be given little flexibility by their staff this year when it comes to keeping remote teams and stakeholders engaged and connected with the rest of the team.

Online meetings and training are particularly important here, and some businesses have already found the best ways around this. General video training for larger groups can be ideal to get most information out, but make sure you are also engaging with workers one-on-one to clarify any questions or provide additional training to those who need it. Integrating better technology and tools to improve on this communication and make jobs easier will also help keep your staff members more engaged with one another, and more satisfied in their roles.


2021 Will Be About Finding The ?Right? Technology

Last year was a practice run for many businesses implementing remote or hybrid remote working systems, but 2021 will be the main event. Now you?ve been able to iron out the kinks of managing teams online across Australia, or internationally, it?s time to look at what software is working, or what could be improved.

Video calls and countless emails may have been the quickest solution to implement for marketing teams when it comes to design feedback and approval, but they also leave more room for error when it comes to version control, asset management, and approvals. Meaning more bottlenecks, double handling, and even mistakes when it comes to what is going to market.

This year, marketing teams should be look towards specialised operations management software to properly customise to how their team operates. Adopting end-to-end solutions that can manage everything including initial brief, design, version control, style variations, individual deadlines, stakeholder management, and even approval when it comes to legal or compliance, means that every link in the chain is covered. This type of consolidating software can make it easier to work from home, with a hybrid office and home workforce, or between agencies, clients, and stakeholders, reducing the need for long email chains or unnecessary online meetings that can contribute to more digital fatigue.


Demand For Fresh Content Remains High

The demand for unique marketing content grew to an all-time high in 2020, and this year will be no different. Social media platforms will continue to prioritise new features in their algorithms while physical documents such as COVID-Safe plans and even physical features like branded sanitiser will require design and approval in the new year.

Needing to utilise growing features such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok Shops, AI and VR content options, virtual events replacing physical events, and the continued maintenance of ongoing marketing such as social media, blogs, products, and advertising, means that marketing teams will be more under the pump to produce fresh, streamlined content than they have before.

But if content is king, then having the right marketing operations in place are your queen. Finding a software that can help manage all the demands for content, including deadlines, version control, and even variations on design style for cross-promotion, will be the timesaver that every marketer needs.


Budgets Will Have To Do More With Less

Despite Australia?s e-commerce estimated to have been accelerated by 3 years due to the pandemic, consumer spending across 2020 still dropped overall. When times are tough, marketing budgets are usually the first to go, and more marketing teams will be trying to work with less across the course of this year. This will naturally have an impact on everything from software investments, campaign budgets, and even how content is produced, with more businesses focusing on customer retention as opposed to the more expensive new customer acquisition.

Any marketing operational costs made this year are going to be carefully considered, but future investments should still be considered. Efficiency is one of the best cost savers there is when it comes to staff resources, time management, and reducing expensive mistakes. Operations that can streamline marketing processes will be the best time saver for your budget this year, leaving more room for important advertising campaigns or assets.


Final Thoughts

Last year proved an experimental one for many marketing teams trying to change up their processes. But with the kinks ironed out, those who take the time to prepare for the year and make flexible working even more streamlined could find that 2021 is the best year for their team, no matter where they are.

Chat to us about how admation can make your marketing operations processes more streamlined and efficient this year.  

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