Consulting

Project Management Tools for Advertising & Marcom/PR Agencies

Looking for ad agency project management software? You're not alone. I don't think there is an agency on the planet that doesn't struggle with managing dozens if not hundreds of projects on a given day.  So many details, so many cooks in the kitchen and so many consequences if a single detail gets lost, misunderstood or forgotten. There's good news and not so good news and downright bad news on the project management software front. The good news is -- there are lots of excellent software choices out there at all price points. The not so good news is -- no one software is the magic bullet and does it all.  You're going to have to make some compromises. The bad news is -- the garbage in, garbage out rule is as true today as it was 20 years ago.  These project management software systems could be great for your agency, but if you and your team don't use them regularly, well and with discipline -- you will end up walking away frustrated. While I am sure this list is not exhaustive, here's a good sampling of the most commonly used project management tools for agencies.  Click on any of the names to check out their website. Some on the list are specifically for project management.  Others will let you do time sheets and there are even some that are project management and full-on accounting altogether. One of the newer entries, Zerys is mostly a custom content management system but also includes project management functionality.  So there's a little something for everyone. 10,000 Feet Advantage AgileZen Basecamp BizPad Copper CurrentTrack  FunctionFox Function Point  Intervals Paprika Project Manager Robohead  eSilent Partner  Traffic Vertabase Workamajig WorkZone Zerys   [...]

The economy is pushing agencies into vendor roles

Earlier this week, we kicked off a conversation about why agencies find themselves relegated to vendor status.  If you remember, we identified 3 causes. The economy -- workforce reductions, budget cuts and overall fear (out of your control) Agencies willingness to behave like a vendor just to get the project (within your control) Agencies hiring "nice" account executives who are order takers rather than smart business people (within your control) In this post, we're going to look at what you can do to work around the economy issue. In the current economic climate, ad and marketing managers on the client side are trying to keep their jobs and cut costs. They're seeing fellow employees being downsized are doing everything they can to make themselves look more indispensable to their bosses. One obvious way for them to do this is to bring a lot of the work they normally farmed out to agencies back  in house. Some marketing managers even go so far as to set up an in-house agency, not knowing or not heeding the fact that no in house agency has ever been proven to save money in the long run. (Don’t waste your time or your breath trying to argue them out of this dumb idea. It's one of those "you have to live it to believe it" deals.) It's tough to deal with someone who is operating from a place of fear but that's where a lot of our clients are right now.  They kept waiting for the economy to go back to normal and now they're realizing that this is the new normal.  Now, every dollar they spend is scrutinized and performance expectations are huge.  Human nature drives them to clutch [...]

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