Wrong creative and duplicated work – is marketing project management stuck in the Stone Age?

5 min read


The marketing sector prides itself on being at the cutting edge when it comes to engaging customers digitally. Augmented reality, internet of things, predictive analytics – the list goes on and on.

However, there’s an increasing amount of evidence that this forward-thinking approach stumbles when it comes to how they work internally. In fact, it seems a lot of marketing teams and agencies are still using working practices from the past century to manage their projects and processes.

While their specialist project management counterparts have eagerly adopted dedicated software tools, marketers continue to rely on email trails, spreadsheets and corporate intranets to share knowledge and control how their work is progressing. And unfortunately, the amount of duplicated work and error-strewn creative out there shows that it’s just not doing the job.



How do we know this?

Because we recently carried out a major piece of research among 220 client-side and agency-side marketers that highlighted the issue in no uncertain terms:

To begin with, two out of five brands and agencies (40%) admit that they’ve inadvertently published an incorrect piece of creative – anything from a typo in the copy to the wrong branding or even the wrong product image.

In addition, one in six (17%) confess that unnecessary duplication of work happens frequently.

A lot of this problem is due to an old-fashioned creative approvals process. We also found that only 17% of organisations have dedicated creative project management software to manage feedback and version control, while the rest apparently rely either on multiple separate systems such as spreadsheets and cloud storage or on email trails.

 In fact, one in nine marketing managers and agencies (11%) choose to rely solely on face to face approvals with no written or digital confirmation at all.

The survey uncovered that Email and Microsoft Excel are the two main software systems used by marketing teams and agencies to manage projects, and that less than half (44%) use dedicated project management tools.

However, and here’s the rub, eight out of ten respondents (79%) think it would save them both time and frustration if they were able to go to just one place to get their work done.

A third of marketers (33%) go on to admit that they lack standardised processes, while more than a third (34%) feel that work requests are not handled well in their organisation.

Almost three-quarters of brands and agencies (72%) also admit that they don’t have one place, such as a dedicated online environment, where they and their partners can collaborate to ensure their work is properly aligned and integrated.


What the research uncovered is a lack of sophistication when it comes to project management and the creative approvals process: one that could be causing real problems for the marketing sector. Given the constantly changing digital world in which they operate every day, surely the time has come when agencies and marketing managers should be willing to adopt more sophisticated digital methods of working?


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