6 key features to consider when choosing your next campaign management tool

There are countless details that go into delivering an awesome marketing campaign, all of which need to be tracked, updated, and shared across teams and departments. And with so many things to manage, outdated, disparate tools don’t cut it anymore. They hamper workflows and communication, and throw the best parts of your job—like finding new ways to reach your audience and crafting engaging, useful content—into chaos. 

You can’t manage complex, high-volume campaigns without some type of campaign management software (well, technically you could...but we wouldn’t recommend it). The problem is that all campaign management tools claim to do roughly the same things, and it’s tough to differentiate until you’re deep in the product.

Invest in the wrong one, and you could get stuck with software that overcomplicates your processes, doesn’t suit your needs, or simply goes unused by your team.

What is marketing campaign management software?

“Marketing campaign management software” is a mouthful—but if you break it down, it’s simpler than it sounds. You need a tech solution that will help your marketing team better organize your tasks, simplify your workflows, and streamline general operations. Look for tech that gives you end-to-end support for each aspect of your marketing campaigns, and helps you execute your everyday essential tasks, from notifying other team members when assets are ready for review, to generating reports on performance metrics. 

What are the benefits of campaign management software?

Managing all of the moving parts of a marketing campaign is no easy feat—they call it “juggling” for a reason. But campaign management software should free your team up to focus on the more important (and, franky, fun) stuff like brainstorming creative content ideas or collaborating on a strategy to reach new audiences. Good campaign management software also:

  • Helps you see the big picture while managing the details - The right marketing campaign management software gives you a bird’s-eye view of your entire process, timeline, and tasks. That way, you can see what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can adjust if necessary. On the other hand, it also lets you drill down into the details so you can more easily understand and manage all of the campaign’s specifics. 

  • Keeps your team on the same page - Campaign management tools also make it easier to communicate and work together with your team. As a result, everyone can effectively operate as a unit while each person still has the space to focus on their own assignments. 

  • Helps you manage multiple campaigns at once - When you’re executing more than one campaign at a time, your team needs to stay on top of every detail, manage various workflows, and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Campaign management software allows you to scale your efforts with information that’s accurate, up-to-date, and accessible. Different workflows or processes for different campaigns? No problem. Modern campaign technologies are customizable enough to fit the way your team works—and flexible enough to change as your approach does. 

What features should campaign management software have?

As with any other type of software, finding a campaign management tool that best suits your needs can feel daunting at first. To help you focus your search, keep an eye out for some key features and capabilities and make sure the software you choose fits this criteria:

Ease of use

A tool is only valuable if your team actually needs and wants to use it. And there’s a lot of neglected software out there. One report found that nationally (across the U.S. and U.K.), companies waste $30 billion each year on unused or rarely used software. Choose a solution with a modern interface and intuitive design that you can use right out of the box. You’ll save time onboarding and ensure your team is actually putting the tool to good use.

This benefit lasts beyond onboarding and training, too. User-friendly campaign software—though complex on the back-end—makes managing the complicated pieces of campaign simple. With features like easy navigation, single-click design, and the ability to integrate with your other tools, your team will save time and stay on track every step of the way. 

Flexible, customizable views

Every marketing team has its own unique workflow—one that might change depending on the stage of a campaign or even from campaign to campaign. Traditional marketing management tools of the past, like spreadsheets or outdated software, often require you to make some compromises in your workflows so that you can stay within the tool capabilities. 

Today, the best campaign management software is flexible and customizable, so you can create the workflows that make the most sense for your team (now and in the future). Look for tools that offer different view types, so teams and individuals can visualize their work how they want. With this kind of flexibility, everyone on your team can work with information in the way that suits their flow, without compromising the integrity of the underlying data.

Elimination of data silos and redundancy 

A unified team is a successful team, and one that can execute campaigns without duplicating work. If you’re using multiple management solutions, chances are you’re at risk of missing crucial details that could be stuck in disconnected tools and databases. These disparate tools make it difficult to trust your data—especially when you’re juggling large or multiple campaigns. Your marketing campaign management software should be a single source of truth across teams and departments.  

Reports and insights

How can you tell if a campaign has been successful? Data. Of course, viewing raw data gets overwhelming pretty quickly. And teams that rely on traditional spreadsheets and other disconnected tools to sift through and compile that data are wasting precious time. Whichever marketing campaign management tool you choose should be able to automatically distill raw data down into digestible reports and dashboards that can automatically update.

Task automation

The true value of your marketing team lies in each person’s ability to think outside the box, while applying critical problem solving skills to the challenges they face. But, to keep the campaign engine running, those same creative marketers are often stuck completing repetitive, administrative tasks, like data entry and sending status-update emails, that pull them away from higher-value initiatives. 

Automating these tasks can boost productivity by up to 20%, so it makes sense to invest in software that streamlines them. Look for a tool that has powerful, intelligent rules engines that can help you build fully customizable trigger-and-action sequences that automate those simple tasks. For example, say you’ve finalized some blog content that’s ready to upload to your CMS. You should be able to set things up so that once you change the status tied to that content record to “Ready to upload,” whoever is in charge of uploading content gets a notification. 

And you should be able to build these workflows on your own, without leaning on operations teams (or engineering). Find a tool that lets you set up automations without code, so your team can drive their own efficiency.

Integration with other popular tools

Your marketing team probably relies on a suite of tools to do their work. However, toggling between all of those apps takes a toll. One report found that 68% of workers toggle between apps up to 10 times an hour, and 31% said this switching made them lose their train of thought.

One way to cut down on that distraction is to ensure that your campaign management solution can pull in data from other popular marketing tools. Look for platforms that can integrate with the solutions your team uses most, like Wordpress, Slack, Google Suite, Eventbrite, MailChimp, and more. 

How does Airtable help you execute winning marketing campaigns?

Airtable is a cloud-based software that offers the benefits and flexibility of a database in an intuitive, easy-to-use spreadsheet format. It lets your team easily customize views and workflows, streamline collaboration and communication, and gain actionable insights to drive better campaign outcomes—all with little to no coding necessary. 

Airtable offers everything you need to better optimize your marketing campaigns:

  • Simple content calendar setup

  • Easily configurable, personalized views (Kanban, calendar, Gantt, and more.)

  • Seamless integrations with popular tools like Slack, Gmail, Wordpress, and more

  • Custom trigger-and-action automations

  • Collaboration across mobile and desktop

  • Customizable, sharable reports and dashboards

  • Rich field types (file attachments, checklists, barcodes and QR codes, and more)

What’s next? Find the right tool for you

Clearly, managing marketing campaigns with manual processes and outdated tools is a recipe for frustration and, chances are, a campaign that doesn’t meet expectations. The right campaign management software can ease the burden, but these solutions are only valuable if they provide the kind of customization, automation, and streamlined processes your team needs.

Airtable empowers users with an approachable interface that doesn’t dictate how you work— it lets you work how you want to. take control of your processes. Learn how Airtable can help you manage your marketing campaigns, or sign up today to get started. 

Start building with Airtable today

About the author

Nashia Kamalis a marketing expert and senior manager of integrated campaigns at Airtable.

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