How Vonazon Manages Marketing Projects for SaaS Companies
Andy is a Project Coordinator and Marketing Assistant at Vonazon. He is passionate about total stakeholder integration and implementing the best possible strategies for his projects. When he is not at work you can catch Andy out in the wild running, hiking, or surfing.
In today’s fast-paced marketing environment, teams are required to move quickly and shift strategies as new information flows in.
At Vonazon, this process is sped up since many of our clients are software companies with products that are continuously being developed.
In this article, we’ll cover how we use ClickUp to stay ahead of our work.
The Evolution of Marketing
Modern marketers are expected to develop creative ideas and adapt to an ever-changing environment.
The only constant in the industry is progress. Marketing has evolved to be far more technical, with tools like marketing automation, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), and several other digital channels. Not to mention that the average end-user has become smarter.
A good example would be the success of the I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke campaign from 1971 that was revered in its time, compared to Pepsi’s 2017 Live for Now campaign that was seen as manipulative and tasteless.
What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?
But the end-user is not the only part of the process that has evolved. The complexities of today grow when you think about the tech world and industries like Software as a Service (SaaS).
These companies internalize the rapid rate of progress that has come to embody Silicon Valley. SaaS companies deliver software that is accessed through the internet, and usually, you pay for the product on a subscription basis, instead of as a one-time transaction. SaaS software spans B2B and B2C, with examples including ClickUp, Netflix, Dropbox, Uber, Slack, and many, many more.
As you can imagine, these companies are expected to develop their offering quickly, and there are countless speed bumps along the way trying to slow them down. Government regulations get pushed out consistently, end-users expect new features regularly, and the competition is never-ending.
The SaaS Marketer’s Workflow
As a digital agency, Vonazon is expected to keep up with this rate of change while also developing strategies to promote new features, raise brand awareness, and bring new products to market.
Otherwise, how would anyone know about the creative developments that are happening in these companies? It requires having a plan to work from and being agile enough to shift the strategy with new information.
A good process starts with a well-developed internal structure, also known as the Hierarchy in ClickUp.
Here’s how we organize our workflow in ClickUp:
- The Workspace is all of Vonazon
- Spaces are individual clients
- Folders are projects and campaigns within clients (e.g. Lead Nurture, or Hourly)
- Lists separate the phases in projects (Strategy, Design, Copy, Implementation). We keep all lists within a folder to stay better organized
- Tasks are just that, tasks (Design “x” Email, Build Landing Page “xX”, etc.)
- We try not to use a lot of Subtasks and Checklists. But they have their place for individuals. It gets confusing for some teams when the task becomes too granular
- We use Assigned and Tagged Comments heavily. Mainly during the copywriting, and design stages
This hierarchy is the base for setting up any organized project; it sets us up for success as we move into individual projects. We use the 5 stages of project management to align our wants and needs with that of our clients.
While these stages focus us on the goal, we also use ClickUp’s features to use an agile approach to create the highest quality work.
Here’s how we break down the 5 stages of project management.
Step 1: Initiation
Our campaign process begins with the handoff from our sales department to the client strategy team.
Here we discover the root of our client’s problem and identify objectives to pursue. With these objectives in mind, we make some assumptions like the best channel to reach the target audience and the general messaging to pursue.
We take notes in ClickUp’s Doc View, then highlight actionable items and create tasks directly from the document.
Step 2: Planning
We have decided that lead nurture is the best way to move forward, but the details still need to be figured out.
We create a separate page in the same Doc and start adding research. For new clients, this includes company, industry, and target customer research.
We then analyze our findings and start developing the strategy. Mind Maps become useful here since they allow us to make branches of the possible Buyer’s Journey.
As we perform this exercise into the customer’s psyche, we get a visual of the assets needed for the campaign. The path of least resistance for a reader to purchase could be two emails, a landing page, and an eBook.
But sometimes a customer will need to read three emails before they click-through to the landing page. After we have finished our strategy tree, we create a lead nurture campaign folder from a template and add in the specific amount of assets as tasks.
Our template maps our dates, and we add several Custom Fields like department and internal server path.
Step 3: Execution
With the project plan complete, the client strategist assembles a team of at least one copywriter, designer, and marketing automation specialist.
The internal phases are broken into Lists and are in constant review by the client strategist to make sure that the content meets quality standards. It’s important to note that the content shifts repeatedly due to the nature of SaaS companies, and we apply certain features from the agile methods here.
We develop content quickly and continue adding information as it comes in, allowing us to move forward with the rest of the strategy. With this in mind, the team launches into the execution of the campaign.
Step 4: Monitoring
We monitor projects in a few ways. Internally we are heavy users of the comment section of tasks. Assigned comments require action from the assignee, while mentioned comments are meant to keep the team informed.
These two comment types allow us to communicate shifts in messaging quickly. For a Lead Nurture, we might need to shift what feature we focus on in an eBook because the SaaS client is moving away from a specific technology.
A Calculation field is added to each task called “Days Overdue”, which calculates how many days a task took past the due date. It subtracts the Due Date by the Start Date. A positive number shows that a task is overdue, and a negative number shows that the task was completed early.
We use this at the end of the project to determine if we need to train team members more, or if tasks are more time-intensive than we originally thought. While we are not a fully agile company, we do use short term phases as sprints. An example would be our Implementation phase which builds the automation program for the Lead Nurture Campaign.
In the dashboards, we track the progress of the Implementation phase with the use of a Burndown Chart. At the end of the chart, we should have completed all the copy for the campaign, designed each asset, built them in a marketing automation software, and developed a reporting plan for post-campaign launch.
Step 5: Closing
The Vonazon Closing procedures are pretty standard. We confirm that the client is satisfied with the work and launch the marketing campaign.
There is continued reporting for post-campaign, but a large number of resources, like copywriters and designers, are released. We document any improvements discovered and add them to the existing Lead Nurture template.
Our Client Strategy team goes above and beyond by auditing our client and making recommendations for further marketing improvements.
Which brings us full circle to the Initiation phase of the next campaign.
ClickUp Makes SaaS Marketing Easier
The five stages aren’t set rules, but rather guidelines to allow creativity and efficiency to flow together.
The strategy output is the end goal, and Vonazon continues to analyze and improve on how we approach every project so that we can be better next time.
As a digital marketing agency, our clientele includes more than SaaS companies, but there is an innate attraction to the Software as a Service industry because of how fast they progress. It requires us to rethink internal processes and to train our team continuously with the most up to date tools. It is difficult to do this when every software has one piece of the Project Management puzzle.
ClickUp has made us more productive by developing one tool to house all our needs. Find out how we can help you be more productive too.