While “antiquated systems” may seem like the latest buzzword used solely by IT managers, it’s the CMOs and marketing managers who should be wary of the concept. The reason: archaic marketing systems are standing in the way of marketers’ productivity, hindering their abilities and causing them to waste valuable time.
What exactly is an antiquated system, you may ask? They’re the systems that have presumably been in your office since the day your company first opened its doors (assuming that wasn’t in the last five years). They are the software and hardware that often isn’t updated because it still “gets the job done.” Antiquated systems may include your outdated content management system (CMS), project management software and file-sharing method—all of which can result in missed files, slow content load times and limited functionality.
In fact, a recent study by Oxford University found that nearly one-third of workers are frustrated by the fact that they continually have to fix technology that isn’t working properly. Here’s how these systems may be frustrating your creative marketers and killing their performance:
- An old CMS is as good as a death trap for productivity. In the early years of the Internet, your CMS was just a way to upload files to the Internet and normally these files were text heavy and small in size. Since your CMS was built to operate on a less sophisticated version of the Web than the one we know and love today, it may have a difficult time understanding and processing larger documents that include pictures and videos. Worse, unless you’ve been updating it along the way, it may not be able to even upload video and pictures (and doing so may require some serious MacGyver-like skills on the user’s end). All the time that goes into manipulating files to fit into your CMS could be used to brainstorm new projects, accelerate work processes and tackle other workplace tasks that often don’t get as much attention as they deserve.
- Your outdated project management system is doing more harm than good. We’ve all asked ourselves at one time or another, “is this technology really saving me time?” While project management systems are great pieces of software that can help organize every aspect of a project—from time-to-completion estimates to resource allocation—outdated ones can be a waste of time. That’s mainly because older systems are more geared towards project planning and preparation than actual execution. This forces your employees to leverage separate applications and software to complete important functions such as project collaboration, document and asset editing, and time tracking. The constant back and forth is enough to drive employee frustration.
- You may be sharing files over Outlook but that doesn’t make it a file-sharing system. In a marketing agency, file sharing refers to how content is created, edited and approved. What that means is that files are constantly being passed back and forth, with edits being made each step along the way and those edits are being saved to local drives. Oftentimes, the document sent initially can morph into a completely different version as the editing process ensues. However, in this method of file sharing, there is no way to track the most up-to-date file and the risk of it being lost along the way becomes great. When this happens, those who need to know about the lost file often don’t find out about it until it is already too late. Furthermore, there is no way for more than one person to edit and collaborate on a file unless they are both sitting at the same desktop.
Antiquated systems are exhausting for marketers and do nothing but slowly kill productivity. As such, it’s imperative to evaluate how to best upgrade these systems. Sure, it may take time to train your employees on the new software, but just think of all the time and frustration that will be saved in the end.
Editor’s Note: Heather Hurst is the corporate marketing director at Workfront, a cloud-based Enterprise Work Management solution. Hurst authored this piece for the Mad Marketer site and her other work can be found on the Workfront blog, here. To learn how you can contribute to the Mad Marketer, contact us here.