Could this be the BEST mind mapping and collaborative project management tool for digital agencies? – We thnk so!
Transform how you work at your digital agency with this mind mapping and collaborative project management tool.
Take a moment to think about the challenges your digital marketing agency is facing. The likelihood is that they are similar to other agencies, relating to the creative process, project planning and team connectivity, strategy and… well, clients.
A new report from Wix explored the top challenges for digital agencies. The report stated: “Agencies will have to better define their role in the client’s journey towards success.”
To re-define your role in your client’s journey towards success, think back to those challenges. What solutions do you need put in place? For example:
- Strong creative, straight out of the blocks: Your agency needs to have an exceptional creative process that your clients can rely on. However, creativity isn’t something you can turn on at the drop of a hat.
- Efficient and effective delivery: Original ideas need to be developed and delivered with dependable project management. Despite this being a major necessity, managing tasks efficiently is difficult, even for mature agencies.
- Know the bigger picture: Related to this, there should be a clear strategy with regular analysis. Your client’s end goal should be in sight, always, so why do clients and team members often feel in the dark about the strategic direction?
- Motivated team giving full effort: Everyone involved should understand how they are part of a connected, collaborative effort to reach goals. However, maintaining team cohesion is tricky, particularly for digital agencies when working remotely or flexibly is increasingly common.
- Keep communication clear and simple: Finally, engage with your clients in a clear and communicative way. Easier said than done.
The Problem: Switching on Creativity
The Solution: Generate Original Ideas by Mind Mapping
The Problem: Managing Tasks Efficiently
The Solution: Transparent Project Management
The Problem: Lack of Strategic Direction
The Solution: Think Like a CMO With SWOT Analysis
The Problem: Team Connectivity
The Solution: Live Collaboration and Team Chat
The Problem: Client Liaisons
The Solution: Visual Communications
Believe it or not, there is a single tool that offers every solution to these challenges and promises to transform the way your digital agency works: Mind Doodle. Let’s explore how this mind mapping and collaborative project management tool fits into your digital agency.
Problem 1: Switching on Creativity
Your digital agency will no doubt be proud of beautifully executed work, but before you reach the point of delivery, you need to focus on the quality of ideas.
A client’s USP is their responsibility. However, presenting that USP in a way that is memorable and… ahem, unique, is yours.
You need to come up with creative solutions, original designs and marketing concepts that stand out. Your clients deserve that, and you deserve the opportunity to develop your strongest ideas.
Creativity is your digital agency’s biggest asset. You have client work to do and creativity is all part of the deal, but it isn’t always that simple. Some days, you can’t seem turn on the creativity tap, and on days like these you can explore tools and techniques to get those creative juices flowing.
You may not be able to force creativity, but you can encourage it. Enter, Mind Doodle.
Solution 1: Generate Original Ideas by Mind Mapping
Edward de Bono coined the term lateral thinking and authored Six Thinking Hats. Considered as one of the pioneers of brain training, he said: “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”
When you can’t be creative on demand, use mind mapping as a more playful route to generating ideas. It’s a creative method that allows you to come up with fresh ideas with minimal preparation. You simply start with a key word in the centre of the screen and add related words, phrases or branches of ideas outwards from there. Be inquisitive and see where the journey takes you.
To generate high-quality, original ideas by mind mapping, you must explore lots and lots of ideas. Quantity breeds quality.
You may come up with some mediocre ideas, that’s fine. You may also touch on some ideas that are a little too… out there. That’s okay, too. It’s all part of the process. Most importantly, you’ll see the gems shining through. Those are the bright ideas that you move forward with and develop.
Using Mind Doodle for mind mapping, you can drill down into those exceptional and original ideas with notes and media to bring them to life.
When it comes to sharing your mind map with colleagues or your client, you can either invite them to collaborate on your project, or you can export to Microsoft Word or PowerPoint, meaning you won’t need to write-up your ideas again, saving more time for crafting your original ideas.
Problem 2: Managing Tasks Efficiently
Every member of your team getting on with their tasks in solitude is not necessarily a bad thing, but trust and collaboration may suffer. Sometimes tasks are inherently collaborative and you need to rely on effective team communication or a task becomes blocked.
Without an effective task management system, it’s difficult to know whether a particular team member’s talent is being underutilised. On the other hand, what if too much workload falls on one desk? All the enthusiasm and motivation in the world can’t combat burnout.
he worst-case scenario is that one or more team members aren’t pulling their weight. Productivity is important for any business, but particularly for a digital agency with billable hours and multiple client projects at once. Time is money, and you need a reliable team.
You’ll struggle to manage a cohesive team that understands how their efforts combine to reach unified goals without putting the right tools in place. The secret sauce is transparency.
Solution 2: Transparent Project Management
Being transparent helps you build trust. You can create better transparency of goals and responsibilities with a project management tool like Mind Doodle.
Using Mind Doodle’s task board, you ensure everyone knows what they are meant to be doing. Each person understands their role and their responsibilities. You create accountability without invading privacy, establishing clear expectations and shared goals.
The project management functionality filters throughout Mind Doodle. You can create a mind map and then add tasks to each of the ideas. You can also add tasks from the SWOT analysis tool, turning project weaknesses into strengths (more on this later). You can share and discuss tasks in the chat tool, and you can add lower priority tasks to a backlog for later.
To action tasks, you drag them across a task board. There are states like “In Progress” and “Completed” which are customisable to suit your project. You can also work through different sprints, meaning you line up a group of tasks for your team to focus on for period of time, like a single week.
For each task, you can add notes and media, prioritise, define, set time estimates, and assign to a team member.
For increased transparency, there are a range of ways to track progress and workload, including searching tasks per team member and viewing burn-down charts. The project management tool ensures agency leaders have a grasp on what’s happening in their own organisations at all times.
Mind Doodle automatically calculates the business value for each task by factoring in the priority, complexity and effort. This simplifies the process of ordering tasks and planning implementation, freeing up the time of project managers and team leads to focus on other activities.
Best of all, the improved clarity of individual responsibilities, task workload and team goals will improve confidence and empathy amongst team members. Transparency builds trust, after all.
Problem 3: Lack of Strategic Direction
If you notice a lack of strategic direction, either for your agency or for client projects, you need to do something about it. Potential risks could be critical, potential opportunities could be pivotal. Neither should be ignored.
Do your clients know why they are planning a campaign? Are they missing a major opportunity that you could deliver for them? Could they be about to make a major error of judgement?
Whether you’re exploring brand strategy, SEO strategy or wider strategic decisions, you need to back your decisions up with knowledge and insight to ensure any project is the best it can be.
Solution 3: Think Like a CMO With SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis is used to assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, helping you and your clients to make key strategic decisions in business and marketing.
By categorising internal and external factors affecting your client projects, you can see exactly where there are holes or opportunities.
Take Netflix, which found on a gap in the market with 1,000 titles available in its reasonably-priced streaming service back in 2007.
Since 2016, Netflix has grouped users into “taste communities” with similar movie and TV show preferences instead of segmenting by geography.
They used this data to inform their own content creation, keeping up with the growing appetite of their consumers. Throughout 2018, Netflix released nearly 90,000 minutes of original content. Netflix now takes a 26.6% share of global video streaming traffic.
Imagine being involved with Netflix’s strategy meeting and working through their SWOT analysis.
- Strength: Audience data from “taste communities”
- Weakness: Relying solely on external content
- Opportunity: Create original content based on what the audience wants
- Threat: New competitors taking audience
It’s not difficult to see how they capitalised on an opportunity (original content) by working with their strengths (audience data). In doing so, they were able to overcome a weakness (relying on external content) and mitigate against a threat (competitors taking audience) because they control the amount of original content and it can be found nowhere else.
Now imagine giving your whole team the opportunity to work through SWOT analysis for each client project. Well, you can do exactly that using Mind Doodle.
Use the SWOT analysis tool to analyse a mind map you create with Mind Doodle. This way you can move each of the ideas from the mind map into a category to determine whether it is a strength, weakness, opportunity or threat.
After advanced analysis, you can see the results as 3D charts. Then you can add tasks to each of the ideas to build your strategic direction.
Help everyone to see the bigger picture, contribute to strategic decisions, and experience what it’s like to be CMO.
Best of all, imagine the result when your work enables a client to achieve unparalleled success.
Problem 4: Team Connectivity
Even digital agencies that are striving for a collaborative culture will find that communications become muddled on occasions. From minor miscommunications to lack of clarity around a particular task, or a sign that some extra team building outside of the office would benefit relationships day to day.
Before getting inside the minds of your clients and their customers, focus on building connections within your team. After all, how can you expect your team to feel passionate about understanding customer journeys, creating consumer stories and driving action for your clients if they don’t feel they can communicate properly with one another?
Solution 4: Live Collaboration and Team Chat
Foster a culture of communication. Your agency should be a workplace where anyone is free to reach out and ask a question or offer their opinion.
Ensure there is agency-wide permission for collaboration. One way to do this is to connect your teams by equipping them with the best tools for the job. Built for collaboration, Mind Doodle helps teams benefit from real-time collaboration across devices, with team chat built in.
One of the main issues of using chat tools is being able to find the key information relating to a particular topic or task. For example, using Skype’s chat, you risk losing track of important discussions, and when you want to revisit that information you have to spend time and effort trying to find it by trawling through lots of chat history.
In contrast, Mind Doodle associates chat threads with ideas in your mind map, meaning you have contextual information for each thread. It is much more intuitive and helpful for improving both communication and action.
What’s more, the chat tool integrates with Slack, the popular messaging service with ten million daily active users. This means messages and key task notifications will be sent across both platforms, ensuring the most important communications and updates get to the right people on time.
Problem 5: Client Liaisons
Let’s say you are a digital agency founded by experts in branding and business who champion the power of simplicity. You need to communicate that with confidence to your clients, and you want to communicate your clients’ brand in a simple, effective way.
However, sometimes your clients don’t seem to understand your ideas. Sometimes you struggle to describe your vision. You and your clients can’t seem to stay on the same page.
Any creative agency will experience challenges when it comes to client liaisons. If you highlight the importance of “KISS” (Keep It Simple, Stupid) in your design work, it’s time to practice what you preach.
Invite your clients to understand their project with simple visual communications.
Solution 5: Visual Communications
Sometimes less is more. Take McDonalds’ beautifully minimalistic creative collaboration with TBWA\Paris. This is an example of the power of a visual out-of-home (OOH) series with delightful simplicity, highlighted by Campaign magazine.
The good news is that simple, effective visual communications aren’t reserved for McDonalds customers.
One of the best things about Mind Doodle is the look and feel. It is visually appealing and feels intuitive and customisable enough to suit any project. You can clearly communicate ideas to clients in a simple way that’s easy to understand, engaging and aesthetically pleasing.
Wait, there’s more. If your digital agency works with WordPress, you’re in for a treat. More than 1/3 of websites are built using WordPress, a content management system (CMS) that makes it easy to manage the content on your website.
Some of the best elements of Mind Doodle have been worked into a WordPress plugin so you can create and interact with website sitemaps visually. This means you can show clients how their website structure looks and update the structure with a simple drag-and-drop.
On top of this, the task management features are included in the WordPress plugin, so you can add tasks to pages in your clients’ WordPress sites.
Using the WordPress plugin means both WordPress and Mind Doodle will work together in real-time and you can switch between them. Therefore, clients can use Mind Doodle to add tasks instead of the technical WordPress backend, providing a safer this is safer and more convenient environment.
Mind Doodle is a unique product that will no doubt help any digital marketing agency thrive. By allowing your team to collaborate, increase productivity and innovate, the possibilities are impressive.
If you want to build client, brand and consumer relationships with the opportunity to integrate your client into the creativity process and the prospect of delivering unparalleled results, this is the tool for you.
The team over at Mind Doodle have been very generous to offer a 20% discount – to claim your discount just use promo code UTTERLY20 when you sign-up