In the world of business, getting your company’s name and brand out there can be main the reason your business succeeds or flounders. Even small and local businesses need to grow their presence in their communities, whether they are banner ads online targeting users in their city or billboards by the side of the road. In particular, with businesses leveraging the internet to expand their offerings globally, the online presence of a brand can be powerful in non-obvious ways. So many of us spend a good chunk of our time on the internet, which is the grounds upon which online advertisers push products and brands relevant to users’ interests almost constantly. There are entire advertising companies focused on providing digital ads, but for the average small company, it can be difficult discerning what kind of internet presence suits their needs. This is where advertising agencies come in. These companies are focused on figuring out the best advertising strategies for their customers by working closely with both advertisers and the customers. However, by acting as an intermediary, these agencies face challenges in terms of tracking communications between all parties. One such company came to us seeking a solution.

Our client is an advertising agency that works primarily with digital advertisers. They have a group of sales people who go out to local companies in the area – businesses such as furniture stores, jewelry shops, and car dealerships – and sell their advertising services. Our client’s sales team then works with the fulfillment team, who in turn works with the strategy team, who then loops back to sales in order to figure out what sort of campaign would work best for the customer. Our client then goes to external vendors outside the company who will then run the ads, which can range from digital banners to videos. Finally, our client cleans up the advertisements from the external vendors and ensures that their customer gets a campaign tailored to their requirements. Given the amount of communication done between teams, it is unsurprising that our client has identified that they need a tool to track all communications, internal and external, across all campaigns.

From the moment our client’s sales team begins pitching to prospective clients, it is crucial for our client to track this work and the resultant conversations. Using OneDesk’s project management software, our client can easily log, track, and manage who they have reached out to, along with the proceeding work associated with the customer. OneDesk has a project hierarchy that helps organize and group work. In our client’s case, it makes sense to equate our concept of projects to the campaigns they run for their customers. These projects can then be further grouped into portfolios which can be used to represent particular customers. Within projects, OneDesk treats the project work as tickets, which see customization on multiple levels. With the ability to create custom ticket types, our client can capture their prospects and any notes about them before any deals are solidified. Once a deal is struck, the details of the campaign can then be logged as a different ticket type with all of the necessary details and our client can begin dialing in their internal teams to start on the work. Along with ticket types, our client can also define what custom fields they need for their tickets. For example, it makes sense for our client to set up a portfolio for each of their customers, and then a project for each campaign. Within the campaign, there are different tasks that specific teams need to accomplish in order to complete the campaign. Each of these tasks can have a different ticket type and workflow suited to whichever team needs to do the work.

In terms of communication around these work items, OneDesk’s tickets use a comment system to capture discussions. Anyone who is a follower on a ticket gets e-mailed the latest discussions so everyone is kept in the loop automatically. This can even include customers once entered into the OneDesk system. For cases where the internal team needs to work something out and communicate just amongst themselves, comments can be marked as private, ensuring that no customers see these messages. By default, the user that logs the ticket and the assignee are added as followers to a ticket so they automatically are kept in the loop on what is happening. Our client noted that almost all of their communications happen through e-mail. Using OneDesk, this works seamlessly and intuitively with the existing commenting system. As updates are e-mailed to users, replies back are also captured in OneDesk as continued discussions. This makes it easy to track communications all in one place.

Working with people internal to their company as well as external vendors, our client identified a need to define the differences between these two user groups especially with regards to permissions. OneDesk supports this out of the box. At the level of a project, administrators can decide who the project is shared with, which decides who can see the project data. This level of project access can be set when either a project is created, or when a user is created. Users themselves are assigned a role which defines what actions they can perform on a project and its tasks. All roles allow the user to view the project data, but the level to which they can make changes varies. Our client wondered about the cases when a user needs to be granted access to a number of projects, and how noisy the notifications would be around being granted access, but this can be turned off. Because of the sheer number of campaigns our client deals with, it can be difficult remembering everyone who needs access to a project right off the bat. They were glad to hear that users themselves can ask for permission to access a project, relieving some of that upfront onus.

One of the trickier aspects of managing advertising campaigns is having to introduce external vendors into the workflow. To suit their customers’ needs, our client needs to find the right vendor to work with for the campaign in question, which means there can be a number of vendors that our client uses. Introducing these vendors into our client’s existing workflow can be a challenge; for someone new to the campaign and OneDesk itself, it might not be second nature for them to update the necessary fields and statuses. To help ease the administrative aspect of managing work, OneDesk has workflow automations that can handle the brunt of it. For example, our client outlined the case when a vendor comments on a ticket to acknowledge that they have started working on the request. Ideally, our client would like the vendor to transition the ticket into a different state, but this is a step often forgotten, especially when communications happen mostly through e-mail. However, using a workflow automation, our client can automatically set the ticket’s status to update once the vendor has commented on the ticket. This simple automation can save lots of time and prevent frustrations. In combination with OneDesk’s custom fields, workflow automations are one of our most powerful features, and can be used to notify the team when SLAs are breached, send scheduled reminders, or even set a ticket’s logged completion time to 100%.

With OneDesk, our client can easily manage communications from their customers, internal teams, and external vendors in one place. Whether communications happen through e-mail or through OneDesk itself, everything is captured on the ticket. This gives them complete visibility into the status of work at all times. With the ability to tune permissions on a project level, our client is enabled to provide this visibility to their stakeholders as well as their own team. Coupled with workflow automations, our client can tweak OneDesk to suit their every need, for any and every campaign they create.

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