Liberty Marketing is the largest digital marketing agency in Wales, with 35 employees working from their Cardiff HQ. The firm offers services including SEO, PPC, digital PR and content marketing to clients such as Penguin Books, Morphe Cosmetics and Universal Music Group. Liberty was shortlisted as one of the best companies to work for in the UK at the Employee Experience Awards 2020 and shortlisted as Digital Agency of The Year at the UK Agency Awards (winners to be announced later this year!).
Nicci Beacham joined Liberty Marketing as the Quality and Resource Manager in 2018. Her main goal was to optimize the agency’s operations and resources.
“My first year was all about finding a new project management system that would be “my baby”,” says Nicci.
At this point, Liberty Marketing was using a project management tool called WorkflowMax, which the agency found to be unfit for purpose. “There was no clarity on what people needed to do day-to-day, we couldn’t really see how much time the team were logging because the functionality was quite difficult to use, and there were platform adoption issues such as team members chipping away at month-long tasks rather than working to deadlines,” says Nicci.
"There were loads of things about the platform that were just not fit for purpose, so I was given the project to go find something better – and of course, I chose Teamwork."
Liberty Marketing had difficulties getting all team members to fully adopt its previous project management platform. As such, an excellent onboarding experience was one of the key points Nicci was looking for in the agency’s new solution.
"The onboarding experience with Teamwork was very smooth. The customer service side of things is amazing. Every time I email, one of the team will get back to me within the day."
Crucially, onboarding went well for the rest of the Liberty Marketing team, too. Nicci has led training sessions with groups of team members, held refresher classes, and consistently asked her colleagues for their feedback and questions regarding the platform.
"It’s been really smooth, and after a year of rollout we are now more in the phase of utilizing all the platform’s capabilities."
They are now using Teamwork features including tags, file sharing, comments and Teamwork Chat – the sorts of functionalities that can really help a team work as one.
As Nicci puts it: “Before we were just using the platform’s basic abilities, we are now really tailoring it to how we need to use it as a business.”
According to Nicci, one of the key benefits of Teamwork for Liberty Marketing is that it has made complex projects more manageable.
"Some platforms make it really difficult to work with projects visually, because once you’ve put a lot of information into a project, it suddenly gets really big."
“In Teamwork, it’s really easy to find the information. We’ve been able to pull out reports on everything we need in terms of how long people are working on things, and then we can drill down into how long it takes to do certain things and why, which teams are hitting their targets, and who is delivering what they should be.”
For Nicci, it’s the “bread-and-butter” features of the Teamwork platform that have made the biggest difference when it comes to managing big projects.
“The best features are probably within the projects where you’ve got each individual task and then you can add tasks in projects, assign them to people, add deadlines, files, estimated time, description and tags. These are the things that we rely on the most.” she says.
About 80% of Liberty Marketing’s client work is on a retainer basis, so being able to track the time spent on each client’s project is especially important.
"We need employees to track their time, we need to manage our clients’ budgets, and we need to be able to add detailed descriptions and attachments and have conversations around different tasks."
The team use in-project time-tracking every day to record exactly how much work has been done on each task, for each client. Team members are able to activate tracking in the space of a few clicks using the Teamwork Timer, which they can leave running on their desktop for easy access.
Nicci has also been using the Project Time Budget feature for more control over the time spent on individual projects. Project Time Budget makes it easier to estimate how much time is needed per project, shows in real time how projects are tracking against the time allocated to them, and provides early warning when a project is running out of client retainer hours. Above all, it aims to bring clarity to the time tracking element of project management.
Improved uptake of time tracking among the Liberty Marketing team has helped them to do the right amount of work for each client.
“I’m even more of a Teamwork advocate than before.”
Nicci’s work on implementing Teamwork at Liberty Marketing has given Wales’ top digital agency a project management platform to match its clout and ambition. The on-boarding process went smoothly, and Nicci is now guiding the agency through its adoption of Teamwork’s more advanced features. Team members have tracked their time more dependably, which has made it easier to ensure the right amount of work gets done for each client. And crucially, “bread-and-butter” platform features such as adding descriptions, tags and files to tasks have made it easier to manage complex projects.
"Nothing is like it that I’ve seen. With Teamwork, we get more visibility over the team’s capacity and resources available, as well as more visibility in terms of who owns a task and what exactly needs to be done."