“Damn, this thing is tough to look at” I thought to myself as I stared at the Campaign Tracker spreadsheet during my first day as COO of influencers@. This master spreadsheet contained all of the information about the marketing campaigns we were working on and was used to keep track of who is working when, locations, payroll and everything in between. As I scrolled through the seemingly endless spreadsheet I could see lists of campaigns we worked on months ago, stacked next to the ones we had scheduled for the next day. Thinking aloud, I mutter “there has to be another way to do this… it may have worked in the early days, but if we want to scale this business we need something better.”
Part of the job of a COO is to analyze business processes and craft solutions to make them more efficient. Our campaign tracking process was a prime example of one in need of serious improvement. In order to improve, I knew that we needed an:
- Appealing view of what marketing campaigns we need to focus on at a given time
- Easy way to track which student Brand Influencers are working on a campaign
- Automation of the time-consuming billing and payroll process
- Effortless reminders for staff regarding when they are working and where to go
- Access to rich data and intelligence on what is effective and not so effective on our campaigns
I quickly realized the best way to improve this process was to leverage technology and software, and thus I decided to code my second back-end PHP project, a web app called Campaign Tracker that has left our old spreadsheet collecting dust in the corner and given our team access to unparalleled insight and efficiency for our service business.
The software takes the same data about our marketing campaigns that was initially entered into the spreadsheet and instead stores it in a database. The simple value of this is that we can pull that data out in a variety of different ways and use it to make better business decisions. Using Campaign Tracker, our Service staff can instantly find out which Brand Influencers are the most effective through ratings on each campaign, how much payroll needs to be issued and a wealth of other vital business statistics. Our senior leaders can use Campaign Tracker to get a quick pulse on our Service division’s performance.
I learned a ton from this project, and am proud of how beneficial it has been for our business. I’m understanding more and more how valuable it is to be a “technical operator” – one who gets both the business side of things and how to use technology to work smarter. I’m excited to continue to learn about how to grow a business and develop great software.