Marketing at global scale: Basware’s best practices for using Asana
May 11th, 2018
It’s no secret that marketing is a crucial function for driving sales. For Basware—a Finnish software company that provides payment solutions, e-invoicing, and other financial services—marketing happens on a global scale and drives sales through demand generation campaigns and more.
Driving the international marketing engine at Basware is Christian Weisbrodt. Christian manages a global team of marketers and oversees Basware’s marketing efforts in the Nordics, Germany, Benelux, France, and the Australia and APAC region. He focuses on field marketing to drive brand awareness and generate leads and pipeline for the sales team using digital demand generation, account-based marketing, events, and integrated marketing campaigns.
To coordinate all of their work, they rely on Asana to know who’s doing what by when—across many time zones and borders. Read on to hear about their best practices and how you can set your team up for success, too.
A global team
Basware, which operates worldwide, has a truly global marketing organization. Headquarters are located in Finland and some central marketing functions are in UK and US. Christian is based in Munich, and his team is spread around the world.
While this distribution provides great international coverage, it also means they need to coordinate across time zones and borders, often overlapping by just a few hours of each others’ workdays. In working together across the globe, Christian’s team quickly recognized their need for a central place to organize everything online, since they can’t all be in the same place at the same time.
In the past, Christian would have relied on email to communicate and SharePoint to store files. But he found that this solution didn’t provide the transparency his team needed. Transparency is central to their success because for each individual, there is immense value in seeing the bigger picture.
With transparency, team members understand how their work contributes to larger efforts, have clarity on everyone’s responsibilities, and management can track progress. So Christian turned to Asana to achieve transparency for his team and improve collaboration across the marketing organization.
The key to success with Asana: Best practices
The key to their success in using Asana to achieve transparency and coordination has been to establish a “governance model,” as Christian calls it, of best practices. This is a set of guidelines, expectations, and standards to ensure that every team member is using Asana in the same way. Here are some of their key best practices:
- Assigning tasks: Creating work and assigning it to other can feel awkward at first. So Christian and his team set expectations on what’s appropriate—creating tasks, assigning them to people, and adding due dates is all fair game. People don’t need to check with each other before assigning them work, but instead can communicate about the work via comments on the task.
- Providing context: Creating projects and tasks can provide transparency and coordination, but without context around them, the work can quickly become confusing. To solve for this, Christian and his team made it mandatory to add a description to every project created, so that every teammate can understand the goal of the project and the background information that’s needed to do their job without needing to ask the project creator.
- Keeping up with upkeep: Part of Basware’s success in using Asana has come from their commitment to keeping it tidy. Christian and his team do a sweep of their Asana projects quarterly to get rid of or update tasks, projects, and make sure everything is in its proper place.
- Communicating where the work happens: One of the pain points Christian’s team faced in the past was trying to track down a single source of truth in their email inboxes. A key part of their “governance model” has been the agreement to keep communication about a project within Asana. If team members have an update or question about a project or task, they share it through Asana.
- The rule of three: His team follows the rule that if a project or task requires more than three people be involved, it should be added to Asana.
They’ve also set up a standard process so that all work follows the same pattern, regardless of which project it’s for. When work is being kicked off, the project leader creates a project with a description in Asana and adds the known tasks upfront. Then, as the project progresses, people can add more tasks or subtasks as necessary. Everyone relies on templates for requests, which helps simplify repeated workflows, like asking for a new landing page or design.
The benefits of best practices
Christian’s team has seen many benefits since implementing their Asana best practices: coordination, clarity and transparency, and speed. Because they’re a distributed team and they rely heavily on Asana to keep all the moving pieces of a campaign on track, they can now coordinate every team member, no matter where they are in the world. “For each individual, even if they’re responsible for just one part of a project, it’s important that they have clarity on what the bigger project looks like, and Asana gives that clarity,” explains Christian.
And for the rest of the team—especially a globally distributed one—”knowing exactly who’s responsible for what by when is invaluable.” With Asana, it’s not only clear to those involved what’s going on, there’s also visibility for those not involved, such as leadership or other teams looking for marketing insights. “In the past, transparency came from sending an email to someone asking if they were working on something,” explains Christian. “Now we can just look in Asana,” he says.
Finally, Christian is able to onboard new people to his team faster because the onboarding process is templatized. This saves them time when ramping up new employees and ultimately helps them deliver faster on their goals. With more clarity and better coordination, his team is simply more effective.