Shortcut for marketing teams
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Shortcut for marketing teams

Tiffany Go
Head of Product Marketing
August 29, 2019

How the Shortcut marketing team uses Shortcut to market Shortcut

We talk a lot about how product and engineering teams use Shortcut, but we know it takes a village to bring a product to the finish line. In this new series, we'll take a peek into how other teams at a software company can use Shortcut.

I sat down with my team to gather some ways you can use Shortcut to manage your marketing workflow alongside your engineering, product, and design teams.

General Marketing Workflow in Shortcut

Story Workflows help move work along through ideation, creation, and completion. In Shortcut, this is customizable, making it easy to create Marketing specific workflows.

The Shortcut marketing team works across two Story Workflows:

  1. Engineering: Enables the marketing team to collaborate with Engineers and the Product Team on releasing product updates and new features
    Project: Marketing (Feature Releases), Front End
    Workflow States: Spec Needed, Ready for Dev, In Development, Read for Review, Ready for Deploy, Completed
  2. Marketing: Allows the marketing team to manage their activities and collaborate on initiates like Tracking, Events, Website, Programs, and more.
    Projects: Analytics (Marketing and Growth), Brand, Community, Content, Paid Media/User Acquisition, Product Marketing, Visual Design
    Workflow States: Ideas, Spec Needed, Ready to Start, In Progress, Ready for Review, Read for Deploy, Complete

The formula for managing marketing programs and initiatives

Marketing often has to manage complex/cross-functional projects, and Shortcut makes it a breeze. The following formula can be applied to pretty much any marketing program like affiliate, partnership, sponsorship programs in Shortcut.

  1. Create an Epic to manage a larger initiative. The filtering capabilities on the Epic Page make it easy to see progress on cross-functional work.
  2. Create individual Stories to represent the bite-sized chunks of work.
  3. Create Spaces to lead stand-ups. It makes it easy to focus on the specific work in the Epic.

It's worth noting that most marketing work happens outside of the typical Iteration structure that Product and Engineering works within. This is why the Marketing team uses Epics quite a bit.

For example, Rudan and our team used the aforementioned formula to manage the relaunch of our Referral Program. The team created an Epic to manage all the work involved in building out the program. Having everything in one Epic made it easy to align marketing, design, and engineering on the goals and various tasks and work asynchronously.

Managing content creation

Shortcut is great for organizing and managing your content efforts.

  • Organization: We like to use Epics to organize a content initiative. For example, when I manage our customer story pipeline, I have an Epic created. I then create a Story to represent each Customer. I'll collaborate with CX to organize the interview and update the Story with drafts to keep my team in the loop.
  • Collaborating with freelancers: Story Templates are a great way to communicate quickly, clearly, and consistently. For example, our team has a Write, Earn, and Give program. The program compensates software engineers for writing tutorials, how-to's, and thought leadership content for Shortcut. There's a list of requirements for each post and having that information ready to go in a template is a big time-saver. Here's an example of the Blog Checklist Template:

Website Management

Shortcut is built for the software development lifecycle making it easy for a marketing team to manage website projects. Collaborating with the engineering team using their workflow makes building our website a breeze. As an example here's how we've set it up at Shortcut. We create Stories or Epics to represent the updates.

  • Stories for smaller fixes or initiatives. If it requires design work first, we'll create a Story and use the Visual Design Project in the Marketing Story Workflow. When a design is complete and ready for dev work, we update the Project of said Story to Front End Project in the Engineering Story Workflow
  • Epics for tracking larger bodies of work. We've created an Epic " [Quarter] Marketing Site Wins" each quarter. All Stories created get assigned to this Epic and makes it easy for us to track and prioritize website work.
  • Weekly Marketing Site Stand-ups At our weekly marketing meeting, we gather design, marketing, and our developers to discuss ongoing projects and review. The Epic view is excellent for reviewing any work that needs to be done.

Pro Tip: If we have multiple initiatives going on, we'll use Labels to differentiate. Ex. Project A and Project B. that way, when we can filter by Labels to stay focused even if the list of Stories is long.

Event Management

When you're planning for a meetup or tradeshow, Shortcut can keep you on top of all the details and moving pieces. If your team runs a lot of events we recommend creating a Story Workflow that's event specific to make it a breeze to manage your pre and post event activities. Here's a sample Event Story Workflow you could create:

  • Planning - Stories for budgeting, venue selection, timeline, etc.
  • Contract - Stories for contracts or working with your legal team
  • Implementation: Stories for taking care of logistics, marketing and promotion, collaborating cross-functionally with your
  • Post-Event - Use for Stories like follow-up emails, lead uploads

Other pointers for using Shortcut for event planning:

  • Epics and Stories: Create an Epic to represent each event. This makes it easy to use the calendar integration to create an event-specific calendar. Each Story can describe an item that needs to be completed for the event.
  • Story Templates: Story Templates are a fast way to replicate checklists you usually create. Examples would be Run of Show, Event Schedule, Staff To-Do lists, Promotion Schedules, etc.
  • Event Calendar: Depending on how you've organized your Stories, you can use the Calendar link on your Event Epic to create an event calendar. More info about the Calendar Integration later on in this post.

Webinars & Webcasts

When it comes to organizing a live web event like a webinar, Shortcut can help you manage the work that happens before during and after. Here are some Shortcut features you can use to make managing a webinar much easier.

  • Epic: Create an Epic for each Webinar
  • Story Templates: Stories are a breeze when you have Story Templates for webinar checklists. I personally like using the Hubspot Webinar Checklist. You can use the list to create custom templates for pre-webinar, day of webinar and post-webinar
  • Calendar: Create an iCal link from the Epic to create a webinar specific calendar in Google

Marketing Calendar

Here are some ways you can use the Google Calendar integration:

  • Set up a personal schedule
  • Create a timeline specific to an initiative using a Milestone or Epic iCal Links
  • Set up a Marketing specific calendar using the Story Workflow link


The reporting functionality is great for marketing leaders like Mitch. Filter the Report to hone in on any Marketing Projects using the Projects filter. You can select project across different Story Workflows, resulting in more granular reporting.

The headline metrics on the Reports Page is easy to screenshot and drop into an email or presentation.

The lower half of the Reports Page makes it easy to summarize and share completed initiatives. Sorting by the Epic column makes it easy to scan and the significant initiatives completed in the selected time-frame.

Will who's responsible for reporting especially likes the bottom of the Reports Page. The graph shows the number of Epics completed and progress of open Epics. This screenshot is also great to share out to other stakeholders.

Visual Design and Illustration

One challenge as a designer is getting the proper context to deliver a design that satisfies the requester. I'm sure designers often feel like they have to be mind readers! Al's proactive solution was to create a couple of different Story Templates to prompt the requester to provide better context when requesting creative assets or illustrations or projects. Here's an example of the Design Brief Template:

If you want more information on how a Design team can use Shortcut collaborate and manage their work check out this blog post.

Have a question for the Shortcut marketing team? Leave a comment below or join the customer Slack Community and reach out directly!

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