A Guide to Marketing Project Management
Does it ever come into your mind how big brand marketing heads keep a smiling face after a massive project? Have you ever wondered how their teams are able to handle marketing projects under an immense pressure? Or have you ever thought of how you can replicate the marketing process they deploy?
We feel you. There are a couple of reasons you might feel this way. The marketing environment is satiated with projects. Whether it’s as simple as rolling out a customer survey, delivering reports to executing a new plan for a new product, marketers are involved in a project almost every day.
Handling projects are easy to handle for large teams, but for small teams, this could spur out of control and become a problem. The answer to all these bleats is to have a holistic marketing project management approach.
In this blog, we’ll talk you through the ins and outs of the marketing project management, including:
- What is marketing project management?
- The responsibilities of a marketing project manager
- The four phases of marketing project management
- How to successfully manage marketing projects
We aim to give you all the information you need to make project management part of your everyday marketing processes.
What is marketing project management?
Marketing project management is a method of working that provides your organization with foundations for delivering marketing efforts. It can amplify teams to complete all sorts of work, from planning marketing campaigns, products launches to technical audits and competitor analysis.
Key benefits of marketing project management include:
- Easier collaboration.
- Better coordination among team members.
- Efficient delivery of marketing projects.
What are the critical elements of marketing project management?
The essence of marketing project management is similar to the traditional principles of project management used by teams from different industries. Applying it to marketing, project management can be used to manage all sorts of marketing activities and campaigns—content marketing, email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), conversion rate optimization (CRO), and product launches.
There are two elements critical for marketing projects—research and data.
All marketing projects embrace research. Whether that research is done prior to project start or part of the project plan, research has its role. For example, if the project is about rolling out a new product, you need to conduct a customer segmentation research to identify the intent of your audience and understand how best to reach them.
Every marketing project lives and breathes data. Customer data is collected to validate whether the project has achieved its goals and to evaluate whether the return on investment (ROI) of initiative is met. Today’s smart marketing teams are driven by data to make informed decisions.
If your project does not revolve on these elements, it’s probably not a marketing project.
The four stages in marketing project management
Now that you have a clear idea of what marketing project management is, let us now move on to discuss the process. There are four stages in every marketing project management.
Stage #1: Define
At the start of every project, it’s a no-brainer that you must lay down the project’s objectives. These objectives can be project goals and outcomes you want to achieve at the end. Once the project is conceived and the required approval is obtained, it’s time to figure out how to accomplish the project objectives.
Here are some tips to put task identification into action.
- Start by quantifying your goals. Ensure that the project goals are clearly defined—what success looks like. During this time, metrics and data come into play.
- Try collecting feedback. Speak to your team to organize tasks, time and materials needed. You can then use the gathered feedback to construct a project plan.
- Do your research. Determine if you have existing research that can be applied or if you need to conduct a new one to meet project goals.
Stage #2: Plan
Once you have established your project goals, your team must now tackle the project budget, deliverables, and timeline. The complex part of every project is the tasks and workforce it will need. You must allocate each task to a team member and assess its scope. Careful project scope determination is critical for teams working on a strict budget. Another vital requirement during planning is to build a project timeline. This can be represented visually through charts, graphs, and tables, which must be updated in real-time.
Here are tips to help you build a project plan into action.
- Organize the tasks and identify tasks that have dependencies.
- Assign external or internal resources to complete each task.
- Set milestones along the path to show clear progress towards completion.
- Inform your team of the project life cycle to ensure team members are motivated and prepared to take on the project.
Stage #3: Implement
This is the stage where you get the ball rolling. During this time, the team members leading the project will be responsible for the entire team’s task management—from tracking and reporting on progress, creating new tasks, and removing bottlenecks that prevent tasks from getting done.
How to put project plan implementation into action.
- Utilize data to monitor your project progress. Every marketing project must have quantifiable KPIs. You must collect data and analyze it to evaluate the progress of the plan.
- Perform regular check-ins. Monitor your project progress with regular check-ins. This will provide opportunities to identify challenges and act right away on how to solve them.
Stage #4: Audit
Finally, your project is complete. What happens next? In this stage, you will analyze and evaluate the project outcome to determine any improvements for future projects.
How to put project audit into action.
- Evaluate your performance by comparing KPIs. If you quickly achieved your desired goals, congrats! However, if you failed to meet the KPIs, it’s time to ask your team why.
- Collect feedback for future improvement. Ask your team what they think of the outcome? What areas should be tackled further for improvement?
- Develop an action plan. Create a follow-up to improve for the next project. If there are no follow-ups or next steps, you’ve got a successful project plan template that you can use for future projects.
How to successfully manage marketing projects
Marketing projects come in different forms—publishing blog posts, social media campaigns, launching a webinar, etc. You must handle them all effectively to yield your goal results.
Below are practical tips that can help you get the job done.
1. Always monitor performance.
Marketing today is all about the numbers—it must yield visible and measurable results. Use marketing tools to prove your marketing campaigns can generate leads and revenue.
2. Keep your data in one bucket.
Most teams operate on multiple cloud storage, which can become complex when collating everything in one dashboard. You should store all marketing assets in a centralized drive and use a digital asset management system (also known as DAM software)to help teams work collaboratively by quickly finding the files they need.
3. Schedule your projects.
Your schedule indicates what tasks need to be done, when and by whom. Remember to review the timeline of your current projects and huddle with your team about task dependencies to ensure each member can complete each task successfully without any roadblocks.
4. Keep your stakeholders informed.
Promote and strengthen collaboration with marketing stakeholders by holding stand-ups, publishing marketing results at regular intervals—it best to build a strategic relationship with each stakeholder to produce better results.
5. Use an agile methodology.
Agile methodology is one of the best project management approach that marketing is quickly adopting. Breaking projects into several chunks while consistently collaborating with involved stakeholders for continuous improvement and iteration at every stage is a great way to increase marketing output, cut down delays, and enable continuous improvement.
Marketing project management benefits the productivity of your marketing team. Teams find that adopting a project management approach helps them:
- Create better plans
- Implement activities quicker
- Keep track of all the moving parts of their marketing project
- Collaborate with other departments.
Adopting a project management approach to your marketing efforts can also create long-term gains for teams. It creates a structure that can be tweaked and used for future projects. Moreover, you can use lessons learned from the audit phase to refine your decision-making process.
The longer a marketing team uses a project management approach, the better the outcome they get in keeping their marketing efforts at optimum performance levels. If you’re thinking of adopting a project management approach for your marketing team, chat with Accelerate’s marketing operations expert and start adopting a marketing operations process that will incur valuable results while you sleep.
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