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The Marketing Project Management Guide

Updated: Sep 9, 2023


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A clear and concise marketing plan is crucial for any business, helping to generate brand awareness and ultimately create leads for your sales funnel. To do this your strategy and marketing campaigns need to have a clear plan and scope of the work, good communication among the team and a way to measure results.


This is where project management can assist your marketing.


So, what is marketing project management? It’s the process that you take from project management to plan, oversee and deliver on your marketing campaigns.


The following 5 sections we are going to discuss show the crossover between project management and marketing and how the two can work together to help deliver results.



Collaboration

Utilising a project methodology can create structure, clear roles and strong collaboration throughout your marketing campaigns. A key element to any project methodology is around collaboration with your stakeholders.


Stakeholders in a marketing campaign can be broken down to internal and external. Internally you may have designers, developers, content creators, sales team and executives. Externally you could have suppliers, advertisers and your customers.


We need to have an understanding of the stakeholders involved in a project to understand their role and responsibilities, this piece should never be presumed and should be clear to everyone. Once we have this understanding it will encourage collaboration and progression as a team with a clear goal in mind.


The customers in your stakeholder matrix will link into user personas you may develop in your marketing strategy. We need to define which personas will be targeted for a project and marketing campaign to have clear defined target.


Project management stages and how they relate to marketing

In a typical project you will go through 5 phases:

1. Initiation

2. Planning

3. Execution

4. Monitoring and control

5. Closure


These 5 phases can be related to the delivery of a marketing campaign.


In the initiation phase of a project you will define the piece of work and create a business plan. Here you are pulling together the idea behind the project, understanding constraints, goals, budget, resource and timelines. Initiation is all about doing the research and seeing whether the project would be feasible.


Project planning sets out the roadmap for the work and elaborates on the project initiation to add more detail and structure. Your initial resource and ideas start to form a plan for the campaign and goals can be clearly defined.


Execution is where we start to do the work. This could be technical tasks, SEO, content writing or design for example to produce the campaign resource. This is where the team need to be working together and collaborating to reach the go live timescales.


Monitoring and control in a project is about the tasks to get the project live. However, in a marketing campaign this could be done during the campaigns duration to track results and monitor feedback. As we know some changes may be needed and adapted especially in digital marketing.


Project closure is then a time for reflection to see how the project has gone, lessons learnt and results. This is a chance to learn and improve for the next project and gain further understanding over our environments and stakeholders.



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The benefits of using agile project management for marketing

Agile project management is iterative approach to projects and focuses on continuous releases and incorporating feedback to evolve. This methodology can work really well with marketing campaigns and in particular digital campaigns as it gives you chance to test the campaign, monitor results and make changes.


With agile marketing you are working as a team to continuously improve, measuring results, adapting change and enhancing customer satisfaction.


Large projects can be broken up into sprints which delivers smaller pieces of work continuously. This could be a simple display ad going live in the first sprint, once live you can monitor the results and feedback can go back into the development process to optimise and enhance the ad and the rest of the campaign.


Sprints have planning sessions with the team to define the tasks going into the next sprint whilst the rest of the work is put into the backlog. A backlog used for marketing can be a hive of creativity where ideas can be stored for future reference. We all now how hard it can be to come up with a new and creative idea on the spot!


This faster delivery, adapting on results and continuous feedback loop can create higher results and increased customer satisfaction. All of this making agile a winner for digital marketing.


Similarities between a project manager and marketer

A project manager and marketer have many similarities in roles however a marketer may dig into more of the detail and be more hands on with the work involved.


The similarities however are around the way they define a piece of work, they set out a plan and have clear goals for the team to work towards. Each role has to take a proactive approach and be very organised, always thinking of the next step.


A project manager will organise the work for teams to deliver and in a similar manner a marketer may utilise web developers and designers. Both roles will work with a wider team and rarely deliver the piece of work alone.


A project manager will often have a defined scope of work and budget. A marketer will have a marketing strategy for their scope of work and marketing budgets to stick to. You can start to see now how the tasks from each role interweave into each other, creating similar traits both roles will require.


Common challenges with marketing campaigns and project management

With similar roles can come similar challenges.


Project managers have to organise people and resource similar to a marketer. This in itself is a challenge to ensure you have the budget available, time and resource to deliver on the project brief or marketing objective.


We often have to be incredibly creative with budgets to get maximum result whether delivering a project or marketing campaign.


Documenting and reporting a projects can often be tricky of there is no central process of software available. Too often we see projects being documented through emails and meetings happening with no clear action plan or minutes recorded. This is a big issue in marketing.


In marketing we rarely track and fully document meetings and ideas. As we identified earlier collating feedback from brainstorming sessions can be valuable to store creative ideas. It can also help us to see lessons learnt from previous campaigns and what our customers have really liked in the past.


Summary – project managers and marketers

As we look through the tasks and responsibilities of these two roles we can now see a clear overlap and why marketers who have project management skills are essential in any business and create benefits.


Here are the top 5 benefits of project management marketing:

1. Collaboration – roles and responsibilities are clearly defined so everyone can work closely together and understand their part.

2. Planning – marketing campaigns can be clearly planned, researched and defined to help deliver on results and better utilise budgets.

3. Organisation – with better planning and monitoring throughout a marketing campaign we can be more organised in the approach we take; we know the next task coming up and resource required.

4. Workflow – with better planning comes a slick workflow to fit the right people and resource in at the right time. This enables more campaigns to be running alongside each other as the workflow is clearly created.

5. Increased results – these results can come internally through happier staff having manageable workloads and clear goals. And for the business as we record results and learn from the lessons of each campaign can mean higher sales.

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