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Why is project management important in marketing?


Why is project management important for marketing

Utilising project management techniques for your marketing allows you to effectively initiate, execute and deliver on your campaigns. It gives you a clear goal and understanding, a set direction and ability to monitor and report back.

Project management is built up of processes, tools and techniques that allows you to deliver a piece of work. You would start by defining the piece of work, setting out a plan and agreeing sign off. Then execute the plan whilst monitoring and reporting progress.

So how can the two be combined to help your marketing campaigns?

SMART objectives for project plans and marketing campaigns

Setting smart objectives is an essential part of project planning and should be an essential part of your marketing campaigns. Smart objectives help to ensure that the project will be successful and that it is achievable within the given timeframe.

They provide clarity on what needs to be achieved, how it should be achieved, and by when it should be achieved. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Objectives provide a basis for measuring progress and success. As you outline what you want to achieve in the campaign its always useful to take a baseline of where you are. Then as the campaign is running you have something to compare against and see progress against the objectives you set. These measures ensure that campaigns are on track and that they are achieving their goals in a timely manner.

Agile framework

Agile project management is a methodology that focuses on delivering projects quickly and efficiently. It’s an iterative approach to project management that focuses on flexibility, collaboration and continuous improvement. Agile helps teams stay focused on the most important tasks, while also allowing for change as needed.

Working in an agile way allows you to break campaigns down into sprints. This means delivering the basics of the campaign and then optimising and changing as you go. This is instead of a traditional style of letting a campaign run then reporting and making changes at the end.

Agile marketing campaigns allow you to become more responsive to your customers' needs in an ever-changing environment. You would normally work in a short cycle (sprint) of 2-4 weeks helping you to stay focussed on what's important and quickly respond.

Utilising tools to track your work

If you're a marketing manager working across a full range of activities a PM tool can really help to track your progress, plan tasks for multiple channels and keep on top of campaigns. Something like a Kanban board can be helpful here.

Kanban boards are a tool often used in project management. They help you to keep track of your project's goals and progress, as well as visualise the flow of work through the system. With the whole team having access to the Kanban board it means everyone has eyes on what is happening and how you are progressing as a team.

A Kanban board shows different types of tasks in columns, with each column representing a stage in the workflow process:

  • Planning - where you decide what needs to be done

  • Doing - where the work is being done

  • Done - where the work has been completed

Kanban boards can be helpful for marketing teams. You can have columns for ideas creating you a backlog of creative concepts ready and waiting. It also helps to see what others in marketing are doing and how you can collaborate and streamline processes.

Communication

Communication is key in project management. It ensures all the project team are aligned and working towards the same goal with a clear understanding on roles and responsibilities. When you know who is responsible for what, you can more easily communicate with them about what needs to happen next. No one wants to be left out of the loop!

This is the same for marketing. It's crucial to bring the marketing team together for regular catch ups and discussions. Plus, communication with the wider team such as developers, sales and other functional business teams. If everyone knows what we are doing and why then we can all be going on the same journey together.

The RACI Matrix is a great tool used in project management to help identify and clarify roles and responsibilities, but I find it's a great tool for any day-to-day tasks that involve several teams and could really help your next marketing campaign. R - Who is responsible for a task? A - Who is accountable for a task? C - Who should be consulted on a task? I - Who do we need to inform about a task?

RACI Matrix table

Time management

Project managers will often have multiple projects running at the same time so they must have excellent time management skills. If you are running multiple projects, you can't remember everything so that’s when good documentation and tracking becomes essential.

Reporting and tracking actions can help you manage your time better by keeping you in the loop about what's going on. If you know what's happening and when it's going to happen, then you can plan ahead for it. You can also see how much time you're spending on certain activities so that you can make sure that they're worth the time investment.

You can keep track of everything that you do during the workday by using a timer or timer app to see how long each task takes and whether or not it should be part of the regular workflow. This helps ensure that time is not wasted on tasks that don't need to be done every day or at all.

To learn more read our time management tips blog posts – click here.

Project management in marketing - the key to success

Project management in marketing is an important way to help make sure that you are getting the most out of your campaigns.

It's crucial to ensure you have clear plans and understand of why and what you set out to achieve in your marketing campaigns. This is where SMART goals were discussed and creating a baseline to work towards in your campaign. We discussed how an agile framework can help you get your campaigns moving quickly and create flexibility to adapt to changing environments.

Project managers utilises a lot of tools to help them keep track of multiple projects and activities going on, a Kanban board can help with this. With this planning and clear tracking there is no excuse to neglect communication. When people are communicated to often and well and have clear roles and responsibilities they can perform at their best.

Finally, we are often juggling multiple campaigns and ongoing work so time management is crucial to keep those plates spinning!

If you want to learn more about project management, take a look at our range of blog posts on the subject by clicking here.

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