Many marketing managers prefer to spend their time creating content and goals for their campaigns. However, in reality, marketing management is like virtually any other type of management. You need to spend your time organizing, planning, and monitoring, rather than creating marketing itself.
There are now many different marketing types, from creating social and blog posts to assembling expensive television campaigns. Marketing managers have to manage campaigns of all kinds, often involving both traditional and online marketing. And there are often real limits on time and budget to add to the marketing manager's concerns. It is vital a marketing manager can efficiently plan marketing projects and coordinate all steps between campaign conception and the end-of-campaign reviews.
In this post, we look at some of the steps a marketing manager needs to go through to improve their marketing project management.
11 Easy Ways to Improve Your Marketing Project Management:
- 1. Define Clear Marketing Goals
- 2. Prioritize Your Work
- 3. Be Clear and Specific With Project Requirements
- 4. Plan Your Projects Carefully
- 5. Use Collaboration Tools to Help Communication
- 6. Schedule Your Projects
- 7. Create Your Marketing Content
- 8. Store Your Digital Assets in a Central Location
- 9. Create Reusable Project Templates
- 10. Review Your Progress at Regular Intervals
- 11. Compare Your Marketing Results With Your Goals
1. Define Clear Marketing Goals
Virtually all types of project management should begin with setting goals. You need to be able to quantify what the purpose of your campaign is clearly.
And it's essential to remember that different campaigns are likely to have different purposes. Don't try to be too generalist and aim to have each campaign achieve everything.
For example, you might set a goal for a particular campaign to increase traffic to your website. You might target another campaign to grow your email subscribers by a certain percentage. Sometimes you will have more sales-focused campaigns, where your goal will be to increase sales by a certain amount.
If you are a senior marketing manager, then you may be tasked with creating longer-term overarching goals that look at your marketing as a whole rather than individual campaigns. Make sure that you are realistic in the goals you set for your team.
Indeed all your goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, accurate, realistic, and time-targeted. For example, you might set a goal for a campaign to increase sales of a particular product by 10% over the next month due to your increased influencer marketing.
2. Prioritize Your Work
You need your whole team to be organized, to ensure that everybody meets any necessary deadlines. This is where an app like Monday.com comes in handy. It aims to improve the efficiency and workflow of your team. You can build boards representing your workflow and easily shift tasks between employees if somebody gets overloaded and looks like creating a bottleneck.
One danger that many firms face is that they take on new tasks as they arrive, regardless of how important they may be. This means that important but potentially tricky jobs can be left to the end or missed entirely.
It is essential to keep your goals in mind when prioritizing your team's work. Ask yourself whether the tasks in question are helping move you towards meeting your goals. Also, bear in mind your company's overall business strategy.
Also, remember that some tasks will be dependent on you doing something else first. You must work out all the necessary steps of a process to ensure that your team members do them in the right order and that people aren't waiting around for something before they can move forward.
3. Be Clear and Specific With Project Requirements
It is tough to succeed with a project if you don't understand what is required. This is particularly important if you are an agency or somebody producing marketing for an outside client. You need to spend time determining exact requirements and expectations.
Some firms use agile project management, which takes a slightly different approach. While you start with a vision, you generally only start in a broad direction, rather than setting precise steps. You learn from the conditions and adapt your project requirements accordingly. An agile project reflects, learns, and regularly adjusts to ensure the customer is always satisfied.
4. Plan Your Projects Carefully
Break down each project into the necessary steps, taking careful notice of what steps depend on previously completed tasks. As mentioned above, software like Monday.com can help with this. If your projects include regular blog and social media posts, you might find CoSchedule useful for organizing your projects.
You will need to allocate team members to each task, along with resources and, where necessary, budget. Be realistic with this. If you don't have the resources and budget, then there is little point in attempting the project. Again, go back to your goals and focus on tasks that will best help you meet them.
5. Use Collaboration Tools to Help Communication
It is important to remember that unless you are a sole trader, doing all the marketing work yourself, you will be working with a team of talented individuals, who all have their specialties, strengths, and weaknesses. Clear communication is vital to all projects.
If you're physically all in the same office, you might be able to chat in person. However, if your team works remotely, you will need robust communications software to help with this process. Apart from traditional software like emails (which can take time as it doesn't happen in real-time), there are many collaboration tools, including Slack, Workplace from Facebook, Samepage, Bitrix24, Flock, and many more.
6. Schedule Your Projects
When you plan your team's work, you should look at the overall picture across all of your active projects. Again, you will find software that will help you with this process.
Obviously, you need to ensure that your team completes its projects before deadlines. It will often be useful to break each project into steps, ensuring that you don't suffer any holdups due to a later stage requiring something you have not already prepared. You could split your team up by specialty, ensuring that you can use the best person for each task.
You effectively break each project into tasks, and schedule each task, allocating it to the most appropriate person. This means that you might have several projects on the go at once, allowing workers to gain some economies of scale. The important thing is to schedule your tasks to use your talent in the best possible way. It is wasteful if you give the wrong tasks to the wrong workers, e.g., asking a copywriter to select images for a blog post.
You could use software like Trello, Asana, or Monday.com to assist at this stage.
If you are new to project management, you might find it easiest to work with your team. Decide on the necessary steps, and ask your team members how long they expect they will take to complete each step. They will also tell you what needs to be done before any particular task. Thet can help you sort out the correct order for each project to avoid bottlenecks.
7. Create Your Marketing Content
Once you have scheduled your marketing content, you next need to create it. While you might not make all that much yourself if you are a Project Manager, you need to keep on top of your team's progress. Again, software like Monday.com can help with this process. Indeed one of the nice features of Monday.com is that it can show when a worker is overloaded and a bottleneck is imminent, in danger of occurring. This means that you can reschedule some tasks to workers with more time. Other apps and platforms, like CoSchedule, offer similar capabilities.
8. Store Your Digital Assets in a Central Location
It's a good idea to keep all digital assets related to a project together. For example, all the components of each Influencer Marketing Hub post live in its own Google Drive folder. Other alternatives include Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive. If you aren't interested in using cloud computing to store your content, you can set up a dedicated part of a server to store each project's assets.
Whichever methods you use, make sure that you give the correct permissions to every team member involved in that project.
9. Create Reusable Project Templates
Why try to reinvent the wheel? If you create content following a regular pattern, many apps and platforms allow you to create templates, which you can use each time you create a new content piece. For instance, Mailchimp lets you create templates for your email newsletters. You can include boilerplate text that appears in every newsletter, along with headings, logos, and recurring images. Even everyday word processing software, like Microsoft Word, allows you to use templates that you can reuse every time you create another similar document. The Adobe products also encourage you to use templates in their graphics software.
10. Review Your Progress at Regular Intervals
It's all very well setting a plan and going into detailed scheduling, but that doesn't mean that everything will go as intended. As a project manager, you need to keep on top of how things are actually progressing. Ideally, you should have a quick overview of progress every day.
You might choose to designate somebody else as your project leader. In that case, they will keep a close eye on the assigned project's progress and then report back to you with any issues. It is far better to know of an impending problem early, rather than discovering about it at a missed deadline. The sooner you can find roadblocks, the quicker you can fix them.
There are some simple ways you can test specific types of marketing as you progress. For instance, you could A/B test a sample of emails you send and then send the one with better results to the bulk of your email subscribers. You can also use heatmap testing to see how effective a website is, seeing which part of your screen receives the most attention.
11. Compare Your Marketing Results With Your Goals
Ultimately, you need to determine whether your marketing campaign has met the goals you set in Step 1. This is where you look at all your available metrics, comparing actual results with your planned ones.
You can also examine individual items of content to see if there are any clear preferences. For example, which blog posts have created high levels of traffic and engagement. Which posts fell under the radar with few people reading them? Also, take note of which types of marketing/advertising worked best with your target audience.
Taking all of this information together, you can then move to plan your next campaign. Focus on using the types of content/assets that worked in this campaign and minimize those that fell flat.