Generally speaking, client’s/internal orders are the same (“I need a nice, effective website”), but when talking about expectations related to pieces of the website, the differences are huge. Thus any project is different in order of time-consuming, people and skills involved, budget eating, etc. Different in managing and coordinating. But each of them is broken down into phases and responsibilities, and roles that professionals are aware of.
What will you learn thanks to this article:
- The phases in the marketing project management
- The roles and responsibilities of different marketing project managers
- How software is helping in project management life cycle
- The role of resource management software in marketing project management
Road To The Marketing Project Management: An Introduction
From project management to…
Easily said, project management is the process of managing projects from start to finish. This involves identifying goals, developing strategies, and executing plans.
According to the Project Management Institution definition that highlights there is something absolutely crucial behind each project. Of course, it’s about the people, from project managers to project contractors and the workforce in the project involved. People who schedule and the people who are selected to participate at some stage of the project and assigned to tasks.
Project management is the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to deliver something of value to people.
As we see, here is more about competencies (soft competencies as well), about having information and the ability to implement that knowledge. Or – to use a phrase taken from, let’s say, a motivational library – turn thinking into action and get things done.
In the summary of this chapter, we’d like to use the Association for Project Management institute proposition. It’s not the easiest one to remember, or even to comprehend project management definition, but after reading what’s above, it can be easy to imagine what the author had in the mind. But, here is something we do not agree with – about what you will get further. Nevertheless:
Project management is the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge, and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria within agreed parameters. Project management has final deliverables that are constrained to a finite timescale and budget.
Achieving the expected goal in the expected time and expected budget – that’s what project management is all about. How does it connect with the main topic of this article?
…To marketing project management
Having above in the mind, the examples of the project in the marketing project are:
- Marketing tools’ integration of internal process
- Website building for – let’s say – electronic manufacturing services company – a website that contains a large portfolio of manufactured devices and their mechanical and electrical elements
- Commissioning freelancers to create blogs in the – for example – software development company specialized in android systems
- Digital indoor and outdoor campaign that contains interactive wall in the Walmart’s, LP building, FB ads, Google AdWords (Seach and YT), WoMM, and programmatic in the vertical websites. Don’t forget about cooperation with the sales department, marketing specialists, or specialists responsible for the campaign in each channel, and
- Implementation of something bigger than 4 weeks lasting digital campaign – a marketing strategy that involves everything above and content marketing in terms of SEO and social media such as FB.
We’re aware that the last example isn’t quite a strict example of project marketing management – especially when we use a finite timeline as a condition sine qua non of the project in the project management. But when we realize that the marketing manager or marketing department is responsible for getting 25 leads per 28 days to maintain the business, we aren’t sure does implementation of something like a marketing strategy shouldn’t be under the umbrella called a “marketing project management”.
Avoiding such agonizing discussions, the marketing project management aims to ensure that the project meets its objectives and deadlines. It’s a way for teams and individuals to meet their goals while working toward a better result.
The Phases Of The Marketing Project Management
When we think about processes, we think about stages or phases. As we will get to know further, the marketing project manager has to be up-to-date with nowadays news related to media channels or marketing tools. They need to not only have primary knowledge from many areas. Areas than can cover or be at least sufficient and appropriate to complete a project within time and budget.
Those stages for some specialists are broken down into 3, 4, 5, or even 6. But typically, the most popular to describe this process (also called project management life cycle) is the one that breaks down into 5 stages:
As seen, each phase involves groups of tasks. Each task means processes and a large number of questions that need to have verified answers to go on. These phases should be managed sequentially rather than simultaneously, but while working with very good communication flow, with the ability to reschedule some plans, it can work otherwise.
Those phases are:
1. Initiation and conception
In the language of the advertising and media houses industry, this phase is called a “briefing”. Intern or external marketing team gets requests with requirements about increasing sales or just preparing marketing activity that helps solve a problem (for example, preparation and implementation of SEO strategy or Google Search campaign).
For many, this is the first step in the marketing project management cycle. Planning includes defining the project’s scope and determining what needs to be done to reach the goal goals. It sometimes involves cost re-estimation after the marketing team compares expected results from the brief with It also includes setting a timeline for completion.
3. Implementation / Launch and execution
Once the project has been planned, the role the next step is implementation. Implementation involves bringing the project into reality by carrying out tasks and processes. It’s time for resource planning and allocation – matching sufficient skilled employees with the right task. Task such as creating a landing page mockup, designing graphics for landing page, writing copy, or media channels analysis and recommendation most useful according to the information gotten thanks to the first point.
4. Monitoring and control
After the project is implemented, you need to monitor whether the results meet expectations. Monitoring includes tracking progress against milestones and adhering to timelines, tracking employees’ performance and time spent on a task, utilization rates, workload, or availability. It includes making adjustments – re-allocation, re-scheduling (especially when scheduling conflicts occur), etc.
5. Project closure
It’s when the project manager verifies that the client, stakeholder, or customer has accepted the project deliverables. The marketing project manager with the marketing team reviews the whole project before closing it, rating employees, performance, communication, and processes. Conclusions are collected in a document – a guidebook for future project purposes.
The Types Of A Marketing Project Manager
Two comments before we start. First, we could provide a breakdown of types of marketing project managers according to the above-mentioned project phases. Or could divide those roles into aimed at current clients and potential clients. Or into the domestic market and internal market. We could mention some projects related to just one channel, such as social media where we use Google (SEO, SEM), and social (FB, YT, WoMM, etc.) and made up another typology. But let’s leave it for imagination and focus on something more not less interesting.
Our competitor in the marketing project management tool market – the Wrike company – proposes not very clear typologic of marketers. The company uses too many vague terms, which means these types of marketers could be reduced. But we use it as an inspiration, we did a cleanup and add something that isn’t mentioned.
Breakdown by communication channel
It’s nothing new institutions responsible for such thing as marketing or – to say it more appropriate – communication between the company and current client and potential client can take place via many channels, using many different occasions. From face-2-face, via event, via offline billboards, to digital marketing activities (such as website development, SEO optimization, article writing, etc.).
Examples of offline marketing projects
- Making 30’ spot
- Implementation of a video advertising campaign – which includes mentioned 30’ spot
- Organizing an event (like Cannes Festival or just a press conference)
- Telemarketing campaign
- Guerilla campaign in the indicated supermarkets and supplemented by outdoor banners (whole campaign divided into two stages: teaser + solution)
Examples of online’s projects in marketing
- Website building
- Multichannel outbound advertising campaign
- Content marketing in terms of SEO (Google channel)
- Content marketing on the Instagram, Facebook, and blogs with a large reach
- Application for gamification purposes
Many channels mean many different specializations, many times different questions, and challenges during processes.
The breakdown into marketing agency and in-house marketing
1. Project manager in an advertising agency or marketing company
Let’s start with an example of a typical project for this type of PM. Building a website. In the simplest terms, this process consists of phases such as briefing. The client presents his requirements, including time and budget – what is to be completed, in what time, and for what money.
In practice, this means: ongoing communication with the client and informing him of the results of the work; selection of specialists and outsourcers, planning their work (taking into account their availability) and assigning tasks. And, of course, checking the status of each task, employee productivity, utilization, workload, or other KPIs. Does it sound like a project management process and responsibilities?
We know that building a website is not just one of the services provided by marketing agencies. Coordinating multi-channel advertising campaigns or coordinating the implementation of an SEO strategy – they or the tasks included in them also need to be completed within the specified time, the specified budget, and, last but not least, by appropriately qualified people.
2. In-house marketing project manager
Working in or being the Head of the Marketing Department also includes the above-mentioned projects, tasks, and dependencies. Some of the tasks are performed in-house, and some – are performed by specialists or advertising agencies, media houses, PR agencies, etc.
What’s obvious, many times take place a situation when project managers liaise with internal departments, especially with Sales Department and Product Department. Gathering information about products, sales results, challenges, and feedback from current and potential customers. Everything is needed for marketing activities implementation, optimization, and more efficient coordination.
Summarizing and setting aside right now the differences between working on the creative agency side and working for the in-house company, marketing project management involves:
- Briefing, and then a brainstorming projects
- Budget planning for entire campaigns and individual tasks
- Selecting resources (employees, team) and breaking down tasks across them
- Resource scheduling – assigning the right task to the right person at the right time
- Executing the plan on time – time management, tracking time and progress of each task
- If needed, tasks and workloads rescheduling on the fly
- Finishing the marketing project – project closure
- Evaluating KPIs, metrics, challenges solutions and revising what needs fixing to improve future project implementation
The Largest Challenges in Not Only Marketing Project Management
The annual report made up by Wellington – a training company and the only organization worldwide that is a Microsoft Gold Partner with the PPM competency – is showing the results of research. One of them is below.
Skills In Use During Marketing Project Management Lifecycle
As we see above, marketing projects are different because of their scope, channel, time to market, or budget. Because many challenges occur, project managers need knowledge from different areas of their industries. They cooperate with many different specialists with different skills (and approaches), by moving around – from department to department, from agency to agency – to clarify issues or to verify hypotheses
Communications and organizational skills are high on the list of skills most managers need to succeed in their roles. However, project management for marketing also requires a host of other important skills in order to excel.
- Soft and communication skills – this point doesn’t need an explanation
- Leadership and decision-making skills – encouraging and directing them, as well as defining their strengths and weaknesses, and taking into account time tracking, or workload or utilization rates analysis to make appropriate decisions and lead the project – that’s not all about, but undoubtedly crucial.
- Analytical – when you plan, schedule, and allocate thanks analysis a professionals become resource managers and optimize resources to maximize the outcome for their company or client
- Marketing knowledge about marketing planning tools and how to use them, about the set of necessary skills needed for projects or their phase, about channels and distractions related to each of them, about targeting abilities represented by each channel and the efficiency that comes with them, etc.
- Resource management or resource allocation – the allocation of both human and budgetary resources, is critical to being a successful marketing project manager. This skill will allow for added agility and flexibility as obstacles or bottlenecks arise.
- Proficiency with marketing project management tools – we’ve just said above but it needs to say it louder: nowadays effectiveness and sufficient optimizations rely, mostly, on software. Without any doubt.
- Forecasting and timeline optimization – having many answers, collected data, and systemized knowledge forecasting and predictability of events are easy – that’s what we can say at this point
- Timeline planning – Planning the timeline of each project is a critical skill that a marketing project manager needs to hone, especially when they are forecasting multiple complex projects with time- and resource-dependent deadlines.
- Task management: hundreds of specific tasks, scheduling conflicts, time off of an expected specialist, underestimated time of implementation of certain tasks – do they determine the project’s progress? A need to supervise and predict some circumstances and delegate, and assign tasks effectively to ensure deadlines are met – that’s another group of skills to work on.
On The Battlefield – Marketing Project Management Software In Use
How did we prepare the list below? 2 comments.
The first one. If you’re a marketing professional, you know or can imagine how big the Martech industry is. Because the main topic is about marketing project management in general, not related to particular marketing projects, marketing fields, or channels, in the presentation below you won’t be witnessed by some categories of tools. SEO optimization tools, analytical, graphic, PPC optimization, or content planner tools. This list is focused on project management, employee, and task management, not SEO, PPC, or Facebook management.
The second. In this chapter, your eyes will be directed to project management software used in the marketing departments and advertising agencies and – this is most important – aimed at solving challenges and supplementing skills needed by the marketing project manager mentioned in the chapter above.
Time tracking and performance
An employee time tracking software tracks the total time spent on tasks and projects. This software captures employee time, hourly wages, and client billing rates and uses this information to automate invoicing and payroll management functions.
As we know, marketing resource management becomes 3 of 5 phases of the project management life cycle. Employee scheduling, skills-based tasks assigning, time tracking or performance tracking, team utilization, timesheets and helping in invoicing, and so on – in the 1 resource management software.
Teamdeck is an all-in-one resource management software with a fully transparent view of the whole team. You can create custom reports and track time spent on different projects. It allows users to assign tasks to specific members of the team with their resource scheduling tool.
Integrations: Slack, Sage HR, Google Calendar, and more (available for business plan users).
Pricing: Plans start at $0.9 per month and also offer a 7-day free trial.
Task management tools aren’t so rarely very close to resource management tools. The closeness applies to performance tracking functions, time tracking features, and employee scheduling solutions – in mentioning of few.
The big difference is according to the view or interface. Avoiding digging in words, ask yourself, would you like to view tasks on a calendar, a Gantt chart, or a Kanban board?
ClickUp is one of the best free marketing project management tools out there, as it has a clean design with lots of features.
You can easily create tasks, assign them to team members, track their progress, and even attach files.
ClickUp also offers collaboration through chat rooms, which makes it easy to communicate with other users. ClickUp allows users to track time within the software or through the usage of an integration.
Integrations: Slack, Dropbox, G Suite, and more.
Pricing: We recommend using their free plan for personal use as it includes all primary features. Their cheapest paid plan starts at $5 per month per user, offering additional functionality. There are five pricing plans to choose from.
The Key Benefits Of Marketing Project Management
So, the question remains, why is marketing management important? Without further ado, here are the most important benefits of marketing project management:
1. Increased productivity
The best way to increase productivity is by eliminating any obstacles that might slow down your workflow. This means that you must have clear objectives and deadlines, which marketing project management helps you achieve.
2. Sticking to a budget
One of the biggest challenges for marketers is sticking to a budget. If they don’t stick to the budget, then there’s no guarantee that the campaign will succeed. With marketing project management, you can see exactly where your money goes.
3. Easier collaboration
It becomes difficult to collaborate with each team member when you’re running multiple campaigns at once. However, if you use marketing project management software, you can easily share files and collaborate on tasks.
4. Better coordination between team members
As mentioned above, when you run multiple campaigns at once, coordinating them can become difficult. However, by using marketing project management software, you can assign specific roles to team members so that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.
5. More efficient delivery of work
Since you know exactly what needs to be done, you can better estimate how long it will take to complete each task. You can also track progress more accurately by using marketing or agency project management software.
Developing Marketing Plan
A marketing plan is basically part of an overall business plan as it contains information as to how an organization will implement its advertising strategy to reach its target audience.
The development of your marketing plan will depend on the purpose and the type of organization it will be created for. Nevertheless, creating a marketing plan is a crucial step in creating a marketing strategy.
It forces marketing project managers to think about the important steps leading up to an effective marketing strategy. Furthermore, a marketing plan will help you stay focused on your high-level marketing goals.
Let’s look at some tips on developing a good marketing plan:
1. Write A Marketing Summary
Before writing a detailed marketing plan, it is advisable to write a summary first. This will provide you with an overview of the entire plan. It will also help you identify potential problems and issues that may arise throughout the process.
2. Outline Marketing Goals And How To Analyze Them
It is important to outline your marketing goals so that you can measure them later on. You should also include how you intend to achieve those goals. For example, if your goal is to sell more products, you should specify the number of units you want to sell per month.
3. User Personas
User personas are used to describe your target market. They are essentially fictional characters that represent your ideal customer. The main objective of user personas is to understand who your target market is and what they would expect from your company.
4. Analyze Your Market
Analyzing your market is very important because it helps you determine whether or not your product is relevant to your audience.
Additionally, it allows you to make changes accordingly. You should consider doing a SWOT analysis, which allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
5. Set Your Budget
Setting a realistic budget is another essential aspect of any marketing plan. It should take into consideration all the costs associated with running a successful campaign. You should also set aside enough funds to cover unexpected expenses.
Building A Great Marketing Team
A marketing team should be made up of individuals who have complementary skill sets. This will ensure that you’re able to achieve your goals while keeping the quality of work high. Some of their key responsibilities include:
1. Creating content
Content creation is one of the most important roles in any marketing campaign. Content marketers are responsible for creating engaging content that resonates with customers. They need to know how to write compelling copy, design attractive visuals, and create effective campaigns.
2. Managing social media accounts
Social media managers are responsible for maintaining the company’s presence across various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. They are expected to monitor brand mentions, respond to comments, and engage with fans.
3. Analyzing data
Data analysts use tools like Tableau and QlikView to analyze trends and gain insight into consumer behavior. They need to understand how different variables affect sales, conversions, and other KPIs.
4. Planning events
Event planners coordinate all aspects of an event, from venue selection to catering. They need to make sure everything goes smoothly, especially if they’re working with clients outside their own company.
Building and structuring a marketing team is no easy task, but once you’ve got everyone on board, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your business goals.
Before even hiring anyone, it might be a good idea to consider using an HR tool to make your recruiting process more time-efficient and pleasant for the candidates.
To build a strong marketing team, start by identifying your needs.
- What do you want your team to accomplish?
- How many people do you need?
Once you have these answers, you can go about hiring for marketing department positions.
Creating The Best Marketing Strategy
A marketing management strategy is a roadmap that guides a company through its entire marketing journey.
It helps companies decide what kind of products and services to offer, where to focus their efforts, and how best to reach their target audience. It is essential to have a marketing management strategy in order to stay competitive in today’s market, as it highlights your marketing goals.
A marketing strategy is also something that should convey your company’s corporate identity, so it should reflect your values and vision.
When developing a marketing strategy, it is important to keep your company culture, competitors, target audience, and budget in mind. A marketing strategy typically should include the following sections, such as:
- Company goals
- Internal and external analysis
- Target audience research
- Relevant marketing channels
- Branding and messaging
The first step toward developing a successful marketing strategy is to define your objectives. Objectives help you set specific goals for your marketing activities. They can be divided into two categories: short-term and long-term.
- Short-term objectives are those that must be achieved within a certain period of time.
- Long-term objectives are those that take place over a longer period of time.
Once you have defined your objectives, you need to identify your target audience. Your audience will determine which type of content to create and which channels to use.
You may also want to conduct surveys or interviews to get feedback from potential customers. This information will help you develop a better understanding of who your ideal customer is, what they want, and how to communicate with them.
Next, you need to perform an internal analysis. An internal analysis allows you to evaluate your current situation and find out what areas need improvement.
If necessary, you can then formulate strategies to improve your performance. Internal analyses are usually conducted every year during the planning stage. In addition to conducting an internal analysis, you should also conduct an external one.
The external analysis involves studying your industry and other businesses in your niche.
This will give you insight into how they operate and what they offer. When doing these two things, it’s always a good idea to look at the 4 Ps of the marketing mix, namely, product, price, promotion, and place.
Image Source: MarketSplash
Your product is the core of any business; therefore, it is vital to choose the right one. Make sure that your product aligns with your brand image and values. Also, make sure that it meets your target audience’s needs.
Price is another key factor when choosing a product. However, you don’t necessarily have to stick to traditional pricing models like fixed prices or discounts. Instead, you can adjust your prices based on demand.
Promotions are an excellent way to increase sales. However, not all promotions work equally well. Therefore, you should test different types of promotions before deciding which ones to implement.
Place refers to the physical location where your target audience spends most of their time. Therefore, it is essential to consider this aspect when designing your marketing strategy.
Additionally, you need to analyze your competition and benchmark it against your performance. By analyzing your competition, you will be able to learn from their mistakes and successes.
This will allow you to come up with new ideas and ways to attract customers.
Lastly, setting your budget in accordance with your marketing plan is a vital step in creating a marketing strategy. A lot of companies spend too much money without considering their ROI (return on investment). Therefore, it is important to allocate funds efficiently and effectively.
A Guide Through Marketing Analytics
Marketing analytics is the use of data to analyze and evaluate the performance of your marketing campaigns. In other words, this is the process of collecting and analyzing data to improve your marketing strategies.
Marketing analytics can lead marketing project managers to take better actions as they can adjust their routes according to data.
Here are just some of the most important things you should be tracking:
- Social media engagement
- Sales revenue
- Organic traffic
- Social media traffic
- Cost per lead
- Content strategies
Choosing the right marketing or agency project management tools is the key when using marketing analytics. Some of these tools are free, while others cost money. When choosing a tool for your business, you should keep in mind its features and capabilities and, ultimately, your budget and objectives.
Creating a marketing plan is a useful exercise that will allow you to focus on your overall marketing strategy.
Hopefully, this short guide has helped you learn about the basics of creating a marketing plan. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!
Still, looking for the best marketing project management software?
Use Teamdeck – resource planning software used by advertising and IT companies