Let’s be honest – managing all of your marketing efforts is tough. There are dozens of steps to move a single project from an idea to a completed deliverable and requires collaboration between multiple parties. While there can be a lot that can go wrong, the good news is that there’s a way to bring order to all the madness that marketing campaigns bring with them – marketing project management!
Project management is more than a way to make sure your team is staking on time and budget, it actually increases the ROI of your marketing efforts. Marketers who plan projects are four times more likely to be successful.
At Green Apple, we’ve learned quite a bit about the foundational principles and best practices for effective marketing project management. While some of the lessons we learned the hard way, others were discovered through the creative problem-solving of our team. Today, we’ve built a team of gifted client relations specialists whose primary focus is to execute an effective project management process.
For this article, we’ve asked one of our assistant client relations specialists, Kayla Reyes, to share a few insights she uses when it comes to “keeping all the plates spinning” for our clients.
5 Best Practices for Marketing Project Management
There are dozens of elements that go into managing your marketing projects effectively. From creating your overall structure and procedures to defining the communication processes, there’s a lot to consider. But how do you go about implementing these foundational principles for marketing project management? Here are a few best practices we’ve learned over the years:
1. Hire the right people.
Many of the tasks and responsibilities of a project manager require a certain mindset and skillset. Some people are big vision, whiteboard dreamers. They typically make better strategists that project managers.
At Green Apple, we use a couple of tools to assess a team member’s project management acumen. For example, we have several enneagram ones who embody the characteristics of being honest, detail-oriented professionals. We also use the Culture Index to evaluate the interpersonal skills that are required for project management.
2. Find tools to help.
Once you have the right people in your project management role, it’s important to equip them with tools that can help them be successful. In today’s digital-first world, this often means finding the right project management software for your team. As a hybrid marketing agency, we’ve found a lot of success in using tools like Basecamp and Asana for project management and collaboration with clients.
3. Build consistent processes and systems around your tools.
Investing in project management software is only helpful if your team knows how to use it. It requires intentional planning to discover how the match the features that are available in a project management tool with the internal processes and structure of your team. Training is another important factor to ensure everyone has what they need to fulfill their task and nothing slips through the cracks during a project.
4. Take a detail-oriented approach to execution.
Organizing and streamlining ideas and projects is essential to keep on track with deadlines. This is even more true in a fast-paced agency environment when you’re serving multiple clients at once.
While moving a project through the stages of development is one key, making sure it’s done well and nothing is overlooked is another. The people who are really great at what they do focus on executing – not just the big things but also on all the little details. A good project manager recognizes that even the tiniest details matter. They make sure everyone has what they need for their specific task and address any mistakes that are made along the way.
5. Periodically ask what’s working and what’s not.
Consistently asking, “is this working?” is just as important with your project management process as it is with other areas of marketing. At Green Apple, we make sure our project management approach integrates with our client’s internal processes. We’ve found it helpful to host quarterly meetings with our project managers and Orchard members to identify ways to improve our project management processes internally.
“As a project manager, I love getting into the weeds to help our clients launch a strategy or create a campaign that makes a tangible difference in the world,” Kayla described. “It’s always meaningful to look back and celebrate the hundreds of steps that are taken — and all the people who are involved – to execute all of the marketing efforts for our clients.”