5 Best Practices for Marketing Project Management

Person sitting at a desk with a notebook and laptop

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.”

You can learn more about Green Apple’s unique approach or connect with our team to discover how we can become your marketing partner. 

 

Surprise and Delight: Tips and Ideas to Show Appreciation and Enhance Customer Satisfaction

Sqaurespace employee having coffee with a coworker

Marketing plays an important role in every part of a buyer’s journey. From creating a memorable first impression to finding ways to turn customers into raving fans, it’s important to know how to create experiences that enhance customer satisfaction. 

The concept of “surprise and delight” is one of our favorite tools in our marketing tool belt. In essence, surprise and delight is a strategy to reward customers when they’re not expecting it. These customer experience tactics have proven to trigger positive feelings, create a deeper sense of brand loyalty, increase referrals, and multiply revenue. These moments work as a brand differentiator, and they can also be a highly effective strategy for fostering long-term customer loyalty. 

Some of our favorite marketing campaigns over the years have included helping our clients find ways to “surprise and delight” their customers. It’s always fun to show appreciation and bring joy to someone’s day. We’ve also learned a thing or two about how to enhance customer satisfaction using this technique. Here’s what we’ve learned: 

3 Tips for Incorporating “Surprise and Delight” Into Your Marketing

As you look for ways to surprise and delight your customers, here are three best practices to consider: 

1. Make it Personal 

The best surprise and delight campaigns are personal. Giving a gift or reward to a customer can inspire strong brand loyalty. If you have a small number of clients, consider how to make each gift or reward as personal as possible. Companies with a large number of customers can still find ways to have a personal touch. Customer segmentation is an effective tactic to incorporate personalization into your surprise and delight campaigns so that particular types of rewards target the customers who will appreciate them the most.

2. Make it Genuine

Today’s customers know the difference between a gift and a marketing tactic. For example, some companies create “surprise and delight” campaigns based on coupons or discounts. Other companies use location-based services to reach customers on mobile devices and offer discount coupons when they’re near a particular physical location. But these are classic sales promotions, rather than surprise and delight campaigns.

The best surprise and delight campaigns show customers you genuinely care about them. It could be bringing unexpected gifts or simply creating special moments in the purchasing process for consumers. Even website design can include moments of surprise and delight. For instance, an unexpected 404 error page can bring levity and playfulness to website navigation. The more small moments of joy you can include in the customer journey, the more likely customers are to retain positive feelings about your brand. 

3. Make it Simple 

One obstacle that keeps businesses from investing in surprise and delight is a fear of the unknown. Established brands may have trouble finding places in their customer experience for a breath of fresh air, a moment of joy, or a truly human connection. Our advice to these brands is to start small and go from there. Don’t overthink it. Maybe your sales presentation could incorporate a meme or pop culture reference. Your merchandise or packaging could include a character, pun, story, quote, or tasteful joke. With attention to detail and an understanding of your customer base, you can find places to spread joy and build brand integrity. 

3 Ideas to Enhance Customer Satisfaction with Surprise and Delight

As you consider how to incorporate surprise and delight into your marketing efforts, here are three specific scenarios you can create campaigns:

1. Send Client or Customer Appreciation Gifts 

According to data from Merkle HelloWorld Loyalty Report, the best ways to engage consumers is through surprise offers or gifts for being a customer. Many companies send gifts during the holiday season. But sending gifts randomly throughout the year is a great way to create a more memorable experience. In today’s digitally connected world, virtual client appreciation gifts are also valuable tools to enhance customer satisfaction. 

2. Incorporate Surprise and Delight into Client Onboarding 

The onboarding process is important for establishing the foundation of the relationship with your clients and customers. While creating a seamless onboarding experience and setting expectations are important for creating an outstanding onboarding experience, why not find a way to surprise and delight them from the very beginning? 

3. Celebrate Your Customers’ Personal Wins

One way to show customers you care about more than just their business is to celebrate their personal victories and successes. This is where social media channels can help you stay connected with customers. As you get to know them, find ways to show you have a genuine interest in them as humans. It could be sending a personal birthday card, congratulating them on an educational milestone, or sending a meal or gift card for their newborn. 

The best way to enhance customer satisfaction is to make them feel like you’re going above and beyond for them. Surprise and delight customers by doing something unexpected to show appreciation and let them know how much you value knowing them.

5 [Virtual] Client Appreciation Gifts for 2022

Present wrapped with pink ribbon
When you can’t be face to face with your clients, relationship building becomes a bit more challenging—especially when it comes to showing your gratitude. Though Zoom calls are an excellent stand-in, they are hardly the same as taking your client out for coffee or dinner and giving them a gift that shows how much you appreciate them. To help bridge the gap, we have a few out-of-the-box suggestions to spark some inspiration. Here are five virtual gifts that any client on your list would be happy to receive. 

1. Virtual Gift Cards 

Virtual gift cards make gift giving easy. Even if your schedule is packed with video calls, you can shop for a gift card within minutes and have it sent to your client’s inbox. Choose a gift card from a retail shop or restaurant you know they will (or already) love. Many feel that gift cards are impersonal, but it’s all in what you make of it. Identify a specific need or interest that your client has, a hobby they enjoy, or a restaurant they’ve mentioned. Send them a meaningful note with the virtual card to let them know why you chose this specifically for them and that you’re thinking about them.

2. Donations in their Name

This year, show your clients that you care about their passions and the greater good. If you know of a cause that your client is particularly moved by, you might consider donating to a nonprofit that supports that cause in their name. They will appreciate that you remembered something so dear to their hearts. 

3. A Virtual Class or Other Online Experience

As our world continues to move to virtual experiences, there are even more digital gift options to choose from. For the client who loves to cook? Maybe a virtual cooking class. For the client who is always looking for their next adventure? Maybe try a virtual history tour of an exotic location. Websites like Master Class and Airbnb have a vast selection of a wide range of experiences to choose from. There’s something for everyone!  

4. A Cameo Message from their Favorite Celebrity

Does your client follow a favorite celebrity? You can request a personalized video message on Cameo from stars across the country. From Kate Flannery of The Office to Snoop Dogg, a Cameo video is a one-of-a-kind gift that your client can cherish forever. 

5. A Packed with Purpose Gift Box

Now to think inside the box. If you’re looking for virtual gifts that you can order online quickly but that your client can hold in their hands, try a gift box. You can show your gratitude with fun variety boxes full of snacks that they (and everyone in their house) will enjoy. Packed with Purpose makes it easy with high-quality, customizable gift boxes that give back. We especially love the “A Sweet Thanks” box that features a small-batch caramel cheddar popcorn mix, chocolate cookies, toffee, and more.  Are you looking for new ways to engage and connect with your clients? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

Meet the Team: Kayla Reyes

Kayla reyes


After reading the job description and noticing Green Apple’s client-centered approach, Kayla Reyes immediately knew that the Assistant Client Relations Specialist role at Green Apple was a perfect match (while discovering
our greeters didn’t hurt either!). As an Enneagram One, she thrives in a structured and organized environment, and since the position called for this type of work style, joining the Green Apple team was a clear choice. Working closely with Olivia Cooper, Kayla will serve our clients by implementing strategic visions and capitalizing on new opportunities.

While Kayla was born in Kansas City, Missouri, she moved to South Florida at a young age and was homeschooled until her sophomore year of high school, when she began her associate’s degree journey (yes, while in high school!). She earned a bachelor’s degree in 2018 with a business management major and an entrepreneurship minor. She explains, “At such a young age, 16 years old, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in yet, but my college guidance counselor suggested business, and I’ve been loving it since.” She especially enjoys being an expert in marketing and entrepreneurship.

After graduating, Kayla married and relocated to Cookeville, Tennessee, where she learned the ins and outs of content writing and social media management. Two years later, she and her husband moved to Nashville, where she was hungry for more opportunities to grow her knowledge and skill set, leading her to Green Apple! Kayla says she’s looking forward to bringing a positive attitude to our team, as well as “intense organization and attention to detail.” 

Kayla loves to spend time with her high school friend-turned-husband and their two sweet Golden Retriever-Labs, Comet and Harvey. Around Nashville, Kayla enjoys working out at HOTBOX, browsing the best shops, and eating Baja Burrito tacos. She loves quality time with her friends and family, reading, audiobooks, and video games. Another true passion of Kayla’s is traveling—she has visited four countries and half of the States, and she hopes to plan another international adventure soon. We are excited to welcome Kayla to the Green Apple team and know that her ambition, strategy, and principles will help deliver quality results to our clients.