How to successfully manage projects in marketing

Michiel Destoop
February 22, 2019
⏱ 3 min. read

Completing a project on time and within budget, while achieving the required quality level, is the essential task of a project manager. And, he(*) is consciously or unconsciously hindered from not succeeding in that mission. What does a project manager have to do to ensure that his project suffers as little inconvenience as possible?

(*) or she, because a lot of project managers are women. Especially in the marketing world, women are leading projects in the right direction. In the customer base of our digital marketing planner Husky, more than 70% is female.

In marketing, project management is crucial. Typical for marketing management is that a lot of projects run simultaneously. Moreover, many projects are continuous by nature. Maintaining content marketing, for example, has no end. But here too it is interesting to turn it into projects with clear objectives. For example, work towards a larger community, better conversions or more productivity.

Planning and preparation are critical success factors for a successful marketing project to minimise potential obstacles. Excellent project planning can solve unexpected events quickly and efficiently.

1. Know your projects inside out

What exactly is it about? Gather the necessary information and start summarising. Draw up a schedule with interim milestones for a more massive project. Provide the budget required to realise the project as expected. Is everyone aware of the objectives? And did all stakeholders give their approval to carry out the project in this way? 

Change is inevitable, but you have to keep control and indicate when the project deviates from its original objectives. Watch out for repeatedly asking for "just one small thing".

In Husky, you can keep this planning, budgeting and notes (expectations) per project. Every project participant can always refer to this project information. In our help centre, you can read how.

An example of a project (event) with a clearly determined communication.

2. Set realistic expectations

A cliché in the world of Project Management: "Choose 2 out of 3: good, fast or cheap. You can't have all three of them." But that does not necessarily mean that you cannot be ambitious. Especially the lead time of a project is difficult to accelerate. Another classic coming from an experienced project manager: "A baby's pregnancy takes nine months. With nine mothers, you can't do it in one month".

Determining KPI's and estimating budget is possible in Husky. Following up as well.

In Husky, you can set KPIs per month, and compare them to actual results.

Per project, you can list the estimated budget and actual invoices.

3. Establish measurable success criteria

How do you know if your project will be successful if you have no clue how to measure success? You need interim milestones, especially for a time-consuming project. These milestones allow you to determine whether you remain on course or deviate from the objectives of the project planning. Or even better: list KPI's that you test throughout the project or on completion with the results obtained.

Define milestones in your planning as 'channels' and clarify the objectives when describing those channels. Compare KPIs monthly with the results obtained.

4. Choose your team and define responsibilities

What are the qualities of your team members? When do you need external parties? Assigning the wrong person to a task reduces your chances of success before the project starts.

Make sure that it is clear to each team member what is expected of him or her and when. Straightforward and open communication is vital.

Collaboration in a Husky project with external parties is possible, even without them having access to other projects or the budget. Every task or milestone has a person responsible. Online discussions allow questions to be asked in the right context and open discussions to be concluded.

5. Embrace your role as a leader

Project manager and project leader are synonyms. So embrace that role completely. No other team member may take that position. It is your job to get the best out of your team members. You are a coach, mentor and motivator. You are also the link with other stakeholders in the project, both internally and externally.

If the project is in danger of derailing, then you should certainly take on that role as a calm and strong leader. That's when your team needs you the most.

If you are not only a project leader, but also perform a lot of tasks, you also have to put on your project leader's hat, ensure overview and take decisions.

Every project in Husky has a project manager.

Project owners are assigned per project.

6. Evaluate the project when completed

Once a project is completed, it is important to make a report, even if it is for internal purposes only. You can determine what went right and wrong, determine what else could or should have been done.

Adjust the Notes. Export the project to a formatted PDF and archive the project. If you have a similar project later, you can copy it and use it as a basis. Best practices and workflows can be inserted in Templates.

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