Almost all marketers will be asked to manage a project at some point in their careers. However, not all marketers will have formal project management training. Not everyone will necessarily be confident in their planning or leadership skills.
So, when it comes time to take charge of a project, how do you react?
If you don’t have an immediate answer, this article is for you.
The management and management of marketing projects need not be oppressive. With the development of simple skills and a simplified process to follow, success is at your fingertips.
Why should marketers care about project management skills?
If spreadsheets and deadlines seem less attractive to you than improving your creative and analytical skills, you are not alone.
However, understanding project planning and management are invaluable for marketers.
An investment in the development of these assets is an investment in your career that will never pay off.
What project management skills should be considered when creating marketing?
While we may see project management as a skill in its own right, it may be more convenient to think of it as a broad discipline that requires several essential skills.
So, which skills are the best? Consider the following three.
Communication skills are essential for effective marketers (and, in fact, for anyone who works in the office).
But excellence in interpersonal communication becomes even more important when you need to guide multiple individuals towards a goal. You must state clearly what the project needs and reduce potential conflicts between team members.
Marketing projects and campaigns consist of many moving parts. Although creative people want to make their own individual contributions, someone needs to have their hands on the wheel to make sure that everyone is driving in the same direction.
To run a project or campaign effectively, you need to be able to do two things:
- Stay organized: You can’t help the team if you can’t help yourself here.
- Keep teamwork organized: the less they have to worry about workflows and deadlines, the more mentally they will be free to do quality work.
Marketers are people with ideas. As a result, there will always be more ideas on your team than you can imagine.
So how can you be sure that you are focused on the things that create the most value? Develop a process to see which ideas have the greatest potential to make the greatest impact.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself when looking for ideas:
- Solve an existing problem (for our company or our customers)?
- Do we have previous evidence that this idea can work?
- If we send the project, does it have the potential to generate 10x returns for a given benchmark?
At a high level, this series of questions provides a simple framework for choosing the best ideas.
A practical process for applying your skills
With a few simple skills on your resume, you are ready to use them.
Learn how to organize effective project launch meetings
The phrase ‘this meeting should have been an email’ has become a painfully recognizable cliché for a reason: it is something that everyone has experienced.
If you learn to hold meetings that suck no one, you can quickly become a hero.
Before starting any project, make an appointment to discuss the following:
- The basic details of the project and its objectives
- What each team member needs to complete the project
- How long does it take them to complete each step?
After the meeting, you will have all the necessary parts to draw an end-to-end schedule for the project, with deadlines for each part.
Map activities throughout the project from start to finish
Do the following with each part of the project you set up in the previous step:
- Organize them in order.
- Add a deadline for each step (based on how long the team members have said they need it).
- Add these steps and tasks to your project management software (there are many options available on the market).
When this meeting is held, the hypothesis of everything ready is online.
Hold morning resurrection meetings to discuss project progress
Daily standups (a concept borrowed from the world of agile marketing) keep teams informed and meet for 15 minutes every day to discuss the progress of the project.
You can also choose to hold these meetings to discuss all the teamwork daily (including this specific project you are leading and others as well). That way, you can provide context for what people are still working on (which can also affect your project).
This is an easy way to do standing lifts:
- Call the team each morning for a meeting in the same room.
- Ask each team member to share what they did yesterday, what they will do today, and what obstacles can hinder their progress.
If team members need to discuss the details of anything that comes up, ask them to collaborate after the meeting.
This is all it takes to develop transparency within the team and ensure that all phases of the project are completed without anyone having to look over their shoulder.
Go ahead and manage your marketing projects
You don’t have to be a skilled project manager to take charge of marketing projects (although experience certainly helps and skilled project managers are really valuable). With some basic skills and some structure, you can easily guide your projects from concept to completion.