Marketing and project management have for a long time been seen as divergent paths in a company’s journey success. However, this has greatly contributed to poor marketing techniques. In fact, one of the most notable figures in the marketing world, Jim Stengel, speaking at an AAAA media conference said that the modern marketing landscape deserves a ‘D’ grade.
Achieving Great Results
As a marketer you need to re-evaluate your marketing strategy by borrowing from successful project management. It is true traditional project managers are a dying breed as their job description keeps changing with time but still you can apply project management principles in marketing to realize good results.
The metrics involved in project management include sales revenue, customer retention, total cost of customer acquisition, operational productivity, gross margin size, profit and loss among others. All these require both innovation and resourcefulness. By learning from project managers you will be enhancing your marketing capabilities.
It might sound like you will be required to learn a completely new skill but having a project manager’s ‘mind’ is a great asset for any marketer.
So, how can you close the divide between marketers and project managers? How can the two seemingly incongruent professions ‘learn’ from each other? As a business owner you need to leverage the following synergies in order to be successful in your marketing campaigns and project management:
1. Project Planning
Failure to plan is simply planning for failure. It might be cliché but the wisdom in the phrase cannot be overemphasized. Dealing with metrics such as sales revenue requires a lot of work and as a business manager you need to define your goals. More importantly you must have a vision for your marketing campaign before setting out.
Dawn Chapman writing in the PM Times emphasizes the need for SMART objectives in project management. As such you need to set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. It becomes much easier to review the progress of your marketing campaign when these objectives are clearly spelt out.
2. Document and Task Management
How good is your document management process? If your client calls are you able to provide information instantly or do you have to use delaying tactics? In today’s global business environment proper document and task management go hand in hand. As a business manager you need to know who is working on what at any time. Remember, task management can either make or break your project. So dedicate adequate and the right resources to ensure that every task is executed efficiently, in time and according to customer requirements.
3. Document Storage
File management and storage are both important. If you have no proper file storage systems then your project is headed for failure. Likewise you need to ensure that your market reports in order in case they are needed for future reference. There are myriad document management and storage options such as DropBox, Wuala, Mega, TeamDrive, SpiderOak among others. While selecting a storage system ensure that it has retrieval capability to enhance efficiency.
4. Project Cost Tracking
Truth be told, tracking the cost of your project and sticking to the set budget is one of the most complicated and stressful parts of project management. This starts with cost estimation and later tracking of actual expenditures.
You must have a contingency plan before you start any project and as a project manager you need to appreciate the need for flexibility. Project cost tracking also involves assessment of variances and creation of reports indicating the reasons for such deviations. You can leverage multiple software trackers available in the market for this.
Such technology helps protect your project. As a marketer you also need these skills to ensure your campaign doesn’t run amok. In marketing it is easy to fail when it comes to working along the limits of your budget and this can ruin your bottom-line at the end of the day.
5. Return On Investment (ROI) Analysis
Another tough aspect of project management is providing a good ROI figure to your boss. You need to have a sensible figure which will enable you to deploy your project successfully. You also need to evaluate the project based on expected savings, costs and strategic benefits.
Why do you need ROI analysis? For starters it is a selling point for your project to people in management. It also allows you to set investment screening thus assuring you of higher chances of succeeding. In addition, ROI analysis also enhances productivity, and results to financial discipline.
6. Project Management Technology
For optimal resources management you need to embrace technology in everything you do. For a marketer digital marketing is the in-thing today as it helps save money on overheads while also allowing for targeted marketing. In project management, there is no gainsaying the tremendous impact tracking and document management software has on the overall success of the business.
You also need to consider the benefits of real-time project evaluation and reporting; all stakeholders need to be aware of what is going on in the project. On the other hand, a marketer needs to assess the performance of their marketing techniques using tools such as Google Analytics among others.
When you have multiple teams working a project, cloud-based project management systems become invaluable especially where your teams are in different time zones. It is easier for everyone to log in either to assess the progress of a task or get a general view of the project’s progress.
7. Independent and Collective Task Management
It is possible to leverage independent and collective task management for your teams. Since every team member is assigned a specific task then go for a task management system which allows every member to log in and work on their work independently. On the other hand you can capitalize on technology to make it easier for every team member to log in and work on the same task at the same time where collaboration is required. An example of such a task in marketing is online interaction with potential clients during a product launch.
Marketing is a tough nut to crack especially in the modern competitive world. However, you can ace it by leveraging these project management skills. Planning is fundamental to your success as a marketer and you need to have a clear road map to guide you through the entire marketing campaign. What’s more, emphasize communication to your marketing team while also leveraging technology in data and task management. Look for project management software designed for marketers and capitalize on it to cut overhead costs while also improving efficiency.