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6 Reasons Marketing Project Management is Vital to Long-Term Success

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Everyone’s a marketer, until they realize how complicated it is.

It’s tough enough to launch a single channel worth of content. Launching a complex campaign with lots of creative efforts in a multichannel environment to various audiences?

That can get complicated fast.

It’s not impossible, of course. From mom-and-pop shops with limited resources to million-dollar marketing budgets, organizations of all sizes are able to keep their marketing efforts on track and aligned with key business goals.

How do they do it? Marketing project management.

Done right, project management helps your entire team stay organized, lets you use and distribute your resources better, and even improves team collaboration.

All of that, eventually, leads to better ROI across the entire marketing operation. And who doesn’t like more profits?

That outcome is possible regardless of whether we’re talking about a marketing agency or client-side brand marketing team. Join us for an in-depth exploration of marketing project management, from a basic definition to the key reasons to embrace it as part of your own efforts. 

What Does Project Management Mean in Marketing?

Generally speaking, project management “involves the planning and organization of a company’s resources to move a specific task, event, or duty towards completion.”

In other words, it’s a streamlining process. It increases efficiencies by making sure that no marketing-related task happens at random, instead connecting them to each other to build a larger project plan.

In a marketing context, that concept can apply in lots of ways:

  • In marketing strategy, project management might be responsible for assigning tasks related to market research, content audits, goal setting, and execution of campaigns that accomplish these goals.
  • In content marketing, project management might entail assigning and tracking tasks related to keyword research, content production, content publication, and content promotion.
  • In email marketing, project management might be responsible for auditing current email streams, finding gaps, identifying goals for new emails streams, and assigning tasks to create, publish, and track the new streams.

Confused yet? Let’s simplify it: virtually every type of marketing initiative can benefit from a project management component that streamlines getting from a first idea to a fully-fledged campaign.

The primary function is the same, no matter the individual initiative. With effective project management, you can deliver marketing projects and campaigns on budget and on time, helping you spend your resources smarter to reach your marketing goals.

Yes, that definition already hints at some of the biggest advantages of marketing project management, but let’s dig deeper. Get ready for the six key benefits of implementing a marketing project management platform and process at your organization.

Those benefits include:

  • More effective resource management
  • Streamlining multi-functional marketing efforts
  • Staying on budget for marketing efforts and campaigns
  • Measuring key metrics as part of the marketing process
  • Evaluating (and improving) your ROI
  • Improving collaboration across and outside the marketing team

1. More Effective Resource Management

In marketing, resources tend to be both tangible and intangible:

  • The money you have to spend for creative services, media buys, content production, and other variables is real.
  • Limited planning and design time, though, is just as important to manage to optimize your output and help your marketing efforts succeed.

That’s where project management enters the equation. According to the Project Management Institute, nearly 10% of project-related resources are wasted in the U.S. annually due to poor implementation of a strategy, which means that:

  • 33% of projects do not meet their goals.
  • 43% of projects are not completed within budget.
  • 48% of projects are not completed on time.

Now, imagine being able to do something about it. The right project management tools and plans help any marketing team to better manage their own or their clients’ resources in a big way.

2. Streamlining Multi-Functional Marketing Efforts

Every marketing professional knows: your typical marketing campaign is anything but simple. Between the Gantt charts and multitasking heroics, it’s easy for your head to start spinning.

According to a 2020 survey conducted by Welcome and Sirkin Research, 78% of marketing managers use five or more tools to plan, manage, and execute their campaign. We don’t blame you if at some point in that tangle of tools, you just shut off.

But what if that entire process could be streamlined? What if everyone involved in the process knew what to do, and when, to get that campaign launched and reach your goals? 

Imagine the benefits that would become apparent to everyone involved in the process. That’s another core promise of marketing project management.

With the right planners at the helm, and the right tools in place, multitasking becomes second nature, and Gantt charts turn into straightforward action plans.

Everyone knows their role, working together  towards executing even the most complex campaigns.

3. Staying on Budget for Marketing Efforts and Campaigns

Money benefits to anything marketing-related are so important, we’ll mention them twice. It’s worth digging further into this particular advantage to keep your accountants and clients happy. 

Budget matters on more than one front in marketing. Managers have to not just manage their media spend, but also track hours involved from everyone on the team to bring the project to conclusion, bill clients, and keep on optimizing their ROI.

Unfortunately, reality kicks in too often.

According to one survey, only 43% of managers report that their projects always or almost always stay within budget. Another report found that the larger a project budget is, the more likely that project becomes to fail.

Fortunately, effective project managers can help to avoid those failures. Using budgeting templates, they’re able to evaluate both tangible and intangible spends that flow into total project cost.

Each step of the process gets an assigned cost that ultimately helps the project track its budgets and stay on track from start to finish.

4. Measuring Key Metrics as Part of the Marketing Process

What is the ideal outcome of a marketing project?

Sometimes, that question is easy to answer. You can naturally connect a product launch campaign to awareness and conversion goals, and the same is true with lots of other marketing efforts and central KPIs.

Now try to answer the question for your comprehensive marketing strategy designed for the coming fiscal year. Suddenly, the answer becomes more complex. 

And in each case, understanding just how those metrics flow into the project and lead to potential updates or shifts in strategy can be difficult to manage.

Fortunately, effective project management can—surprise!—help in that process. Project managers tie task-specific KPIs to each step involved in executing the campaign or strategy, which allows them to evaluate exactly what worked, what didn’t, and what might need adjustments.

Those metrics can vary significantly based on the step in question, from traditional marketing KPIs to more process-oriented metrics like time to completion.

By combining both marketing and project KPIs, project managers help the marketing campaign succeed while at the same time improving their own streamlining and process planning efforts over time.

5. Evaluating (and Improving) Your ROI

Connect the advantages of tracking budgets and measuring KPIs, and you get to the ROI equation. At its best, project management can become a core cog in figuring out which marketing efforts have a positive ROI, and which need adjusted or ended to focus on more successful alternatives. 

Here’s an example of a new marketing campaign that can illustrate just how it happens in real-life:

  • As goals are converted into actionable tactics, project managers track the media spend attached to each tactic.
  • As tactics are executed and eventually launched, project managers track the hours used by the creative and media teams to execute their steps.
  • As the tactics begin to perform in the market, project managers track the associated KPIs.
  • During regular evaluation periods, project managers can compare the resources spent to KPI performance in order to evaluate ROI.

6. Improving Collaboration Across and Outside the Marketing Team

Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of project management when it comes to communication.

We know that marketers are, at their core, communicators. But let’s face it: too often, focusing on external communication means internal collaboration takes a backseat, leading to silos and frustration.

Enter project managers. They can bring different members of the marketing together for kickoff and regular creative check-ins, while also developing internal report on tasks due and deadlines to be met.

Reporting, of course, also travels outside the internal team. Project managers can provide regular status updates on launch times, tasks that still need to be completed, and more.

For externally-facing marketing teams, the final communication advantage comes when collaborating with clients. Here, project managers can provide a vital buffer to the creative team, available for logistical updates and questions to allow writers, designers, and media planners to focus on what they do best.

Ready to Optimize Your Marketing Project Management Efforts?

In short, marketing project management has the potential to benefit your marketing team in a wide range of ways. From streamlining processes to optimizing communication and collaboration efforts, they’re the grease in the wheels of the marketing engine. 

To get there requires two things: the right tools, and the right project management professionals. Chances are you’ve at least heard of the tools; today, automated project management systems are used throughout companies, and in almost all business sectors today.

But what if there was a tool specifically optimized for marketing organizations? And what if this tool helped one company double the amount of marketing projects it was able to work on during a single year? 

That’s where Welcome comes in. Our platform brings marketing teams together in a single workspace to share plans, collaborate on assets, and execute campaigns of any complexity.

Ready discover the benefits of effective marketing project management for yourself? Get started with a free Welcome account today.

Done reading and ready to try Welcome?

Welcome’s marketing orchestration software is free for up to 5 users, so grab 4 of your closest marketing buds and see what we’re all about.