For some marketing agency leaders, project management is all about software. As if you can add software and all your project management troubles will disappear. In reality, successful project management comes from knowledge and experience. We’ll share some of what our experience has taught us about project management for marketing agencies in this post.
As estimated, global marketing spending amounts to $1.3 trillion, with $306 billion allocated to digital marketing. SMEs are relentless in the search for the best marketing agency partners.
The figures show the importance of strategic project management for marketing agencies in this age of internet connectivity. As businesses relocate from Yellow Page ads and listings, the demand for experienced specialized marketing agencies increases. Marketing agencies have their hands full with social media campaigns, creating website landing pages, and formulating content marketing tactics.
The Project Management Institute reports that project managers working in manufacturing, construction, finance, and many other industries, including management and professional services are resulting to project management approaches that fit for the tasks at hand. According to research, 60% of managerial jobs for project managers come from this sector, and marketing agencies fall under this category.
From fulfilling client wishes, guaranteeing results, and growing revenue, project management for marketing agencies turn an average SME into a profitable business. Crushing project management requires more than just a project plan. It demands client expectation management, and thus, everyone in the team has expertise in their roles.
What you need to succeed
To succeed in project management, you have to lay out your plan strategically to streamline the process in the following steps:
1. Laying out a project plan
The main question in project management for marketing agencies is: “What is our follow-up plan?” The first step to crushing project management for marketing agencies is planning out the tasks, assets, and information ahead of the project. By covering every essential aspect according to the timeline and priority, following up on client promises is more systematic.
2. Client engagement and management
To further crush project management, you must meet your client’s expectations with the final deliverables. When this does not happen, it creates a ripple effect leading to friction, delays, and eventually, a dissatisfied client.
Even with a well laid-out project plan, miscommunication between you and the client may happen, or the client may change his expectations and demands. This is why it’s essential to keep the client engaged and in the know throughout the project.
3. Centralize information
Research shows that the initial part of the project management process is all about searching and gathering information. Teams often find themselves compiling this information on different applications, emails, and notes.
Centralizing information, communication, deliverables, and assets into a shared virtual workspace not only saves time it minimizes inefficiency and transparency.
4. Record the numbers
Project numbers must be tracked, including the project’s cost to date, the project’s resource cost, and the remaining finances. By doing this, you prevent cost overruns and can actively update the project plan.
Failing to record the numbers results in a drift from the initial budget, a high risk of cost overruns, and eventually, the extra costs reduce your profit margin.
5. Automate repeatable processes
Automating repeatable processes saves valuable time for your team. You can quickly automate project management for marketing agencies using a project template. It incorporates all the tasks and saves the team from doing them manually. A project template organizes everyday tasks, which not only saves time but allows readjustment to fit your team’s flow.
Four approaches to project management for marketing agencies
A project management approach or methodology is a structure of practices, techniques, procedures, and regulations followed by project managers as guidance throughout the project. Management strategies vary according to the project management approach in use.
Recognized as one of the best project management approaches. Agile is valuable for repetitive and accumulative projects. In this type of project, demands and solutions arise through team and client collaborative efforts. Agile project management fosters constant development, teamwork, and simplicity.
A more traditional project management approach, Waterfall, is a subsequent design methodology that facilitates a downward unidirectional flow of progress.
Preferred in the manufacturing and construction industries, Waterfall doesn’t allow flexibility in the earlier stages of the project. Waterfall works under the principle that the project can only move on to its next stage once the current stage is complete.
The Kanban project management approach emphasizes early success through teamwork and self-management. This methodology dictates that a clear workflow picture has to be painted early on in the project plan.
This is to familiarize the team with any future hiccups in the project. Initially preferred in the software development industry, Kanban has gained favor in other industries due to its flexible nature.
Famous for its usage of specific roles, events, and artifacts, the Scrum project management approach operates under commitment, communication and focus. It is best suited for teams of less than seven members who require flexibility in delivering a product or service.
The role of project management
A project manager will undertake different roles and carry out several tasks, including:
- Engaging the client to evaluate their project wishes and goals
- Determining and managing project scope
- Laying out a calendar, timeline, and budget for the project
- Giving the client insight on proposals and quotes
- Monitoring progress and clearing roadblocks within the project
- Assigning roles and responsibilities
- Streamlining communication within the team
- Delivering the final project and summary to the client
When to bring on a dedicated project manager
Project management is a critical skill for anyone working at a marketing agency. It’s right at the top alongside research, writing, and speaking skills.
However, project management can quickly become an all-consuming task for agency leaders, leaving too little time for other essential duties, like recruiting and retaining talent, business development, and overseeing customer success.
Once you have a plan laid out for delegating duties and projects, consider a dedicated project manager as one of your next additions to the team. After deciding to bring a project manager on board, you should think about the type of project manager you need.
While part-time and freelance project managers are cheaper, full-time project managers dedicate all his time and attention to solving your problems.
Do you have questions about project management? Join us at a Dec. 8 webinar with Delta Data Services to learn about our experience with Zoho Projects, one of the many apps on Zoho One, and be part of the conversation.