Best Practice Marketing Project Management

Best Practice Marketing Project Management

Marketing Project Management, be it a campaign, new product development or the creation of a new website, requires careful management of people, process and time and it is always best to build it from the ground up rather than just jumping straight in.

Step One: Marketing Audit

Engage everyone in the organisation to feed in information and knowledge. Gather customer and competitor information and look for trends. Have you tried this before? If you have then look at what happened before. If this is your first time with a project of this kind then search on the web to find similar experiences.

Step Two: Marketing Information System

Collate and aggregate the information in a central management or marketing information system that will help you to create intelligence from the audit. Bounce the intelligence off others in the organisation to sanity check it and make sure it’s relevant, current and appropriate. Embrace any changes that this intelligence suggests. This stage is key for a learning organisation seeking to make step changes in how it operates.

Step Three: Business Case

Don’t shirk the full business case. Follow the logic and test all assumptions, desires and goals. Make sure everything you are going to invest in (people, products, processes) will all benefit from a return on your investment of energy and budget. Test things until you think they are watertight. If you can’t stand up in front of everyone in the organisation from your colleagues to the CEO and be confident in your story, then you still have work to do.

Step Four: Risk Analysis

The best organisations who invest in people have a blame-free culture. Open up all the risks that your project faces and look them directly in the eye. Do some scenario planning. What if? Rate each risk for likelihood of happening and for impact if it does happen. Rate both scales 1-10. Multiply the two numbers and you’ll get a league table for risk management and mitigation. There is no better way of testing out your business case and inspiring confidence across your organisation than having a clear risk mitigation plan.

Step Five: Project Plan

This is where most people have already jumped in and they have missed out on the four crucial earlier steps. In your plan set a critical path, the minimum set of key milestones you must have achieved to take your project from inception to completion. What tools will you need to run and communicate your project? Is your project driven predominantly by time, by budget or by resources? You need to know because that’s how it’ll be rated by others. Inspire non-frantic urgency throughout your project team and remember the golden words of marketing project management, collaboration and communication. You are responsible for coordinating thoughts, feelings and behaviours, as well as tasks.

Step Six: Management and Reporting

Keep a learning log so you have a record to keep as a project legacy. Always think of process evolution because your project and the people in it will be very different by the end of it all. Remember the outcomes. What was it you committed to delivering in your business case? Do you stand by those goals? Did you deliver return on investment? It should always be a 360 degree review. Take feedback on the chin, both good and bad. Use Balanced Scorecard to ensure you report and share not only task completion but some of the softer but equally vital people-centric outcomes.

And when you look back at your marketing project ask yourself two questions, “Strategically, did I really deliver a return on investment?” and “Am I a better person for the experience?”.

I hope you can answer yes to both.