At first glance, the differences between marketing and project management might seem too great for them to be able to gel together effectively. Marketing is supposed to be innovative, inspiring and full of outside-of-the-box thinking, while project management is all about making sure things get done and then writing reports about what got done. However, as conversion metrics, instantaneous A/B testing, automated funnels and so many other elements of marketing become increasingly digitized and measurable, the realms of marketing and project management are becoming ever more closely aligned.
The job of the modern marketing project manager is to ensure that all the creative talents of the team can be allowed to flourish and work how they want without being constantly questioned by outside stakeholders. Below, we’ll explore some ways to achieve that using a project management approach.
What Marketing and Project Management Can Learn From Each Other
Greater insight into projects
A major bane of existence for marketing teams is the hassle of reporting and having to update various stakeholders on how tasks are progressing. The beauty of project management software is that a marketing project manager can assign tasks, automate reporting and share information more quickly, making the marketing team’s task load a lot lighter.
No matter what the project is, it will only be a success if it’s resourced properly and has a clear focus for those resources. To get high-quality deliverables out on time – whether it’s scripting and producing a video or creating a batch of blog content – marketing project managers need to have a handle on which team members are overburdened vs. those who have extra bandwidth. To be able to do this, the marketing project manager needs to be able to drill down into the team’s individual resources and assign tasks accordingly.
Improved collaboration inside teams
Ideally, project teams are specifically created with multiple competencies to enable them to take on whatever challenges they may face. However, due to the differing backgrounds of the teams, one of the biggest issues they can have is communication. Team collaboration software allows all kinds of teams to work exactly how they want and to be able to communicate inside the discrete workspaces related to their tasks together.
Clarity in task management
Project management is focused on getting things done, within scope and budget and on time. To introduce this successfully in a marketing context, it’s important to evaluate and assign tasks through a work breakdown structure (WBS) in blocks that can be identified and assigned. For example, the general assignment to “create the cover art for an event” should actually be (at least) three measurable tasks:
- Mock-up three sketch outlines
- Coordinate with sales team and client to decide on one design
- Proceed to complete design and send to client
The value of this breakdown is that tasks become easier to measure in terms of completeness, and bottlenecks and resource over-dependence can be identified. The clarity of task management that project management methodologies and tools bring to marketing teams ensures greater project alignment and the prevention of delays before they happen.
At Clarizen, we have recognized the possibility for project management and marketing to benefit each other, making Clarizen One and Clarizen Go a perfect cross-functional project management system for making marketing teams more agile. To learn how project management software can improve your marketing projects, schedule a live demo today.