Knock your marketing program out of the park with 6 project management tips
We all want to crush that direct mail program or knock that multichannel marketing program out of the park. But this takes more than a great concept. It takes the ability to pull together the people, resources, and scheduling to make it happen. In other words, it takes good project management. Whether you are working with direct mail, marketing collateral, email, or mobile, let’s look at six simple steps to help you get from concept to completion on time and within budget.
1. Create an intake process that works.
Designate a central location for job requests. This could be as simple as funneling all requests through a single email address (e.g., requests @emailaddress.com), using a shared folder on your company server, or tapping the capabilities of work/project management software. Whatever you choose, having a centralized funnel allows you to track, manage, and prioritize your tasks most efficiently.
2. Use request forms.
Create a standardized form used for all requests. (That means all!) Make sure the form is thorough and includes all of the details of the job. This includes the deadline. Require people to be specific. For example, instead of, “I need it next week,” they should say, “I need it by 5 p.m. next Friday.”
3. Understand your workflow.
Map out all of the steps required to complete the job. This will be different for each channel, so think about all the people involved at each stage. Designers don’t use the same tools or skill sets as production, and you won’t send the same copy instructions for direct mail as you will for email or wide-format. Map out workflows for each department that reflect their needs and processes.
4. Stick to the schedule.
Estimate dates and key milestones upfront. When is the start date? When is the final text due? How many versions will there be? How many days are allotted to approve each one?
5. Crush the review and approval process.
According to a study by Workfront, more than one-third of marketers say slow approvals delay work twice a week or more. That’s up to 100 delayed projects for a team delivering on 1,000 projects or more each year. Assign a decision maker on each team to speed the process.
6. Build in assessments and reviews, both for ROI and scheduling.
The more you review and refine, the more you will know what’s working and what’s not.
Project management takes planning, but it’s well worth the effort. Smart planning on the front end will yield huge payoffs at the back end.
Adapted from “Marketing Project Management 101: Six Project Management Skills Every Marketer Needs to Know,” Target Marketing/Workfront webinar, June 2017.