January 22nd, 2020 in Productivity
From satisfying your client’s needs, delivering results, and turning a profit, project management for marketing agencies is a must have to create a profitable business. Successful project management not only requires a project plan, but also requires you to manage client expectations. Every team member needs to know their specific role and their deliverables.
Sounds simple enough, right? But how can you improve these processes to get better results? In this guide to project management for marketing agencies, we will look at steps you can take to streamline your project management process for better results.
Project management for marketing agencies starts with a simple question: “How do we get from step A to step B?” Brainstorm the tasks, assets, and information needed for the project to ensure everything required is covered. Plan out how will you deliver on your promises to your client. Next, determine what is needed to be successful, such as designers, content marketers, or software like Mailchimp or Marketo.
Once the initial planing stages are complete, break down the larger tasks into smaller ones to be distributed to your team. Outline the timeline for each task and prioritize them by importance. What needs to get done first? Complete high-risk tasks first to avoid any delays in the project.
You should now have an initial project plan, which includes responsibilities, timelines, and task priorities. This project plan will help you identify the resources needed to complete the project. Project plans will evolve over the course of the project. However, a strong initial plan provides you with a solid starting point.
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In order to have a successful project, the final deliverables must meet not only your expectations, but the client’s as well. When a deliverable fails to meet the client’s expectations, it creates friction between the parties, leads to delays, and ultimately results in an unhappy client.
Although clear deliverables are outlined at the start of the project, problems arise while the project is in progress. This is because client expectations change, and the deliverables are not revisited or properly managed to suit this change.
To avoid disappointment, engage the client in the project. Keep the client informed about the status of the deliverables. Communicate consistently with the client to ensure their opinions and expectations are heard, and the deliverables are tailored accordingly.
Having a client involved in the process will create transparency. In terms of project management for marketing agencies, keeping the client involved creates a real-time feedback loop that will ensure your project plan executes the client’s vision. When the client is involved, it is hard for the client to have unrealistic expectations since they are a direct contributor to the success of the project.
Often times, during the process of a project, teams have to use different applications, multiple emails, and countless personal notes to keep track of crucial project information. According to McKinsey, the average worker spends about 1.8 hours per day searching and gathering information. Consolidating information into one place can create a smoother overall process.
Reduce the amount of productive time being used on non-productive tasks by consolidating information into once place, such as an online, virtual workspace. Having all project communications, deliverables, and assets in one easily accessible location will minimize inefficiencies and save crucial time for everyone working on the project. Team members can then use the time saved on more productive tasks or on other projects. When time is wasted, money is taken straight off the project’s profit margin.
It is equally important to note that consolidating your project information in one place will make the overall process more efficient and transparent. It will also save time for each member of the project.
Always track the project’s numbers. This includes the cost to date for the project, the cost of project resources, and the remaining budget. It is essential during project management for marketing agencies to actively track the finances. Readjust the project plan and avoid cost overruns by consistently tracking the numbers.
Many outside factors influence what is actually spend on a project. The budget of each task needs to be adjusted to fit the overall budget of the project if the costs are going over the initial budget. It may be necessary to cut back on services or invest more resources into high-risk tasks.
If you don’t track the numbers, the actual costs drift further from the initial budget, which increases the chances of cost overruns. Extra costs eat away at your profit margin. Or, alternatively, these costs may result in you having to ask the client for more money. Project numbers change as the project plan changes. Help manage client expectations and keep the project profitable by tracking the numbers.
Creating a repeatable process will save you and your team time, which can then be invested elsewhere. In most cases, project management for marketing agencies can be divided into similar processes that are required from project to project. A project template incorporates all of the standard processes and tasks, which saves the project management team from having to manually organize these tasks.
When common tasks are predetermined, turn them into project templates. Team members will know what deliverables are expected of them, allowing them to focus on the important deliverables instead of the repeatable processes. This template will cut down on time needed to get the project going. As well, the processes within the template can be tweaked over time to better fit your team and how they operate.