Approximately two-thirds of all projects are designed to fail. But by revamping your marketing plan, engaging the most skilled professionals on your team, and closely tracking your progress, you can set your project up to succeed in a competitive landscape.
Approximately two-thirds of all projects are designed to fail.
You might have the best project management software available and the top skills on your team, but there could still be something missing.
But in the marketing industry, you can’t afford to have your project go haywire. Too much is at stake. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, you should be spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue on marketing and promotional efforts, assuming you’re generating less than $5 million per year in sales and profit.
So, how do you ensure that you’re setting your marketing initiatives up for success, considering how pivotal these activities are to your project? That starts with an innovative project management process.
What is a marketing project plan?
A marketing project plan is essentially a “mini-strategy” for individual initiatives or marketing efforts for a short period of time. It provides an overview of what you want to gain from the project — that is, your goals and objectives — and the steps you need to take to achieve them. It’s a critical tool in managing the many facets of your initiative.
7 steps to building a marketing project plan
– 1. Identify your goals
Your plan begins with carefully honed goals. These should be objectives unique to this particular marketing initiative — that is, the outcomes you’re looking to achieve — but they should also align with your larger mission as an organization.
In order to establish your goals, consider the nature of the project itself. What do you anticipate gaining from the initiative? Is it more social media followers? Higher-quality leads? Increased website traffic? A certain number of clicks from ads?
The SMART framework — which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound — offers a system for formulating goals that are meaningful and actionable.
– 2. Develop a roadmap
A roadmap is a plan that outlines a path to reach your goals for the project. You will designate checkpoints and milestones along the way that will allow you to assess your progress. This, too, is a critical tool for ensuring that you are prepared with a direct road to achieving successful project outcomes.
Often, project managers utilize specific project methodologies, like Agile, to hone their marketing strategy and develop a roadmap with specific steps.
– 3. Formulate a research plan
Any talented marketing team understands that market research is critical to positioning your products or services. As the product manager, you’re probably not directly involved in these efforts — although if you wear many hats, it’s certainly possible — but you will be instrumental in helping the organization gain a stronger understanding of their consumers through research.
You will be tasked with making market research part of your overall project plan. You will, for example, make space for testing your products or services on your target audience as part of your strategy. You will also work closely with stakeholders to determine what actions to take and how to hone your overall plan, as well as factor in competitor audits to ensure you’re setting your business apart and are caught up on trends in your industry.
– 4. Gather your tools and resources
When conceptualizing your project, it’s important to know the resources that are critical for managing the work and ensuring that your team members are engaged and able to do their jobs. These include tools, systems, and even people.
Consider, too, the project management software that will help you facilitate a seamless workflow. There are many systems to choose one, so catalog the attributes of each project management tool and think about which option most appropriately aligns with your objectives.
– 5. Pinpoint your channels
How will you reach your customers and target customers? How will you find and engage leads? Where will you focus your efforts?
There are many marketing channels available: social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, your website, blogs and other content, email campaigns, print and digital advertising, and much more.
Early on, pinpoint the channels you’ll leverage to establish your presence and build awareness. They will prove critical in helping you make your marketing plan a successful one. Also, consider how you will track your progress through each individual channel.
– 6. Know where and when to delegate
You have the project management skills to lead your marketing initiative to completion. And a large part of managing your project successfully is knowing what and how your team members can contribute.
From the beginning, identify the skills you need on your team for this specific project. Then, consider, which personnel are the most appropriate individuals for the job. If you find that there are gaps, think about how you can address them. Perhaps you can look elsewhere for the specific competencies, such as by hiring a freelancer or outside agency for a short time.
Remember to clarify and assign responsibilities, ensuring everyone understands their unique role on the team.
– 7. Set KPIs
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that align with your goals, although they are distinct concepts. These figures are used to evaluate and measure your performance. They are quantitative so that you can effectively track your progress.
For example, you might assess how many followers you’re gaining across your social media platforms, or you could track click-through rates (CTRs) to your website. Establish KPIs that align with your marketing strategy and the areas you’re focusing on most.
KPIs are critical to your project plan because they offer distinct units for you to evaluate and measure your progress toward achieving your objectives. Without quantitative metrics, you’re operating blind.
There is much to consider when you’re leading a marketing project. The role of the project manager is certainly a challenging one, but it’s also not without its rewards — most importantly, seeing your project become something great.
Don’t allow your project to become one of the 67% that fail. By revamping your marketing plan and carefully tracking your results and goals, you will be keeping your team engaged and working toward achieving your objectives.