As a marketer, you know how important projects are.
They’re your course to success. Your path to excellence. A plan of action.
You also know just how out of sorts projects can get. Without successful marketing project management, timelines may slide, quality may slip, standards may be missed, and the work experience may suffer.
So what causes marketing projects to stray off course?
Having managed many marketing projects for TopRank Marketing, I’ve come across my fair share of barriers and challenges and learned from my experience with them. Below, I’m sharing the most common barriers to marketing project management success and how to overcome them so you can, too. And to help illustrate my points, I tapped the help of Schitt’s Creek — a show I only just started and can’t get enough of. I hope you’ll excuse how late to the party I am on that show, it’s a gem.
Barrier #1 – Lack of Clarity
Clarity is easily the number one barrier to Colombia Phone Numbers List marketing project management success. Whether it’s unclear goals, responsibilities, direction, deadlines, standards, etc. a lack of clarity permeates even the best planned marketing projects. It breeds chaos, frustration, confusion, and disorganization, all problems or barriers in their own right.
So how does it happen?
Most often, a lack of clarity comes from a lack of communication. From being vague to contradictions to outright withholding information, communication blunders lead to unclear directives and actions. And when the team is unclear, the work often stops until more clarity is added.
How to Overcome: Over communicate with your team. If it seems like a needless detail, include it anyways. Always include links to resources. Have regular briefings.
“Over communicate with your team. If it seems like a needless detail, include it anyways. Always include links to resources. Have regular briefings.” — Anne Leuman @annieleumanCLICK TO TWEET
Barrier #2 – Lack of Resources
Project resources are anything required to get the work done — they could be anything from people to tools to materials to equipment. As requirements for work, they’re a pivotal piece of any marketing project and you need an ample supply of both to keep projects on track and lead to a successful result.
For marketing projects, resources are most often tools and people. Your digital advertising strategist doesn’t have access to the right Google Analytics account? That’s a problem. One of your marketing copywriters is taking a two-week vacation right before a campaign launches? That’s a problem, too. Both examples are a lack of resources, and both examples require foresight to catch those instances before they happen so the project doesn’t suffer.
How to Overcome: Plan ahead. Evaluate resources (people, tools, materials, time, etc.) for the entire project’s lifecycle. Look for gaps. Fill them proactively.
“Plan ahead. Evaluate resources (people, tools, materials, time, etc.) for the entire project’s lifecycle. Look for gaps. Fill them proactively.” — Anne Leuman @annieleumanCLICK TO TWEET
Barrier #3 – Lack of Time
There is another type of resource for a project — time. Projects require time to finish. And when you and your team are juggling several marketing projects at once, it becomes clear that time isn’t infinite.
Marketing projects also have deadlines, making time management crucial for any marketing project manager. Fast approaching deadlines reduce the maximum available time we have to complete a task or project. Overlapping projects with conflicting deadlines slash the amount of available time even greater. Keeping a close eye on your team’s available time, the time investment required, and time remaining on a project or task are all critical for success.
How to Overcome: Assess the time investment for every task of your projects. Ensure your resources can match that time investment. Check for overlapping projects and deadlines. Pad your deadlines just in case.
“Assess the time investment for every task of your projects. Ensure your resources can match that time investment. Check for overlapping projects and deadlines. Pad your deadlines just in case.” — Anne Leuman @annieleumanCLICK TO TWEET
Barrier #4 – Lack of Change
Throughout a marketing project’s lifecycle, you’re learning what works and doesn’t work. From kick off to completion, you’re identifying the processes and workflows that need to change or stay for the next project to be a success. For example, you might find that your workflow for launching a new marketing campaign only has a one-step approval process — a two-step approval process would help ensure quality across each of the campaign’s components. To help initiate that change, you document the new process and role it out to the team. But that’s easier said than done.
Enter: resistance to change, our fourth barrier to marketing project management. As projects progress, whether they were a success, a failure, or a neutral result, it’s co