5 Steps To Creating A Top-Notch Marketing Project Plan
You already know that marketing is crucial to your business. A good marketing function is not only essential for strengthening brand awareness and educating customers–it can also significantly impact your bottom line. In a typical business, marketing contributes a whopping 15-30% of revenue when it comes to net-new customers.
So how do you max out on your marketing revenue? How can you get the most out of marketing for your specific business? It all starts with creating a marketing project plan.
What is a marketing project plan?
A marketing project plan is a report that outlines your marketing strategy for the upcoming month, quarter, or year. Typically, these plans include:
An overview of your business’s marketing, advertising goals, and competitors
A description of your business’s current marketing position
A timeline of when tasks within your strategy will be completed
Key performance indicators (KPIs) you will be tracking
A description of your business’s target market and customer needs.
This may feel like a lot of moving parts to research and manage. But we’ll narrow the focus in on five essential steps that will get you moving towards those marketing goals.
What are the key responsibilities of a marketing project manager?
The role of a project manager is to set up and head up a project so that everything runs smoothly. Project managers are given overall responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, execution, monitoring, controlling, and closure of a project.
Projects will typically have fixed time-frames and fixed costs. And project managers need to make sure that tasks are completed within the set time-frames and budgets permitted.
While planning and tracking these details is an essential duty in a project manager’s day-to-day, they also must be great communicators. One of project managers’ biggest roles is to communicate with and manage their team members, making sure that each member knows what their responsibilities are and are staying on track.
Do you really need a plan for your marketing projects?
The answer, from research and professional marketers alike is a resounding “Yes!” Learning how to write a marketing project plan forces you to think through the important steps necessary for effective marketing. And a well-defined plan will help you stay focused on your overall marketing goals.
But in addition to helping you get your head in the marketing game, creating a marketing project plan yields a few other significant benefits:
According to one study from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, only 2.5% of organizations complete 100% of their projects.
A report from The Standish Group found that 90% of companies use some sort of project retrospective process to assess performance.
And Aditi Consulting says 3 in 5 projects companies execute are not relevant to their business strategy.
But, marketers who set goals have a 429 percent greater chance of reporting successful campaigns, and 81 percent of these marketers achieve their goals.
Setting clear goals and building out a thorough marketing project plan is one of the most difficult tasks for marketers, but this work pays off.
How to create a killer marketing project plan
We’ve broken this process down into seven straight-forward steps. Soon you’ll be cranking out stellar marketing project plans like the pro you are! Feel free to peruse these project templates as you read along.
1. Create a clear marketing strategy
While a marketing project plan is like a roadmap, a marketing strategy is like a destination. So, before you start walking, figure out where you want to go. Your marketing strategy will include areas of research like your business’s vision, values, and goals; your audience; and your available marketing channels. Let’s quickly examine each of these further.
First, identify and note your business’ vision, values, and goals.
Your marketing strategy must align with your business’ overall vision, values, and goals. So identify what these are in your particular business. What is your company hoping to achieve? What makes you stand apart from your competitors? What values do your company refuse to compromise? Keep this back bone of your company in the forefront of your mind while filling out your marketing strategy.
Second, take a close look at your target audience.
Your target audience are those people who you are gearing your services or products towards and who are most likely to purchase your products. They are the reason you’re in business. Knowing what your target audience is buying or interested in purchasing is absolutely necessary when developing a marketing strategy and plan. When quality products or services are tied to your audience’s personal preferences, you can make a big impact and a big ROI.
Audience research and knowledge is at the core of good marketing strategies. In fact, successful marketers are 242 percent more likely to conduct frequent audience research. Additionally, 56 percent of professionals and experienced marketers say that they perform audience research at least once per month.
Lastly, your marketing strategy will include a list of your marketing channels.
Marketing channels are the venues you use to reach your customers. These channels are where you’ll publish the content that educates your buyers, generates leads, and spreads awareness of your brand. Lay out which channels you want to use during your marketing project, what you’ll use each channel for, and how you’ll measure your success on each channel.
Some of the most effective marketing channels that have been performing best this year include pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media, email marketing, a business website, content marketing using SEO, and word of mouth. Other marketing channels include influencer marketing, cold calling, billboards, or TV commercials.
Today, there are more online marketing platforms than ever before. As intimidating as that may sound, your overall online presence has the potential to be more connected than ever before.
Pro tip: Don’t give a speech to an empty auditorium. You could write the most riveting blog post, put together the most eye-catching Instagram post, or create the cleverest tweet, but if your audience isn’t on those platforms or channels, you might as well have spent that time binge-watching Netflix.
2. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
The next step to creating a strong marketing project plan is to start setting your project goals. There are a number of goals you might be interested in. Maybe you want to increase brand awareness or drive more traffic to your website. Perhaps you’re hoping to increase mentions in the press, generate new leads, or funnel customers towards a new ebook or course.
Whatever marketing agenda you have, set S.M.A.R.T. goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. For example, you could have the goal of increasing traffic to your website by 15% in the next 6 months. This way, you and everyone on your team can clearly understand each goal and analyze your progress.
3. Delegate tactics to reach your goals
The next step in building a fool-proof marketing project plan is to break down your goals into specific tactics. For example, if one of your marketing project goals is to reach 1000 followers on your company’s Instagram account, you might break down that goal into the following steps:
Post varied content that aligns with your target audience’s interests daily.
Seek out potential partners and engage with their content daily.
Pursue new followers by engaging with competitor companies’ following.
Once you have your list of smaller steps, you can start delegating. Good delegation begins with a good team. If you have people working with you that have proven themselves to be trustworthy and hard-working, delegate portions of the marketing project to the appropriate workers.
Routine and straightforward tasks are the best ones to delegate. Otherwise you will end up being the bottleneck of your own marketing project. By delegating tasks to trusted employees, you’ll free up your own time to do what you do best–managing your marketing project plan.
4. Recognize parameters and resources
Include detailed information about the available resources for your marketing project. Factors like your timeline, budget, and available team members will help you write and run through the plan smoothly.
Without specific parameters around your marketing project plan, your projects will be as real as pies in the sky. Setting parameters around your marketing project plan will actually help you turn your goals into a reality and track your progress along the way. Try to get your numbers as specific as possible so that you can accurately manage and monitor each step of the project and know when you’re getting close to your budget or time limit.
5. Get everyone on the same page
One of the biggest responsibilities of a marketing project manager is to communicate well with the team and keep everyone working smoothly together. No matter what kind of marketing campaign you’re managing, your marketing team needs a clear plan and great execution to make it a success.
You know your team best, so decide whether it’s necessary to meet every morning for five minutes or once a week for an hour to make sure that everyone understands the goal of the project and their upcoming tasks and responsibilities. However often you decide, here are a few tips for keeping each member of your team on the same page:
Share the big-picture. Most of us work better when we know the ultimate goal. It can be motivating and empowering to your team members and employees to feel like their work is part of a larger company objective.
Clarify specific tasks and responsibilities. In addition to sharing the big-picture, make sure to clearly explain each of the smaller tasks as well. Offer clarity for each marketing teammate on their specific roles, tasks, and responsibilities. That way, you can ensure a smooth progression through the extent of the project.
Post a Project Calendar. Share a schedule with a set due date for every assigned task in your marketing project plan. This will help every member of your team stay on track and keep themselves accountable.
A calendar with the approaching launch day can also be a big motivator for the whole team, and coworkers will more easily be able to see the accomplishments and successes of each other’s work. Make sure your teammates can easily access your project calendar and celebrate them when they hit challenging deadlines.
Pay no attention to the man(ager) behind the curtain
Behind every project, whether it’s organizing a wedding or building a skyscraper, there is an unknown leader–the project manager who kept everything and everyone on track.
The role of a project manager is to deliver the desired result, anticipate potential problems, and fix them before they occur. Good project managers can delegate work to passionate employees and teammates. They run things excellently from behind the curtain so as to eliminate any hiccups and ensure the project’s success.
Better Project Management: The Key to Successful Marketing Campaigns
It’s a challenging role for marketers, but when done well, marketing project management leads to incredible business success. Solid project management and communication with your team is even more important and challenging with everyone working from home this year. But we’re not about to leave you hanging. Check out our guide for working through the six biggest challenges you might encounter while managing your team from afar.