Digital marketing campaigns can be seen as a series of small projects, and each project can be seen as a series of tasks. This is exactly why a digital marketing campaign is both simple and complex. You have a common goal or a set of objectives to reach, but you will have to utilize multiple digital marketing instruments – and run a well-crafted campaign – to achieve that goal.
Project management becomes a crucial skill for every marketer. In order to reach the audience in a holistic and effective way, the entire campaign must be organized and executed well. If you are looking for ways to boost your project management prowess, these tips and tricks will help you get started right away.
Learn to Manage Expectations
The worst thing you can do when planning a digital marketing campaign is setting objectives that are impossible to achieve. Since the objectives govern the rest of the marketing plan, chances are you will end up with a marketing plan that is equally difficult to execute.
Setting expectations is a part of the process. With every digital marketing campaign, your objectives need to be goals that are rational and reasonable. It is one thing to expect 1,000 subscribers, and another to expect to hit that number in a week.
Yes, managing expectations of other stakeholders is also part of the process. What you want to do instead is set clear objectives that can be drilled down into action plans and a comprehensive campaign that can be executed.
Think About Budget
You want to fully understand the budget for your campaign as early as possible. Knowing how much you can afford to allocate to the digital marketing campaign allows you to craft the campaign based on that number. You wouldn’t want to plan for high ad placement, only to find out later that you don’t have the budget for it, would you?
Similar to managing expectations, knowing your budget gives you the ability to be meticulous with the campaign itself. You can choose the right instruments to incorporate into the campaign, determine the amount of time you have to invest to create the expected impact, and craft the rest of the campaign around these details.
The majority of Agile project management tools can be implemented for managing marketing campaigns, but the most suitable agile project management to take is Kanban. The Kanban board is incredibly useful for managing complex projects, especially now that you can turn to digital boards that are highly customizable.
Kanbanize, for instance, allows you to have multiple layers on the same board. You can define the stages on your board according to the metrics you use for monitoring digital marketing campaigns. Tasks are represented by Kanban cards on Kanbanize and they can be customized to suit your specific needs.
The Kanban board doesn’t just make managing complex marketing projects easier. It is also designed to make the entire marketing team more agile. Campaigns can be transformed into (shorter) cycles and you can direct more resources towards each cycle for maximum efficiency.
The biggest issue in most marketing campaigns arises from the lack of strict deadlines and a clear timeline for the campaign. This is a mistake that you want to avoid no matter how simple it may seem. This is also where the Agile project management approach comes in handy.
Since campaigns are divided into cycles, firm deadlines can be set in a more accurate way. With every task having its own deadline, team members can work together to maintain project flow. As a result, you have one marketing campaign after another, and the transition between them will be smooth.
Deadlines are also necessary for when you want to define task dependencies. Tools like Kanbanize actually let you set dependencies in complex projects. Certain tasks cannot be executed before the previous ones are executed.
Thanks to modern analytics tools, there is no need to wait until the end of a campaign to analyze its results. Constant monitoring is a common thing in both digital and offline marketing these days, and there are some very good reasons why constant monitoring is the way forward.
The tools are more capable, so you can easily track the results of ongoing campaigns in real-time. At the same time, you can gain insights by processing real-time data. The whole process can be integrated with campaign execution (and project management).
When you implement Agile project management, constant evaluation becomes even more valuable. Insights gathered during previous cycles can immediately affect the following cycles. You continue to refine the marketing campaign with every cycle, and that will lead to higher ROI and a bigger impact.
Take a Step Back
One last tip to keep in mind when it comes to managing marketing campaigns: always take the time to step back and look at the campaign as a whole. Is the message still aligned? Are the key messages reaching the audience in the right form? Is the campaign running the way you envisioned it to run during the planning stage?
Getting a bird’s-eye view of the campaign is easy with a digital Kanban board. You always have the option to view all the cards and review the campaign in great details. That review often leads to adjustments that can help make the campaign become more effective; you can make adjustments to Kanban cards directly as well.
We are used to appreciating success; this is actually the easy part. The real challenge is appreciating failure. In order to learn from mistakes, you have to be willing to accept the fact that some marketing activities will not produce the expected results. More importantly, you have to be willing to appreciate failures as part of the process.
That brings us full cycle to the first tip: you have to set your expectations correctly. With the project management tips we covered in this article, you will be able to define clear goals, work with flexible budgets, define the scope of the campaign, and utilize Agile project management – and the Kanban board – to run your marketing campaigns like a seasoned professional.