A guide to marketing project management

Project management is a discipline which requires expertise in managing both a team and a project. On the other hand, marketing, in general, deals with promoting products and services to target audiences.

What if we told you these two can combine and support one another?

In this article, we are going to cover the following topics:

  • What marketing project management is,
  • Why project management is important for marketing,
  • 6 phases of the marketing project management process, and
  • Project management software for marketing teams
A guide to marketing project management - cover

What is marketing project management?

Marketing project management is a dynamic field which involves the organization of a marketing campaign while making sure all the tasks within the campaign are completed as planned. 

This process encompasses a great number of issues ranging from defining timelines, budget, and scope to gathering market research data. 

It is a lot to grasp, but there is no need to sweat buckets. 

In gist, project management refers to the process of managing teams, planning resources, and making sure all the project goals are achieved on time and within budget.

On the other hand, the American Marketing Association (AMA) defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” 

So, it doesn’t matter whether you are trying to develop a cure, launch a new product, or arrange an exhibition — you need to think of the right methods that will lead your project plan to success and spread the news about it.

Considering the fact that these two fields have a broad area of responsibilities, it is not surprising that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states the job outlook for marketing managers is great and is expected to grow by 10% from 2021 to 2031. 

But, why does marketing need project management? And, how do these two interact?

Let’s find out.

Why is project management important for marketing?

Marketing and project management interact when there is a need to incorporate project manager key responsibilities into a particular marketing campaign and its phases. 

Simply stated, you need project management skills to organize a marketing campaign and keep track of industry trends and consumer demands. The way you run a campaign affects all the people who take part in it.  

If you take a look at job ads for marketing project managers, you can usually see that an ideal candidate is a person with strong leadership and strategic planning skills. They need strong communication and analytical skills and a profound understanding of the latest marketing trends and methodologies. 

Cross-team collaboration is one of the key responsibilities of marketing project managers because they work with:

  • Marketing directors and other stakeholders,
  • SEO professionals,
  • Writers and graphic designers,
  • Event planners,
  • Clients, suppliers, vendors, and more.

As you can see, there is a range of skills to acquire and different groups to deal with. This might seem like a Gordian knot, but with the right approach and plan, any knot can be untied.

To help marketing project managers, we are going to explain in detail the 6 phases of the marketing project management process.

6 Phases of the marketing project management process

Marketing project managers follow almost all the standard phases of project management, i.e. they need careful consideration of the project scope, resources, and budget parameters.

However, marketing project management features some additional steps, such as the adoption of marketing strategies and market research. 

It is, therefore, important to go through each of the phases in order to conclude the project and make all the parties involved satisfied. 

Phase #1: Conduct research

Research is an essential prerequisite for running any marketing project. It involves collecting data from consumers or other relevant groups with the aim of analyzing all the relevant factors, including: 

  • The market, 
  • Industry trends, 
  • Possible target group(s), 
  • Customer preferences, and more. 

There are 6 key steps to marketing research:

  • Defining the problem/the aim of research — i.e. increasing sales or establishing opportunities for a new business venture.
  • Preparing a research plan — this step is susceptible to budget and time constraints, and depending on them, you can decide on primary research (data is collected for the first time) or secondary research (pre-existing data is taken from other sources).
  • Choosing a research methodology — i.e. choosing ways to collect data such as e-mail surveys, focus groups, social media tracking, purchased data, etc.
  • Preparing and analyzing the acquired data — i.e. organizing and interpreting data using spreadsheets or other, more elaborate tools. 
  • Presenting results — sharing key research findings with the people involved in decision-making.
  • Integrating results into the next phase — using gathered data to inform next phase decisions. 

Different companies have their own approaches to marketing research. If your research results match the goals you wanted to achieve, you have a better chance of successfully starting the next phase. 

Phase #2: Identify goals and objectives

In this phase, you can define the concrete goals of your marketing project based on your research. 

For example, you might have set out to explore why your product’s sales have plummeted as of lately. Through research, you’ve established that the reason lies in a competitor’s successful ad campaign, which has completely overshadowed your product’s visibility. 

Thus, your new goal is to raise awareness of your product through a strong marketing campaign.

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

To enhance chances for your campaign success, you can also consider Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). If your Objectives cannot be directly measured, you need Key Results to guide you. Read more about this on the following link:

The aim of this phase is to lay the foundation for the process by determining:

While defining your project goals, make sure you analyze any potential challenges and establish some risk management practices. 

Last, but not least, while establishing a project plan, keep in mind that all the major stakeholders and marketing team members should approve the project documentation and agreed terms at the beginning of the process. 

This way, everyone will know what to expect, what their role is, and the time they have to complete their tasks. 

Now, you are all set to develop a marketing strategy.

Phase #3: Develop a marketing strategy

Your marketing strategy depends on your pre-determined goals and objectives. 

This is the phase in which a marketing project manager:

  • Identifies a target audience and market growth opportunities,
  • Recognizes the needs of customers based on market trends, customers’ social and cultural background, and their behavior,
  • Takes into account the 4 Ps of marketing — product, price, place, and promotion, and
  • Chooses channels to promote their company’s products and services, such as social media, digital PR, content marketing, etc.

💡Plaky Pro Tip

In case you want to learn about the steps of marketing strategic planning, please read the following post:

When you map up your strategic plan, you can finally launch your campaign.

Phase #4: Launch a marketing campaign

Campaign launch is an exciting and core phase of the marketing project management process. The team in charge can start the implementation of the plan and thus present a product or a service to the target audience.

The responsibilities of a marketing project manager during the campaign are: 

  • To oversee the process, 
  • To have regular meetings with supporting teams to check if everything runs as planned, and, 
  • To keep in touch with stakeholders who should be informed on the campaign progress. 

When the campaign is finished, the next step is to examine the results and see if it was successful.   

Phase #5: Examine marketing campaign results

This phase is all about checking if the campaign bore any fruit. The team and stakeholders examine if the results of the campaign have met expectations and compare them against the previously established KPIs. 

If the results meet the metrics, then you can consider your campaign a success. 

By examining the campaign data, you can see which channel reached the largest audience, as well as which audience demographic had the best response to the campaign.

After you examine the results, you can flow into the review phase.

Phase #6: Reevaluate and revise your marketing strategy

The revision phase is the phase in which the people in charge of the campaign carefully analyze the results to see what they can improve on. 

The aim is to analyze the campaign’s strengths and weaknesses. This way, you can see what you can reuse in your next marketing effort and what improvements and/or adjustments you can make with the aim of reaching wider audiences.

As you can see, the marketing management process involves many tasks and subtasks. Therefore, it is important for the managers to have a suitable and reliable project management tool. 

Project management software for marketing teams

Marketing project managers would benefit from using quality software and thus have their goals, marketing strategy, tasks, project budget, and other project elements in one centralized system.

All of this, and more, can be accomplished using marketing project management software such as Plaky — a free alternative to other PM platforms that allows for an unlimited number of users, teams, and files.

How marketing project managers can use Plaky

Example of a marketing strategy board in Plaky
Example of a marketing strategy board in Plaky

Plaky is a great solution when you want to:

  • Organize all your marketing processes in one place, and
  • Use ready-made project management templates to create workflows for every department.

As regards organization, Plaky has a lot to offer, and you can use it to:

  • Set up a marketing strategy — define your plan and steps to reach your goal, set deadlines, classify resources, keep track of the budget and manpower, and follow progress.
  • Plan your marketing initiatives — Plaky can provide an overview of product launch, event planning, and content publications.
  • Track the design process — have complete control over files, correspondence, solutions, feedback, and updates. 
Examples of relevant features in a Plaky marketing management template
Examples of relevant features in a Plaky marketing management template

Being user-friendly, Plaky offers a number of templates that you can use and adapt, such as:

💡 Plaky Pro Tip 

Ready-made templates are a great way to organize your project. But, you can also modify them the way it suits you best. Check out the following pages to learn more:

Have everything centralized in the Plaky strategy plan template
Have everything centralized in the Plaky strategy plan template

Wrapping it up: Marketing project management doesn’t have to be hard 

We are aware that it isn’t easy to lead a marketing campaign. It takes a lot of time, effort, and planning. 

With this in mind, we created a list of 6 phases that you need to go through:

  • Conduct research,
  • Identify goals and objectives,
  • Develop a marketing strategy,
  • Launch a marketing campaign,
  • Examine marketing campaign results, and
  • Reevaluate and revise your marketing strategy.

Make sure you don’t skip any because every phase matters and has a huge impact on your final goal. 

Plus, the right software such as Plaky can help you on your way to a successful project.

✉️ Are you the person whose job is project-oriented? Have you ever worked in marketing project management? Or, are you willing to try? Have you ever used Plaky or any other task management software? We would be more than happy to hear from you. You can always email us at blogfeedback@plaky.com and share your experience which we may include in some of our future posts. If you know anyone who would find this text interesting, please share with them.

AnaMiljkovic Ana  Miljkovic

Ana Miljkovic is a project management author and researcher at Plaky who enjoys writing articles on diverse project management topics. This way, she manages to link her love of in-depth research, efficient organization, and fine writing. As a former English teacher, she strongly believes reading is one of the best ways to learn. Therefore, the aim of her articles is to simplify complex topics and make them helpful and easy to understand for everyone.