Where is the line that separates a marketing strategist from a project manager? After all, almost every marketing activity can be viewed as a project - big or small - depending on the scope, budget, size of your team, and even ambition.
I hear you saying: “Look at you, you’re organizing the workflow, moving the pieces around, communicating back and forth with stakeholders, delivering reports. That’s what project managers are for.” And you’re right. That’s why every professional who interacts with multiple stakeholders should learn the basics of project management.
But creative professionals shouldn’t worry about these sort of things?
Have you ever delivered a brief or set a deadline for somebody else? Have you ever compiled a report on the activities of other people? Have you ever adjusted your own schedule in regards to your team’s activities? If the answer is yes - congrats, you know what being a project manager is like. And in order to do better in your own line of work, you need to improve your project management skills - be it in marketing, design, development, client work, or entrepreneurship in general.
You’re not alone
Let’s face it - there are very few cases where a person in a creative position has the freedom to do things on their own time, without any interaction with the outside world. Even when you’re just focusing on your work, there’s rarely a situation where you’re able to be working on only one single thing. There are always a lot of moving pieces, and chances are you’ll be accountable to make sure they all move in the right direction.
Focus & prioritize
Although these two sound like classic productivity techniques, making sure you’re always focusing on your priorities is something that can greatly help in your creative projects. Eating a frog, utilizing the Pomodoro, creating a priority matrix - these are all ways to move your projects forward, not just improve your work output.
Everything you do is a project
As with every single thing you do, projects have a beginning and an end. They consist of smaller things you need to accomplish in order to complete the big picture. Every marketing activity, every design flow, every piece of code - they all have goals, requirements, and deadlines. Therefore, it’s essential to view all these activities as projects in themselves. That way you’re getting the hang of how it all connects and how to improve the way you execute both your short and long-term strategies.
Project management is critical for creative projects
All the marketing in the world isn't going to make up for poor project management. Experienced project managers are well-paid due to the value they bring to any organization. These talented professionals create and maintain timelines and outcome expectations for everything from IT software development to building entire construction projects.
The concepts they use can be applied to any area of business, but creative and marketing teams especially benefit from project management principles. And the best thing about it is - you don’t have to be an expert. You just need to follow the same principles and rely on your project management software.
Marketing managers and creative directors will oversee campaigns and initiatives while communicating with clients to ensure the best possible results. A good project manager can save time, money, and help keep a project in line and on time.
And even though these roles require a different set of skills, it pays to learn a thing or two from the project management side of the business. Any creative professional will benefit from having these skills. Using them on a daily basis helps you see everything you do as a project with small tasks, milestones, deadlines, and outcome.