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Tips for Managing a Digital Marketing Project

collaborationDigital marketing is essentially a creative field, and like any large scale artistic production, requires the influence of multiple skillsets. Promoting your business online therefore requires collaboration.

It is impossible for one person to proficiently undertake everything that is required to effectively market a business online. You need technical knowledge of SEO, an eye for design, an understanding of web architecture, the ability to curate content and a flair for writing sales copy.

And that’s even before you get round to social media marketing and general public relations – which has a whole new skillset of its own. Your promotional dream team should therefore consist of web developers, designers, copy writers and marketing/public relation specialists.

Building a proficient team may be difficult for some firms, both on a financial level and a lack of office space. Fortunately, the digital arena enables specialists to work from remote locations so firms can work directly with digital marketing agencies who already have their quota of specialists.

But once you have assembled your team, you need to be able to co-ordinate its members so that everybody is batting and everybody is bowling at the same time.

Communication between team members is key

To pull everything together, projects need a manager who disseminates information to all parties. This takes excellent communication skills so that every member of the team know the precise goals and how they will be targeted.

Once a strategy is in place together with a timeline, all members will be set their own tasks. But do not leave individuals to furrow ahead if their work will have an impact on another party’s work. At the same time, be mindful too that roadblocks presented because people are working at different speeds with different skillsets can be problematic. Not only will the project be delayed, but it is very easy for a team member to lose track of where they were up to on a project, and obviously, to lose momentum and concentration.

Encourage communication between your team and discuss ideas and build on inspiration. Everybody needs the same vision every step of the way. Small milestones will really help to keep things inching along at a uniform pace, but at the same time clear expectations should be set, with confirmation that both the team member tasked with the element of the project, and the whole project team are clear on what is expected as deliverables and by when.  Setting these expectations is really akin to the TAC part of Paul Smith’s digital marketing SOSTAC framework, with T, A and C referring to tactics, actions and control.  The tactics are the elements of the strategy, the actions is the who does what, when and where, and the control is the measurement and focus part of that framework.  The control element could mean regular team meetings, zoom calls, conference calls, project updates at various milestones, or simply a check in on an analytics platform such as Google Analytics to see that everything is going in the direction intended at the strategy formulation part of the project.

Use team project management software

There is a fair choice of management software programs on the market that enable you to set up individual projects and invite members into the circle. This type of software makes it easier for the project manager to keep track of the timeline and ensure deadlines are being met. Some of the more popular project management team software include the likes of Monday, Trello, Basecamp, Teamwork, Nifty, Atlassian and Jira, One, lesser known, and free project management suites, which we like to use on projects here at Bertey, is Freedcamp.  The bonus is that it’s free, but it is very simple to use, which is something often lacking in other tools, particularly as their software teams start to build out the offering. 

Be prepared to change the original plan

Note that changing plans does not necessarily mean changing the goal of the final vision. However, in large scale projects, theories and ideals cannot always be executed.

For example, you may find that your preferred option is out of your budget so you have to backtrack and come up with another solution. If this ever is the case, you and your team have to be flexible and find an alternative solution.

Create a community environment

People are more dedicated to their work when they feel involved. The software management tools gives you the opportunity to build a community and actively encourage communication between parties during big projects.

A sense of community is an important piece of effective collaboration, especially when your team are isolated from each other in remote locations. They need to be able to feel they can contribute ideas and comment on the ideas of others.

It is of course human nature to bite back when bitten and it is easier to do this with strangers in remote locations. As project manager, you therefore may want to keep a rein on how ideas are shared.

Collaborating with a digital team can be an exciting and cost-effective proposition, but if it is not managed well can also be fraught with difficulties. Therefore select your team carefully, or work with an agency you feel you can build a strong rapport with.