The elements of a successful marketing project

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When working on any marketing project for your business, there might be several people involved or on hand to help. Even if you're flying solo as an entrepreneur, you'll most likely be needing assistance from agencies, freelancers or contractors.

Marketing projects can be something as small and as simple as creating a new logo, or as complex as delivering a lengthy campaign or an overhaul of a website.

Whether your project is small or large, there's a few elements you need to consider to make it successful and as headache-free as possible:

Resource: When thinking about your project and developing the brief, work out how much resource is needed to fulfil your project by your expected delivery date. Who will be involved, and for how long? What about you- how much will you be involved in the project? If you've commissioned the work, you may have a vested interest, but you might want to employ a project manager to oversee the detail if it's a big piece of work.

Budget: What's your budget? Research the market first by knowing what you should pay for your piece of work. Think about potential amends you may have to the work along the way and how this may impact on budget. Ask questions about budget upfront to your freelancer or agency, and determine how they would like to be paid, so you're clear from the beginning.

Timescales: Depending on the size of the project, a good project can get turned around very quickly - as long as all the other elements are in place. If they're not, the project may lose time because things aren't clear on either side. Have you got a specific date in mind for a book launch, campaign or video release? If so, get some initial ideas of timescales from those in the know, so you can accurately predict how long things will take.

Brief: Have you clearly defined the scope of the project? A good brief should communicate exactly what's required, and by when. That's because the person responsible for delivering the project needs to understand the purpose and function of what you're asking them to create. Whether they're a website builder, copywriter or a graphic designer, agreeing on the brief and scope of work right from the outset will avoid questions and delays further on down the line.

Accountability: By defining clear roles and responsibilities, members of the project team will know exactly where they stand with decision making. For example, if you are happy for a copywriter to be more creative with content, by outlining this at the start they'll know they have the freedom to utilise their skills on your project. Similarly, if you mention to your graphic designer you'd like three iterations of a logo before proceeding, then you're both clear on expectations before the project begins. Who has power to make decisions? If you want to make your team accountable, let them know what you need to know, and what they can just get on with.

Project Plan: If it's a big project, it's helpful to set milestones along the way. Using project management software like Basecamp, Flow or Asana will help all members of the team see how progress is going, adjust the goalposts if necessary, and see where the project may have setbacks or challenges. Tracking a project in this way is not only useful for the lifetime of the project itself; it's also useful to look back on as a historical record.

Communication: Once everyone is on board, regular communication is a must to avoid confusion or miscommunication. This can be anything from a daily or weekly call to a fortnightly email, outlining the project progress and status. By communicating your part in the project to all people involved, you're helping to build relationships, as well as a solid project team committed to your project success.

Do you have a question about project management or need help with your marketing projects? Get in touch for more information.