As a creative project manager, you could end up working with a range of departments in your marketing agency, from web designers to video editors, to fulfill your clients’ goals of spreading their brand awareness and promoting their services and products. No project will look the same as they will entail various personalized approaches according to their types of business and target audiences.
When it comes to marketing projects, your agency may have room for creative freedom to meet your client’s expectations. This is beneficial as it allows creative project managers and their team some space to think outside the box with the marketing product. You may be using a mix of creative resources to share your client’s message in an effective, impactful way that will resonate with their consumers. With your team of creatives and useful tools, you need to develop an innovative plan that’s tailored to your client’s requests.
However, having creative freedom in marketing agency projects can also pose an intense challenge. Where do you begin? What talents and media are included? Which team members will be effective contributors with their ideas and capabilities?
While working with creatives and promoting imaginative idea-making, you also need to set the marketing agency project’s ground rules, so the idea is focused and achievable. As the creative project manager, you must find the perfect balance of being an idealist and a realist.
When the creative project is being implemented, it’s essential that you monitor all moving parts and keep them on track. You are the main driver of the creative marketing project leading your team to accomplish your client’s goal.
Creative Resource Management
Creative resources are the tools that you will be using for your project. Generally, your creative resource management is broken into two major requirements:
1. Pooling and Guiding Your Creative Team
As a creative project manager, it’s your responsibility to lead a team of individuals who have the skills you need for your project’s deliverables.
Leading a team of creative individuals can be different from working with other groups like software developers or accountants. Creative marketing employees’ jobs create something that doesn’t exist yet, which is challenging and tough to get perfect right away. A lot of your leadership will involve brainstorming, collaborating and often asking for them to revise their initial ideas, so it suits the project’s overall goal.
This is why a creative project leader must have these valuable traits:
With your imaginative outlook and creative expertise leading the project, you and your team will stand out from your competition with an innovative, effectively-executed campaign.
As a creative, you can determine what is quality and notice fine details to improve your project. You’ll also have an understanding of what’s achievable in your time frame and what is unrealistic.
When managing creatives, you’ll need to offer constructive criticism or choose a different approach from the creative’s first idea. When sharing your input, you need to do it in a manner that won’t cause the artist to feel discouraged.
Artists can be sensitive when it comes to their work, so you need to offer helpful feedback to guide their creative process to suit the project’s requirements.
Logical and Disciplined
As a creative project manager, you need to have discipline. It’s your responsibility to hone in on the creative process so you and your team remain focused on the client’s needs.
2. Establishing Time Parameters
While your project involves promoting your team’s free-thinking and creativity, you also need to add time limits. Your creative members don’t get carried away or delay the project’s efficiency. Remember that your client is on a timeline too. To maintain a positive relationship with them, you must meet the overall deadline date.
As a creative project manager, you need to rein in your time by giving them set stages to reach by certain times or dates. This will keep them accountable and focused on achieving the overall goal. These deadlines also offer multiple opportunities for you to monitor progress and find any details that may need revisions or redos before reaching the client.
Enforcing Your Project’s Creative Workflow
As a creative project manager, it’s your job to guide your team’s creative workflow. This is done by setting stages for your process to run naturally and efficiently. You need to establish a workflow, so it makes sense as you follow step by step.
1. Initiate Your Plan and Brainstorm Ideas
This is when you will receive your client’s brief, learn the project requirements, plan your budget and build your team. Together, you will develop your ideas to reach your client’s marketing goals. Your members will be assigned roles and responsibilities to fulfill to complete the project successfully.
In this stage, you will choose the strategies and collaborative methods to help you work together on your project and reach the deadlines established during this phase.
2. Create and Monitor Progress
Now your team can go their own way and create their project features for the overall campaign. During this time, you will want to continue monitoring productivity and ensure your team moves in the right direction with their content.
Establish a structured schedule to check on your team members and their creations. Conduct weekly meetings or breakdown draft stages (outline, rough draft, 1st draft, etc.) for you to approve, so you are sure that every move they make will fulfill your client’s intentions.
3. Review and Approve Your Combined Project
As your team members complete their assigned creative tasks, it’s time to combine all the parts into one complete campaign or product. You and your team can review the full campaign’s look, fine-tune any flaws and blend all components.
Once you approve the completed result, you’ll send it to your client for their approval and make any revisions requested by them. Once they’re happy, they may test the product on their customers and gain feedback for any necessary changes to bring as much success as possible in their campaign.
4. Project Launch
At this time, your main responsibility will be ensuring your product is flawless and ready to publish. The campaign launch may require you and your team to post it online or share it with media outlets.
Relying on Supportive Software for Collaboration and Project Efficiency
As a creative project manager, it’s your job to continuously review your team’s progress and bring out the best quality of work to fulfill the needs outlined by your client. You will be the authoritative figure for people whose job is to rely on their imagination.
Fortunately, there are resources to help you keep your team on track as they work on their designated creative tasks. Using valuable time tracking software like actiTIME will help you monitor their productivity as they work toward your project deadlines. Having this information will help you determine when to intervene and motivate members to stick to the scheduling or learn if they need assistance with their task.
With actiTIME, you can see how all your marketing project pieces are coming together and make appropriate judgment calls for a completed campaign that accomplishes your client’s marketing goals.