Project Management for Marketing

Project Management for Marketing


Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing and overseeing the execution of a project from initiation to completion. Project management aims to achieve the project objectives while efficiently utilizing resources and meeting stakeholder expectations. The principles of project management apply to any discipline, including marketing and communications.

Project management principles can help marketers and communicators organize and execute initiatives efficiently and effectively. They can be especially useful for smaller teams where members wear different hats in the marketing process. Using these principles can help you manage the many different tasks and processes of implementing brand elements.

Project Management: The basics

There are five project management phases:

  1. Initiation – define project goals, create a business case, build the project charter and determine who your key stakeholders are.
  2. Planning – define the scope of the project, create the project plan, set your budget and define roles and responsibilities for the project team members.
  3. Execution – execute your plan by allocating project resources, managing those resources, completing project tasks and managing and resolving risks.
  4. Monitoring and controlling – the execution phase is primarily the project manager’s responsibility. In this phase, the project manager tracks effort and cost, monitors project, ensures adherence to the plan and seeks to mitigate risk.
  5. Closing – deliverables are handed over and reviewed. The project manager documents outcomes of the project, conducts sessions with project team members and stakeholders to collect project learnings and gets final results approved.

Taken together, these five phases represent a project lifecycle.

Waterfall Projects

For some projects, you will cycle through these phases once. These types of projects are termed “waterfall” projects and are more linear in their approach. With this approach, the phases occur sequentially, requiring that a phase be completed and signed off on before the next phase can begin.

Examples of Waterfall Projects in Marketing

  • Print marketing production – From the content creation to design, approval, proofreading, printing and distribution, each stage needs a defined timeline and process.
  • Organizing a large-scale event – Planning, venue booking, logistics and marketing all require a defined timeline and sequential execution.

The steps are predetermined and must be followed each time to achieve the desired outcome.

Iterative Projects

Other projects will cycle through the phases more than once or certain phases more than once during the project’s life. These types of projects are called “iterative” projects. With this approach, there is an overall timeline in which a set of deliverables are expected at project closure.

Examples of Iterative Projects in Marketing

  • Optimizing a digital campaign through continuous refinement of creatives, targeting and messaging based on real-time analytics.
  • Building a website or app prototype to allow for user testing and feedback integration throughout the process, ensuring the final product meets user needs and expectations.
  • The execution phase of an iterative project will happen in cycles (iterations) that allow for the project team to pause, review and make needed changes for further iterations.

Marketing project management plan template – explore a sample template of an academic marketing plan

Additional Resources

  1. Project Management Basics
  2. Project Management for Marketing – The Key to a Successful Launch
  3. Microsoft Planner
  4. Excel Marketing Project Plan Templates


Michelle Lewis, Project Manager,
Rashmi Tenneti, Director of Analytics and Alignment,

Marketing Analytics Foundations


Marketing analytics is the tracking and analysis of data derived from marketing efforts, aimed at achieving quantitative goals. Through this process, units gain insights to enhance marketing channels, boost the ROI of marketing initiatives and shape future strategies. Utilizing technology and analytical methods on marketing data, units understand audience behaviors, resource allocation and make business decisions to help your unit understand an audience’s priorities.

Target Audience

  • Marketing and communications staff who work in digital media.


The following are the most common types of analytics and what they help you understand, with examples.

Descriptive Analytics: Painting a Picture of the Past

Focuses on summarizing historical data to understand what has happened in the past.

  • What: How many students applied last year? Which events had the highest attendance? What’s the average open rate for alumni emails?
  • Who: Which demographics are most engaged with social media? Where are prospective students coming from geographically? Which programs attract the most interest?

Diagnostic Analytics: Unraveling the “Why”

Delves deeper into data to identify why certain events occurred.

  • Why: Investigating a decline in website traffic to determine if it’s related to a specific campaign, website update, or external factors. Why did application numbers dip in a specific region?

Predictive Analytics: Looking to the future

Uses historical data and statistical algorithms to forecast future outcomes.

  • Predicting potential enrollment numbers for the upcoming semester based on historical enrollment data, application trends, and other relevant factors.
  • If your website data shows increased audience visits to your website during the fall to sign up for your email newsletter, you can work ahead on a fall newsletter to address the new signups and share information with them.

Prescriptive Analytics: Building successful future outcomes

Provides recommendations on possible actions to optimize outcomes.

  • Recommending personalized communication strategies for different segments of prospective students based on predictive analytics, aiming to increase enrollment.
  • If your website data analysis shows you that students navigate four pages deep to sign up to get more information or attend an event, you can shorten their user journey and offer them a shortcut to the information on your home page.

Marketing analytics phases:

  1. Collecting data
  2. Analyzing data
  3. Using data to make decisions.

Collecting data – a wide variety of digital channels collect data on your behalf. You can review your:

Analyzing data – to analyze data, you need to establish business goals for your unit. Your digital marketing channels serve as the front page of your unit for most of your audiences. What do you want to know about them? Some examples are:

Using data to make decisions – Data-driven decisions empower you to optimize your marketing efforts. Some examples:

  • Low website conversion rates? Analyze user behavior to identify bottlenecks and redesign the page for a smoother experience.
  • Underperforming email campaigns? Test different subject lines, content formats, and sending times to improve open and click-through rates.
  • Unsure where to invest marketing budget? Compare the ROI of different channels based on data insights to allocate resources effectively.

Remember to contextualize your data by considering external factors (e.g., seasonality, industry trends) when making decisions. Visualizations such as charts and graphs can help communicate insights clearly and persuasively to stakeholders.

Tip and Tricks

  • Data should be collected for at least 4-6 weeks before being deemed as a good source of information.
  • Data is context dependent, be mindful of adding context to make sense of the data. For example, your web traffic might be lower than usual, but it might be summer or over winter break. An ad channel might have fewer impressions but higher clicks if the audience is tightly knit and specific. Always present data with context to help make sure that decision makers are aware of the “why.”
  • Setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will help you evaluate your data consistently and point out any changes in the data.

Additional Resources


Rashmi Tenneti, Director of Analytics and Alignment,
Maggie Evenson, Analytics Specialist,