Marketers need proper project management skills
Published On September 16, 2014 » 2135 Views» By Moses Kabaila Jr: Online Editor » Business, Columns, Stories
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AS I have previously pointed out, marketing has always been a dynamic discipline due to the fact that it relates to the needs of the consumers which are equally ever-changing.
Having taken cognisance of this fact, I feel that there is great room for marketing practitioners to significantly improve on the way they conduct their responsibilities, tasks and execute work.
I have personally observed that most marketers are experiencing challenges in setting clear goals and objectives, delivering on quality products or services, meeting timelines, coordinating team players and sticking to their tight budgets.
This problem can be attributed to the lack of project management skills among marketers.
Today’s business environment dictates that individuals adopt the most effective means and ways of carrying out their tasks at work.
The simplest definition of a project is any undertaking which is carried out over a restricted time frame, has clear goals or objectives and has budget constraints.
The project management involves providing leadership and managing these limited resources and achieving the set goals and objectives of a project.
Most of my colleagues today, will surely agree that most marketing activities and tasks fit into the above given definition.
In my recent previous work I was delighted to come cross a colleague who, despite having good marketing credentials, years of work experience still feels the need to begin a Project Management course.
From his impression, he considered project management to be a necessary skill in any discipline.
I could only conquer with him on this premise. I have been seeing a lot of marketers at the levels of first degree only aim at obtaining masters degrees with very little consideration to courses such as project management.
For those marketers who might not have taken up serious assignments in their line of duty, such as organising special events, sales promotion campaigns short term or long, or conducted a marketing research exercise, project management skills could seem irrelevant.
However, any marketer who has, on a number of occasions, been tasked with the responsibility of undertaking any assignment, will attest to the fact that one cannot excel in today’s marketing world if they do not possess basic or minimal project management skills.
Take for example, your organisation has to participate at the upcoming international trade fair or the upcoming agricultural and commercial shows, are you, as a marketer not supposed to employ project management skills?
Doesn’t such a task require you to establish clear goals, objectives? Identifying team members to take part in the activity, coordinate work activities, establish and adhere to strict timelines, prepare a budget based on requirements, implement the activities and finally monitor and evaluate progress and performance?
I believe that most of us will concede to this, that these are clearly project management procedures.
The same can be said of a short-term sales promotion campaign whose activities normally follow the same project management principles, without which most of the sales promotion programmes would be ending up in total failure.
One of the most prominent features of most projects is the aspect of time management and you will equally observe that most marketing activities operate under strict deadlines.
In my working years as a marketer, I have seen many marketers lose business and even lose jobs on the basis of failing to manage and execute their programmes effectively and efficiently.
Most organisations cannot bear to waste two of the very important scarce resources, which are, time and money.
Most marketers who are not able to apply project management to their marketing assignments, consequently will end up wasting these two critical resources.
It is against this background, that the world’s most acclaimed marketing body the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in the United Kingdom, decided to introduce this course as a subject at professional diploma levels.
The professional body of marketing has always strived to keep up with prevailing trends and has been trying to make its programmes, as relevant as possible to work environments.
This is what we, as marketers, should be using as a standard. If the trend-setters have acknowledged the importance of project management in marketing, then it really should be.
In conclusion, I wish to appeal to my fellow marketers in this country and beyond, to make efforts in acquiring and improving their project management skills if they are to make an impact and be effective in their work.
Remember that marketing is all about producing results
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