Good project management and delivery are essential for running a business. If your digital marketing agency is going to thrive, it needs a sustainable system of organisation and ingenuity to help employees produce their best work without burning out.
There are lots of different management strategies, but only a few of them will work for your agency. Agency teams are as unique as the people within them. Creating a management strategy that synchronises with your team is the key to their success.
The digital marketing industry is fast-paced and exciting, often involving multiple projects at once. Your system needs to be able to adapt to the twists and turns of a frequently changing environment, thus facilitating a higher degree of efficiency and seamless project delivery.
But creating a management strategy that is seamless in nature from the brainstorming phase to the project handover phase is not easy. In fact, it can be very challenging.
In this guide, we’ll look at the importance of efficiency in project management for digital marketing structures as well as some effective strategies for implementing it into your agency. We’ll also look at some examples of other agencies that have taken these strategies and flown with them.
Let’s dive in.
The Importance of Efficiency in Project Management
Efficiency is crucial in project management, especially in a digital agency setting. Most agencies work with a constant rotation of different clients, many of which will overlap.
A lack of efficiency means that prioritising each client becomes nearly impossible, producing low quality project results and clients who are, at best, underwhelmed. Inefficiency also negatively impacts employees and the workplace atmosphere.
A chaotic, disorganised work environment causes confusion between team members and adds additional pressure on those in managerial roles. There are many other potential consequences of inefficiency to consider, some of which include:
Weakened brand reputation – When your project management strategy lacks efficiency and organisation, it can negatively impact client’s perceptions of your agency.
Employee burnout – Inefficiency and poor time management are frustrating to deal with in a professional setting. If it gets bad, employees are likely to feel overworked, stressed out, and prone to mental and physical burnout.
Low client satisfaction – When inefficiency runs rife in a workplace, it often leads to poor project results. This can result in unhappy or dissatisfied clients.
Slow project turnaround – The less organised and efficient your project management system is, the longer projects will take to complete. A slow turnaround is bad for business and strongly discourages repeat business. It also fatigues employees.
High churn rate – Inefficiency is a huge turn off for clients. In the worst cases, it may even cause them to opt out of a contract, thus increasing your churn rate.
When it comes to running a successful digital agency and maintaining that success over time, having an efficient project management system is non-negotiable. Without it, your agency can become far too vulnerable to financial loss, unhappy clients, and exhausted employees.
Key Management Strategies for Seamless Project Delivery
Like most businesses, it’s not uncommon for digital marketing agencies to go through periods of inefficiency. But it’s about recognising the need for improvement and implementing a strategy that changes things that matters most.
Selecting a key management strategy for seamless project delivery and improved internal cohesion is so important for running a successful agency – but it does require a strategy.
Choosing the right strategy is everything. Different agencies have different needs, goals, and styles that should all be taken into account when seeking to improve efficiency. Take a look at the following eight key management strategies to see which ones might work best for you.
Agile Project Management
Agile project management is a style of project management that focuses on small, frequent releases and incorporating client feedback with as many iterations as possible.
It is also largely used in the context of project management software programs, which lends itself to the uniquely flexible and constantly adjusting nature of this management strategy. Agile project management involves breaking down a big project into smaller, more digestible chunks in order to enhance focus on each element and promote a more consistent workflow.
There are many benefits to incorporating an Agile project management strategy. It is highly adaptive, making it perfect for creative, collaborative agencies, and it is client-focused, facilitating better results. It is also transparent, which promotes better leadership and teamwork.
Use of Project Management Tools
We live in an age of incredible technological development, and as a digital marketing agency, it only makes sense to fully utilise these powerful tools for enhanced efficiency and productivity.
There are so many project management tools that can help your business become more cohesive and deliver a higher standard of work for clients. The best ones come kitted out with a wide range of productivity-enhancing tools, such as:
👉 Planning and scheduling
👉 Time tracking
👉 Project budgeting
👉 Billing and quotes
👉 Performance reports
👉 Team communication and collaboration
👉 Data sharing
With access to these features, your team can save a huge amount of time and energy on mundane tasks and allocate more focus to the real priorities. By implementing a great project management tool, you can instantly improve the quality and efficiency of your work.
Sometimes, the reason why a digital marketing agency’s performance may be stifled is due to something as simple as poor communication. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
Communications issues are often the result of an incohesive social structure. Employees should feel comfortable enough to voice their opinions and share thoughts or ideas, but not without having respect and understanding for their position within the overarching structure.
In order to promote better communication within your digital marketing agency, there are a few different things you can do, including the following strategies:
Build collaboration skills – Strong professional relationships lead to enhanced communication. Give your employees regular opportunities to collaborate and get to know one another to promote healthy dialogue both in and out of the office.
Assign clearly defined roles and tasks – When employees understand exactly what their role is and what is expected of them, they may find it easier to communicate with those around them.
Use the right tools – If your team is remote or hybrid, communication issues are part of the territory. Make sure you have access to the right communication tools and platforms for seamlessly collaborating on projects throughout the week.
Implementing a consistent and productive culture of communication relies heavily on the example managers set for their employees. Set the standard for healthy, respectful, and open dialogue by educating those in higher management positions for improved results.
Regular Reporting and Feedback
Businesses that have a clear understanding of their performance and market position tend to be more successful. Running an agency is a complex affair, but by producing ongoing performance reports and gaining feedback from agency leaders, awareness can lead to efficiency.
An effective time management strategy is absolutely essential for any business, digital marketing agencies included. Fortunately, there are many ways to implement one at your agency.
Use a time-tracking tool – There’s a tool for just about everything these days, and one of them is designed specifically for time management. You can use them to track how much time you spend on different tasks and mitigate time wastage.
Set reasonable limits – The internet is full of distractions that pull us away from important tasks. As such, it can be helpful to create structure around how much time employees spend online.
Discourage multitasking – It’s a controversial take, but when it comes to productivity, multitasking is rarely the answer.
While it may have its time and place, multitasking often leads to half-baked rush jobs that don’t meet client standards. Instead of multitasking, encourage your employees to focus on one task at a time.
Without a solid time management strategy, your agency can not only drop its performance level, but also end up exhausting its employees on projects that drag on longer than necessary. However, with these simple strategies, time wastage can be avoided.
Collaboration is the gateway to a great communication strategy. The more trust that your employees share with one another, the easier it will be for them to communicate.
You can enhance employee relationships by hosting regular collaboration exercises that help them learn more about each other’s strengths and work together as one cohesive team. These can be anything from brainstorming sessions to group lunches.
It is a good idea to create both relaxed and focused environments for your team to connect within. Allow them to see each other as people they can rely on to perform their jobs well and trust with important tasks, even when the pressure is high.
If your digital marketing agency is still young or undergoing a rebrand, laying down a foundation of efficiency, good time management, and general internal cohesion is essential. But figuring out how to do that takes time – and often a few mistakes along the way.
However, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. You aren’t the first agency to try and hack a seamless project management system, and you certainly aren’t the last. In the meantime, there are plenty of examples to provide inspiration and guidance along the way.
These three digital marketing agencies are all unique, yet they all have something in common: effective, powerful project management and delivery strategies made to last.
Butterfly – Butterfly is a digital marketing agency based in Australia. After using a cumbersome and time-consuming project management system (which was largely manual) for many years, profits were low and project turnaround high.
By using an effective project management tool, they were able to take on more clients, speed up their billable time by 20%, and improve productivity by 16%. Butterfly is now considered one of Australia’s leading digital marketing agencies.
Dream Theory – Dream Theory is a creative digital marketing agency from America. They stand out because their approach to successful project management is unconventional. Instead of focusing on the system itself, they focus on the relationships formed between employees and clients.
With this unique approach to project management, Dream Theory has been able to improve internal and external communications, accept more dynamic and high-paying jobs, and develop a strong reputation for loyalty and repeat business.
There is more than one way to approach efficient project and time management. And often, taking more than one approach is what’s needed for a balanced system.
Proper Project Management Puts You on The Path To Success
Every digital marketing agency needs an efficient, sustainable project management system to thrive in this complex and fast-paced industry. Developing the right one for your business can be a challenge, but it’s the kind of challenge that’s reward is well worth the effort.
By making efficiency, great time management, and cohesion top priorities for your agency, you can reap a number of benefits that impact both your employees and your clients.
Higher retention rates, bigger profits, enhanced productivity, a better industry reputation, and happier employees are just some of the rewards to be experienced through an efficient management strategy that puts project delivery at the top of the priority list.
Without making efficiency a priority, your digital marketing agency’s ratings can suffer, and so can your employees. A lack of organisation within your agency can lead to a high churn rate, low team morale, and competitive disadvantages within the industry.
However, there are ways to avoid these problems, and many of them are simpler and more accessible than you’d think.
With an agile project management framework, better communication, the use of project management tools, and an enhanced time and risk management system, your agency can become one of the hardest-hitting businesses in the industry.
Learn, Share, Grow
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