Most major company projects have a project manager to ensure that the job is completed on time and on budget. Content marketing programs are no different. Without an effective project manager at the helm, content marketing programs are subject to cost overruns and significant delays. This will ultimately doom it.
How do I determine the right person for the position of project manager?
Typically, companies pull project managers from within the marketing department of the organization. Previous positions may include marketing manager or marketing project manager. These are marketing generalists who are skilled in project management. They’ve also likely completed certification for it (like Six Sigma or Agile methodologies).
Is it better to have an in-house project manager or outsource the role?
Our recommendation for most small and mid-sized B2B companies is to set up a hybrid structure for your program. That means you should keep the strategy and the project management in house and leave the execution of the program to external subject matter experts, like Tempesta Media. This hybrid method helps ensure the best results and the most efficient use of your marketing budget.
We recommend this approach because most small and mid-sized companies don’t have the financial resources to build, train and support a full content marketing team. (It’s important to note, too, that this approach doesn’t end with your content marketing program. It applies to nearly all marketing programs.)
Because of the lack of resources, the best practice is to staff a marketing organization with skilled project managers and generalists who deeply understand the business. They can then translate business requirements into marketing and technical requirements for successful execution.
This is why we recommend having those capabilities in house versus outsourcing them. If you outsource, those project managers aren’t going to understand the internal mechanisms associated with your company. They are also likely to run into unforeseen roadblocks, which only a skilled employee can navigate and resolve.
For example, let’s say a company wants to complete a case study. Their writer will need to interview the head of engineering for it, but the head repeatedly blows off the interview. If the project manager is internal, he can escalate the issue to the content marketing program’s executive sponsor and have the executive sponsor push the head of engineering to have the interview.
If it had been an external project manager, the only recourses would be to continue to reschedule the interview or bring it up to their customer contact person – further delaying the entire process.
What exactly does the project manager do?
Project managers take charge of a few responsibilities:
First, they take strategic priorities and translate them into specific projects. They do this to ensure that whatever project they’re managing will ultimately show results that advance the company’s corporate objectives.
Secondly, they assess the skills and resources required to implement the project. They can then make decisions on what needs to be done in house and what needs to be outsourced to content marketing experts like Tempesta Media.
Third, they establish a timeline and a cadence for the project. The timeline indicates what’s going to get done, when it’ll be completed and how it’ll be done. The cadence identifies a regular reporting and management interval to maintain control of the project and keep it on track. More importantly, any deviations or roadblocks can be quickly addressed and resolved when both of these items are established.
The bottom line is that content marketing project managers add value. If a company doesn’t fill this position, they risk both their budget and their timeline going awry.
To best mitigate such risks, companies should fill an in-house position for this role. In-house project management simply brings value that can’t be found by outsourcing.
However, that’s not to say outsourcing other areas of your program won’t be beneficial. When combined with subject matter experts like Tempesta Media for your content marketing program’s execution, a project manager will be able to streamline the program and produce results quicker and more cost-effectively.
If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our ebook 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.
This ebook will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.