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6 skills every marketing project manager needs (especially when working remotely)

Tamar Freundlich

With so many transitioning to remote work in the past couple of months, we’re forced to rethink the way we do our jobs. We find this to be especially true for the roles that focus on coordinating between multiple entities, and none so much so as the ever-stretched project manager. 

In this post, we’ll focus on the marketing project managers out there (experienced or aspiring) and do our best to provide them with a roadmap to overcome this challenge.

What exactly does a marketing project manager do?

But first, with so many different variations of the marketing project manager role, you might be wondering if you fall under this category. Let’s start by defining what exactly it includes:

A marketing project manager is responsible for planning, managing, and executing projects related to marketing campaigns. It is an all-encompassing job that requires a high-level view of various moving parts, such as stakeholders, deadlines, and budgets, while also maintaining extreme attention to detail.

When working remotely, physically distant from everyone taking part in the project, you’re forced to adjust your skills, and relatively quickly.

To give you a head start, we put together a list of the top 6 skills that marketing project managers need and how they can pivot them when working remotely:

6 skills marketing project managers should master

1. Powerful communication skills

A project manager’s job is just that: to manage projects. And that means managing the people who are taking part in the project. From marketing designers and copywriters to developers, you need the ability to delegate tasks and convey crystal clear action items from start to finish.

For remote marketing project managers

When working remotely, strong communication skills become even more important. Not only do you have to overcome barriers such as the lack of non-verbal indicators, limited availability, and technical issues, but you also have to help the people working on the project to communicate with each other as well. 

It’s important to establish best practices from the get-go. Whether it’s the communication tools you’ve decided to use, a set time for daily check-ins, or pro-actively reaching out when needed, you need to lead by example.

2. Time management skills

Experience marketing project managers know that deadlines are like a house of cards. You know where we’re going with this… one stakeholder misses one deadline and the rest comes tumbling down. 

When preparing and running a marketing campaign, not only are you responsible to manage your own time, but everyone else involved as well. 

For remote marketing project managers

Without a physical workspace, it’s harder for project managers to monitor progress and make sure that the deadlines they’ve given will be met or even assess if they are reasonable. 

A remote work environment will require more frequent check-ins as well as smaller tasks and soft deadlines so that red flags are raised and you don’t start dealing with the problem only once a deadline is missed. 

3. Cost control skills

Budgeting campaigns is a key part of managing marketing projects. Every expense needs to be factored into the plan in order to reach the target ROI.  It’s your responsibility to deliver the project within the cost constraints and manage the project finances sensibly.

For remote marketing project managers

For many businesses, financial processes are the last to be updated when transitioning to remote work. Suddenly, it’s no longer clear how to get your expenses approved, monitor paid campaigns, submit an invoice, or purchase much-needed WFH software.

To avoid overspending on your projects, or on the other hand, not spending enough on crucial components, you need to select the right budget management tools and clarify the remote procedures and requirements for every stakeholder on the project. 

4. Digital marketing skills

In today’s world, businesses usually spend the majority of their marketing efforts in the digital sphere. This includes enhancing online brand awareness, driving website traffic, and acquiring leads and new customers. As a marketing project manager, you need to be able to monitor digital campaigns and analyze their results.

For remote marketing project managers

While managing digital marketing campaigns remotely isn’t that different than managing them in a physical office, this point actually goes back to cost control. 

If you’re working with a team of acquisition specialists, it’s crucial that all the numbers remain transparent so that you know the overall project spend at all times, especially when working from home.

When it comes to paid digital campaigns, setting up a system of constant communication can help you avoid costly and embarrassing mistakes.

5. Problem-solving skills

Yes, it should go without saying, but you are the undisputed owner of every marketing project you manage. That means that every problem that a stakeholder faces when working on the marketing campaign (and there will be a lot) is your responsibility. 

While problem-solving is a broad skill that is learned over time, we usually recommend that juniors start by using the fishbone diagram or what’s otherwise known as the cause and effect diagram. The left side lists the many possible root causes of the problem and the right side culminates in the final problem statement.

For remote marketing project managers

The challenge of working remotely is not so much solving the problem – but detecting one while there’s still time to fix it. Just as we mentioned above, when working from home you need a fool-proof remote system that encourages stakeholders to raise a flag if anything (like seriously, anything) comes up during the project.

However, you cannot solely rely on the proactiveness of others, which is why you have to ensure that you have a bird’s eye view on everything that goes on. Which, by chance, brings us to the final skill on the list…

6. Organizational skills

As the project manager on a marketing campaign, you are the one who sees the bigger picture. While stakeholders focus on their niche, it is your job to ensure that the campaign is all coming together to reach your goals and set KPIs.

For remote marketing project managers

Monitoring and tracking all of the moving parts and players it takes to pull off a successful campaign can be a challenging task in a physical workspace, let alone when working remotely.

Work operating systems like provide an effective solution for marketing management. It allows you to keep tabs on what everybody is doing and when without fostering a sense of micromanagement.

With a board for each campaign or marketing project, you set, share, and monitor all the action items, budgets, and outcomes in one place. Whatsmore, you can reach out when you see that someone is delayed or stuck and help them solve the problem with the full picture in mind.

Executing Campaigns with Marketing Management Software

Use our campaign tracking template

You’ve got this 

Managing marketing projects is a challenge, from setting achievable goals and writing briefs to delegating and finally, analyzing outcomes and drawing conclusions for your next campaigns. 

But if you’ve managed marketing projects in a physical workspace, we’re here to tell you that doing your job from afar isn’t harder, it’s just different. And now you have all the guidance you need to make that shift with the skills you already have.

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