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6 skills every marketing project manager needs for remote work

Tamar Freundlich 6 min read
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Because so many companies have decided to shift to working remotely, the very way we work has evolved. This is especially true for anyone who has to coordinate between multiple teams, 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.

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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 employ 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. 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 outline 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. 

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 make sure that everyone is on the same page.

2. Time management skills

Experienced 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 come tumbling down. 

When preparing and running a marketing campaign, not only are you responsible to manage your own time, but everyone else’s 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 are reasonable. 

A remote work environment will require more frequent check-ins as well as smaller tasks and soft deadlines so that employees have the opportunity to raise red flags before they turn into bottlenecks.

3. Budgeting

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 stay in place even when all other workflows have shifted to a remote model. Without an updated system, it’s difficult to get your expenses approved, monitor paid campaigns, submit an invoice, or purchase much-needed WFH software.

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To avoid overspending on your projects or underspending on critical campaigns, you need to select the right budget management tools and clarify your remote working procedures for every stakeholder involved. 

4. Collaboration

In today’s world, businesses spend a large portion of their marketing budget in the digital sphere. This involves enhancing online brand awareness, driving website traffic, and acquiring leads and new customers. As a marketing project manager, you need to make sure everyone is sharing their data so the entire team is aligned.

For remote marketing project managers

If you’re working with a team remotely, it’s crucial that all the figures remain transparent so that you know the overall project spend at all times.

When it comes to paid digital campaigns, setting up a shared dashboard 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 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 early enough to fix it before it snowballs into a larger issue. Just as we mentioned above, when working from home, you need a fool-proof cooperative system that encourages stakeholders to raise a flag if anything (like seriously, anything) comes up during the course of the project.

However, you should also have a bird’s eye view of everything that going on in your domain, 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 keeps everyone organized. While stakeholders focus on their own tasks, it is your job to ensure that the campaign comes 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.

Marketing work management systems like provide an effective solution for marketing management. It allows you to keep tabs on what everybody is doing and when without micromanaging your team.

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With a board for each campaign or marketing project, you set, share, and monitor all the action items, budgets, and outcomes in one place. What’s more, 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

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You’ve got this

Managing marketing projects is a challenge, from setting achievable goals and writing briefs to delegating, 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. Now you have all the guidance you need to make that shift with the skills you already have.

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