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How Marketing and Project Management are Similar

Katelyn Ahern Digital Project Manager
#Industry Insights
Published on December 5, 2018

WSOL's Katelyn Ahern shares 3 similarities she's discovered between marketing and project management.


I recently transitioned from a marketing strategist role to a digital project manager at WSOL for two reasons: I wanted to expand my knowledge of our company and also knew it would bring on a new challenge in my career. I have found my marketing knowledge to be helpful in transition to my new position. My marketing foundation has also been very beneficial in collaborating with the production team and working to create digital solutions for our clients together. There are many similar methodologies between marketing and project management and I wanted to share them with you. Let’s begin!

Starting with the end goal

When strategizing and developing a new marketing campaign, it is vital to ensure that we start with the end goal. I’ve talked about this, in the past, when to building email workflows, but this also applies when building a marketing campaign and project timelines.

At WSOL, we build digital solutions. In my new role as project manager, my job is to figure out how I accomplish new client needs. I start with bringing all team members, from any department where those services are needed, together so we can review both the clients and WSOL’s end goals. During this process, I lead the team to problem solve any pain points that are identified, while keeping the goal in mind.

User Personas

Another foundational piece of any marketing campaign is understanding ideal audience and exploring their needs, habits and goals. In marketing, these are called buyer personas.

Much like when I was trying to attract qualified leads as a marketer, it’s important in my project management role to ensure I’m creating a relationship and personalizing my message for team members and clients. I work with several department experts on digital projects and making sure I am fully understanding their point-of-view, questions, and concerns is absolutely vital to the team’s overall success. This method allows me to account for all the different layers of analysis. The manner in which I create messaging with the development team, understanding the technology needs cannot be the same as when I send one to a director or C-level leader.

Measuring Results

Measuring results doesn’t change from the marketing world to the project management world. I need to track the client project success and internal project completion success as well. Previously, in marketing, I used HubSpot. Now, this means using tools such as; Accelo, Basecamp and Jira (to name a few). Although it’s different types tracking, both are important to include in projects.

Whether it’s a marketing campaign, social media promotion, or a new website homepage, it’s crucial to set up tracking mechanisms like Google Analytics. It’s also important to keep a pulse on user feedback for the new features on the website. At WSOL, our team can do this a multiple ways, as found in this post by our very own Britney Na.

Have you transitioned to a new internal role? What have you learned? I’d love to hear about your experience below.