You’ve taken the time to audit your digital marketing and create a sequenced list of marketing priorities. Everything is neatly organized in your kanban board, but the list isn’t going to achieve your goals for you ⁠— it’s time to act.

Today, we’ll cover the next step in the process: preparing for a successful launch.

Slice your top projects into bite-sized chunks

A digital marketing project, such as overhauling your website, can seem like a massive endeavor with no clear starting point. In fact, you may have more questions than answers:

  • Should your graphic design team begin working on original concepts?
  • Does it make more sense to buy a prebuilt template?
  • What’s the best content management system on the market these days?
  • Do we have the necessary in-house skills to get everything done?

With so many variables to consider, it’s easy to get stuck in the weeds.

The good news is that most projects can be broken down into smaller chunks ⁠— even when certain aspects of a project remain uncertain. Try not to get too hung up on the “who” or “when” of the project (we’ll cover that later). Rather, stay focused on the “what”; that is, what actually must get done in order to move the project forward. In the case of revamping a website, your list of priorities might look something like this:

  • Decide on the design plan (template vs. original design)
  • Agree on a revised menu navigation and site architecture
  • Set up the development site
  • Kick off web development
  • Identify and optimize the graphics
  • Develop a plan for transitioning content to the new site
  • Identify content to delete and redirect (or optimize)
  • Thoroughly test the development site
  • Transfer tracking codes
  • Take the site live
  • Test

View this list as a work in progress. You’ll probably think of many other to-dos before the project draws to a conclusion. That’s totally normal. Just be sure to add each item to your project management system in order to create visibility and prevent things from slipping through the cracks.

Tip for Insightly users: Use tasks or milestones to break big projects into manageable steps.

Align your needs with the right skills

Having outlined a basic game plan for each sequenced project, it’s time to align your needs with the right mix of talent. If you’re totally new to digital marketing, you may need to seek outside assistance from an agency or team of freelancers. Or, perhaps it’s time to hire a full-time digital marketing manager who can oversee day-to-day operations, perform adequate due diligence on your marketing tech stack, and build a team of in-house experts.

Keep in mind that the field of digital marketing is an increasingly specialized industry. Improving your site’s conversion rate by merely 1%, for example, could deliver substantially more pipeline for your business. So, in today’s world of rapidly evolving buyer journeys, your company can no longer afford to rely on a “jack of all trades” who does all of the work. Effective digital marketing teams possess great depth and breadth in terms of their skills and knowledge. They’re also motivated by data-driven metrics.

Tip for Insightly users: Check to see which team members already have access to your Insightly instance. Inviting team members and outside collaborators is straightforward, as outlined here.

Agree to reasonable timelines

Even the most detailed plan of action can fail without proper accountability. To ensure the success of your digital marketing projects, it’s therefore wise to assign each task to one person. Projects should also have one owner who is responsible for managing the overall success of the initiative. (Assigning multiple owners creates confusion and might diminish accountability.)

Simply assigning a task or project to someone offers no guarantee that the work will actually get done. That’s why clearly defined due dates are so vital for keeping everything on track.

A word to the wise: Don’t assign due dates based on what you’d like to see happen. Rather, engage your team in a healthy discussion about the work that needs to be done, keeping in mind their current capacity. Use the discussion to elevate alignment around a shared set of goals and objectives.

Tip for Insightly users: Link your tasks to the correct parent project record in Insightly. Doing so will make project management much easier, streamline your stand-up meetings, and deliver total transparency into what must get done.

Identify and collect cost data

As you develop a shared understanding of what must get done (and by when), you’re bound to discover a spectrum of project-related expenses ranging from software to professional services. Ask your team to add notes, files, and/or tasks to your master project file as soon as such needs are identified. Time tracking apps can also be an effective source of cost data, especially for larger projects that require significant investment of human capital.

Tip for Insightly users: Encourage your team to use the project-specific mailbox address to collect all correspondence related to each project — particularly emails containing service quotes, invoices, and purchase receipts.

Let’s take action on your digital marketing plan

Having invested adequate time to plan for a successful launch, you’re now ready to mobilize the troops and begin the implementation process.

Stay tuned for my next post that explores how to implement your plan, empower your team, hold people accountable, and leverage data to measure progress.

In the meantime, check out Insightly customer stories to learn how real businesses manage projects and processes to reach their goals.