HOW TO HIRE A MARKETING PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT
Marketing leaders are busier than ever. Countless questions to answer, meetings to lead, budgets to get approved, employees to manage, and the list goes on. It can seem like the only way they can schedule any real thinking time or strategy development is to hold out hope for more hours in the day or clone themselves so they can be two places at once.
If the above describes you or the marketing leaders on your team, it’s likely time to hire a project management consultant to help:
- Move your most pressing business objectives forward
- Give your brightest marketing minds more time to strategize and ideate
- Push creative boundaries, while keeping all projects on track
While marketing project management consultants can be brought aboard to help with a variety of responsibilities, a primary objective will be to deliver projects on time, within budget, and on brand.
CONSIDER HOW A PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT CAN BEST HELP YOUR BUSINESS
The first thing to do before you begin your search is to carefully consider how a project management consultant can best support your team and move your marketing initiatives forward.
Do you need a project management consultant to oversee the launch of a new product from start to finish? Or just manage a series of product kick-off events?
In search of a project management consultant?
Here are examples of the things a successful marketing project management consultant might do:
- Establish, maintain, and assign roles and responsibilities
- Develop project communication plans
- Create and oversee budgets and KPIs
- Help direct key stakeholders
- Strategize and implement successful integration of all marketing components of a project
- Measure marketing project risk analysis and come up with strategies to reduce risk
- Respond to project hiccups and roadblocks and strategize solutions
- Advise and train marketing teams on project management best practices
Once you know what you will be asking of a project management consultant, think about the various project management methodologies utilized. Once you reach the interview stage you can talk more in-depth with each project management consultant candidate to better understand what approach they prefer and if that methodology would suit your organizational needs.
Below are some of the more popular project management approaches used by marketing experts:
Waterfall: This style of project management is often ideal for longer, linear projects that benefit from a step-by-step approach. Waterfall project management divides the project into specific phases. Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined from the beginning, and typically do not change. Here, team members rely on the completion of one task before they begin the next.
Agile: This style of project management embraces a more flexible approach. It is an iterative style where there might be several versions or releases – which allows for adjustments as needed along the way. This style is ideal for projects that require frequent modifications and updates based on key stakeholder, customer or client feedback. If you anticipate your project might require several changes through its life cycle, Agile might be a good approach.
Scrum: Originating from Agile, this style is great for highly collaborative small teams. Typically, when utilizing this style, a “Scrum Master” would lead daily team check-ins to discuss the status of a project, run through updates, and remove any obstacles that could interrupt productivity. Working in short cycles called “sprints,” this style relies heavily on teamwork, collaboration, and transparency.
Strategic: This style is all about the big picture. Strategic project management requires one to understand and manage the broader business facets of a project to ensure that they align and support the comprehensive organizational strategy. This approach requires a high level of strategic thinking as well as the ability to anticipate problems and solve issues resourcefully.
LOOK FOR A PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT WITH STANDOUT EXPERIENCE
When searching for a marketing project management consultant you will want to look for those who have a depth of experience and a proven track record of successfully planning, managing, and executing projects related to marketing campaigns.
This person should have experience conducting market and demand analysis, dealing with budgets and timelines, overseeing a content or promotional calendar, and managing a team of marketing and creative professionals.
In-demand project managers demonstrate stellar interpersonal communication skills, a high level of time-management know-how, strong leadership skills, and, of course, relevant subject matter expertise.
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS TO ASK A PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT CANDIDATE
When interviewing potential candidates, ask questions that allow them an opportunity to share the breadth of their capabilities. These questions should also help you get a better feel for how they might fit into your organization.
Below are some examples of the types of interview questions you might ask each project management consultant candidate:
- What project management methodology do you prefer? What is the advantage of that style and how might it benefit our marketing objectives?
- What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve found managing major marketing projects?
- How do you deal with handling multiple projects at the same time?
- How do you measure a project’s success and ROI?
- Talk about a marketing project you managed that did not go as planned. What were the biggest lessons learned?
- In your opinion, what makes a successful project kickoff meeting?
- How have you dealt with project curveballs in the past?
HOW SIMPLICITY CAN HELP YOU HIRE A PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT
If you’re ready to hire a project management consultant but don’t have the time to give the search all the attention you think it deserves, consider partnering with a specialized consulting agency like Simplicity.
We are matchmaking experts who specialize in connecting clients with experts in the Project and Program Management, Marketing, and Communication spaces. As a leader in the industry, we have access to a deep pool of project management consultants who know how to move your most pressing marketing projects forward.
Simplicity uses a high-touch approach to working with our clients in every step of their search – from strategizing project needs, creating a shortlist of candidates, arranging practice working sessions, through selecting the perfect consultant for your needs. And when you hire a consultant through Simplicity, you’ll work with one of our dedicated client success managers to ensure satisfaction from the consulting engagement kickoff through the delivery of the final products.