In marketing project management, especially for Agile teams, projects often seem to be in a state of constant flux. Teams react to new information and metrics change daily, which means that to ensure a project actually stays aligned with its goals, milestones become vital focus points. Like waypoints along a journey, each project milestone offers a mark at which progress can be measured and reflected upon, and the path to the next milestone can be mapped out.
Setting a Project Milestone
While a project milestone can be something notable to be celebrated, it’s also important that it fits its purpose. If milestones are set as near-impossible aspirations, the project risks collapse before it ever really gets going, or ends up putting huge stress on the team to push and achieve something that is only supposed to be a relatively simple mark of progress.
For this reason, when setting a project milestone in marketing project management, it’s better to use points that should (and can) definitely be achieved. Milestones should also come at a relatively regular pacing, e.g., every two weeks or month, which sets the cadence for your task blocks or sprints.
If possible, the milestone should also denote the finishing or half-way point of a particular task strand. These provide good reflection points to gather information on progress and performance, so as to improve on processes for future iterations.
Common Milestones in Marketing Project Management
Every field of business will have its own unique milestones related to its projects, while there are also some project milestones which are common across industries, such as those related to revenue or various project completion points (e.g., when X happens, we will be 25% of the way through the project).
Considering the focus of marketing, it is understandable that most marketing project milestones revolve around the metrics that measure the impact of the marketing team’s efforts. Here are some of the most common and when to use them.
Click Through Rate (CTR): If a client is not happy with how effective their advertising is, a project to improve their CTR may be initiated, with gradual improvement points set as the milestones.
Unique Visitors: A basic milestone to signify marketing improvements is measuring how many unique visitors come to a page or engage with an application.
Increase in Marketing or Sales Qualified Leads: Depending on what areas of your sales funnel are deemed to be weakest, it is common to create a marketing project aimed at boosting a particular facet of it, with milestones delineating the steps to achieve a target number.
Page 1 Results: In search engine optimization (SEO), the end-goal is pretty much always getting pages to Page 1 of popular search engine result pages (SERPs). As a milestone, this would be set as the total number a website has or, for a continuous SEO push, a quarterly number rating.
Conversion Rate: Visitor numbers are a basic metric of engagement, but real marketing success is measured at the bottom line. Improving conversion rates can take a long time and involve a variety of different processes, so to tie them all together, a conversion rate milestone can keep a team aligned and focused on what their goal is.
Keeping track of milestones reached and the progress towards those that haven’t been achieved can become a complicated process which defeats the purpose of having them in the first place. Project milestones should be easily recognizable beacons for your team to work towards.
To find out how Planview AdaptiveWork can help your marketing team reach its goals, talk to our team today for a live demonstration.