August 7, 2018

4.4 : Digital project management tools and techniques

4.4 : Digital project management tools and techniques

Dr. Aleksej Heinze, Associate Professor at KEDGE Business School (France), Visiting Lecturer, Salford Business School, UK

In digital marketing, you have to realize that whenever you are project managing, there are numbers of sophisticated tools that you might be able to engage with. But there could be also very simple tools such as using a table in your word processor or a single piece of paper. It depends on the scale of the project and the complexity of the project that entails what tools and techniques you would use.

Tools that could help you manage your projects – Gantt Chart, Risk table and meetings log

It is highly recommended that at least you would have a tasks or a Gantt chart that is allocating the tasks and providing you with a timeline of the aspects that will be done. You would also have a risk table that is highlighting the things that could potentially go wrong and how you are managing or keeping track of those particular risks and a communication log, so for example you have your meeting notes or another way of potentially documenting some of the activities that you internally document with your customers or with your team to see how you might be able to benefit and manage your campaigns.

There are again some sophisticated tools such as Microsoft Project that allow you to cost projects by allocating resources and the times they will be doing. Or could be used for simple communication between multinational teams. But as long as you understand the principles, the tools are there to help you. Don’t be lead by the tool. Always make sure that your team is happy and they are able to understand what you are actually trying to do and that’s really the key issue with those.

Colin Telford, Managing Partner, The Candidate Ltd, UK

In terms of the digital planning tools that we use, we don’t use anything too complicated or anything too sophisticated really in terms of how we plan things. We do everything written down on Microsoft Word or Excel, be it plans and proposals through to Excel and using that for work-in-progress documents,or timelines, and things like that.

Use of tools nothing too complicated – spreadsheets, word processor driven documents and social media platforms

If we’re doing an SEO campaign obviously we use SEO tools to look at the different volumes that lie behind the keywords that exist. If we’re using Twitter then we may then do a search for different Twitter handles that are out there. We could segment those; we could use social media tools to look at the different levels of exposure that we have received, the reach from the other social media activity.

Facebook offers its own analytical area and Twitter as well and even LinkedIn from a company page point of view so it’s all of the different tools that come from software that we use. We don’t use anything much more specific or complicated than that, and that does us fine; we don’t need to do that at this moment in terms relating to the size of business that we actually are.


What tools do you find useful?

Organisations often impose the use of tools for every project. However, sometimes individuals have the choice to find the best tool for the job.

As you can see from the Additional Material report, the project management tools are simply a table that isn’t generated by a software package.

The team have analysed their skills using the Team Roles Test

Also, the team have used SEMRush to track and analyse competitor activity – see section 3.5.

They have also looked at the Google AdWords Keyword Planner [please note login is required but here is a quick Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool guide] ideas – see section 3.6 onwards.

If you have organised digital marketing campaigns yourself, please share one example of where software has helped you to automate or speed up your task. If you have not worked in this area, consider the information shared with you in the Campaign Report (Additional Material) and think whether any of these tools could help you.

Share your number one lesson in terms of “project management tools and techniques” below.

Before posting your comments below, see if the same point has been made by others and if so reply to their comment. Once you have posted your contribution, comment on at least three contributions of your peers.

Additional materials

Example of a report using data from tools

SEE JEMMS REPORT – JEMSS-campaign-example


Reactive digital project management…

Digital project management


For other sections of chapter 4 follow these links:

4. 0 How campaigns fit into a wider implementation of the overall organisation strategy
4.1 Example company campaign plan
4.2 Key elements of campaign management – Gantt chart
4.3 Risk management
4.5 Project plan monitoring and review
4.6 Marketing automation
4.7 PPC campaign planning