Comercial y marketing

Project management in the commercial and marketing area

Historically, marketing has been one of the main strategic pillars for a company, driving a large percentage of its sales and working to give visibility to a product or brand. Covid-19 came along to change everything; including consumers, their tastes, their needs, the way they buy, and above all their expectations and priorities regarding a brand, product or service. Has the pandemic also accelerated the transformation of marketing?  The answer is yes.

Traditional marketing is no longer enough, how should companies manage it? 

In recent years, traditional marketing strategies based on a "one to few" approach, i.e. campaigns without personalisation, without prior analysis of customer behavioural data and without control of commercial pressure, have been left behind, resulting in the unrestrained sending of advertising through all means of contact to a customer, causing saturation instead of interest and loyalty on the part of the customer.

Strategies aimed at understanding the customer and predicting customer behaviour

In contrast, the current marketing strategy seeks to be "One to One", focusing on knowing the customer 360º until it can predict their behaviour (artificial intelligence). Companies seek to collect as much information and data from all possible sources about a prospect (people who are interested in acquiring a good or service from our company) in order to transform them into customers, and subsequently build customer loyalty so that they continue to choose a brand over the infinite options offered by the market.

Consumer's digitisation pushes companies to go digital too!

On the other hand, all those consumers who were still reluctant to use technology, the pandemic "forced" them to adapt to the digital era, to the use of APPs, virtual wallets (wallets for payments), and above all to trust and use e-commerce more regularly. According to a report published by the Cetelem observatory, e-commerce in 2020 surpassed physical commerce for the first time in Spain, accounting for 65% of purchase intentions compared to 50% in 2019, and continues to rise today.

The reality is that companies are moving slowly when it comes to adapting their project management from a traditional methodology to an agile one that provides an adequate response time

Having an informed and more digital consumer, the need for real-time information on what a customer does and wants, frequent regulations on data protection and the use of cookies. As well as the market's demand for more frequent availability of innovative products or services, the increase in digital operations and above all the speed and convenience that a user seeks when making a purchase (supermarket, clothing, leisure, travel, health), means that projects related to Marketing require much more agile and flexible management as well as significant investment in technology.

Adapt your project management

Despite the obvious need, the reality is that companies are moving slowly when it comes to adapting their project management from a traditional methodology to an agile one that provides an adequate response time to the market.

When we talk about project management, the theory is usually clear, we know the process, but the reality of day-to-day business and market demands in this commercial and marketing area is different: there is a high pressure to launch products or services in a short period of time, which often means having to skip the planning or steps to follow in a project, so that, usually, deadlines and costs are missed, even if the project objective has been achieved.

➜ Project management with a traditional methodology

On the one hand, project management with a traditional methodology is always executed sequentially, according to the groups of processes established by the PMBOK Guide: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring and Control and Closure or other equivalent methodologies.  This methodology is characterised by giving greater importance to the planning process, where the scope of the project and the specific requirements and results expected to be achieved are defined. Likewise, this type of methodology promotes the use of linear processes, emphasises the need for documentation and, once the scope of the project has been approved, does not allow changes to be made on the fly in an agile manner when one of the defined requirements has changed.

➜ Project management under an agile methodology

On the other hand, there is project management under an agile methodology. This approach has been used mainly in software development, in projects where changes are relatively easy and waste is not costly; projects where the final result is not completely known and user feedback is very valuable. In recent years this methodology has been adopted by different industries, some of its characteristics are:

  • Promoting teamwork, focuses on interactions and individuals rather than processes.
  • The scope of the project is dynamic. Requirements can change. The work required, resources and effort adapt.  There is more flexibility.
  • Product functionality is more important than process documentation.
  • Work is planned in each sprint (not planned in bulk at the beginning of the project).
  • The customer is actively involved throughout the project (not limited to the planning process).
  • Evolutionary deliverables are delivered at each sprint.
  • When a problem occurs, the whole team solves it (responsibility is not centred on the Project Manager).
  • Response to change is rapid. Implementation of changes does not impact the end result or the project schedule.

➜ Iterative methodology in project management

There are other methodologies such as iterative, used in projects with dynamic requirements and activities that are repeated until they are considered correct, i.e. learning and corrections are expected before reaching the ideal solution. The incremental used in projects with dynamic requirements, as well as frequent small deliveries, projects where customers want or expect to see deliveries from the beginning. Finally, the hybrid methodology for projects with a combination of resources and experience levels from both methods (agile and traditional), or that have the willingness to learn new methods or techniques.

Which methodology is best for your project?

But, what is the best methodology for managing our projects? Undoubtedly this will depend on many factors, including the nature of the project, the size, the technology available and the environment in which it is being developed. For this reason, due to the constantly changing marketing industry, market and consumer needs, focusing on an agile project management methodology, we believe, will be a much better option for companies to start a project and maximise its success.