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Why Creative Project Managers are Essential for Success

Dec 27, 2020
(updated: Feb 14, 2023)
Max 5 min read

What fuels successful marketing campaigns or strategies? The answer: creativity

Creativity is needed to stand out from the pack. Teams are constantly brainstorming ideas and trying to come up with new, exciting ways to say the same ol’ thing.

But who turns those brainstorms and ideas into a tangible plan of action? This is where a creative project manager comes in.

Below we cover everything you need to know about this role and why it's crucial, especially in the marketing industry.

What is a creative project manager?

A creative project manager is in charge of taking a team’s brainstorms, ideas, and lightbulb moments and turning them into an actual plan.

Organizing and planning - Manage the budget, timeline, and everything that needs to be done.

Communicating with clients - Effectively communicate with clients and ensure all expectations are met.

Keeping all teams on track - Remain organized and keep teams on track and on schedule.

What do they do?

A creative project manager is a necessity for any marketing campaign. Creative people like to think abstractly and tend to see the "big picture" of things. They aren’t known for their logistics or attention to detail.

Keep everyone organized

A large marketing campaign entails several moving pieces. A creative project manager ensures teams stay on track, communicates with clients about issues or questions that arise, and gets ahead of problems before they can affect a deadline.

It never looks good to ask a client for a deadline extension, which is why it’s crucial for marketing teams to stay on top of everything. This is hard to do with so many other responsibilities, which is why it's paramount to have a dedicated person in this role.

Set expectations

If expectations aren’t set with a client, it’s easy for a project to balloon out of control. This is sometimes referred to as “scope creep”. A creative project manager will stop this from happening by setting expectations with clients right away.

Before a marketing team even gets to work, a creative project manager will ensure that everything is clearly outlined in the contract. It’s imperative for every team to know exactly what is (and isn’t) part of their contract, so they don't overservice a client or spend unnecessary hours on something that falls outside their contract.

If a team does need to take on additional responsibilities outside of the agreed upon scope of work, the creative project manager will negotiate new terms and any additional costs with their client.

Handle Communication 

A large marketing campaign often means several different creative minds at work. With so many people involved, it becomes even more important to keep everything organized. The creative project manager will streamline communication by keeping tabs on everyone and making sure the right information gets to the right people.

A project could easily be derailed by a miscommunication. If one team is missing important information or they aren’t up to date on what another team is working on, it could have severe consequences. The creative project manager will prevent this from happening by constantly communicating with all teams.

Manage all moving pieces

A creative project manager helps make sense of the many moving pieces. Without this essential role, members on other teams might miss important information or be disorganized which could jeopardize the success of the project.

The creative project manager oversees every detail, so each individual team can focus on what they do best without having to worry about any logistics.

Ensure Deliverables are Handed Off

Ultimately, creative project managers turn ideas into realized projects. This requires constant multitasking, organization, and effective communication. It’s up to the creative project manager to ensure nothing falls through the cracks and that all pieces remain organized right until the final deliverable is handed off. 

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