male going through project process
Creativity. Solutions. Results. These are some of the common goals of marketers when developing a new brand strategy, advertising campaign, or marketing plan. While there are some important things to keep in mind during the initial brainstorming stages of any major project, that’s a topic for a different blog. As an account manager, I am here to talk about what happens AFTER these initial strategy and creative brainstorming sessions, why it’s so important, and how to manage it successfully.
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girl with an idea
The “What” is important and so is the “How”…but at red thread, we make sure we always Start With Why…..and we highly recommend Simon Sinek’s book by that title!

So you have a great idea. Now what? 

You’ve done your homework. You know what goals you want to achieve and what problems you need to solve. You have the research to back it up. You’ve looked at all of the information individually and as a team. You’ve stayed awake nights thinking about it. Finally, after multiple brainstorming sessions, your team has come up with a BIG IDEA. (Hint: A BIG IDEA usually takes the form of “Ok, so here’s what we need to do.”) Congratulations – you have the “What” figured out! Now it’s time to think about the “How.” That’s where organization (and your friendly neighborhood account manager) comes in.

The “What” is important and so is the “How”…but at red thread, we make sure we always Start With Why…..and we highly recommend Simon Sinek’s book by that title!

Time to make a plan. 

Without a road map (or GPS), you probably aren’t arriving at that previously-unknown destination. And without a plan, you won’t achieve your brand-new-and-exciting marketing goals. Read that sentence again. Marketing is complex. There are so many people, ideas, and steps involved. Your BIG IDEA is not going to just magically come to fruition. You need a plan.

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If you’re like us, you have not one but THREE amazing account managers who can help you make this plan (cue superhero music)! If not, never fear! You just need one (preferably naturally organized) person on your team who can help outline who is responsible for what. Then it is each individual’s responsibility to manage their part of the process. And your elected organized person will guide the overall process by checking in with individuals along the way. Or you can always hire red thread brands to help you with this…I hear they’re amazing 😉
Figuring out How

Put your big ideas into action by figuring out the HOW.

How To Execute Your ‘How’: A Guide

If you’ve never really tried to officially organize the execution of a BIG IDEA before, it may seem a little daunting at first. Here are a few tips to consider to help you get you started.

Work backwards.

Start with the end. What is the final step, and WHEN does it need to happen? Put it on the calendar. Then consider the step right before that. When would it need to be done in order for the final step to happen on time? Mark that date down as well. Then move to the step before that, and the step before that, and the step before that. Before you know it, you’ll be at step one! (AND you’ll know when that first step needs to be started and completed.) Remember to leave a little wiggle room if possible, because life happens. Overall, you want to set deadlines that are both timely and realistic.
girl checking off assigned tasks

Know who is responsible for each and every step. 

Just like every step has a deadline, every single part of the process has to be owned by someone on the team. Without ownership, tasks will not be completed on time. Make sure everyone understands who is responsible for what. Then think of it like a relay race, and don’t drop the baton!


This is so important. As you complete each task on your list, TELL SOMEONE YOU DID IT. In other words, pass the baton. Basically, you should in some shape/form/fashion say to your teammate “I did X. Looking at the plan, I see that Y is next, and that you are taking charge of that, so I wanted to let you know that you can move forward when you are ready!” There are multiple ways to communicate this, and it all depends on your team dynamic and the generally accepted and agreed-upon forms of communication.

girl at computer desk, communicating with three other women over the internet
At red thread, we LOVE talking to each other on Slack, but when it comes to processes, we do all of our communication about completed steps in Asana, our project management software. Which brings me to my next tip. 
man managing project

If possible, use some kind of project management software. 

It really, truly helps. Trust me. Project management software saves time and energy, which ultimately means money. We love Asana (not just because it has cute features like magical creatures who fly across the screen when you check off a task), but there are other software systems available as well.

Shop around and find one you like, then do a little training with your team to learn how to put it to best use. I realize this takes a little time on the front end, but if you are executing multiple projects every year, this will save you so much frustration. Searching through emails trying to find that thread with the information you need is no fun for anyone.

Project management software helps to streamline your process by putting all of the information in one place where everyone on the team can find it at any point. Need to know the status of your project? Just read the last comment posted, or take a look at who checked off the last task. It’s as simple as that, and so worthwhile.

Client Project Management Software Training Graphic
At red thread brands, we train all of our clients on how to use Asana, so that they can see what we see as we manage their projects. We are able to tailor our processes to meet individual client needs, and Asana makes that easy to do. If you work with us, you won’t have to worry about us flooding your email inbox – we’ll put everything in one concise place that is easy for you to access, and we’ll show you step-by-step how to navigate each of your projects with ease. As an added bonus, this type of communication offers full transparency when it comes to seeing how your projects are being managed.

Schedule times to check in.

Even with all of the digital communication in the world, occasional face-to-face communication can prove invaluable in keeping everyone on the same page and moving your project forward. As part of your overall process, make sure to schedule regular check-in meetings, and get them on the calendar. If possible, have your elected organized person create an agenda for each one as it approaches, so you don’t waste anyone’s time.

calendar, clock, schedule
Online client meeting
At red thread, we always schedule regular touch-base meetings with our clients, and run them with an agenda on our end, while leaving plenty of time for any agenda our clients may come to the table with on their end. We are also happy to set up additional meetings and calls with clients as requested and needed – we love nothing more than spending valuable time with our clients!

Take detailed notes.

All along the way, important pieces of information will come to your collective attention. Make sure someone writes them down! As mentioned above, the red thread team loves Asana, and that’s where we put all of our important information, from research we want to share, to information received in a client meeting, to questions we encounter as we work.

take detailed notes
This information definitely comes in handy, if not immediately, then certainly down the road. It is also extremely helpful if we end up doing a similar project for another client, and informs us on how to continuously improve our processes as we move forward. Which brings me to my next point.

Be ready to be flexible.

Even though you made a detailed plan, it’s important to constantly evaluate before, during, and after the execution of that project. Be open to improving or even completely changing your process along the way. You don’t want to get stuck in a rut before you’ve even begun! Always ask yourself “Is there a better way to do this?” If the answer is yes, go back up a few tips…and communicate! Tell your project manager you may have landed on a better solution to the problem at hand. Project managers: Stay open to new ideas from your team! Since most projects are a group effort, you may not see an issue with an individual task when you are looking at the big picture. But the person assigned to complete that task will. If someone on your team comes to you with a problem, try to help them solve it. Likewise, if they come to you with a solution, consider incorporating it into the process. Remember that there’s always more than one way to achieve any goal. Be in the business of constantly seeking the smartest and most efficient way.


Hooray, you completed your project! Now it’s time to evaluate your results. Did you finish on time? What problems did you encounter along the way? What were the solutions? Are there solutions that might work better next time? What happened that you didn’t expect? What was your return on investment? What successes do you have to celebrate? What could be done better next time? All of these are important questions to consider as your team becomes a well-organized marketing machine.

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Final Thoughts

If you remember nothing else from reading this blog, remember this: Without a “How” you will not successfully achieve your “What.” You may firmly believe in WHY you are doing something, and know exactly WHAT you want to do, but without that final piece – HOW you are going to achieve it – you’ll probably end up right back where you started… with a lot of great ideas that never saw the light of day. So start investing in your organizational process now, and you’ll be on your way to actually reaching those BIG IDEA goals! And that’s igniting passion with action.

Ready to put your BIG IDEA into action?