Projects are often defined by a finite amount of work that needs to be done before it’s complete. A school project has some guidelines and a due date. A house remodel starts with an idea and a definitive goal for completion. Construction has plans and an end (though it may not seem like it!).
In contrast, a process is something you do. Repeatedly. Over and over again. Many projects have processes, and many processes require short-term projects. It’s a matter of following the steps to keep moving in the desired direction, getting results along the way, but never really being finished.
Marketing is a process with many projects. A business looking to grow never says, “I’ve completed marketing. It’s done.” And web marketing is no different. For the business that wants to grow, web marketing should never end.
However, within the process of web marketing, there may be several small projects that keep the process moving forward. Projects such as building wireframes, creating the navigation architecture, keyword research, optimizing pages, writing blog posts, etc., are all integral to the success of a web marketing campaign.
But while each of those projects has a definitive end, the process of web marketing goes on. Goals are set and, once achieved, new goals replace the old goals. I worked with a business once whose goal was to do $100,000 in business in a year. We helped them hit that goal and many subsequent goals. Now their goal is $10M in yearly business.
You can’t look at web marketing as a project to be completed. If you want success, you have to engage web marketing as a process. Set goals, sure, for that’s the only way to tell if your web marketing is working. But, whatever goals you set, you can’t stop there. Keep setting new goals each time the old ones are achieved.
Growth can be indefinite. It only ends when you treat web marketing as a project with an expiration date; in which case I guess you can sit back and say, “I’ve completed marketing. It’s done.” Because it is. And so is your business.