Every day, marketers are tasked with more and more responsibilities. We need to think big picture, but at the same time support sales staff spread across the country. Our productivity can take a hit when we stop focusing on innovative projects in order to cross items off our to-do list.
When we get mired in this marketing minutia – the every day tasks that keep us from planning, innovative and creating powerful new campaigns – it’s time to look for ways to streamline activities and improve productivity.
Here are just a few warning signs you or your team is getting bogged down in menial, everyday marketing tasks:
- You need to do more with the same team.
- Your team isn’t coming up with big ideas and can’t focus on strategy.
- You have high turnover on the marketing team.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to right the ship, and keep focus where it needs to be. Take a close look at how your team spends their time, and look to eliminate inefficiencies. Start with these five tips:1. Assess the tasks currently being performed by your team.
How is your marketing team currently spending their time? Are they spending too much time on tasks that could be automated or streamlined? Here are a few common marketing areas that can be simplified to make your day a little easier:
- Managing revisions and approvals
- Preparing for audits
- Tracking down logos
- Tracking down existing marketing assets
- Managing mailing lists
- Ensuring list compliance
- Managing co-op or MDF budgets
2. Redistribute tasks internally.
Sometimes, it’s best to shift around responsibilities to spread work out and ensure experience matches tasks. Here are a few questions to consider to help work flow smoothly:
- Can sales teams customize marketing materials with local messages?
- Can marketing and sales work together to build and share prospect lists?
- Are there any internal promotional tasks that can be shared with HR?
- Are senior staff members responsible for tasks better suited for junior members of the staff?
3. Identify opportunities for automation.
Once you identified what tasks your team is spending too much time on, research possible technology solutions. A marketing resource management system can help streamline marketing processes, so you can spend less time on the marketing minutia and more time thinking big picture. MRM can help marketing teams:
- Spend less time on approvals: Electronic workflows route materials to the next person in the approval process. All reviews, edits and changes are captured within the system, making it easy for marketing teams to manage versions and approvals.
- Quickly find most recent assets: MRM systems store the most recent files of brochures, posters and more. Search, find and update materials with new logos, phone numbers or other changes, within minutes.
- Manage local marketing budgets: A popular component of MRM systems is the local marketing budget system, which enables marketing teams to assign, review and approve co-op, marketing development funds (MDF) or other marketing spends by local sales teams.
4. Partner with third parties.
Sometimes the best resources are located outside the company. Outside organizations can bring their experience and expertise to efficiently execute tasks that take your team longer than necessary. Agencies, partners and vendors can also help supplement staff if it’s not feasible to add staff members.
5. Choose carefully
Outside organizations and technology can be a wonderful complement to your team. However, it’s critical to closely evaluate your needs against the experience, processes and culture of possible vendors. Be sure your needs align closely with the services a vendor provide.
Consider customer service and internal culture, as well. It may not seem important to think about the culture of the company you partner with, but it can tell a lot about the organization in the long run. Will they stand by your side and help you solve problems or stand on the sidelines and shrug their shoulders?
What are some of the other challenges you face when encouraging teams to focus on big picture, or finding time in the day that you can devote to innovative brainstorming? Share them with us on Twitter at @vya_systems.
Did you enjoy this article? Read more on how you can easily implement local marketing campaigns, so you can focus on innovative, strategic initiatives.