marketing process checklist

Your Checklist to Implementing a more Efficient Marketing Process

Efficiency is one of the marketing team’s ultimate goals.

According to Robert Half, approximately, 49% of leaders are running leaner teams. Secondly, 48% are adopting a more efficient marketing process. Marketers both internal to business and agencies are thinking about responsive customer experiences, data-driven strategies, and different messaging to reach your consumer. And today you have to do this all more efficiently.

Improving your efficiency enables you to get products and services to markets quicker; reduce duplication and rework, and save your business money.

But becoming more efficient is easier said than done. All too often, marketers are bogged down in administration and reactive work.

Three Reasons for a Lack of Efficiency

  • A misunderstanding between any activity the business thinks the marketer does, and the work that would really drive results that match the business objectives.

This can lead to a situation where marketers take on roles that don’t really fit with their skills and ambitions, often because there is no other home for them in the business. And it means that you spend too much time responding to short-term demands rather than focusing on true marketing campaigns and deliverables.

  • A lack of planning, or plans that focus on the wrong areas. Failing to create a marketing plan of activity contributes to this reactive approach.

Again, the marketer isn’t always at fault here; a lack of structure can be down to a business that has no clear direction, or a ‘whoever shouts loudest’ approach to securing marketing’s time and budget.

  • Ineffective systems and work practices. How are marketing projects managed? Is there a clear and consistent process for producing collateral? How are agencies briefed if you work with an agency or firm? How are new marketing materials reviewed and signed off? In many cases, the ways these processes are managed do not encourage efficiency.

 Six Actions to Implementing a more Efficient Marketing Process

1. Create a Marketing Plan

Failing to plan leaves marketers subject to the uncertainty of the business when it comes to objectives and activity. Work with your business in advance of your year – whether this is a calendar or financial – to identify business goals and priorities.

The organization’s aims should map across to your marketing campaigns. How will your activity support the business strategy? What have you learned from previous campaigns; what will you do more of, and what will you drop? What marketing trends are happening currently; what will you do to adapt and evolve with current and future economic conditions? Mine the results of your previous activity and current trends so you can continually refine your approach.

A key element of planning is deciding how you will measure your success. Make sure any objectives you set are realistic and within your control. It’s too easy to set goals that are unachievable or cannot be easily measured.

Of course, business priorities will change, and new, unpredicted activity will be added to the plan. But setting a clear strategy, with documented and achievable objectives, will prevent too much time from being diverted to ad hoc, unexpected projects, helping to maximize your efficiency.

2. Continual Review of  Your Processes

How do you execute your marketing plan and activity? Whether it’s briefing projects to the team or your external agencies, managing the creative review process, or ensuring your approvals and sign-off are as efficient as possible – project management is key.

Look at the way your marketing plan and activities are managed. Are there specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound actions? Is everyone sure of their role in this plan and process? Is it easy to see when the next steps are due, and who is responsible for them? A clear process is important if you want to run an efficient marketing operation.

3. Communication Among the Team

Inefficiency is far more likely if people don’t know what their colleagues are up to. A lack of cohesive activity can lead to unnecessary duplication of effort, rework, and wasted time.

Schedule regular briefs to stay up to date on the progress of the whole team. These don’t need to be daily, and they don’t always need to be in person. Today’s work-from-home environment and technology enable teams to hear and see each other, wherever they are. Find out what works best for your team. Keep it brief, keep it focused and make sure everyone stays up to speed.

4. Cut out the admin

Getting bogged down in admin can be a real problem for marketers. If you calculate how much time you waste on admin, you may be shocked.

Tackle this by looking at where processes are inefficient – for instance, do you have numerous people making the same edits to documents? Or are you the jack of all trades and in need of support to cut out some tasks? Is there potential for duplication? Are there more efficient ways to, for example, share content on social media, without needing to post on multiple platforms? If there is, take a look into Hootsuite or Sprout Social. These social media management platforms can help reduce the time you spend scheduling all your social media accounts. As a result, improved efficiency.

Do you spend too much time correcting materials produced outside the marketing team? Make your marketing assets easy to find and you spend less time reproducing existing materials – or correcting others’ efforts when they try to do the same!

Unnecessary admin and manual processes distract from the work a marketer should be doing. Address all these areas and you will free up your time to focus on planning and executing activity that really adds value to your business.

5. Focus on what works

Refining your activity means using the data at the ready. It means creating more content that is driving results in terms of successful initiatives and letting go of creating content activity that doesn’t deliver results or ROI.

Streamline your marketing approach in this way, and you will spend more time doing the things that deliver the most return. Creating marketing personas can help you to identify your audience and their preferences, which in turn will enable you to focus on creating engaging content that stands out.

Cut out the unnecessary and you immediately improve your marketing ROI, spending your time more effectively on activity that generates tangible results.

6. Collaborate successfully

Collaboration is a key element of the marketing process – whether it’s between team members and departments, with people outside the business, or with external agencies.

This need for collaboration often peaks when marketing materials are being reviewed and approved. Inefficiencies here can lead to the marketers coming under fire for delaying project sign-off. Take a look at the way your team works together and with others to see if you could improve the way this is managed.

Many marketers are saving time and money by introducing automation to their processes. The right collaboration tool can help team members to share ideas, edit documents and streamline reviews and approvals. Automated solutions improve collaboration via well-defined workflows, with actions and responsibilities clearly outlined.

Improving efficiency in marketing can seem daunting – and it can be. But there are some easy steps you can take to achieve quick results. We hope we’ve given you some actions to think about here. If you need more help on how to create efficiencies in your marketing process contact us.

Hey there I'm kayla dammann of KMD Marketing.

Thanks for stopping by the blog—I love educating small business owners + nonprofits about event marketing, SEO, website design, and social media strategy.

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