Tips for Managing Your Marketing Team
Let’s face it, managing your marketing team as a CEO or CMO can be a pain in the butt. Often times, you are very busy, making it hard to balance managing your team and focusing in on business priorities that require immediate attention. Keeping your marketing focused on what really matters, the RGAs (revenue generating activities) is the key to propelling your business forward and fully leveraging your company’s investment in marketing.
As an agency owner, who, like you, wears a lot of hats and is responsible for managing a marketing team of roughly 30 team members I understand how hard managing a large team can be. At Power Digital, we have developed some simple processes to keep our marketing team laser focused on making our clients money by tackling the most impactful activities day in and day out.
It is not easy, but by putting these five techniques to work you will see a lift in productivity from your marketing team as the will be more motivated and innovative than ever.
Create Micro Goals in the Form of a Marketing Checklist!
While checklist management is a simple concept, it works wonders when it comes to helping your team prioritize and track their marketing strategy. Work with your team to create a 6-month marketing game plan that is both measurable and deliverable based. From the gameplan, break down what needs to be done each month to realistically hit your goals. Then, take those monthly deliverables and break them down into week one, two, three, and four priorities.
Now that you have a good plan of attack it’s important to get this into your project management system, a Google Doc or whatever you currently use to keep track of workflows and day to day tasks. Actively measure if your team is staying on track from day to day and week to week. If your team gets off track, make them document the “fire” or off task activity that came up and took priority over your current marketing team goals. You will need to redirect the team or individual in order to keep them on track through weekly goal setting and scrums, which we will talk about next.
Hold Monday Morning Scrums and Friday Afternoon Goal Reviews Every Week
Every Monday get your marketing team together for a quick huddle. Pull up your tracking document or project management system and review the goals for the week as a whole. Have each team member develop 3 SMART GOALS (SMART = specific, measurable, attainable and time bound) for that week that will lead to accomplishing the overall goals you laid out for that week.
The key to setting SMART goals is to get granular with each goal and set them for specific days throughout the week so that they stay top of mind and aren’t in a rush to complete them all Friday afternoon. Both you and your team will be more successful as whole when it comes to staying on track as you accomplish mini goals throughout the week.
Every Friday towards the end of the day (at our company we do it at 4PM) huddle up your marketing team to check in on how successful the week was. Get a score from each team member on how they did against their goals and track the progress of the overall department goal for the week.
Review progress on the 6-month marketing plan and take stock of if you are on track, ahead of the curve, or behind when it comes to hitting your goals. If things aren’t where you’d like them to be adjust accordingly and either add more to the 6-month plan if you are ahead or increase weekly goals to get back on track if you are behind. Having visibility and a running benchmark of where you should be at a given week will help your team members stay accountable and focused on the right things.
Empower Your Marketing Team to Think Outside the Current “Marketing Plan”
The key with thinking outside the box is balance, you want your team to innovate and adapt as needed without getting straying from your core goals and plans. In order to manage this, you need to provide some structure and measures to keep the marketing team on track with their goals while motivating them to push the boundaries.
The initiatives you laid out in your 6-month plan need to be accomplished but if your team puts their head in the ground and doesn’t continue to innovate you will likely end up way behind and risk wasting a lot of time and money.
A few tips to helping your team stay innovative:
- Have team members create a parking lot of things that need to get worked into the plan or added to the next 6 months. Make sure you provide time in your Monday or Friday meeting to review these things and consider if they should be added to the plan.
- Ask team members in your Friday end-of-day scrum what the most innovative thing they did that week was, Praise and encourage those who pushed themselves.
- Be careful that your team is not going down rabbit holes trying to innovate and in return not getting their goals done in your weekly meetings. This is a fine line.
- Remind them of the WHY consistently. Your team needs to keep the big goal in mind and stay very aware of this and what is at stake so they can judge what might be worth a minimal shift in focus to improve the strategy and when they should keep their head down and efficiently complete the goal at hand.
To take that last innovation tip a bit further… We have all been a part of teams in which we are doing a lot of work but not really sure exactly why or what we are building. Bottom line is being in that position is not nearly as exciting and it is very de-motivating when someone is in a position where they don’t have a clear vision of their role or impact.
To combat this and keep your team inspired make sure you remind them constantly of the big vision (6-month marketing plan). Take it a step further and ask a team member each week to articulate the vision of your 6-month marketing plan to the rest of your team so they demonstrate their understanding. It’s important to actively measure their understanding and ensure that you are not just telling them what the vision should be. Getting your marketing team as a whole to buy into the big vision will motivate them and you will see it in their passion, innovation, work quality and often overall effort level and willingness to go above and beyond.
Set a Time Every Two Weeks (or more often) to Take an Analytics Deep Dive
At the end of the day, your marketing team is there to make your organization money and drive revenue in a profitable fashion. They should be heavily focused on ROI in this modern business market that is so hyper competitive and evolving. How can your marketing team be successful at making you the highest ROI if they don’t understand how your company makes money, your margins, and how they factor into driving the most profitable revenue for your organization?
The key to accomplishing this is pretty simple through these steps:
1. Clearly explain to your team how your company makes money and how marketing currently drives that before setting your current 6-month plan
2. Make sure your marketing team is extremely clear on what they need to do to move the needle. What “marketing goal” will drive the highest ROI.
Some examples of what these marketing goals often look like would be:
- Drive more inbound phone calls for the sales team
- Nurture your current clients to keep them coming back and ordering more
- Get some top tier media placements to build credibility for your sales team and help them increase their close ratios
- Provide strong collateral so clients can understand your unique value and your business has a clear value proposition
- Drive more eCommerce checkouts or goal submissions on the website
- Different companies and industries can have a variety of other goals in addition to these
3. Whatever your goal is make sure your team clearly understands it and sees how their efforts are impacting it
Once your team is clear on the company’s goals and function that the marketing team is playing in hitting these goals make sure you sit down as a team and dig through your analytics for at least an hour every other week (weekly is ideal and we look at analytics every day for certain channels). Doing this will help empower your team to drive the current strategy and think outside the box to come up with new strategies to fuel your company’s key marketing and business growth goals.
Be Consistent in Your Marketing Process
The final step to successfully managing and improving the performance of your marketing team is simple and universal across all managers…. BE CONSISTENT.
Make sure that as a department you set your processes as a team and follow them with consistency. Marketing is a channel that requires constant innovation but consistency is absolutely key or your team will jump from strategy to strategy and you will never be able to see the consistent and predictable growth that all organizations covet. As the leader of your department make sure that you are consistent or your team will fall into the trap of following your lead and always focusing on the next object.