Many businesses get caught up in the loop of only focusing on the work they do for their customers. Although I believe that giving 110% to your client should be standard practice, I also believe in setting mandatory time aside to review your own marketing strategies and goals.
Keep reading to learn more about some really valuable strategies you can use to help your marketing team, and business, operate more effectively.
Strategy #1 - The Monday Huddle
If you work with a small-medium sized marketing team, this method works wonders.
We're all familiar with "the Mondays", that infamous feeling of dread towards getting refocused for the long work week ahead. That's where the huddle method comes in handy. Setting aside just an hour every Monday to review current projects and progress is an extremely effective tool to use when you are planning out your week. Your team members will all have a short amount of time to bring everyone up to speed on their status. This is great for managers because it allows you to get a lead on any deficiencies or areas of concern in your workflow, from there you can make sure help is given where it's needed most.
Not only is this method good for the "planner" types, but also for the "leave everything until the last minute" types. Our team sometimes even huddles multiple times per week depending on the workload we have going on. The most difficult part of this method is turning this into a weekly habit, but once you do it works wonders at keeping everyone focused and efficient!
Tip: Limit the meetings to one hour, and choose a moderator to ensure that the huddle session doesn't become a runaway train!
Strategy #2 - Hiring a Part-time Consultant
This strategy works great for small-medium sized businesses that need a bigger team for growth, but maybe not enough resources to cover a full-time position. Or for larger organizations that need an outside perspective.
The majority of clients I work with fall into this category; they know they need more horsepower behind their marketing strategy, but struggle to justify assigning resources to this cause. Surprisingly, most companies end up settling for an ineffective marketing strategy and never entertain the thought of hiring a part-time consultant to assist them.
An effective part-time marketing consultant brings a lot to the table. They bring experience, outside perspective, and a boatload of resources to your organization without the yearly salary of a full-time employee. A good consultant is also laser-focused on your brand, goals, and strategy (usually discovered during a series of consultations and analyses). Like anything else in business, you have to be willing to invest time and hard work to make this strategy worthwhile for your organization.
Tip: Bringing on a marketing consultant can be intimidating, but extremely effective if done the right way.
Strategy #3 - Assign a Dedicated "Strategy Person"
This strategy works well for medium-large sized marketing teams with dedicated marketing resources.
For the marketing departments that have more resources, assigning a dedicated employee the responsibility of monitoring and refocusing the organization's marketing strategy pays off BIG. Typically this role is filled by a creative director or a senior-level marketing manager.
Whoever you decide should be in this role, it's important that they interact and get feedback from your team members on a scheduled, set basis. Think of it as being in charge of scheduling multiple "mini-huddles" throughout the workweek. Knowing the pulse of the marketing department is useful in detecting problems and deficiencies. Large marketing departments can devolve into chaos very easily, that's why assigning a dedicated strategy role keeps all the moving parts headed in the right direction.
Tip: It's important that the person assigned to this role understands the values and brand identity of the organization. This ensures that he/she can make educated strategy decisions for the entire team.
Discovering the Right Strategy
Figuring out which method best fits your company can be tough, typically there is some gray area between strategies #1 and #2, mainly because a lot of small-medium sized businesses struggle with investing resources into their own strategies. Large organizations struggle with strategy #3 because if their marketing department is at the point of chaos, it can be a daunting task to get re-organized and refocused on their goals.
Regardless of where you fall, it is my belief that maintaining focus on your marketing strategy is absolutely vital to creating a successful, long-term brand!
Daniel Marr is the Director of Business Development for NWPC Marketing Solutions, a team of marketing experts dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and BOOST your brand! Our awesome team strives to build a culture of trust and commitment and work side-by-side with businesses as advisors and consultants.