“Developing highly effective marketing campaigns. Brilliantly targeting ideal customers. Making it all happen on time and under budget. That’s just a day in the career of a standout marketing director.”
– Robert Half
Unless you have experienced it first hand, it may be difficult for you to fully understand what goes on behind the scenes of executing a successful marketing strategy. Every day marketing managers are expected to find creative ways to achieve goals, often while working with tight restrictions.
Below is a glimpse at the day to day marketing challenges facing your team:
1) Prioritizing tasks to execute strategy
The sheer number of tasks facing marketers can be the most overwhelming challenge there is. Prioritizing these tasks requires more than simply putting them in order according to potential impact. You must consider your company objectives and potential obstacles that may derail strategy execution. For instance, marketing managers often face pressure to meet the needs of certain individuals rather the prioritizing for the health of the organization.
2) Balancing long-term goals with day to day tasks
One of the most difficult marketing challenges to master is the ability to seamlessly balance long-term goals with day-to-day tasks. The pressure to meet regular deadlines and respond to unexpected needs always seems to relegate the long-term goals such as SEO efforts, website health checks, and quality content to the back burner. Striking a balanced approach while being responsive to stakeholders is a skill that is not always easy to develop.
3) Executing strategy with limited resources
Marketing professionals are often expected to produce earth-shattering results with a tiny budget or a short timeline. This is often due to the knowledge gap from the top down. Many business owners are reluctant to devote significant staff or financial resources to marketing initiatives, which can limit the impact of marketing campaigns. The following findings from Wasp Barcode Technology’s 2017 State of Small Business Report highlight the limited resources allocated to marketing activities:
- Over 40% of respondents indicated spending no more than 3% of their annual revenue on marketing activities
- Roughly one-half of respondents indicated that hiring employees would be their biggest challenge in the coming year
- Only 9% of companies dedicate more than 10% of their revenue to marketing
4) Making the most of a one-person show
As outlined by the survey findings above, some businesses devote such a limited amount of revenue to marketing activities that there may only be one person responsible for handling all marketing responsibilities. In these cases, marketing managers have no choice but to make the most of a one-person show while lobbying for additional resources. Marketing aficionado Chris Skaggs summarizes this challenge in his article, “Key Takeaways From My Years as a One-Person Marketing Department”:
“At first glance, this task was daunting. We don’t have a marketing or communications team. We don’t have a social media team, graphic designers, or video production resources. How in the world was I going to kick off a marketing campaign that included social media, marketing collateral, website redesign and public relations?”
– Chris Skaggs, Storyteller and Brand Builder
5) Explaining the value of marketing initiatives to stakeholders
Convincing CFOs, Sales VPs, and owners to invest in marketing initiatives shouldn’t have to feel like an art form. Neither should explaining the value of certain tactics and the pace at which results should be measured. Sometimes it can seem as if you are fighting an uphill battle just to launch an initiative designed to benefit the exact people who are questioning your marketing plan.
Marketing managers must be able to effectively explain to each stakeholder “what’s in it for them,” in an effort to earn their support. They also must clearly identify what metrics matter and why measuring them is important.
How can executives and company leaders set their teams up for success?
Facing the marketing challenges above is easier for those who proactively take measures to help their teams prosper. Through regular communication, proper sales-marketing alignment, and the strategic use of outside help, marketing managers can thrive. Below are the top ways that business leaders can prime their teams for success.
1) Attend regular meetings and check-ins
Regular communication between the decision makers and employees is the cornerstone of a productive marketing team. Regularly scheduled meetings allow for opportunities to report on progress, recommend new tools and software, or reevaluate strategic efforts. Keeping an open door policy and regularly checking in with your marketing team can help foster success by creating a sense of trust and offering an ongoing and open line of communication.
2) Ensure marketing and sales departments are properly aligned
Ensuring that sales and marketing goals are properly aligned is a proven strategy that costs nothing to implement. Marketing managers can make this happen by working with sales directors to carefully qualify leads, nurture them, and close the loop by developing techniques to bolster account retention.
3) Clarify short-term and long-term goals
Goal-setting plays a key role in high-functioning marketing teams. An example of a long-term goal is to rank on the first page of Google while a short-term goal might be to increase your number of followers on LinkedIn by 10% over the next week. Marketing managers need to balance their pursuit of long-term goals with attention to short-term goals that will produce results in a matter of hours or a few days.
4) Know when it is time to add to your marketing team
Knowing when to add to your marketing team is the first step. Knowing what exactly that looks like can be the tricky part. It is important to determine whether the needs of your marketing department are project specific, or more long term. Similarly, what level of expertise is needed to properly meet the team’s needs? The answer to these questions will likely lead you to one of two options: either a new hire or agency assistance. Knowing the budgetary restraints, in what area assistance is needed, and direct insights from the existing marketing team should allow for a sound decision on the hiring front.
What is the best way for marketing managers to prime their teams for stardom?
Clearly, there are many ways that marketing managers can foster success among their team members. However, the single best way to prime their team for stardom is to seek the guidance of an industry expert. The professionals with Redshift know that the foundation of a successful marketing strategy is the proper mix of art and science. We encourage you to contact us to find out how we can help you work within your budget to achieve your marketing goals. Our marketing specialists have the expertise to deliver the impressive results that your company deserves.