Want to get more out of your digital marketing efforts? It starts with making sure your team is equipped to be as efficient and productive as possible. Once you get these foundational pillars set, everything else becomes so much easier. Here are some helpful tips:
1. Define a Strategy
You build out strategies for things like lead generation, marketing, and hiring – so why not develop a strategy for productivity?
As Wrike’s Brianna Hansen asks, “What is your approval process? What happens when there is a roadblock… or multiple ones? Which deadlines are set in stone and which are flexible? How are you going to prioritize different projects and campaigns? These are questions you need to ask when defining a work strategy.”
Your strategy will almost certainly evolve over time, but starting with a documented vision will give you purpose.
2. Improve Internal Communication
Productive teams have minimal friction in their way. Confusion and resistance take a backseat to focus and efficiency. They accomplish this by having very specific internal communications strategies.
A good internal communication strategy is all about clarity. If you’re still using email within your team, you’re way behind the times. (Email is great for customer-facing communication, but a poor crutch for internal communication.) Switch to a more efficient option like SMS.
In addition to SMS, you might find a dedicated project management solution or chat app effective. The goal is to cut down on the amount of time it takes for a message to be delivered, while also streamlining the timeline from delivery to consumption. Email takes way too long. SMS and chat-based platforms are much accessible.
3. Plan Quarterly
If your team has trouble staying focused and accomplishing goals, the solution could be as simple as condensing the amount of time.
Businesses have relied on annual goal setting for the better part of a century. But in today’s environment, where technology changes at a rapid rate, it’s easy for 12-month objectives to lose their relevance throughout the year. Plus, it’s hard for anyone to stay motivated enough to achieve something that’s a year down the road. The solution? Quarterly goals.
By setting 12-week goals, you lower your team’s chances of trailing off and allow everyone to feel motivated in the short-term. If you’re looking for more help in this area, try reading Brian Moran’s book, The 12 Week Year.
4. Use Daily Marketing Stand-Ups
In 90 percent of situations, meetings are a huge waste of time. They take people away from doing work to talk about doing work. A better option is to have a daily marketing stand-up. This is a 15-minute meeting where you lay out key priorities from the day and then send everyone on their way. It’s simple, fast, and, because it’s at the start of the day, doesn’t disrupt anyone’s flow.
5. Perform Weekly Retrospectives
If daily stand-ups are used at the beginning of each workday to set the tone, weekly retrospectives are conducted at the end of the week as a way of tying up loose ends and setting the stage for more efficiency the following week. (Try holding them every Friday over lunch.)
In a weekly retrospective, each member of the team comes prepared to answer three questions:
– 1. What should you keep doing?
– 2. What should you start doing?
– 3. What should you stop doing?
“It’s important to remember that these retrospectives are for your team. Stakeholders and company leaders should not be invited,” marketing expert Alex Novkov writes. “To facilitate the desired spirit of innovation and participation from everybody, team members should feel safe to open up about problems they are experiencing and propose creative solutions without worrying about ruffling anyone’s feathers outside the team.”
In other words, these meetings aren’t about calling people out or making them feel like they aren’t measuring up. The goal is to get people thinking about how they can improve.
If you ask any business owner or entrepreneur if they want to be more productive, they’ll say yes. But you can tell how serious they are about productivity by asking about their measurements. Only the most intentional individuals will go through the painstaking process of identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be used to gauge and analyze how they’re doing in the pursuit of higher efficiency.
As you refine your strategy, look for opportunities to slap objective measurements onto everything. At first, the numbers won’t make a whole lot of sense. But as you collect more data, you’ll identify benchmarks.
From this point on, the goal is to improve those benchmarks each week, month, and quarter. That’s how you truly initiate progress.