Is total chaos getting you — and your team – down?
- Is it impossible for you to find the right versions of files to work on and review?
- Do you waste time editing the wrong drafts, only to have to make your changes AGAIN in another document?
- Is it impossible for you to collaborate with stakeholders and clients when you need to?
We get it. These are common problems faced by people working in marketing departments and ad agencies.
A chaotic environment isn’t just unproductive — and toxic — for most workers. It can have a BIG impact on departmental budgets and the bottom lines of businesses.
Chaos in the workplace has a major effect on employee morale. No one likes working through constant fire drills. It leads to frustrated and burned out workers. Unhappy people are less creative and productive than those working in more organized and supportive environments.
The effectiveness of marketing efforts should be measured on:
- The quality of the work
- How much time and money it takes to complete it
- How consumers engage with it
- The ultimate contribution to business results.
In short, return on marketing investment matters. When people work in less-than-optimal conditions, the cost of chaos can really cut into that investment.
Redoing work because of lost files — or working off wrong drafts — lowers productivity and increases the number of hours spent on projects. In most cases, the time spent on rework can’t be billed to clients or charged back to other departments within the organization. The problem is magnified when you add on the confusion that results from sharing files with internal stakeholders and outside clients. The potential for lost files and edits to incorrect documents increases exponentially.
It may seem impossible for your team to stop putting out fires. When confronted with crises, your first instinct is to turn on the fire hose. However, taking a deep breath and approaching things in a different way will pay off in the long run.
The key is to put processes and systems in place that prevent crises — and allow you and your team to deal with them more effectively when they happen.
Think about it this way: One of the first things firefighters learn at fire school is that there are seven steps to putting out a fire. Number five is to actually fight the fire. That means there are four things that happen prior to putting out the blaze and two after.
Based on that concept, here are the four things you should do before you start working on any marketing or advertising project and one follow-up.
Come up with a strategy
It may seem obvious. However, the number one reason marketing projects fall apart is because they aren’t built on sound strategic foundations. Without a defined strategy, there’s no way to address input from stakeholders. A strategy provides marketers with the background and information required to evaluate feedback, figure out if it’s valid and intelligently respond to it.
Documented and agreed upon strategies transform marketers from orders takers into respected business partners.
Did you know: Mobile Locker’s software makes it easy to share strategy documents with internal and external stakeholders? It helps gather input and ensures everyone has aligned on strategies before work begins.
Develop a plan
Can a contractor build a house without a plan? Maybe, but it’s not one you’d want to live in.
The same is true for marketing projects. You can’t deliver a well-built campaign if you don’t have a project plan that defines when and how tasks will get done and how different teams should interact. The plan must align with the marketing strategy and make it clear how individual tasks and initiatives support it. It will encourage teamwork and keep individuals from going rogue.
Plans help ensure buy-in from stakeholders, which prevents “surprises” from coming up.
Did you know: Mobile Locker’s software makes it easy for project managers to work with stakeholders to create project plans? It helps gather input from everyone involved.
Strategies and project plans are only valuable if they’re executed effectively. Processes and procedures must be set up, supported by modern technology, that organize the creation of marketing materials.
There are four types of tools that support project development:
- Project management software, which helps build, monitor and track project plans and facilitate communication about progress.
- Communication tools, which allow stakeholders to communicate in chat rooms and groups dedicated to the project. Some even allow file sharing.
- Document storage systems, which are designed to make it easy to find documents, manage versions and facilitate transfer among stakeholders.
- Content management systems distribute marketing materials to salespeople.
Did you know: Mobile Locker’s system combines all these functions? It makes the development process seamless and is more cost effective than purchasing multiple systems.
Good marketing content is never developed in silos. The best materials incorporate ideas from all involved parties, blended together so they speak to the needs of customers.
However, collaboration is complicated. It’s hard to reach people when you need feedback and it’s impossible to maintain version control when incorporating input from different people.
Many marketing departments and advertising agencies turn to specialized software to help facilitate collaboration. A good system provides complete visibility into feedback from all parties and makes it easy to build consensus around suggested changes.
Did you know: Mobile Locker’s software has been developed around the concept of collaboration? It lets people interact through every step of the strategic and project planning, development and review processes.
What good is a marketing program if you can’t figure out if it’s successful by calculating its return on the investment in it?
Your marketing strategy should be based on numbers-based goals. Over time, you need to track progress toward those goals to see what’s working and what’s not. It provides a way to optimize effective projects AND improve or eliminate those that aren’t.
Cutting ineffective programs and putting more effort into those that are working will go a long way toward reducing chaos and increasing marketing department and agency effectiveness.
Did you know: Mobile Locker’s software makes it easy to track the usage and effectiveness of the materials developed by marketing teams? You can evaluate them in real time so you can take action.
So what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time for you to move your marketing operation from chaos to order? The marketing experts at Mobile Locker will help you make the transition. Schedule a call to find out how our software will help you develop strategies, build project plans, facilitate development, encourage collaboration and track results over time.
It’s the best and most cost-effective way to prove a return on investment in marketing.