Fix Your Marketing Process and Fix Your Inner Winner
So you’ve recently started a new job. Your boss asks you to take charge of the latest digital marketing campaign. No problem – you did that in your previous gig. Then she goes on holiday for two weeks. The afternoon before she leaves, she sends you an email with some instructions and contact numbers. You don’t have the chance to review it with her. The next day, you realise you don’t know your brand’s performance benchmarks, or whether anyone needs to approve the creative, and you’re missing a few log-ins.
You try the two contact numbers in the email. One is in his last day in the role before moving to a new job and he’s unresponsive; the other is at an off-site training session for two days.
What can you do?
- a) Ask some other colleagues what they think you should do
b) Scour the intranet looking for guidance on the process to follow
c) Request new log-ins, set your own benchmarks, approve the creative yourself and launch the campaign the way you used to do it at your previous job.
d) Email your boss’s boss to let them know what’s going on and wait for their response.
e) Wait until your boss returns.
You might try any of the above, or a combination. Eventually you’ll get the information you need and the campaign will be launched. But it’s far from the most efficient way of operating. And it’s no guarantee the campaign will be launched in accordance with acceptable standards at your new employer.
And while you’re expending time and effort just trying to get the information you need to launch your digital campaign as requested, your other work is falling by the wayside.
Sadly, the above scenario is not unusual in marketing. Undocumented, uncommunicated or broken processes create confusion and unnecessary delays in marketing teams all too frequently.
‘1 In 2 Marketers Do Not Track Their Marketing Processes’ Read The Study: Marketing Operations In The Age Of Intelligence
In worst-case scenarios, unapproved, out-of-date messaging goes to market, or the brand is forced into damage-control mode because legal did not approve the campaign, or the wrong disclaimers were attached. Marketing teams can often find themselves the victim of too much oversight as a result, which creates further delays and bottlenecks.
And all the chasing up that results — the “non-work” work many teams see as just one of the annoying costs of getting the job done — is a major cause of organisational drag and cultural fatigue. Clarity, agility, efficiency, innovation and personal accountability are all casualties when there’s an ad-hoc approach to process.
Seven cultural values
Contrast this with the seven cultural values the best-performing organisations display. According to Harvard Business Review, the best-performing organisations are:
- Honest: Demonstrate integrity in interactions, with employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders;
- Performance-focused: Offer rewards, training and other talent-management practices in sync with underlying performance drivers;
- Accountable: Display and encourage ownership over work;
- Collaborative: Recognise that the best ideas come from the exchange and sharing of ideas between individuals and teams;
- Agile: Able to change and adapt to the external environment quickly;
- Innovative: Encourage employees push the envelope in terms of new ways of thinking;
- Winning-Oriented: Focus on objective measures of success.
To support a high-performing culture in your marketing team, ensure your marketing process makes it easy for people to get their work done in a timely fashion and get it right the first time, so the auditors don’t come knocking later. This creates clarity, confidence and accountability.
It should involve:
- Documented processes
- An up-to-date approver matrix
- A collaboration platform or workplace
- A central repository for required information
- Streamlined standard operating procedures
- Integrated legal and compliance checks
- Technology to automate the process where possible.
A marketing operations system can provide clarity and consistency around marketing processes, allowing your teams to streamline and document processes. It can ensure the required approvals are requested and received from the right people at the right time, including legal, risk and compliance, and automates those requests for approval so team members are freed from the “non-work” work of chasing up their colleagues. And it provides a central workplace and asset repository that makes collaboration easy. All of which means your team is unencumbered by organisational and cultural drag, and free to find their inner winner.
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