This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.
Guest blogger - Richard Hatheway, Director, Product Marketing at Itron
Marketing today occupies an interesting role within the corporation. It is required to drive awareness and demand, create new opportunities for sales to interact with customers, develop relevant messaging that can be used across a variety of different channels, and provide fully qualified leads for sales. It’s also responsible for contributing to revenue.
Marketing also continues to fragment into more areas of ‘specialization,' such as digital marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. Couple these new areas of specialty with the multiple other marketing areas of responsibility, such as product marketing, marcom, and field marketing, and you have a sure-fire recipe for disaster. Or at least a guaranteed way for marketing to be seen as irrelevant and ineffective.
Most marketing departments are also stretched to the breaking point, trying to do too much with too little in too little time, all while trying to convince senior executives that they are still relevant to the business. Let’s face it, how many marketing departments do you know that are overflowing with budget, resources, and headcount?
It’s no wonder that marketers around the world are pulling their collective hair out – they’re doing so many things simultaneously that it’s hard to keep track of what their primary focus should be.
To help combat these problems, here are four steps that you should take to help you become more effective. Whether you do them as the very last thing before you leave for the weekend or the very first thing at the beginning of the week when you arrive doesn’t matter. The main thing is that you do them on a regular basis. Doing so will help ensure that you as a marketing professional, regardless of area of specialization, will be more effective in the future.
1 - Prioritize. It’s easy to say that you want to help with every single project or activity, as you want marketing to be seen as actively involved and engaged. That contributes to an overall positive impression of marketing, right? Wrong. Trying to do too much only dilutes your effectiveness. Define your priorities based on the company business goals and objectives, and then focus on those. If necessary, get your manager to help cut through the clutter, so you know what the priorities are and how and what to spend your limited time and resources on.
2 - Measure. For any marketing activity, there should be at least one metric that is associated with a KPI. This helps you keep track of how effective you and your marketing really are. If you don’t know the difference between metrics and KPIs, read my article “The Real Difference Between Metrics and KPIs.” If you don’t know how to use them, read my article “TMCI: Track-Measure-Change-Improve.”
3 - Review. Schedule time in your week to review your activities and what you are working on. Why, because it’s easy to get sidetracked or pulled into another ‘critical’ project. Reviewing your activities allows you to:
- Make sure your priorities have not changed (see #1 above)
- See what you have accomplished and what you have not. This provides you with a beginning framework for the following week’s work.
- Determine if any changes are needed. Marketing is all about results, so reviewing your metrics (see #2 above) helps you stay on track.
That’s it. These four steps, taken at either the beginning or the end of the week, will make your life as a marketing professional more productive and effective.