Today's Time Starved Marketing Departments

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  • 3/20/2014
    Today's marketing departments have more tools, channels, measurement, public input, client insight and transparency than ever before, but are doing it all with less strategy, the same amount (or fewer) team members and flat budgets at best.

    Marketers are literally becoming starved for time.

    Startups and small-growth companies have always had this issue with time. However, over the course of the recession and now post-recession, we've been witnessing this creep into mid-market companies and also into large B2B corporations.

    More with less, more with less, more with... I'm sick of it. How can our clientele possibly do this forever? You can't, but there's hope and it's not expensive nor difficult, but it does take leadership.

    It's time for focus.

    Smaller growth companies have known this for a long time. There's only so much time in a day and they have to squeeze efficiencies out of it as fast as they can. As companies grow into mid-market and large enterprise organizations, the distance to these realities becomes farther and focus can be lost.

    With the explosion of digital marketing and all the forms it brings along with it, as well as all of the offline tactics that it complements, this barrage of choice will not slow down, but your focus can control it. Since your time is scarce, let me give you some examples and thoughts to keep this post from wasting any of your time:

    • Editorial calendars - There's more content to deliver from annual reports to e-newsletters, so get your calendar scheduled so you can stick with dates and deliver on time for the company. Get it done and get executive approval to guide the output.
    • C.O.P.E. - Create Once Publish Everywhere. Content creation is eating up a lot of our mid-market clientele's time, so before you write another piece of content, look at your list of marketing distribution points (website, social, mail, ads, etc.) and plan for how all content can be reused or re-purposed to satisfy the needs of multiple channels and even multiple audiences.
    • Target audience persona development - Use all of this data to understand who your audiences really are and what they react best to. Say no to half-baked thoughts of those demanding to create work to serve 1% of your total audience. Focus on those segments that are the largest and most profitable and then grow their numbers. If you know who you're talking to, you can create the best content that creates action and conversion (sales) and leave the outlier groups to outlier efforts.
    • Know what channels to lead and what to support - Should marketing own every single effort? Well, if you have enough resources, of course! But you don't. So the really interesting idea to attract new employees through Facebook efforts probably isn't worth your time, but it is worth HR's time. Find ways to support, but not to lead these types of efforts.
    Focusing your priorities based on the resources available isn't easy or simple. It takes time and consistency to get on a focused path, and it takes leadership to stay on it. Fight the good fight because being time starved is no way to deal with our modern-day changes in marketing.

    About the author::
    Jason Therrien is the president of thunder::tech. He is a fan of entrepreneurs and trailblazers, a proud dad and he liked scotch before Mad Men made it cool.
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