Marketing management: this is how you keep an overview
Do you recognize it? More and more channels, a critically empowered consumer and ever higher expectations. In short, as a marketing manager you have to do better and better. That while there always seems to be too much work and too few hours and budget available. You may also miss a certain specialism in the marketing team. That can put a lot of pressure on marketing management. While these facts definitely play a role, the marketing manager's challenge lies primarily in making connections. As soon as you make the right connections and focus on the expectations and desires of the consumer, the number of new leads and sales will undoubtedly increase.
The challenges of the marketing manager
It's about connecting all available data, the technology, your product and the customer. The magic word here? Personalization. Personalizing above all also means organizing, which is why a successful marketing manager initially faces very different challenges than you would expect at first glance. Don't focus directly on the tools and their design, but focus on the consumer first. What does your customer want? What does your company offer? What is the competition doing? How do you convey it, through which channels, what is the phase in the customer journey and what message do you want to convey?
My own experience as Head of Marketing Communications
“I was hired on my e-business background for a position as head of marketing communications for a team of four. Online marketing and social media were added. Besides managing a team, I also became the online marketer and social media specialist. And that for four days a week. I had to learn the following lessons:
- Working in marketing means you always more work have the time or budget. You will therefore have to make choices and continuously become more efficient. Some things you can also choose not to do anymore. Like weekly meetings with the entire club. This is a very heavy burden, especially for part-timers.
- Micromanaging doesn't make anyone happy. It certainly doesn't make you and your people more efficient. Focus on where you yourself have the most effect. Outsource matters to specialists and give your people a learning path to master certain tasks and matters. Also give them room to make mistakes, because that's the only way you learn.
- As a marketing manager you are a hatch between two layers. Vision and objectives of management, reactions and experiences of the shop floor. And that is not always positive. But you are also a connector. Sometimes it is better if the financial director explains something himself, for example, or if you ask your team member to bring up that feedback in the meeting. Then give them support in that.”
What does marketing management mean in practice?
A marketing manager has an overview of everything, draws his or her own plan and goes for it. Also, don't be fooled by new buzzwords. He or she knows what is going on, but does not act directly on it. A good one marketing manager provides an overview of all communications, measures the results, discusses with people within the marketing team, but also company-wide what they encounter. The marketing plan is updated, without losing sight of the big picture.
Experiences as an entrepreneur
“I took the full step into entrepreneurship in 2013. And of course that sounds great: no boss telling you what to do and no history to take into account. But entrepreneurship has other challenges, including keeping an overview and setting priorities. And that fully corresponds to being a marketing manager. From the book How to become a Productivity Ninja from Graham Allcott I learned two useful methods:
- Overview. Every Monday morning I make an inventory of everything: open assignments, questions, completed forms, reactions on Twitter, downloads, screenshots made, voicemail, WhatsApp messages… Google Analytics, Google Search Console…. anything that is meaningful to my business. I process that into a weekly schedule. I also update my projects, record new tasks and verify my strategy. That takes about 2 to 3 hours. That time I think like an employer and I make an overview for myself.
- Zero inbox. Every week I completely empty my mailbox. I review every email and: do I delete, archive (Gmail function), do it immediately if it only takes 2 minutes or throw a folder. I keep all my tasks, projects, strategies and lists in one document. So my inbox is not a to-do list. In the DO folder I find tasks, in the READ folder I throw mails to read again someday, PENDING are things that are outstanding with others, and ADMIN is for all mails to keep.”
Practical tips for today's marketing manager
Ensure that the marketing team has clear goals and is working on company-wide, (SMART) measurable KPIs. Also, check whether your marketing team has all the necessary marketing skills. Is there a competency that is missing within the team? Do not hesitate to outsource certain activities. However, never by-pass the team by hiring new staff without their input. In addition, it is always worthwhile to invest in study and development to gain new knowledge or to keep it up-to-date. Some overarching practical tips:
- Do not approve marketing activities without a good business case
- Make sure there is always one person responsible for a channel, campaign or project and also give him/her the resources
- Say no to management when it asks for reports and first ask what question they have or what problem they are trying to solve
- Don't make decisions if you don't have enough data or the deadline is too tight
- Allocate budgets based on past performance, leaving room for unexpected costs and investing in new initiatives
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