Do you recognize it? More and more channels, a critical empowered consumer and always 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. Although these facts definitely play a role, the challenge of the marketing manager lies primarily in the field of making connections. As soon as you make the right connections and thereby 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 is all about connecting all available data, technology, your product and the customer. The magic word here? Personalization. Personalizing also means organizing and that is why a successful marketing manager initially has completely different challenges than you would expect at first sight. Do not focus directly on the tools and their design, but focus on the consumer first. What do you want customer? What does your company offer? What does the competition do? How do you deliver 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 communication for a team of four. Online marketing and social media were added. In addition to 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 then have time or budget. You will therefore have to make choices and become more efficient all the time. Some things you can also choose not to do anymore. Such as weekly meetings with the entire club. Certainly for part-timers that is a very heavy burden.
- Micromanages nobody gets happy. It certainly does not make you and your people more efficient. Focus on where you have the most effect. Outsource matters to specialists and give people a learning path to familiarize themselves with certain tasks and issues. Give them the space to make mistakes, because that's the only way to learn.
- As a marketing manager you are one serving hatch between two layers. Vision and objectives of management, reactions and experiences from the workplace. And that is not always positive. But you are also a connector. Sometimes it is better if the financial director explains something yourself, for example, or if you ask your team member to raise that feedback in the meeting. Then give them support. "
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. What's more, don't be fooled by new buzz words. He or she knows what is going on, but does not act accordingly. A good one marketing manager provides an overview of all expressions, measures the results, discusses with people within the marketing team, but also company-wide that they encounter. The marketing plan is updated without losing sight of the big picture.
Experiences as an entrepreneur
“In 2013 I made the complete step towards entrepreneurship. And that sounds great of course: no boss who tells you what to do anymore 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 This way you become a Productivity Ninja I learned two handy methods from Graham Allcott:
- Overview. Every Monday morning I inventory everything: open assignments, questions, completed forms, reactions on Twitter, downloads, screenshots made, voicemail, WhatsApp messages ... Google Analytics, Google Search Console .... anything that matters to my company. I process that into a weekly schedule. I also update my projects, record new tasks and verify my strategy. That takes around 2 to 3 hours. I think that time as an employer and I make an overview for myself.
- Zero inbox. Every week I completely empty my mailbox. I evaluate every mail and: do I delete, do I archive (Gmail function), do it immediately if it only takes 2 minutes or I throw a folder. I keep all my tasks, projects, strategies and lists in one document. My inbox is therefore not a task list. In the DOEN folder I find tasks, in the READ folder I throw emails to read someday, WAITING is for 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 works on company-wide (SMART) measurable KPIs. Also investigate whether your marketing team has all the necessary marketing skills. Is there a competence that is missing within the team? Do not hesitate to outsource certain activities. However, never get around the team by hiring new staff without their input. In addition, it is always worth investing in study and development to gain new knowledge or keep it up-to-date. A number of overarching practical tips:
- Do not approve marketing activities without a good business case
- Ensure that one person is always responsible for a channel, campaign or project and also give him / her the means
- Say no to management when it asks for reports and first ask what question they have or what problem they are trying to solve
- Do not make decisions if you have too little data or if the deadline is too tight
- Allocate budgets based on past results, leaving room for unexpected costs and investing in new initiatives
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