Marketing is one of the most critical functions of your business. To keep your business growing, marketing operations should not only be streamlined, but they need to be strategic as well. In a world where marketing for small businesses is highly dynamic and technologically driven, making your marketing operations efficient is more critical now than ever before.
Marketers have to manage a wide range of activities. They run integrated marketing campaigns, coordinate different communication channels, manage internal teams and external partners and much more. All these complicate modern-day marketing processes and make them challenging to manage. But there are several things marketers can do to make marketing operation management a breeze. Drawing up marketing goals and utilizing tools and services like Basecamp or OpGen Media are just some of the ways you can make managing your marketing operation easier.
Below are five tips to help you manage your marketing operations more efficiently:
- Set Up An Operational Structure
To streamline your marketing operations, you need to establish a clear operational structure. This includes clarifying individual roles within the department to avoid wasting resources and overlapping. Ensure that people who work in the department can clearly see how they contribute towards the set goals and are clear about who they are accountable to.
When it comes to decision making, determine whether different units will function under a centralized structure or you will have each team have a tactical autonomy in making decisions. Doing this will help you build a focused and empowered marketing team.
- Define Marketing Goals And Targets
It is almost impossible to show that marketing is a strategic part of the company when you do not have specific goals and targets that you are working towards. The more you allow others to bring your marketing campaigns, the less your influence will be in shaping the strategic function of the department.
To manage marketing operations effectively, you need to get everyone in the department working towards the same goal. The best way to do this is to define your marketing objectives and targets clearly. This means evaluating your business environment, including the competition you face, and determining the areas your marketing efforts are most likely to result in the desired results.
To come up with targets that are well aligned with your business goals, analyze historical metrics. The targets you come up with should have monetary figures or metrics that reflect conversion rates. Once you have clear marketing goals and targets, share them with your teams. You can then use the operational structures you have in place to hold individuals marketing reps accountable. Track progress through monthly meetings where individual marketing reps share their reports.
- Craft a Marketing Plan
To realize the marketing goal and targets you have set for yourself, you need to craft a plan. When doing this, there are several questions you will need to answer. For instance, you need to know which marketing programs will be required to meet the needs your customers have. You will also need to determine the processes that will be created and deployed to realize your marketing goals and targets. The skills that your teams will require to support your marketing efforts, the data and technology required to drive your marketing processes also have to be considered.
As you prepare your marketing plan, you will quickly realize that there is so much to do but your resources and time are limited. Rather than discard some aspects that you have in the plan, adopt a phased approach to its implementation. The best way to do this is to categorize your strategies into short-term, medium-term and long-term strategies. This will make it easy to implement and you can revisit it every quarter to track progress and sync it with your company’s broad strategy.
- Customize Your Marketing Process
For smooth operations, you need to develop a customized and efficient marketing process to guide the implementation of your marketing plan. Ideally, your marketing process should integrate your decision-making structure and the technology that you will use to support your marketing function.
A good marketing process should also include the marketing resources you have available as well as the policy framework – both internal and external – that will guide the process. There is no formula for developing an efficient marketing process – it’s more of a trial and error. As you design your process, be flexible and ready to adapt as much as it is necessary.
- Leverage Technology
With the digitization of many business operations, you will certainly require technology to power your marketing operations. Technology is a great enabler. Tools like Basecamp, Dropbox and Google Docs make activities that are traditionally time-consuming and labour-intensive more accessible and easier to complete.
Managing marketing operations in business requires proper planning and communication. The marketing team needs to be clear on the goal they are contributing to and have short-term and long-term targets that contribute to this goal. To enhance operational efficiency, consider adopting a centralized technological solution that automates your marketing processes. If you are looking to improve marketing operations in your company, following the five tips discussed above will get you started on the right footing.