Monday, June 30, 2014

Meeting the Challenges of the One-Man Band… er, Marketing Department

No man is an island, but never does it feel more like it than when you’re THE marketing department. As a one-person department, you’ve got it all… all the decision making, glory, strategy, pressure, responsibility, planning. To say it’s a lot would be stating the obvious, but the sheer workload seems to justify it. While you may not have the luxury of building a fully staffed multi-person department, that doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish just as much. It starts with a few productive habits:

5 habits of highly effective solo marketers

  1. Get organized. Start with a marketing strategy, and aim for a one-year plan. Determine goals and tactics according to time of year, sales peaks and valleys, industry events and emphasize your own company’s products and services. Consider a project management system to help keep it straight and facilitate the approval process. Involve other people in your organization to ensure maximum buy-in. And with this, you’ll define expectations up front to ensure everyone’s on the same page.
  2. Know when to say when (and no). As a party of one, there will be times you simply can’t be everything to everybody. With print, PPC, web, blog, e-news, tradeshows, e-blasts, internal communications, PR, social media, collateral, media relations and an endless list of possibilities for marketing tactics, you’ll need to prioritize—and learn to say no. So when the sales department has to have that flyer by end of the business day, know how to answer.
  3. Streamline and automate. Create templates for the internal team to use when possible, such as developing sales slicks. Ask other departments to contribute to newsletters and e-blasts—their knowledge is invaluable, and they’re more likely to support and engage when they’re involved. Plus it takes some of the load off of you! Leverage tools like social media and crowdsourcing to help get the word out quickly and easily. Match the best tactics to your top goals.
  4. Track failures—and successes. Analytics and metrics feed the digital world, and they should feed a marketer flying solo too. Keep a file of successes and failures. No one else is going to do it, and you’ll want to know what’s working and what’s not. Whether that means tracking your time so you know what you’re spending too much on and where the most value lies or setting up Google Analytics to track your key digital elements, understand where you’ve been and where you’re at so you always know where you’re going.
  5. Partner with a full-service marketing agency. They’ll take the load off of you in many ways. They have expertise in multiple tactical areas, so you can tap into creative skills, marketing consultation, strategy, organizational development, production, media and more. You’ll have all these skill sets with just one phone number, utilized whenever you need them. Set up a monthly management fee, and you have an extraordinarily deep yet cost-effective tool – with the ability to call your marketing firm for advice or help without worrying about additional fees. It’s peace of mind at a much lower cost than adding additional employees.

Running out of fuel flying solo? We can help, with a partnership customized to your goals and budget. Contact Cheryl Neumann, [email protected] or 309-346-2512.