Efficiency is a key aspect of running a business, whatever its size. Streamlining workflows and giving teams the best tools for the job will help to improve motivation, increase productivity, and ultimately bring financial rewards.
Marketing departments can sometimes struggle with inefficiency, as the content marketing team concentrates on things like branding and conversion rates, ahead of systems and processes. The marketing world also changes quickly, especially in social media marketing, so there’s a lot to keep on top of.
However, businesses are beginning to appreciate the benefits of marketing process optimization for maximum efficiency. Digital technology helps marketers work smarter and faster, while more and more teams are implementing agile marketing methodology (more on that later).
Let’s look at the best ways to ensure your marketing team is both efficient and effective, and explore how collaboration tools such as RingCentral’s RingCentral Video can boost your marketing efficiency.
Tips to boost marketing efficiency
While there are many aspects to consider in every marketing campaign, improving efficiency is the number one way to help any project run smoothly and meet its objectives.
In this section, we’ll show you some simple ways to streamline processes, structure the department, and make sure all team members are kept in the loop.
The decision to streamline your marketing processes could be the best one you ever make, as it will make your department so much more efficient. Start by brainstorming ways to improve, taking suggestions from team members who may have spotted inefficiencies.
You should also be measuring anything that can be measured, as looking at the metrics will show you where to target improvements. Gather, analyze, and use data on such things as:
- campaign development times
- social media engagement
- search engine optimization (SEO)
- website visits
- readership of blog posts
- qualified lead generation
Efficiency means reducing waste (in terms of both time and money), so look at re-using your creative assets for content marketing instead of commissioning new artwork each time. You could also assess your agency roster to remove any duplication.
The internal approval process is another thing you can clean up by identifying bottlenecks and removing non-essential personnel from the team structure. You could set up regular approval meetings with the CMO so that all departments have a target to aim for.
A marketing operations platform or project management software (RingCentral Video is our tip) will provide an overview of every marketing activity. It’s also helpful to assess your media and channel mix regularly to ensure you’re taking full advantage of all traditional and digital marketing opportunities and reaching your target audience.
Plan for success
It’s important to assess the performance of marketing projects and campaigns, and find ways to improve. If something didn’t work in the past, take a look at why that happened—was it a communication problem? An issue with time management?
When you know how things went wrong, you can implement new processes or introduce technological solutions to create the perfect marketing strategy. Make sure the whole team has input at this stage, with all ideas and suggestions welcome.
Setting realistic goals is one way to improve marketing efficiency, as people will feel less stressed about deadlines if they’re not being asked to achieve the impossible. Factor in turnaround and approval times for projects and give plenty of notice for content creation. This will also save money, as last-minute bookings mean higher costs.
Effective communication is of paramount importance in the workplace, and the marketing team should be no exception. Marketing and sales require a lot of collaboration between team members, so it helps if everyone is on the same page.
The company should clearly communicate its overall objectives to everyone involved—just as it should clearly define the team’s roles and responsibilities to ensure accountability and avoid overlap.
If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, it can be easy to lose motivation. Marketing teams, in particular, should understand how marketing activities contribute to the organization’s goals.
Any changes to those objectives should also be shared with in-house marketing teams and agencies. Employees should be unafraid to ask for further clarification of the brief before starting work—that way, nobody wastes time by heading off down the wrong track.
A well-defined marketing strategy will keep the team focused on their goals. For example, everyone should be conscious of deadlines and understand how internal approval processes work.
Technology such as real-time messaging and video conferencing (built into communication apps like RingCentral Video) are a great way to boost team communication throughout a marketing campaign.
Be clear on briefs
There are few things more irritating than presenting work that adheres perfectly to the brief, only to be told that the client has now changed the brief, and you’ve got to start over. Not only does this put the creative team offside, but it also wastes time and money.
It’s vital to have a clear idea of your content marketing strategy before producing a brief that everyone’s happy with. Ask for input from your team and only submit the brief when you know there’ll be no more changes. Re-briefing the design team or agency several times is not cool.
Briefs should always be crystal-clear, with all necessary information supplied from the outset. However, don’t be tempted to produce a paint-by-numbers guide—you’re paying the creatives to be creative, after all! Leave some wiggle room for them to do their thing.
Hold (short) daily meetings
One of the best ways to make marketing teams more efficient is to hold a daily standup. This is a term for a quick status update (also known as a "daily scrum” or “huddle") in which everyone stands up to keep the meeting short.
Team members can share their main priorities for the day and raise any problems or barriers to efficiency. It’s a great way to encourage teamwork, communication, and problem-solving, and lets everyone know who’s doing what. Best of all, it’s quick—it doesn’t eat into productivity.
Tools like RingCentral Video are perfect for holding a marketing standup. It’s so easy to launch and join meetings from a browser, with no download required. Desktop and mobile apps (plus compatibility across all devices) mean co-workers can join from anywhere, which is super helpful for remote teams who need a daily catch-up.
RingCentral Video also lets you launch a meeting straight from its messaging function with a single click. And if you do need a full video conference or audio call with multiple colleagues, RingCentral Video has you covered for this, too.
Encourage teamwork and collaboration
We already mentioned teamwork, but it’s worth saying again. Building a collaborative culture in your marketing team will lead to increased productivity, higher employee engagement, and a sense of community.
It’s important to create an atmosphere where team members can share ideas and support each other. Although every colleague should feel that their contribution is valued, every team needs a leader who can take charge, assume overall responsibility, and keep projects managed smoothly.
The manager’s contribution to business includes trusting the teams without micromanaging and always rewarding good performance. Social activities and team building are good ways for teams to break down barriers and gain awareness of each other’s strengths.
Collaboration isn’t just for sales and marketing teams—it’s also crucial to work effectively with freelancers, agencies, clients, and stakeholders. An app such as RingCentral Video makes it easy to invite external partners to your conversations for free and gives them access to features like file sharing and video conferencing.
Manage your time
An efficient marketing team is one that manages its time most effectively. It may sound crass to say that “time is money,” but it’s true—the faster you accomplish a task, the better for the project budget.
There are lots of handy tips for effective time management, such as avoiding distractions in the workplace, limiting exposure to personal social media, and blocking out “quiet time” on the calendar so you can work without interruption.
But technology can also lend a hand. There’s plenty of software available to help with workflow management, from Kanban boards to time tracking tools. These help the whole team get an overview of the project’s progress and a clear picture of their own responsibilities and deadlines.
Task management software such as RingCentral Video allows you to get organized by creating, assigning, and managing tasks. You can add due dates, notes, and file attachments, and send messages all in one place. There’s also a color-coding system—all these to ensure you won’t have a tough time managing projects.
Daily standups aside, marketing teams tend to have lengthy meetings—and that’s not an efficient way to work. You can reduce meeting times by having a clear timeframe and agenda and only involving those who really need to attend.
Another tip for marketing professionals is to automate some of the repetitive tasks that take up too much time. Most software offers some automation, such as rules for organizing emails or templates for similar projects.
There are also marketing automation tools for things like eCommerce and social media scheduling, plus general productivity apps. RingCentral Video, for example, will automatically add recurring tasks to its built-in calendar and notify you when a meeting or call is about to start. Its seamless integration with other apps also lets you pull in notifications from elsewhere.
What is agile marketing?
Originally developed for the software industry, the agile methodology is all about short-term, customer-focused projects that improve responsiveness and relevance—as opposed to long-term planning of content marketing.
Long-term planning may sound like a sensible thing, but nobody really knows what’s going to happen in the year ahead! New developments and obstacles may appear, forcing the plan to change. This can throw the team into confusion, and revising the original plan wastes time and money.
The agile approach makes allowances for inevitable change by planning in short-term iterations while maintaining a shared understanding of the long-term goal.
The principles of agile marketing include:
- Shorter planning cycles
- Data-driven decisions
- Clarity and transparency
- Involving all staff in decision-making
- Being customer-centric.
Here are some tips on how to drive your team towards agile methodology:
Visualize the process
Limit work in progress
Keep meetings short
Look behind you
What is scrum marketing?
Scrum is part of the agile methodology and is based around the rituals of planning, retrospectives, and a daily standup. It uses short bursts of focused work, called “sprints,” to keep the team on target and boost marketing effectiveness.
The team decides how much of their work can be realistically completed in a given time period (the sprint) and then focuses only on those tasks until the sprint is over.
What is hive marketing?
What’s the best tool to boost marketing efficiency?
Whether you’re already using agile marketing or just beginning to optimize your processes, your company will benefit from using software that enhances communication, collaboration, and overall efficiency.
If you achieve all your marketing communications with one app, you’ve already saved time and money—and keeping all files, messages, and tasks in one place will help the team get organized.
Here are some of the features you should be looking for in an app:
- Task/project management
- File sharing and storage
- Video and audio calls
- Team messaging
- Integrations with other apps
- Security and support
RingCentral Video has all of those things and more, so it’s perfect for marketing teams of all sizes. The task management feature lets you create and track tasks for the team and makes it easy to visualize the campaign’s progress.
You’ll get free unlimited file sharing and storage, too, with files organized by project or team for maximum efficiency. This feature allows anyone to make notes or comments on a document or image without altering the original—ideal when marketers are working with the creative team.
Communication is made simple with the team messaging function where you can create project-specific groups. There’s video conferencing (and audio calls) for regular catch-ups—complete with screen sharing for easy collaboration.
RingCentral Video’s also hot on integrations, linking up with hundreds of other useful apps such as Hubspot, LinkedIn, and Slack. It can automatically sync your data, send notifications, and manage all your social media conversations in one place.
For example, you can integrate your Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace calendar to automatically add meeting links to invites, share proposals from your Google Drive account, and get notified when a Trello project or task moves to the next stage.
RingCentral Video will tell you when someone clicks an email link or fills out the form on Marketo, or your Mailchimp newsletter goes out. And you’ve also got access to Zapier’s massive library of additional integrations, while web developers can use RingCentral’s APIs to tweak the app.
The app runs on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux, and offers enterprise-level security. Customer support includes chatbots and web self-service, while those who want to learn more about RingCentral Video can access the resource library and white papers.
And the best thing? RingCentral Video gives you all these features and more as part of its free plan. Try it out today.