Being part of a large marketing team project can be extremely rewarding when everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing. This requires a firm marketing team foundation that outlines responsibilities and deadlines. It also requires a high level of commitment and dedication from everyone involved. If the right foundation is not set, goals will falter and frustrations will soar.
So how do you ensure the team you’re responsible for leading has the right foundation? You must ensure you lead your team to continually practice the five habits of highly successful marketing teams.
Habit #1: Set Realistic Timelines
Once goals have been set, it’s imperative that you outline the steps each member of the team is responsible for achieving, along with milestones and target dates. It can be easy to go overboard listing the things the team will achieve if you don’t set deadlines and map your strategy out on a calendar. Laying project milestones out on a calendar allows you to realistically see when goals can be met.
If you fail to lay out your strategy, before you know it, you will look back and see your team was busy but unproductive, or worse yet, you’ll realize too late your team was not focused where you needed them to be focused.
Unrealistic timelines do two things. First, they don’t allow you to celebrate your victories because you’re always in crisis mode. Second, they force you to take shortcuts and produce mediocre work in an effort to meet an arbitrary date. Mediocre work produces mediocre results.
Before you launch a new project, sit down and map out on a calendar the project milestones. Then delegate responsibilities with deadlines and ensure those deadlines are met. If at any point during the project you realize the timelines you set were unrealistic, either adjust your staffing or adjust your projects accordingly.
Habit #2: Have a Project Leader
In order to stay on track, you must have a leader who oversees the entire project. This person is ultimately accountable for ensuring deadlines are met, providing updates to the group, and tracking progress towards the goals that were set.The project leader has the final say on decisions made that impact the project. They should review everything before it goes live, solicit feedback from the team on where improvements could happen, and ensure silos don’t form within the team.
Preventing silos from happening within the team is imperative. If the copywriters are working on one strategy and the graphic designers are not on the same page, disaster is bound to strike. Everyone should be on the same page and working towards the same strategy.
Habit #3: Establish a Solid Workflow
Whenever more than one person is involved in a project, understanding how each person’s piece of the puzzle fits together is crucial.
For example, which comes first, a keyword strategy list or a solid piece of copy for the landing page? Who will approve the keyword list and pick the order of words to focus on strategically before the copywriters begin their job? Are headlines written and approved before or after copy is written? When does graphic design begin their work? Who must bless what before it’s handed off for implementation? Who is responsible for implementation?
Without a solid workflow you’ll find yourself with eight pages of copy that don’t match the keywords your PPC Campaign Manager is targeting this month. Worse yet, the ads the graphic designer laid out will have headlines that don’t lend themselves to the landing pages that have been created for them.
Taking time to establish a solid workflow between teams is perhaps the single most important step in launching a new marketing strategy. If you fail to plan out this step, you might as well plan to fail as a team.
Habit #4: Review, Review, Review
Mistakes, typos, grammatical errors, poor color choices, and crap designs are a part of marketing life, but they should never come to life outside the confines of your creative team. It is nearly impossible for you to critique and review the fruits of your own labor. The same is true for another member of your marketing team.
So how do you prevent these errors that can kill a marketing campaign from sneaking out into the public realm? You implement a review policy. Nothing created should ever be presented for final approval until it’s been proofed by three sets of eyes and signed off on by the project manager. If you follow this rule of thumb, the chances of poor design and other errors showing up in final marketing products will be slim.
Habit #5: Study Your Industry
Finally, great marketing teams know the key to success in any marketing project is knowing your industry, your target audience, and how your products or services solve the problems both face.
Writing a marketing strategy without a thorough understanding of who you’re marketing to and how your product solves the problems your target audience recognizes and cares about will result in poor results. Take the time to ensure you understand their needs and their industry.
Every member of your marketing team should not only be reading new blogs about marketing strategy on a weekly basis, but they should also be readying industry updates on a daily basis.
Marketing teams who master these five habits on a consistent basis will be miles ahead of the success curve.
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