Imagine you're working in the marketing team of a startup or bigger corporation and, as many marketers nowadays, you sometimes struggle to drive meaningful results that are aligned to the overall business goals of your company. You're sometimes simply not sure if you're performing the right strategies and you get caught up in the overall treadmill of marketing with all the monotonous stuff like checking the performance of your latest PPC campaign, adjusting keywords and ads or creating this new funnel for the new product your company is about to launch.
I get it. Sometimes it's hard to find the right path in the noisy digital world out there but so does everyone else. I'm currently leading a marketing team in a smaller startup in Cologne, Germany and I know the struggle of living up to expectations and guiding the way through the digital world.
In this article, I will share the methods that helped me find the right way for our marketing team, get more meaningful work done and improve overall results that help our business grow in the long run.
Let's jump right into it.
“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”
It's true. From the day to day work it's harder than ever to differentiate between the tasks that are truly important and the ones that may seem like that at first but end up not really mattering for the overall goal after all.
The point I'm trying to make is this: You can only perform as well as you set your tasks for the day/week/month/year. No strategy or channel will ever work if you don't spend your time on the right tasks that drive results in the end.
Therefore I believe that it's necessary to continuously question what tasks are important and which ones we see as urgent but should perhaps drop.
If you don't work on the right tasks that align with the long-term goals, you won't achieve results that matter.
The foundation for improving the output of your marketing efforts is to focus on what is important. The next step is to act on what tasks you set for yourself. I found 4 methods particularly useful when it comes to making sure that I'm working efficient and focused.
Every morning when you get into the office, grab a fresh coffee and just begin to wake up, there should be a habit you get back to every day. I'm talking about planning out the day that's ahead of you.
With the 1-3-5 method, you ensure that you have a clear plan of tasks you want to work on for the day. Here's how it's done:
In the morning you sit down and pick one big, important task you want to accomplish today. Yes, just one. The next step is to choose three medium sized tasks as well as 5 minor tasks that you just need to get done but that are not really that important nor that hard to do. Yes, it's that simple.
If you do this daily, you will find yourself way more aligned to your weekly or perhaps monthly goals. Personally, your target should be to make the one big tasks you chose your #1 priority.
I'm sure most of you already heard about the Pareto principle. With this method, you simply set up a timer for 25 minutes and decide on one task you want to work on. After starting the timer, your undivided attention should be on getting those tasks done. No social media. No inbox checking. Pure laser-focus.
After the focus session of 25 minutes, you can take a break of around 5 minutes and jump right back into the next focus block. By defining a clear goal for each focus block, you will notice that you will work way more efficiently thanks to the (in the best case) uninterrupted focus. Give it a shot!
Besides the productivity-related methods I mentioned above, it's necessary to ensure that you define goals every week that align with the overall mission of your marketing team. Further, this enables you to decide every week what tasks are important and which ones just keep you busy.
Personally, I like to reflect on Fridays at 5pm on the past week. I ask myself questions like: "Did I achieve my goals from the last week?", "Which project went extraordinary well?" and "Which learnings do I take from this week?". I usually write the answers to those questions down either on paper or in a doc. This reflection helps me to learn from the past week and get better starting the upcoming Monday.
Along with the review part of things, I plan out the objectives & goals for every week on Monday morning. For me, that is the first thing I am doing when I come to the office on Monday morning. I remind myself about the goals we have in the marketing team and then decide on what projects should be executed during the week. I define clear goals for the week for myself as well as my teammates. This helps us to be super productive since everyone knows what to do.
A further addition to the weekly review & planning method is the implementation of a SCRUM Board. For everyone that doesn't know what that is, I suggest checking out this article. To keep it simple, our marketing team comes together Monday morning and together we discuss the last week briefly. What did go well? Where could we get better? Were there any problems?
Then, we take a look at the projects that are scheduled for this week. We define tasks as well as deadlines together and then assign the teammates that contribute to the single projects. By doing this our entire team knows what projects we are working on during the week and this ensures that we get feedback on our work from everyone in the team.
I believe it is crucial to enable transparency when working in a team since then we can grow stronger as a team as well as learn from one another.
The methods mentioned before helped me and my marketing team to improve not only our productivity but our marketing results that contribute to the overall strategy of our company. If you try implementing at least some of the methods, you will notice for yourself how much better work gets and how your focus for the meaningful tasks and projects is sharpened over time.
So stop wasting valuable marketing resources and time of your time and start executing the right project that is meaningful and drives important results for your company.
Feeling pumped to work on your marketing workflow & process? Then jump right into it. Start applying the 1-3-5 method right away and sit down in a quiet moment and plan the outcomes you want to achieve in the upcoming week.
Thanks for your time,