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6 Ways To Get Your Brand Out Of A Marketing Rut
If you work in any marketing role, you know that it’s easy to set goals, ambitious objectives and create campaigns at the beginning of the year, but then it can be like pulling teeth to get yourself, your team or your department to execute those ‘wonderfully inspired tasks.’ Am I right? So what do you do when your team (or one man/woman shop) gets into a rut?
First of all, cut yourself some slack. If you’re managing a team of marketers or doing it all yourself, I’m here to tell you and assure you that it’s hard! Staying motivated and overcoming roadblocks with marketing is a bitch. But, you can get it done. What you need are some real and fun tactics to take you and your team out of the DEADED RUT, and into the beautiful and shiny world of ‘well-oiled production team.’
Work on the achievable first
Be it setting up a meeting with another internal department, reaching out to vendors for a quote, establishing a timeline or any number of other things that can serve as a starting point, get moving and do it! Most of the time--at least based on our extensive research--getting into a rut with business goals or marketing efforts start when we get too ‘macro’ with our thinking and forget to look at the ‘small tasks’ that will eventually get us to our big goal, due date or campaign completion.
Delegate without dissecting
It may seem a bit backward to talk about delegation before some of the other vital elements of project execution, but we’ve learned that sometimes it takes assigning a task to someone else to get it done and make progress on a project. For example; we are a small marketing boutique, which means that everyone on our team has to be ON IT all the time. This style of business gives us lots of flexibility but also says we don’t have a lot of time to mull things over or brainstorm new ideas without having someone to keep us accountable--in fact, accountability is the most significant asset in the ‘marketing project execution’ process. If we get tasks out for a project or client deliverable, all the sudden stuff starts to happen! And we get sh*%t done.
Important Note: Micromanaging absolutely ruins the benefit of this tip. Maybe the person you delegate to will not execute the needed task in the exact way you would have (managers, I’m talking to you), but you need to hand over the reigns and trust their process. Otherwise, you are both doing double work, which let’s be honest, is just plain silly.
Map it out
If you or your team is having trouble establishing clear steps to get a big project, campaign or deliverable from A to Z, either sit down with your team or put someone in charge of timeline management, creating touch points for the project and mapping out the needs, responsible parties, and deliverables. Project mapping may seem like an obvious step, but in our experience, it’s a step that often overlooked, glossed over or ignored, ultimately causing a project to get help up in a crucial stage of execution. For more great tips on creating a project plan, timeline and map, read this blog from Lucidchart.
Brainstorm the big stuff
Funny as it may seem--especially with all of the seminars and team retreats out there these days--getting a team together to brainstorm big ideas or creative ways to develop and execute a marketing idea, doesn’t happen all that much. In our experience, often teams or clients have a hard idea of how a marketing project should get done, and just plug project players into spots. But, if a company owner or leader can take the time, and find the humility to allow their team to come up with plans to execute the BIG MARKETING GOALS together, often the outcome is that much better. This is also a great way to get out of a marketing rut with your team. Just get everyone in a room already! Ask them a few open-ended questions about the project or goal and see what happens. For more on how to correctly brainstorm with your team, read this blog from Harvard Business Review.
Be okay with the outcome
As we mentioned in the section on delegation, type-A-ers and micromanagers can have a difficult time allowing others to get the job done without constant supervision, but this only hurts you, your teammates and the outcome of the marketing project--especially if it requires creative thinking. Remember the age-old cliche, ‘if you love something, let it go’? For optimal performance, all managers must learn this lesson--some learn it the hard way. By holding the project, team or task to close, you do not allow for new ideas, alternate ways of doing something, and ultimately it breeds instability and apathy within your department or company. The exact outcome of your project may not be what you originally envisioned, but if you want to make progress and get out of a marketing rut, you need to let go and trust the process!
Reset or reboot
Once a project, campaign or tactic is complete, it’s easy to leave it and move on to the next shiny object. But, if you can create the time to go back through the steps, timeline and project history with your team, you’ll find learning lessons from mistakes made, team dynamics observed, and opportunities for future planning that would not be revealed if left and abandoned at the finish line. Just like a runner needs to review their races to see where they can improve, you and your team need to consider your process periodically to make sure each of you is growing. This can be done with a short survey or a post-project recap meeting. Either way, don’t skimp on this step. It will come back to bite your brand!
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