I Don’t Understand What I Want … 5 Top Tips to Help You Get the Best from Your Marketing Team
Marketing your business isn’t easy, there’s an absolute ton of stuff involved – a lot of it technical and weird sounding too.
So it’s easy to understand there might be times when you think you know what you’re getting, only to discover that what you’ve asked for is completely different from what you’d envisaged in your head, and that no matter how much you crunch it or squint at the data – your assumptions are about as far removed from the truth as the sun is from the galactic centre.
Whether you’re working with an in-house marketing team or have outsourced to experts – communication and a clear understanding of what a project involves doesn’t just save time and effort, it also saves you money.
Think about it – do you really want to spend out on something that is completely wrong, totally unusable and requires you to dip your hand in your pocket to pay to be fixed?
If your answer is “Yes,” then I have a bridge to sell you…
So, what can you do to make sure you’re all on the same page when you don’t really get the mumbo jumbo, and just want a strategy so you can get it working?
Fear not, that’s why we’re here – with our top 5 tips to help you get it right from the start:
Plot Out Your Expectations
Any strategy or shift in focus for your business should be planned out before you start. You need to document exactly what you want to achieve, what you expect it to do – and how you plan to make that happen.
It’s at this stage you often find that your initial idea is either the one for the job, or isn’t going to work. If you skip this phase, you run the risk of discovering these same facts later down the line – which isn’t a problem if it works but can cause a catastrophe if it doesn’t.
By writing out your expectations and ideas, you’ve got an actionable list to work from, and then you can discuss with your team or experts whether it’s feasible and achievable. There’s nothing wrong with having difficult or high goals – as long as you realise that getting to them may not be simple or straightforward.
Check Your Team Has the Skills to Handle the Job
Something we’ve seen so often, is businesses undertaking new marketing projects with only a general idea, only to discover they don’t have anyone qualified to handle the component parts to the level of quality needed to keep the brand standards up.
It’s so important not to half-arse this, if you’re producing work that’s ‘good enough’ then you’re wasting your money. Not to mention, asking the impossible from your team, then getting angry when they can’t deliver is a sure-fire way to destroy morale and kill motivation.
Don’t assume (you know what they say about that), be certain that you know what a project entails – right down to each step that needs to be covered or created; then you can determine the best way to allocate your budget and team resources.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions
Managing a new project involves a lot of moving parts, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions. It’s better to ask, “Why are you doing that?” at the beginning of a task rather than waiting to the end and finding that a misconception has steered the final deliverables into unusable territory.
That being said, don’t be one of those – you know, the person that asks inane questions that they’ve already been given the answers to, or the sort that repeatedly asks the same thing (albeit in creatively different wording). Listen to your team and make time to read the reports and memo’s you’ve been issued – if your question hasn’t been addressed, then ask!
Make a List of What Must Be Done and When
To keep everyone on track, use software to plan out each stage of a task, who it’s assigned to and when it’s expected to be completed. This makes it easier to not only maintain order and clear lines of communication, but it can also reveal any issues or delays that could be costly in the long run.
Don’t Keep Changing the Goal Posts
Yes, projects change – there is always going to be some natural evolution in their scope. But there’s a difference between natural adjustments and suddenly deciding that no, you’d rather brand yourself with a pink elephant rather than a golden lion.
Your team will be looking at you to keep them focused and on track, if you’re all over the place and drip feeding important content requirements that should have been discussed and agreed at the start, you’re not endearing yourself to anyone and you’re wasting time, money and resources.
At the end of the day, you need to decide on what you want to do – then stick with it. Adjust it as required, but the core concept either needs to stay the same, or you scrap it entirely. Getting to the end of a project only to find that it’s based on a flawed concept or someone’s idea of what the customer wants (instead of a data-driven strategy) is just a recipe for failure.
If you’re not sure how to handle your marketing, or what questions you need to be asking – get in touch with our experts, and discover how virtual solutions become reality.