When I think of Marketing Managers and Coordinators for any business, I envision them eyes ten centimeters from a computer or I phone screen, a tightened posture and the air of overwhelming stress piling up as they struggle to manage and keep up with the continuous evolution of Digital Marketing.
No matter how good you are, if you’re always playing catch up, then your brain-space is occupied and you can’t be focusing on big-picture concepts. It seems like every single marketing department is constantly struggling to update blogs, post on social media 3 times a day, and schedule last minute e-blasts. Not to mention produce ad material and step in for events as needed. If you work in marketing, you probably can relate to this feeling of dropped balls and late turn ins because you have spent so much of the day playing catch up.
It's a huge and growing problem in the Marketing industry and more and more talented employees are existing the field due to burn out.
How can you prevent it?
Here are five tips to make your life a whole lot easier.
- Intern up. Get an intern to handle the social media, work with top level brass to figure out what other members of the non-marketing department can handle on their own and create a system internally that keeps your work flow sacred and uncluttered. What do you not enjoy doing- forward to the intern. Emails sucking the life out of you? Set up e-mail forwarding to the intern or another member of your team and have them vet the real emails from the spams and the marketing pitches.
- Turn off email notifications. When working on projects, just turn off your email. Shut your phone off and focus. Lock yourself in a broom closet, or whatever it takes to knock that project off your to-do list. Emails are the biggest time consumer, and with Marketing professionals getting an average of 80 a day- you can easily lose hours scrolling through and deleting the non-important junk from the important messages caught in between. If you have an intern available, come up with canned responses for email questions that you seem to receive a lot of, that the intern can copy and paste into.
- Make an argument for outsourcing. The boss hired you to handle marketing. But it’s turning out to be way more than one sane person can handle. You feel burn-out coming in hot. Have an honest conversation with your supervisor that for some projects, it would be wise to spend some money on. Yes- you can work your way around InDesign, but you know a Graphic Designer could do the work in 1/3 of the time. Utilize that! Consider a virtual assistant to help keep track of your work flow and upcoming projects.
- Create a 12 month plan. You don’t have to know where you’re going exactly, but you do need to have a loose plan in place of your marketing initiatives and goals in place. Include in your plan a proposal for outsourcing and make sure the plan includes categories like : print, digital, social, e-blasts, web development, etc and include proposed ad spends. At the end of the year, sit down with your boss and review what worked and what didn’t, so that the next year you can copy the same plan and make minor changes on it. Be kind to book-keeping and include them in these conversations because cash-flow makes of breaks a business and you don’t want to authorize a big spend in the businesses’ slowest month.
- Build an asset library. Hello dropbox, we meet again. For $10 a month, you can store up to 2 TB of data in the cloud. Organize your dropbox with ready to go ads for the upcoming year, your 12 month plan, high-res images (organized), bios, press releases, templates you’ve created over the years, marketing materials and handouts- etc. If you find yourself being asked over and over for the same thing (like a list of vendors, or that high-res photo from the company picnic) - just stick it in the DropBox for colleagues to download at their leisure. The more organized this is, the better you will feel.
Remember, the more work you do up front building a system, the less you will have to do down the road and the better hours you will keep!
This article was submitted by Ashley Brown, President of Ashley Brown Strategy.