In the COVID-19 world, we’re all just trying to survive. That includes navigating remote work, medical leave, layoffs, and co-workers leaving their existing jobs for opportunities that are better for their families. Keeping all of it organized and everyone on the same page is more important than ever. That’s why we’ve put together a marketing checklist of things that businesses should do while in the transition to better position their employees and marketing departments for success.
There is always work to be done so make sure that you know what projects are in progress so you can plan accordingly and assign responsibilities to existing employees or a new hire. Look to understand the role, deadlines, and the employee’s involvement in all projects. I recommend that you gather a list of projects, the employees, the deadlines, and specific responsibilities all in writing so you have a reference document. Depending on the complexity, consider project management software that includes a marketing project template, such as Asana.
Collect all existing versions of marketing plans, strategies, goals, and objectives for your existing employees. These documents should have insights that will help the next employee or marketing agency hit the ground running! Find out how you are tracking progress against annual and quarterly goals and objectives. This should save you time, money, and the effort of creating marketing plans or strategy from start to finish. New to marketing strategy? Start by getting your digital marketing priorities in order.
Collect the contact information of key players in marketing, sales, and IT. This list of key contacts should include internal and external stakeholders. These contacts will be able to provide historical information and insight into existing marketing projects and marketing plans. Make sure key information is shared with your team.
Gather all of the information about the marketing department so that the next person has an idea of how things work. For example, you should have organizational charts, product/service information, process guides, manuals, etc. These documents will provide your people with a sense of direction, knowledge of processes, and points of contact that will make it easier to get work done.
In most cases, you will have multiple vendors or partners to help with different aspects of your marketing. For example, who do you use for print materials, hosting, and digital marketing solutions? It’s also important to understand what you own versus what you rent. Some web design agencies will say that you own your website but you cannot move it to another web host or agency. Considering company downsizing and the amount of remote work currently being done, it’s key that you examine your agreements to ensure you’re still getting the services that you were promised. Acquire all agreements and make sure you understand the scope of work.
Do not hesitate to contact these vendors and providers to assure yourself of these services and promises. In the post-COVID world, it is imperative to be sure you are receiving what you are paying for. Six months into this new environment, your business partners, by this time, should have their feet on the ground and operating efficiently and effectively to serve you. If not, perhaps reexamine your partnership.
Depending on the complexity of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, it could cost your business anywhere between $12 to $300 per month for each user. Build a list of all of your marketing and sales tools. This list of marketing tools will give you information to show you where you are overspending or have redundant tools. Understanding what tools you have will help you to transition duties to another employee and obtain support to get the most out of your tools. In my experience, it would be wise to start your marketing and sales list with your CRM, email marketing platform, social media publishing tool, etc. because these are commonly used among businesses no matter the industry.
The marketing department usually has daily, weekly, and monthly reporting which funnel into executive reporting. Request an example of these reports for your reference. Our clients have had success in having discussions about who is responsible, what and where are the data sources, what is the process, and who needs to receive these reports and by what date.
If an employee is leaving the marketing department voluntarily, you need to gain insight into why. According to Harvard Business Review, exit interviews are key to long-term business success as they help you to keep a pulse on functional units, improve processes, and increase retention. The employee’s feedback can help you to improve the job description for future candidates or uncover issues that need to be addressed. It will also help you in the decision-making process when determining if you will choose your internal employees or outsource some of your marketing efforts.
Develop an onboarding plan for new employees, transitions in responsibilities for staff, or your new marketing partners. This plan should include obtaining access to marketing tools and internal resources, documentation, training materials, and meetings to confirm or validate their learning as well as capabilities. You’ll see better results by scheduling recurring meetings to measure progress for the first 90 days and throughout the year.
According to Spencer Stuart’s 16th annual CMO Tenure Study, the average tenure for Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) decreased from 43 months to 41 months in 2018. You have to weigh the pros and cons of internal staff versus a strategic marketing partner. Going through these steps that we’ve outlined here, give you the information to change processes and procedures, identify talent, and position your business for success with internal, external, or a combination of all marketing resources.