Organizations like those in the arts world have, on average, a small staff of people that most likely wear a variety of different hats to make sure that everything gets done.
It’s a difficult place to be coupled with the fact that you want your organization to succeed, how do you make sure that you are doing everything that you need to do to succeed? In this post, you’ll learn what you could do to maximize your marketing department.
In this process, you might find that you’ll need to make radical changes to your team or you could just make minor tweaks to your operations. It’s hard to tell without coming in and analyzing things individually. Below, you’ll find out possible things to do to get better at your department.
First, clarify your departments goals
I find that many organizations struggle because they don’t exactly know what they should be doing. Call it the department’s north star, chief aim, impossible dream, whatever you want. If your department doesn’t have a clear and defined goal then the rest of your work won’t matter. If you know exactly what your department is to do, then you can make informed decisions about what you should and should not be doing.
Spend some time with your executive team, either your general director, business director, board members, etc. to really clarify what your marketing department should be doing. Should you be involved in your major gifts program? Are events part of marketing or not?
Second, realign staff with goals in mind
I see in organizations, regardless of their size, that over time they get out of alignment with their main goals and then start adding areas of responsibility to their team members. When you know what your goals are and what you’re supposed to be working on, then it’s time to realign your staff with the goals in mind.
After you’ve decided what your goals are, then it’s time to talk with everyone on your team to inform them of the new direction of the department. You’ll have to adjust your staff accordingly. Does this mean that you adjust your team’s responsibilities? Does this mean you make the hard decision to eliminate positions? Do you add a team member? This is the time that you’ll need to ask yourself if you have the right people in the right positions.
Third, evaluate your processes
Now that you have clear goals and a realigned team, the next area you should be looking at is your processes. You’ll need to define what those are for your department. For instance, how does your team develop your print materials? How about updates to the website? How is your reporting done?
Take a hard look on everything that your department does and find ways to eliminate steps or combine steps to be leaner and quicker in your work. Maybe you don’t need to do many of the things you do because it introduces unnecessary bottlenecks in the production of your work. Maybe the things that you do now don’t need to be done anymore? Also, look for things to add if that’s appropriate.
Fourth, implement tools teamwide
Now that you have your goals in place, your team realigned, and your processes streamlined, now it’s time to look at the tools that you use to do your work.
There are a myriad of applications and services that marketing departments use to get work done, and to collaborate. The opportunity now is to incorporate new tools and remove others that are ineffective for your team.
Perhaps that means using a project management software like Asana to make sure that projects and tasks are completed and time is efficiently used. Did you know that if a team eliminates the use of email that their productivity can increase on average 45%?
Consider using one application for project management across your team, a marketing tool like CoSchedule for your online marketing, and Adobe Bridge for asset management, and others.
Fifth, adjust your regular meetings
The last step is to adjust your regular meetings with your team. Meetings have the ability to motivate and energize a team as well as derail and demoralize them. You’ll have to be smart, strategic, and intentional about the times you meet, when meetings occur, and if they should occur at all.
The meetings that do occur should have a clear agenda, only involve the necessary people, and happen only when necessary. They should last only as long as they need.
In one organization I worked for, our meetings would happen every Monday morning, and would last anywhere from 1 hour to all morning. My role never or rarely needed to be there. Instead of working I was sitting listening to others address concerns that were outside of my scope of responsibility. It put me behind my work and it was, frankly, a terrible way to start the workweek.
Conversely, I’ve worked with some organizations that met less often, only when necessary, and happened relatively quickly. The effect of well executed meetings can serve as a way to energize and motivate your team. I prefer the latter, rather than the former.
The best way to maximize your marketing department is to reevaluate your department’s goals, realign your team, evaluate your processes, adopt the right tools, and adjust your regular meetings.
Now it’s your turn, what would you do to maximize your department? Are there any steps you would add to my framework? Let me know in the comments below.