Editor’s Note – This is the second in what will be a regular series address marketing challenges. We stole our list from a great article by Michael Shanker of Extraprise that appeared Feb. 20 on CMO.com. The article, titled “10 reasons to Outsource More of your Marketing,” focused more on the digital/techie side of the marketing managers’ job. For our series, the Azure team will look at the challenges in a more general way and we sometimes have a couple different slants on the same challenge.
Are you drowning? Too many jobs and not enough you! We meet marketers who are over worked and it seems like they are getting more and more projects dumped on them. Due to the recent economy, staffs have been cut to the bone. When we meet with customers, we hear that a manager who once had a staff of seven is down to two reports. Or they have become the sole marketing person.
The other issue seems to be added responsibilities. You now not only have marketing, research, communications but they just gave you internal communications and public relations.
You are stretched!
When we hear this cry for help, there’s a life vest. If you are so swamped that you don’t know where to begin, try this.
- List the projects/tasks/items that need to get done. Rank them by importance
- For each project – answer this question. Does this have to be done by me or in house? If Yes, then its on your plate but be honest – and try to let go to an external source.
- Bring in the experts. Sometimes a new set of eyes and ears can see the solution, while you are trying to bail the water out of the boat. Hire a writer to help you edit/write – believe me a good writer will be much more efficient than you trying to agonize over every word. There are people who can manage your trade shows and events, develop your training, or put content on your web site. Anything you are currently doing can probably to farmed out to a good resource. And when that resource finishes, they leave. They are not tied to your budget as overhead forever.
- Develop a project plan. Define exactly what needs to be done and by who. Remember to add the internal/external besides the responsible party. Write everything down and assign tasks. At Azure, we keep out projects going with a simple software system that gives us a quick view of the project, stores all the messages/notes and sends reminders.
- Manage, don’t do. Give it up and manage your projects. Management is getting work done through others. So strap on your life vest and jump in with some outside resources that keep your head above water.
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