If you’ve ever been involved in a marketing campaign and felt like a lot of time has gone into getting very little done, it could be that you’ve fallen foul of some of these five complete time wasters.
Although an essential part of maintaining and growing a business, hours can be plowed into a marketing campaign only for it to create a blip on the radar barely and you’re left wondering where all the time went and what caused it to go so wrong.
There are some common mistakes and technical hitches that crop up time and time again, which means the whole process takes much longer, and the time spent on it has all gone to waste because you didn’t get the kind of results you were hoping for.
So, here’s a look at some of the ways time can trickle away and how you can stop it from happening to you.
Lack of research and planning
Before you embark on any kind of marketing campaign, you need a clear, documented marketing strategy.
The only way to come up with that is by knowing for sure who your customers are, where you will find them and what will attract them to you. It also helps to know who your competition is and what makes you stand out from them.
To obtain this, you will need quality market research. It’s no good coming up with an attention-grabbing idea that doesn’t grab your customers’ attention or spend time creating campaigns for Facebook and Twitter when you would be better off creating an in-print ad for your local newspaper.
Another trap to fall into is not having a brand that speaks to your customer. Without that, it can render an otherwise good marketing campaign useless, so before you get started on the campaign, do the research to help you produce an effective brand for your business.
Certain market research can be carried out by your team, such as asking your own customers questions via telephone conversations, email questionnaires, and feedback forms, for example, finding out about your competitors or arranging your own focus groups. You can also outsource market research to specialist companies or go online to find published research that might benefit you.
Research has found it can reduce productivity by up to 40 percent, but in addition to that, too much multitasking can also negatively affect the way your brain works.
There are numerous ways you can be drawn into multitasking when it comes to marketing but choosing where best to spend your time comes down to the market research results mentioned above.
Just because you’ve heard about the different ways every single social media channel might drive business to your website, it doesn’t mean they necessarily will, and they definitely won’t if, by doing them all, you do them badly. Better to work out which channels will help your business the most and focus your energy on doing a few well.
The same goes for other marketing campaigns such as direct mail, radio, television, events, emails, and search engines. Less is more, so decide what will get you the most bang for your buck and ditch the rest.
Equally, don’t try to work on all the different areas at once. If you’re trying to settle on the wording for your Facebook advertising, don’t try to create your TV ad at the same time, it will make both tasks take longer to complete.
Badly named files, poor use of folders, and lack of communication – all leading causes of losing important assets needed to put together a marketing campaign and hours of precious time wasted trying to find or recreate them.
Marketing can pull in resources from many different departments, even outside agencies, so it’s vitally important everyone can quickly and easily access the most up to date files to carry out their roles without hold up. However, this continues to be one area where time is frequently lost.
There are ways to combat this, though, and, thanks to technology, it’s becoming easier to store files in a more user-friendly way. Indeed some of it can even be automated.
Cloud computing means files can now be stored, searched, and edited by anyone who has authorized access to them, through multiple devices, wherever they are, meaning whether you are office-based or not, time won’t be wasted finding the necessary documents, images, audio, data and more.
Take a jpeg, for instance; the way that it’s filed away has got pretty clever. Instead of giving it a name and putting it into a folder before sharing that information with anyone who might need to access it, now you can simply upload and tag images.
As well as manually adding tags, image tagging software can automate this step, adding tags based on what is in the image. If you are dealing with lots of images, this can be a real time-saver when filing and retrieving assets.
A big drain on time in all areas of business are unnecessary and ineffectual meetings. To make sure your marketing team is spending less time discussing and more time doing, make sure you know exactly what you want to get out of a meeting. You might determine an email or one-to-one would be a better use of time than taking a group of people away from what they could otherwise be getting on with.
When a meeting is necessary, make sure to set an agenda and a timescale to focus the mind and avoid wandering off-topic.
Not monitoring effectiveness
Once a marketing campaign is underway, it is tempting to believe all the hard work is done but to get the most from it and avoid all the time in preparing it to go to waste, there needs to be ongoing monitoring of how it’s going.
Ongoing monitoring means you can tweak as you go along instead of coming to an end and realizing some, or all, of the campaign, hasn’t performed as predicted.
It also offers insight into the things that worked and the things that didn’t, which will be invaluable when planning your next campaign.