Being a one-person marketing department forces you to master many complex trades. First, you must be a marketing strategist and business analyst who comes up with the big picture goals, campaigns, and calendars. Next, oftentimes you must also be a graphic designer, SEO expert, copywriter, event planner, media buyer, vendor, staff trainer, and overall customer service savant in order to tackle the day-to-day activities.
I have been in this position. It can feel overwhelming to try to get the desired results, while staying sane and on-budget. I was the most effective when I spent more time on marketing strategy, and less time on administrative tasks like data wrangling and reporting. Here are nine tactics that helped me and that I am confident will help you do more with less time:
- Know your numbers. Create a detailed and thorough reporting process showing the ROI for each marketing strategy / tactic. Monthly reporting is recommended, and don’t forget to compare your results to previous months, quarters or years. This may sound counterintuitive, as I just told you to focus on actually marketing, not reporting. This brings us to point 2...
- Make sure that all parts of your system play well together; your customer database, email marketing or CRM, website and CMS, social media accounts, and any paid advertising. This makes for quick and easy reporting. Tools like Hubspot, HootSuite and Raven Tools integrate several of these functions, and can provide big savings by cutting both time and payment for duplicate services. Carefully investigate any new non-marketing product or service the company is considering purchasing to make sure that it will be compatible with your efforts, even if it is as simple as being able to export customer data in a useable format.
- If you use external vendors for services like PPC or mass media marketing, try to consolidate them. Once you are spending more with fewer companies, leverage your spend. You’ll not only get more for your money, but you can also try to get them to do some of your reporting for you. Ask for results from your campaigns in a format that will match the reporting structure you built in steps one and two.
- You can’t be everywhere at once. Focus on the social media platforms that deliver the best results. Be specific with your personas, and match them to the demographics of the main social networks. This advice goes for your in-person activities as well. Focus on the professional organizations, events, and networking groups that deliver, and ditch the rest.
- Consider outsourcing some of your content writing. From frequent blogging to refreshing your past efforts, content marketing delivers great results at an amazing rate of ROI. It’s also easy to perpetually put it on the to-do list for tomorrow, which can have long-term negative effects on your search results. Outsourcing even just part of your content writing ensures that it will actually get done, and brings fresh voices and ideas to your company.
- Find internal champions. It’s likely you’ve encountered a situation where members of other departments think they are marketing experts. While this can be hard to delicately manage at times, it is important to find internal champions from within different areas of the organization that can be your go-to subject matter experts. Maybe one of your sales reps has an interest in submitting a weekly blog post. Or ask account manager to put together a tip sheet with answers to customers top 10 questions. Product managers, engineers, customer service reps and more can all be incredible resources for topics suggestions and contributed content.
- Listening to your customers before, during, and after the purchase process is essential. Do you know what they are saying? This is one task that you don’t want to hand-off entirely. Participating gives you valuable insight that you can use for everything from creating content to improving your company processes.
- Even if you can’t hire another marketing employee, can you get help from the other staff at your company? If you have made the initial time investment in carefully mapping your buyers’ journey, it should be easy to hand off a few items. Can a receptionist call customers for testimonials, respond to form submissions, or address and send thank-you cards?
- Look into call trackers, and vanity or tracking urls/landing pages. If you use mass media or get a high volume of traffic from multiple campaigns, these tools are essential to show accurate results. Call trackers clearly show the results of all calls, and even integrate with your other campaigns. It also gives you a way to periodically review calls, which makes staff training easier. Tracking urls will give you clear insights on your website and email marketing performance.
- Use your co-op dollars. It can be tempting to pass on these funds, particularly if you are in a highly regulated industry like healthcare, financial services, insurance or law. Take a second look at them, and talk with the offering companies about what is possible. You may be able to use them to design and produce reusable materials, or to cover the cost of events that entertain clients or strategic partners.
Unfortunately, cloning yourself is still not possible, but these nine ideas will help you do more for your organization. Finding the right products, and investing time in the initial setup of your campaigns and analytics will show the results you want, with time to spare.