Get your breath back. Part 4 – How to get the most from your marketing team

Challenge 4: We’re having to do more with less.

The previous blogs in this series have lifted the lid on some of the biggest challenges faced by today’s marketers. We’ve covered how knowledge and skills gaps within marketing teams are combining with scarce resources to have a commercial impact on marketing and comms functions.

This time we’re tackling the oldest problem of them all: how to do more with less. Because old and wrinkly though the problem might be, our research shows it’s going nowhere. It remains the case that in most B2B organisations marketers are being asked to do more in the face of depleted resources. It’s no wonder 65% of marketing and comms execs are feeling more stressed than this time last year, according to our Breathless Business report.

When your to-do lists are getting larger but your budget’s somehow smaller, it’s time to talk about efficiency. How can marketers do more with what they’ve already got – or less?

Three ways to stand your ground

  1. Make time for your own stuff.

    All too often, marketers get caught up responding to internal business needs and the external market. True levels of efficiency are masked by what’s going on elsewhere. The key is to have one ear on external needs and developments and the other on your own team – and your own stuff. The things you’ve wanted to tackle for ages because they’ll just make life a much better place (you know the ones). Otherwise, you’ll never feel like you’re getting anything done. And in the meantime, when looking for efficiency gains within your own team, don’t forget to look beyond the domain of technology. Over time, some tasks inevitably become legacy chores. Root them out and get rid of them.
  2. Repeat after me: I am not a sales support function

    Left unchecked, sales support will soak up every last drop of your capacity. Introduce a structure of your own and stipulate informal service-level agreements with sales leaders so everybody knows what’s what, i.e. you are not a sales support function.
  3. Market your priorities to the rest of the business

    Having priorities is one thing – communicating them is another. Do both. This way, you manage the expectations of the rest of the business and you have the ultimate get-out when you feel yourself getting caught up in the tactical day-to-day operations.

Finally, here’s some useful closing advice from one of the speakers at our Breathless Business event earlier this year;

“Arguably, in this day and age marketers are too distracted by the day to day to be able to focus on strategy and longer term goals. With strategy, it’s easy to think big, but marketers have to be ruthlessly focused – and know their advocates. My advice is that prioritisation and organisation is key. Be smart and allow yourself some time, say 20% of your day, to deal with other things that will inevitably crop up. You don’t want to derail and lose focus.”

Laura Lilienthal, Marketing Director EMEA at Spiceworks