If you work in marketing like me, you’ve been head down, keyboard smoking, back to back zoom calls, and little time or ability to look up, let alone look forward. However, because “content marketing” is important to brands – including our own JP brand – I was assigned this blog and was forced to dig in and look forward. Here’s what I saw.
Scott Brinker, Hubspot VP of Platform Ecosystem, makes a grand understatement, “Marketers are just constantly under pressure, asking themselves, ‘How do we adapt and work with the things that are changing around us?’”1
I believe that learning to adapt begins with reflection. So let’s look at some current challenges marketers face, as stated by Airtable’s 2022 Marketing Trend Report1:
- Marketing workloads have jumped 52% over the last year.
- Marketing leaders lack visibility into what actually works.
- Lastly, the above two items are burning out our team members.
At JP, we believe it begins with research and data. Gathering information and analyzing for correlation or trends will help us marketers start to connect tactics to outcomes so we can make better decisions for our clients. Perhaps this even allows us to make recommendations that are more about quality than quantity and subsequently reduce that overall workload stat.
How to start healing?
Moving at break-neck speed feels like the new norm. However, nothing ruins a marketing campaign faster than ridiculous deadlines. At JP, we get a lot of these requests, and here’s how we minimize the pain.
Optimize your tools
In case you missed it, your agency is likely paying thousands of dollars in subscription fees for all sorts of tools to help us do our work. I don’t know why there’s no perfectly integrated software system for advertising agencies yet, but there’s not. So I’m not going to recommend a specific app that will make all your days better, but I am going to recommend you double down on what you have. Most subscription based software has iterated over the last few years, but when was the last time you engaged in training? Ask your providers to share the latest tutorials or conduct a private webinar for your needs. This should allow you to optimize the tools you already have, and just one or two time saving skills can make a big difference.
Embrace the numbers
During the “just get it done” attitude of the last couple years, us marketers have been forced to skip a couple steps, and most of those steps involved researching and reporting. If you’re like me, you’re happy to skip over some of the numbers anyway. But now more than ever, it’s time to embrace them, beginning with research. At JP, we prefer primary data through custom online surveys and we love using our own tool, MMAPS® (www.mmapsresearch.com). This is a quick and easy way to gain insights before you launch that campaign.
And what about after the campaign? There’s dozens of software options that spit out digestible reports – from social media management platforms to Google Analytics. However, it’s time to start having deeper conversations with clients about the data that can be collected on their end – beyond impressions and clicks. If you can have a conversation about leads, conversion rates, incremental sales and other trackable outcomes, you’re on your way to increased campaign visibility, optimized return on investment and reinforced future recommendations.
Not only does this give us a sense of purpose, but it helps keep us on track with performance.
According to Gallup, “Employees are significantly less likely to be burned out when they can connect their work to their company’s mission or purpose in a way that makes their job feel important.”1 If we can optimize our tools to save employees a little time or frustration and if we can embrace the numbers to show employees how their work connects to outcomes, I think those are great starts to battling burnout. However, here’s a reminder on a few others:
- Self-Care – This means something different to every team member, so how do you support the individual needs? Create space for it. Demand it be put on calendars and then follow up to make sure it was done. It’s essential.
- Connections – The best antidote to burnout is making time to connect. Look for opportunities to conduct small group meetings, revisit offset retreats, make time for fun outside the office, and even encourage volunteerism.
- Working from Home (WFH) – According to Bloomberg.com, working from home has shown only a mild positive increase in efficiency but a more significant increase in employees’ job satisfaction. So as long as work standards are being met, continue to make space for this.
So, what’s next? I’d love to predict the future, but if there’s anything that the last few years have proven, there’s no telling what’s next. For now, marketers boldly stare tomorrow straight in the eyes and say, “We got this!”
Michele Meisch, Director of Client Services
- 2022 Marketing Trends Report – Airtable
- Harvard Business Review – https://hbr.org/2016/11/beating-burnout
- Bloomberg.com – https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-06-02/are-workers-more-productive-at-home#:~:text=People%20are%20about%2010%25%20more,a%20minus%2010%25%20selection%20effect.