Digital marketing is in constant flux. It seems like every other day there’s a new social media platform people are saying businesses need to be on. Or Google rolls out an algorithm update that shakes up your SEO strategy.
Sometimes a new technology comes onto the market that does exactly the thing you’ve been needing – but requires that you make room in your budget for it and find time for training. In the end, it feels like one more thing to manage.
The never-ending evolution of digital marketing can be overwhelming. That’s, quite simply, because it is. But you have to make an effort to ensure you and your team keep pace with change. If your marketing organization is going to stay on top, you have to be proactive about it. Here are a few ways to make sure you pull it off.
Build flexibility into your ongoing marketing plan.
A good marketing plan isn’t “one and done.” Marketing planning should be an ongoing process that takes into account all the campaigns and tactics your team manages. You want your marketing plan to function as a roadmap, but a roadmap that clearly communicates it’s ok to change course.
Create a marketing plan that allows for flexibility and makes it possible for employees to work in new technologies, channels, and trends as they arise. And as long as you’re collecting the data needed to track your success as you go, you can quickly start to see which of those new initiatives are paying off, and which to set aside as a bad fit for your company.
Make regular training a part of the marketing plan.
Part of what makes fitting new training into the day-to-day of a marketing organization is that everyone has responsibilities and a to-do list based on execution. Build some time in for learning and evaluating – and not just once, but as a regular part of the marketing schedule.
When that time is always there, you can put it toward whatever the team needs to learn most at any given moment. Maybe it’s onboarding a new software product, maybe it’s presentations on new tactics or skills it would be handy for the team to have. Create a culture where people don’t feel like they’re having to drop everything in their busy schedule each time there’s something new to learn, but rather expect learning to be a normal part of that schedule.
Encourage employees to see learning as part of their job.
There’s always more to learn in marketing. Encourage employees to subscribe to relevant trade publications, follow blogs that cover the latest in their area of expertise, and attend webinars that talk about the skills and knowledge they need.
As with the training, encourage them to see continuing education as a part of their regular responsibilities so they grow accustomed to fitting it into their schedule. The more each team member learns, the more the business as a whole benefits from that knowledge.
Make meetings an opportunity to learn from each other.
If everyone on your team is constantly learning, meaningful contribution will undoubtedly increase. Design your marketing meetings so that everyone has the opportunity to share the ideas and information they’ve learned and feels comfortable doing so.
The more collective knowledge you have, the more your team can build off each other’s ideas and knowledge for ever better results.
Marketers have to be thinkers. When things get busy and the pressure’s on, it’s easy to get stuck in the pattern of doing the many tasks that are required every day without making time to fit learning into our lives as well. One of the most powerful ways to counteract that is a top-down approach that changes the whole culture and makes learning and development an expected part of the marketing plan.Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0