Have you been noticing a few unhappy faces in your marketing meetings lately? Some droopy shoulders, bags under the eyes, a few too many yawns? Chances are, your marketing team is pretty stressed out.
Well, being a marketer ain’t always sunshine and rainbows. With numerous channels to monitor, tons of content to produce, a budget to keep in check, and a handful of lofty goals they’re accountable for, marketers have a lot going on, and that can often lead to some pretty high stress levels.
So how can you help reduce your employees’ stress levels to make them both happier and more productive? Take a look at these reasons they’re getting stressed out, and how you can help them be more effective in each situation.
Marketers are stringing together too many different tools.
It’s hard enough to have to manage so many different marketing channels these days -- social media, blogging, landing pages, SEO, paid search, email -- but imagine using a different tool for each one of these. Not to mention needing an additional two or three separate analytics tools to try to glean some bits of insight into how each of these channels is doing. Having a multitude of different tools makes your marketers’ lives harder, not only because it’s a lot to juggle, but also because having all these separate tools means that they likely don’t work together. It makes it much more difficult to get a unified view of your results and how the channels support each other.
Solution: Help your marketers streamline their efforts and get a clearer, fuller picture of their results by using an all-in-one platform for your marketing. Having all the tools they need in one place will take a lot of the hassle out of your marketers’ day-to-day routines, better organize their efforts, and get insightful analytics to guide their strategy going forward.
Marketers are publishing to social media in real time, all the time.
While it's important to monitor your social media accounts for opportunities to delight a customer, answer a question, or suggest a helpful resource, your social media manager shouldn’t be doing everything in real time. With so many social media networks to manage, it’s extremely stressful to try to keep up with each of them, publishing to each one with the right content and the right positioning at the right frequency.
Solution: Recommend a social media publishing tool that allows your social media manager to plan and schedule posts in advance. That way she can, for example, schedule all her tweets for the week, set the timing for each one, and let it all happen automatically from there. This frees her up to focus on monitoring the channels, newsjacking, and improving your social media strategy, instead of constantly worrying about getting another post together a few minutes before publishing.
Marketers are running out of budget and aren't sure what to do without it.
You’ve likely heard enough requests for more budget from your marketing department that I don’t need to tell you that happens fairly often. And while it's okay for your marketing team to be utilizing some budget, they shouldn’t be relying on more and more of it to do marketing effectively.
Solution: With the rise of digital marketing, budget has become less and less of a factor in being able to do marketing well. Teach your marketing team about the concepts of inbound marketing. They should be making use of organic (ehem, free) marketing channels to get the job done, like SEO, email marketing, website optimization, social media, and blogging. You can also send them some resources on these topics to get them up to speed. And feel free to deny that next budget request for some extra motivation.
Marketers are strapped for ideas and resources to keep creating new content.
Content creation is an essential part of a strong marketing strategy. If your marketers understand that, they’re well aware that they need to be maintaining a good publishing frequency for your blog, and also creating content for the various audiences that you sell to, and the various points of your sales cycle in which they fall. Not to mention the pressure to keep it all fresh and original. This can be a big cause of stress for your blog managers and content marketers.
Solution: First, make sure that your writers are equipped with the content creation tools they need to help them optimize their blog posts for SEO and make publishing easier. Then, have them do an audit of what content they already have, and more importantly, where the gaps are that they need to fill. Once they have a clear picture of the audience segments that they haven’t focused enough on, or they identify a weak collection of blog posts that your sales team can use to help them nurture qualified leads into customers, they’ll have a better idea of where to focus their efforts.
You can also recommend that they set up an editorial calendar to plan their content schedule for the month ahead of time, so they can focus on writing instead of constantly being under stress to think of new content topics to cover.
Marketers are spending too much time formatting emails.
Email marketing is another important piece of the marketing puzzle, and an important one to do really well. Your email marketers are already tasked with using email marketing for lead generation and lead nurturing, finding the right content to send, segmenting your list effectively, implementing email optimization best practices, and measuring the effectiveness of your email marketing. Shouldn’t it at least be easy to format the emails?
Solution: Invest in a good email marketing tool. A lot of the email tools out there claim to make it simpler to craft an email, but actually end up focusing on the wrong features and overcomplicating the matter. Set your email marketers up for success by finding a tool that allows them to craft well-designed emails without needing to know HTML and without the help of a designer, and one that has a focus on features that make your emails more effective, like personalization and smart content, rather than simply offering extraneous tools.
Marketers are still waiting to hear back from the website designer.
Did you hire an external website designer? Or perhaps you have one at your company, but he’s not on the marketing team? Either way, one of the biggest sources of stress for marketers these days is not having control over their websites.
Your website is the front door to your company, one of the most, if not the most important marketing asset you have. So whether it’s overseeing a complete website redesign, or just implementing a few quick changes on one of your landing pages, your marketers shouldn’t have to sit around waiting on someone else to do it for them, crossing their fingers that the designers will get it right this time.
Solution: Your marketers need a content management system that gives them an easy, intuitive editing and design interface, with built-in templates for creating optimized landing pages. Marketers should be able to design a great website without being a designer or knowing how to code. Equip them with the right tools, and save them the hassle of another round of feedback to "please move that button a little to the left."
Marketers don’t know which metrics to report on… or how to report on them.
Whether it stems from having too many different tools that don’t inform each other, not having the right analytics tools, or simply not knowing which metrics matter, it’s easy for marketers to get confused and overwhelmed when it comes to measuring their efforts. And yet, reporting is a crucial part of marketing. It’s what allows you to tie every dollar of revenue back to its original source, to identify which channels are (or are not) generating traffic, leads, and customers, and to learn which channels are growing and which are underperforming.
Solution: First, make sure your marketing team is clear on their top priorities and overarching goals. If they don’t know what it is they’re trying to achieve, good luck getting them to achieve it. Hold monthly or bi-monthly team meetings to discuss which metrics the team should be focusing on that month, and set clear, numerical goals.
Then, once they know what numbers they’re solving for, it’s simply a matter of making sure that they have the best tools to measure their efforts effectively. Look for an analytics tool that integrates data from all of your marketing channels so you can get a holistic view of your overall marketing performance, along with a more granular, detailed view of the performance of each of your channels.
Your marketing team doesn’t need to be so stressed. Just make sure that they have the right resources and the right tools, and you’d be surprised how many more smiling faces you’ll start to see. Not to mention, happy, productive marketers likely means more leads and more revenue. It's good for everyone.
Originally published May 1, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017