Blank expressions, people checking their emails, and endless arguments. Do these behaviors dominate your marketing meetings?
Let’s imagine the ideal scenario. All attendees are attentive, they contribute to the discussion, and marketing strategies and plans are drafted. Next steps are assigned. Systems for tracking progress and follow-ups are in place. When the meeting ends, everyone leaves with a defined purpose.
If this ideal scene sounds incredulous, it doesn’t have to be. It is simple to turn marketing meetings from time- and money-sucking events to productive and effective sessions.
Here are some tips on how to run the perfect marketing meeting.
How to Run an Effective Marketing Meeting
A Purposeful Agenda
An agenda is the roadmap for your meeting. Define the purpose of your meeting and break the time into small slots to cover each topic. Your agenda should have the following:
- Topics to be discussed.
- Outcome for each topic.
- Leader for each discussion topic.
- Time allotted for each topic.
Your agenda should reflect the needs of the team. Ask your team for suggestions on what should be on the agenda and why. This way, attendees are more invested in the meeting and are less likely to be distracted. Once the agenda is finalized, share it with your team before the meeting, along with any other reference material that may be needed. This gives everyone a chance to be prepared.
The Right Tool
The ideal tool or tools should allow you to:
- Schedule and manage your meetings.
- Create agenda and record notes.
- Keep everyone on the same page.
A work management system that helps you record tasks, decisions, and updates is an important part of the meeting arsenal. Marketing firms are increasingly hiring freelancers and remote team meetings have become the norm. This makes meeting software and other related systems even more important. Tools such as Slack can also help your team stay in sync. Choose a tool that fits your budget and requirements.
An Able Leader
The leader is responsible for clarifying the purpose and goals of the marketing meeting. They decide what goes into the agenda after receiving input from the team. During the meeting, the leader has to catch the signs of a derailed discussion early and bring it back on track. Ensuring that everyone participates is an important task. They also contribute to the meeting productivity by clearly defining next steps and setting systems in place for effective follow-up.
An Effective Review Session
An important step in measuring your marketing team progress is to identify metrics that are performance indicators. Some general metrics that apply to every digital marketing team include:
- Leads Waterfall: This helps you measure if your lead goals are on track. Comparing actual performance against desired performance helps to quickly implement remedial measures to ensure that goals are achieved.
- Traffic Waterfall: This helps in monitoring traffic growth and implementing actions that keep the traffic coming in.
- Channel Effectiveness: This helps measure which channel is performing better than the other and where additional resources need to be allocated.
- Marketing Qualified Leads: The number of leads measured during a defined time period that are ready to be handed over to the sales team.
An effective review session involves understanding where the marketing team stands and what improvements are required. Ultimately, it should lead to action items required to improve these metrics.
Make it a point to celebrate and recognize achievements. This could be anything from achieving social media milestones, striking a deal with big influencers, or quadrupling website traffic with a creative marketing campaign. Set aside some time in your meetings to highlight team or individual accomplishments. This creates a positive vibe and motivates everyone to work hard.
Every meeting should be designed to be a safe place. Use the collective power of the team to find solutions to roadblocks. Get everyone’s suggestions and see what would work best according to the scenario. You may be surprised to see that sometimes even the most complex problems can be solved with the team’s combined brainpower.
Sometimes, your marketing department is specialized into different teams for email marketing, social media, and other functions. In this case, each team’s representative can present their goals for the month and outline the methods they will use to achieve these goals. Encourage feedback from other attendees. This allows the goals and methods to be reviewed, and suggestions from the meeting attendees to be incorporated. Break down every goal to the task level and ensure that all steps are thoroughly examined.
If whatever is discussed in your meetings typically just stays there, it is time to start creating and assigning action items. Convert every discussion into actionable to-dos. These tasks can be assigned to the appropriate person with defined due dates. Record all of these action items in the meeting notes and send a copy to every team member. Set up a follow-up routine and stick to it. Everyone leaves the meeting knowing exactly what needs to be done. This results in increased accountability and reduced ambiguity.
Our average attention span is about 20 minutes. This makes it crucial for meetings to start and end on time. If your meetings usually run for an hour, try halving that time and see if the magic of 30-minute meetings works for you. Otherwise, incorporate breaks so that your attendees stay focused. Get a timekeeper to inform presenters five minutes before their time is about to end. These practices will transform meetings from a chore to something that everyone looks forward to.
Different Marketing Meetings
There are different meetings that dominate a digital marketer’s calendar. Here are a few of them.
The Annual Marketing Strategy Meeting
The purpose of the annual marketing strategy meeting is to establish goals for the year. These goals are then broken down into quarterly goals and further broken down into tasks. This meeting also focuses on the events that could affect achievement of goals. Sometimes, attendees also develop contingency plans for each event. This meeting should also feature a review of the previous year’s marketing strategy and the lessons derived from it. There should be a renewed focus on customers, their needs, and how best to target them. An audit of competition is also essential.
The Content Marketing Meeting
The most important resource for a content marketing meeting is the analytics dashboard. A review of content engagement can shape upcoming strategies. This meeting should involve a revisiting of buyer personas and plan out content that solves customers’ pain points, addresses their skepticism, and overcomes any anxiety that they might have. The outcome is a content plan that is distributed across the defined time frame and aligned with the buying stages.
The Social Media Marketing Meeting
Social media engagement begins with understanding business objectives and where potential and existing customers are found. The agenda for this meeting should focus on the following:
- Current social media presence audit
- Define the ideal customer
- For what purpose will the social media presence be used
- Define metrics for success
- Social media content calendar
- Track metrics and discuss steps for improvement
The meeting should focus on identifying challenges and developing actions to overcome these for each social media. The meeting must also define how the social media marketing integrates with other forms of marketing.
The Sales and Marketing Meeting
Constant communication between sales and marketing teams is the secret sauce for success. These meetings should focus on opportunities that can be exploited, lead quality review, and lead follow up. Feedback from the sales team is used to revisit and revise the marketing strategy, specifically the content strategy. These meetings can also help translate target revenue figures into site visits and conversions.
The Review Meeting
It is important to periodically analyze the progress of different marketing projects to check if they are giving results that justify resource allocation. Metrics that are generally considered in these meetings include:
- Organic and paid traffic
- Customer acquisitions
- SEO rankings
This meeting is also an opportunity to review marketing strategy and determine if it was a success. You can showcase what went well and identify areas for improvement.
The Weekly Deliverables Meeting
This meeting focuses on current projects and campaigns, along with the team’s plan for the week. This weekly plan ideally includes a detailed to-do list with task leaders and due dates clearly defined. The resources required are also reviewed to ensure that team members can complete their tasks on time. This meeting also serves to disseminate any new information that has on impact on current projects and what changes need to be incorporated. New strategies and plans are made accordingly.
There may be more meetings that feature in a marketer’s schedule. These meetings should not drag you down. Instead, they should fuel better and productive work. It takes only a few ingredients to create the perfect marketing meeting. Get organized, develop a spectacular agenda, drive action, and harness the collective wisdom of your team. Do away with frustrating and wasteful meetings, and start running meetings that result in significant outcomes.