My team was recently at the MarTech West conference, and disorganization was a common theme among the people we spoke to. Communication, collaboration, and visibility are some of the main hurdles facing teams.
Disorganization comes at a cost: the success of your projects. My company, CoSchedule, surveyed 3,217 marketers across the world, to find links between marketing success and the act of being organized. We found that the simple act of getting organized will increase your odds of marketing success by 397 percent. That's pretty astonishing.
So why aren't more teams focusing on organizing their efforts better?
For starters, it's usually easier said than done. Marketers are plagued with a problem I like to call "Makeshift Marketing." This is also known as a hacked together spreadsheet and some single-use tools to execute their marketing strategy. If you spend more time trying to wrangle your spreadsheet and track down status updates than doing actual work... you might have a Makeshift Marketing problem.
The good news is, it doesn't have to be this way. Here are some tips to get your marketing organized.
Businesses should invest in the right tools.
What if your marketers could do more with less? What if they could publish more blog posts, infographics, white papers, and videos? What if their projects were released on time, more often?
This is why organized marketers are almost 400 percent more successful. They have more time to focus on projects that produce results. They can focus on multiplying their results by deploying more content, rather than wasting time dealing with inefficient processes, broken communication and collaboration hurdles.
According to Hubspot, companies that publish over 16 blog posts per month get almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published zero to four monthly posts.
To make sure your team is organized and publishing great content, more often, invest in marketing tools to end makeshift marketing. Rather than cobbling together single-function tools or freemium options, find a platform that brings multiple functions into one place. Common functions you can consolidate include media scheduling, marketing project management, and digital asset management. Bringing these items into one central hub makes it easier for team members to publish more content since they aren't wasting time with inefficient tools.
Getting organized means more time to launch projects. And more launched projects means better results for your business.
Lessen frustration with planned workflows.
Marketing has a nasty habit of getting overly complex, messy and disorganized. In fact, 25 percent of marketers claim they are downright disorganized. This disorganization leads to lost productivity, frustration and anxiety.
A study from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that It takes increased attentional effort to complete well-learned tasks when someone is frustrated.
Therefore, if being disorganized causes frustration, your team needs more time to complete their work.
One way managers can save time and increase their team productivity is to implement project workflows. Take some time to jot down every task associated with a project, how far in advance it needs to be completed before launching the project, and who on your team is responsible for it. This sets expectations for your team so they know exactly when their tasks are due, thus lessening their frustration and helping them work more efficiently.
Stop multi-tasking and embrace deep work.
The doers, or the people who actually create, implement and execute marketing tactics - are constantly expected to increase their output while maintaining high-quality work. To many, this seems like an impossible feat.
Doers can either spend more time on fewer projects, thus increasing the quality of their work; or they can do more projects and spend less time on each one, thus decreasing the quality of each.
What is being asked of them is to increase the number of projects, while also increasing the quality (or at least keep the quality steady). Sounds impossible.
According to a study from Workfront, employees spend only 40 percent of their days on primary tasks. The rest of their time is eaten up by unnecessary tasks. This context-switching is shattering our team's productivity. Here's how to fix it:
Commit to working distraction free. Don't respond to that email right away. In fact, close your email for an entire hour. The concept was created by Cal Newport in his book "Deep Work". In his book, Newport states that by removing distractions from our work, we can produce better quality work, more quickly since the cost of context-switching is removed.
When old, broken processes get thrown out for new solutions that increase organization, everybody wins. The business increases profitability, managers have better visibility and can increase their team's velocity, and doers can focus on tasks that actually contribute to the bottom-line.