December 7, 2017
According to HubSpot’s study, the average marketing professionals burns around 16 hours per week on mind-numbing, trivial work, such as data gathering, sending emails, etc. Having in mind that the average person works 45 hours per week in this industry, that would mean that a third of their total work time is being spent on these repetitive tasks.
This is a problem. Regardless of the fact that it’s now normal for experienced marketers to wear different hats in their company and juggle many different tasks at once, the issue still remains – they’re wasting too much time on activities that aren’t really crucial for their business, which naturally has a negative effect on overall employee satisfaction and the productivity of the marketing agency or company in question.
The solution to this problem is quite simple: If you want to save your best employees from trivial work and allow them to do what you’re actually paying them to do, it’s imperative to constantly optimize processes and cut corners wherever corners can be cut. Simple shortcuts can save you valuable minutes on routine tasks, but that’s not really enough. You need to locate all the critical areas of your workday and business, and do your best to fix them. Even though there are a lot of things that can slow a specific marketing professional or agency down, there always seems to be some overshadowing time sucks. Here are some ways to overcome these problems.
Managing and Addressing Emails
The Problem: Most marketers waste significant portions of their time on reading and responding to emails. Even though this is usually a small portion of their job, it often becomes the one that consumes most of their time. If you want to sound professional and friendly at the same time, you need to think about what you’re going to write. You need to think of a great opening line and how to present your ideas. This is an activity that demands extra attention to detail. Especially if you work in an industry like SEO, where your link building efforts depend on your emails.
The Solution: Create an email filing system that prioritizes action. If you want to save time on this activity, you first need to separate which emails demand your immediate attention, which don’t, and which you can leave for later. File your emails under different categories, for example:
- Now – urgent emails that require simple answers
- Code Red – important emails that demand all your time and attention
- Delegate – emails that you can forward to someone else
- File – emails to which you can respond later
- Delete – emails you can instantly remove from your inbox.
In addition to optimizing your inbox, I advise you to also create custom templates for your most regular and important emails. Take a few minutes to develop preset emails to save time and ensure success with your, for example, outreach efforts. Monitor different styles and versions of the same email until you find one that gets you the biggest number of positive responses.
Try to develop a mini-guide or rules for your emails, then tape them to the side of your monitor, so that you can always be on top of what (and how) you need to say. This will surely help you save a bundle of time on emails.
The Problem: Whether you’re writing a blog post for your site, creating ad copy, or coming up with a short teaser for the content you’re sharing on social media – this is usually a task that sucks up a lot of your time. Content connects you with your desired audiences, so you cannot really afford to do a bad job here. If you want your leads to convert via your ads and blog posts, you need to make sure that your content truly speaks to them. Every word in your ad or article needs to be there for a reason. There’s no room for screwups. Everything needs to be just right.
Apart from thinking about what you’re going to write, you also need to focus on your grammar, style, and spelling. If you don’t read your content at least 3 times before publish it online, chances are it will be full of errors and typos, which will naturally have a negative effect on how users respond to your material.
The Solution: Try using services like Grammarly or the Hemingway App. I personally use Grammarly for spelling, punctuation, and Hemingway for content readability purposes and style suggestions. Both of these tools are free and quite easy to use. Even though they overlap when in comes to functionality in some areas, I suggest you combine them for maximum precision.
Data Collecting and Analyzing, Client Reporting
The Problem: Client reporting is a complicated activity that demands a lot of your time and attention. You need to collect data from dozens of sources, analyze it, and turn it into something that’s actually useful for you and your clients. Quality plays a crucial role here. Apart from that, reporting also require additional effort for design. You cannot just feed your clients complicated Excel sheets.
If your clients don’t immediately recognize what your report is about and understand their ROI, chances are, you’ll be wasting additional time on phone calls where you’ll need to explain every segment of your report that confuses them.
Client reporting is no longer a process that is done as a formality. These documents play a key role in client retention, so it’s imperative that they maintain a high standard. That’s why most marketers waste so much time on their reports.
My recent in-house research has led me to acknowledge the fact that our average marketing executive wastes 5 or more hours per week on reporting, for a single client. At first I thought we were doing something wrong, but as soon as I started talking to people from other marketing agencies, I realized that this is the industry standard.
The Solution: Invest in tools that automate the entire reporting process. There are a lot of marketing reporting utilities out there, but in my experience, I use Reportz, it’s a highly intuitive platform, designed to automate the process of reporting and allow its users real-time access to their most important data from one centralized location.
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