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Meetings typically sound like a boring affair. This is definitely true if you let them take their course without deliberately structuring them. Unstructured meetings often end up in silence, with the presenter fiddling with the equipment and everyone busily looking at their own screens. On the other end, meetings can become noisy and boisterous affairs where no headway is made towards actual goals.
This is why it is important to have an agenda, a structure and a direction for your meeting. Following are some items you can add to the agenda to make your marketing meetings more fruitful and goal-oriented.
What are the goals your team is targeting for this month or quarter? Make sure every single team member is crystal clear about these goals. Then dive into the strategy you have in place in order to achieve these goals. If you feel like it, let your team members share their views about the strategy and possibly evolve it based on their feedback. When discussing strategy, you want to use specific milestones and a roadmap. A roadmap gives you direction and at any point, you can use it to see where you stand with respect to your strategy and your goals.
Not all projects are going to be on time with their targets. Some team members may be excelling their goals while others may be facing difficulties. After you have discussed your team’s goals, it is time to look at the obstacles it might face. Such a review has many benefits. If one of the projects is stuck, for instance, timely identifying its obstacles and risks can help resolve the situation. You can allocate surplus or freed resources from other projects to this project. You can also personally mentor and guide the project members to make sure they hit their deadlines.
This is also where you can look at the present and future risks to the different projects of your team. A review in time can help you muster better risk management when it comes to your marketing efforts.
Metrics are a great way to measure your performance and progress. Don’t waste your time on metrics that look great but mean nothing for the goals you have defined. Your metrics should be directly related to your goals. It is important to note that in a marketing team’s meeting, you should look at a more holistic set of metrics. Go for core metrics such as qualified leads, organic and paid leads, leads and sales, traffic and so on. Visuals are a great way of presenting and reviewing the metrics. Make sure the team identifies the trends, achievements and gaps when reviewing the metrics.
This should be a review of the overall performance of the team. When looking at the overall performance, you should use the notes from the metrics you have already reviewed. This is where you also do a quick rundown of the individual team members and see where they stand with achieving their goals.
It is important to tie in all goals with specific timelines and deadlines, and then to measure performance against that. A goal that is achieved too late in the marketing calendar may be a waste of time, when it could have been a game-changer at the right time. As a marketing manager, it is during the performance review that you step in to guide, criticize and encourage your team members, egging them on to the targets.
Testing and Learning
Marketing is all about testing various tools, texts, techniques and materials. However, testing alone is not enough, as you probably know as a marketing manager. One also needs to look at the results from the test runs to see what works and what doesn’t.
Dedicate some time to looking at the tests your team members are running. Look at the results from various angles and notice not just the tests that are successful but also ones that are promising. Let your team members discuss the tests briefly and learn from each other’s experiences.
Many marketing teams tend to stick to a definite template when conducting meetings. However, you can customize the meetings to meet the specific challenges you face. If you have a large enough team, for instance, you can set a few minutes of the meeting aside. In these few minutes, your team members can share if they need help with anything.
This gives other teams and team members an opportunity to offer relevant resources and other forms of help when they can. It is also a good way of achieving one-off cross-team collaborations on specific issues. You may also consider external help in meeting management if you yourself feel that you can use it.
The Big Wins
This is the standard for all great marketing teams – to end the meeting by highlighting the wins. Let each team member share his or her achievements and successes in turn. You may also dedicate some time to highlighting what you and your team has achieved as a whole since the last meeting. This is also the place where you can highlight success stories as lessons.
The big wins should be the concluding item on your meeting agenda. This is where you end at a high note by bucking up all the team members and letting everyone know what an amazing work they’ve been doing. A good marketing team needs both criticism and praise – so don’t flinch from giving lavish praise where it is due.
A marketing team’s meeting is an opportunity to discuss current projects, chart the future roadmap and take a look at the achievements. A structured meeting always yields better results than an unstructured one. By incorporating the agenda items provided above, you can significantly improve the flow and outcome of your marketing meetings.
In addition to the agenda items, you should also have an overall focus of the team on timeliness and action. Make sure to incorporate brief breaks into your meeting if it is going to beyond 60 minutes. This will help your team stay energized and more involves in the proceedings.
Author’s Bio: Sylvia Peters is a Collaborator for Find A Facilitator and a mother of two. She’s also an expert to bringing the most credible, experienced and personable facilitation to every meeting she attended. In her free time you will find her meditating and making her favorite salad.