Think about your day, today. Did you waste time, repeat work unnecessarily, navigate your way through chaotic toolsets (web conferencing software, anyone?), or find yourself battling ineffective processes? If so, at least you are not alone.

Happily a new ebook from marketing resource management provider Simple identifies a set of the pet peeves of modern marketers, and the tricks they can employ to make work easier.

According to Lara Sinclair, author of an ebook called “10 things I hate about marketing” there are a common set of headaches that will be familiar to most marketers today. “Just eliminating the hours spent creating and updating spreadsheet calendars, sitting through unproductive meetings or looking for lost files on email would give most marketers an extra day a week.”

The ebook identified a range of pet hates for marketers. Here are five that stood out to us (in fairness to the authors you should download the ebook to read the full list);

  1. Planning purgatory: Few professionals dreamed of a career in marketing because of their deep and abiding passion for process documentation. And yet due to the disparate types of systems they use every day, few of which are fit for purpose, there are huge inefficiencies, all of which get in between the marketer and the job they really want to do. Spreadsheets, emails, and Word documents still predominate in marketing planning, and while they may be centralised, they are often not stored in the cloud, making version control and accessibility difficult.
  2. Poorly designed briefs: Poorly briefed work ties up the resources of your in-house design studio. But when there’s an external creative agency involved, as many as 30 per cent of your agency costs can be attributed to the fallout from a bad briefing. Just as annoying for marketers, having to find, and re-enter commonly re-entered information. Hours are wasted re-entering the same data in different briefs with little consideration or even hope that the information will be reused.
  3. Prioritisation ping pong: It is not uncommon for marketing teams to spend between 40 per and 80 per cent of their time on ad-hoc requests — many of which are never logged, poorly briefed and off-strategy. And as these “invisible” requests are rarely if ever tracked it’s impossible to assess, prioritize and manage them alongside important, strategic work. In turn that makes it harder to ensure the team is working on the most important work, and ultimately to demonstrate the value that marketing is delivering to the business.
  4. The unwritten rulebook: Put simply, if you don’t document your marketing process then you don’t have a marketing process. Many marketers naturally assume there is one logical marketing process for any given task. In truth, there is an infinite number of variations depending on the company, structure, culture, category, regulatory hurdles, territory, discipline, channel, and even your internal politics. All of which means there are a lot of ways things can go wrong.
  5. The approval tango: The ebook says nine in 10 marketers cite approval delays as the main reason they miss deadlines. “Approval tango can also become a game of second-guessing: you know, when your manager approves or rejects work on the basis of what she thinks the CMO will like.”

Helpfully the ebook offers suggestions on the kinds of approaches marketers can take to overcome problems such as these, as well as others listed in the ebook.

For instance, on approvals, the suggestions include documenting the approvals process and implementing tiered approvals so that senior marketers are only bothered with bigger-spend or more complex campaigns. Other junior marketers can approve less important work to keep your team agile.

Another option, create an approvals matrix so that the individuals who are responsible for each area — risk, brand, product, legal and so on — are identified to all. This should be stored in a centrally accessible place. Keep it updated regularly!

If you have more pet hates, we would love to hear them.

About The Author

Andrew Birmingham is the director of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit and the Editor-in-Chief of Which-50 Media. Simple is a corporate member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members provide their insights and analysis for the benefit of our readers. Membership fees apply.

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