While the old saying that time is money rings true to anyone in business, mismanagement of time also causes stress, delays, headaches, and errors from rushing to meet deadlines. If you are working in a marketing agency, you have likely experienced at least some of these issues.
Time management is behind many of the prime issues that marketing agencies face daily. If time isn’t managed properly, then everything becomes more difficult. Customers also demand quality and reliable services, especially where marketing is concerned. When deadlines are missed or mistakes made, it doesn’t look good to clients.
Then, of course, there are all the meetings. How many times have you sat in a meeting thinking that it doesn’t apply to you? Or, thinking about the work that needs finishing instead of the meeting? Probably more than a few times. Meetings are useful but need just as much time management as workflows. So, on that note, let’s start with a look at meeting management.
Meeting Time Management for Marketing Agencies
Meetings are a vital part of planning and management, but they can often also be an unnecessary distraction or eat up too much valuable time. So, here are a few ways to not only reduce the time spent in meetings but also how to make them more effective.
- Consider if an email could effectively communicate what’s needed, instead of holding a staff meeting
- Consider using collaboration and tools for marketing agencies instead of meetings
- If a meeting is needed, set a realistic time limit and make it stick
- Set rules to avoid the meeting running off on tangents or making the issue being addressed worse than it was before the meeting
- Set an outline of what can/should be discussed
- Make sure the meeting is wrapped up with action and not everyone leaving confused. Set action points from what was discussed in the meeting
- Set a time limit. It should be realistic, but as short as possible
- Consider walking meetings, as these keep everyone focused and provide a nice change from sitting behind a desk
Let’s be honest, none of us really enjoy holding or attending meetings, but they are a necessary evil of doing business. However, with the right approach, meetings can be faster, more productive and even enjoyable.
Time Management for Marketing Agency Staff
While some people can keep track of all their tasks and deadlines in their heads, for most of us that isn’t the case. Hell, for some of us remembering just one task and deadline can be a real challenge. If you have ever experienced that moment of being determined to remember something, and forgetting it 10 minutes later, you are in need of some time management strategies.
Clearly Communicate and Collaborate
While this may not seem like time management as such, real structured communication and collaboration will help to get things done efficiently and on schedule. How many times has someone asked you to do something, but then complained it isn’t what they wanted after you’ve completed it? This is almost always caused by unclear instructions and no follow-up or collaboration. This can be best fixed with set processes and rules, but that is set up in a way that tasks are adjustable and include plenty of information.
However, this is not only for staff members. It is also vital that anyone managing clients also does this with clients. It is a complete waste of everyone’s time and money if resources are spent on a project that the client ends up not approving. It is even worse if you lose a client completely, simply because they were unaware of all the amazing work and results your marketing agency has generated for them.
Create Clear Workflows
Having predefined workflows for all processes that are performed can decrease confusion and delays and increase productivity. The trick is to make sure that not only is it clear what the steps are, but also who should be performing that duty. This then means that each step has at least one person accountable, and when someone is accountable, they are normally more focused, productive, and make fewer mistakes.
Our time management tool for marketing agencies removes the guesswork. Readymade templates and a drag-and-drop system make creating complex workflows easy. Once created, they can be edited or duplicated (for similar projects). The system assigns new tasks as other ‘triggers’ (tasks) are completed, keeping the workflow progressing. Due dates are clearly set out in user and management dashboards, meaning that there often is no need to remind staff of what needs to be done next, by when or by whom.
Automate Repetitive Tasks
This is a problem area for many marketing companies, especially those that expand quickly and don’t have time to plan out how to organize things properly. And yes, this is another area where Gryffin project management excels, but let’s first look at why it is so worthwhile to implement.
Setting work for the team takes time, but often the work that is being set is similar to or the same as other projects. They, in turn, need to notify you or a senior person once their task is completed, and then the next task needs to be assigned. In some cases, the task itself can be partly or fully automated via triggered actions and integrating other systems (linking Google docs, APIs etc.). The amount of time wasted on these things really adds up, as do the delays between steps. Our system removes the need for 90% or more of the tasks to be manually set. Just set up your processes, and then duplicate and tweak them for each new client.
Is it worth using time management techniques for marketing agencies?
In short, absolutely! By automating repetitive processes and assigning time appropriately to tasks and workflows, hundreds of wasted hours become instantly more productive. It also means that your company is more likely to meet or exceed deadlines and have happier customers because of it. So, why not try Gryffin project management for free and see how it can change your company.