Today we’re talking about marketing productivity. Marketers operate in a fast-paced environment. They’re constantly learning new skills, juggling tasks, and handling distractions. As with any profession, it’s difficult to be productive 100% of the time.
If you’re struggling to maintain peak marketing productivity, keep reading! We’ve compiled nine of the top tips and tricks from the best and brightest marketing experts.
1. Neil Patel (@neilpatel)
“Have you ever noticed that you perform better when you’re happy or excited about a project? It’s the same with writing blog posts and promoting your blog. Attitude is everything: be positive and you will be inspired to innovate – and to inspire others. And that’s sure to push your personal productivity buttons.”
Neil makes a point that’s often lost in the day-to-day life of a marketer – a positive attitude can go a long way. According to Patel, a marketer’s attitude ranks as the most important factor when it comes to content marketing productivity.
We all know how it feels to create content that doesn’t excite you. You tend to drag your feet, right? As Patel says, pursue projects that you genuinely want to work on and are passionate about. You’ll be more productive, and your readers will appreciate your genuine interest and passion.
2. Neil Patel (@neilpatel)
“Short-term gains like knocking out a 20-minute task help produce long-term gains! Checking off a task gives you a shot of dopamine, the feel good chemical in your body. That little gain makes you want to do it again, and again, and again.”
Neil explains why he breaks big projects up into smaller tasks. As he puts it, big tasks are daunting and difficult to start. By breaking projects into smaller pieces, every time you complete one of these mini-tasks, you’ll get the satisfaction of having finished something – and you’ll be motivated to keep going.
3. Jay Acunzo (@jayacunzo)
“We approach this stuff backwards: We think, ‘because I’m not intrinsically motivated to do the work, I should spend time searching for a hack.’ But the ‘hack’ is actually to spend more time finding ways to be intrinsically motivated about the work…Find joy in the process, and the results will come far more easily than you’d expect.”
Jay echoes Patel’s sentiment about passion driving marketing productivity. The reason marketers search for productivity hacks is that we don’t find our work interesting, he says. Jay stresses the importance of working from a different starting point. Instead, find ways to be motivated by your work. Start projects that peak your interest or ones that incentivize you to perform well. You’ll likely find that you don’t need any quick “hacks” – you’ll be so determined to do a good job that your productivity will naturally skyrocket.
4. Jay Acunzo (@jayacunzo)
“We need to start in a much different place than asking ‘quality or quantity?’ As soon as we see those two things as juxtaposing ideas – or worse, a choice we actually make – we’ve lost.”
With this quote, Jay dispels the popular myth that marketers must choose between putting out ‘quality’ content and offering a vast ‘quantity’ of content. As he goes on to explain, your audience expects both – high-quality content delivered frequently.
Too often marketers value one rather than the other. They focus on improving the quality of their content and their output lessens. Or they try to churn out as much content as possible and the quality drops. Jay argues that you don’t need more time or resources to produce large quantities of high-quality content, but rather you need solid preparation and a clear vision of what you want to convey to your audience.
5. Michael Brenner (@BrennerMichael)
“It’s not enough to create great content. You have to also build an audience. One of the best ways to do that is to share other experts’ content. Follow them on their social accounts and mention them when you do share their content. This way you not only gain their attention, you may also build a community willing to share your content as well. If you schedule the time in your calendar, creating and sharing is more likely to get done and more likely to be successful.”
Michael’s marketing productivity hack doesn’t just involve creating your own content, but interacting with other people’s content as well. While many marketers know this is a great way to build an audience, not everyone plans ahead and schedules the time it takes into their calendar.
As a result, they share content inconsistently or less frequently than they intend to. Make content sharing a regular part of your schedule.
6. Jay Baer (@jaybaer)
“One of the other primary reasons marketers are working so hard is ‘to look more dedicated than my colleagues’, cited by 17% of participants. So at least in part, hyper-working is a self-inflicted wound from not setting limits, being technologically tied to work at all times, and trying to climb the ladder of ‘success.’”
Here, Jay describes a problem with the way marketers view productivity. In a blog post explaining how modern marketers are often overworked, Jay argues that too many in the industry are working hard for the wrong reasons – like keeping up the “appearance” of being dedicated.
To be considered “productive” in today’s environment, marketers are working long hours. Unfortunately, as Jay points out, too many companies expect this mindset from their employees. In the long run, if expectations are unreasonably high, you risk overworking employees. They become burnt-out, and marketing productivity goes out the window.
7. Mark Schaefer (@markwschaefer)
“There are too many people in marketing using tools and tactics that worked five years ago. I think (and hope!) we see deep cultural changes in how we approach marketing with a focus on the hyper-empowered consumer.”
Marketing productivity isn’t defined by how hard you work, but rather how efficient you are. As Mark points out, many companies fall behind not because of low output, but because they waste time on outdated methods.
He proceeds to explain that tactics like user-generated content, reviews and B2B influencer marketing are driving the industry today. Yet companies still spend most of their resources on “advertising, agencies and campaigns.” If you want to increase your productivity, take a step back and assess your marketing strategy – does it reflect recent trends in the industry, or are you still using the same tactics you did years ago?
8. Seth Godin (@sethgodinblog)
“The decision about what to do next is even more important than the labor spent executing it. A modern productive worker is someone who does a great job figuring out what to do next.”
Seth offers a simple definition of what makes a marketer productive. Technology has grown leaps and bounds. Automation and artificial intelligence replace many human tasks as a means to lower costs and increase productivity.
But as Seth explains, this is a race to the bottom. High output at low costs is great, but cannot make up for stale strategies. The truly productive marketer is one who makes the right decisions about what their next step should be. Whether that means coming up with a truly innovative idea or recognizing a growing trend, productivity starts with human decision-making, not machines.
9. Joe Chernov (@jchernov)
“When I’m in a productivity hole and need to climb out, I shift into ‘touch and do’ mode. Every email I open or item on my to-do list, I complete, assign or archive – independent of the task’s urgency or importance. I re-allocate the time I would normally spend in weighing the relative importance of the projects into the projects themselves. You can’t do this forever – because ultimately, the important projects to require more time– but when you are in a hole, put down the shovel marked ‘planning’ and start doing instead.”
To wrap things up, Joe Chernov’s simple advice is exactly what marketers need to hear when they fall behind. Just do it. When you have a lot on your plate, set aside prioritization and planning and spend that time on the work itself.
Chernov clarifies that this tactic isn’t a miracle fix but rather a useful tactic when you begin to feel overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. Know when to plan and prioritize, and know when to simply get to work.
Marketing Productivity and the 2018 Growth Acceleration Summit
See some of these speakers, and more, in action at the 2018 Growth Acceleration Summit on June 18th-20th in Boston! Industry experts like Jay Baer, Grant Cardone, and Neil Patel will discuss this year’s theme- marketing and sales productivity.
You won’t want to miss this three-day B2B conference full of actionable insights, strategies, and tools specifically designed to help sales and marketing professionals.
Or call ZoomInfo today, to learn how we can improve your marketing productivity. We have the tools to clean, develop, and improve your marketing contacts database.