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New directors of marketing can face serious uphill battles as they step into their new role. Every company and product is different, and so your techniques and strategy will need to adapt as well.
Whether you’re working in an industry that’s totally new or so familiar you know it like the back of your hand, there are certain key steps to take when beginning your role as the director of marketing.
One of the best pieces of advice is to map out your first 90 days. This will include what you plan to accomplish and how you plan to do it, but it can also be far more granular as it deals with your day to day routines and responsibilities.
You’ll want to break those 90 days up into three 30 day chunks. This segmentation will allow you to more specifically address the major concerns and considerations of those periods. Three months may not seem like much, but once you’re promising deliverables and your deadlines creep closer, you’ll be glad you took the time to appropriately map out and plan your first 90 days 👍👍👍
Much of the early work as a Director of Marketing will be laying down roots with your team and company. A great marketing director will be highly knowledgeable about the company’s major products and their benefits, as well as your ideal customer profile so that you can get to work on a persona template. If you aren’t already an expert on what you’re selling, now is the time to meet and learn first hand from the very people who design and sell these products.
Breaking the ice with your team should be a top priority, as a sense of camaraderie in the workplace improves overall collaboration and team morale. Marketing, as a department, is typically full of personality, so don’t be afraid to come out of your comfort zone and make friends 🤗
Establishing an authentic rapport with your team will go a long way to establishing shared responsibilities and a sense of ownership. This is very important as another early task is to discuss and set shared goals throughout the department. Aligning your teams in this way can help to create a sense of connectedness while also keeping important dates and deliverables in mind.
Your interactions should by no means end with the marketing department, either. You’ll need to take a holistic view of the company and learn the ins and outs of each department to fully understand how to best succeed in your role.
Reviewing old marketing strategies can be very fruitful, as you will know what strategies have succeeded and failed and why they performed as they did.
It is also important to conduct thorough research of competitors. Learning and emulating the success of others can be a great way to close the gap between you and a big competitor, but to truly stand out, you’ll need to take that understanding even further by innovating new marketing strategies. These should combine the best parts of competitor strategies with what you learned from internal and customer research to create content that is fresh, impactful, and a cut above the rest.
Once you’ve completed this research, you’re ready to start building your marketing plan.
In order to enable your business plan as well as possible, the end of your first 30 days is also when you will need to decide what software you’ll be using to support your workflow.
Some marketing teams opt to go with simple solutions like Google Drive to help manage their content, while others prefer a more purpose-built, sales-focused tool like Content Camel.
The middle leg of your race to success is all about building on the momentum gained in your first 30 days on the job.
At this time, a sales audit of last month’s work should be conducted.
This will ensure that content is being produced to company standards, and that it all aligns with the brand identity. Going over the data you’ve gathered so far can indicate if you’re on the right track or if adjustments need to be made.
Establish connections with third parties/external agencies
By now, you will be getting to know third parties, such as partners and agencies which may help offload some of your work. Use the same charm and professionalism here as when you began on the job, making good impressions and strong business relationships can pay dividends in the future.
Determine which tool is best to help grow your business
Software solutions should also be a priority at this time. Now that you have experience in the role, you should be able to identify the gaps in your team and process. These gaps can be addressed in a number of ways; new hires could fill a missing role, a third party company could be used to outsource some of the work, or you could use sales enablement software tools to do the work for you.
Many marketing teams prefer to prepare things like social media posts well in advance so that the copy can be approved and the post can be dropped at the optimal time for visibility.
Tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck can help to plan these posts, and more comprehensive tools like Content Camel can be used to set reminders, request new content, and provide feedback.
Present your work so far with stakeholders, discuss what you need next
Once you’ve set up your tools and you have a good perspective on the work so far, you’re ready to present your progress to stakeholders. Demonstrating the effectiveness of your strategies can increase management’s confidence in your work, which could see budget increases and other benefits heading your way.
Full audit of all work so far (written content, social media, webinars, etc.)
By the time you reach the final stage of your 90 journey, you should be an expert on your product, a rising star to your bosses, and a fierce challenge to your competitors. Your knowledge and experience will allow you to analyse your workflow and content to perform a brand audit, ensuring you are still aligned with company values and goals.
Create a Marketing Funnel to visualise the buyer’s journey
Once you have all of this data, you can create a marketing funnel to visualise the buyer’s journey. This can then be applied to templates and future strategies.
Continued support of team members through growth and professional development opportunities
With your marketing strategy in place, your tools running, and phones ringing, you can focus on maintaining that success. This can be done by enabling your team with professional development opportunities, collaborating with other teams, and establishing redundancies to keep things running smoothly.
Even on day 91, all the lessons are still valid, so don’t get complacent even if you’ve been the director of marketing for months, even years.
Marketing is extremely competitive by its very nature, and the only way to stay on top is to keep adapting, experimenting, and innovating to find the latest and most effective strategies.
Keep moving forward! You’ve got this!
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