Marketing is a complicated process. The advent of online marketing, in particular, has created a wide variety of marketing channels and activities. This has complicated marketing strategy and led to a diversification of talent on many marketing teams.
While the evolution of marketing in the 21st century has opened up new opportunities, it has also created its fair share of challenges. One of these is managing marketing team meetings in a timely and efficient manner. The rise of remote work has only served to exacerbate this challenge by shifting many meetings into an online format.
If you’re in charge of running marketing meetings, here are a few tips to help you knock the ball out of the park with each and every meeting.
Always Create an Agenda
The need to set up a meeting automatically implies that you’ll have an agenda. Your staff will arrive with the expectation that there will be a certain sense of organization and order to the proceedings. The lack of an agenda is the epitome of why meetings are so often pegged for wasting time.
Instead, make sure to take the time to create a clear meeting agenda. In the case of an online meeting, this is particularly relevant. On the one hand, you don’t want everyone talking over one another during a Zoom meeting. On the other hand, you don’t want to hear crickets as everyone tunes out or hesitates over whether it’s an appropriate time to chime in.
Instead, always make sure that you have quality meeting agenda software on deck. This will help you and your team collaborate as everyone is able to focus and contribute at the right time. It also helps you stay on track and maintain accountability as you make decisions.
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Only Invite Relevant Parties
Everyone brings their own unique sense of value, talent and responsibility to a company. However, there is a time and place when it is required.
In the case of a virtual meeting, if an individual’s various values and talents aren’t absolutely important, it may be better to leave them off the invite list. The practical element of who attends is important if you want your meetings to be efficient.
This isn’t to say that you should be cutthroat about who attends each meeting. If it makes sense to have someone there, by all means, ask them to attend. The important thing to consider here is the filter that you use when you choose who to invite to each meeting.
If you feel that it’s important for certain individuals to access the information in the meeting without participating, you have a couple of options. First, you could ask them to attend with their microphone off. Second, you could use meeting transcription software to create audio and text copies of your meeting for others to access.
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Create a Consistent Format
Using agendas and inviting the right people can already do wonders even if the rest of your meetings remain untouched. However, if you really want to take things to the next level, consider creating a predictable format for how your meetings take place.
This doesn’t mean everything has to be identical every time. However, you can create a checklist for yourself to run through each time you run a meeting. This way you can ensure you meet a few important efficiency factors every time you gather, such as:
- Requiring everyone to keep their videos on.
- Making it clear who should have their mics on or off during the meeting.
- Establishing ground rules for respect and video conferencing etiquette.
- Taking the time to introduce and acknowledge everyone in the room.
- Making sure everyone has any necessary documents and resources on hand.
- Ensuring everyone has received your agenda.
By establishing a checklist, you can create a predictable, positive atmosphere for your meetings. This doesn’t just utilize helpful video chat elements. It also creates a sense of comfort that your team can operate within.
Evolve Your Marketing Meetings, Now and in the Future
The remote work world is here to stay. Sure, there are areas where hybrid and even full-time on-site work continues. But in areas like online marketing, the odds of going back to in-person operations are slim at best.
With that in mind, it’s wise for marketing managers to do their best to adapt to the current situation. From agendas to thoughtful insights to meeting checklists, consider how you can improve the efficiency of your meetings.
Don’t stop there, either. Make sure that you continue to evolve with your circumstances in the future as well. If you can adopt an attitude of continual learning, your team meetings will remain efficient both now and far into the future.
Currently serving as a communications director for Oracle, Steve Olenski is a true unicorn in that he has the unique ability to combine real-world marketing experience with a highly impressive journalistic background. A regular contributor to Forbes for 10 years, his work has also appeared in other leading publications including Ad Age, Adweek, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Marketing Land, MarTech Today, ESPN among many others.