Alright y’all, marketing routines and operations are my bread and butter. Nothing is more satisfying than making a really useful list of steps and then crossing them off (in order) once completed. I dream of an inbox with no unread messages, that feeling when you fold and put away the last item of laundry, a clean slate in every sense of the term. It’s not just satisfying to cross things off a list, though, operations can make or break your business.

We always hear about “The 5 things every billionaire does in their morning routine” or “10 habits of highly successful people”. There’s a reason that everyone emphasizes the importance of a standard, consistent routine. Once a habit is formed, we are able to use our brain-power elsewhere. We don’t have to really think about what should come next, we just perform the next step in the routine and are able to commit our full energy to the task at hand.

How does this apply to Marketing?

As a business owner, you know that marketing is important. That doesn’t make it any easier to invest in marketing, though. Why would you spend so much money on something when it doesn’t seem like it’s at the heart of what you do? The answers are often vague and the return on investment can be hazy. Improving your marketing routine is where that investment really pays off.

A firm, consistent marketing routine that’s written down and followed step-by-step might sound like overkill. In reality, it allows you to hone in on your goals. Just like any other part of a business, marketing operations should be streamlined in a way that works for you and your team. Do you want to know exactly what is going up on every single Facebook post before it gets posted? An approval process should be implemented. Are you particularly concerned about photos and branding? Branding guidelines should be outlined.

Aside from requiring you to think through every aspect of your marketing plan, a solid operational plan will also give you clearer insight on your performance. Marketing operations should always include a plan for tracking progress. Are your margins improving? Has your follower count gone up? How much are you paying per click today compared to 3 months ago? This is where you can see the exact ROI on your marketing efforts and adjust accordingly.

Calendars

Your calendar is your home base for marketing. Holiday Creep is real, “how is it already XXX month” is REAL. Planning and updating your marketing calendar on a regular basis can help you avoid that. Marketing has to be done when the content is relevant to the customer, not 3 weeks later when you finally remember to post. It doesn’t even take much, maybe just a quarterly meeting with your marketing team to touch base. Address your current situation, where you can make improvements, and set goals. The key is for the goals to be clear and definable – we cover this in another blog post so take a gander over there.

Getting things onto a shared calendar, preferably one that updates in real time, will keep everyone on the same page. It doesn’t matter if it’s a giant calendar on a wall in someone’s office, or a Google Calendar or just a spreadsheet that has all the dates outlined. Have a plan and get everyone on the same page.

Marketing operations comes down to having a plan and following through with that plan. This includes topics and promotional timelines. Keep in mind that it also includes what happens when you get a less-than-glowing review, or an upset customer makes an angry post about you on their own timeline. Troubleshooting ahead of time can save you and your team time, energy, and money! It’s worth a few extra hours of preparedness to grow a consistent and engaged customer base who loves your brand.

Written by : Randi Zimmermann

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