Meetings are vital to improving your marketing team’s collaboration. They bring your in-house and remote staff together. Employees can use them to strategize, brainstorm, review projects, and discuss marketing KPIs.
However, when not planned strategically, marketing meetings often suck. Your employees spend time checking their social networks, doodling all over their notes, or even staring blankly at each other.
In this article, we share proven ways to improve the effectiveness of your marketing meetings.
Schedule Meetings only when They are Necessary
For marketing agencies or departments, regular meetings are essential.
Weekly meetings help you report on employees’ current projects, tasks, and responsibilities.
During monthly marketing meetings, you set clear marketing KPIs and assign projects to the right people.
Quarterly meetings inform employees about the company’s progress and the latest news.
However, that does not mean you should schedule meetings for sharing routine information with your marketing team. Every minute of a meeting is time away from the projects that move your company forward.
Therefore, you should minimize unnecessary recurring meetings.
Always ask yourself whether you can communicate this information via email. Your employees will thank you for not wasting their time.
Determine the Purpose and Goals of the Meeting
When there are no clear meeting objectives, your team tries to cover a wide range of topics, none of which is given enough time.
Every marketing meeting should have a clear purpose and goal. It needs to focus on making vital, data-driven decisions.
Once you identify the meeting purpose, make sure attendees know it beforehand. Inform them about the meeting type. They will know what you expect from them, prepare, and participate more effectively.
Set a Meeting Agenda
Not all marketing meetings are the same. They depend on the meeting goals and participants.
To make the most out of your marketing meetings, prepare an agenda and send it to everyone on the team. It should lay out who is talking, what topics they are covering, and how much time they have to discuss. When having a clear meeting agenda, everyone knows what to expect and how to prepare. That prevents employees from delving into unproductive conversations that have nothing to do with the meeting purpose.
Additionally, discuss the meeting purpose and structure beforehand. Consider using project management tools, such as Basecamp, to discuss the meeting agenda with participants.
Invite the People who Need to Be There
Make sure you follow the Amazon Two Pizza Rule for improving meeting effectiveness. Namely, according to Jeff Bezos, if two pizzas cannot feed all attendees, then the meeting is too large.
While this rule may sound too cheesy (pun intended), there is a certain logic in it. It is a waste of time and resources to invite people who do not need to be there. Big meetings slow everything down, preventing employee ideas from being heard.
Consider your Remote Employees
Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, many marketing companies are switching to long-term remote work. Whether your entire team or just a few members are remote, it is crucial to make them feel like a valuable part of your team. Having a live conversation helps your distributed marketing team members bond and build stronger relationships.
To improve the effectiveness of remote meetings, make sure they are well-structured, focused, and success-oriented.
Fortunately, with the right technologies, you can reduce the gap between onsite and remote marketing staff.
For example, a video conference system helps you schedule proactive meetings with employees, regardless of their location. Employees can join the meeting via multiple devices and participate actively, irrespective of their physical location.
As mentioned above, when scheduling a meeting, consider introducing the idea in a message first. That is particularly true for international marketing teams, where joining an urgent meeting might be challenging. Provide employees across different time zones with the information and resources needed to prepare for the meeting.
To improve meeting experiences, collect separate feedback from your remote employees. That is how you will learn about their problems and frustrations and be able to address them faster.
Do Not Waste Time with the Obvious
If your marketing team uses a CRM system or project management tools, they already have access to the same data.
That is the opportunity to improve the effectiveness of your team. Instead of wasting time on the information that is already available to everyone, you can focus more on trends, new opportunities, and project issues.
That is why you need to communicate meeting goals and agenda to everyone in advance. When knowing the meeting purpose, your marketing team members will use their tools and dig into the data themselves to prepare.
Keep It Short
The average meeting lasts from 30 minutes to an hour. However, keep in mind that the human attention span is approximately 15 minutes.
Therefore, unnecessarily long meetings will affect employee productivity and focus. Statistics back me up on that. Research studies have found that nine out of ten people daydream during meetings.
If you do not take value from each marketing meeting, its purpose is lost. You can prevent that by keeping your marketing meetups straight to the point, easy-to-follow, and short. Only that way can you ensure your employees can get back to their desks satisfied. Above all, they will absorb and retain the key points faster.
When planning the length of a marketing meeting, start by assigning realistic time estimates to each agenda item. That way, you can estimate how much time you need overall.
Build In Time for a Break
You can keep your weekly marketing meetups short. While they may only be 30 minutes, your monthly meetings probably take several hours.
If a meeting is unavoidably long, you need to build in time for a break.
Let the participants relax, get coffee, go to the bathroom, and stretch their legs. Otherwise, their attention and productivity may suffer.
Over to You
Meetings are a time to celebrate your latest marketing wins, solicit help, review metrics, and build stronger employee relationships.
However, they often seem like a waste of time. That is why you should sit down with your marketing team members and assess your meeting schedule. Identify its main performance issues and see where you are losing time. Together, you will trim meeting time and make it more efficient.
I hope these tips will help you!