How Marketing Leaders Save Hours of Duplicate Work By Avoiding Operational Pitfalls

Follow this playbook to save your marketing team hours of work by streamlining communication, templatizing documents and processes, and balancing short-term wins with long-term goals.

Read time: 5 min

Who this is for and why it matters

The next time you feel like you need to allocate your time to a spontaneous request, take a moment to pause. As a marketing leader, it's easy to fall into the trap of reactive problem-solving and scattered planning.

This is especially true for those newly adopting a small team or tasked with building out the marketing team.

You're expected to adapt quickly, learn on the fly, and meet the executive team's expectations—plus handle all of your teams' needs.

Create your own, new marketing system

By setting up the right systems to reinforce your priorities and focus your team's efforts, you can create a marketing machine capable of closing more projects than ever before.

And that's where this playbook comes in to help you avoid common pitfalls, build a proactive and efficient marketing machine, and set your team up for long-term success by significantly reducing unnecessary hours off workloads.

Marketing Operational Pitfalls TL;DR Diagram

1. Templatize processes with a campaign sandbox

It's easy for teams to start floating adrift and disconnect from the marketing team if they're not heavily tied to your core programs. If you don't take time to set up general frameworks, teams can fall into silos and use outdated processes that are no longer efficient.

Instead, lean into a campaign sandbox—a set of templates and guidelines for your team to follow—to give everyone a clear plan to work from, no matter what project they're tackling. It's the 12-course meal your team is hungry for to save mental energy spent drafting daily emails and documents from scratch.

clickup quick start marketing template

If you're strapped for time, download the ClickUp Quick Start Marketing Template. You'll have access to a pre-built framework that includes all the essential elements of a successful marketing strategy.

Build out this playbook in the marketing template to ensure everyone has visibility into your processes and can easily follow along.

2. Cut your meetings in half and record all non-urgent updates

Everyone knows meetings are a huge time suck, but for new marketing leaders, it can feel impossible to avoid. Sure, you could start saying "no" to some meetings.

In fact, the Microsoft 2023 Work Trend Index survey found only 35% of respondents believe they'd be missed in their meetings. The report also found that "ineffective meetings" are the top disruptor of productivity.

While it'd be nice to avoid meetings, it's not always possible. Instead, be ruthless and prioritize your most impactful activities to protect your time. Start by critically assessing recurring meetings and ask, "Is this a time-sensitive issue?"

Meeting Flowchart Diagram Example

If the answer is no or the same outcome can be achieved through other means, use video or audio recording tools to share updates, feedback, or instructions. This allows everyone to consume the information at their own pace and refer back to it when needed without interrupting their workflow.

For the meetings that do require your attendance, set clear outcomes and time limits. The first 10 minutes of a meeting often involve small talk and rehashing information for latecomers. Encourage meeting owners to have an agenda attached to the invite and to come prepared and make decisions quickly.

Take a cue from Molly Quella, project manager at Lids, a retail chain specializing in sports headwear and apparel. Their small Store Planning team used to have meetings where they'd read through checklists to see if every team did their tasks.

But they've reversed the tide, and instead of wasting time, people bring up issues and solve problems during meetings.

Molly Quella of Lids Quote

Centralizing their communications led to 100 hours saved across their teams and made meetings 66% more efficient. That means everyone from construction to finance to marketing can focus on opening stores and helping customers instead of being stuck in meetings all day.

3. Don't worry about early wins—they'll come

Think of it like a relay race: You don't want your team to go all out in the first leg and have nothing left for the remainder.

Instead, you need to strategize, pace your team, and work together to build a strong foundation that will carry you through to the finish line and future races.

Yes, it's great to have some quick victories under your belt, but don't let that pressure you into rushing campaigns or neglecting important operational processes. Trust the process and allow wins to come naturally due to the upfront work and strategic planning.

Here are a few key things to focus on as a team:

  • Roadmaps: Align with your quarterly and annual goals and ensure everyone understands how they can reach them
  • Automation: Work together to implement tools and systems that automate repetitive tasks
  • Resources: Provide training and knowledge hubs to help everyone adapt to new methods and technologies
  • Sharing: Provide visibility into your collective marketing strategy plans, initiatives, and results with your team and execs (which can aid in decision-making conversations)

Chart your course for growth

With the strategies and best practices you've learned, you can say goodbye to reactive problem-solving and hello to proactive planning. And if you're ready to improve your team's alignment and organization, ClickUp is here to help.

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Register for the ClickUp Showcase group webinar to freely ask product questions and see the platform in action—without the pressure of a sales call.

Our team of experts are here to guide you every step of the way. We'll work with you to understand your current processes, identify areas for improvement, and develop a customized plan for migrating your data and workflows into ClickUp.

Get started with us today!

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