5 ways to meet demanding marketing deadlines if your team are stretched thin
Don’t panic. Dealing with a reduced team doesn’t mean your marketing has to screech to a halt.
If you’ve ever been through hiring freezes and layoffs before, you’ll know it’s often marketing budgets that get slashed first, in order to save cents. As frustrating as that can be for marketers working hard to keep company face, take solace in the fact that according to research by Gartner, marketing budgets have increased by 9.5% this year, compared to 2021’s post-pandemic dip.
But marketing budgets, limited or otherwise, are irrelevant if you haven’t got the people-power needed to get your campaigns off the ground. So if you find yourself with a reduced team when marketing deadlines approach, know they can still be achieved with a little resilience, some forward-thinking, and a large helping of gusto.
In this article, we’re giving you 5 areas to focus on that’ll motivate your existing team, keep marketing output on time and on brand, and help you end the year strong.
1. Keep productivity up with a project management tool
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, a project management tool is essential to keep track of multiple projects, people or campaigns.
When resources are limited, it’s even more important to understand who’s doing what and when, and a management tool gives you the overview you need to ensure each cog is turning the way it should be.
There are a wide variety of options to choose from; like Notion, Monday.com, or our choice, ClickUp; but the trick is to find one that has the functionalities you and your team need.
When set up efficiently, you’ll be able to see who’s got availability to take on more, who’s snowed under and needs some support, or whether the campaign is on track to meet its deadline. Use the data you have to assess what’s necessary, and what can wait until you have more hands on deck.
Overall, a project management tool or system should be used to improve your processes, making you and your team more efficient and productive.
2. Focus on team morale
If your company is in the midst of layoffs or has implemented the dreaded hiring freeze, the team you do have may be feeling stressed or anxious about what’s to come for them.
If you manage the marketing team, you ultimately may not have the final say on who goes and who stays, but what you do have is the opportunity to motivate, encourage and communicate with your current team.
Marketing can be a tough department. It’s often full-on and intensive, especially during the holiday runup, so focus your efforts on keeping spirits high by being honest, approachable, and by keeping everyone in the loop about upcoming campaigns –and their requirements.
In our free ebook, How to Run a Remote Team like a Pro, we talk about how communication is key within any organization. We use daily check-ins to make sure nothing falls through the cracks, and that everyone feels heard.
3. Consider a remote setup
Depending on your company’s unique situation, getting everyone into the same room may not be essential to reach your marketing goals before the year ends.
Consider allowing more flexibility for remote working, to relieve some of the stress your team may go through commuting during unrest. If you’re open to them working from a place they feel more comfortable, you’ll allow them more time to focus on their creative process, and may find that their output and quality increases, too.
Remote setups make way for trust, and as things feel uneasy during freezes or layoffs, trust is necessary to get the job done. Plus, remote work gives you the opportunity to collaborate with talented individuals from anywhere in the world – if this sounds appealing, the next tip is for you.
4. Outsource creative support
Marketing campaigns need a lot of assets. From social media graphics to website banners, email signatures to promotional artwork and potentially so much more.
But who’s taking all of this on if your team has been reduced? Or if you can make any permanent hires to spread the burden?
Outsourcing is a great way to instantly increase your capacity with little risk or long-term cost. If you’re able to bring on additional support for the short-term, this can be a great way to get around restrictions on internal team members.
With deadlines close and creative work still to produce, consider onboarding a fully managed creative production team, like Design Force, to dive right into your project and get stuff done.
We’ll assign you one Design Manager to oversee everything, meaning you only need to worry about briefing once. They’ll go off and source the perfect designers for your needs from our vetted pool of global talent, to ensure you meet your goals on time, and on brand.
Plus, with a flexible subscription model, you can scale up or scale down our support as and when you need it, ideal for when the layoff season ends.
5. Be a strong leader
It’s a frightening time for you and your teams if layoffs and hiring freezes are happening. This is not the time to sit back and let them crack on without support, it’s the time to step up and lead them through the uncertainty and out the other side.
As with any change, understanding what’s happening and why can reduce overwhelm and help ease tension.
Encourage your marketing teams to continue putting their best work forward by empowering them to do what they do best: being creative.
Is your company going through hiring difficulties right now? Get in touch with our teams today to see how we can soften the burden on your marketing team, design on-brand and on-budget assets to elevate your campaigns, and help you end the year strong.