Digital marketing has undergone a massive transformation over the years and now involves multiple tools and processes all in one. This trend poses decision-making challenges for most businesses.
Many clients still run marketing activities in the same old fashion: a bottom-up approach that involves lots of meetings, approvals, emails, etc., for small tasks.
However, as results over the years have shown, such methods do more harm than good, greatly limiting your marketing performance in the long run. Now, best practices encourage businesses to allow team members executing campaigns to fully control decision making, including budget spend.
Below, you will learn why decisions should fall on the local implementation teams and what strategies you can use to ensure this move is effective.
Why Decisions Should Be Made By Local Teams
Faster Decision Making
When the local implementing teams make decisions, things move faster. They know what is required and what it would take to achieve specific goals. So, they can decide and implement tactics instantaneously.
With this, work moves faster, and you can get returns much quicker than if they have to go through the bureaucratic process to get approvals for small actions.
In the long run, faster decision-making helps you attain your set marketing goals, thus boosting the business.
Local implementing teams are often more familiar with specific marketing actions. It makes them less likely to make mistakes than upper management, who may be well versed with strategies but not individual tactics.
For example, a top manager might know that Facebook ads can boost traffic and conversions but may not know what portion of the budget is required to bring forth these results. Consequently, he may restrict budget allocation to save and instead end up with an ineffective campaign.
When decision making happens quickly among lower-level implementing teams, it is easier to make adjustments whenever needed. Digital marketing can be unpredictable and random events often force marketers to adjust their marketing plans.
So, it becomes easier to make short notice changes when the people implementing them do not have to go through the never-ending approval processes.
Allow team collaboration
Allowing other teams to make decisions at the implementation level greatly fosters team collaboration. It pushes your teams to work together and brainstorm to make the best decisions for the company.
Such would not be the case if they always have to report to one person in top management to make these decisions. Team collaboration brings massive benefits in the long run, such as better ideas, greater employee engagement, etc.
How Can Your Business Implement This?
1. Empower small teams to make decisions
Especially for bigger companies, you must empower your lower-level implementation teams to make decisions. They should be encouraged to derive solutions amongst themselves for basic marketing issues.
While single decision-making would be ideal, research indicates that teams are better when it comes to this. So, create smaller marketing units, perhaps 2 or 3 at lower levels, and allow them the freedom to pursue particular campaigns along with their budgets, among others.
2. Enact decision checklists
Checklists are a key success factor in many industries like medicine and aviation but can work in marketing departments too.
It can be tricky always to have uniform and on-brand actions when you entrust power to different people. So, you must create a standard checklist for your teams that they can use to weigh decisions before making them.
For instance, for your social media marketing team, you may include a checklist for every post that goes out:
- Does it match our tone?
- Is it free of slang, vulgarities or any touchy subjects?
- How many times have I posted on this topic?
- Did I include enough visuals?
With such benchmarks, your teams can access their work themselves without going back and forth for approval on minor issues.
3. Track and monitor decision-making
Accountability is one of the major drivers for better decision making in organizations.
Some decisions are repetitive and predictable, while others are unique. The key here is to ensure that all decisions can be tracked and accounted for. You should invest in internal digital processes that allow all concerned parties to access data on the actions of implementation teams.
Top management would be able to see all steps the lower-level staff has taken and reasons, if any. This method saves time in reducing back and forth communication but at the same time provides accountability to ensure all decisions comply with company standards.
Organizations can become way more productive if they pay attention and improve their decision-making processes.
Marketing systems are moving faster by the day. So, companies must find ways to allow marketing team members who are implementing marketing strategies to make decisions regarding vital elements in the campaigns.
You can employ some of the best practices listed above in your business to ensure you reap the benefits of localized decision making while also reducing risks associated with this method.
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