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11 methods to streamline your marketing operations and get results

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Credit: Photos courtesy of the individual members.

Fast-approaching deadlines, competing priorities and information overload can quickly create chaos in your marketing department. However, with a few best practices, leaders can turn an unruly operation into a well-oiled machine.

Eleven experts from Ad Age Collective share their tried-and-true methods to boost efficiency and deliver results.

1. Identify the end solution and then work backward.

Leaders can improve efficiency by focusing on the end solution and then working backward to determine the tactics needed to solve the challenge. Following the lead of digital maps, knowing where you're going first, and where you are now is the only way you'll ever get from point A to point B. — Vinita Kochhar, JPMorgan Chase and Co

2. Establish best practices for communication.

Good communication is the fastest way to improve efficiency and productivity. However, it's a process that can only be handled with attention to detail and organization. Setting the right expectations with the team through processes, and then executing those processes with a great project management system is key. — Duran Inci, Optimum7

3. Turn off all notifications and change your phone to grayscale.

This way, you won't check your phone as much and your phone will be boring to look at. Then you'll be more productive because you'll be doing more! — Eric Siu, Single Grain

4. Stick to your niche.

Don't try to do it all — that model doesn't work. As soon as agency leaders try and branch out to do more than what they're good at, things fail fast! It's important to find your niche and stick to it. — Fritz Heffinger, OutCold

5. Always provide the '3Ws' for your clients.

This is a notion that I created to help ensure effective communication. The "3Ws" are: What, Why, and by When. Tell me what you are talking about (clients are busy and will appreciate a memory jog), why the thing you want is important, and by when you need it. — Rebecca Bamberger, BAM Communications

6. Focus your R&D and investments on a better client experience.

We've managed to improve efficiency by simply focusing our R&D and investments on making the purchase easier and quicker for clients. Having been a client in a previous life, they will give you all sorts of reasons they will or will not purchase your product, but focusing on these two factors is essential in our business. — Gary Grose, Argo Group

7. Leverage sales and marketing tech to accelerate business relationships.

Sales and marketing professionals create a lot of movement but very little action. Leading sales and marketing technology platforms are creating ways to accelerate business relationships. No one wants to waste time if the product or service offering isn't a mutual fit for the salesperson and the prospect. Leaders are now perfecting relationship quality. — Jason Weaver, Halo

8. Delegate to the right people.

The only way to grow and scale is to continue to hire and bring in people who can help. If you don't feel you have the right people to which you can delegate certain jobs, you need to find them. If there is a job not worth hiring for, you shouldn't be doing it either. The owner should be constantly fighting to make themselves obsolete. — Erik Huberman, Hawke Media

9. Get innovative on social media.

Advertising leaders can improve efficiency and productivity through innovation. Social media has joined the ranks of print, television and radio, and there is a lot of noise to cut through. Now is the time to start innovating in social media just like the other media before it. — Megan Bedera, Amplify Relations

10. Build a belief system and use it to drive your operations.

The most successful leaders in business today invest their time and energy in crafting powerful belief systems that inform and inspire how they operate. Without a brand you believe in and live, there is no true north. — Ross Martin, Blackbird

11. Cultivate diversity on your team.

Leaders should not only accept but encourage diversity — in the traditional definition as well as with a range of ideas and of thought. Consumers expect us to move beyond simply marketing products and experiences. They want to be engaged, inspired and accepted, and a team with this range of diversity of thought will create a more productive result. — Rich Honiball, Navy Exchange Service Command

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Ad Age Collective is an invitation-only, fee-based membership organization of industry leaders with influential voices. The Ad Age editorial team is not involved in the curation or management of the Ad Age Collective and the content within. The opinion expressed by contributors are their own. Learn more.
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