Marketing meetings are a must to make marketing teams work efficiently. But they are also often a headache for marketing managers and marketing team leaders. Reason: they are not consistently (sufficiently) organized, there are no procedures or agreements, the preparation is insufficient, the meeting itself shoots in all directions and lacks its purpose, the to do’s discussed are neither documented nor complied with, the tools are fragmented, after the meeting numerous informal consultation moments arise that cross the meeting, … and so on. In this article I would like to share my marketing meeting experience as a marketing team leader at Husky and show how we are constantly making our marketing meetings more efficient.
I admit: at Husky, we in our marketing team have also experienced all the pain points mentioned, and our clients (other marketing teams) are constantly coming back to these pain points when we guide them in setting up our marketing planner. I see 3 keys to success: a good start or preparation, the right tools and concrete agreements that are respected by everyone in the team. Important: with the rise of online marketing meetings, these components are coming under even more pressure! After all, with poor preparation, poor tooling and a lack of appointments, every online marketing meeting is doomed to fail.
At Husky we hold our marketing team meeting every week on Monday afternoon. Each marketer in the team is expected to clearly complete the agenda items to be discussed in the course of the week in the meeting agenda in our marketing planner. In addition, each marketer needs to update his planning (calendar with actions) so that the meeting starts with an agenda and a schedule that are both correct. I am extremely strict about this and can be quite concerned when marketers come to the meeting unprepared, when their planning is not correct or when they quote items during the meeting agenda that were not on the list.
During a marketing meeting it is important to keep everyone sharp and attentive. I used to notice that attention weakened every time someone wanted to share their screen, an application had to be started, a file had to be found on the server or when information about an action (usually in one or more e-mails) was looked up. Of course, it is unavoidable that different documents or applications are shown during a meeting. I can only give this advice from my experience: strive to keep the number of tools used during a meeting to a minimum. An application that starts slowly, a file that is not found, e-mails with an overload of information that is shared, ... it is enough to get the pace and attention out of your meeting.
The rise of teleworking and the explosion of online meetings in 2020 have caused marketing meetings to be shorter and more efficient. We were also confronted with the fact that we could not simply copy the approach during a physical marketing meeting to an online meeting. We made our marketing planning tool even more central as the main screen during the meeting. When a marketer wants to show extra information, wants to share a file, needs a link to an e-mail or wants to show another application, we ask for the information and possible links in the marketing planning in advance. This has already saved us a lot of time and efficiency during online meetings.
The most efficient marketing meetings are those that take place according to a fixed pattern and within clear agreements. Don't get me wrong: at Husky we also have unstructured meetings during the week or during a marketing meeting we can sometimes drift away from the well-defined path. However: just getting together for a marketing meeting because it was on the agenda is not on our agenda. That is a waste of time and only causes frustration. I would like to list a few appointments that we handle and respect within our team:
Organising efficient marketing meetings is less difficult than you think. Good preparation, the right tooling and clear agreements are 3 foundations that dramatically increase the efficiency of any marketing meeting. Success!