Digital marketing and time management

Published: Friday, October 14th, 2016

Managing the digital marketing side of your business successfully requires long-term commitment, expertise, creative strategies and financial investment but that’s not all it requires. To achieve online success, you also need a process that digital marketing managers can follow, fine tune and adjust at will for maximum impact and return on investment. One of the critical components in this process is time management.

Whether it’s web design, content building, email marketing, social media marketing, SEO or PPC ad campaigns, you absolutely need a team that will execute and manage your strategy according to goals, targets and timeframes.

Here Tricia Cunningham, senior partner at LEAP, leadership and management consultants, outlines why good time management is a vital feature of successful digital marketing teams.

The Critical Need for Time Management

In today’s fast paced work environment information is coming from many different directions and things can change quickly. We are overloaded with information and having to figure out what to do with that information is a major challenge for many people. Add to that the distractions we all have and you find your time to do things is slipping away.

Tools like email, texting or social media are excellent communication channels but we need to recognise that managers are being hit with an inordinate amount of information at a given time. Trying to sort through it all in a logical and structured way so that a manager can take action and make progress without missing something is a significant challenge for people. That’s why good time management has become more and more critical.
We need to find methods for managing our time that are easy to use and will allow us to prioritize and have some structure resulting in the time we spend at work being constructive, effective and efficient; results need to be achieved.

Social media tools can be great for informing, updating, promoting or soliciting business but we have to learn to use and manage these tools productively so they don’t become misused, counter-productive or redundant.

The benefits to the company

With pressures on organisations to deliver goods and services in faster times to higher standards social media has become a strong support tool. These tools facilitate instant communication, enhance brand recognition, expand customer bases and markets new products or services to customers. A further benefit is that the broad range of social media tools are inexpensive to establish. However, they need to be managed carefully to maximise their benefits.

What does an effective time management process look like?

An effective framework to help you prioritise and organise tasks more effectively is Stephen Covey’s 4 Quadrants. These 4 quadrants are based on the notion that tasks have 2 levels; a level of importance and a level of urgency. We tend to believe that everything we are doing is both urgent and important and that’s a fallacy. We cannot operate when everything we are doing is both urgent and important or our levels of stress will become unmanageable and unbearable for any individual. So in looking at the tasks that are required of us, we place all the tasks in one of the 4 quadrants. We determine which tasks are:

1. important and urgent (priority)
2. important but not urgent (part of long-term strategy – schedule the task)
3. urgent but not important (not important to us, but may be to others – negotiate or “push back”)
4. not urgent not important (activities that yield little or no value – don’t do!)

Digital marketing time management

Set realistic time-frames

A big mistake people often make is drafting a long to-do list with no order, no reference to priority tasks or how long each task will take. Without a realistic time-frame what are the chances of getting all tasks completed? With the exception of urgent tasks every other task should be scheduled. These tasks need to be allocated a specific time for completion. This gives you more realistic expectations about what you can get done and you are also managing your stress levels – stress is reduced when we feel in control.

This approach also gives you the information to have a conversation with a person who asking you to complete a task. You can realistically negotiate with them.

How prevalent is poor time management in companies today?

It’s a huge issue everywhere because many employees are feeling overloaded and overworked. Look at all the instances of stress in the workplace? With stress our ability to see how resources can assist us is greatly reduced. We often resort to old habits.

This is one of the main problems we encounter with clients. Stressed out individuals who feel they have lost control of the process and that the company keeps expecting more of them, when really the company sees the potential to deliver more using the tools available. We have to be smarter.

How prevalent is poor time management in companies today?

It’s a huge issue everywhere because many employees are feeling overloaded and overworked. Look at all the instances of stress in the workplace? With stress our ability to see how resources can assist us is greatly reduced. We often resort to old habits.

This is one of the main problems we encounter with clients. Stressed out individuals who feel they have lost control of the process and that the company keeps expecting more of them, when really the company sees the potential to deliver more using the tools available. We have to be smarter.

How can you improve time management within the company?

I am sure you agree time management is crucial, that’s why it’s included in LEAP’s Personal Effectiveness Programme. Visit LEAP to find out more about this and other programs.