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20 ways to make your marketing team more productive

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20 ways to make your marketing team more productive

Productive teams means happier clients. Happy clients means income which keeps your team employed and also happy.

While this seems pretty obvious, it obviously isn’t easy to accomplish. One reason: Many marketing leaders were trained in archaic productivity techniques, such as meeting madness can kill enthusiasm and creativity and/or non-stop daily nagging via Slack. (That’s if they were trained at all.)

I’ve also seen lots of my clients implode due to a lack of focus on productivity measures – not only with their own marketing departments but with their entire staff. This is a major downfall for agencies  – because of their lack of productive habits, they failed internally and lost a client. 

Old habits die hard, especially when productivity comes into play. Managers learn managing from their own experience of being managed. That makes it easy to pick up bad habits and to not know there are, in fact, best practices when it comes to increasing productivity.

So whether you’re leading a team of writers, SEOs, or social media influencers, these 21 productivity hacks will help your agency succeed.

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And the more you repeat good habits, the stronger you can build on these, making you and your staff outrageously productive. 

1. Know the role

In two decades of working with hundreds of agencies and companies, one of the most common problems I’ve come across is not understanding roles.  

Undefined roles and responsibilities cause things to fall through the cracks because no one knows who is responsible for them. On the flip side, well-defined roles rein in managers’ natural impulse to give the most work to their most productive staff. Doing this creates bitter resentments in your best people.

That’s why it’s essential to define your work processes and clearly delegate roles and responsibilities. This needs to include even minute details like who takes notes at meetings, who schedules them and all other types of grunt work.  

2. Leverage your team’s strengths 

In order to assign these now well-defined roles, you have to understand what each person is good at. This can mean looking at skills and not just job titles. Say there’s someone in SEO who is really good at communicating, consider making them responsible for client relations. 

It’s very, very rare for an organization to have all the skills it needs. Outsource your weaknesses. Hiring freelancers or white labeling services is a great way to fill labor gaps without overwhelming your team or hiring new individuals. 

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Your job as a leader is to put these individuals in the best position possible to succeed.

Capitalize on your team’s strengths. Delegate the rest. 

3. Incentivize productivity

Even if responsibilities are assigned fairly, some employees may feel like they are taking on more than their share. Therefore, to prevent any sort of hostility and to incentivize greater production, it makes sense to tie compensation to productivity. 

There is no better work incentive than basing pay on performance. If that’s not possible (and even if it is) give workers the freedom and flexibility to work on their schedule (including remotely). If you don’t trust your employees to do their jobs if you can’t see them, then you’re the problem – not them.

4. Is this meeting necessary?

Meetings take up big chunks of time and interrupt people’s momentum. That said, there are some meetings that have to happen. That’s the key here: Make sure you only have meetings that are absolutely necessary. Also, make sure that only people who have to be there go to them.

Cut out wasteful meetings, but make the most of the meetings you do need. If you need to tell everyone something ask yourself if it can be done via email or Slack instead.

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Here are some guidelines to make your meetings as productive as possible:

  • Set a strict time limit (I keep meetings under 20 minutes as much as possible).
  • Create a plan beforehand to keep the discussion on point.
  • Share the agenda to prepare questions and remarks ahead of time.
  • Explain important topics as thoroughly as possible to avoid doing the same later.
  • Ask a colleague you trust for feedback on how well you run meetings: You may find out you’re doing a great job of it or that there’s something you’ve overlooked or both. 

5. Structure your day strategically 

Do you tend to be more productive in the morning, even without a cup of coffee? That’s the case for most people, who have energy levels which naturally spike after waking due to circadian rhythms and cortisol levels. However, there are plenty of people – especially those with attention deficit disorder (ADD) – whose most productive time is in the afternoon. There’s no right or wrong to this, it’s just how your body operates.

I’m a morning person, so I try to schedule tasks which need the most focus, like writing and strategy planning, for then. Be aware of your body rhythms and schedule around that. Perform essential tasks when you’re most alert and mindless tasks for when you’re crashing a little bit. This can significantly improve productivity without the need for a couple of espressos to stay focused.

6. Block hours and prioritize tasks daily

To follow up on this, it’s important to plan your day ahead of time. In fact, I like to take time on the weekend or early Monday to block off time for tasks throughout the week to keep my schedule on track. 

By using a project management software or Google Sheets, you can track progress throughout the week, spend extra time working on tasks when you’re falling behind on, and even gain a little hustle trying to beat the clock on tasks where you are falling behind. 

For example, blocking off time for something like looking at emails is a great way to reduce distractions and condense tasks into a small, manageable chunk of time without being overwhelmed.

I check my email only three times a day on my “creative” days, which are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and about seven times or so Tuesday and Thursday when I plan the bulk of my meetings and more administrative work.

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7. Daily breaks

Of course, don’t forget to block off downtime throughout your day and week for breaks. While breaks seem unproductive they are anything but. Taking 15 minutes here or there will actually make you more productive throughout the day overall. 

Not only do breaks make you more productive, they make you more alert and a better decision-maker.

For example, a famous study of Israeli judges found that judges who took two breaks in the day prior to granting detainees parole were more likely to grant parole. On the other hand, judges who had not taken breaks typically chose the safest or most simplistic answer of just denying detainees parole altogether. 

In addition, this study from Stanford showed that writers and other creatives who were stuck with writer’s block benefited tremendously from taking walks to clear the mind. 

I also cease all work duties at 6 p.m. every Wednesday, and spend alone time either in the woods hiking, riding motorcycles, or in my office reading with a glass or two of wine.

I shut off completely, and reset myself for the rest of the week’s duties. This means no computers or checking work emails or social media from my phone. I also do the same thing for all Sunday, which is mostly spent with family to recharge. 

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Be sure your team members are also taking breaks and doing what they need to stay sharp.

8. Prioritize well-being 

The more mental clarity your team has daily, the sharper the focus and productivity.

While you don’t need an entire yoga studio or massage center like those found at Google headquarters, some tips to improve mental clarity and reduce stress throughout the day include:

  • Giving people adequate breaks (including lunch).
  • Giving staff flexible work hours or remote options.
  • Providing stand up desks to boost productivity.
  • Blocking off time for meditation.
  • Providing healthy snacks.
  • Creating a calm environment.
  • Acknowledge the outside events – pandemics, etc. – that have an impact on us all; pretending they don’t is bad for your mental health.

9. Reduce distractions

Creating a calm environment involves reducing distractions. Whether you have an open office layout, cubicles, or are remote, there are a few ways to reduce distractions throughout the day, which will help your team focus:

  • Keeping any music at a reasonable volume.
  • Blocking off time for breaks.
  • Providing areas for recreation and relaxation separate from work.
  • Training staff to avoid online distractions, such as looking at emails, Slack messages, or social media.

10. ZERO multitasking

Humans can’t actually multitask. We think we can, but we can’t. Computers multitask because they can allocate parts of their processing capability to different tasks. Humans can’t do that. We can only focus on one thing at a time. What we usually mean by multitasking is focusing on one thing for a moment, then on another and another, etc.

Focusing on one thing at a time is actually one of the hardest things for a human to do. Try five minutes of meditation – sitting still and doing nothing – and you’ll understand this.  Also, a ScienceDirect study found that college students who multitasked during homework and class assignments took longer to complete their homework and had a worse GPA.  

Train staff and yourself to focus on single tasks, even if it means blocking off points of the day for communication, like email and Slack. 

11. Create project management sheets

One way to help your staff’s productivity is giving them the proper tools and training they need. For example, project management software and calendar apps have led the way as a resource for individuals to plan out tasks in advance, set due dates and block off time to complete tasks. 

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If you’re looking to save money, I also like to set up simple project management spreadsheets with tasks, checkboxes once a task is complete, due dates, and employee signatures to track and assign tasks. These tools also provide a transparent view of staff members’ productivity and help you identify distractions or tasks they struggle to complete. 

Other tools to consider: Semrush for general keyword research, backlink audits, and topic research. In addition, my team also uses Grammarly to cut down on editing times and provide clients with a polished finished product. 

12. Explain projects thoroughly

Furthermore, there is no better way to set your staff up for success than by explaining tasks thoroughly to avoid confusion. Many employees struggle to ask questions at work when they are confused about a task. To prevent confusion and anxiety, give detailed explanations – verbally and written – and hands-on teaching to help staff master tasks quickly. 

13. Trust factor

Transitioning a little bit from individual productivity hacks, the culture you create at your company will be a massive determinant of success and productivity. This article from Harvard Business Review outlines the importance of building a high-trust culture and how it boosts productivity:

“Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance.”

If employees are motivated to come to work and feel happy at their job, they are more likely to work harder and contribute as much as they can to improve their workplace. Contrast this to toxic work environments where individuals are most likely to slack, gossip and complain, often not fearing if they will get fired or let go. 

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14. Diversify

As many studies have shown, a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and opinions contributes to knowledge sharing, boosting productivity and the efficacy of projects. And, since most employees demand diversity in the workplace, this improves your overall culture and the well-being of your employees. Again, happier employees are more productive ones. 

15. Gratitude for all

I’m a big proponent of positive reinforcement and its efficacy in forming positive habits. While discipline is effective at curbing bad habits, rewarding productive members with gratitude is a great way to reinforce positive habits, improving productivity. 

16. Constructive feedback

Discipline for the sake of discipline is rarely effective. Rather, if you want to curb unproductive habits at work, you need to provide constructive feedback with solutions for employees to improve their habits. For example, if I come back to you and say this article is poorly written without any feedback, how are you supposed to address my specific criticisms or improve?

Make feedback constructive and a learning process. 

17. Authenticity

As previously stated, high-trust cultures tend to be more productive. Well, one way to build trust is to be authentic, open and honest with employees. Building trust with your employees and establishing a positive company culture starts with your actions. Admit your mistakes, give credit to others. Being genuine and transparent with employees cultivates trust, builds their confidence and boosts their productivity.

18. Establish vision

A major part of building trust is transparency and being on the same page as employees. Establishing a shared vision for company growth and branding is a great way to build trust across your organization and also make employees feel like they are a part of your agency, not that they just work for it. Actualizing your company’s vision will require tons of hard work, which is where proper time management and productivity hacks come into play. 

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19. Set realistic goals

To bring your vision to life and improve the productivity of your employees, you need to set goals.

Goal setting can increase employees’ productivity by 11 to 25 times. Most importantly, big goal setting has a huge impact. That’s because when employees feel they are working for something, they are more committed to seeing it through. Even in an immediate sense, goal setting makes you one step closer to your goal just by setting expectations and tracking progress. 

2O. Challenge employees with stretch goals

Stretch goals are high-risk, high-reward goals that require a lot of effort and creative problem-solving. While wellness and proper guidance are all nice ways to boost employee productivity and happiness, sometimes it takes adversity to see what employees are made of.

So challenge leading team members with ambitious tasks to push them out of their comfort zones. Not only will employees learn more through this, but they may even come close to reaching these goals, thus improving your agency’s efficiency.

Build a culture and train employees on good habits that lead to better business outcomes

Reinforcing these habits through continued education and guidance forms long-lasting habits that will help make your agency operate the leanest possible. And lean means higher profit margins, which equates to a sustainable business. 


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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About The Author

Ron Lieback is the founder/CEO of ContentMender, an SEO-driven content marketing agency based in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and the author of “365 to Vision: Modern Writer’s Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).” While working in digital marketing for the past decade, Lieback has ghostwritten nearly 500 articles for C-level executives across various industries. He also contributes content to leading motorcycle magazines, including Cycle World.

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How to Use AI For a More Effective Social Media Strategy, According to Ross Simmonds

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How to Use AI For a More Effective Social Media Strategy, According to Ross Simmonds

Welcome to Creator Columns, where we bring expert HubSpot Creator voices to the Blogs that inspire and help you grow better.

It’s the age of AI, and our job as marketers is to keep up.

My team at Foundation Marketing recently conducted an AI Marketing study surveying hundreds of marketers, and more than 84% of all leaders, managers, SEO experts, and specialists confirmed that they used AI in the workplace.

AI in the workplace data graphic, Foundation Labs

If you can overlook the fear-inducing headlines, this technology is making social media marketers more efficient and effective than ever. Translation: AI is good news for social media marketers.

Download Now: The 2024 State of Social Media Trends [Free Report]

In fact, I predict that the marketers not using AI in their workplace will be using it before the end of this year, and that number will move closer and closer to 100%.

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Social media and AI are two of the most revolutionizing technologies of the last few decades. Social media has changed the way we live, and AI is changing the way we work.

So, I’m going to condense and share the data, research, tools, and strategies that the Foundation Marketing Team and I have been working on over the last year to help you better wield the collective power of AI and social media.

Let’s jump into it.

What’s the role of AI in social marketing strategy?

In a recent episode of my podcast, Create Like The Greats, we dove into some fascinating findings about the impact of AI on marketers and social media professionals. Take a listen here:

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the benefits of this technology:

Benefits of AI in Social Media Strategy

AI is to social media what a conductor is to an orchestra — it brings everything together with precision and purpose. The applications of AI in a social media strategy are vast, but the virtuosos are few who can wield its potential to its fullest.

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AI to Conduct Customer Research

Imagine you’re a modern-day Indiana Jones, not dodging boulders or battling snakes, but rather navigating the vast, wild terrain of consumer preferences, trends, and feedback.

This is where AI thrives.

Using social media data, from posts on X to comments and shares, AI can take this information and turn it into insights surrounding your business and industry. Let’s say for example you’re a business that has 2,000 customer reviews on Google, Yelp, or a software review site like Capterra.

Leveraging AI you can now have all 2,000 of these customer reviews analyzed and summarized into an insightful report in a matter of minutes. You simply need to download all of them into a doc and then upload them to your favorite Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) to get the insights and data you need.

But that’s not all.

You can become a Prompt Engineer and write ChatGPT asking it to help you better understand your audience. For example, if you’re trying to come up with a persona for people who enjoy marathons but also love kombucha you could write a prompt like this to ChatGPT:

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ChatGPT prompt example

The response that ChatGPT provided back is quite good:

GPT response example

Below this it went even deeper by including a lot of valuable customer research data:

  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Consumer behaviors
  • Needs and preferences

And best of all…

It also included marketing recommendations.

The power of AI is unbelievable.

Social Media Content Using AI

AI’s helping hand can be unburdening for the creative spirit.

Instead of marketers having to come up with new copy every single month for posts, AI Social Caption generators are making it easier than ever to craft catchy status updates in the matter of seconds.

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Tools like HubSpot make it as easy as clicking a button and telling the AI tool what you’re looking to create a post about:

AI social media caption generator step 1

The best part of these AI tools is that they’re not limited to one channel.

Your AI social media content assistant can help you with LinkedIn content, X content, Facebook content, and even the captions that support your post on Instagram.

It can also help you navigate hashtags:

AI social media hashtags generator example, HubSpot

With AI social media tools that generate content ideas or even write posts, it’s not about robots replacing humans. It’s about making sure that the human creators on your team are focused on what really matters — adding that irreplaceable human touch.

Enhanced Personalization

You know that feeling when a brand gets you, like, really gets you?

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AI makes that possible through targeted content that’s tailored with a level of personalization you’d think was fortune-telling if the data didn’t paint a starker, more rational picture.

What do I mean?

Brands can engage more quickly with AI than ever before. In the early 2000s, a lot of brands spent millions of dollars to create social media listening rooms where they would hire social media managers to find and engage with any conversation happening online.

Thanks to AI, brands now have the ability to do this at scale with much fewer people all while still delivering quality engagement with the recipient.

Analytics and Insights

Tapping into AI to dissect the data gives you a CSI-like precision to figure out what works, what doesn’t, and what makes your audience tick. It’s the difference between guessing and knowing.

The best part about AI is that it can give you almost any expert at your fingertips.

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If you run a report surrounding the results of your social media content strategy directly from a site like LinkedIn, AI can review the top posts you’ve shared and give you clear feedback on what type of content is performing, why you should create more of it, and what days of the week your content is performing best.

This type of insight that would typically take hours to understand.

Now …

Thanks to the power of AI you can upload a spreadsheet filled with rows and columns of data just to be met with a handful of valuable insights a few minutes later.

Improved Customer Service

Want 24/7 support for your customers?

It’s now possible without human touch.

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Chatbots powered by AI are taking the lead on direct messaging experiences for brands on Facebook and other Meta properties to offer round-the-clock assistance.

The fact that AI can be trained on past customer queries and data to inform future queries and problems is a powerful development for social media managers.

Advertising on Social Media with AI

The majority of ad networks have used some variation of AI to manage their bidding system for years. Now, thanks to AI and its ability to be incorporated in more tools, brands are now able to use AI to create better and more interesting ad campaigns than ever before.

Brands can use AI to create images using tools like Midjourney and DALL-E in seconds.

Brands can use AI to create better copy for their social media ads.

Brands can use AI tools to support their bidding strategies.

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The power of AI and social media is continuing to evolve daily and it’s not exclusively found in the organic side of the coin. Paid media on social media is being shaken up due to AI just the same.

How to Implement AI into Your Social Media Strategy

Ready to hit “Go” on your AI-powered social media revolution?

Don’t just start the engine and hope for the best. Remember the importance of building a strategy first. In this video, you can learn some of the most important factors ranging from (but not limited to) SMART goals and leveraging influencers in your day-to-day work:

The following seven steps are crucial to building a social media strategy:

  1. Identify Your AI and Social Media Goals
  2. Validate Your AI-Related Assumptions
  3. Conduct Persona and Audience Research
  4. Select the Right Social Channels
  5. Identify Key Metrics and KPIs
  6. Choose the Right AI Tools
  7. Evaluate and Refine Your Social Media and AI Strategy

Keep reading, roll up your sleeves, and follow this roadmap:

1. Identify Your AI and Social Media Goals

If you’re just dipping your toes into the AI sea, start by defining clear objectives.

Is it to boost engagement? Streamline your content creation? Or simply understand your audience better? It’s important that you spend time understanding what you want to achieve.

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For example, say you’re a content marketing agency like Foundation and you’re trying to increase your presence on LinkedIn. The specificity of this goal will help you understand the initiatives you want to achieve and determine which AI tools could help you make that happen.

Are there AI tools that will help you create content more efficiently? Are there AI tools that will help you optimize LinkedIn Ads? Are there AI tools that can help with content repurposing? All of these things are possible and having a goal clearly identified will help maximize the impact. Learn more in this Foundation Marketing piece on incorporating AI into your content workflow.

Once you have identified your goals, it’s time to get your team on board and assess what tools are available in the market.

Recommended Resources:

2. Validate Your AI-Related Assumptions

Assumptions are dangerous — especially when it comes to implementing new tech.

Don’t assume AI is going to fix all your problems.

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Instead, start with small experiments and track their progress carefully.

3. Conduct Persona and Audience Research

Social media isn’t something that you can just jump into.

You need to understand your audience and ideal customers. AI can help with this, but you’ll need to be familiar with best practices. If you need a primer, this will help:

Once you understand the basics, consider ways in which AI can augment your approach.

4. Select the Right Social Channels

Not every social media channel is the same.

It’s important that you understand what channel is right for you and embrace it.

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The way you use AI for X is going to be different from the way you use AI for LinkedIn. On X, you might use AI to help you develop a long-form thread that is filled with facts and figures. On LinkedIn however, you might use AI to repurpose a blog post and turn it into a carousel PDF. The content that works on X and that AI can facilitate creating is different from the content that you can create and use on LinkedIn.

The audiences are different.

The content formats are different.

So operate and create a plan accordingly.

Recommended Tools and Resources:

5. Identify Key Metrics and KPIs

What metrics are you trying to influence the most?

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Spend time understanding the social media metrics that matter to your business and make sure that they’re prioritized as you think about the ways in which you use AI.

These are a few that matter most:

  • Reach: Post reach signifies the count of unique users who viewed your post. How much of your content truly makes its way to users’ feeds?
  • Clicks: This refers to the number of clicks on your content or account. Monitoring clicks per campaign is crucial for grasping what sparks curiosity or motivates people to make a purchase.
  • Engagement: The total social interactions divided by the number of impressions. This metric reveals how effectively your audience perceives you and their readiness to engage.

Of course, it’s going to depend greatly on your business.

But with this information, you can ensure that your AI social media strategy is rooted in goals.

6. Choose the Right AI Tools

The AI landscape is filled with trash and treasure.

Pick AI tools that are most likely to align with your needs and your level of tech-savviness.

For example, if you’re a blogger creating content about pizza recipes, you can use HubSpot’s AI social caption generator to write the message on your behalf:

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AI social media generator example

The benefit of an AI tool like HubSpot and the caption generator is that what at one point took 30-40 minutes to come up with — you can now have it at your fingertips in seconds. The HubSpot AI caption generator is trained on tons of data around social media content and makes it easy for you to get inspiration or final drafts on what can be used to create great content.

Consider your budget, the learning curve, and what kind of support the tool offers.

7. Evaluate and Refine Your Social Media and AI Strategy

AI isn’t a magic wand; it’s a set of complex tools and technology.

You need to be willing to pivot as things come to fruition.

If you notice that a certain activity is falling flat, consider how AI can support that process.

Did you notice that your engagement isn’t where you want it to be? Consider using an AI tool to assist with crafting more engaging social media posts.

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Make AI Work for You — Now and in the Future

AI has the power to revolutionize your social media strategy in ways you may have never thought possible. With its ability to conduct customer research, create personalized content, and so much more, thinking about the future of social media is fascinating.

We’re going through one of the most interesting times in history.

Stay equipped to ride the way of AI and ensure that you’re embracing the best practices outlined in this piece to get the most out of the technology.

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Advertising in local markets: A playbook for success

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Advertising in local markets: A playbook for success

Many brands, such as those in the home services industry or a local grocery chain, market to specific locations, cities or regions. There are also national brands that want to expand in specific local markets. 

Regardless of the company or purpose, advertising on a local scale has different tactics than on a national scale. Brands need to connect their messaging directly with the specific communities they serve and media to their target demo. Here’s a playbook to help your company succeed when marketing on a local scale.  

1. Understand local vs. national campaigns

Local advertising differs from national campaigns in several ways: 

  • Audience specificity: By zooming in on precise geographic areas, brands can tailor messaging to align with local communities’ customs, preferences and nuances. This precision targeting ensures that your message resonates with the right target audience.
  • Budget friendliness: Local advertising is often more accessible for small businesses. Local campaign costs are lower, enabling brands to invest strategically within targeted locales. This budget-friendly nature does not diminish the need for strategic planning; instead, it emphasizes allocating resources wisely to maximize returns. As a result, testing budgets can be allocated across multiple markets to maximize learnings for further market expansion.
  • Channel selection: Selecting the correct channels is vital for effective local advertising. Local newspapers, radio stations, digital platforms and community events each offer advantages. The key lies in understanding where your target audience spends time and focusing efforts to ensure optimal engagement.
  • Flexibility and agility: Local campaigns can be adjusted more swiftly in response to market feedback or changes, allowing brands to stay relevant and responsive. 

Maintaining brand consistency across local touchpoints reinforces brand identity and builds a strong, recognizable brand across markets. 

2. Leverage customized audience segmentation 

Customized audience segmentation is the process of dividing a market into distinct groups based on specific demographic criteria. This marketing segmentation supports the development of targeted messaging and media plans for local markets. 

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For example, a coffee chain might cater to two distinct segments: young professionals and retirees. After identifying these segments, the chain can craft messages, offers and media strategies relating to each group’s preferences and lifestyle.

To reach young professionals in downtown areas, the chain might focus on convenience, quality coffee and a vibrant atmosphere that is conducive to work and socializing. Targeted advertising on Facebook, Instagram or Connected TV, along with digital signage near office complexes, could capture the attention of this demographic, emphasizing quick service and premium blends.

Conversely, for retirees in residential areas, the chain could highlight a cozy ambiance, friendly service and promotions such as senior discounts. Advertisements in local print publications, community newsletters, radio stations and events like senior coffee mornings would foster a sense of community and belonging.

Dig deeper: Niche advertising: 7 actionable tactics for targeted marketing

3. Adapt to local market dynamics

Various factors influence local market dynamics. Brands that navigate changes effectively maintain a strong audience connection and stay ahead in the market. Here’s how consumer sentiment and behavior may evolve within a local market and the corresponding adjustments brands can make. 

  • Cultural shifts, such as changes in demographics or societal norms, can alter consumer preferences within a local community. For example, a neighborhood experiencing gentrification may see demand rise for specific products or services.
    • Respond by updating your messaging to reflect the evolving cultural landscape, ensuring it resonates with the new demographic profile.
  • Economic conditions are crucial. For example, during downturns, consumers often prioritize value and practicality.
    • Highlight affordable options or emphasize the practical benefits of your offerings to ensure messaging aligns with consumers’ financial priorities. The impact is unique to each market and the marketing message must also be dynamic.
  • Seasonal trends impact consumer behavior.
    • Align your promotions and creative content with changing seasons or local events to make your offerings timely and relevant.
  • New competitors. The competitive landscape demands vigilance because new entrants or innovative competitor campaigns can shift consumer preferences.
    • Differentiate by focusing on your unique selling propositions, such as quality, customer service or community involvement, to retain consumer interest and loyalty.

4. Apply data and predictive analytics 

Data and predictive analytics are indispensable tools for successfully reaching local target markets. These technologies provide consumer behavior insights, enabling you to anticipate market trends and adjust strategies proactively. 

  • Price optimization: By analyzing consumer demand, competitor pricing and market conditions, data analytics enables you to set prices that attract customers while ensuring profitability.
  • Competitor analysis: Through analysis, brands can understand their positioning within the local market landscape and identify opportunities and threats. Predictive analytics offer foresight into competitors’ potential moves, allowing you to strategize effectively to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Consumer behavior: Forecasting consumer behavior allows your brand to tailor offerings and marketing messages to meet evolving consumer needs and enhance engagement.
  • Marketing effectiveness: Analytics track the success of advertising campaigns, providing insights into which strategies drive conversions and sales. This feedback loop enables continuous optimization of marketing efforts for maximum impact.
  • Inventory management: In supply chain management, data analytics predict demand fluctuations, ensuring inventory levels align with market needs. This efficiency prevents stockouts or excess inventory, optimizing operational costs and meeting consumer expectations.

Dig deeper: Why you should add predictive modeling to your marketing mix

5. Counter external market influences

Consider a clothing retailer preparing for a spring collection launch. By analyzing historical weather data and using predictive analytics, the brand forecasts an unseasonably cool start to spring. Anticipating this, the retailer adjusts its campaign to highlight transitional pieces suitable for cooler weather, ensuring relevance despite an unexpected chill.

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Simultaneously, predictive models signal an upcoming spike in local media advertising rates due to increased market demand. Retailers respond by reallocating a portion of advertising budgets to digital channels, which offer more flexibility and lower costs than traditional media. This shift enables brands to maintain visibility and engagement without exceeding budget, mitigating the impact of external forces on advertising.

6. Build consumer confidence with messaging

Localized messaging and tailored customer service enhance consumer confidence by demonstrating your brand’s understanding of the community. For instance, a grocery store that curates cooking classes featuring local cuisine or sponsors community events shows commitment to local culture and consumer interests. 

Similarly, a bookstore highlighting local authors or topics relevant to the community resonates with local customers. Additionally, providing service that addresses local needs — such as bilingual service and local event support — reinforces the brand’s values and response to the community. 

Through these localized approaches, brands can build trust and loyalty, bridging the gap between corporate presence and local relevance.

7. Dominate with local advertising 

To dominate local markets, brands must:

  • Harness hyper-targeted segmentation and geo-targeted advertising to reach and engage precise audiences.
  • Create localized content that reflects community values, engage in community events, optimize campaigns for mobile and track results.
  • Fine-tune strategies, outperform competitors and foster lasting relationships with customers.

These strategies will enable your message to resonate with local consumers, differentiate you in competitive markets and ensure you become a major player in your specific area. 



Dig deeper: The 5 critical elements for local marketing success

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

As we march closer to the 2024 U.S. presidential election, CMOs and marketing leaders need to prepare for a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape. Election years have always posed unique challenges for advertisers, but the growing dominance of digital media has made the impact more profound than ever before.

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that will shape the advertising environment in the coming months and provide actionable insights to help you navigate these turbulent waters.

The Digital Battleground

The rise of cord-cutting and the shift towards digital media consumption have fundamentally altered the advertising landscape in recent years. As traditional TV viewership declines, political campaigns have had to adapt their strategies to reach voters where they are spending their time: on digital platforms.

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According to a recent report by eMarketer, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. is expected to reach 65.1 million by the end of 2023, representing a 6.9% increase from 2022. This trend is projected to continue, with the number of cord-cutters reaching 72.2 million by 2025.

Moreover, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2023 found that 62% of U.S. adults do not have a cable or satellite TV subscription, up from 61% in 2022 and 50% in 2019. This data further underscores the accelerating shift away from traditional TV and towards streaming and digital media platforms.

As these trends continue, political advertisers will have no choice but to follow their audiences to digital channels. In the 2022 midterm elections, digital ad spending by political campaigns reached $1.2 billion, a 50% increase from the 2018 midterms. With the 2024 presidential election on the horizon, this figure is expected to grow exponentially, as campaigns compete for the attention of an increasingly digital-first electorate.

For brands and advertisers, this means that the competition for digital ad space will be fiercer than ever before. As political ad spending continues to migrate to platforms like Meta, YouTube, and connected TV, the cost of advertising will likely surge, making it more challenging for non-political advertisers to reach their target audiences.

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To navigate this complex and constantly evolving landscape, CMOs and their teams will need to be proactive, data-driven, and willing to experiment with new strategies and channels. By staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the changing media consumption habits of their audiences, brands can position themselves for success in the face of the electoral advertising onslaught.

Rising Costs and Limited Inventory

As political advertisers flood the digital market, the cost of advertising is expected to skyrocket. CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) will likely experience a steady climb throughout the year, with significant spikes anticipated in May, as college students come home from school and become more engaged in political conversations, and around major campaign events like presidential debates.

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For media buyers and their teams, this means that the tried-and-true strategies of years past may no longer be sufficient. Brands will need to be nimble, adaptable, and willing to explore new tactics to stay ahead of the game.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Perfect Storm

The challenges of election year advertising will be particularly acute during the critical holiday shopping season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which have historically been goldmines for advertisers, will be more expensive and competitive than ever in 2024, as they coincide with the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

To avoid being drowned out by the political noise, brands will need to start planning their holiday campaigns earlier than usual. Building up audiences and crafting compelling creative assets well in advance will be essential to success, as will a willingness to explore alternative channels and tactics. Relying on cold audiences come Q4 will lead to exceptionally high costs that may be detrimental to many businesses.

Navigating the Chaos

While the challenges of election year advertising can seem daunting, there are steps that media buyers and their teams can take to mitigate the impact and even thrive in this environment. Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind:

Start early and plan for contingencies: Begin planning your Q3 and Q4 campaigns as early as possible, with a focus on building up your target audiences and developing a robust library of creative assets.

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Be sure to build in contingency budgets to account for potential cost increases, and be prepared to pivot your strategy as the landscape evolves.

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Embrace alternative channels: Consider diversifying your media mix to include channels that may be less impacted by political ad spending, such as influencer marketing, podcast advertising, or sponsored content. Investing in owned media channels, like email marketing and mobile apps, can also provide a direct line to your customers without the need to compete for ad space.

Owned channels will be more important than ever. Use cheaper months leading up to the election to build your email lists and existing customer base so that your BF/CM can leverage your owned channels and warm audiences.

Craft compelling, shareable content: In a crowded and noisy advertising environment, creating content that resonates with your target audience will be more important than ever. Focus on developing authentic, engaging content that aligns with your brand values and speaks directly to your customers’ needs and desires.

By tapping into the power of emotional triggers and social proof, you can create content that not only cuts through the clutter but also inspires organic sharing and amplification.

Reflections

The 2024 election year will undoubtedly bring new challenges and complexities to the world of digital advertising. But by staying informed, adaptable, and strategic in your approach, you can navigate this landscape successfully and even find new opportunities for growth and engagement.

As a media buyer or agnecy, your role in steering your brand through these uncharted waters will be critical. By starting your planning early, embracing alternative channels and tactics, and focusing on creating authentic, resonant content, you can not only survive but thrive in the face of election year disruptions.

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So while the road ahead may be uncertain, one thing is clear: the brands that approach this challenge with creativity, agility, and a steadfast commitment to their customers will be the ones that emerge stronger on the other side.


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