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How to empower your agile marketing team



How to empower your agile marketing team

When working with agile marketing teams, leaders should adopt a values-based approach that includes empowering their team members. Place individuals and interactions above processes and tools, and stop treating marketers like kindergarteners, said agile marketing expert Stacey Ackerman at The MarTech Conference.

Micromanaging is rampant in marketing. Being an effective leader means treating team members like adults.

“We really want to empower them to be able to work individually and think about how they can really grow and form,” said Ackerman. 

To accomplish this, Here are some guidelines on leading through empowerment.

Present your team with a problem, not a solution

Don’t lead with a command. Instead, present the problem and allow your team to formulate the remedy.

For instance, sales are down. Start there. Your team might suggest sending out a direct mail piece. Or maybe posting a video on YouTube is preferred. Give your talented team the opportunity to help solve the problem with their creativity.

“If we always give the teams the solution, they’re not going to be empowered to have that creativity that we need,” said Ackerman.

Read next: How marketers embrace agile ways of working

Brainstorm for a solution

To arrive at the right solution, draw on the creativity of the entire team through a brainstorming session.

“It’s a good use of time,” said Ackerman. “We typically run our teams on about 110% capacity to just execute, execute, execute, and the problem is we don’t account for [better use of] time [through] brainstorming.”

She added, “Brainstorming is really where the magic happens, and building this into the way we work and allowing teams to be part of that solution to your problem through brainstorming is very empowering and gives you great results.”

Give your team space to solve

Don’t rush to a solution. Let your team think about the problem, brainstorm, and problem-solve in their own time.

“If we’re always solving the problems for the team, they no longer feel empowered and they really can’t grow,” said Ackerman.

And when a team member comes to a leader with a problem, the leader could always ask this member what they think about a solution. This gives the team an opportunity to solve problems on their own. The result? Better problem-solving all around.

Ask your team for the data

Remind team members about the importance of past experiences. It’s all in the data. How did similar campaigns perform in the past? Give them an opportunity to present the data to back their solution.

“A lot of opinions happen in marketing,” said Ackerman.

 “If you come back to the team member and ask how it performed, they have to own that they have to look at it. They start to become more results-oriented.”

Trust the team to own the solution and deliver great work

Trust is built over time. If you don’t have it, then leaders are checking all of their team’s work without giving ownership to team members.

It doesn’t mean that a leader will be entirely hands-off on a presentation made to the board of directors. But maybe there are smaller projects that don’t need so much micromanagement.

“I ask you to examine yourself and think, ‘what is the worst thing that could happen?’” said Ackerman. “Is there something that team members are doing to break your trust? What would make you feel more comfortable? Are there things that the team could experiment on more that are maybe less risky?”

More leeway can garner more trust across the team. And where there’s trust, there’s more ownership, creativity and growth.

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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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Top Strategies to Promote Your Writers’ Conference



Top Strategies to Promote Your Writers’ Conference

If you’re hosting an upcoming writers’ conference, you need to make it stand out so that you get a large audience at the event. But for that, you’ll need to promote it with the right marketing mix. Here’s what that entails.

A writers’ conference is an event where aspiring writers come together and learn from successful authors, editors, and literary agents. For most, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event that can offer them invaluable lessons on becoming a renowned author. You can only instill this fear of missing out (FOMO) if you’ve invited already-established and well-renowned authors. But more importantly, you need to have a marketing plan in place to expand your reach before the event. Here are our top hand-picked strategies.

Email marketing is more powerful than you think

Most people think email campaigns have become obsolete, but that’s not true. It’s certainly challenging to pull off since you only get one shot to convince the reader to open your email, let alone attend the conference. A great consists of a catchy and relevant subject line that piques a reader’s interest and compels them to open your email.

Next, avoid writing walls of paragraphs — no one reads paragraphs in emails anymore. Instead, use an online tool like PosterMyWall to pick a pre-built email template so that you don’t have to structure the email from scratch. And lastly, don’t forget to segment your target audience because you can’t send one email to everyone without personalizing it to their preferences.

A website and blog are instrumental

You can’t really promote your writers’ conference without a strong digital presence. The first step of creating that is having a stunning website and a blog. Make sure the website has an in-built form so that people interested in attending the conference can buy their tickets directly from your site or contact you if need be.

On the other hand, a website blog is a prerequisite to getting high traffic on your website. This is where you post articles that add value for aspiring writers. You could share tips and tricks for fiction writers or recommend a YouTube documentary on writing. Just make sure the content you put out is adding value to your readers.

Take advantage of social media

Social media marketing has become the core of all things digital marketing. That’s because almost everyone uses social media. Therefore, the first step is to identify which social platforms you should promote your conference on. We recommend Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. They’re the most widely-used platforms and would help you promote the conference to a sizable audience.

Keep in mind that social media marketing takes consistency. You need to put up catchy posts regularly to increase traction. Insert URLs of your blog articles or YouTube videos, followed by a relevant caption. Make sure your captions don’t exceed more than a line because people don’t bother reading long posts on social media.

Runs ads on social media

Once you’ve built a large following on your social media channels, you could run ads to accelerate ticket sales to your conference. Social media platforms track user interests and preferences, so it shows your ads to users who will most likely attend your writers’ conferences.

When you’re making an online video ad, make sure it’s not longer than 30 seconds and conveys the message at first glance. You could take the help of an online editor who has experience making video ads. There’s no one right way to craft an ad, so be sure to experiment with a number of things to make it stand out and memorable. You could take help of an online editor who has experience making video ads.

Don’t forget about SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the most critical thing you can do to expand your conference’s digital outreach. It makes your website, YouTube videos, and social media pages rank higher on Google’s SERPs. The higher you rank on Google, the more traffic you’ll get, and the better your chances are to increase the number of attendees at your conference.

For starters, use Google Keyword Planner to hunt for the most-searched keywords on Google relevant to writing conferences. Then, incorporate those keywords in your blog articles, social media posts, YouTube video transcripts, and titles. It’s also important to include backlinks in your articles, which is another way of beating Google’s algorithms.

A final piece of advice

The above strategies have been tried and tested, but every writing conference is different. Maybe you’re hosting a conference just for fiction writers — in that case, your entire campaign should revolve around that specific target audience.

Also, the renowned writers you invite to the conference will build your credibility and attract more aspiring writers. Just make sure you tailor each strategy to satisfy the audience’s preferences. Don’t be afraid to throw more strategies into the mix — maybe promoting your conference via a local newspaper ad would work better than social media marketing.

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