Is that how people perceive your marketing meetings? I hope not, because they don’t really have to be like that.
Turn your marketing meetings into something useful by – you guessed it – creating compelling content! (Oh my god, inbound marketing concepts work in real life too!)
As your team grows it is important that everyone come together in a room and talk about what they have been working on in their corner of the world. Keep these tips in mind to make sure these marketing meetings aren’t a block of time your team dreads, so that marketing meetings are really useful to your reps.
How to conduct an effective meeting
While this post is mostly focused on marketing meetings, I want to address a non-team section about effective meetings as a whole.
As I said above, meetings can be a great waste of time. It is tempting to direct your work from others, get feedback or confirmation, or just avoid the difficult things by calling meetings.
I’m here to tell you – don’t do it. The first step in having effective meetings is to schedule meetings only when absolutely necessary.
Quarterly meetings to share company progress and important news? Sure. Monthly meetings to establish contact based on KPIs and to recruit help for projects? Sounds good. Weekly meetings to report on current responsibilities and questions? I’m torn as to whether this is necessary, but for large teams or teams with new employees, this could be a good move.
Every moment in a meeting is time away from heads-down work, the work that arguably moves your business forward. Are meetings required to take a break, touch the ground and gather with your team? Sure.
Second, to understand the effectiveness and efficiency of a meeting, ask your team. Ask “is [meeting] helpful for you? If so, what are the top two benefits for you? “This can help you understand what percentage of your teams find value in your meetings and what components or agenda items could potentially be removed to save time.
When we talk about agendas, next let’s discuss what your marketing meeting agendas should be.
Marketing meeting agenda
Whether or not your marketing team meets weekly, monthly, this section explains the content you should each time. We also recommend creating a slide deck at each meeting that you project for your team so that you can keep track of everyone with each item on the agenda.
Example of a marketing meeting agenda
For each meeting, you should have a special agenda slide that lists three things:
- What will be discussed in today’s meeting
- Who will lead each discussion?
- How much time is there for each discussion?
Take a look at one of our current slides on the agenda of the marketing team:
By explaining who is speaking, what they are covering, and how much time they have to discuss, you can keep the meeting from derailing. It will also prevent people from delving into unproductive conversations that are best done at a different time and place.
Let’s discuss what components to cover during your marketing meeting.
Review key metrics
Take a quick look at your key marketing metrics. These should not be niche metrics such as For example, the unsubscribe rate from emails, the reach of social media or the growth of blog subscribers. Save these for your monthly meetings where you can review month-to-month progress.
These should be the metrics that your marketing team will be measured against. In other words, at the end of the month, what metrics will show you whether the marketing team was successful?
While each company is likely to review something different based on their business model, here are some ideas for you:
It’s important to review your team’s key metrics as this is how you will be measured as an overall marketing team. And if you don’t all know how you are doing during the month, there is nothing individual employees can do to increase the number of your teams.
A little education
Marketing meetings should be a healthy mix of state-of-the-art content and educational content. Every week, have a few team members share briefly about interesting projects they have worked on. This serves two purposes: it lets people know what their team members are doing all day, and they learn something new!
Think about it … wouldn’t it be interesting for a blogger to learn about a PPC experiment? Or for an intern on social media to find out more about the results of the latest Email A / B test?
Sharing lessons from projects helps everyone expand their knowledge base, bypass landmines when a project fails, and implement effective new techniques that they never knew worked.
Boom – everyone leaves your weekly meeting a smarter and better marketer!
The Nitty Gritty retrospective
Your meeting should also include a review of the projects each employee (or, if you’re in a larger marketing department, each team) has worked on over the past month / quarter / year and the results they have seen.
This is good for a number of reasons. First, everyone is responsible for standing in front of their colleagues at every meeting and explaining what they are doing all day. Second, anyone can learn from what everyone else has been working on and become better marketers in general. Third, it helps everyone see how individual teams are doing and what projects they’re doing to improve their own metrics.
For example, if you have a social media team, this is an opportunity to report on the success of every single social network they manage. How is their reach? How much traffic do these networks send to your site? How many leads are generated? Why are some networks more successful than others?
While your weekly meetings (if any) can focus on high-level, team-based metrics, a monthly or quarterly meeting is a great opportunity to get a deep dive into the channels and metrics that enable the entire team to meet these goals .
How to achieve this month’s goals
After the retrospective, each employee or team should also set out their individual goals for the month or quarter and how exactly these goals will be achieved. This is not the time to be generic.
Teams should explain point by point what they will be doing during the time period to meet the metrics against which they are being measured.
Suppose the email marketing team is responsible for getting more conversions this month. What exactly are they going to do to do that? Well this slide could include some initiatives such as: B. An A / B test email copy with and without PS, analysis to determine which offers are converting at the highest rate, list segmentation experiments, and tailored lead generation offers to align more closely with personas and improve click through rate … the list could and should go on.
This is also a critical time in your meeting for feedback. Build in time during each presentation – at least 5 minutes, more if you need it after a few meetings – so that each team can get feedback on the proposed projects. This will help individual teams get derailed on projects that may not help them achieve their goals, or maybe other members of the marketing team have fantastic ideas that the teams hadn’t even thought of!
A little recognition is a good thing. Take a few minutes – come on, can’t find 5 minutes? – to showcase some of the amazing things your team members or the entire department have achieved.
This could be anything from press coverage to speaking engagements, engaging with power players on social media, a successful blog post, an email that received unprecedented click through rates … you get it. It’s easy to harp where you fall behind, but a little cheerleading can help to rally your team and remind them of how successful they can be if they focus on it.
Ask for help
Everyone should be able to get help from team members during your marketing team meetings. The bigger your team gets, the easier it is to work in silos – but everyone has their own little superpowers that sometimes go unnoticed.
If there is a platform during each meeting that reps can share something (if they need it) that they need a little help with, you may find others who can find a simple solution or resource that will solve the problem.
There should also be a few minutes built into each presentation to get a little feedback. When someone is presenting the progress of an ongoing project, part of the “getting help” process may be to get feedback on what to do next. For example:
- Is this project still worth it?
- How should we measure the success of this project?
- Does anyone have a solution to a major roadblock?
While a few minutes should be left at the end of each meeting to give staff the opportunity to ask for help, time should be built into presentations for feedback if the presenter needs it.
6 tips for a productive marketing meeting
- Stay on time.
- Do not allow computer.
- Build in time for a break.
- End each meeting with action items.
- Look at your people distant.
- Check the measurement data and celebrate the victories.
You know what content to include in your marketing team meetings. Now let’s discuss how these meetings go smoothly. Despite the helpful content, these tips can affect or impair the usefulness of a marketing meeting.
1. Stay on time.
Start on time, finish on time, and stick to the time allotted for individual presentations. I know it’s difficult, especially when there is a good discussion going on, but delegate a timekeeper to let the moderators know when they reach the end of their allotted time.
If you are vigilant about this, attendees start editing their presentation on their own and the meeting attendees censor their comments themselves, adding only to what really needs to be said.
2. Do not allow computers …
… said the internet marketing company. Seriously, only the meeting coordinator should have a computer to view the agenda and presentations.
When others bring their laptops with them, you will find that no matter how exciting the presentations, people can’t help but read their emails, get some work done, and chat online.
3. Build in time for a break.
Your weekly meeting might only last 30 or 60 minutes, but your monthly meeting could be much longer. When this happens, timely build on people getting up, straightening their legs, going to the bathroom, drinking coffee, whatever.
Otherwise you will lose people’s attention.
4. End each meeting with action items.
Whatever you discussed during your meeting should be briefly discussed at the end of the meeting, preferably by the meeting coordinator. If you start your 90-minute meeting with 20 minutes of how to resolve your lead shortage problem, there is a good chance some of the tasks and initiatives are getting out of people’s minds.
Make sure someone is taking notes throughout the meeting, and take five minutes at the end of each meeting to review what to do when they leave the meeting room.
5. Look at your remote people.
Whether your entire team or just a few members are remote, it is important to consider remote meeting experience. As a remote employee, it takes a bit of getting used to being one of the few remote participants in a meeting.
Research technologies that can help reduce the gap between in-office and remote workers. Zoom is a great choice, of course, but other technologies like Owl Labs’ The Meeting Owl might be a good fit for your team. At the beginning of each meeting, test your connectivity and go through your slides to make sure the message is clear to the folks back home.
Source: Getty Images
Most importantly, collect separate feedback from your remote team members to understand their issues and meet their needs.
6. Review the measurement data and celebrate the victories.
Do you know the marketing metrics that you want to measure and review in the first section? The ones who noted your team’s progress over the month?
Now is the time to see if you achieved your goals or not! When you achieve your goals, do two things: Celebrate and explain exactly why you achieved those goals. This second one is critical. Someone should explain which marketing activities were a major factor in helping you achieve your leads goal, for example. That way, you can repeat these activities this month!
Meetings don’t have to suck
Meetings are a necessary part of the job. They are a time to celebrate victories, seek feedback or help, and align with your team and company.
Sit down with your co-workers to review your meeting schedule and see where you can cut time or cut meetings altogether. For this reason, effective and efficient meetings are far more important than meetings. Your team will thank you.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2012 and has been updated for completeness.
Originally published January 14, 2021 8:30:00 am, updated January 14, 2021