How to Get More Out of Your Marketing Team on a Budget

Maybe you’re considering incorporating another marketing tactic into your company’s arsenal, or you wish you could launch one more campaign for the next season…but your current team is already stretched too thin. Project calendars are loaded and your staff barely has time to eat lunch. If only you could hire one more team member to add to your marketing department, but the budget is tight. What to do? Here are a few tips to get your team back on track in no time and boost conversion rates without feeling overworked:

Minimize repetitive work, maximize brain power

brain-powerThere are so many platforms you can utilize to make your team more efficient, and budget doesn’t have to be an issue. Project management tools such as Teamwork, Mavenlink and Basecamp will speed up workflow and increase communication without breaking the bank. Password manager tools can also be a time-saver. Secure tools such as LastPass store your team’s passwords for all your different platforms and so that no one ever has to waste time digging for a forgotten password again. There are also a wealth of other tools available to help automate paid search bids, social media posts and ad campaigns, and reporting. Read more about some of the digital marketing tools that make our team more efficient. Your team doesn’t need to waste time on repetitive activities. Let the tools do the robotic work while your team utilizes their creative and strategic powers.

Outsource some marketing activities, accomplish more

outsource marketing to boost output

Outsourcing can be a great help when it comes to managing a certain marketing skill your team may lack. It’s also the ideal solution for getting projects done during your busiest seasons. This way the company only pays to get work done when it is needed and doesn’t have to pay an extra salary plus benefits during slow times.

By outsourcing, I’m not referring to shipping the work overseas to someone you may never communicate with or who may not even speak English. I mean finding an agency team that will act as though they were an extension of your own team, just not in the same building. We call this a satellite team, learn more about that here.

Ask the team for feedback, find your groove

Ask team members what makes them the most productive. Some people may feel hindered by a working style or environment imposed upon them. It may be possible that some of your team members could be more productive if they had more alone time to focus, while others may prefer a collaborative environment or group work. Also, some may be more productive on a slightly different schedule. Flexible schedules or working at home to address family matters or household issues provides a clear head and peace of mind to concentrate on work. It’s also possible that some employees may be able to take on more work with a flexible schedule.

Lastly, it’s a good idea to take an anonymous survey to get feedback from your team about how they feel in their work environment and the work load in addition to talking to them face to face. You may get a slightly different idea of what is needed and then draw your conclusions from both the survey and your face to face talks.

Digital Marketing Goes Mainstream

The Real Deal with Bob Kehoe

Usually, I don’t need much in terms of persuasion when it comes to digital marketing’s impact on the Big Picture.

Be it the technology strata, the business community, or its social impact, digital marketing is, without a doubt, an integral – I’ll go as far as to say essential – part in each of those worlds. Its societal impact will surely increase as its technology continues to blossom, as businesses continue to embrace the field, and as more and more consumers and business owners’ embrace it.

The above is fact to me. That, and that I’ve been able to house, feed a family and pay for the occasional vacation and college tuition doing this for nearly two decades, is pretty much all the proof I need of the validity of what I do.

Recently, though, I got what I consider to be a pleasant reminder of this industry’s prominence in the world today.

An elevator pitch of a digital nature…

A few weeks back, I was out of town for several days in meetings with a client whose office was in a 35-plus floor high rise. Like many big-city professional buildings today, their elevators are equipped with small digital screens, which provides 20 or so second editorial feed featuring up-to-date news of a wide variety, words of the day, ads from everything from Bank Of America to Macy’s to Burrito Beach, and social goings-on in the building (i.e. tenant happy hours, services, management notices).

Over the course of my time there, I saw, alongside sports scores, stock market updates and the big sale at the lobby’s Hudson’s Books, the following news blips on my elevator trips:

  • Spending on paid media worldwide is on track to climb 5.7 percent this year. This is a slight decrease from last year, but the bulk of the digital advertising will see the brunt of this
  • Ad blocking software, which stops banner ads for popping up on computer screens, proving to be a hit with digital marketers
  • More than 50 percent of total digital spending in 2015 is expected to go to Mobile
  • Marketers are continuing to increase their digital budgets, with an estimated 60 percent upping their e-mail marketing and 48 percent increasing their spend on social media

Like many in this business, I look to receiving this news on a near daily basis, and do so from a myriad of industry related websites as well as alerts. As to be expected, these quick hits got my attention, but what really stands out for me here is the fact in itself these bites are being broadcast for the average office Joe and Janet to read.

If memory serves me well – and I’m making this call having been in more than my fair share of big city elevators over the years – digital marketing news stories such as the examples above have had an audience.  The thing is, it’s usually just geared towards us in the field.

That our industry news such as digital budgets and spends and software are now featured in this setting alongside everything here from NASDAQ updates to baseball scores to “American Horror Story” casting isn’t surprising to me and shouldn’t be to you: many of us have known its potential in the early days and all of us are part of its evolution.

In this case, it looks like the masses are starting to catch on, though. Better late than never, I say.

SlideShare: The State of Mobile Ecommerce

Here at Leverage Marketing, we’ve been thinking about mobile-friendly design a lot– especially since the holiday shopping season is approaching. According to Google, 40% of last year’s holiday shopping took place online, and of the people who shopped online, 53% used smartphones or tablets. If you’re an online retailer, you need to be ready to meet consumers on the devices they’re using to research products, compare prices, and buy.

Want to know more about how mobile trends are shaping the holiday shopping season? We’ve put together a SlideShare presentation with some revealing statistics about mobile trends, from the number of people who own smartphones to the amount of time the average consumer spends doing research on their mobile device. Check it out below:


Mobile Ecommerce Link Roundup

As of 2014, approximately 64% of US adults owned a smartphone. As mobile devices become more and more affordable and integral to everyday life, that percentage is only going to increase. If you’re an online retailer, you’d better be ready to meet customers on the portable, internet-enabled devices where they spend so much of their time. Make sure you’re caught up with the latest trends and best practices for mobile optimization by checking out the link roundup below.

Best Practices

How to Keep Your Site Fast for Mobile-Friendly

Moz published this post back in April, just in time for Google’s mobile-friendly update (aka ‘Mobilegeddon’). This update was designed to rank sites that work well on mobile devices higher than sites that don’t. While most sites haven’t been as negatively impacted as originally predicted, it’s still worth keeping the tips in this post in mind. After all, if your site is too slow to load, your potential customers will quickly go somewhere else.

5 Tools to Test If Your Website is Mobile-Friendly

These tools will help you determine if your site meets Google’s standards for mobile-friendly, loads quickly, looks good on different types of mobile devices, and is free of web markup code errors. Some of these tools are a paid service, but others are completely free.

3 Types of Mobile Marketing Messages Marketers Must Know [VIDEO]

Have 60 seconds to spare? Want to learn the basics of reaching out to customers through their mobile devices? This one-minute Marketo video offers straightforward explanations of SMS/MMS, push notifications, and in-app messaging. There’s also an accompanying blog post that elaborates on each mobile message type in case you forgot your headphones and can’t watch the video.

10 of the Finest Mobile Ecommerce Sites

The best way to figure out how to optimize your site for mobile may be to look at other sites that have really nailed their mobile design. Check out the 10 ecommerce sites listed here and take notes.

The Efficient Mobile Marketing Formula for Unleashing Your Full Potential

This post covers a lot of ground, from how to think of mobile users vs. desktop users to how to design a landing page for mobile. I think the advice for crafting mobile ads is particularly useful—web users are usually in a different state of mind when searching on their mobile device than when they’re on their computer (usually they’re looking for more immediate services), and your ads should reflect this.

Watch Out for Challenges and Pitfalls

Mobile-Friendly Isn’t Enough for Local Businesses: 3 Pitfalls to Avoid

Optimizing your site for mobile is a start, but you can’t just coast from there. This post reminds us to think about the core pages web users will need to access on the go, look at trends in the mobile overview report in Google Analytics, and make sure that all elements on your site are responsive using Chrome’s mobile emulator tool.

7 Mobile UX Fails That Are Killing Your Ecommerce Site

This first fairly obvious fail described here is not optimizing your site for mobile, but the article gets more detailed from there. It points out that you’re going to create a frustrating user experience if your site doesn’t cater to touchscreens, has complex navigation, and requires users to fill out lengthy forms.

3 Common Mistakes Mobile App Marketers Make and How to Fix Them

Not all brands need a mobile app (usually a mobile-friendly site will do), but if you are intent on making an app, pay attention to these tips from MarketingProfs.

Measuring Mobile Effectiveness Still Challenges Marketers

According to eMarketer, one third of worldwide marketers don’t know how to collect and integrate data from mobile with other digital channels, and close to two thirds of marketers don’t know how to effectively track and analyze mobile app data. This post is an important reminder that you need to come up with a plan for measuring mobile, especially if that’s where a significant number of conversions are coming from.

Responsive Design, Adaptive Design, and Beyond

Why You Don’t Need to Choose Responsive Design (But Should)

Not entirely sure what responsive design is all about? This article serves as a great primer. It discusses why Google recommends responsive design and how this type of mobile optimization can benefit your website, and it also looks at some situations in which responsive design might not actually be the best choice for your business.

Responsive is the McDonald’s Cheeseburger of Mobile SEO

With a title as intriguing as this, you can’t help but read on to find out why the author thinks responsive design is the fast food of the mobile SEO world. Amidst the burger metaphors, there’s some good information about the pros and cons of responsive design, as well as the potential benefits of adaptive design and separate URLs for some businesses.

Is Responsive Design a Ranking Factor?

We know that responsive design is the mobile configuration that Google recommends, but does it actually affect how your site ranks in the search engine results pages? This post looks at recent studies and indirect SEO ranking factors that may point towards an answer.

Mobile Trends

4 Brands Whose Creative Approaches to Mobile Marketing Are Getting Big Results

The four brands discussed in this post took different approaches to improving their mobile marketing, but the common thread between all of them is their attention to serving mobile users’ needs in the moment rather than being an unwanted disruption.

Three Easy Tips for Hyper-Personal Push Notifications

Push notifications are mobile messages that are triggered by a customer’s actions, and they can either be incredibly useful or kind of annoying. Avoid going the annoying route by following the actionable advice in this post.

The Big Deal about a Little Mobile ‘Buy’ Button

If you’re a mobile retailer who runs product listing ads, you’ll want to read about the relatively new buy buttons on Google, which will allow users to click a ‘Buy’ link for certain eligible products and quickly make a purchase based on payment info that they’ve already stored with Google.

How Mobile Tech and Social Media Are Merging to Change the Shopping Experience

Let’s face it: no matter how great your ecommerce site is, your target customers are probably spending more time on social media. Why not let them shop your site without ever leaving their social media app of choice? Shopping through social apps isn’t the norm yet, but this Entrepreneur post covers some of the emerging trends that are pushing ecommerce in that direction.

Mobile Behavior

Beyond Responsive Design: How to Optimize Your Website for Mobile Users

Get tips on how to optimize your emails for mobile, capitalize on location-based micro-moments, and think about the cross-device experience in this Hubspot post.

90% of Retail Shoppers Use Smartphones in Stores

While this link roundup is focused on ecommerce, I thought this post might be useful for anyone who has both an online business and a brick-and-mortar store. It’s important to remember that you can get a lot of value out of mobile marketing even when potential customers are already in the door.

Mobile to Be Big Sales Driver for Holiday Shopping 2015

This headline shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but it’s worth looking a little closer at the way mobile is reshaping holiday shopping trends in this interview with Branding Brand CEO Chris Mason.

Understanding Smartphones as an Influencing Device

The majority of online transactions still take place on desktop devices (for now), but this article points out that smartphone activity often drives those conversions. A customer may start their research on a mobile device but wait until they’re in front of a computer to make a purchase, and retailers need to remember to assign value to the devices that move customers down the conversion path.

Know of any other great articles on mobile marketing, or just want to talk more about how to optimize your site for mobile? Comment below or contact Leverage Marketing directly.