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13 Marketing Management Tips To Organize Your Strategy, Team, & Resources

Published May 31, 2022
/ Updated May 20, 2024

If marketing management makes you feel lost, confused, or overwhelmed, I can’t blame you: your day-to-day job is a lot of responsibility.

Luckily, this is the exact guide you need. While it won’t take you step-by-step on how to do your job, it outlines marketing management tips you need to focus on. We’ll point you toward resources to help you execute each portion of your management responsibilities.

You’ll learn:

  • Where to start when it comes to marketing strategy and how it supports your company’s business goals
  • What it takes to move from the individual contributor role into managing people and helping them work in their zone of genius
  • How to manage your team’s resources, including budget, tech stack, and workflows for maximum results and ROI
Three Sides Of Marketing Management

Here are the three sides of marketing management to guide your planning and activities:

  • Strategic management: The strategies, channels, campaigns, and reports that will help you reach marketing and business goals, are all developed with the audience specifics and pain points in mind. You report results from your strategy efforts to the C-suite.
  • Team management: Roles in your marketing team and how they impact and relate to each other. You find opportunities and needs for hiring new roles.
  • Resource management: The tools, workflows, and processes that make marketing assets and campaigns happen, and the budget you have to cover for them.

Everything you do as a marketing manager falls into these three categories. That includes meetings, plans, templates, reports, and more.

This makes your role more streamlined and less overwhelming. Let’s jump into each of the three areas of marketing management.

Marketing Management Essential #1: Your Strategy

Your first step is to make sure there’s a strategy that guides all marketing plans, campaigns, tasks, goals, and reports.

A marketing strategy ensures everything your team does is tied to business and marketing goals. It prevents scattering your team’s focus on channels or trends that aren’t relevant to your audience (also known as shiny object syndrome).

1. Understand Your Product/Market Fit

What does your product help your customers achieve? How does it make them better at something specific? Why do they care about what you sell?

Finding product/market fit means identifying a compelling value hypothesis. Andy Rachleff, the creator of the product/market fit concept, said:

“A value hypothesis identifies the features you need to build, the audience that is likely to care, and the business model required to entice a customer to buy your product.”

Not sure about your product/market fit? Sean Ellis, the creator of PMFSurvey (a product/market fit survey), benchmarked nearly a hundred startups and found a leading indicator of product/market fit:

Ask your users “how would you feel if you could no longer use the product?” and if at least 40% of them answer “very disappointed,” you’ve unlocked your product/market fit.

The group that answers “very disappointed” will also help you uncover your product appeal and feed your marketing strategy.

Superhuman, a startup building the fastest email experience, found this key benefit when digging deeper into their “very disappointed” group:

Aim to deeply understand your happiest customers. They’re those that say they’d be very disappointed if they could no longer use your product, but also those that are a breeze to support, make repeat purchases, have the highest spend, and have been with you for a long time.

Regularly interview these customers to learn about their background (like who they are and the job they do), their goals, and the role of your product in their life and work.

And don’t forget to review past customer research efforts in your company and learn how your company’s marketing strategy evolved from it. Keep building upon this work to set yourself and your team for success.

2. Understand Your Brand Messaging & Voice

Brand messaging is the framework that helps you communicate a consistent mission with everyone your company interacts with, including readers, customers, partners, and new hires. Being deliberate about your messaging makes your team more productive and boosts your revenue in the long run.

Create your brand messaging framework by defining your company’s:

  1. Mission statement. This is your company’s overarching goal. For example, Teamwork states that their mission is to “make client-service teams everywhere, efficient, organized, profitable and happy.”
  2. Tagline. This should explain why you offer the product or service you’re selling. Uber’s tagline is a great example.
  3. Value proposition. Use your learnings from the product/market fit research and define who you help, what you help them with, and why.
  4. Core brand pillars. These are your key features or benefits that differentiate you from competition. For example, CoSchedule’s core brand pillars are: publish more content; deliver work on time; prove your team’s value.

Part of your brand messaging is also your brand voice—the personality and emotion that’s infused into all company communications.

Use your customer insights and company specifics to develop a brand voice chart, which outlines your voice characteristics, what each of them means, and how to implement it (and what to avoid):

3. Understand Your Business Goals

Business goals are what drive intentional marketing action. Yes, growing your website traffic or social media followers looks good, but you need to know how this moves the needle for the business and its key objectives.

If your company’s goals aren’t shared internally, make sure to talk to your CMO, CEO, and other executives. This will give you a clear idea of how your team’s work supports overall business goals.

Use this to set meaningful marketing goals.

For example, your company’s goals might be to add a certain amount of customers and/or revenue in the next six months. You can reverse-engineer this to define supporting marketing goals:

  1. Take note of sales goal; the number of new customers the company wants to win
  2. Learn the lead-to-customer conversion rate
  3. Calculate how many leads you need to generate
  4. Map out the traffic you need to attract based on your traffic conversion rate

Here’s what this might look like in practice:

  1. Company goal: 3,000 new customers in the next six months
  2. Lead-to-customer conversion rate: 25%
  3. Marketing needs to generate: 12,000 leads
  4. The traffic you need, based on a 10% traffic conversion rate: 120,000

You need to reach 120,000 unique new visitors over six months to support your company goal of 3,000 new customers over that period. You can use this goal to guide everything you do as a marketing team.

This is a simplified example, of course, but it helps illustrate the importance of business objectives in your marketing planning and execution.

4. Understand Your Marketing Metrics & KPIs

Marketing metrics and KPIs help you track the results of your marketing efforts.

Dive into marketing metrics you can track and select those that are important and relevant to your goals:

  • General marketing metrics: E.g. brand awareness, customer lifetime value, conversion rate
  • Website and blogging metrics: E.g. referral traffic, organic traffic, time on page
  • SEO metrics: E.g. keyword rankings, total backlinks, domain authority
  • Social media marketing metrics: E.g. comments, shares, engagement rate
  • Email marketing metrics: E.g. newsletter signups, opens, clicks
  • PPC metrics: E.g. cost per click, quality score, return on ad spend

Jump to our marketing metrics overview for a full list of metrics to choose from.

Marketing KPIs are metrics that indicate progress towards a more specific goal, and you should only have a small number of focused KPIs. For example, for that goal of 120,000 unique new visitors over six months, unique pageviews would be the best marketing KPI to track.

5. Understand The Channels & Tactics Used To Reach Your Goals

Armed with product/market fit, your brand messaging, goals, and metrics to track progress, you can focus on channels and tactics you’ll work on with your team.

Here’s a question to ask yourself:

Which channels and tactics are most likely to help you influence the goal you’re working towards? Which of them can you realistically execute?

We’ve built a list of 35 marketing tactics you can use to get closer to your marketing goals. Use it to get inspired and strategic about your marketing activities:

Lean on these tactics to:

  1. Plan: Map out a marketing calendar with due dates and deliverables.
  2. Execute: Start with a creative brief and break down the project into checklists and tasks for team members.
  3. Measure: Review relevant marketing metrics for the project.
  4. Repeat or pivot: Based on the performance of the tactic, turn it into a recurring process or explore tweaks and other options to get better results next time.
Marketing Management Essential #2: Your Team

With a strategic foundation, your next area of focus should be the people who will help you bring that strategy to life.

6. Understand The Soft Skills You’ll Need To Manage People

The move from an individual contributor to a team manager is a big one.

It’s not just about launching marketing campaigns, but about leading a strong group of individuals and creating a productive environment where they can work in their zone of genius.

Consider these soft skills that will help you make this happen and explore ways to improve at each:

  • Communication. This includes giving your team members feedback, presenting ideas, negotiating, resolving conflicts, strong listening skills, and effective delegation.
  • Problem-solving. From having a team member out sick to a big part of the project that needs to be redone, solving problems and removing bottlenecks is a big part of your role.
  • Multitasking and organization. Marketing managers need to be able to quickly move between different tools, tasks, and assets and have an overview of many moving pieces at once. The ability to find what you need (and prioritize action items quickly) is a superpower.
  • Collaboration and coaching. See what your team members thrive at and where they struggle so you can provide them with support when they need it.
  • Leadership. You’re a bridge between the company executives and your team. You need the trust of executives to get buy-in for marketing initiatives, and an efficient marketing process (and a toolkit) to help your team make it happen.

7. Understand How Your Team Is Structured

Well-organized teams are better positioned to succeed than those that aren’t.

Spend some time understanding the roles that make up your current team, the skill sets they cover, and the output they can realistically produce.

Does this align with your marketing and business goals? Is this sufficient for the tactics and channels you plan to create content for?

If the team has worked with agencies or freelancers in any capacity, review that, too. External contributors can help you significantly streamline your content production and run a lean team.

8. Understand How To Ensure You Have The Right Skills On The Team

Based on the marketing tactics you’ll use to reach your goals, which skills do you need to cover with your team members (and external contributors, if relevant)?

Here are some examples of content formats and skills you need to have on the team:

  • Blogging: Writing, editing, graphic design
  • Podcasting: Interviewing, audio production, and editing
  • Webinars and video: Video presenting, video production, and editing
  • Email marketing: Direct response copywriting
  • PPC: Facebook Ads/Google Ads expertise, direct response copywriting, ad reporting

No matter which tactic or format you choose, you also need skills that cover the tools you use (like your CMS and social media scheduling) and reporting across platforms.

If you discover a skill that isn’t well covered on your current team, it’s a sign it’s time to hire.

9. Understand Your Team’s Time & Capacity

Once you know the specific roles and tasks each team member covers, it’s important to understand their realistic capacity.

How many hours does it take a writer to write a blog post draft? How about editing and implementing feedback? Every task that ends up on your team members’ to-do list needs to have a time estimate.

This will allow you to understand how many tasks under their skill set a team member can take on in a day and a week. If they’re assigned more than that, the work will likely be rushed, and the overwhelmed team member won’t just become a bottleneck—they might burn out.

When you know how much your team can take on, you can plan your marketing projects accordingly (and potentially identify a need to expand your team’s capacity with new hires).

10. Understand How To Measure Team Performance & Output

Are tasks getting done on time? Does your team hit deadlines and ship campaigns the way you planned?

Make sure you build in some time to review this on a regular basis. Use these questions to understand your team’s performance and output:

  • Do team members have outstanding tasks at the end of the week?
  • Did we have to push some deadlines back to ship a piece of content?
  • Is there confusion around what makes a task considered ‘done’?
  • Do team members need coaching around the process and/or tools to increase their productivity?

Weekly check-ins with progress on your project—and with your team members—will allow you to keep improving your team’s output and results.

Marketing Management Essential #3: Your Resources

Marketing resource management is exactly what it sounds like: it provides digital tools to help marketing departments produce and deliver marketing collateral.

This includes budgeting, project management, content development, promotion, and collaboration.

11. Understand Your Budget

Your marketing budget is what you plan to spend to make your marketing goal a reality. This includes people, software, events, ad spend, and any other costs that come up.

There are several ways to calculate your marketing budget, including a percentage of your revenue or competition-matching.

But we recommend goal-driven marketing budget calculation. It requires you to set goals first (which we already covered) and helps you plan a realistic budget. The formula looks like this:

Monthly marketing budget = (marketing goal acquisition cost × marketing marketing goal #) + marketing operational costs

There are two main ways you can plan your budget:

  1. Average piece method. You calculate how much it costs you to create an average piece of content (including writing, design, promotion, paid ads, etc.) and divide it by the results it produces.
  2. Over time method. You add up the total spend on marketing over a month (like salaries and paid ads) and divide this by the number of conversions you generated over the same month.

You also need to figure out your marketing operational costs, including the spend that “keeps the marketing lights on” each month, including tools, hosting, team education, memberships, ad expenses, salaries, etc.

Use this to learn what it costs you, on average, to generate a conversion. From there, you can plan how you need to increase or decrease your marketing budget based on how your goals change.

12. Understand Your Current Technology Stack

What tools do you have to support your marketing execution? Your toolkit should make it easy to:

  • Store and find all your content assets
  • Brief all content creators
  • Plan a publishing schedule on a content calendar
  • Put repeatable workflows for marketing campaigns into motion
  • Review and approve pieces of content

What tools do you have to support your marketing execution? Your toolkit should make it easy to:

  • Store and find all your content assets
  • Brief all content creators
  • Plan a publishing schedule on a content calendar
  • Put repeatable workflows for marketing campaigns into motion
  • Review and approve pieces of content

The bare minimum is a digital asset manager (at least a generic one like Dropbox or Google Sheets), an annual content calendar, and a workflow management tool.

This way, you have a home for all marketing collateral, a calendar to guide your team’s weekly tasks, and a place to store action items. That’s your foundation.

From there, you can expand into platform-specific tools (email marketing, social media analytics, and more), as well as specialized tools like CoSchedule’s Marketing Calendar.

13. Understand How To Manage Workflows

Workflows are the steps your team members need to complete to get a marketing project over the finish line. They’re templates you can rely on every time you start a new project.

Workflows make responsibilities clear between team members and encourage ownership, accountability, consistency, and focus. They increase visibility into your team’s workload and make it easy to check in daily (for example, in a daily stand-up meeting) by asking:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What will you do today?
  3. Are you experiencing any roadblocks?

Map out the task checklists for every type of marketing project you plan to execute in the next quarter. How long before publish date do they need to be completed? Who’s in charge of each task? How much capacity does it take from a team member?

Set up a system that makes it easy to delegate tasks, send reminders, and collaborate on a project (CoSchedule’s Work Organizer helps you do exactly that!).

Some Things No One Tells You About Marketing Management

So far, we’ve covered your basic areas of responsibility. But what about the things no one tells you that everyone learns the hard way?

Here are some lessons you’ll want to remember as you spend more time in your role:

  1. Project management is a huge part of marketing management. There’s a chance your marketing degree didn’t teach you this. Don’t panic: take some time to familiarize yourself with agile marketing and the Waterfall methodology and pick your approach.
  2. You rarely have time to do “real” work. Marketing managers are there to unblock people, and that takes lots of admin, emails, and spreadsheet work. Templates, time blocking, and building a central hub for all marketing work all help with this.
  3. You don’t have to measure everything. Instead, find your one metric that matters (1MTM) like we talked about earlier in this guide.
  4. Marketing plans are a big lie. More specifically, long, fancy-looking plans make it look like you’ve made progress and done your homework, but they don’t foster execution. Agile marketing execution that supports a single goal, with one metric that matters as a way to track results, is a much better way to approach your strategy.
  5. Embrace failure. Push yourself and your team, take risks, run experiments, and review what happened as a result. You can always adjust the next time around.
  6. There’s no “correct” answer. There are dozens of ways to approach the same problem. Not taking action until you have the “right” way to do something might mean you never take action. Get creative.
You’re Ready To Grow As A Marketing Manager

If marketing management felt overwhelming before, you now have the three sections to focus on: strategy, team, and resources. Everything you do will be part of one of these three areas. Sounds a lot more manageable, doesn’t it?

Don’t forget to grab your templates to help you along the way. Bookmark this guide to come back to it whenever you need a refresher (or any of the extra resources we linked to). You got this!