The Hidden Reason Your Marketing Team (And Business) is Stuck


By Brooke B. Sellas, {grow} Contributing Columnist

It’s inevitable … your marketing team will get stuck.

But what if you don’t even realize you’re stuck? What if you’re trucking along thinking all is status quo and it isn’t?

Here’s hoping your processes are checked for iterations often. Or that someone on your marketing team slaps you with reality.

Lucky for me, this happened just last week.

Status Quo Is A Trap

As a small business owner, I provide all of the initial training for our new team members.

Last week, I was training Carrie. Carrie comes to us with big brand experience and an emphasis on solving customer service gaps through social media.

In the past, I’ve gotten “ooohs” and “ahhhhs” regarding our processes. People really appreciate the removal of wasted, distracted energy with our ready-to-use templates.

Carrie, on the other hand, said, “why do you do it that way?”

[long pause]

After explaining the process to her, she said, “I know but there’s a much better/faster way.” She then proceeded to show me how an iteration of our process could save incredible amounts of time.

Listen, I know I’m not the smartest person in the room. I’m constantly asking our team to help build us bigger, better mousetraps.

But sometimes you don’t even know you’re stuck.

Sometimes, you’re moving so fast that the status quo lulls you into a trap filled with a false sense of security.

3 Signs Your Marketing Team Is Stuck

Every business owner or marketing team gets stuck. I dare you to show me otherwise.

Luckily, there are a few telltale signs to help sound the alarm bells if you’re bogged down.

1) Blurry Boundaries

Who is responsible for what? Marketing and sales aren’t aligned. Who reports to whom? If you find that you or anyone on your marketing team is stepping on toes, you likely have boundary issues. Solve this issue with clear and concise roles and an organizational chart.

2) Lack Of Systems (or control of those systems)

At one point, we were using Dropbox for filing sharing, Zoho for email, Google Docs for ideating together, and GoToMeeting for team and client meetings. We lacked control of our systems.

By switching to Office 365, we have each of those four capabilities in one system. That means we have a standardized solution.

Now, when we onboard or off-board new team members, there’s only one place I have to go to add or remove user rights. Training is also a lot easier.

And I don’t have to tell you how much time (and money!) we saved.

3) Excess

Besides the opposite of running lean, excess often means redundancy.

Without highly functional workflows, you’ll find time being wasted on certain tasks. I pointed this out in my last post for {grow} about reverse problem-solving.

Overall, process and workflow management is crucial to ensure your business or marketing team continues full steam ahead.

Workflows & Processes Must Have These Four Things

Every marketer knows that the best processes must be repeatable and transferable.

Your processes must be repeatable because that’s how you scale. At its core, if a process isn’t repeatable you cannot grow. This is a crucial first step in creating workflows.

Secondly, processes must be transferable because someone other than you should be able to do them just as you would.

As you grow, you’ll need to add more team members and they’ll need to have the skills to

  • Create new/needed processes or workflows that are repeatable
  • Hire or train other team members to carry out your workflow in a consistent manner (transferable)
  • Use a system or systems for ease of use in finding and uses these processes


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Third, to understand their results, processes must also be measurable.

When looking at measurement, ask

  • How much time have we saved?
  • Did we save money?
  • Yes or no: ease-of-use was improved.

However, I find the fourth item is often missed. Processes must also have constant refinement.

If you’ve been doing things day in and day out, how do you know the “old way” is the best way?

[Side note: I hate when people say something like, “But this is the way we’ve always done it!” As if there’s not more than one solution to a problem.]

No process or workflow is perfect. Expect to make iterations if you don’t want to get stuck.

Ask This Question To Check Yourself

What if I gave you five new clients and they all needed to launch today?

What about 10? 15? 20?

If any of those numbers seem scary, you need to check your processes.

Even hiring — which you may have to do adding so many clients so quickly — is a process that’s often overlooked.

If you get squirmy, time to check your workflows!

The Lean, Mean Marketing Team

Generally, people like rules. You may disagree, but when rules are in place, your marketing team knows what to do. And when. And how.

Processes allow you to create rules but call them checklists. (or processes or workflows)

See how awesome sauce that is? We like rules but we don’t like to be told to “follow these rules.”

You know what we like? Handy-dandy checklists, templates, or step-by-step instructions.

Finally, your processes eliminate the need for back-and-forth or incessantly answering the same questions.

If you want a lean, mean marketing team you’ve got to provide a solid foundation for getting things done.

In conclusion, processes and workflows are the unsexiest sexiest thing you can do for your business.

What processes do you have in place to ensure your marketing team is always moving forward? Let me know in the comments section below!

Brooke Ballard for {grow}Brooke B. Sellas is the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media, an award-winning done-for-you social media management, and advertising agency. In 2018, she was named a Top 25 Brand Builder & Woman Entrepreneur in New Jersey. She’s also a blossoming blogger and a purveyor of psychographics. Brooke’s marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout on Twitter!



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