Great marketers are effective first, efficient second

16/02/2022 | By Naveed
Summary points:
  • Effective markters find and fix the problems that actually matter, making them more valuable than efficiency-only marketers.

The most important distinction between an effective marketer and an efficient one? Effective marketers focus on fewer, more important tasks, whereas an efficient marketer tries to complete as many tasks as possible.

While efficiency is key, and cannot be ignored, it doesn’t always correlate with better end results.

Having said that, the best marketers are both effective and efficient, but don’t wear efficiency as a badge of honour.

Three hallmarks of effective marketers

Identify and smash bottlenecks

The quickest way to spot an effective marketer? The marketer that is constantly getting to the heart of a problem, identifying and prioritising the removal of blockers that no one else sees, or has the tenacity to resolve.

Here's an example:

Ad CTR: 11%

Landing page conversion rate: 2%

Email open rates: 20%

An efficiency-first marketer will be able to identify that the conversion rate is low, however will focus equal resources on increasing the ad CTR and open rate, along with trying to increase conversion rates. In other words, they find bottlenecks but fail to prioritise them while simultaneously deprioritising other parts of the funnel.

An effective marketer will find the bottleneck within the bottleneck, such as the landing page angle not matching the ad angle, or the CTAs not being enticing enough etc. They will then allocate the majority of resources to resolving these problems.

Essentially, an effective marketer measures twice and cuts once.

Communicate bottlenecks to team

Once bottlenecks have been identified, effective marketers are able to communicate the problem to their team with conviction. Only after the team has been rallied around the right problem, do they organise the team to solve the problem efficiently.

Their clarity into the different aspects of a bottleneck allows them to create roadmaps that help team members ignore the distractions of non-needle-moving tasks. The best marketers know that when the whole team focuses on the right problem, they compound their problem solving capability, smashing obstacles with unbelievable ease.

Anticipate bottlenecks

One word: proactivity. You’ll notice the effective marketers on your team don’t look to solve today’s problem, but are on the constant search for what could be tomorrow’s. This involves anticipating what non-essential tasks are likely to pop-up that can be ignored.

Efficiency-only marketers wait for problems to occur and solve them after the fact.

In effect…

Effective marketers buffer their team against bad decisions, because they’re always thinking about the end goal. The task is never the end - it is simply a means to higher performance. Whereas for efficient marketers, completing the highest number of tasks takes priority - effective or not.

Focusing on solving the right problems prevents the team wasting time by task switching and rethinking strategy, making them more efficient than the ‘efficient marketer’ in the long run

Written by Naveed

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