If you’re running the marketing show at your company, it can be both empowering and frustrating. Even with a good deal of autonomy to execute the initiatives of your choosing, you might feel there’s always more you can try, do, learn and implement. What really moves the needle on revenue goals? And how can you cull through all the potential possibilities within digital marketing, figure out how to prioritize marketing objectives and see your vision through to fruition?

This is a common issue for someone in your shoes, but we’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be so complex. In fact, if you zero in on just three focal points within digital marketing for now, everything else will fall into place for you and your team.

  • Start with strategy (and then prioritize)

Part of the reason there’s often overwhelm within a marketing department is because there are so many choices in digital marketing today, and no clear sense of what’s worth pursuing versus what isn’t worth your time. It’s easy for those on your team (and even others within your company), to point fingers if something goes wrong or if results are weak. But the reality is no marketing team can successfully put every new trend or tech into practice – nor should they. There’s a diminishing return if you’re adding on too much without any sense of why.

The answer, then, is to conduct a strategic analysis and then strategically prioritize. Get with your CEO and other leaders, and propose a quarterly strategy meeting. Encourage them to define the company’s overarching business goals, and from there you can shape your own specific strategy to support that. This will make prioritizing your initiatives a cake walk.

Here’s an example. If you know that growing your business’ existing partnerships is your company’s overall goal, then you might decide to prioritize your partner-focused content marketing, video tutorials and other activities that will nurture the customers you already have. Even if you think PPC sounds fun, or you’ve heard so much buzz about Facebook advertising and are itching to try it, it shouldn’t be your priority if it’s not going to bubble up to your business’ objectives. Viewing activities through this lens helps you make decisions in a discerning and savvy way.

  • Establish metrics

Once you’ve nailed down your highest priorities, then you can decide with your team which metrics are going to provide accountability and insight into your progress. This is where many marketing departments get derailed. There are so many types of data to gather, and it can be tempting to gather it all for fear of missing the pieces that matter most. Don’t get overloaded. At least initially, the number of data points you’re regularly capturing and reviewing should be lean.

Again, consider what metrics are going to indicate to you whether or not your efforts are working. Even if your fellow marketers have heard that you should be tracking website traffic and e-book downloads, those might not be your most important metrics. Look again at what you’ve deemed your biggest priorities, and then determine how you can measure success against those particular activities (e.g. maybe a number of demo requests you receive from current customers to whom you’ve sent targeted content). For now, only measure those.

  • Agree on when you might need external help

You and your team might have made your way through the first two suggestions on this list, and if so – great. But there’s still one more aspect you’re going to need to discuss and have unity around. Talk with your team members, and agree on when it might make sense for you to bring in a third-party partner to support your marketing objectives. This will differ from company to company, but communicating it will help you all work collaboratively and agree  on the best timing.

For example, to piggyback off of a hypothetical scenario above, you might reach a point where your small department simply can’t manage the content demands of your marketing program. You might need to engage with a marketing firm to help relieve you of some of the excess work and free up your internal team to manage other important elements of your marketing objectives.

If you’re trying to figure out the next steps you should take in leading your marketing team, start with these. They’ll help you form the basis of a strong marketing foundation, from which you and your team can grow and evolve – and get results. Contact us if you’d like to learn about how we can be a strategic partner for you, when the timing is right.