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Running Effective Marketing Meetings

By Daniel Kuperman
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About this book
Publication date:
September 2014
Publisher
Packt
Pages
50
ISBN
9781783000180

 

Chapter 1. Identifying the Meeting Type

Understanding the different types of meetings and when to use each one is the first basic step to running the meeting effectively. The following sections explore the typical meeting types you will encounter in a marketing organization. Note that most of these meetings, if not all, are not exclusive to the marketing department, but I point out some specifics when running these types of meetings with a marketing team in mind.

 

A staff meeting


They go by many names, but staff meetings are basically the ones where you get together with your team to get status updates, make announcements, and follow up on pending items. In some companies, they are called the all hands meeting, others just use marketing team weekly, or simply staff meeting as the name.

 

A status report meeting


Sometimes, you will have meetings for the sole purpose of reporting the status of a project, campaign, or other activity. Status report meetings can take many forms, but effective ones are short and to the point. In many situations, a formal face-to-face meeting may not even be required. Many organizations ask that the current status be simply emailed on a weekly basis, unless there are issues that have to be discussed or resolved in person. For larger projects or those that involve cross-departmental teams, it is typical to have face-to-face status report meetings that also provide a way for additional interaction and ensure that all team members are aware of the multiple ongoing activities within the project.

 

Planning the meeting


Fail to plan and you plan to fail, is how the saying goes. For marketing, nothing is more critical than properly planning your marketing campaigns and projects. Marketing planning meetings typically revolve around annual, quarterly, and monthly planning cycles. Each company is different when it comes to how often and how detailed their marketing plans are, but odds are you will be running a few planning meetings throughout the year. The main goals of these meetings are the setting of targets and metrics, and the overall delineation of what types of marketing activities will be carried out. In some cases, a formal plan of attack is created, and depending on the type of plan you are putting together, input from other departments may be required.

 

A decision-making meeting


Although a good meeting is sometimes described as a meeting where decisions were made, sometimes you will need to schedule some time to get everyone together to make a final decision on something. It could be a decision on which vendor to select for the next advertising campaign, which software will be implemented for marketing automation, or even which trade shows to attend.

 

Work meetings


If there is a department that seems to be constantly meeting, marketing is probably on the top of the list. Due to the creative nature of many marketing projects, the marketing team typically meets many times per week (or even per day) to work on one project or another. These meetings are sometimes unstructured conversations among team members, but in other cases these meetings can be formalized and efforts can be coordinated to get something done. An example might be brainstorming new ideas for a promotion, reviewing and commenting on a new website section, or even discussing and editing a video script that showcases a new product.

 

Evaluation and review meeting


Sometimes bundled together with status report meetings, these types of meetings are typical of any marketing department. After, or even during, the execution of each marketing campaign, you will want to learn what went right and what could be improved. A report of the results is most likely the starting point of this meeting, and a full evaluation will take place so that you can make the necessary course adjustments to the marketing plan and future campaigns.

 

A report meeting


Depending on the business, marketing is required to provide monthly, quarterly, and annual reports. In many cases, the head of marketing presents a summary of the key marketing metrics, their results, and plans going forward to the senior executive team. In some cases, these meetings are of the closed door type, but in many organizations that pride themselves for transparency, the marketing VP will be asked to deliver the presentation in front of all employees as part of a routine state of the union address.

 

A sales meeting


The coordination of sales and marketing activities is not only critical for the success of a company, but is also of the utmost importance to any top marketing professional. If in your organization marketing doesn't participate in sales meetings, you should address this. Although in most of these meetings, the marketing participation is listen-only, it is a great opportunity to communicate to the sales team the latest campaigns, results, and what is coming down the pipeline of marketing projects.

 

An offsite meeting


When you hear offsite meeting, you may think of executive offsite where senior managers mingle and discuss the vision for the company and the year ahead. In marketing, you may sometimes want to take the team offsite in order to focus on solving a specific challenge without office distractions, to thoroughly review and reassess important campaigns, and even to stimulate creativity and help with brainstorming new ideas. Properly planning this type of meeting involves careful attention to detail and ensuring the time spent outside the office is well worth it.

 

A contractor meeting


Marketers use a variety of vendors or contractors to help out with design, copyrighting, trade show management, and more. Whether you have a one-off project with a vendor (for example, a company creating a new video or website for the company) or an ongoing relationship (for example, marketing agency), your meetings with them will set the tone for the relationship. Plan and execute them effectively and you will save both your team's and the contractor's time.

 

An agile meeting


Borrowed from the Agile movement in software development, marketing teams have also been implementing agile techniques in order to gain speed and better results from marketing campaigns. A traditional element of an agile team are their meetings, sometimes called standups. Marketing teams who want to use agile methods will have to adapt to this fast-paced rhythm and different meeting style where the whole team meets for a few minutes every day and focuses on briefly discussing the tasks at hand.

 

Other meeting types


This is not an exhaustive list of all types of marketing meetings, but this list should cover the most common ones you will encounter. In fact, any time a group of people get together to discuss a common subject, this can be considered a meeting, even if not formally arranged. The important thing to keep in mind is that although meeting types vary, they will all require some basic tools to be effective, which we will cover in the next chapter.

 

Online meetings


You may be asking yourself why I left online meetings out of the list. Yes, it was on purpose. Although marketing meetings using online conferencing tools such as WebEx, GoToMeeting, and others, the type of meeting doesn't change, only the way people communicate. The same is true for meetings involving phones and video conferencing. Each tool may need a few adjustments and if you have remote people participating, the leader of the meeting will have to take that into account and plan accordingly. But in the end, they are just tools that can be used to enhance the meeting experience. We will talk more about meeting tools as we address each component of an effective meeting in subsequent chapters.

 

Meeting goals


Why is it important to understand the different meeting types? Because each one has its own goal or goals. And while at your company they may differ, typically the meeting types I just described will aim for the following:

Meeting type

Typical participants

Goal

Staff meeting

All marketing team

Get the team in sync about the status of various marketing activities, discuss priorities, and plan for the week ahead.

Status report meeting

Marketing manager or director and direct reports

Report on the status of a specific project, campaign, or task. Discuss roadblocks and provide updates on pending issues.

Planning meeting

Marketing leadership and marketing managers

Create marketing action plan for upcoming month/quarter/year.

Decision-making meeting

Marketing leader, marketing manager or campaign owner, and specific team members

Decide on a course of action. Could be related to a project, campaign, vendor, and so on.

Work meeting

Marketing team members

Collaborative work on a specific marketing project.

Evaluation and review

Marketing team or specific campaign members

Assess results of specific campaign or project, extract lessons learned, make necessary course corrections to the marketing plan.

Report meeting

Marketing leaders

Provide management, or other departments with the state of marketing, typically showing plan versus actual.

Sales meeting

Marketing leaders and specific team members when needed

Gain feedback from the sales team, announce campaigns, give relevant updates, and strengthen relationship with sales.

Offsite meeting

Marketing leadership or whole marketing team

Collaborate, brainstorm, or get meaningful work done outside the office.

Contractor meeting

Team member and specific contractor

Introduce, update, or otherwise continue relationship with contractor or vendor.

Agile meeting

Marketing team

Daily standup to provide report on what was done yesterday, what will be done today, and what obstacles stand in the way.

Understanding what you will want to get out of the meeting is the first step to being able to properly plan, execute, and follow-up on a meeting. If you are only a participant and not the organizer or leader of the meeting, then knowing what is expected of the meeting (why are we having this meeting?) will help you get prepared. Not all meeting organizers (as you probably have already experienced) are good meeting organizers. If you can become a better participant, then you can help the meeting be more effective, and then everyone wins.

 

Summary


In this chapter, we learned that not all marketing meetings are the same. Although they may involve similar elements, and even the same people, they each have different goals and characteristics. By knowing that, you will be able to adequately prepare for each meeting in order to make them successful.

How to prepare and why you should prepare are the next steps and will be covered in the following chapter, so read on and start your journey into the world of effective marketing meetings.

About the Author
  • Daniel Kuperman

    Daniel Kuperman has over 10 years of marketing, product marketing, and marketing management experience in addition to many years of experience as a management consultant for Fortune 500 clients. He has worked with companies of all sizes including several startups in helping them plan and execute marketing campaigns and programs. As a passionate marketer, he has presented at conferences, written articles, and regularly posts on his blog at www.effectivemarketer.com. Daniel currently leads product marketing for Axcient, a cloud-based provider of disaster recovery and business continuity services. He lives in Mountain View, CA, with his wife and two children. Follow him on Twitter at @danielkuperman.

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Running Effective Marketing Meetings
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