One of the main challenges for me when I took the role of Marketing Director has been learning to manage the progress of projects that I am not implementing myself or that require input from other team members who are not deadline oriented. Before my arrival in the New York office, the word deadline seemed to have been defined as ‘flexible’ and to many was ‘open to interpretation.’
Not anymore. But it took a while to get there, hence the change in job title to Nagging Director!
It is not fun to be the one who has to nag – who has to remind, but someone has to do it. Marketing works with every department within a business so this onerous task is often left to us. How many times have you heard “just put a reminder in my Outlook and I won’t forget”…and lo and behold deadline day arrives and nothing…
My parents raised me to be on time – and I will forever love them for this, as this ability to plan around a specific time has helped get me to where I am today – Marketer in New York.
How did the marketing team in our office turn this around? Sadly, the answer is by constantly reminding the project teams of their deadlines and their individual tasks – in other words a lot of nagging.
As I stated in an earlier blog I get my team members to organise their time by planning by day, by week, by month and by year. We have adopted this philosophy into how we achieve deadline.
At the beginning of the year, I put calendar reminders in everyone’s diary for the major deadlines for each of their projects. An onerous task, but it has paid off! At the beginning of each month, I remind the members of the teams who projects are on deadline. A week before the deadline, I schedule a meeting to discuss each team members tasks, or brainstorm new ideas or copy dependent on the type of task at hand. For example, no longer is email copy simply the responsibility of one – it is now up to the team to discuss what makes our events stand out from the competition, what the benefits are to our customer and ensure that the copy explicitly states these elements! During the final week in the run-up to the deadline, the marketer on the project makes sure to chat to each team member to check on progress and if there are any issues we deal with them BEFORE deadline day comes round.
With this approach, it is simply not possible for you or your team to forget the deadline!
If anyone has a less naggy way of managing deadlines that gets the same results- let me know.