60 Marketing Pros Share Their Top Tips for Streamlining Marketing Processes

 In All Things Productivity, Blog

Marketing is a complex business function comprised of a multitude of strategies, tactics, channels, and other elements that today’s businesses use to reach audiences. The field of marketing as a whole evolves along with technology, constantly growing and shifting to accommodate the newest social media platforms and other channels that consumers use to research products, communicate with friends, family, and contacts, and generally spend their time in the digital world. Coupled with the real-world marketing strategies that are still employed today, it requires substantial processes and systems to sufficiently fuel the myriad touch points that exist in the average buying journey.


For most businesses today, streamlining marketing processes is key to keeping up with the fast pace of digital media and reaching audiences where they spend their time. But how are today’s most successful marketers keeping up? What tactics are they utilizing to get results through the myriad channels requiring attention today? To gain some insight into the tools and strategies today’s top marketers rely on, we asked a panel of marketing professionals and thought leaders to answer this question:

“What’s the single most effective way to streamline marketing processeses to increase productivity, efficiency and ROI?”

Learn more about how today’s most successful marketers and brands are streamlining their marketing processes by reading what our experts reveal below.

Meet Our Panel of Marketing Experts:

Jessica ElleJessica Elle


Jessica Elle is a seasoned digital marketer specialized in search engine optimization, content strategy, and influencer/outreach marketing. She is the Digital Marketer at Forest Giant, a creative software development firm based in Louisville, KY.

“The single most effective way to streamline marketing processes is…”

Automation. With tools available like IFTTT and Zapier, it’s simple to automate recurring marketing tasks for enhanced productivity. Right now there’s a heavy focus on social media automation, but we’re beginning to see additional automation efforts in lead generation, CRM, and more. And if you can’t quite get the solution you need through the widely available automation tools, resources like Stamplay provide even greater flexibility for tech-savvy marketers looking to craft something custom. Marketing isn’t easy, but it can be made easier through automation.

Victor ClarkeVictor Clarke


Victor’s company, Clarke, Inc., has successfully transitioned its business operation away from a dedicated offset printing company using modern tools and techniques. Today Clarke, Inc. works with businesses that do not have a dedicated marketing staff to manage their communications and redeploy them. This includes print and digital communications or some combination of both. Clarke, Inc.’s philosophy is to help its clients “Be Better and Do More.”

“To streamline marketing processes…”

The Propinquity Effect is a worthwhile concept to understand, because it can improve the marketing of your business. What is the Propinquity Effect?

The propinquity effect was originally developed by psychologists Leon Festinger, Stanley Schachter, and Kurt Back. They gathered evidence that said the more frequently we interact with certain individuals, the more likely we are to form friendships and romantic relationships with them.

The effect doesn’t just work for relationship and friendships. It can work in the world of marketing and we might not even realize when it is coming into play. It’s all about physical and psychological proximity.

You are unlikely to find yourself on the same floor as your potential clients or customers, but new technology can put you in close proximity with them, even if you are thousands of miles away. Here are some ways you can use the law of propinquity.

1) Map out Propinquity Points

Tom Martin, the author of The Invisible Sale, advocates a policy of mapping out places online and offline where prospective customers are likely to “interact with” your brand, and then creating helpful content to meet their needs. This could include physical locations such as sporting events, festivals or trade shows or online groups or forums on LinkedIn or Twitter.

2) Provide Helpful Information

Educational marketing content is better for developing propinquity relationships than the hard sell. If you answer the questions prospects are asking and become a trusted advisor, they will feel closer to you and the relationship may make a sale or referral easier further down the line.

3) Use Automation

Propinquity is built up through repeated interaction. Automation can help build that relationship by making sure connections aren’t lost over time. Methods such as eblasts and mailings to remind them you are on their floor,
metaphorically speaking. With well-designed content, it can help move a user through their “buying journey”, and can serve as a major influence when it comes to making an eventual purchasing decision.

4) Use Multiple Channels

The popularity of smartphones can help you develop a multifaceted relationship with a prospect via the cozy intimacy of this device. If the potential client is seeing your brand on Instagram or Pinterest along with your Facebook posts, they will become more comfortable with you. They may also see a blog appear on a news feed or a text message and receive a traditional mail piece from you. If they become familiar with you, they may trust your brand more due to exposure.

Propinquity is a quality that’s often forgotten or misunderstood in the contemporary marketing environment but it’s one you ignore at your peril as a business owner or a manager. In the immortal words of the Talking Heads, it’s the same as it ever was. Whereas we gravitated to neighbors who gave us good advice 40 years ago, we now do the same thing online.

(The above is excerpted from a previous blog post.)

Eric BrantnerEric Brantner


Eric Brantner, founder of Scribblrs.com, runs several blogs in a variety of niches. Some of his blogs get over 500,000 hits a month, mostly from organic search traffic. They’ve also been featured in USA Today, Time, MSN, TechCrunch, Fortune, and other top publications. He’s also been a freelance writer for 10 years. He has now launched Scribblrs.com, a site where he shares his experiences and tips for those looking to start blogging.

“The number one thing we have done to streamline our marketing efforts is to…”

Switch to CoSchedule. Using this platform, you can plan out content, assign content to writers, edit, and share via social media–all in one place. It has streamlined our content marketing dramatically, cutting out hours of work and allowing us to tremendously increase content production and sharing across all our sites.

Guardian RemovalsMax Robinson


Max Robinson works for Guardian Removals of Edinburgh.

“The best way to streamline marketing processes is to…”

Explain your products or services early.

Our budget for marketing is tighter than ever, and we have to ensure that we’re using every ounce effectively, so we’ve had to streamline many of our processes to help our customers reach the buying stage as early as possible. We noticed that a huge amount of visitors to our site were sending us questions rather than quotes for work, so we added a descriptive FAQ page to ensure that our customers know exactly what they’re going to get when they choose to use our services.

Nathan BarberNathan Barber


Nathan Barber works for a digital marketing agency, digitaladvertisingWorks. He is a recent college graduate who is learning day by day how to become a better digital marketer.

“To streamline marketing processes…”

You want to get on an automated marketing software program to plan out your email, social media, and blogging campaigns into one central and integrated location. This will enable you to better tailor your marketing efforts that fit with your overall strategy to deliver the right messages, to the right people, at the right time. Marketing automation software makes marketers life’s easier to schedule in advance your individual tactics that are going to lead you to succeed in your strategy and increase your return on investment because your planned activities are more effectively tracked.

Bryan ClaytonBryan Clayton


Bryan Clayton is the CEO and Co-founder of GreenPal, which is best described as Uber for lawn mowing.

“Our marketing processes used to be a total disaster, and the main mistake we made is…”

Failing to nail our value proposition or what it is about our product and offer that compels people to say yes.

Until we knew this, any marketing efforts or spend in any channels was like like pouring gasoline on wet leaves.

For instance, when we first launched, we thought people would like our service because its a cheaper way to get their grass cut. What we found through copy testing in different channels such as AdWords and Facebook is that the customers ability to get same day service is a much more effective and compelling subset of our value prop that drives more visitors and more conversions on our landing pages.

Nailing your value prop first is crucial.

Dan BurgosDan Burgos


Dan Burgos is President of Alphanova Consulting.  A Management Consultant working with businesses in many sectors including office settings, his role is to assist leaders in the discovery of inefficiencies that hinder productivity in their processes; in addition, he leads the implementation of countermeasures to increase productivity.

“Among the recommended tips for streamlining business processes are…”

  • Eliminate missing/incomplete information: Productivity is often lost when employees have to chase missing information. Create hard stops early in the process that prevent further progress until all necessary information is gathered (menus, forms, etc).
  • Eliminate non-value-added steps: When a service is being processed, most of the time is spent on non-value adding activities. Eliminate unnecessary tasks, hand-offs, delays, and decisions.
  • Reduce/Eliminate redundancy: Assess the need for information storage (physical & digital), duplicate forms, and unused reports. Get rid of any redundant or unnecessary documents. You will regain the time generating these in actual productive work.

Matthew WhiteMatthew White


Matthew White is the CEO of Qebot. Matthew and Qebot are dedicated to helping business owners be more productive with the use of technology by allowing better access to tools and resources, integrating them together to better manage and report on ROI.

“The best way to streamline your marketing processes is to…”

Have systems and technology in place that allow you to quickly manage your marketing campaigns and strategy. Platforms that bring the tools needed to operate a solid marketing strategy all into a single portal help business owners quickly and easily move from tool to tool, and are integrated together to help meld and connect your different strategies into a simplified process.

Being able to log into a single platform where you can manage your website and blog content, right alongside accessing all of your social channels, email and newsletter marketing systems, CRM, advertising, and other tools allows a business to easily connect their marketing strategy together into a seamless, step-by-step process. The fact that you can manage it all without logging into a dozen different portals also helps save an incredible amount of time and headache, as well as can save money.

This is the future of how marketing systems will continue to evolve. With more tools being launched every day, it’s important to have systems and process in place to help business owners connect the dots, and measure marketing practices side by side to increase ROI, and ensure resources are being directed to your highest performing campaigns.

Megan HoganMegan Hogan


Meg Hogan is a digital marketer with experience in developing and implementing communication strategies, content marketing, SEO and social media. Her background in account management and freelance writing, editing and consulting creates the core of her ability to develop effective marketing campaigns.

“To streamline marketing processes, you must…”

Plan, live, and breathe consistency in your marketing. Create brand guidelines for your advertising, sales and promotional materials, and content guidelines for your content marketing. And then use them. Consistency in your marketing establishes trust with your customers, advocates and future customers. Countless studies show that while the channels may be changing, this core concept still holds true when it comes to marketing that converts to sales.

Elena LockettElena Lockett


Elena is a PR Assistant at FM Outsource. She is constantly looking for press opportunities for the business, whether it be entering awards, attending events or getting FM featured in relevant articles online and in print.

“The best way to streamline marketing processes we find is to…”

Connect with everyone. Tailoring interactions to specific individuals is so important these days, with social media allowing customer experience to be a lot more personal. You need to ensure the experience your consumers have is a human one and not one that feels as if they are dealing with a robot. Many marketing campaigns fail to build a personal connection with customers which can only lead to affecting sales. Putting the time and effort into researching what your customers want will only lead to an increase in sales.

Stoney deGeyterStoney deGeyter


Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period! and president of Pole Position Marketing, an inbound marketing agency that has been growing businesses since 1998. Stoney is a nationally recognized speaker and industry leader. Contact Stoney to discuss web marketing strategy or to speak at your next event.

“The single best way to streamline your marketing processes is…”

I have found checklists to be essential to all our marketing campaigns. It’s one thing to have the knowledge and skill to execute an effective marketing campaign; however, it’s quite another to remember what you need to do and when, without missing any mission-critical steps. It’s also important to keep the checklists current. With ever-evolving technologies (especially related to digital marketing) any how-to lists requires frequent updating to remain current. However, a good what-to-do checklist can remain remarkably consistent, sometimes even for years. Of course, there has to be room to address issues as they arise that may take you off-list, but overall, a good set of checklists keeps us focused and on point!

Adam ThompsonAdam Thompson


Adam Thompson is the Director Of Digital Strategies at 10x digital, a badged Google Partner agency. Adam has 13 years of experience in search engine marketing and conversion rate optimization. When he’s not analyzing marketing data, enjoys boating, fishing, travel, and snorkeling.

“The single most effective way to increase marketing efficiency and ROI is…”

Using comparative analysis and testing at every step of your marketing funnel. This will help remove inefficiencies and waste while also increasing the performance of what’s left.

Comparative analysis and testing is, in its most basic form, very simple. You simply segment your data to compare two different groups – mobile users versus desktop users, for example. Most companies will already have this data in their analytics software – you just have to know where to find it and how to segment it most effectively. You don’t have to stop with analyzing existing data, though. You can proactively create segments via split testing – testing two landing pages to see which converts sales more efficiently, for example.

Here are some examples of how comparative analysis and testing can be used at every step of the conversion funnel:

  • Compare marketing channels, ad networks, and campaigns to allocate more budget where it will be most effective.
  • Analyze each campaign using a variety of segments (keywords, location, device, time of day, ad creative, ad network, ad type, etc.) to find opportunities to trim less effective portions of the campaign.
  • Run ongoing split tests on ad creatives to incrementally improve results.
  • Test different offers, pricing, and conversion funnels. Use the data and insights to continually fine-tune the overall approach.
  • Use A/B and multivariate tests to continually test and improve the layout, sales copy, and user experience of your landing pages.
  • Similarly, use testing to improve other key portions of your website, such as the checkout process.
  • Use comparative analysis and/or split testing to gain insights for fine-tuning email follow-up campaigns for greater effectiveness.
  • Save lead source data (campaign, keyword, etc.) into your sales CRM to allow comparative analysis of lead quality and close rates based on the lead source.
  • Perform ongoing comparative analysis and testing on all post conversion touch points to enhance client retention and repeat purchases.

There’s an old urban legend that Nikola Tesla visited Henry Ford’s factory one day because Ford was having a serious problem with some machinery. Tesla looked over the machine, and after a few minutes pressed a single button which solved the problem. A few days later Ford received an invoice for $10,000. Surprised, he asked Tesla why the invoice was so high when he only pressed a single button. Tesla responded: $1 for pressing the button, $9999 for knowing which button to press. Marketing is a lot like that – there is no single magical button that will get results in every situation. The key is knowing which button to press. Experience combined with comparative analysis and testing is the best way I know of to identify the right button (or buttons) to push for maximizing ROI and efficiency.

Patrick LaughlinPatrick Laughlin


Patrick Laughlin is the Director of Strategy at Kirkpatrick Creative. He has been working in small business advertising for fifteen years. His focus on law firm and agricultural equipment has helped countless business leaders throughout the mid-south. He enjoys helping things grow – including his small business customers, his small children and his small garden.

“The key to streamlined marketing is…”

Data-analysis software. And you can’t be afraid to go custom. We tried dozens of ad tracking softwares, but couldn’t find a suite to follow television ads with the specificity that we wanted. So we built our own. Now we have sharpened our tool to give us the exact data we need, and not waste our time with other information. It has saved us a great amount of time and energy!

Andrew ReevesAndrew Reeves

Andrew Reeves is the founder and CEO of Luxe Translation Services, a translation company offering language solutions in over 200 languages.

“The most effective way to streamline marketing processes is to…”

Offer something of value for free to build a targeted list. I would say having a targeted list is the most important factor to efficiency. I will give an example. Let’s say there are one million people in your city. You know 1000 of those people have an interest in your product. Would you rather show your product to a random person out of the one million, who may or may not be interested in your product, or to a random person out of the 1000 people that you know have some interest in your product? That’s why every business, including ours, can take advantage of building targeted lists.

Ed BrancheauEd Brancheau


Ed Brancheau is the CEO and Chief SEO Officer (CSO) of Goozleology. Ed has been working as an SEO professional for over 10 years and is a Google Certified Partner with expertise in Google AdWords Google AdSense, Pay Per Click (PPC), Internet marketing… the works.

“One of the most effective ways to streamline marketing processes is…”

I find that geo-targeting helps streamline my marketing most effectively. After all, if I wanted to walk from San Diego to New York and I’m off by 1 degree, then I’ll end up in Boston. So, by geo-targeting my marketing I’m much more likely to hit my targets.

For instance, if I owned a local gym, at first it might seem reasonable to market to all fitness nuts but people aren’t likely to travel more than three miles to go to a gym. So why advertise to anyone outside of that radius?

Oleg KorneitchoukOleg Korneitchouk


Oleg Korneitchouk is the Director of Marketing at SmartSites, a full-service digital marketing agency where he is in charge of the marketing for many clients. As the company grew, he’s had to streamline many parts of his job in order to better manage all campaigns. Dashboards have been an effective tool to stay on top of everything.

“One of the most effective ways to streamline marketing efforts is…”

Implementing customized dashboards that let you understand major metrics at a glance can save enormous amounts of time. Especially when you have multiple clients, being able to see general trends or issues for many campaigns at a glance is crucial to stay on top of marketing initiatives. The hard part is the initial set up of these dashboards – which is why there are so many companies that just do this. For those who use Google Analytics, there are tons of pre-built, custom dashboards that you can import to your campaigns for free and save a lot of time.

Madeline JohnsonMadeline Johnson


Madeline Johnson is the principal behind creative and successful marketing and public relations campaigns for clients in the health, wellness and lifestyle product marketplace at The Market Council.

“The most critical thing a startup should do is…”

FOCUS ON FEEDBACK and continue to make a product/service that people want to share with others. Focusing on feedback and making a better product will keep customers happy and more willing to become advocates.

Michael ShearerMichael Shearer


Michael Shearer is a veteran marketing technologist and Director of Marketing Operations for SelectHub. Michael has consulted on and delivered implementation and analysis work on hundreds of digital marketing projects for more than 75 businesses in both B2B and B2C markets. Aside from optimizing martech, he is very busy raising his five children.

“To streamline marketing processes, the first thing I recommend is…”

Building a workflow diagram using a tool like LucidChart. This helps to identify potential bottlenecks in how it’s managed internally as well as finding conversion opportunities on the prospect-facing side. The exercise itself is always enlightening, and the end product (marketing process blueprint) helps you continually step back and see and improve the overall marketing process.

Dan FuocoDan Fuoco


Dan Fuoco is the Interactive Marketing Manager for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (@VisitDetroit) and is responsible for building and engaging with the community via social media. Dan redesigned the Visit Detroit leisure newsletter visitdetroit/NOW in 2012 and has consistently seen open rates twice the industry average (about 20 percent) and click-through rates of 4.5 times higher than industry average (about 32 percent). Under his direction, Twitter has reached a milestone 30,000+ followers and Facebook has reached 15,000+ likes. After work, Dan can be found listening to podcasts, admiring muscle cars or sipping wine.

“In my experience managing social media for @VisitDetroit, I streamline marketing productivity by using…”

Marketing automation software called Zapier. For example, this trigger-action software allows me to promote a new Visit Detroit blog post to multiple social channels and different and opportune times just by hitting the publish button on my blogging platform. Doing this allows me to focus on a broader, strategical view for our social messages.

Zapier Explained: Zapier works on trigger-action principle which means that when the user presents a trigger (in the above example, a new blog post being published) then Zapier sees that triggers and performs an action (again, in the above example, the action was scheduling a Tweet and Facebook post to the respective social platforms at different, specific times). This is one of the many zaps I have created to streamline my productivity and work more efficiently.

Sergey AlakovSergey Alakov


Sergey Alakov is a Toronto-based digital marketing & SEO professional and consultant. Sergey currently works for the Humberview Group – one of the largest auto groups in Canada.

“The single most effective way to streamline marketing processes and boost productivity is to…”

Make your marketing efforts holistic. Work on cooperation between your teams. Stop distinguishing between online marketing and offline marketing, and allocating budget depending on the channel and not on business goals. So many companies have different KPIs for their off-line and online marketers. So many online marketers exclude direct visits from their multi-channel attribution models devaluing off-line marketers’ efforts. Your business has a goal. All your marketing efforts should be focused on accomplishing this goal. Work on cooperation and your productivity, efficiency and ROI will go up, your business will grow.

David HoosDavid Hoos


David leads marketing for The Good, a conversion optimization advisory based in Portland, OR. They have advised brands like Nike, Adobe, and Xerox, on how to drive sales and ensure proper revenue realization from their e-commerce and lead conversion efforts.

“The single most effective way to streamline marketing processes to increase productivity, efficiency and ROI is to…”

Clearly define goals and roles at the very top and share those widely.

Too many marketing departments have the knowledge and planning siloed at the top and knowledge of the work siloed at the bottom. You can help your team execute best when they see the plan and the roadmap and how they fit into that picture. Awareness of the goals and mission can also create helpful clarity for partner departments.

RJ MartinoRJ Martino


RJ Martino founded his company, iProv, in 2001. They started out creating websites for a few local businesses and grew into a multi-functional business as an IT Managed Service Provider and Digital Marketing Agency. He has always been passionate about all things Web and iProv is an extension of that passion. Running a business with two sides has made him an expert Jack-of-all-Trades in IT Management and Services as well as Digital Marketing and Inbound Marketing.

“The single most effective way to streamline marketing is by…”

Setting meetings with agendas set. One major key point is to never set meetings and forget about what was discussed in those meetings. Set a regular, recurring meeting to discuss streamlining marketing, and make sure the meeting actually happens. You want to go over this strategy every single day. The main goal in these meetings is to discuss our agenda, formulate a plan, execute, and gather our results.

Austin IulianoAustin Iuliano


Austin Iuliano is an award-winning content marketer for dscience.co and an expert in emerging social media’s like Snapchat, Facebook Live, and Periscope. Austin spends his days building an online community of supportive entrepreneurs and silly Snapchatters.

“One of the best tips I have found for streamlining marketing systems is…”

Using free tools like IFTTT and Zapier to scrape the internet and bring me in leads. I feed in various RSS feeds and send myself an email with the important information. Whenever someone posts a new job listing for assistance with social media or writing I get an email. This way I can send them a pitch in a matter of moments. Closing more deals because I am the first person on their radar.

Frank StrongFrank Strong


Frank Strong is the founder and president of Sword and the Script Media, LLC.

“To streamline marketing processes, it’s important to find…”

The common denominator among different tasks.

For example, industry reading is important to stay current on emerging marketing strategies and tactics, but we still have to get our work done.

Here’s how to do both. Set a designated time aside each day to read AND accomplish task such as:

  • Updating media lists
  • Making introductions
  • Scheduling content for social channels
  • Documenting ideas for blog posts and articles

Here’s a link to a piece I wrote on this.

Tim EyreTim Eyre


Tim Eyre is the COO of Big Leap, a top Utah digital marketing agency where he oversees many of the company’s operations as well as all paid media channels. Formerly, Tim managed interactive & digital marketing teams at Extra Space Storage and Vivint.

“The best way to streamline marketing processes for productivity, ROI, and more is…”

We believe more data = better. So, the most effective ways to streamline marketing processes is to utilize software, such as Bizible, which pulls data in from Google Analytics, Adwords, LinkedIn, Facebook, and even offline sources and ties it in with Salesforce and formats the data in easy to use dashboards so you can better understand which of your marketing campaigns are performing. Other tools like Domo, Tableau and DataHero are also worth considering, depending on your needs, budgets and potential integrations.

Zondra WilsonZondra Wilson


Zondra Wilson is the owner of Blu Skin Care, LLC. Blu manufacturers and distributes USDA certified organic skin care products.

“The best way to streamline marketing processes is…”

As marketers and business owners, we understand that the simple ability to send an email or create a microsite does not mean you have all the tools you need to actually implement an integrated campaign. It often takes more time and effort to actually plan and fund your campaign, get the proper people to review and approve content, make sure all the needed steps are being followed, and ensure that only approved corporate assets are being used, than it does to actually send the final email or post the completed microsites. Breakdowns in this process often result in missed deadlines and cost overruns due to rushed items. Therefore, automating the process behind your campaigns is often as critical as the final campaign execution in terms of getting the best business results.

Effective use of marketing resource management has been known to reduce campaign costs and cycle times.

Ajay PrasadAjay Prasad


Formerly a marketer for Fortune 10 companies, Ajay Prasad now owns a href=”https://www.gmrwebteam.com/” target=”_blank”>GMR Web Team, a digital marketing agency dedicated to helping businesses maximize revenue from the internet and operates a seven-figure web based business. He has also streamlined his agency’s online reputation management processes by automating through his new business, RepuGen.

“The best way to streamline marketing processes is…”

Delegate and automate. As you get into the groove of your marketing processes, you need to start delegating the tasks that either take the most time or require the most repetition. Then you can find a program, or create a program, that can automate those repetitive processes for you.

David ScarolaDavid Scarola


David Scarola is the Chief Experience Officer at The Alternative Board. He has over 20 years of product development and technology experience across many different industries including telecommunications, hospitality, healthcare and financial services.

“The single most effective way to streamline your business’ marketing processes is through…”

Referral marketing. Referrals are the most cost-effective way to bring on new customers, because referred customers approach your business with less price sensitivity. This will dramatically shorten your sales cycle, saving you time and money. Four steps for establishing an effective referral program include conducting good business, turning customers into ambassadors, networking with local influencers, and repeatedly measuring your refer-ability through client satisfaction surveys.

Sia MohajerSia Mohajer


Sia Mohajer is marketing expert and SEO. He currently works at Online Resume Builders.

“Streamlining marketing processes requires a lot of finesse…”

It’s hard to narrow it down to just ONE thing. I would say it’s more like 6 separate things that all blend together.

However, if I were to just select one area of focus, it would be managed collaboration. I say managed because this requires a project manager to oversee the collaboration between sales and marketing. The problem often lies in the fact that the sales team doesn’t think about content creation and being the best at it. Bringing the two sides together can create a cohesive plan that blends content creation with outreach/social strategy to bring more prospective clients into the sales funnel. There are a lot of moving parts in both sales and marketing and without accountability and oversight, it’s pretty hard to create effective collaboration.

Zak ColeZak Cole


Zak Cole is a partner and digital marketing director at Beattie Cole, a digital marketing agency in Los Angeles. Digital marketing is his specialty, but he likes to think of it more like digital optimization because what he really does is form partnerships with businesses in order to optimize success.

“Streamlining marketing processes to boost ROI is critical for marketers because…”

At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of the marketer is to provide our clients with a ROI. That’s the only thing that dictates the true value of our services and, ultimately, the industry itself. Our focus lies entirely on the digital aspects of marketing and advertising, which is fairly new compared to the more traditional venues with more than a hundred years behind their backs. This makes digital marketing feel somewhat like unchartered territory – the Wild West. It’s exciting, but there aren’t decades of practice one can look to for advice on some of these matters, so a lot of it is left up to the marketer to learn the hard way. This includes figuring out the most effective and streamlined methods to use in order to increase productivity, efficiency, and show your clients that ROI.

Fortunately, as digital marketers, we have a lot going for us to help make these processes easier and more efficient. The tools to do so are available more accessible than they ever were before. The heart of it all lies in data science and I’m going to say that Google Analytics is the marketers best friend. By carefully observing trends, implementing efficient analytic practices, and using data science to lay the foundation for our marketing efforts, we can easily predict the outcomes of particular events long before they’re even set in motion.

We can also come to objective conclusions as to what’s working and what isn’t. This not only saves time, cuts costs, and increases productivity, but it also ensures that marketers are able to provide their clients with that sweet, precious ROI. For example; by carefully tracking and observing the behavior of visitors to a client’s website over a period of time, we were able to see that a particular lead generating application they had implemented in order to allow users to schedule appointments was actually inhibiting the conversion process.

Due to the poor UX design of the application, people just didn’t want to finish scheduling. It caused a crazy drop off rate of 76.863% a month. That means that every month, 255 people decided that they wanted to schedule an appointment, but only 59 finished. 196 people were deterred by too many fields and too many forms. To put it simply, it just took too much work to finish signing up. If something takes longer than a minute when I’m online, I’m already checking the front page of Reddit without even realizing it.

To get back to the data, if the average conversion was valued at $150, that’s a $29,400/month loss. These are pretty startling statistics and some basic changes to their web design provided some significant results for our marketing campaign. When it’s all said and done, it doesn’t matter how much traffic you’re bringing in or how many impressions your ads are getting: if there’s a fundamental flaw in the foundation of the very system the campaign was designed to benefit, all of that work is for nothing. This is why data science lies at the heart of every successful marketing campaign and is the single most effective way to optimize the efficiency of your marketing efforts, increase productivity, and maximize ROI.

Natalie LaneNatalie Lane


Natalie has over 10 years of experience in marketing with a strong focus in digital and traditional creative strategy and direction. As FreightCenter‘s marketing director, she spearheaded a total rebranding of the company and is responsible for developing and implementing its marketing strategy for new and existing products and services.

“One of the best ways to streamline your marketing processes to improve ROI is…”

I manage a team of four marketing professionals and three marketing interns. Each team member works on multiple projects at a time. To keep everyone on track it helps to set goals and hold everyone responsible for sticking to them.

I’ve found that setting SMART quarterly team goals is a great starting-off point. From there, each team member is responsible for setting their own weekly goals and reporting the status on them at the end of the week. This ensures that everyone is working efficiently towards the team’s quarterly goals. As long as the quarterly goals are ROI-focused, this process is sure to increase ROI.

Sunny Beth WhiteSunny Beth White


Sunny is Co-founder of XCH and the point person for building your brand into a “Powerhouse.” With expertise in finance, healthcare, communications, non-profits, and start-ups, she has an eclectic tool-kit that benefits a wide range of clients. Sunny earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and later went on to complete her MBA with a concentration in International Marketing from Saint Joseph’s University Haub School of Business so she could bring that global exposure to her clients.

“To improve productivity and boost ROI, streamline marketing processes through…”

Analytics is the most effective and widely used method to track outcomes for marketing and as an indicator of ROI. I recommend breaking the reporting out by individual campaign or tactic for best results.

As a virtual agency, we have been able to streamline our marketing processes through the use of technology and integrated systems. This approach serves as a plug and play foundation for our global team, vendors, and in some cases, our clients. We utilize a Project Management system and cloud server that houses, organizes, and secures our communications, timelines, and deliverables.

With established processes in place, onboarding of team members is simplified and alignment is one click away with real time video conferencing and an interactive project portal. Access and seamless communication allows your team to spend more time on creative and limits the time lost chasing data.

Anna ColibriAnna Colibri


Anna Colibri founded Colibri Digital Marketing, a digital marketing agency aiming to make the web a more beautiful and functional place. When she’s not working she’s momming, meditating, or iPhonographing the streets of San Francisco.

“The single most effective way to streamline marketing processes is to…”

Roll up your sleeves and create trainable, replicable systems that answer the following questions:

1) What is your goal?

2) What tools or materials do you need to get it done?

3) What skills do you need to have to get it done? and

4) What are the deliverables that will result from completing the process?

Then, outline the steps and create a checklist in a spreadsheet (I recommend Google Drive so that the whole team can access both the document and the spreadsheet) that lists who is responsible for each piece of the project.

Creating checklists requires time and brain power, yes, but when you’re all done it means no more reinventing the wheel. If you can put it into checklist form that means you’ve truly distilled the work to be done down to its essence.

Brendan HeyckBrendan Heyck


Brendan Heyck is the founder of InnoVisionary Consulting. Founded in 2015, InnoVisionary Consulting is a company built on the framework of providing clients with the best and the most extensive suite of customer relationship management solutions commonly known as CRMs. InnoVisionary Consulting specializes in renewable energy.

“I’ve found the most effective way to streamline all opportunities for myself and my client’s businesses is to…”

Use a cloud-based CRM tool such as Salesforce. The accessibility and ease of use have transformed and improved the way we both do business.

Asaf DarashAsaf Darash


Asaf Darash is the founder of Regpack, an online registration system used by more than 4,000 organizations worldwide including the NFL, Goodwill and Stanford. Regpack’s technology is based on Asaf’s Ph.D. that dealt with computer data connections and networks and is the foundation for the flexibility of the Regpack system.

“The most effective tool in my marketing automation toolbox is…”

Buffer. They have a few tools and lots of functionality, but I use it mainly for scheduling social media posts. My main job isn’t marketing; it’s running the company and heading up development, so anything that lets me complete necessary evil tasks, a.k.a. making sure we post on our social media accounts, is welcome. I get many blogs and newsletters in my inbox and am always reading articles I find interesting, and Buffer makes it easy to share those articles that I think our followers will be interested in.

You set up the posting scheduling, so you can just add an article into your queue and you know you have posts scheduled daily for weeks at a time. While these don’t bring us leads directly, I really do believe that being active and engaging on social media helps build your brand and show you are with it and in the know when it comes to your knowledge about the market. Social media marketing is a must, but for me it isn’t that fun or exciting, so a tool that makes it easier and more importantly, quicker to deal with, is a great investment for me.

Marie HaleMarie Hale


Marie Hale is Co-founder & Marketing Visionary at @revenue.

“To streamline your marketing…”

Just last night I was at a Chicago BOOTH School Marketing event and, after a brief episode of ‘what do you do?,’ a solo-prenuer spent the next 5 minutes explaining to me how she could never run and market her own business because she could never create enough copy. Aye, me…the eternal hell that the small business owner finds for him/herself. Allow me to shed a little light, say some things that will make you uncomfortable, and give you the path to successful marketing.

1. Have an editorial calendar. You can’t pick up a glass, stick your mouth in the middle of it and tip it upside down to take a drink. Straws and sipping are the answer. Create a calendar for yourself that will allow you to pace, research and give forethought to the content you are creating AND the desired result/call to action! If you can develop one case study/white paper per quarter you can have a healthy stream of content.

2. You are not the only/bestest thing that has ever happened to content, stop trying to write every word for your business. There are so many talented people out there! Create your masterpiece of content (white paper/case study) and hire someone to create 2 lite papers, 6 blogs, 30 social media posts and GO BACK TO MAKING MONEY. Use sites like Upwork to find talent, interview them well, and set specific parameters for your projects….and then stop expecting perfection. If you have to put 15 mins into editing as opposed to 6 hours of creation you have already won. Take the win and move on!

3. Automate, Delegate, Duplicate. There are simple and powerful tools on the market (such as Hootsuite) that can help you aggregate your social media. I urge, nay, beg you to do this ONCE, and track the success of the posts and timing and then create a training document that will allow you to hire someone to implement this process for you. Create the successful strategy and then let someone else shine at it. Use your CRM, Marketing Automation Tools, Social Media Automation Tools and whatever other witchery you have to create systems, not work. Video capture yourself doing it, and then train someone else to take over.

It’s not complicated; it just takes more time to set up the first time and it will save you weeks of work throughout the life of your practice.

Derric HaynieDerric Haynie


Derric Haynie is a Startup and Growth Marketer who helps entrepreneurs build customer-centric businesses. Currently he is Head of Growth at Rebrandly.

“The best way to streamline processes is to…”

Take all processes that are 100% repetitive, such as sharing content on social media, optimizing a blog post, shrinking images, or maybe even influencer outreach, and writing a step by step process for those tasks. From there, you can hire a VA in the Philipenes as a full time employee for $400/month, and have them run these tasks for you.

The number one rule is to never do something below your pay grade more than 3 times. If you do it twice and it’s clearly something you will be doing a lot of, create a process and have someone else do it. Think about it: Richard Branson isn’t spending 2 hours a day with data entry. He has someone else do it because his time is better spent on something more important. But you don’t have to be a billionaire for this premise to hold true. You’re only worth the amount of value you provide, so focus on the high-value tasks you do well and use processes to have someone else handle the rest.

Nancy IrwinNancy Irwin


Nancy Irwin is principal and partner in a data-driven market strategy firm, Voccii, located in Charlotte, NC. Voccii tells clients the ‘what,’ the ‘so what,’ and the ‘what’s next.’ They make every client smarter and more competitive. Their clients include Britax, Char-Broil, YMCA, Bojangles, and Velux, Husqvarna, Rubbermaid, Levolor, Kirsch, Teflon, Dal-Tile, Food Lion, LiuGong, Harris Teeter, Dean & DeLuca, Lennox, Bayer and others.

“I believe that when people think about streamlining they might think about pushing things out faster, or getting things organized or weeding out the list of things they’re doing. My answer to your question might seem unexpected or anti-intuitive, but that’s why I think it’s so important…”

When I hear the word streamline, I immediately think of focus.

What I tell our clients is this: Without data driven strategy, any marketing tactic is as good as another.

What we find in the the majority of the companies we engage with is marketers (including advertising agencies) trying tactic after tactic without any real data that tells them if it will work of not. This is expensive, wasteful, unmeasurable, and time consuming; this is what is causing CEOs to question whether their marketing team really cares about the bottom line.

We deliver research and then a strategic frameworks to our clients – including everything from pricing strategy, to new market development, discovery of new markets, brand strategy and development, product development, product invention and innovation, product testing and market segment definition (the short list).

We strongly believe that once strategy is set using data, all the noise and waste is stripped out of the marketing process. This brings tremendous focus to the entire organization, and eliminates bad ideas before they start costing money and brings the best ideas to the forefront more quickly. Listen to the data and do a few things very well, rather than a lot of things poorly.

One example my company experienced was a project dealing with shades and blinds sold in two big-box retailers. We saved a company hundreds of thousands of dollars by using research to kill off a poorly designed merchandising concept.

Company product managers were looking for a merchandising solution that would support customers’ needs to see, touch, feel and take home material samples for shades. Company designers mocked up a large, handsome kiosk with material samples displayed and take-home samples neatly stored in small drawers. The design center was eye-catching and well branded.

But testing the kiosk revealed its fatal flaws. Group participants stood in front of the kiosk for several minutes trying to figure out how it was organized, and what it offered. Several were hesitant to approach the display at all. Savvy shoppers pointed out that in short order, the drawers holding the fabric samples would become a mess. Participants were confused about what to do with the samples, noting they felt they would need permission from a sales associate before selecting samples to take home. In general, shoppers felt the kiosk did very little to communicate about itself and how best to use it. Shoppers rightly pointed out that the whole concept would be best informed by a digital interactive display or an online information and ordering center – a great idea but one that would make the entire display even more costly.

In all, it was clear this merchandising concept was not ready for prime time and would need a great deal of refinement. The client left with the idea that a digital center might be cheaper, less labor intensive, and more supportive of shoppers needs. This project did not move forward. A bad idea met a deserved end and a major chunk of marketing budget was saved for a better cause.

Alexander RuggieAlexander Ruggie


Alexander Ruggie is the PR Director for 911 Restoration, a home restoration company that specializes in water damage and disaster recovery solutions.

“The single most effective way to streamline marketing processes is to…”

Centralize them, or decentralize them, depending on the business model.

For our model as a franchisor, we have found that our franchisee clients get the most bang for their buck when they utilize our in-house marketing channels. This allows us to assure cohesion with the marketing across the country, as well as to maintain branding standards in all of our activities.

Casey HalloranCasey Halloran


In 1999, at age 23 and fresh out of university, Casey Halloran moved to Costa Rica. Via a fateful roommate wanted ad, he met a fellow U.S. expat. They co-founded an online travel agency, Namu Travel Group, that today is the largest in Central America. They employ 100 staff and gross appxo $20MM per year.

“To increase productivity, efficiency, and ROI by streamlining marketing processes…”

The short answer is knowing where and who.

To be efficient, it’s key to identify WHERE to focus marketing efforts and on WHO. When you have a strong notion on both of these, don’t waste a minute or dollar anywhere else. We got lucky that when we started, the only medium we knew well and could afford was online marketing (SEO & PPC). While putting all eggs in one basket was risky, that laser focus allowed us to compete with bigger competitors and maximize our limited resources.

In addition to deciding WHERE to look for customers, one must also narrowly define WHO is the target audience. In our case, that meant U.S. customers, mostly East Coast and with very specific online intent (keywords).

When we nailed these two questions, we we able to really dial in our time and money. Efficiency and ROI soared…and the company grew.

Babak HedayatiBabak Hedayati


Babak Hedayati is currently the CEO of TapClicks, a leading marketing technology company offering efficiency solutions for agencies, brands and media companies. Babak has over 20 years of experience as a senior executive with Fortune 500 companies.

“The most important key to streamlining marketing processes is…”

Unity – Marketers should use a marketing operations platform to unify all their touch-points and eliminate inefficiencies throughout their marketing process. Eliminate the need to jump from one system to another and remove all manual implementations.

The core of marketing starts with orders/project requests, workflow management, analytics and reporting. Marketers need an all-in-one solution that features integrations that include all these aspects to reduce time jumping between platforms and setting up new processes.

Anne KleinmanAnne Kleinman


Anne Kleinman of Ad Infinitum works with clients to enhance their visibility before during and after the sales process so that they can focus on growing their revenue. She does this utilizing promotional products, strategic uses of LinkedIn and other social media integrated into a unified strategic marketing program created for clients. All of these services are based on the knowledge that she gained earning her marketing degree at Boston University School of Management and over 30 years of hands on experience in the field.

“The single most effective way to streamline marketing processes is to…”

Know your target audience, cater to them, and then get in and get out. Time on social media is only effective when you have clearly defined your target audience. You know what kind of information is of value to them and you share accordingly. In addition the easiest way to streamline your efforts is to use a third part app for scheduling posts and schedule in bulk. The reason I like this method is that I find too many people get lost looking at what everyone else has posted when they are supposed to be spending the time posting/sharing particular content and then moving on to their next task. I recommend that my clients also schedule, in their calendars, a time block of no more than half an hour to respond to comments as well as content shared by others with whom they want to develop a relationship to further their marketing and sales efforts.

Eric QuanstromEric Quanstrom


Eric Quanstrom is the CMO of KiteDesk. Eric’s focus at KiteDesk is all things marketing – from Awareness to Zealous Fans – each and every element of the marketing mix.

“As a VC-backed startup, we’ve found the single most effective way to streamline marketing processes is/was to…”

Tie marketing-to-sales hand-offs tightly together. Basically, to marry our Inbound efforts directly with our sales cycle.

This meant building out lead routing, notifications, and a choreographed series of touches (both automated and human) off of our website. We saved ourselves countless headaches from a Who Does What? and a Follow-up, Follow-through standpoint by automating many of these to-dos.

Maybe most important, though, is an improved customer experience for those learning about our brand. I can’t stress enough the benefits of having a standardized, automated approach for each visitor, and then each subsequent
expression of interest in our software, while at the same time enabling customers to interact directly with the HUMANS on our team. It’s a direct line to both opportunity creation and, thus, revenues.

Speaking of efficiency, we’ve also ramped up our staff in the marketing and sales departments and have been able to onboard people effectively as we plug them into the corresponding automated process in our approach.

Most people think of automating lead management (and lead generation) AFTER achieving some sort of critical mass. This is exactly backward, in my opinion. The most core marketing processes to think through are the most
basic ones– what kind of experience can you create for a would-be buyer???

You should think through how anyone interested in what you sell/offer as if you were already at scale, as it’s a problem that becomes exponentially worse as you grow. High-growth firms develop sophisticated approaches to lead generation early. Since EVERY lead has a cost attached, whether you choose to acknowledge those costs or not (most are hidden), you’d be wise to concentrate efforts here first.

Simon PoultonSimon Poulton


Named one of the 2014’s top 25 social business leaders by IBM & the Economist, Simon Poulton has over a decade of digital marketing experience, both in-house and in his current role as a Digital Account Strategist at Wpromote.

“The single most effective way to streamline marketing processes for success is to…”

Ensure you have a centralized reporting structure. Ultimately, knowing what you should focus on and quickly finding optimizations based on website behavior will provide the fastest path to successful marketing. A lot of marketers are not using dashboards in Google Analytics, but these offer the ability to provide at-a-glance success metrics to all team members and will help you focus resources in the right places!

Hilary HamblinHilary Hamblin


Hilary earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Mississippi University for Women. After graduating college, she served as the executive director for her local Chamber of Commerce. During this time, she was able to mage a huge impact on her community. Hilary went on to found Momentum Consulting out of a desire to help local businesses make advertising work.

“All marketing processes need to have a few common components…”

Setting a template marketing plan allows you to streamline your marketing campaigns and increase productivity. Tweaking the plan after each campaign allows you to evaluate for ROI and make the next campaign better.

Step 1: Identify the goal of the marketing campaign and the target market or persona you’re trying to reach.
Step 2: Create a list of the most cost effective ways to reach this ideal market. Add to this as media and your market changes.
Step 3: Choose your media.
Step 4: Create your message.
Step 5: Use brand guidelines to create needed graphics. Send your graphic designer a list of dimensions for all the graphics you’ll need (for example: social media graphics, email graphics, newspaper or magazine ads).
Step 6: Launch the campaign.
Step 7: Evaluate throughout the campaign.

Ella CullenElla Cullen


As the Marketing Manager of IconPeak, Germany’s Fastest Growing Tech Startup last year, Ella Cullen is always excited to discover useful new tools – and there are a thousand out there, many for free. She studied a CEMs Masters in Management at Nova SBE and Copenhagen Business School.

“One of the greatest boosts to our marketing efficiency came from reducing…”

The time between idea generation, design and the final output. How did we manage this? By using Sketch, which is essentially a simplified version of design tools such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Instead of writing a design brief, I can easily mock-up an idea visually and send it to the designers to refine further. Plus I can easily complete small tasks myself, saving me both communication time and costly designer hours.

Ismael El-QudsiIsmael El-Qudsi


Ismael El-Qudsi is co-founder and CEO of SocialPubli, an influencer marketing platform launched in July 2015. He is also CEO at online marketing agency Internet República, the parent company of SocialPubli. Ismael is considered a leader in all things digital marketing, SEO and social media related. He was recently recognized as one of the top 50 online marketing and entrepreneurial influencers on Twitter in his native country of Spain.

“One of the most effective ways businesses can streamline marketing processes is to employ…”

Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly important for brands and businesses. However, a key challenge when it comes to executing influencer marketing campaigns is that the process is generally very time-consuming, and it is often times not scalable to tap influencers one by one. This is why I highly recommend using an influencer marketing platform or marketplace to conduct outreach to influencers.

A 100% automated platform streamlines the process and offers a do-it-yourself solution that saves resources and dollars. It allows marketers to segment influencers utilizing multiple criteria including targeting options for location, gender, areas of interest, age, and number of followers, among others. Additionally, many influencer platforms do not require a minimum budget to launch a campaign. This opens the door for small and medium businesses to execute campaigns at a smaller scale, more compatible with their needs and possibilities.

Automated influencer marketing platforms are a cost-effective marketing tool that delivers a strong ROI while producing scalable and authentic social content. It is an agile solution that optimizes brand-influencer relations on social networks such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat.

Social media influencer marketing is an inexpensive alternative for lead generation, building brand awareness, and securing more sales. You strategically place your messages and ads at a fraction of the cost of print, radio or TV advertising.

Collaborations with social media influencers will dramatically increase your reach and establish credibility for your business.

Peg SamuelPeg Samuel


Peg Samuel is an Adjunct Professor at New York University and Founder of Social Diva Media she is a proven leader in online brand building and digital strategy. With twenty years experience in the digital marketing arena, Peg turned her love of communications into a lucrative and insight-driven Social Media consultancy specializing in social media strategy, brand influencer campaigns, and execution marketing for lifestyle, luxury, and high-profile celebrity brands. She is the author of the #1 Amazon rated book Facebook Marketing Like I’m 5.

“The single most effective way to streamline marketing processes for productivity, efficiency, and ROI is to…”

Have a well thought out strategy, with actionable items and reasonable deadlines, and follow it.

Jasmeet SawhneyJasmeet Sawhney


Jasmeet Sawhney is CEO of YibLab, which provides sales and marketing services to some of the most successful B2B/B2C companies. He is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved in marketing and technology innovation for 15+ years, and has helped startups and large-corporations in their branding, product-marketing, and customer-engagement efforts.

“Given the modern marketing ecosystem, the single most important factor is to…”

Train marketing teams on technical skills. In the work that we do with both large and small clients, traditional marketing teams still rely heavily on IT and Business Technology teams. It ends up affecting all marketing activity since every single marketing process is driven by technology these days. Whether you are doing lead nurturing, social media marketing, content marketing, website optimization, or customer segmentation – if the marketing team doesn’t have the right technical tools and skills, none of the processes will be efficient. Same is true for data analytics, which is also traditionally a CIO responsibility, but never efficiently used if marketing teams don’t know how to work with data.

Modern marketing teams need to acquire these skills if they want to streamline processes and stay ahead of the competition.

Austin SeipleAustin Seiple

Austin Seiple is going to be a third year student at The Ohio State University. He is currently working in Madrid, Spain for the summer as a marketing/public relations intern for Invespromo Consulting.

“A great way to streamline the marketing process is to…”

Use a curated newsletter software. Content curation is very useful, but it can take a lot of time to find the best content. NewsletterBreeze is a tool that allows any business to create a fully curated newsletters in a matter of minutes. A curated newsletter can help a business: connect with bloggers, drive traffic to their site, and attract paying customers.

Alan O'RourkeAlan O’Rourke


Alan is an ex-artist, ex-film maker, ex-designer, ex-product manager, and ex-entrepreneur. VP of Marketing at OnePageCRM. Author of 2, soon to be 3 marketing books. Almost made it to the big time as an extra on TV’s A Tale At Bedtime with Podge and Rodge playing snooker player #2, but they didn’t show his good left side. Alan writes about marketing at AudienceStack.

“One of the most effective ways to streamline the marketing process is not marketing but…”


One of the biggest lessons I learned while working at my last role as CMO for a HR performance management company was the importance of getting your team invested and engaged and how that can greatly affect performance. One of the most important ways to do this is by setting the team goals and not tasks.

Setting tasks gets you involved in micro-management, whereas setting goals hands the micro decision-making over to your team and frees you up to taking a more strategic view of marketing and growth. Not setting clear goals was probably one of my biggest mistakes managing a team back in my first business. Without a goal all my team could do was wait for me to give them tasks to do. I became a roadblock.

The difference between the two is that activities and tasks describe how people spend their time, whereas goals are the results that they seek. Without goals people will occupy themselves with activities that keep them busy; usually activities they are most comfortable doing, but which contribute very little to the organization’s success. An interesting side effect of giving staff goals instead of tasks is that they become more engaged in their role.

“If you want people to think, give intent, not instructions.” – David Marquet

WorkCompass was the company and they have a great (short) book on this topic which you can download here.

This illustrates the difference very well: Activities are not goals. Goals are not activities.

Confusing activities and goals can mean that you focus on doing tasks and not achieving outcomes. The results of failing to set goals can be:

  • You potentially reward activity that does not contribute to your organization’s goals.
  • Your team believes that it is responsible for activity and not results.
  • When it comes to the team members’ review, they enter that meeting happy that they were very busy and got all their tasks done. You go in unhappy that your goals were not achieved.
  • You and your team waste lots of time doing stuff that adds no value.
  • The tasks required to achieve a goal will change as circumstances do.

If you continue with the same list of tasks you are unlikely to achieve your goals. Organizations who use great employee performance management systems average $90,586 more sales per employee Becker, Huselid and Beatty in “The Differentiated Workforce.”

Siobhan O’RorkeSiobhan O’Rorke


Siobhan is a Marketing & Communications Manager for Lookeen and Axonic. She loves finding ways to make life easier and more efficient, but has much more to learn about automation!

“If you have only one shot at streamlining your marketing processes, I’d recommend you…”

Learn to use automation software ASAP. Tools such as Zapier or IFTTT extend far beyond the scope of traditional marketing automation software in ways that allow you to find and create marketing opportunities from any space.

These apps can be used for something as simple as automatically sharing blog articles to social media, to monitoring and analyzing your SM feeds, and building your email lists, to collaborating with other departments on new marketing schemes. With so many connections and integrations between different apps, automation software is one of the most powerful tools in any marketer’s toolkit. The ROI you get from these tools depends entirely on your own creativity and depth of understanding of your tools.

One small word of warning – be careful not to over-automate. Keep a human eye on the items you’ve set to go public, whatever they may be. The media can be vicious towards companies that make social media or marketing blunders (e.g. capitalizing on national tragedies or misusing associated hashtags).

Spencer X. SmithSpencer X. Smith


Spencer X. Smith is a former VP of Sales at a Fortune 100 company turned consultant, and he also teaches digital marketing and social media classes at the University of Wisconsin.

“Here’s the best way I’ve found to streamline marketing processes for both myself and my clients…”

Trello. At most companies, the people with the most knowledge (the customer-facing staff) have the least amount of time available, and the marketing people don’t know what to produce. By creating a system, the practitioners only need to distill their knowledge into digital form, and they can get back to work.

Why Trello? It’s free, easily shared among teams, and most importantly, makes systems extremely easy. I find most marketing falls flat because it’s ad hoc and not coupled with any strategy. Trello allows anyone to create a simple content repository and create checklists to know what success looks like when a checklist is complete.

Here’s a sample of a Trello board I made that’s publicly available, and that anyone can copy and use for themselves (using video content in this example).

Gabor PappGabor Papp


Gabor Papp is international SEO consultant and Growth Marketer at Shapr3D.

“To streamline marketing processes I use…”

Dwight Eisenhower’s decision making matrix. I try to prioritize tasks and processes based on importance. If something is important and urgent, I do it right away. If it is important but not urgent, I just spend time on. Actually most of my time goes here. If something is urgent but not important, I just delegate it. I sometimes even pay people to do quick tasks for me so I can focus on the important things. If the task / process is neither important, nor urgent, I just skip those and put them in an idea backlog. they can come in handy when I have nothing to do, but that’s very rarely the case.

It’s not a strictly marketing process oriented framework, but helps me a lot in understanding and figuring out what to focus on, what not to focus on.

Henry ButlerHenry Butler


Henry Butler is a Marketing Associate with CanIRank.

“One essential tool for streamlining marketing processes is…”

CanIRank is an SEO software tool designed to help marketing teams save time. As a marketer, I might not be sure if what I am doing is helping or even hurting my goals. Did I over-optimize or not optimize enough my blog post? Is the keyword attainable or too competitive? How do I find quality outreach opportunities besides scouring the Internet?

With CanIRank, I can see the improvements in the scores of my website pages. Even though the changes in rankings may take a while to materialize, I know I am on the right track. It helps make sure I get the most bang for my buck with my efforts.

Jess TiffanyJess Tiffany


Jess Tiffany is the President of Marketing and Networking University.

“Streamlining and effective marketing is key as the budget tightens and inefficiencies must be removed…”

The ultimate streamline is to have someone else pay for the marketing. If you can be creative you can market with very little money.

Perhaps having a YouTube competition with a prize of a trip to a sports event of your choice, to the best parody of a commercial you are running.

Maybe give 10 Apple iPads randomly drawn from people who send out an email you designed to their entire email list. If you have a company that facilitates both buyers and sellers you can have your buyers pay you to advertise their products, which is your company. They pay you to advertise your own business!

Claire AbrahamClaire Abraham


Claire Abraham is a Digital Marketing Specialist at 216digital working on PPC, SEO, and social media campaigns for her clients. She studied Marketing at John Carroll University and loves everything Cleveland.

“The single most effective way to streamline your marketing process is to…”

Take advantage of paid marketing tools. When it comes to digital marketing, there is always more you can be doing, so efficiency is of the utmost importance. If there is a process you can automate, or simplify without losing value you should go ahead and do it. A couple paid marketing tools that we use to streamline our marketing processes include the Avada WordPress themeBuzzStream, and Hootsuite. We use the Avada WordPress theme for our client’s blogs so that our content writers can publish beautiful and interesting content without needing HTML.

We use BuzzStream to organize the outreach for our client’s content pieces. BuzzStream allows us to organize email templates, responses, and more by campaign which leaves us more time to promote the great content. And we use Hootsuite to automate our client’s social media posts. We can schedule them in advance and let Hootsuite handle the posting. Taking advantage of marketing tools like these can really streamline your marketing process.

Rich WilliamsRich Williams


Rich Williams is the CEO of PollCart.

“The single most effective way to streamline marketing processes to increase productivity, efficiency and ROI is…”

PollCart Social Commerce. PollCart Social Commerce activation ranges from a Shopify plugin to custom API integration. Marketers get focused, specific customer-suggested improvements on products they offer and checkout peer-polling that helps convert uncertain customers who organically refer friends and family. Minimal upfront investment accompanies simple commissions for successful sales and referrals.

Max P. Max P.


Max P. is founder of CouponHippo.in. He has been doing internet marketing for the past 10 years including link building, email marketing, PPC and SEO.

“The single most effective way to streamline marketing processes is to…”

Always create a documented process and then create small scripts with code or mainly Excel/Google Sheets.

If you can script something in Excel or Google Sheets for a step in your process, you just freed yourself some time to be better on the other steps. It usually helps people scale themselves, which is what developers who code all day do. But now with easy scripting in Excel/Google Sheets, marketing people can do it too.

For example, I have a bunch of CSVs in my marketing research step from 3 different tools. I can import those to Excel or Google Sheets, run my small script I wrote, and combine the data in a way that enables me to take action.

Another option is to use a site like IFTTT where you can setup recipes to help you pull data from multiple sources and put them into a Google Sheet for you. This can also help you scale yourself and free up time to do other things.
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