A healthcare marketing role means having an endless list of ideas, to-dos and tactics to advance your strategy. While some organizations may have the workforce to carry those out, many are often short on staff.
If you’re feeling the pressure of a small team, there’s a way to accomplish everything on your list and more. The trick is to optimize the current team you have with an effective marketing team structure. Sure, that may seem hard to do when you’re short-staffed, but evaluating your team structure could be the step you need to succeed. It’s all about making the most of every asset you have.
Don’t think that you’re alone in this. In fact, 38% of respondents to a recent WriterGirl survey revealed that not having enough staff members is the biggest challenge they face day-to-day. Expanding their staff was second only to content marketing as the main investment priority for survey respondents.
Start by evaluating your goals and current team
Well-organized teams are more effective and successful.
The way you organize your marketing team first depends on your business goals. If you don’t have a clear view of your goals, then how can your team follow through with them? Narrow your focus on what you need to do to reach those goals. Figure out what makes the most sense for your business and adapt your team to fit your needs.
To get in the mindset of evaluating your team structure, ask yourself these questions:
- What are our ultimate business goals?
- What obstacles need to be overcome to achieve this change?
- How can I maximize the team I already have?
- Are the right people on the wrong team?
- Is each task and role defined with expectations?
Answering these questions can affect your future success.
Steps for an effective marketing team structure
Fortunately, getting on the right track is within your reach. Here’s how.
Research your industry
Different models may work better for various organizations and industries. The healthcare industry is as vast as it is diverse. Each organization has different values, goals and team structures. Your organization’s structure might not look exactly like anyone else’s. That doesn’t mean you can’t take pointers from them, though. Talk with colleagues and peers to get ideas about which roles and methods you need to focus on. Try reaching out at the next event or conference you attend.
Focus on work that packs the most punch
You have a lot of work to accomplish. Being short-staffed can take a toll on productivity. Once you’ve identified your business goals, narrow them down to what you can realistically achieve. Don’t focus your time and effort on a project that won’t bring results. Instead, focus on the work that absolutely must be done — the top-priority tasks.
Is it a goal to launch your business globally? Or maybe improve employee training, beef up your online presence or enhance the consumer’s experience? Sure, a global business sounds great, but do you have the means to do so? Focus on reasonable goals right now. Once you have those mastered, you’ll have more bandwidth to prioritize that larger goal in the future.
Shoot for integrating each team
Many traditional marketing team structures lead to silos. Integrate your teams to break down the walls that silos create. Try to find where your organization tends to get stuck in their communications.
For example, advertising, PR, customer service and social media might all use the same platforms to share their messages. The trick is, they all need to be integrated to keep them on-brand with your organization. Solution: Put someone in charge of owning those tasks and making those calls.
Have a leader in charge at each stage of the marketing funnel
Everyone on your small-but-mighty team plays an important role that drives your business. Staying on top of the marketing funnel promotes growth. Putting a person in charge of each process makes sure a step isn’t missed or thrown on the back burner. Remember, a funnel doesn’t work if one level is blocked.
Group talent into teams that make sense
As you reorganize staff and roles, you may find different people fit better on different teams. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your team members. It could lead to a match made in heaven.
As an example, if an associate is fully immersed in your brand voice, then grouping them with your writing team could lead to more aligned content.
Fit roles for each channel
Let’s face it, as tech and digital grow, marketing channels will become more complex. Some channels can even range across multiple teams. Create roles that own each channel, which leads to less confusion about who is responsible for what.
A role that focuses on social media will make sure it performs well. Then, the sales team won’t have to worry about whether their message is getting out there and they can focus solely on sales goals.
Decide on the tasks for each role
Now that you’ve assigned roles, it’s time to decide on the tasks each team member is responsible for. This calls for a deep dive into which steps are needed for each task. You want to make sure no one is skipping a step that’s causing a backup in the workflow, which could keep someone else from completing their own tasks.
Let’s say that your sales team is out following leads. Once the sale is won, the client is directed towards a project manager. Who was supposed to trigger the invoice? Did the sales team confirm the project with the project manager before sending the client to them? Clear, defined tasks for each role leads to a better flow for everyone.
Know when to bring in more resources
You’ve gone through your whole team structure but still notice some gaps. You just don’t have enough people for the work you want to do. Or maybe a team member’s brainpower and energy can be used someplace more useful.
Think about using external resources as a step in your process — it could save your team from wasted hours. Whether it’s for content, tech platforms or scheduling, having another team take over can help you focus on your higher-impact goals.
Three places to look for optimization opportunities
While the structure of your team plays a major role in efficiency, there may be other areas you can optimize. Here are three places to look for opportunities to streamline work for your team.
The world is your oyster, or should I say, technology is. Branching out with new systems or finding new ones that work better could lead you to greater efficiency. Whether that means databases, CRMs or software. After all, you may find your problems are linked to a system that just doesn’t mesh well with your team.
Systems also don’t have to break the bank. Take a look at WriterGirl’s favorite free tools.
If your organization has been around for a while, it may have a “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality. Well, this is your sign to get out of the rut you’re in with your team’s processes. Take some time and carefully look at your models and see if anything can be updated or done differently. You’ll be amazed at how efficient things will run after that.
Content is essential for any organization. But if your need for content is weighing your team down and leading you away from other impactful tasks, it could be an efficiency issue. Here at WriterGirl, we pride ourselves on being experts on healthcare content. Here are some of our tips to avoid muddled content.
- Conduct a content audit
- Create a content strategy
- Tag team the work to prevent burnout
- Lean on others within your company to contribute
- Search for knowledge from subject matter experts (SMEs)