Inbound Marketing & Sales Development Inspiration

The Control Freak's Guide to Digital Marketing Delegation

Posted September 13, 2015
6 minute read

Digital marketing delegation

You’re a business owner wanting to work on your business instead of in your business.

Or maybe you’re a marketing manager struggling to transition from the person doing the work to the person managing the work.

The control freak deep inside holds you back. You want to delegate, but have a hard time letting go.

Delegation is a deceptively difficult skill to master. It means giving up control and putting faith in someone else to execute. In smaller businesses, where every dollar counts, this can be a nail in the coffin.

There are typically three parties involved in small- to medium-size business marketing: the primary decision maker (owner, CMO, or CEO), the marketing manager, and the agency.

Delegation is a critically important skill for a business owner. He or she must focus on executing the vision of the company. Small tasks, which are less critical and easily delegated, should not consume their time or energy.

The marketing manager is responsible for executing and managing various marketing tasks. They need to ensure the right people are focused on the right things, tactics stay aligned with the strategy, and performance standards are being met. For less experienced managers used to executing all fulfillment tasks themselves, delegating work can be difficult.

Fulfillment resources are responsible for executing the various marketing tactics. This is the agency or group of specialists, who dedicate themselves to their craft. This group cannot be fully utilized without proper delegation from above.

So, when it comes to your firm’s digital marketing, what should and should not be delegated?

The Role Of The Primary Decision Maker (Business Owner, CEO, CMO)

Do Define Expectations
Before investing a dime into marketing, clearly define what success means. This could be the number of leads generated, new deals closed, or foot traffic to a store. The metrics associated with this activity are the key performance indicators, or KPIs.

Do Define Cost-Per-Acquisition
If you are able to track leads back to their marketing source, set a clear expectation for cost-per-acquisition (CPA), or the cost to acquire a new customer. This number should be based on average lifetime value of a customer.

Do Define Roles & Responsibilities
Empower others by delegating performance responsibility. This gives others a sense of ownership over the campaign.

Don’t Go Deep Into Tactics
Understanding each new Google update will not make you better at your job. Delegate the tactical details to those who can use the information.

Don’t Obsess Over Non-Business Metrics
Metrics not clearly tying back to revenue have no place in your dashboard. While those metrics are important to a marketing manager or specialist, they are not actionable to you. Therefore, don’t use them.

Dashboard Metrics Revenue

The Marketing Manager's Role

Do Keep The Team Focused On KPIs
As the person most actively involved in the day-to-day marketing, a marketing manager must keep the group focused on the KPIs. Not only will this prevent KPIs from getting lost in the daily whirlwind of activity, it creates a culture focused on results.

Do Keep Up With The Changing Industry
As a marketing manager, you are close to both the business and new marketing trends. Keep up to date with industry and marketing publications to see which new ideas could work well for your business.

Do Connect The Vision To The Tactics
Your job as the marketing manager is to connect your boss’ vision with the right marketing tactics. Consult with your agency or specialists to fine tune the details of your plan, and then get to work on executing it.

Don’t Overlap Efforts
Once you have delegated a task, you should minimize any additional work spent by you on that assignment. Trust those to do a task correctly, as your supervisor has entrusted you to manage it.

Don’t Close Yourself To Outside Opinions
Fulfillment partners are experts in their field - take advantage! Egos should never get in the way of doing what’s right for the business. A successful digital marketing is a group effort, and all opinions should be vetted and considered.

The Agency's Role

There’s little left to delegate at the agency or specialist level, but keeping with the theme of “do’s and don’ts”, here are some important things to keep in mind.

Do What’s Right By The Client
What’s best for the client may not always be what’s best for you. You may prefer to sell them X when they really need Y. A good agency will develop a plan that maximizes the client’s chance for success, not just the agency’s.

Do Bring New Ideas To The Table
Businesses hire agencies because of their specialized knowledge. They also rely on agencies for staying current with the latest and greatest. Agencies unwilling or slow to adapt will drag their clients down with them.

Do Stay Hyper-Focused On KPIs
Understand what your work is trying to achieve, and frame your strategy accordingly. If you can’t explain how your work will impact the desired outcome, you should re-evaluate your approach.

Don’t Rest On Your Laurels
You may have executed a great campaign in the past, but clients are paying you to deliver today. Celebrate the accomplishments when they occur, but then move on to the next big “win.”

Don’t Assume You’re The Best
It’s a big world, and let’s face it, marketing isn’t rocket science. There are plenty of others just as capable as you. Therefore, differentiate yourself through your service and genuine interest in your client’s success.

A successful digital campaign relies on each party’s ability to stay focused on their area of responsibility. The system breaks down when people overstep boundaries and don’t let others do their job. Train your inner control freak to let go of its micromanagement ways, and be on your way to digital marketing nirvana.

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