(with A Little Wisdom from Dr. Venkman and Chopped)
You may remember it as the scene before the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man terrorizes New York City, but one of the things that stands out to me was when beloved Ghostbuster Dr. Peter Venkman uttered the words “nimble little minx isn’t she”. I have to admit at 12 I was unfamiliar with the phrase but was able to comprehend the meaning because it was right after Gozer did a Mary Lou Retton across that Central Park West rooftop and nailed the landing in 5 inch heels. So what does an 80’s movie flashback have to do with your 2016 marketing strategy? Maybe just that being a little nimble in your approach can be just what you need to get the results you want.
If you are like most marketers today you are busy, being pulled in a lot of different directions and sometimes you simply don’t get to start projects as early as you should. So when it becomes a choice between producing intelligent, well-designed content or meeting a deadline dated yesterday, you would not be the first marketing martyr to make a few reluctant compromises for the cause. In fact as a recent survey confirmed, for most marketers, sacrificing quality for speed and “being okay with it” happens more often than they’d like. But there are a few steps you can take to avoid executions that are not up to snuff and still stick within your timelines and your budget. Here are a few suggestions:
Diversify and Conquer
This may seem obvious but it truly can be an easy solution for a last minute marketing request. Everyone has a brand style guide or at the very least a font, color and a current value proposition, so continuity should not be an issue. What matters here is that you partner with multiple people who are experts at work they do so while agency A is working on your latest product launch you can call up the expert video content producers at Agency B and know, not only will they deliver but most likely be more than happy to do so.
Key Takeaway: Work with Multiple Trusted Vendors
Team Up Today
You may feel powerless against the company deadline dictators but you can absolutely be proactive in arming yourself with the resources you need to answer their demands. A great place to start would be to ask colleagues for recommendations that specialize in the marketing content you want ideally from people they like to work with. But don’t be afraid to search online, remember you are looking for experts here, not trying to retrofit a well-meaning referral. Use terms that will lead you to people who are well versed in creating a specific tactic, Peruse their portfolio, scan a few case studies, read a few reviews and by all means reach out, trust me they will be thrilled to hear from you.
Key Takeaway: Start New Partner Relationships Now
Avoid Sticker Shock
In theory, faster speed and high quality mean increase costs. But does your marketing budget automatically increase because you got a quick turn content request from the product team? Typically not. That is one of the many reasons retainer agreements work for both marketers and their vendors. As a marketer you may look at a retainer as a way to save money but your vendor can actually use it to dedicate appropriate resources to your needs and an appropriately staffed retainer has two critical benefits: quality work and faster turn around – as per common practice and Ad Age insights.
But even a sincere conversation outlining the relevant deliverables of your marketing plan can give your vendor an incentive to provide workable fees in exchange for a few upcoming projects. Consider a SOW agreement to ensure you have fees and timing in writing and that your vendor delivers what they promised. Heck, even an email exchange can provide enough of a financial commitment to know what you need to spend to get the delivered piece you want fast.
Key Takeaway: Negotiate a Win-Win Pricing Plan
Learn From Chopped
I don’t know about you but Chopped on the Food Network makes me feel like not only can I cook, but I can take existing, even odd ingredients from the pantry and present something people will eat, and like hopefully. So when a crazy deadline falls in your lap perhaps your first response is to be resourceful and refer to your existing content library. You can have a webinar transcribed or turn an infographic into a video post and produce a quality piece of content and cut your R&D time. One last Chopped reference or food for thought, if you want quality content fast you may also consider serving up bite-sized pieces that active audiences crave – easy to digest and ideally make them want more. Too much right? But you get the point.
Key Takeaway: Edit and Repurpose Existing Content
All movie and TV references aside, this post is about offering a few practical suggestions to help marketers get the high-quality marketing content they want without having to compromise because they need it fast. And maybe with a little proactive planning and a few strategic alignments you can ensure optimal quality and performance for you marketing content that work – fast.