You’re short staffed, buried in work and you know you should delegate to get out from underneath it and get caught up on your marketing tasks, but you’re not. Why aren’t you delegating? Even seasoned marketing managers fall victim to the “I can do everything myself” or “I can do it better myself” mentality.
Let’s discuss ways to overcome some of the obstacles we feel when managing marketing and delegating – as well as opportunities to potentially outsource delegation to an outside marketing firm.
Some managers fear delegation because it hasn’t worked out well for them in the past. In my 25+ years of managing marketing teams, I have found that it comes down to delegating to the right people.
There are four different personality traits that I found are critical when you’re choosing who you’re delegating to.
Strong Sense of Responsibility
First is a strong sense of responsibility and a commitment to the company. You want somebody who is dedicated and interested in their career growth, as well as the mission of the company and feels excited about it. That energy then translates into wanting to accept the additional responsibility of delegation.
Intuitive Communication Skills
Next is intuitive communication skills. I always think of this as understanding the communication needs of the target audience, which in this case is myself, or you, if you’re the manager. You want to make sure that the person you’re delegating to understands what you need to know and when you need to know it. They need to give you updates that make you feel comfortable, without feeling like you have to pry for information, or that you aren’t getting what you need.
Strong Project Management Skills
The next is really strong project management skills. It’s important for whoever you’re delegating to, to understand the overall project and how to move it along. I like to know that the person understands “Plan A,” but that they also have a “Plan B” and even a “Plan C” at times, in their back pocket. They can then keep the project going and moving along if they encounter any obstacles.
Next are individuals who are confident in themselves. You want to make sure that you have a team or a person you’re delegating to that is solutions oriented. They need to be trying to solve a problem that comes up versus coming to you as a safety net when things get hard. They figure out how to address red flags and put projects back on track. This is somebody who feels comfortable and confident in challenging situations, but also makes solutions a reality.
Let’s move on to our next topic – which can be harder because it requires self-reflection. Oftentimes managers want to take credit for everything the team does, and they feel like in order to do that, they have to do all of the work. They take more of an “I” approach to managing marketing than a “WE” approach.
What I found in my career is that a “WE” approach is much more effective in motivating a team, as well as lightening your own workload, so you can dedicate your time to the tasks and projects that require your attention. If you think about how to motivate your team and elevate each member to work to their maximum potential, there’s much more that a marketing team can accomplish, than if everyone is working on their own.
Delegation to an Outside Firm
When it comes to delegation, marketing managers don’t often think about using an outside marketing resource. Consider projects you just aren’t getting to, or projects that you need help with to push them across the finish line. These are great areas where an outside marketing resource can help.
An outside marketing firm can also help fill in areas that aren’t your strong suit.
If you’re not an organized person, try to find a marketing firm that is. If you’re looking for a little bit more creativity, then make it criteria to select a firm. Once you have that alignment, you can start out with a small project to make sure you’re developing trust, and then you can move on to delegating out bigger projects.