Are You Oblivious to These Obvious Workplace Productivity Killers?

workplace productivity killers

Workplace productivity is a tricky thing. On the one hand, we’re convinced of our particular degree of busyness. We proclaim our busyness every chance we get. For some, busyness is a badge of honor. On the other hand, busyness doesn’t necessarily equate to productivity.

What if I told you that you’re probably only spending 36% of your work day on your primary job duties. That’s only three out of eight working hours that you spend performing your job (for you math nerds, that works out to 14.4 hours of productivity per week).

So what’s distracting marketing professionals to the point that they feel like 2/3 of their workday is spent doing something other than their primary job? The answers may be more obvious than you realize.

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How to Protect Brand Identity with Marketing Compliance

internal marketing compliance

As a marketer, when you think of marketing compliance, it is external compliance issues that probably immediately come to mind. Adhering to the standards set out by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is hugely important, and can save you from losing large chunks of money to costly fines, not to mention the trust and respect of your consumers. However, internal marketing compliance should be viewed by your marketing team as equally important.

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2016 Is the Year of Marketing Compliance [eBook]

2016 is year of marketing compliance

Any time a new year begins, bold predictions fill marketing blogs across the Internet. From content marketing and digital advertising to the Internet of things and big data, there is no shortage of declarations, trends, and technologies that are “guaranteed” to disrupt, change or improve marketing as we know it.

Lost among the prognostications about data collection from connected toasters and disrupting how people take trash to the curb, is an essential mindset that must become part of every marketing department’s DNA (and organization’s DNA for that matter). And it’s what’s leading me to make the following marketing prediction:

2016 Is the Year of Marketing Compliance.

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Your Marketing Team Needs More Structure, Not Creativity

marketing needs structure

One of the core foundations of marketing is creativity, so it should come as no surprise that many organizations blame their marketing department’s “lack of creativity” when problems arise, or a campaign fails to produce the results they sought. However, if you look around at your marketing team, chances are you’re surrounded by people who have good, and often brilliant, ideas. So then, why, with a team full of creative individuals, do you see so few creative projects come to fruition? The answer may surprise you as it seems to contradict the entire creative process.

Lack of structure.

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Stop Scope Creep in Its Tracks: 10 Tips For Getting Client Approval

stop scope creep with client approval tips

Scope creep. Unfortunately, it’s a real problem for many project managers. Uncontrolled revisions and continuous growth during the life of a project can lead to a lot of frustration and displeasure for both parties. If you’re a project manager, avoiding scope creep can be the difference between completing a project on time and budget – and potentially losing a client altogether.

What is scope creep? Here is a general definition from Wikipedia:

Scope creep (also called requirement creep, function creep and feature creep) in project management refers to uncontrolled changes or continuous growth in a project’s scope. This can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled. It is generally considered harmful.


Generally considered harmful? Makes you wonder if the editors at Wikipedia have ever worked at a marketing agency. So, let’s take a closer look at scope creeping and some practical ways to minimize its harmful effects.

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Which Role Do You Need to Hire: General Counsel or Chief Compliance Officer?

marketing compliance

Overseeing marketing compliance is essential for any organization. And yet, it seems that many companies give a senior employee the title of Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), or some other such title, and task him or her with the responsibility of overseeing the company’s compliance standards – whether that person is qualified or not. Or as often is the case, the General Counsel fills this role based on the idea that compliance is a legal matter. (And the legal department is in many cases the source of the recommendation to create such a position.)

There’s nothing wrong with these ways of doing things, per se, but is that the right choice for you or your department? Maybe you would be better off with two separate people, filling each role respectively. Both roles serve the organization’s need to comply with the law, but they have different functions in that regard. We take a look at the roles of both General Counsel and CCO to help you decide. One thing is for certain: if your marketing department doesn’t have someone overseeing compliance, you are putting your organization at risk.

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Finding Common Ground: How to Improve Sales and Marketing Alignment

sales and marketing alignment

“The problem with marketing in today’s world is that marketing is too separated from sales.”

That’s how Gary Vaynerchuk kicks off the first installment of AdAge’s four-part weekly series, “Digital Crash Course: The One You’re Too Ashamed to Admit You Need.” If this is the case, does that mean that the old model – of marketing generating leads while the sales team closes them – still works just fine? Nothing is ever as simple in practice as that, but, in theory, it should be working, right?


The lack of alignment between marketing and sales has existed since oil stopped getting along with water. In fact, only 8% of B2B companies surveyed by Forrester Research said they have tight alignment between sales and marketing.

If that’s the case, then how can organizations close the gap between the sales and marketing teams? Finding common ground and working towards a common goal may be the simplest – and most effective – method.

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10 Steps for Hosting Productive Meetings that Don’t Suck

productive meetings

Meetings generally suck. They suck time and resources, hinder productivity, and can even affect employee morale. They are also incredibly costly, resulting in $37 billion in lost salary annually in the United States. Furthermore, most employees consider meetings a waste of time.

A May 2014 Bain & Company study conducted on time management revealed that on average an organization’s workforce spends about 15% of all collective time sitting in meetings. Senior executives on average devote more than two days each week to meetings with three or more coworkers.

There is also a ripple effect when it comes to meetings. The process of preparing for a meeting can also eat up valuable time if not handled properly. In one extreme example, the Bain researchers gathered data about time use at one large company and found that people there spent 300,000 hours a year just supporting one weekly executive committee meeting. ONE. WEEKLY. MEETING.

So why do we have meetings? Surely, there must be a better way.

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Which Role Do You Need to Hire: Chief Data Officer, CIO, or Other?

should you hire a chief data officer?

All marketers want to leverage data to not only reach potential customers but to better serve the ones they have. The best possible service leads to happy customers and happy customers lead to more revenue for the company.

Lately, companies with the strongest revenue growth have added a new position to their stable of C-level executives: the Chief Data Officer (CDO). The enormous potential that data provides means that individual companies must find methods to leverage and parse through its Big Data. The CDO is seemingly the perfect solution to this problem. Or is it?

Adding any executive with a “C” as the first letter of their title is an expensive venture. In order to determine if a CDO is the right choice for your business, it’s best to start by differentiating their value from those of similar posts, such as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the data analyst. We take a look at all three roles to help you make the best decision.

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5 Tips for De-Stressing Your Marketing Team

marketing team stress relief

Feeling overwhelmed? A little stressed out? Does your job have you down? You’re not alone. No doubt you’re feeling the pressure of your job and, if you look around at your marketing team, you probably see it reflected in the faces of your co-workers as well. Being a marketer can’t always be sunshine and lollipops – marketing teams have a lot going on, and that can result in some pretty high levels of stress.

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