Seven essential tips for great client marketing meetings

Friday, April 20, 2018

So what makes a good meeting that delivers fantastic results? Whilst most of these tips might seem obvious, they can make a noticeable difference on executing your marketing strategy.

We have all sat in meetings where we know despite the great exchange of good ideas and plans for implementation, there will be very little follow-up and real progress made. Not only is this dispiriting for everyone concerned – it is also very poor use of valuable management time.

And for a consultancy providing an outsourced marketing service it is important that we get our meetings right. Generally we have very little time in front of our clients, so we have to work hard to make sure that our meetings are well planned so that we keep the agreed marketing strategy on track and deliver the expected results.

Naturally there will be times when you might want to reflect and discuss the issues in greater length. In these cases, plan a longer marketing strategy session, workshop or even a lunch (yes, we do like to really get to know our clients).

So what makes a good marketing meeting?
Whilst many of the tips below are not rocket-science, we have found the following essential in ensuring that our monthly marketing meetings with our clients are short, effective and deliver the agreed marketing plan.

1. Are the right people in the room?
From our experience of working with SMEs, it is always more efficient to have the key decision makers in the meeting, so actions can be planned and agreed there and then. As appropriate, other team members can be invited to join the meeting for specific items on the agenda - which prevents meeting overload and wasting people’s time.

2. Circulate your agenda in advance
Several days ahead of the meeting, we circulate the planned agenda with any dashboards, reports, creative work to be discussed, updated content plans etc. This gives all attendees time to review and reflect on the information prior to the meeting.

3. Is your agenda realistic?
There is little point on having too many items on an agenda that is clearly unachievable. It is far better to have 5-8 items that can be discussed effectively in the allocated time. – and don’t forget to put the least important items at the end of the agenda, just in case you run out of time.

4. Marketing dashboard - focus on the variances
By receiving the information in advance, attendees can digest the information and research the reasons for any deviations from the expected KPIs. This allows for problems to be quickly identified and acted upon. Conversely, where performance is better than expected, you can perhaps reallocate resources in order to capitalise on your success.

5. Hard stop
Generally, aim to have a hard stop – i.e. the meeting finishes at the agreed time. Whilst initially, this might be difficult to achieve, over time attendees will get used to covering all items on the agenda in the required time. If for any reason, you do not have time to discuss all the items, put any outstanding items at the top of next month’s agenda.

6. Be disciplined about writing minutes
It is so easy to letting the minutes slip. Ideally, write these as soon as possible, with each task allocated to a specific person and with a deadline.

7. Start each meeting with the minutes from the last meeting
This is a great way of ensuring the agreed actions from the last meeting are achieved. There can be a brief discussion of any issues arising from implementation and reasons for any actions that have not been achieved.

Whilst the above list is unlikely to provide any surprises, does your business actually follow all the above steps? If you do implement the above, over time, your monthly marketing management meetings are likely to more productive and have a greater sense of purpose.

If you would like to discuss our outsourced marketing director service for your business, please do get in touch. We would be delighted to hear from you.