Navigating an effective marketing meeting is one of the most difficult aspects of the marketers role.
Don’t believe us?
Ask anyone involved in marketing what part of their game they feel they could improve upon and we can all but guarantee they’ll mention something to do with meetings that stay on topic, or general meeting ideas to help shake things up a little.
Like them or loathe them, meetings are a necessity, and can be used to outline various strategies, report on on-going strategies, brainstorm ideas and so much more.
Those that say they’re boring/pointless, are probably doing them wrong.
Not to worry if you’re one of those marketers, for Canny is on the case!
The tips and tricks shown today will go a long way in helping you smash all future marketing meetings.
Trust us. We know they’ll help because we use them routinely in our own. And the good news is you can apply these tips to virtual and in-person meetings!
Confirm Your Marketing Meeting Agenda
We’re starting off strong here not to waste any time (we understand how busy most marketers are in the current climate).
One of the first things you should do as a marketing head is to think of the purpose of the meeting — as in: why does this need a meeting around it?
Here are some of the various marketing meeting agendas for reference:
- Strategy meeting
- Team updates
- Ideas brainstorm
- Annual recaps
Honestly, those are but a few examples, there are probably a dozen more that we’ve likely missed. Social media marketing meetings are one of them.
Once you’ve decided on a topic, stick with it.
Meetings tend to go off the rails because they stray way too far away from the original topic —
some stray way too far its starting point. And that’s because marketers try to be far too ambitious.
Think of quality meeting topics around each agenda and you should have no worries in keeping your meetings as reined in as possible!
Which brings us to our next tip.
Think of Quality Meeting Topics
Having a marketing meeting agenda is one thing, but what about the topics that fall under said agenda?
For every marketing strategy meeting there is talk of target audiences, KPIs, deliverables and deadlines.
Those are all quality meeting topics that apply to the topic of the meeting at hand, which is exactly what you should be aiming for!
Quality meeting topics is a very broad term, we’ll admit it. What we’re actually saying is: find topics that align with your agenda and aren’t likely to send you down the wrong rabbit hole.
It’s so easily done too, all it takes is one off-topic talking point and you’ve wasted an hour minimum heading in this direction.
Have One Marketer Lead The Meeting
Easily one of the best ways of controlling your meetings, and ensure that it remains on topic, is to have someone (typically the person organising the meeting outright) lead the full thing.
This person should rule over every marketing meeting with an iron fist, doing so will lead to a winning marketing meeting, guaranteed.
We’d recommend assigning another member of the team to take part to act as a note-taker, that way everything is recorded and can be distributed to members of the team once the meeting has concluded.
Quick Tip: When taking notes during a marketing meeting, ensure that the person jotting all of this down is using bullet points and headings to separate the topics. It makes for a much easier read and it gives you the chance to skim it if needed.
The person leading the meeting could take this role, but it does require a fair amount of multi-tasking, and some events can run on for hours at a time.
That’s a lot of writing/steering.
Share Your Marketing Meeting Agenda Early
This next marketing meeting tip is oh so very simple, and will ensure that all marketing-related meetings go off without a hitch.
So, what’s the tip?
That’s easy: share your marketing meeting agenda early. And by early we’re talking days earlier to ensure that those in attendance have enough time to plan accordingly.
Getting ahead of the curve ensures that people can ask questions ahead of time if need be, or can state whether or not they can make it.
Imagine planning a meeting around a specific speaker, and then at the very last minute, they turn around and say they’re on holiday, or already have a meeting booked with a client or whomever.
Sharing the marketing meeting agenda early will keep your attendees in the loop, and will confirm to you that the agenda itself is the right one.
And if it isn’t, feel free to cancel it. Marketers, and content strategists are easily the most busy, if not the busiest people in any office.
Wasting their time with a meeting is only going to dampen morale and energy levels come time for the meeting to begin.
Which brings us to our next segway.
Only Run A Marketing Meeting When It’s Needed
It’s like we said, marketers are incredibly busy, so you should only run a marketing meeting when it’s absolutely necessary.
Think of it like the big red button that you only press in case of emergencies. And that’s not to say that you should be timid and run no meetings at all — we’re not saying that at all.
Of course there should be a place for marketing meetings to comb over strategies, analysis, brainstorming and all the rest of it.
We’re talking about the meetings that cover topics that can be summed up in a round robin-style email!
One way to ensure that your marketing meetings are always necessary is to create a schedule/diary that covers all important meetings over the course of a set project.
You should still leave enough room for off-the-cuff meeting ideas, only you should only put those in the diary every now and then.
It’s good to keep the team on their toes, just not 24/7.
Keep Your Marketing Meetings In A Digital Diary
Organisation and marketing meetings don’t have to be enemies as long as you take the necessary steps in getting them to work together, rather than apart.
Digitising all of your planned marketing meetings via an online diary is one of the best ways to keep your attendees up to date with the meeting.
It also means that if the meeting cancels, they’ll know about it (as long as you’ve adjusted the settings correctly).
Oh, and you can totally integrate this diary in with the email addresses associated with every marketer. This ensures that no one misses a single meeting or any info around said meetings!
Outline Who Will Be In Attendance
Surely you know this already, but marketers have a habit of packing the room (be it online or in person) with as many people as possible.
Choosing who will be in attendance in your marketing meetings is a lot like choosing your ideal football team. You need people capable of fulfilling certain roles down to a tee. Only there’s no room for spectators.
They’re more concerned with filling seats than questioning whether or not this person needs to be there, or can offer something that will contribute to those quality meeting topics that we mentioned.
Ideally, you should want people there who can offer something of value in line with the wider meeting agendas/talking points.
You wouldn’t invite a social media marketer in for an SEO-orientated meeting would you? Yeah, exactly.
Or maybe you would? That’s the great thing about marketing: it’s so all-encompassing that there’s no set way of doing something. If it works for you, then there’s no reason to change it!
Although since you’re reading this we are gonna assume you need a hand..
End Every Marketing Meeting with Action Points
No matter what is discussed within the marketing meeting directly, you should always recap, while emphasising all action points, or ‘action items’ as they’re otherwise known.
Discussing marketing-based issues/ideas is one thing, it’s another to provide a solution — which is obviously where your action points come into play.
You will actively outline these solutions as you work through each topic of the meeting, but how many of you summarise them at the end?
As in rundown every action point, naming the person whose job it is to fulfill that point, and state when that task is to be completed by. Yeah, how many of you do that?
An action item is a task or activity that needs to happen off the back of an outlined project or issue. It’s a popular management term, so it should come as no surprise that we’re parroting it here in relation to a marketing meeting.
If you want your marketing meetings to fall in the winning category then you need to make sure that for every issue, you are providing detailed ways of overcoming that issue.
Recapping it all at the end will make sure that everyone within that meeting is on the same page.
Gather Meeting Feedback Later Via Email
Feedback is crucial, not only for the quality meeting topics discussed, but for the future success — or lack thereof — of all marketing meetings!
But you might want to avoid asking for it at the end of your meetings. Instead you should be asking for it via email. Ideally, you should only be asking for feedback every now and then, not after every meeting.
Be sure to turn any negative feedback you receive into a positive.
Think of it this way: people who respond negatively tend to be a lot more honest and specific with their feedback compared to any positive messages you might receive.
Spin that current negative into your next positive.
Do You Require Help With Your Marketing?
Quality marketing is a team effort nine times out of ten, and there’s no shame in outsourcing certain tasks/projects to maximise the amount of time you have to work on other areas.
It’s something that you can discuss within your marketing meetings whenever budget is concerned. Some will dedicate spend to agency help, whereas others might have some left over from other areas.
Canny aren’t too fussed which it is, all we care about is whether or not you are in need of some assistance in the marketing department.
We’ve helped marketing teams across the globe — delivering everything from blogs to downloadable resources. And that’s without mentioning the additional perks of partnering with us (constant communication being one of them).
If there’s one thing you need to know about Canny it’s this: we’re highly adaptable, capable of catching any task you throw at us.
Get in touch to discover what we can do for you and then some!
Champion Success and Celebrate Your Wins
Work hard, definitely, but always celebrate your wins and your successes when they roll around! It shouldn’t even need to be said, but there are marketers out there that limit their meetings to work talk only, which is fine.
But still, if you over deliver on your marketing to the point where you’re generating more sales and leads, then that needs to be showcased.
Now, how you celebrate your wins will depend entirely on you. Some settle for a simple shout out at the beginning or end of the meeting. Others champion success with gifts and surprises.
Recognition like this encourages other members of the team to strive for greatness themselves.
So yeah, celebrate your wins, doing so will nurture the success of all marketing activities simply by proxy!
Is Anyone Working Remotely?
Here’s another thing that needs to be said: consider the needs of your remote workers.
Meetings these days have taken the hybrid approach, meaning they have an in-person element coupled with an external one courtesy of cameras dotted around the meeting room.
That being said, not every meeting room has these types of cameras installed, which does make it somewhat of a slog if you’re working from home —or another country — and are constantly playing a guessing game of sorts as to what’s going on fully.
There are countless reasons as to why this happens, the most obvious being a technical difficulties issue. Poor connections aside, there are things that businesses can do to make their external workers feel important.
Businesses with remote attendees, consider the following:
- The platform used to run the meeting (is it easy to use and navigate?)
- Your current connection (is the signal really bad?)
- How will you get them involved (is there anything they can’t do?)
- Any slides you might have ready (are they loaded into the meeting feed?)
Since we’re on the topic, should we look at virtual marketing meetings and how you can turn those into wins too?
What About Virtual Marketing Meetings?
Virtual marketing meetings became the norm as a response to the pandemic, with many marketers preferring this over the in-person alternative.
So, with that in mind, it’s high time we looked at some virtual marketing meeting ideas/tips to appeal to this crop of people specifically.
Most of the marketing meeting tips we’ve covered — everything from outlining your marketing meeting agenda to coming up with some quality meeting tips — also applies to those sitting behind a screen for meetings.
Still, there are marketing meeting tips that are exclusive to virtual settings.
Virtual Marketing Meetings 101: Mute Those Mics
There are things you can never unhear. Like nails on a chalkboard, there’s nothing more annoying than the cacophony of sound that is the echo on a Zoom call where marketers have forgotten to mute their mics.
It might not help you run winning virtual marketing meetings, in the same way as setting your meeting agendas will, but it will ensure that no information is lost in the noise.
Furthermore, it will cut down on the number of times the facilitator hits pause on proceedings.
TLDR: Mute your mic for the love of all that is marketing.
Turn Those Cameras On
Keeping engaged in a virtual marketing meeting is a difficult one when you consider how many distractions there are around you.
Many of your attendees will be working from home, which is just asking for people to only give you around 50% of their attention, when what you really want is the full 100% for the meeting to be understood fully.
We get it, most virtual marketing meetings go on for what feels like days.
And we’re going to give you a way to increase engagement in our next point, but for now, know that asking those in attendance to turn on their cameras will help to some degree.
Marketers are less likely to mess about when they know that others can see where their eyes are trained and what they’re doing exactly.
Gamify Your Virtual Marketing Meeting
Gamification, the idea that anything can be made engaging when you come at it from the angle of competition.
Have you heard of it?
If you haven’t then know that it’s an opportunity to use the fact that you’re using an online platform to your advantage instead of treating it like a big metal ball around an ankle.
An icebreaker is technically an example of gamification if you’re still a bit confused. The same goes for Q&As. These are gamification examples that aren’t super off-topic compared to what might be discussed in a meeting.
You could even tie these games to your marketing meeting agenda and those quality meeting topics if you really wanted to.
Gamification in virtual meetings doesn’t always fall into the standard ‘input/reward’ layout that you automatically jump to whenever the word is muttered.
“…it is important to note that gamification and aspects of play can be used for much more. To build confidence in a team or individual; as a means to inspire change; as a way to learn; as a way to add meaning to rewards; as a way to promote collaboration; and, as a means to add healthy competition amidst a group of potentially unfamiliar people.”
— Tom Jepson for LinkedIn, 2020
One of the examples Tom Jepson gives writing for LinkedIn is this: breaking down marketing meetings into four main parts that focus on The Hero, The Villain, Power-Ups and an Epic Boss Battle.
The idea is that by creating a journey, those within the meeting were more involved and retained a lot more of what was discussed.
How to Make Your Marketing Meeting Win (with Marketing Agenda Template)
Are we onto a winner yet?
Make no mistake about it, everything we’ve covered here can and will make a world of difference when it comes to all future marketing meetings.
You might already utilise some of the meeting ideas shared, and if you do, props. But to those that don’t, at least you now have some idea on where to begin, or where to improve be it in a virtual marketing meeting or an in-person one!
Oh, and if you need some additional assistance in the marketing meeting agenda department, be sure to check out our marketing agenda template.
And remember, if you require more specific marketing assistance — the kind that applies to you and your brand directly — then Canny is on hand to help.
You’ll need to reach out first of course, but by doing so you will guarantee that your marketing efforts stand tall on the winners podium (which you can then brag about in all your meetings).
Check out our various case studies to get a feel for what we can do for you.
All you need to do then, is reach out to our team.