Finding the time to work on a strategy with an ever growing task list is a day to day struggle in digital marketing. This challenge is particularly prevalent in paid search where many of our levers are tactically based. Following a few simple steps the tactics that manifest on your to-do list can set the stage for your strategy and help you become more efficient.
Start with a Strategy Doc
The strategy doc is the most important part of how I turn my to-do list into a strategy. The doc functions as a way to keep myself, the team, and the client on task.
When setting up the document for a project or client I frame it in two different ways.
Tasks First: If I don’t have a strategy in mind I begin filling out the task-based portion of my doc. Often times I can start to identify themes that help me craft the underlying strategy.
Strategy First: If I already have a strategy to work from I list all my tasks and then prioritize by the impact the specific action will have on my strategy.
Secondarily this document helps with the prioritization. It helps set the stage to push back, if necessary.
In the article, “The “Everything is Important” paradox: 7 practical methods for how to prioritize work.” the author discusses the importance of capturing everything on a master and then breaking it down by goals. In our case the goal break down is married back up to our overall strategy. A master list can help our clients or superiors visualize what is on our plate. This practice helps teams select the tasks that are a priority. Tasks that are a must, but will not directly impact the strategy often fall into a less frequent bucket or a bucket that can be delegated. A strategy document can help with forward-thinking prioritization and this step helps free up time to focus on strategy.
Let’s talk for a minute about delegation. As I mentioned above I often start the week looking at my strategy doc as a means of helping me delegate tasks to free up my time to focus on strategy.
Being intentional about divvying up work can help create the space needed to focus forward and work on what will be most impactful as mentioned above.
Tips to get started:
- Learn to let go.
- Establish a priority system (see above)
- Play to strengths
- Include instruction
- Trust but always Q/A
- Ask for feedback from people to better learn their style of work
With a solid plan in place your to-do list can seamlessly turn into a strategy. The key is in the planning, prioritization, and delegation. For further help in prioritizing your ppc task list and to gain a better understanding of what will be most impactful for campaign performance take a peek at an article written by a Hero analyst Rachael Law.