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How to know when your marketing department is shorthanded

Posted by Mariana Morales

Running a marketing agency or a shorthanded marketing department is not an easy job.  That’s why there are tons of starving marketing agencies and unemployed marketers out there.  Not everyone succeeds and not everyone manages to maintain their success. We want to make this process to you, successful marketer, as easy as possible.  That’s why we’re bringing this article for you today.


You've hired outstanding marketers

The secret to keeping your work team running well is to delegate, delegate, delegate! David Ogilvy, one of advertising’s founding fathers, said, “If you ever find a man who is better than you are, hire him.  If necessary, pay him more than you would pay yourself”.

With this statement, we can all agree that it’s absolutely vital to have not only good employees, but outstanding ones. Some might be skeptical about this point, but let’s put it this way: Why would you hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do? According to Steve Wynn, Human Resources aren’t a thing we do, it’ the thing that runs our business.

That being clear, and assuming you already have an excellent team some questions might pop into your mind, but don’t you worry, new ideas always brings new questions.


What a short-handed marketing team looks like

Computan helps a ton of short-handed marketing departments and marketing agencies. Here’s the most common questions we get asked - Do I need more staff? Is my department shorthanded? What do I do now?

First, you must learn how to recognize if your marketing department is shorthanded. These are the signs you should look for:

  • Your employees constantly complain or just let you know that they have too much to do, a workday isn’t enough to finish their assignments and are working too hard for too long.
  • You take a look around and notice that your employees are good at what they do and they fit your current desire of production, but if in the near future, you decided to take a step forward and move to the next level, you’d need new staff with a wider knowledge and a brand new set of skills.
  • Your income is higher than expected and it’ll keep being higher than your original budget, so you have extra cash to invest in growing.
  • Your product or service is getting better and demand is going to sustainably increase.


Strategies to help your short-handed marketing team

If you find yourself nodding your head any of the statements above, it might be time to start adding new people. Your employees are everything to your business.  Fatigued and over-utilized workers won’t deliver to capabilities.  Which may cause your team to stagnate or fall behind. 

It’s the same scenario if you’re looking to expand your horizons, but you don’t have a capable staff to do so. Isn’t that kind of like taking a step back? Aren’t you delaying your progress in order to start finding the right person to do what you’re looking for? Rushing into hiring another marketing person might get you an “adequate” worker, but we don’t want adequate, remember, we are looking for outstanding.

If you ever find yourself in this situation, there are always some strategies you can use to keep things under control:

  • Go hard on teamwork - Keeping the morale of your marketing team at a high level will make a big difference. Helping each other and creating a nice suiting work environment will reduce stress levels and help with productivity.  After all, one hand washes the other and both hands wash the face.
  • Cross-train your marketing team - When you have integral workers it makes it easier to do each other’s job when needed.  That way everyone in the marketing agency or short-handed marketing department can help out. It’s never a nice day in the marketing world when someone misses a day at work and no one else knows how to do whatever Johnny Absent does!
  • Be Grateful - Acknowledge everyone’s effort and thank them for doing so.  The marketing department and marketing agency can be a crazy and intimidating place.  There is tons of competition, turnover is tough and marketing staff is always scrutinized.  Make your people feel celebrated…and not just tolerated. 
  • Prioritize - If you only have a couple hands available and something is not really necessary, leave it for later when you get more than a couple of hands available. If you’re short on staff, always focus on the very essentials to keep your business going, your customers and employees happy and to never go low on quality. You’ll catch up with the rest later.  Leads and opportunities are important.  Everything else the marketing department or marketing agency does can really be outsourced.
  • Rest - Maintaining a 12 hour workday in the marketing agency or marketing department is really counter-productive. Resting is necessary for all human beings.  It restores our brain and helps us be more prepared and more willing to do our work. Even taking a few minutes to clear your mind mid-workday can make a big difference and bring more creativity to your marketing campaigns.  Even if it seems odd to stop working to take some relax time while more assignments pile up.
  • Outsource - Free up time for your marketing team by outsourcing the more technical and design needs to an outsourced development team. When you allow your specialists to concentrate on their specialization they produce better work and have more time to produce that work that gives your agency the reputation you're proud of. 


Follow these simple steps and you’ll be 100% able to increase project output in your department.  Treat your employees like they deserve, know how to recognize when you’re becoming shorthanded and retain solid marketing support to get stuff done quicker. 

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Mariana Morales

Written by Mariana Morales

Mariana's a internet marketing enthusiast and a blogger. She loves Digital Marketing tendencies.