You're part of a marketing team and you are completely snowed under with tasks or maybe you manage a team and work seems to be a little more rushed nowadays. Whatever the reason you're looking for solutions to help boost capacity and productivity for your team, you've come to the right place.
What are the warning signs that your team is overworking?
If you notice that your team needs to use more sick days this could be a sign of overworking, and it could be worth having a conversation to see how work might be affecting their health.
Taking on tasks outside of their job description
Another clear indicator of an overworked team is team members needing to take on tasks that are outside of their original job description. Not only does this mean that team members' time is being stretched across too many different roles, but it causes major inefficiencies within the job role they were hired to do. If you can’t dedicate the proper amount of time to a task, it can’t be completed to the highest standard possible.
Regularly staying late
If your team needs to regularly stay later to complete their daily tasks, that is a clear sign that they are working above their capacity. The day-to-day tasks should be able to fit into the working day rather than regularly running past finishing time, and if that’s happening a lot it’s a sign that you’ll need to get your team more support.
Too many meetings
Having a lot of meetings every single day can be a sign of an overworked marketing team. How? When in meetings for a long time each day, other tasks are falling by the wayside or being rushed to be completed. Both of those can cause stress to the team as they struggle to manage their workload alongside a heavy volume of meetings to attend.
What are the consequences of an overworked marketing team?
Less Productive - when your staff is past capacity, it means they’ll need to get through tasks quickly to cram everything into their day. In almost all cases, rushing through those tasks will mean sacrificing quality.
Lacking in Creativity - when your team doesn't have the time to get through tasks, they don’t have time or headspace to brainstorm new creative ideas. Eventually, this will lead to an overall lack of creativity in marketing.
Stressed staff - overworked teams will always lead to stressed members of staff. Having too many tasks to handle can lead to challenges like burnout, so it’s important to make sure that feedback is taken seriously and tasks are allocated thoughtfully.
Missed Opportunities - when you’re too busy just trying to get the day-to-day tasks done, you won’t have time to take hold of any new opportunities that arise. That might be in the way of a large client project, or something as simple as getting ahead with a new platform feature that would work well for your brand.
Recognising the bottleneck
The first step to finding the best solution for your team is to recognise what exactly is causing a bottleneck in your workflow.
You can do this by just asking your team what tasks they find are holding them up longer than any others, or you might be able to identify tasks that are slow to complete in whichever project management software you use (take Asana or Monday.com for example!)
Since we're an unlimited graphic design subscription service, we're going to focus on the scenario we're most familiar with which is an incredibly common bottleneck for marketing teams in the UK. That is the bottleneck that occurs when your marketer’s time is taken up by repetitive graphic design tasks that are crucial but don’t sit within their skillset. Most marketers aren’t professionally trained in graphic design, and if you’ve got your marketing team working on design work regularly, you have got a seriously inefficient content production workflow.
An Introduction to Design Cloud
If you're a marketer you'll probably relate to this common day-to-day event... Your content is written perfectly but you need to figure out a way to present it in a way that drives people to want to read it. That might be a social media post to promote your latest blog, or a blog header image to get right before you even set it live. All those tasks take a long time when you're not trained as a graphic designer, and it takes you away from all the important tasks you're the expert in. Plus, when the finished result doesn’t look exactly how you’d pictured it in your head, you risk damaging your content’s overall performance.
How can Design Cloud help overworked marketing teams?
When you subscribe to Design Cloud, you get teamed with a graphic designer (or designers) and can have them work on those time-consuming design tasks every business day. Using our custom-built dashboard, your whole team can ask for support on the graphic design tasks that are affecting their productivity and your designer will work through them on a ticket-by-ticket basis every business day. This way of outsourcing graphic design has been working for teams all over the UK, and it not only saves a lot of time (more on that shortly) but also gives you access to much higher quality graphic design that will in turn promote your brand effectively. Instead of spending an hour editing using free design software with limited options that are likely being used by a lot of other marketers in your industry, you can now start to move your brand forward by creating a truly unique visual identity.
How much time can you actually save?
So we've spoken about the increase in quality Design Cloud can offer you, but how about how much time you'll save? If you're a marketing manager reading this article, this particular area might interest you most. We’re going to see how much capacity is just waiting in your team when the right tasks are outsourced, and help you find more solutions that work with your business.
By outsourcing graphic design tasks you will save time spent on the actual design process, but you'll also save hours on training, sourcing the right equipment, software and recruitment. Because you can submit an unlimited number of tickets to your queue, you can also make sure that graphic design tasks are ready to go whenever your campaign is ready to launch and avoid late deadlines or any rushed work. Just submit your graphic design request ahead of time and let your designer know when the deadline is, they'll work through tasks on a day-to-day basis and will let you know if there will be any issues with meeting that deadline because of other projects in your queue. Tickets take an average of one business day to complete, but more complex tasks may take longer. Your designer can give you an approximate timescale to work with so you can plan ahead with your content successfully.
Should you hire in-house?
Hiring talented graphic designers takes time and if you're thinking of hiring in-house to solve your bottleneck it's worth considering the time you'll need to spend in the recruitment stage.
It can take anywhere from a few days to a few months or longer to hire. You’ll need to find suitable candidates, read CVs, conduct interviews and salary negotiations and then complete the paperwork needed to add them to your team. And at the end of all that, you can't be certain that the graphic designer you find will be suitable for your brand or won’t require training to produce the quality of work you need. It’s also worth taking a look into the future of your business and considering how you’ll meet additional design support when it comes. Hiring in-house takes time, and as additional designers join your team you’ll need to have a solid onboarding plan to help facilitate smooth communication between your team members. And if demand for design in your agency isn’t always consistent, then hiring in-house will likely not be the most cost-effective method to access that design support. Check out our full article on this to help you find the right business model for you.
Design Cloud is a hybrid between the perks of in-house and outsourcing. You can get set up with reliable professional UK-based graphic designers in an average of just one business day and send briefs hassle-free through a custom-built app made specifically for easy design project management. That's an incredible amount of time saved not just for you, but it means that your marketing team can start getting the support they need to deliver better results immediately.
If you're interested in learning more about Design Cloud graphic design subscription plans, we'd love to chat more. So that we can recommend a plan that will work for your team, and introduce you to how the Design Cloud process works in more depth, book a demo with a service expert today.
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