Businesses all over the world have transitioned to remote work as COVID-19 remains a global health crisis. Because of this, employees and managers will now need to achieve operational efficiency in this new world of decentralized work.

Professional services firms and marketing teams regularly launch campaigns to get the word out about their products, services, and clients. In today’s world, which is a vastly different business landscape than it was a month ago, traditional tactics may no longer work as we deal with a sudden global move to remote work

As newly remote teams adjust to working from home, it can be easy to miss important updates, lose track of tasks-in-progress or be delayed by human bottlenecks. Simple things like timely communication with teammates may become difficult if the team works across various time zones and are out of sync. The work at home statistics show that collaboration and time management can pose some of the biggest challenges to working remotely successfully.

Project management software and team collaboration tools like Wrike help to solve these challenges by streamlining workflows and centralizing communication for remote teams. To get your team back to a foundation of alignment, community, and productivity, you can get a free trial of Wrike’s collaboration and project management software.

To stay productive in these chaotic times, employers and managers must make operational efficiency a priority. By striving for operational efficiency in marketing, you can keep your team on track regardless of location.

What is operational efficiency?

Operational efficiency is the ratio between what you put into your business or project, called inputs, and what you get out of it, called outputs. Inputs are typically money, people, time, and work. 

For a marketing campaign, input would include time, money, software, advertising, and any other resource. And the output would be the results of the campaign. 

The goal of measuring and maximizing operational efficiency is to get the most value for your efforts. 

How do you achieve operational efficiency in marketing campaigns?

Now that we know that measuring operational efficiency and optimizing your marketing processes lead to better results and saved time, we should note there are various ways to achieve operational efficiency in marketing campaigns. You can:

  • Reduce inputs on a campaign and increase the output
  • Spend the same amount of input and increase output 
  • Spend more input on high-value tasks and less on low-value tasks
  • Spend more inputs on the campaign and increase the output to get even more output

To increase operational efficiency in marketing campaigns, align your marketing objectives with your inputs. Review your process from start to finish, take note of gaps, and work to reduce or eliminate them.

How do you identify and take action on low ROI campaigns? 

If the ROI from your campaigns fall short, you should make every effort to understand why it happened so you can do better next time. 

The best way to identify low ROI campaigns is to perform a gap analysis. This compares the actual performance of a campaign and the potential or desired performance. 

When you do this, you can identify broken structures, processes, strategies, technologies, or skills that need to be replaced or optimized. You can then pinpoint what actions you need to take to improve low ROI campaigns. This could mean restructuring the team or adjusting the budget spent. Your gap analysis will direct you towards the right activities and projects to focus on.

Below are ways you can take action on low ROI campaigns.

  1. Measure the current operational efficiency level: Before you can improve your operational efficiency level, you must first know where you stand. Check-in with your teammates and employees to review previous campaigns. Discuss with the people who did the work and run through the entire process from ideation to reporting. Review historical data to identify which campaigns required more time, resources, or human-power to achieve and then compare these with their output.
  2. Define new, clear, and measurable objectives: Now that you know what was lacking in previous campaigns, apply those learnings to your campaigns moving forward. Set goals that are SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound to keep your team laser-focused in this distracting time. When a new work-from-home team is not led, they may get carried away with their daily life activities and hobbies, instead of maximizing operational efficiency at work to achieve the set goals.
  3. Assign the right professionals to each task: To flip a low ROI campaign to a high one, you may need to restructure the team. From your measurement of the current operational efficiency level, you may have noticed some teammates with strengths in handling certain tasks. Assign each one to their expertise so that there are fewer avoidable mistakes. Managing remote work teams is hard, and it is even harder if a lone employee is working from home on a task they are not good at. This is certain to reduce operational efficiency in executing your campaigns.
  4. Have clear operational standards and quality checks: Sometimes campaigns do not work because there are no clear standards or quality checks before the campaign is launched. This is usually caused by broken communication loops within the team. Each member may be doing the right things but in the wrong way. As employees work from home, the possibility of this happening is high. It is important to have clearly defined operational standards that every member of the team can access easily from any location. This increases your chances of successful campaigns with high ROI.
  5. Communicate: In this remote and socially distant time, communication cannot be overemphasized. On a business-wide scale, you can increase operational efficiency by communicating clearly and regularly with every member of the team. Wrike’s software helps you organize everything you need to complete your project in one place and communicate easily on a central platform. Have weekly virtual meetings to discuss priorities, standards, objectives, and results. By keeping every member of the team engaged, you have a higher chance of improving low ROI campaigns. 

With the tips shared above, you are on your way to improving operational efficiency in your marketing campaigns and business. Brush up on capacity formula operations management by downloading Wrike’s free eBook on achieving operational excellence. It is based on insights from 15,000 of the world’s top companies and sure to amplify your knowledge and application of operational efficiency in marketing campaigns.