In this guest post, Anshu Arora (pictured below), marketing and student acquisition director at RMIT Online, talks augmented performance – your new need-to-know marketing buzzword…
Most marketers use many tech tools on a regular workday and are constantly learning about new apps to enhance their daily performance, be it through more efficient email handling and report writing to quicker data analysis. But the path to better performance is not straightforward.
There are hundreds of options and combinations of solutions that can deliver the most efficient outcome, and it’s not easy to know which is the best for you. However, this lack of guidance doesn’t stop the driven professional from adopting technology to improve their routine and increase productivity. These new tech-marketers are raising the productivity bar and transforming how employers see these new habits from a differential to an essential skill.
Before you panic or start talking about app fatigue (the average organisation now uses up to 88 apps simultaneously), it’s important to say that the most successful tech-marketers are not the ones who use more applications. Simplicity and integration are two critical aspects of using tools successfully. If you save time on specific tasks because of new technology but spend more time than before tracking what you did or communicating to others, you may actually increase inefficiency.
One way to avoid this productivity trap is to follow the concepts of simplicity and integration. Usually, less is more in this context. Think about the platform that organises your work – in many cases, it will be a project management platform or a communication tool – and stick to it. Most tools will have several options to integrate with other apps and platforms you use. Integrating different applications is not always easy, but it’s usually worth your time (you will save it in spades later). One way to understand if you have chosen the right tools to work is how much integration they allow and how easy it is to do it.
Another important aspect of actual efficiency is automation. As project management company Asana puts it, we tend to underestimate how much time we spend doing tasks that are not about our work itself but are “work about work”. These are tasks such as excessive reporting, sending too many emails, or having unnecessary meetings. A study from the management platform estimates that most office workers spend up to 60% of their time on “work about work”. In some cases, too many applications are to blame.
Another fundamental concept a marketer should use is “following the data”. We tend to be good at measuring the results of our campaigns or tracking our teams, but we rarely pay attention to our productivity and time. We can be amazed when we contrast the use of our hours with the results. Most of the apps you already use can help you track your time precisely and measure against concrete KPIs.
Understanding how we work and use technology is even more critical as we get used to working in hybrid and asynchronous environments. The lack of one-to-one contact, informal learning, and collaboration in the physical office will continue to demand efficiency improvements and better project and time management skills.
If this sounds reasonable but too difficult to implement, my final suggestion is to focus on the most significant areas of your work: planning, managing activities and executing work. Collecting and interpreting data is an essential part of planning and coordinating actions, as is communicating. The best tools, like CRM or project management tools, will make it easier to analyse your work and transfer information.
On the execution side, Artificial Intelligence is increasingly getting better at doing parts of a marketer’s work, like chatbots or tagging software to collect unique visitor behaviour information, that would have been unthinkable to transfer to a robot until a few years ago. Algorithms will help us execute more and more of our simpler tasks and focus on more complex and creative challenges.
Adopting tech tools not only to improve team and campaign efficiency but also our own performance is shaping up to be a prerequisite for success in marketing as much as in any other field of business.