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12 tell-tale signs your marketing team is overwhelmed

If your marketing department is beginning to look like the cast from The Walking Dead, it’s probably time to consider outsourcing to an agency.

Seriously though, there are many benefits to having an in-house team of marketing experts but there comes a point where even the most talented team can break under the pressure of unrealistic workloads. The trouble is when you have a dedicated team who suffer in silence, diligently putting in 50 to 60 hours of work each week to keep up with a never ending to-do list, it can be hard to tell whether everyone’s coping.

Here’s twelve tell-tale signs your marketing team is overwhelmed:

1. Dwindling creativity levels

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Successful marketing strategies require a high level of creative input and productivity if you’re hoping to stand out from your competitors. However, creativity takes time – and even a creative genius could end up pushing out sub-par content if there’s no time for the team to brainstorm and throw around ideas. If you’re marketing team has turned into a sausage factory production line, you can guarantee they’re overwhelmed.

2. 50+ hour work weeks

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If more than one member of your team is continuously pulling all-nighters to keep their head above water then you’re short staffed and need to consider hiring or outsourcing.

3. Multiple missed deadlines


A missed deadline has a snowball effect, and if you’re not careful you could end up with an avalanche on your hands. If you’re team seem to be constantly missing deadlines, and seemingly simple tasks are beginning to take weeks, you’ll need to analyze whether this is just a bad patch or a sign that you’re understaffed.

4. There’s no time for research

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Skipping important steps in your marketing strategy can be detrimental to your bottom line. If your team don’t have time to perform solid research, your strategies will suffer and your marketing won’t be yielding results.

5. You don’t know who your target audience is

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If you don’t have time to research you won’t be familiar with your customers, their needs or their path to purchase. If your marketing strategy isn’t targeting the right person at the right time, your marketing efforts will be rendered useless, wasting both time and money. If you don’t have a clear idea of who you’re selling to, your team is overwhelmed.

6. No time to learn


Sales and marketing are constantly evolving, and if you plan to hold onto a competitive edge, your team needs to be up to date with all of the latest trends and technologies. If you are sticking to outdated methods and technologies due to lack of skills, your team is overwhelmed.

7. Outdated website and social media

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If your Facebook page or website hasn’t seen an update since this time last year, and your followers consist of your next door neighbour, that guy who sat next to you in high school and your mom, you might want to consider getting some help. If your online presence is being neglected due to lack of skills or lack of time, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities for lead generation.

8. Limited resources have forced you to use limited marketing channels

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If limited resources have you sticking to one or two preferred channels (e.g. only using print advertisements or only using Facebook), your campaigns won’t be performing as well as they should be. Successful marketing requires an integrated approach, so you may need to consider outsourcing if your team doesn’t have time to manage multiple platforms.

9. Staff have lost sight of the bigger picture

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When staff become too task orientated, there’s a tendency to lose sight of the overall picture. If your marketing team are too busy trying to meet deadlines and complete tasks, they could be throwing things together without thinking about how everything interlinks to form a holistic strategy. If your team has lost touch with your business’ goals, you’ll notice a drop in your campaign’s performance.

10. You have no idea of true ROI

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If there’s no time to be tracking metrics and analysing what’s working and what’s not, you won’t know your true return on investment (ROI) for your marketing efforts. A successful marketing strategy is all about trial and error, testing and analysing results.

11. Disappointing results

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The numbers don’t lie. When your results are down you can be certain that your team needs an injection of creativity and energy to help them get back on track. Outsourcing is a great way to get the creative juices flowing again and lift some of the burden from your team.

12. Business growth has stagnated

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If your sales team seem to be breathing down your neck because there’s a shortage of qualified leads for them to follow up on, your marketing strategy probably needs an overhaul. A lack of good quality leads will stunt your business’ growth and have everyone tearing their hair out.

Don’t ignore the symptoms of an overwhelmed marketing department. Leaving your staff to struggle along will end up costing you more in both time and money than an extra hire or outsourcing to an agency. If you notice any of these 12 tell-tale signs in your marketing department, be sure to investigate the root cause of the problem and find a solution as quickly as possible – your bottom line will thank you.


Veronica Wainstein

Veronica Wainstein

Managing Director at Penquin
Veronica Wainstein

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