Mar 19, 2012

Managing Marketing Across Multiple Locations

Following are some relevant points that every creative marketing leader needs to take into account in order to successfully manage multiple projects for multiple locations.

Communication is Essential for Successful Marketing Management from a Distance
Communication becomes even more critical when you have internal or external clients in multiple locations. Effective communication requires a very structured, frequent and proactive communications plan with clear accountability throughout office locations.

Having a plan will ensure that the team members in remote locations don’t feel like second-class citizens, uninformed and forgotten. A clear plan is essential to build trust between locations. All employees want to know that their contribution is significant and meaningful towards meeting both departmental and company goals. This is even more important the further they are from your main location. Be sure to communicate often how your department, and all its locations, will contribute to the company’s success.

Stay in Touch
As a creative marketing leader, the discipline of staying in touch with team members in all locations is your responsibility. Consider establishing a formal monthly calendar, and stick to it. This will ensure that all locations have regular contact with you.

Institute regular meetings and communications that MAY include: 
Regular on-site visits—Visit your remote sites regularly. The routine will add stability because off-site employees need to know they have the support of the head office. Use this time to review key projects in progress, for mentoring and training staff, and meeting with key clients. And don’t forget to build in some time to visit and socialize.

Weekly conference calls with all locations—Use this call as an opportunity to update all locations in one communication on initiatives, upcoming projects and events. This will also give the sites an opportunity each week to provide updates and solicit guidance from other site managers when issues arise.

Bi-weekly calls with each site—Hold meetings with each site manager and their team members. The focus should be on that site’s capacity issues, developmental or technology needs, client concerns and other issues and concerns that senior management needs to be aware of.

Monthly/quarterly performance, financial and strategy reviews—It’s important to keep all locations abreast of the overall department’s performance for the month and any change of direction or if course correction is necessary.

Periodic email blasts to all team members—Issuing department-wide emails regularly will reinforce camaraderie and should include breaking news, new hires and promotions, congratulatory messages and individual accomplishments.

It is imperative that remote teams stay focused and engaged and these steps will aid in doing so!

Solid working relationships require trust. Building in-depth relationships with your site managers will require you to proactively communicate with them as often as possible and be accessible whenever they need your guidance. And, by getting to know your site managers personally, you’ll be able to effectively respond to their individual personalities and work styles.

Delivering Client Value in Multiple Locations
Don’t overlook each location’s unique client needs. You must get to know your client base at each location as they may have different demographics, needs and markets. You must factor in their needs for your organization. Keep the lines of communication open. Continually reinforce to your clients in remote locations that you are personally involved and available to them at all times.

Include Remote Team Members in Decision Making
Establish a work climate that generates innovative ideas, and learn how to get your staff in remote locations to actively participate in creative problem solving. Encourage an open exchange of information and viewpoints, and create a culture that supports collaboration among team members working from different locations.

Establish an all-inclusive organization—Involve your entire staff, not just the home office, in planning and decision making. Build and foster an environment and culture that encourages openness and collaboration across locations.

Enable a workplace that fosters a cohesive tight-knit team—Encourage team members from all locations by giving them the freedom to present ideas to help the department be a value-add to the company’s mission and business goals.

Creative marketing leaders who focus on building relationships, facilitating communication, developing collaboration and cultivating new clients will find that managing multiple locations can be a rewarding, positive and productive experience for everyone involved.