Whether it’s a tangible product, a service, or a complex technological solution, every B2B company is going to produce something. Your company can produce an innovative product or service, but if your business processes are not well-defined, you will be unable to give your product the potential it deserves. Defining the processes that your company will operate under to produce these items can maximize results for your company. Operational efficiency is typically seen as a manufacturing strategy, however, we’re going to put it into the perspective of marketing in this article. From production, to marketing, to sales, your process has to be fluid, not a bunch of individual departments working under the same company name. A well-defined process helps every part of the company understand their individual role, as well as how their role interacts with those of other departments and associates.
Producing blog posts, social media content, and any products or services all require processes that need to take place from the moment the project begins to completion and up to the point of distribution. In this blog, we’re going to discuss how you can improve operational efficiency for marketing.
What is operational efficiency?
Operational efficiency is defined as the relationship between the input, or resources, required to complete a task and the output, or results, of that task. To increase operational efficiency means to get the most out of your output while putting in the least amount of input. Some ways your business can increase operational efficiency include:
• Reducing the amount of time spent on completing a task while increasing the output
• Spending more time and energy on heavier weighted projects
• Reviewing any processes that may affect your input and output
• Always look for ways that you can improve efficiency in your business
How can I improve operational efficiency?
The best way you can improve operational efficiency is by analyzing how your processes are currently running. You should make a detailed list of all the steps and resources needed to complete a project, along with how many people it takes to complete it and how long they need to finish. Next, establish a goal for yourself that can help improve efficiency. This can be a goal of minimizing the number of resources needed for the task or even decreasing the amount of time spent on it. You can also re-assign projects to people who can complete it in a more timely manner or have more expertise in the type of project. Let’s say that someone on your team is better at creating social media content than the person who is normally in charge. This will help increase your efficiency.
How to analyze your business’ operational efficiency
Before beginning any project, define your objective and what resources you will need. Your objective is what you want the output to be for this project and your resources will include tools, time, money, and people. For instance, let’s say your project is creating a blog post. The resources would be the person writing the content, the time they will spend on the blog, any software they use to draft the blog, and any money that will be spent on promoting the work. Once you understand the objectives and resources, you can see the relationship between the two.
Some projects might be more extensive and require additional resources with every step. When projects like this arise, you want to look at the overall resource investment into the project and compare it to the investment and output of similar projects. Reviewing similar projects and identifying why they required more time, resources, or labor can help you spot opportunities to improve efficiency.
When reviewing similar projects, you might even have to set boundaries with the people working on the tasks. If you notice that creating blog posts in the past have taken longer than normal because the writer spent too much time researching or editing, you can set a time limit on the project to avoid investing too much time and preventing other tasks from being completed. Effective marketing organizations develop operational guidelines that provide all in the business clear expectations on who does what, how fast things can be turned around, and what information is needed to perform each task.
Furthermore, you want to measure your inputs and outputs as positive and negative investments. If writing a blog post takes twice as much time as creating a graphic for social media, but the outcome is seeing three times the return, it is a positive investment. In this case, your operational efficiency is being increased by investing those resources into a project, like the blog post, that has a higher gain.
The same operational efficiency process can be used for which platforms you should use for marketing. To be more efficient with your resources and outputs, you should analyze which platforms are working for your business and which ones are not. If you see a bigger outcome when you invest your resources into email campaigns compared to social media campaigns, you should devote more of your resources to email campaigns. Although you should invest more resources into email campaigns, you should not completely abandon social media campaigns. The goal is to become more efficient by re-allocating your resources into platforms that you will see a larger outcome.