Every business is different. Size, structure, and skill-sets vary from team to team. When meeting to discuss digital strategy, it can be easy for the agenda to go out the window. Everyone will have different opinions, with no clear owner of one thing:
“My kid did this cool thing on social media, we should try that!”
Make sure you have a clear agenda for the meeting. If you are discussing specific things, then your scheduled 20 min meeting won’t turn into an hour and a half discussing everything other than what you planned to.
What are you trying to achieve?
This can be harder than it sounds to work out. All too often do meetings take place where you talk about the technology. Your CMS, are the Google Ads working, can we make a new page that uses the latest trending tech. Ultimately, you need to work out what you are trying to achieve from a business/marketing point of view. This question often turns into a “how” rather than a “what”.
What are the facts (cut the ‘ifs’)
Clearly define what you know. Don’t work from assumptions. Make sure you look at the data you have available, and use this as a basis for all your decisions. If you don’t have the correct data available to make an informed decision, then your first meeting should be about setting this up. You need to be able to measure before you can work on improving.
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it!”
Who, and why do they need to be there? (too many cooks)
Based on knowing what you are trying to achieve, and having all the facts needed available, who do you need to make a decision? If you are a small/medium sized business, its often tempting to have all stakeholders in a meeting. You need to be objective about who you invite to the meeting.
What do they bring to the discussion? If the meeting isn’t about something specific, it can often turn into an ideation session, which can kill productivity, and you end up leaving with more questions than you started with.
It is so important to define your outcomes before you have your meeting. If you don’t, it’s like getting in the car and not knowing where you are going. Sure, you will find somewhere to go, but it will cost you money to get there, and you may not like the destination.
“Make sure you define exactly what you need to achieve by the end of the meeting.”
Similarly to outcomes, defining next steps that need to be taken based on the outcomes means that everyone knows what is happening. Too often are outcomes agreed, and then no-one knows who was responsible for actioning them. Be sure to define who is doing what based on your outcomes, and who is accountable. This is also a good opportunity to book in your next meeting.
- Define your agenda
- Specify what you are trying to achieve
- Have all the relevant data available
- Invite the right people, not everyone
- Set specific outcomes
- Agree on actionable next steps
Regardless of what type of meeting you are having, you need to have focus on your business objectives, and a clear strategy to achieve them in the digital environment.