Did you know that only 28% of marketers are satisfied with their conversion rates? That’s what eConsultancy discovered in their annual conversion rate optimization (CRO) report. Yet 99% of marketers see conversions as important to their digital marketing strategy and 50% see them as crucial.

According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2018 report, 63% of marketers see generating traffic and leads as their top challenge.

These two stats bring us to an essential piece of the marketing puzzle that affects your entire process and team: efficiency.

Improving your marketing efficiency can help you generate more quality leads and increase conversions. But how do you improve efficiency without stifling your team? Here are 11 simple things you can to to increase marketing efficiency into the next year and beyond.

Make sure everyone is on the same page

Inefficient communication is one of the biggest efficiency killers. Before you tackle anything else, make sure your team knows exactly what’s going on.

1. Align marketing goals with your company’s goals

When you create your quarterly and yearly marketing plans focus on how your efforts can support overarching goals. This makes your campaigns more efficient.

Every marketing campaign needs to fit with your company’s overall goals. If you are in an expansion phase, then marketing should bring in extra leads. If you are on a sales drive, then marketing needs to focus on bottom-of-funnel, conversion-focused campaigns. When you share your goals with the team, show them exactly how their campaigns support the larger picture.

2. Get marketing and sales on the same page

Alignment between sales and marketing is crucial for success. Both departments are essential for customer acquisition and yet– a lot of the time– communication between them is abysmal.

One of the easiest ways to start breaking down barriers is by giving them a common goal. Next, break down any information silos by giving both teams access to the data and resources they need to crush the goals.

3. Create specific briefings centered around a single, clear goal

Every marketing campaign you run should be optimized for one specific goal like getting a customer to sign up for a lead magnet or to click a button that takes them to a sales page. If you have more than one goal, your message gets diluted.

When you brief your team, focus on the specifics by clearly outlining what project success looks like. For example, if your goal is to increase leads you can specify a percentage you’d like to hit like “increase qualified leads by 10% in x amount of time.”

4. Clearly highlight the project’s benefits

One of the easiest ways to get people motivated about a project is to show them how the project affects them. How will it add to their professional life? You’ve got a team of smart people who want to contribute to the company’s success so get them excited by highlighting how this project gets everyone closer to their own goals.

Use the right tools

Once your marketing team is aligned on goals, you need to make sure they have access to the software they need to improve efficiency.

5. Use one project management software

One thing I’ve noticed is that teams often use different software to manage projects. A bootstrapped company I worked with used 3 different types of project management software at the same time. Checking that many tools that serve the same purpose on a daily basis is exhausting and a recipe for inefficiency.

Choose one tool that has the main features your team needs and then add all the projects, data and information you need to it. Then use it as a central hub to manage projects so that team members know exactly where to find what they need and crucial information doesn’t slip through the cracks.

6. Use a shared method of communication

The average employee spends 2 hours a day in their inbox. Imagine how much more you can get done every week if you cut that by as little as 25%.

Using a solution like Slack can save you a lot of time by pulling people out of their inboxes. You can create project-specific channels. That way your team can share crucial information and discuss projects in real time without opening up the inbox.

7. Automate simple processes

Smart marketing automation can help you manage your marketing campaigns and save time. You can automate a lot of different processes including relationship building and social media.

Using social media management software like Buffer or Agorapulse to schedule posts in advance saves time. Instead of creating posts on the go, you can set-up and approve promotional campaigns at the start of the week. This leaves more time for using social media as a customer support tool.

8. Build a lean toolkit that works together

Build an integrated toolkit with tools that support each other. Everything in your marketing toolkit— from your analytics software to your social media management software– should work together smoothly. This will save you considerable time troubleshooting issues.

Measure and review results consistently

Measuring the success of various campaigns is essential for marketing efficiency.

9. Measure against specific objectives and goals

Modern marketing tools let you measure nearly everything. That’s a lot of data that needs to be cleaned and interpreted. That’s why it’s important to focus on measuring the data that’s relevant to your goals.

10. Schedule regular reviews

Reviewing every marketing campaign against the goals set at the beginning is essential. That’s the only way to reliably measure success so that you know how well your next campaign may perform in similar circumstances. Breaking down exactly what worked and what didn’t puts you in a better place to optimize your processes.

11. Make the most of every asset

Before investing time and effort into creating a marketing asset– whether that’s a series of social media blog posts, a lead magnet or an updated retention strategy– make sure that it supports your goals.

Every asset you make should be created because you want to get something specific out of it. Before you put together an eBook or an email sequence outline what success looks like and set short and long-term goals.

Keep optimizing

Proving ROI for your marketing efforts is a big struggle for marketers. Creating a more efficient marketing process makes it easier to measure the success of every campaign and use the data to keep improving.