ODIN Consulting

Judging Employee Performance in the Marketing Department

Man frustrated looking at analytics

The Difficulties in Measurement

Marketing performance can be very hard to evaluate and gauge. That makes judging the
performance of a single employee very hard to address. This is because marketing rarely
has immediate and obvious KPIs related to individual performance.
Marketing strategies can be long term and worked on intensely for months, therefore if you are judging that
campaign’s effectiveness based on the wrong KPIs and goals, then you are misunderstanding the value of the employee responsible for the task.

The Collaborative Nature of The Marketing Department

Because Marketing is also such a collaborative department, evaluating the performance of a
single individual in the team is made even more challenging. When upper management
doesn’t understand the basics of digital marketing and can’t tell the difference between the
intentions of a PPC strategy over a Twitter campaign, then they will fail to judge performance
accurately.

Performance Reviews

While companies often consider performance reviews to be a time-wasting activity, making regular individual and team
performance reviews and evaluations are a critical part of managing a marketing team. They
should be a means for managers to assess exactly what is going well and what needs to be
focused on and improved. However, one of the main reasons why these are often
undervalued is because they are managed and approached in the wrong way.
If your team is going into an evaluation meeting for interrogation as to why Instagram
followers haven’t reached the intended target numbers, then barriers between teams and management will grow

Limits on the team

This will only limit the effectiveness of your marketing team. When marketing is such a
crucial component of the modern business landscape, failing to understand the intentions
and targets of a marketing department will only result in misunderstandings regarding the
KPIs of a new or ongoing strategy.

Evaluation Design and Metrics

A well-designed employee review strategy will have some core components. Most
importantly, they should never be a one-and-done process. Hence, evaluation needs to be an
ongoing process that works alongside your employee development program. Feedback is
crucial, but more important is a clear understanding of the goals of your marketing
department and the individual’s contribution to those goals.

Failing to understand why your social media manager isn’t uploading as often to LinkedIn as
they are to Facebook means that you will be lacking the key information that you will need to judge their performance with any accuracy. Understanding the marketing departments strategy, and the strategies of the individuals withing the department is key to marketing operational excellence

Two Way Evaluations

Of course, evaluations should also be a two-way process. They provide the individuals in
your team with an opportunity to highlight what they think is working, what’s not working, and
the resources or equipment that they are lacking. Judging performance isn’t about being
able to get rid of employees, but about identifying why their targets are not being met. If you
don’t understand that SEO campaigns can take time to show an increase in traffic, then you
will misjudge the team members that are working on SEO targeted content. The more that
management teams can understand the intentions and reasons behind marketing decisions,
the easier it will be to judge employee performance effectively.

Conclusion

Employee performance is obviously a vital factor to consider when growing a company. It is key to achieving operational excellence in any department, but especially in the marketing department. It is a department ruled by KPIs, metrix, and numbers.
However, judging performance based on the wrong metrics and a failure to understand the
core components of modern marketing means that you will be judging those employees in
the wrong way. A problem for the marketing department, and a problem for the business as a whole.