When Enough Is Enough: How Marketers Can Determine Stop-Work Criteria

Marketing executives are burning out at a rapid rate. But they can avoid collapse by asking themselves when a project is actually done. Then they should stop, using separate stop-work criteria for each type of project, judging by Building Resilient Marketing Talent, a study from CMO Quarterly done by Gartner. 

Take basic campaigns entailing simple, one-time delivery — say, a one-off request for a single email. “The work will typically have an ongoing delivery or improvement roadmap (similar to a software product). Examples include social media management and SEO or SEM programs,” the study notes. 

In seemingly more complex programs, work can stop when the team has created a predetermined number of deliverables of each type, the study says. 

“This criterion is useful for one-time delivery work (both simple and complex) that happens frequently enough to ensure that stakeholders know what will be sufficient,” the study states. “For example, B2B marketing teams often know how many landing pages, white papers, emails and display ads are necessary to support a new thought leadership campaign."



When do you call it a wrap? 

The study says work stops after the team has made a predetermined number of changes. This is useful for “simple work (both one-time and ongoing) when distinguishing between new items revisions is easy, or when delivery dates can’t move.”

Let’s say the team is supporting a new product launch. “They can manage the number of requested last-minute changes by limiting upfront the number of revisions they can make,” the study says.

Of course, brands have to select and validate the criteria they are using. One firm "reviewed the past five campaigns run for several business units,” the study notes. “Most of those thought leadership campaigns needed a single landing page, two white papers, two webinars, a series of five emails, and about 10 images and 20 social posts to support Facebook and Linkedin campaigns.  

That aside, here are some of the stresses that marketers face:

  • Technology changes — 40%
  • Process changes — 40% 
  • Changes in geographic markets served — 33%
  • Workspace or office changes — 32%
  • Changes in channels used to sell products or services — 31% 
  • External partner changes — 29%
  • Changes in product/services offerings or target customers — 28%
  • Cost-cutting or reductions in force — 24%
  • Change in one or more senior leaders — 24%
  • Restructure or reorganization of my function — 20% 
  • Merge or acquisition — 17% 
  • I haven’t experienced any of these changes — 2% 
Wouldn’t you like to be in that lucky 2%?
Next story loading loading..