Marketing has the potential to be an entirely online profession in the near future. The idea of a remote office is now embedded in our work culture, and many people are taking the opportunity to travel the world or take care of their family at home while still working hard every week. Given available communications technology, remote work might not only be doable but preferable for marketing opportunities.
There are unique challenges that pop up for remote workers. While none of them are insurmountable, you need to consider certain tools and practices for you to work your best and take your marketing strategy to the very top. If you’re already working away from an office, consider using these five tools (if you aren’t already) to make your day just a bit easier.
Email Tracking Software to Refine Your Process
The bread and butter of online marketing is email, and we don’t expect that to change anytime soon. That being said, many emails are wasted, and email techniques can always be improved. What makes one campaign more useful than another? How long after you send an email does it get read (if at all)? These are questions that, if you had the answers, would take your remote work to an entirely different level. Sometimes you don’t need to worker harder, just smarter.
If you’re looking for a good option, Pitchbox has done well for many campaigns and will have nearly all of the tracking options you need. It’ll also help you set reminders for yourself and quickly decide whether certain decisions are worth the opportunity costs incurred for pursuing a marketing strategy. It’s also relatively easy to use and almost seems designed with a remote worker in mind. If you’re part of a team, it also can pool your stats together to make for great central statistics to strategize around. It might be pricey if you are using multiple strategies, but it is a good call for someone looking for a serious productivity boost.
A Virtual Private Network to Protect Yourself
Marketers work with a lot of valuable data, and the client-marketer relationship is one that necessitates trust above all else. You’re entrusted with strategies that, if leaked, could set a company back by months or even years. While you probably already have cybersecurity software in the form of a security suite, you might not have a proper defense against hackers on vulnerable networks using sniffer programs to siphon off the information you send online. Your marketing information and emails aren’t safe from these threats.
The best solution to this is to get a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for yourself and use it whenever you’re working outside of your secure home or remote office. No one in the world needs to know where you are, and you can use that to your advantage when talking to potential clients or customers. If you’re looking for the best for your needs, Secure Thoughts has reviews that can help you find what you’re looking for.
Time Tracking Software to Keep Track of Your Hours
Marketers will frequently overwork themselves and not even realize it. In fact, a Gallup poll indicates that remote workers often log more hours than their in-hours counterparts. This could very well be caused by the lack of commute or increased employee satisfaction, but nonetheless, it is something that you as a remote marketing professional should be aware of to manage yourself better.
For this reason, you should likely invest in (or convince your employer to invest in) some time-tracking software to not only track the exact hours you work but determine what tasks you are spending your time on. Are you wasting time with needless tasks? Are you spending more time in meetings than you need to? Once you rearrange your schedule based on the information you collect over a few weeks, you’ll feel more focused than ever. As for a particular service, I use Toggl and prefer it. If your team would benefit from another, just make sure there are plenty of options to sort through your information quickly and effectively.
Appropriate Team Communication Software
You certainly know this by now, but just because you’re not currently in an office doesn’t mean that you don’t need to communicate with people on a daily basis. To do that, you need to have a proper communication system in place, so you don’t spend hours each day checking multiple email accounts and missing calls you didn’t know were coming. While this is rarely the case nowadays, remote workers can get lost in the shuffle if they’re in the minority. Sometimes as a marketer you’ll need to be proactive about communication.
If you need to make online calls or conduct meetings, there’s still a reason Skype, while free, is the top of the market. It’s still hard to find a more versatile and reliable service, even with its occasional hiccups. Otherwise, you might want to use Slack or Trello to conduct your teams, due to the collaborative nature of Trello boards and the general utility of Slack (along with its simple design). Just remember that these tools provide you with frameworks, and you’ll need to fill in the details to fit your particular marketing strategies.
Software to Give Yourself a Break
So many of us focus on work, but too often when we’re constantly on the move (whether for work or play) we forget to take some time for ourselves. Whether we need a weekend to ourselves every once in a while, or a break every couple of hours, too much strain will only hurt our productivity and yield us nothing for our time, as shown by numerous studies.
Whether you like to watch soap operas or read philosophy, make sure you have something with you that can take your mind off of work so you can properly recharge. The work will still be there in a few hours, and two hours of a sharpened mind is worth ten hours of a dull one. Whatever makes you feel best, don’t feel guilty about pursuing it!
While there are other considerations that you might have, these tools will hopefully give you the jump start that you need. Also note that while the above services mentioned are recommended, they might not be right for the scale of your operation. Use what works best for you and what you’re willing to invest in.
Do you have any software that you prefer to use whenever you’re marketing on the move? Do you have any thoughts on the suggestions listed above? Please leave a comment and tell us your thoughts, as we’d love to hear your input.