Within marketing departments, creative concepts and new campaigns are born through brainstorming sessions and collaborative communications. Sharing and refining unique ideas through productive meetings pave the way to effective marketing campaigns that lodge themselves in the minds of consumers.

Productive meetings, however, don’t occur as often as marketers would like. In fact, according to a Workfront report shared on a recent MarketingProfs article, marketers say that only 12% of their time is spent on useful and productive meetings. Additionally, 64% percent of marketers say that wasteful meetings are a top distraction that gets in the way of their work.

Not only do wasteful meetings prevent marketers from focusing on their primary roles and responsibilities, they also result in disengagement among marketers while these meetings occur. When this happens, marketers shift their focus and begin to multi-task, which ends up costing our economy billions of dollars annually in lost productivity.

While many pundits like to write or joke about meetings being a complete waste, they do serve a purpose when properly conducted. The key is to cut out unnecessary meetings – e.g. announcements that can be shared via email – and better structure the necessary meetings to enhance teamwork, communication, and overall efficiency. And for marketers located in different offices from their colleagues, productivity can be greatly enhanced through the use of face-to-face collaboration solutions to prompt active engagement among marketers.

Enterprises can glean many best practice tips from forward-thinking companies on how to structure productive marketing meetings. First and foremost is to determine if a meeting truly needs to take place. A recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article entitled, What Everyone Needs to Know About Running Productive Meetings, shares three scenarios that warrant a meeting:

  • To inform and bring people up to speed
  • To seek input from people
  • To ask for approval

The HBR article further provides excellent tips to ensure meetings are productive once a meeting is established. Some of these tips include: having a focused agenda, limiting attendees to those who truly need to be in the meeting, keeping meetings on track with fewer sidebar conversations and defining clear next steps and responsibilities.

In terms of strategic planning and execution for the employees working remote or in different offices, the HBR article explains advantages of companies leveraging face-to-face video conferencing solutions. In conjunction with being a time and cost savings for enterprises, video can be used to connect with colleagues on an as needed basis. This type of spontaneous communication cuts down on the need for formal meetings, and can be used to connect with peers to create inspiration or drum up new ideas at any given moment.

And when video is used as a collaboration solution among marketer’s dispersed across various locations, non-verbal cues can be better detected. If a marketer’s body language appears to be disengaged, or if he or she is clearly multi-tasking, then one of the other meeting attendees can get the disengaged person focused on the meeting at hand.

Video communication is leveraged extensively by MarketingProfs, the leading online source for marketing education, training, best practices, and research. MarketingProfs serves over 600,000 registered members and almost 10,000 paid MarketProfs University students. With a highly dispersed full-time team and hundreds of contributors, in-person meetings are usually impossible, yet the publishing and instructional calendar demands high levels of collaboration.

“We use video frequently to connect our distributed teams, replicating the power of face-to-face communication,” says Ann Handley, chief content officer at MarketingProfs and a noted author on modern marketing. “This ensures that our meetings are as focused and productive as possible. Increasingly we’re also using video to support our instructional seminars, and adding video is having a dramatic effect on the quality and engagement of our Q&A sessions.”

It’s because of these benefits enterprises continue to leverage video conferencing as an effective collaborative solution to ensure marketers are engaged during the meetings that do matter. There is no escaping the need for meetings, but poorly scheduled and conducted meetings are productivity killers for enterprises. Better planning and the use of video will keep companies one step ahead of their competitors.