How to Delegate: 5 Reasons Marketers Should Become Experts at Delegating

If the past two years have taught us anything, it's that marketers must remain agile and vigilant, ready to pivot their approach at a moment's notice. Because staying on top of your marketing game requires so much care, energy, and attention to detail, it's vital that you not attempt to do it all yourself.

In order to stay on top of your game, you'll need to learn to become a master delegator. 

Business team working together, how to delegate concept


How to Delegate: 5 Reasons Marketers Should Become Experts at Delegating

Passing work along to the right people is sometimes the most effective thing you can do (assuming you delegate things that should get done in the first place). 


1. Delegating saves time.

We all have the same number of hours per day to get things done. By being strategic in terms of what we focus on, and what to delegate, we free ourselves up to focus on the things that truly move the needle.


2. Delegating keeps the wheels running.

If you're doing everything yourself, your physical presence and attention are required in order for anything to get done. Personally, that quickly becomes exhausting. Corporately, it becomes crippling if you ever have to take time away. 

"Your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions so that the world doesn't go to hell if you take a day off," says Jeffrey Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business (Harvard Business Review)

By delegating marketing tasks to others and sharing the load, you're actually making your organization stronger in the long run. 


3. Delegating lets you see the big picture.

As a marketer, it's your job to look forward, keep ahead of trends, and project where the markets are headed so that you can leverage the best strategies to reach clients and consumers. It's hard to see the big picture when you're lost in the weeds on the small stuff. When you're able to delegate tasks to others, however, you free up both your time and your headspace, freeing your time to focus on more important things.


4. Delegating maximizes employee potential.

There's a difference between being "good" and "good enough"—between being competent and an expert. When you're trying to do it all yourself, you're often settling for "good enough." When you delegate tasks to others, however, you allow them to shine in their unique areas of skill and expertise. More often than not, you find that the tasks you've just been getting done can be streamlined and done more effectively by someone who's more skilled in those particular areas. You, in turn, are then freed up to shine in your own area of expertise. 


5. Delegating benefits the entire organization.

You're not the only one who benefits from delegation. When you're able to share the load, everyone wins.

"[Delegation] fosters trust, boosts morale, promotes high productivity and efficiency, and generates a culture of enthusiasm, innovation, creativity, cooperation, and openness. It will reduce employee turnover and furnish the organization with better-qualified, more skilled employees." (Baker Communication)

There's no time to waste. 

Web designers working together in front of the computer, how to delegate


How to Delegate Like an Expert 

Learning how to delegate is an important skill. Delegation isn't just about pushing tasks you don't like onto other people. At its best, delegation is both an art and a skill. In order to ensure you're approaching the endeavor with the best chance of success, follow these steps. 

  • Identify the areas where delegation is most needed. In which areas are you gumming up the works by trying to do too much? Which responsibilities could most effectively be shared? Spend some time taking notes and evaluating the areas that need the most critical attention. 

  • Evaluate employees' core strengths. Remember, delegation is about leveraging specific gifts and skills. Evaluate your subordinates' core competencies and compare them to the tasks you've identified that most require attention. Carefully matching skills with tasks is one of the best ways to make the most of delegation. 

  • Find the right system and people. Part of delegating tasks involves delegating not just the work itself but the actual responsibility for those tasks. Set systems and accountability structures in place that don't require your constant care and attention to keep running. With the right systems and structures in place, the wheels will run without you, only requiring your care and attention in the case of emergencies. 

  • Clearly define the tasks. The surest way to defeat is to put people in charge but not offer the information and support they need to do the job well. When delegating tasks, always clearly define responsibilities and offer adequate support and help, particularly during the transitional period.

  • Set clear goals and milestones. Teams function at the highest capacity when they know not only what is expected of them but when and how they're expected to achieve it. By setting clear goals and milestones, you're clarifying expectations and setting achievable goals right up front.

  • Empower and trust. This step is vital. In order for people to truly take responsibility for tasks, they must be able to make it their own. Empower them with the tools and confidence they need to thrive, trust them to do the job, and then step back and take your hands off. 

  • Analyze and optimize. Taking your hands off doesn't mean you're totally distant from the process. Especially during the transitional process, you should keep your eye on how things are going, ready to make tweaks, and offer suggestions to make the delegation process run more smoothly wherever possible. 

Delegating isn't easy, particularly at the outset. While the process of sharing tasks may feel time-consuming in the immediate future, in the long run, learning how to delegate will maximize the efforts of everyone on your team, allowing you to reach your full potential. 


Share on: