It’s July in marketing. You’re either on vacation, madly prepping for vacation, or coming out of post-vacation fog. Your office is quiet as others are doing the same. Clients are AWOL too, yet you still need to keep up with their accounts. How does one get anything done during the summer months? Here are a few of the things that have my 20+ years of vacationing running smoother.
1. Choose One Doppelganger
Before you go on your vacation, try to pick one office pal as your short-term replacement. This is much easier than dividing tasks between multiple people. Of course if you don't have one go-to replacement, or if they're too busy themselves to take on your accounts, try for two. Any more than two "helpers" and things will start to get confusing very fast.
2. Plan Ahead
It's ok to tell your clients you'll be out of town and to expect to hear from your helper if they have any issues. Just don't do it at the last minute! To make life easier for your poor doppelganger, pre-program your social posts, emails, and landing pages. They might never even know you're gone!
3. Use Tools
You're probably leaving tasks for your helper. Instead of just sending a very long email, use tools intended to assign and track tasks.
Collaboration software such as Basecamp is great for keeping up with tasks and to-do lists.
Marketing automation software like HubSpot usually comes with a powerful publishing calendar. You can use it to assign tasks or pre-program your marketing activities.
Use tools on your email platform, like Gmail and Outlook, to set up a detailed auto-reply message. Be sure you mention that you are unavailable, when you'll be back and who they should turn to in your absence.
Current research shows that employees need to take more vacation, and specific findings might surprise you. Check out these stats from The State of the American Vacation:
52% of Americans didn't use all of their vacation time in 2017.
Americans forfeited around $62.2 billion in vacation benefits.
If Americans had used all of their vacation time in 2017, it would have meant $255 billion in spending for the U.S. economy. And the scariest finding:
Employees who do not use all their vacation time are 5% less likely to receive a bonus or raise in the last three years, compared to their coworkers who used most or all of their vacation time.