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Digital 22’s inbound strategists are hard-working, driven and passionate about inbound - or so I tell myself. It’s our job to create strategies for clients to help them reach their goals. Let me break down what a normal day is like as an inbound strategist so you can see if it’s a role you’d be interested in.
An example of an inbound strategist’s typical day
The fun thing about being an inbound strategist is that each day is different. We have to work to prioritise what our client needs on a day-to-day basis, so every day, myself and the team will be working on different things. So let’s explore what a day might look like.
9AM: Structuring my day
That being said, each day I come in at 9am. I’ll use my first 10 minutes of the day to look over my taskboard and emails to understand what kind of stuff I’ll be working on that day.
As I said, it’s always different, so we inbound strategists have to be adaptable. We can have clients calling the office and asking for us at any time so it's important for us to be as available as possible.
A key emphasis of this position is on project management. Inbound strategists review where a specific campaign is up to by checking in with relevant teams such as content or video.
We also do this on the client's side of things, making sure they’re on track with reviewing and signing off on our work. I’d say the key motto to being an inbound strategist is ‘keep the wheel turning’.
10:30AM: Collating data, updating clients and ad-hoc tasks
In-between the client calls and meetings, we spend a lot of the day finding data for clients to answer their queries. Clients want this information so they can determine what’s working and what isn’t. We also need to make sure we’re getting timely and constructive feedback on this data and all the content we’ve created.
We strategists use dedicated tools like HubSpot to find and collate the data the client needs before sending it over to them. Despite our best-laid plans, we usually spend a lot of time on ad-hoc tasks like these. This is because clients want to be kept in the loop with the HubSpot side of things.
They want to know why we’ve made certain decisions based on user journeys and personas.
A key motto to being an inbound strategist: ‘keep the wheel turning’.
Time for a spot of lunch! (I’m quite partial to the fish and chips we can get from down the road).
1PM: Scrums, kick-off meetings and meeting clients
Daily scrums give myself and the inbound team a chance to catch up with everything that’s happening. If someone’s struggling with a task or needs advice, then it’s an opportunity to offer help.
If a new client has signed with us, then one of the strategists will visit them to ask a series of questions that the whole company uses when they begin to work for them. These meetings help put faces to Digital 22 and give us a chance to understand as much as possible about the client, from their product offerings and USPs to what their aims are.
Once this meeting is over, one of our team will review the client’s answers and hold a kick-off meeting. The aim of this meeting is to educate the rest of the agency on the client and the work we’ll be doing for them. They’ll then take any questions the rest of us have back to the client so that everyone’s on the same page.
3PM: Internal meetings, campaign briefs and data reviews
We often spend a lot of time in meeting rooms, especially when it comes to briefing other members of the team on different parts of a campaign. There’s an awful lot to think about and discuss, like content downloads, landing pages, workflow emails, social graphics and more.
Myself and the other strategists need to make sure all of the teams working on the campaign understand what needs to be done and the ultimate goal. So that everything runs smoothly, we work to spot gaps in processes that could cause problems to arise.
While keeping an eye on current campaigns, we’re also looking to the future to plan the next one. Brainstorming sessions are common, where we’ll get together to create ideas for future content.
By using data that’s been collected and reviewed, we can see what’s worked in the past and if any trends can be looked into. This data can benefit decisions made in the future and highlight which areas need help.
That’s a day’s work done! I might head off home at this point or stick around with some colleagues to play a game of pool or Fifa. It takes a lot to be a skilled pool player; patience, hand-eye coordination, natural talent (of which I have lots) - but what about being a skilled inbound strategist?
The skills that an inbound strategist needs
To be a successful inbound strategist, there are a few key traits you’ll need to have.
Great communication and listening skills
You’ll be coordinating with teammates, managing campaigns and updating clients so you’ll need to be a great communicator. It isn’t just about talking though, as you’ll need to be able to listen to the needs of clients so they get exactly what they want.
A strategist needs to have a high-level understanding of a business, but also realise they’re not a specialist. It’s about realising what you need and don’t need to know. A lot of communication and listening relies on knowing when you need to ask someone else for help.
There’s a lot to do and you’ll be kept very busy. You’ll need to be good at managing multiple tasks and making sure you aren’t spending too much time on something. If you take too long then you could be holding up other teams.
HubSpot allows our strategists to monitor all kinds of different metrics on their campaigns. They need to have an analytical mind that allows them to spot patterns and trends that can be used to improve future decisions and strategies.
Good leadership qualities
Inbound strategists work with other teams within the agency to make sure the project runs smoothly. They need to be able to manage other people and show good leadership qualities so that everyone is motivated and pulling in the same direction.
A really important thing to realise if you’re looking into becoming an inbound strategist is that work depends on priority. We have to manage our time and tasks effectively so that work is done at the right time, which will make the client happy and keep things running smoothly at our end.
At the end of the day, strategists have to be flexible and agile, able to adapt and prioritise constantly. We rely on this skill on a daily basis. It’s just another thing that makes working at a brilliant inbound marketing agency constantly exciting.
Curious about working at an inbound marketing agency?
This blog was originally posted in 2018 by Jacob Stear. It was updated by Jack Cribb, after consulting with Dan for a true reflection of a strategist's working day.