How to Deal With The Challenges of Managing a Remote Media Buyer

Managing a remote media buyer means dealing with a variety of challenges, which can cause some headaches every now and then. When you open up your laptop ready to discuss today’s business, and time zones are killing any motivation or inspiration you may have felt.

Well, there’s good news, managing a remote employee doesn’t have to be that time and energy consuming. With the right setup, planning, and tools at your disposal, you could easily bring your business to the next level, without having to use millions of tools and huge budgets.

This article will walk you through the challenges of managing your media buyers and how to deal with them. In the end, you’ll know exactly how to assign, manage and have an overview of your remote media buying team.

Recruiting the perfect employee

Recruiting employees, in general, is an often heard struggle and its true, finding the right people is difficult, let alone the perfect one. It is impossible to really know an individual based on one meeting or Skype call. This is not something to face while hiring a remote media buyer but also for an in-office employee. It takes time to know one’s strengths and weaknesses.  

All this being said, there are ways to limit this unknown facet to a minimum even in a short timeframe. The simple answer is; do your research! Knowledge is key, dig into one’s working history and let your potentials do a case study and. Here some tips to tackle your screening efficiently;

  • Referrals are your friend: Affiliate marketing is a relatively small market. Checking with your (online) friends and colleagues for potential hires somewhat minimizes the risk.
  • Research, research, and more research: Dig into anything you can find, check if you can get any reference or cases handled by them in their previous roles. Check testimonials.
  • Social media: There are tons of affiliate marketing groups and pages out there where people are looking for remote positions. Favorites are MRKTHB and don’t forget to have a look at Affjobs.
  • Look local; remote doesn’t always mean the other side of the world, by looking local you eliminate a time zone struggle and you increase the chance of people being able to give you a solid referral

In general, you want the right combination of go-getters and team players. Motivated people that are self-driven, can adapt and provide a long-term value. Will you ever be a 100% sure on this answer from just the interviews? Probably not, but don’t forget the element of intuition and gut feeling, which can not be ignored and can be the basis of your final decision.

Productivity

The biggest threat to productivity is team members who are not self-motivated or independent. You need these qualities to boost productivity and lift your company to the next level.

Easy said, but how do I keep my remote media buying team productive?

  • Understand personalities:  Know and act upon what drives the personalities of your media buyers. There will be people that need more reassurement and encouragement while others are driven by incentives.
  • Efficient-communication: Communication within a remote team is tricky, it can end up in a lot of small talk and chats that will distract your workers. Keeping chats to the point and general will increase the overall productivity. Implementing a 10-min rule forces people to skip their holiday and weekend stories and get to the point directly, which is exactly what you want while managing a full team that you are calling multiple times a week. 
  • Be flexible:  Adding remote media buyers to your company will lead to different productivity peaks, embrace this. By clearly aligning expectations of task lists and assignments will help you maintain a structure while giving everybody their freedom.
Processes

Establishing processes can be a huge challenge but when done correctly it helps you to minimize chaos and maximize productivity. As the team grows you will have to implement new ideas and more complex processes will develop.

While there should always be room for last minute input, you want your business to operate on an agreed set of processes. With some persistence you will discover what processes will work for your business.

  • Focus on results: You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The idea behind implementing processes is that they actually contribute to the productivity. It is easy to keep in implementing new workflows but unless they deliver result they are unnecessary. Have a critical look every now and then and maintain only the critical.
  • Keep it easy: Some things cannot be automated. Have trust in your team that their decision making is on point when it comes to these ad-hoc tasks. As long as there is a framework of agreed processes, a free interpretation in some cases is to be expected in delivering results. Same for the systems – the more you can manage from one system the easier it is.
Communication

Communication is the fundament of a successful team. The difficulty lays in keeping your communication efficient and constant, especially for a remote team. How to ensure maximum productivity, smooth processes and fast replies?

  • Structure: It’s not the first time this structure is mentioned here, but it is critical. Especially with different timezones you want to have meetings planned and agreed upon in advance.
  • Communication channels: There are a million tools out there which can work for you and your remote team. At Zeustrak we are a big fan of Slack for internal messaging and Skype for customers, find one that matches your team. 
  • Reporting: Use a standards method of reporting and notifying of results. It will be a boost for team productivity and it helps you to identify issues, gaps or opportunities.
  • Keep it clean: Maintaining an overview of multiple chats tends to get chaotic. Keep core communication centralized in one or maybe two chats. Make appointments about critical information. Either mark it or agree to send critical information over email. 
Conclusion

In the affiliate business, remote and flexible working became normal. It offers a great opportunity for fast growth and if managed correctly this setup can be the ultimate boost for your company. 

Zeustrak offers you a platform from which you can manage all your media buyers, finance people, and creatives, while you determine the level of access and visibility.

Try Zeustrak team management