The centrality of the Marketing function in most companies makes it highly visible. The Marketing Team works with, supports and influences many other teams throughout the business and is also accountable for meeting its own objectives: developing new audiences, building brand awareness, engaging prospects, enhancing customer experience, creating shareable, meaningful content – to name a few.
Helping other teams or working on marketing specific projects requires the Marketing Team to work in an environment of collaboration and cooperation to be successful.
Why is collaboration important?
A Marketing Team usually includes a range of specialisms – such as PR, SM, events, content management, brand management – and is typically made up of people with different skills, talents, backgrounds, experiences, and interests. Such an array of attributes and capabilities needs to be harnessed effectively for creativity and innovation to flourish, to create a sum greater than its parts. This means creating a framework that encourages everyone to work together to a common goal that everyone has bought into.
This is easier said than done. Too often Teams work as individuals, sometimes at odds with each other, siloed into small, specialised areas. When this happens the Teams potential is not realised and can result in failing to meet objectives, less effective campaigns, lack of motivation, tension between Team members.
So, how can you create an environment of cooperation and collaboration that will get the best from your Marketing Team? Here we consider how to achieve this.
Setting clear, easy to understand goals, that are aligned with company strategy and objectives is the basis for collaborative working and keeping Team members on the same page. The Team needs to see that they are all working towards, and contributing to, a common goal. Everyone has their part to play in helping to achieve the immediate goal, for instance, generating more leads, increasing brand awareness or implementing a campaign.
The most effective goals are based on SMART principles – they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-specific. A clear structure like this ensures goals are clearly understood and effort can be channelled and managed effectively. S.M.A.R.T. Goals Worksheet may help to get started.
Roles and responsibilities
People perform and work together better when they understand what they are being asked to do and what is expected of them. A lack of clarity can lead to uncertainty and frustration, which can erode trust and team spirit. Make sure Team members know what they should be doing, what their responsibilities are, and what is expected of them.
Collaboration often requires sharing tasks and responsibilities and it should be made clear that doing this does not undermine a person’s position, seniority, respect, or the value of their contribution.
Create a plan
The plan gives the Team a clear idea of how set goals will be achieved. Planning is a process that lets everyone understand how their, and everyone else’s, role and responsibilities fit in and contributes to achieving the goal.
A plan is usually broken down into smaller parts that Team members can take ownership for. Letting everyone know how their part contributes to the greater goal builds transparency and trust as they rely on other team members to do their bit, too.
Plans require frequent review and sometimes objectives and deadlines need to be recalibrated to take account of changing and unforeseen circumstances. Enabling Team members to adapt their contributions to changing requirements helps to build trust, by enabling members to openly share knowledge, views, and opinions: what’s working and what isn’t. Such an environment of openness and transparency requires good communication.
Good communication within Teams has been shown to improve productivity by 25%. An environment where Team members do not feel inhibited or worried about expressing ideas, concerns, or making their views heard nurtures a cooperative Team approach. This is likely to influence the way Marketing Teams engage with other teams and encourages a culture of open communication companywide.
Clear communication keeps Team members focused, aligned to goals, motivated, and aware of changes to plans. To be effective the communication process should become standard practice, part of the daily routine. Useful ways of doing this are to organise regular focused meetings, daily check-ins to update colleagues on progress and achievements and to discuss obstacles encountered.
Structured communication processes to impart information, provide feedback and share problems, are particularly important when Team members are working remotely from each other. Working apart is not a barrier to collaboration if the correct processes and tools are in place.
Marketing tech that helps teams to collaborate when working apart can be very useful. Marketing Teams, and the teams they work with in the company, are often in different offices dispersed across the country, and indeed the world, and may be working from home. It is vital that the content they share and the tools they use to create and update content is readily available to everyone.
Tech that ensures brand integrity and consistency wherever the company is operating, and allows Team members access to version correct, up to date marketing material, is vital when Teams are collaborating remotely. There is tech that helps with this, with branded templates and easy to use editing tools to create, update and repurpose content; approval workflows to quickly get content signed off and ready to use; and platforms that make approved marketing material available where and when it is needed.
As with all marketing tech it is important to choose solutions that deliver the highest value for your requirements. No tool is a panacea for all your issues so consider carefully which tech can provide benefits to your Team quickly and with minimal disruption to your operations.
Embrace creativity and innovation
Marketing Teams thrive on creativity and innovation and you don’t want to create an environment that stultify these attributes with processes and plans that are too rigid. Within a disciplined framework, individuals should be encouraged to perform to the best of their abilities by pooling their capabilities and enhancing the combined strengths of the team. This is best achieved by encouraging individual talent and letting it flourish in a team environment of collaboration and cooperation, where everyone works together and helps each other.
Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.
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