In our fast-changing digital landscape, creating marketing campaigns that grab attention requires a wide range of expertise and skills. Building a cross-functional marketing team that gathers talent from across your company can supercharge your marketing strategy and execution.
Bringing people together from across an organization has proven to unleash creativity and innovation and drive results. Individual employees can also benefit from being part of enterprise-wide teams. Their participation can help them develop their management or leadership skills, enhance their creativity, and become more engaged with their colleagues.
Taking a collaborative approach to marketing begins with identifying the right employees to join the team, developing processes so that members work together smoothly and making continuous improvements to ensure your team delivers high-quality storytelling over time. Below are three golden rules to streamline collaboration inside and outside your marketing team.
Golden Rule of Marketing Collaboration #1: Build a Cross-Functional Team
Social media and digital marketing are no longer a one-person job and not the marketing department’s sole responsibility anymore. Digital marketing teams today need expertise from your product, sales, legal and HR departments as well as creative inspiration. If you routinely work with contractors, agencies or freelancers, don’t overlook them as potential members of your team. Anyone who has knowledge can help your team achieve its objectives and has the potential to be a great addition.
Even a team of highly motivated and engaged members, however, won’t succeed without common goals. Employees of every department within a company have their own established goals, responsibilities and deadlines. Cross-functional team members who have a bias toward their own department’s goals may cause friction and hamstring the marketing team’s ability to forge a path forward.
To minimize conflicts, develop clearly defined goals that all team members can work toward independently of their other objectives. For example, instead of trying to get a product specialist with a development deadline to adopt the same goal as a social media producer who needs to fill a content calendar, craft a standalone goal that engages them both–and the rest of the team–such as publishing six pieces of visual product-focused content each month.
Golden Rule of Marketing Collaboration #2: Design A Workflow That Works
A robust workflow is crucial to the ability of cross-functional marketing teams to produce content quickly and creatively. It will also enable you to post campaigns efficiently and with less chance of errors.
Establishing your marketing team’s workflow begins with defining each task, including the key tasks of asset management, idea generation, content planning, production, approval, publishing, community management and reporting. Then, decide who will handle each task and when. Someone from your product team, for example, can provide information about upcoming releases or fact-check product information in social media posts. A member of your legal team might approve certain kinds of messages or posts as the final step before they are published. In a large company, those tasks might be spread widely across departments, while a couple of employees might handle all of them in a smaller company.
Implementing your workflow is possible with a patchwork system of emails, spreadsheets and file sharing. But tools designed for collaboration are a far more reliable solution. Online tools will help you set up, consolidate and automate workflows, allowing employees to coordinate their work efficiently no matter where they are located.
Golden Rule of Marketing Collaboration #3: Tell a Consistent Story
People love to talk about posts going viral, but good marketers know that’s a short-term strategy at best. The truth is that building a brand is about showing up day after day and doing the work needed to craft compelling stories that lead to bigger narratives and nurture relationships with your engaged community. Consistency beats creativity every time.
Telling your brand story over time requires that your cross-functional team build continuous improvement into its process. Be sure your team members are consistently listening to qualitative feedback, including comments, @mentions, direct messages and quantitative feedback in the form of analytics. By converting feedback into insights that can be integrated into each content publishing cycle, your team will see a continuous improvement in the quality and relevance of the content it produces.
By bringing together employees with different skills and perspectives, your company can create richer, more relevant marketing content. Following some best practices, including identifying the right team members, defining common goals and investing in tools to make collaborating easy, can help companies of all sizes consistently create marketing campaigns that get attention online and boost the bottom line.