Collaboration now! How to build a harmonious marketing team

Published Jul 20 2023 Last updated Apr 11 2024 5 minute read
collaboration for marketing teams

There’s no getting around it: collaboration breeds success. The trouble is, as organizations grow and become more complex, it is increasingly harder to ensure a truly collaborative work environment. 

Just look at collaboration within marketing teams. Each sub-function (creative, content, performance, product, social media, etc.) requires slightly different ways of working. This makes it difficult to ensure everyone is humming along seamlessly. 

Add in the new dynamics of remote, in-person, and hybrid work places, and things become even more complex. Let alone working collaboratively with other areas of the organization.

It’s a scenario that is ripe for friction, inefficiency, and siloed work. 

So how do you break free into a world of more collaboration? How can marketing teams, specifically, work more harmoniously? After all, teamwork makes the dreamwork. 

While there is no “magic pill” solution, there are five great ways to start working more collaboratively and improve cross team collaboration

1. Break down the silos

Siloed workflows may initially seem to boost efficiency by reducing the number of people on a project. However, these low-collaboration workflows can lead to longer review cycles, wasted time, and poorly-coordinated marketing strategies over time.

Instead, aim to encourage teams to manage projects that cross your typical silo structure and let collaboration happen naturally. Encourage team members to collaborate on marketing efforts often and early when new projects launch.

An example of silo breaking in campaign creation

Creating collaborative marketing teams is a key ingredient in developing better marketing campaigns. By involving the entire team at each step of the process, you harness a diversity of expertise and perspectives that are crucial in today’s multifaceted marketing environment. 

Here are some ways to get started:

  • Engage your creative copywriter in strategy discussions early to tap into insights on the latest creative trends.
  • Incorporate developers in the initial design conversations to evaluate feasibility.
  • Include marketing strategists in content creation dialogues to ensure alignment with strategic goals.
  • Involve social media team members in video ad production planning to capitalize on platform-specific opportunities.

2. Build cross-team KPI goals for marketing campaigns

Diverse priorities among marketing teams can lead to conflicting strategies. To address this, establish core marketing KPIs that resonate with all teams. You foster a unified focus by setting specific quarterly KPI goals and outlining each team’s role.

When teams know they’re collectively working towards the same objective, collaboration naturally ensues. Utilizing marketing collaboration software like Funnel simplifies the process of tracking these KPIs, ensuring that everyone is aligned and on track toward achieving the shared goals.

Related reading: What is data-driven marketing?


3. Communicate wisely

Meetings aren’t the sole means of efficient team communication. Numerous organizations, including 80% of Fortune 100 companies, leverage instant messaging apps like Slack or Teams for rapid team interactions. Compared to emails or scheduled meetings, this method enables real-time collaboration without the typical scheduling constraints. 

That being said, text-based communication can sometimes lack context.  Keep in mind the tonality of your writing and be on the lookout for any words that can be interpreted in different ways. 

Plus, when you have data handy to support your communications, be sure to link to it! It’s hard to argue with data, especially when it’s presented in a stunning visualization


4. Meet with a marketing strategy in mind

If you absolutely must have meetings, here are some tips to keep them purposeful: 

  • Use an agenda to set clear objectives and expectations for each session.
  • Appoint someone to make sure you stick to the agenda.
  • Use a collaborative tool to track what’s happening, and invite relevant team members to take notes on it.
  • Use a productivity tool to manage time and resources effectively.
  • Always define specific next steps and who must execute those steps by the end of the meeting. 

5. Use the right tools

They say that an artist is only as good as her tools — and marketers are no exception. Collaborative marketing software is designed to help teams of marketers work together more harmoniously, often in real time. Here are some tools to enhance your collaborative marketing strategy:

Document sharing tools

Collaborative software tools like Google or Microsoft Office Online enable many people to work on the same document, spreadsheet, or presentation rather than passing a file back and forth over email. 

Workflow tools

Asana, Monday, and Welcome are helpful for teams who have large projects and many moving parts. These tools allow project managers to track steps, tag relevant users, and ensure team members follow the correct procedural order. Especially for cross functional teams, with specialists in different areas, having a workflow tool is essential.

Live collaboration tools

Tools like Miro offer whiteboard functionality and are great for brainstorming. Everyone can add ideas to the board, wherever they are. This also helps to prevent extraverted people from running the show - each team member gets a chance to share their ideas and opinions.

A marketing data hub

Data-driven marketing decisions are at the core of any successful marketing strategy. A collaboration-friendly data hub, like Funnel, can optimize how your digital marketing team accesses that data.

With Funnel, users can analyze and transform data from any marketing platform without affecting the original data. It’s like a Google Doc that everyone can edit on their device, but the original file remains unchanged. Utilizing Funnel, one team cut manual work on data-related tasks by as much as 75%. That means more time to reach across the silos and align goals.

Leveraging a combination of these marketing collaboration tools will help enhance your strategy and help your team hit their marketing goals.


Marketing collaboration with other teams

Let’s say you’ve mastered collaboration within your marketing department. Yay! That means every sub-function is sharing insights with the other, and teams are thriving no matter the location they are working from. Fantastic! But you still need to collaborate with the rest of the organization: cross functional collaboration.

Don’t stress, though. There’s a potential win-win-win scenario waiting to be exploited. That scenario relies on data. 

Data is the key to cross-functional collaboration

As a modern marketing team, you rely on your data to make informed and effective decisions. You treat it as the strategic asset that it is. You even use a marketing data hub, like Funnel, to allow different team members to analyze performance KPIs without affecting the underlying data. 

This is all an important foundation to what happens next. 

While your marketing data hub is built specifically for marketing teams to use daily, it can also share that data with the more robust data stacks employed by business intelligence and technical teams. That means your marketing performance data is blended together with metrics from other areas of the business. 

Suddenly, the organization is able to see the links between (let’s say) efforts to streamline contract processes in the legal department and customer acquisition costs. That sounds pretty collaborative, right? 

Your CMO is able to make a stronger case for the new, larger marketing budget since they can link increased spend to broader business goals. 

How data can remove friction

As your entire organization increases its data maturity, all of those performance metrics can also help smooth out points of friction between departments. Just look at the very special relationship between sales and marketing teams. 

Sales teams are always seeking the highest quality leads, and it’s up to marketing teams to bring those leads in. But quality can often be subjective. That is until define what lead quality means to your organization, and link it to some KPIs that both sales and marketing agree to. 

By honing in on what creates the highest lead score for your sales team (and thereby the fastest possible sales cycle), marketing teams can work more strategically and effectively in finding those audiences. 

Related reading: why data maturity is the key to future success



Collaboration in marketing can lead the organization

Marketers are often labeled as off-the-wall “creative types” (and sometimes justifiably so). But, a modern marketing team that works collaboratively with data as their strategic backbone can help drive cross team and cross functional collaboration in the business. We love to work toward goals and big numbers, it’s part of our DNA. 

By sharing this reverence for KPIs and data with other areas of the business, marketers can help the entire business to work more cohesively, thereby increasing its data maturity. And with a marketing data hub like Funnel, you can ensure that your marketing data meets the needs of every team involved. 

Disclosure: the featured image for this article was created using generative AI. 

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