In terms of marketing initiatives, nothing beats a team that collaborates well. When team members help each other reach individual and collective goals, they become a powerful force that lets a business meet its objectives quickly and efficiently.
With that in mind, promoting team collaboration can be a goal in itself. The path towards good collaboration is never straightforward. With different personalities and priorities clashing together, sometimes achieving a unified team that works together harmoniously can seem like a daunting task.
The good news, however, is that successful collaboration is always possible. It only requires a certain level of attention and plenty of good decisions to be made. To help you in this matter, here are five tips that we’ve found to be highly effective:
1. Figure out the problem
If you are reading this article, we can safely assume that you are having trouble getting your marketing team members to collaborate. Because there are just so many causes for such discord, you first need to understand the problem that is going on clearly. In other words, ask yourself, “Why isn’t my team collaborating?”
One of the most common reasons for uncooperative members is that many marketers tend to be independent thinkers. Put simply, a lot of marketers tend to be solo-minded. They like to tackle problems on their own and use their methods to find a solution. Plus, they love to focus solely on their own responsibilities without taking others into account. Another possibility is that your marketing team simply does not know what constitutes collaboration in the first place.
As you can see, the challenge here for you is not only to break down the barrier of solo-minded people but also to help them understand what it means to collaborate. Then again, causes for uncooperativeness can vary, making it extremely important for you to identify the cause.
In this case, you need to take a step back and observe the bigger picture. Try to identify where friction is occurring, and then zero in on the issue by asking individual team members where their pain points lie.
2. Make clear, concise goals
Setting clear goals for your marketing team to work towards can also significantly promote collaboration. When different members share the same vision, they tend to work together in order to achieve their mission.
What kind of goals can you set for your marketing team? The ones you first think of would be comprised of your general objectives. For example, you can set goals to increase your sales, generate leads, increase website traffic, and more.
From there, you can start setting more specific targets. You can do this by taking your main goals and then dividing them into smaller tasks. Follow that up by assigning roles and corresponding responsibilities, setting time frames, and outlining expectations that every team member can refer to.
Throughout your goal-making process, always set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. In other words, they should be SMART goals that can effectively incite action and behaviors within the team.
3. Spend time to plan
While goal-setting is essential in any collaborative environment, planning how to go about it is just as important. After all, without knowing how to achieve those goals, things can get messy quick. One member can be doing something else while someone else is focusing on an entirely different matter. This can lead to conflicts that hinder effective teamwork.
To prevent this from happening, you must have everything planned out beforehand. Note that while you might have spent considerable time planning things in the beginning, you should make room for changes because marketing strategies tend to be dynamic.
You should also notify your team members that they have the freedom to make changes to the plan to accommodate these shifts. That way, you promote collaboration between the members. At the same time, you empower everyone to make important decisions together in order to adapt and achieve the goals you have set forth.
4. Focus on improving communication
One of the most common reasons a team is not able to collaborate is that there can be different communication styles between the members. For example, one team member might like to communicate one-on-one and in person, while another would prefer to do so by email or text message. Another possibility is that team members might not feel compelled to communicate often in the first place.
How do you fix these kinds of communication problems? Here are some examples.
First, to address the problem of using different channels of communication, you must make it clear how your team should communicate with one another. You can do this in a meeting where members can decide as a team what the best methods are.
Second, to solve the issue of not having a place to meet in the first place, you should provide your team with appropriate areas where they can hold their meetings, whether this is an office space or an actual meeting room.
Third, to avoid the problem of not having the means to communicate, you should provide the tools needed to facilitate open communication, such as a business phone or an online messaging service. That way, they will always have a way to contact one another when they need to.
5. Set up routines
In some cases, you might have everything your team needs to collaborate set up but they forget to utilize them. If you do not make collaboration a part of their routine, they will eventually forget it and return to their original ways.
To help them remember that they need to communicate to improve collaboration, you should set up routines in various forms. For example, you can schedule weekly team meetings to gather the marketing team members to brainstorm problems, come up with solutions, and keep each other updated.
While the routine you set up will depend on your needs, enforcing it will mean that your team eventually develops collaborative habits. Over time, you will no longer have to oversee this routine as they will stick to it on their own.
If there is anything you need to remember about collaboration, it’s that people tend to be more willing to work with one another if they find that they are enjoying each other’s company.
For this reason, regardless of how you go about promoting collaboration in your marketing team, always find ways to make it fun and rewarding. Become a part of each others’ lives and run team-building exercises so you can make collaboration something that everyone enjoys and actively seeks out.
By doing so, your marketing team will be more willing to work with one another, helping you reach your business goals both immediate and long-term..
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