Make teamwork work: Lessons from Europe’s marketing leaders

by Jenny Gruening

The work from home (WFH) era looks dramatically different from the office-based world we once knew. ‘Zoom fatigue’ and ‘social distancing’ are just a few of the new terms added to our collective lexicon, as working environments change before our eyes. But one value remains vital: Collaboration. 

The need to unify communication between office staff, home workers, and even freelancers isn’t a new issue for teams to tackle – but the urgency for doing it has significantly grown. A Harvard Business Review article found that adapting to remote working requires new collaboration skills to counter misunderstandings and miscommunications. And this modern approach to working together is especially important for marketers, for whom creative collaboration is central to doing great work. 

“The impact of this [remote working] environment is not on the process, the tools, and techniques: it's all of the people factors and the collaboration.”

- A Marketing Voice in food and beverage.

So – how can marketing teams place collaboration at the top of their agenda and continue to deliver big creative ideas, manage campaigns and measure their impact? From fostering an engaged workforce and stopping communication overload to unlocking creative opportunities and utilising integrated solutions, here’s what you need to know.

Learn more about how marketing fits into the bigger picture by checking out the new, interactive Smartsheet report "Collaboration Beyond Communication."

View the report

Boosting staff productivity

Keeping a team of marketers productive and engaged is a pressing challenge for even the most forward-thinking companies. By getting all employees on the same page and working towards a clear goal, confusion or disruption can be minimised. To achieve this, marketing leaders should:

  • Provide a comprehensive work platform to all teams to bring silos down and push engagement and speed up
  • Give employees accountability over the work they carry out, helping them become more proactive and engaged in collaborative projects
  • Create clear expectations and accountability for staff, ensuring they can measure their progress against KPIs and better visualise progress

Communication overload

Too many emails, calls, video conferences, and chats can cause employees to burn out. They can also have an impact on how deadlines are met if key conversations are lost in a flurry of email threads and notifications. 

Rebuilding the work-life barrier and setting clear boundaries between work and home life is vital if employees are going to be fully available when they need to be.

That means marketers need to stem the constant tide of messages on all channels. A powerful collaboration platform like Smartsheet can streamline how staff share files, feedback, and project updates without pinging off yet another email. 

Creativity opportunities

Marketing leaders know better than any other the importance of creative thinking day-in, day-out. And that creativity needs to be allowed to flourish wherever marketers are working, whether that’s a remote, hybrid, or office based setting. 

Good creative thinking happens when the brain is relaxed, which is why most people have their best ideas on long walks in nature or in their shower. In practice, this means giving employees an informal space that allows them to freely share their thoughts, without any barriers or friction. Establishing a flow state where concepts and ideas are approachable from different angles can improve both collaboration and the end product.

Integration first

We’ve all gotten entangled in a mixture of creative tools and communication platforms over the last year. But this can make it hard to streamline workflows. In a digital ecosystem that is seeing new apps appear daily, marketing leaders should focus on integrating collaboration platforms that allow creatives to keep working with the tools they love.

With Smartsheet, creatives can integrate leading marketing tools including Slack, Adobe, Box, Microsoft, and Tableau and collaborate with colleagues on ongoing projects and content through centralised project plans and dashboards. 

A unified approach to work, tied together by a dynamic work platform, will make the transition from the physical to the virtual more successful, allowing staff to concentrate on getting the work done. 

"In terms of the rest of the applications we've spoken about. I think we probably need some consolidation... We're multiple paying for what in essence is the same functionality. So I think over the next six months... we will start to go, right guys, you pick the one you want, but this is only going to be one."

- A Marketing Voice in Tech & Operational. 

Evolve to thrive

In a new world of work – and an evolving marketing landscape – sticking to outdated approaches to collaboration is a growing risk. While it's impossible to predict what will happen over the next few years, adopting a cloud-based platform like Smartsheet will enable your staff to build brilliant ideas in a single place – leaving you to focus on offering cutting-edge creative services.

Learn more about how marketing fits into the bigger picture by checking out the new, interactive Smartsheet report "Collaboration Beyond Communication."

View the report