Marketing has changed more in the last 10 years than it has in the last 50. With evolving technology and a deeper understanding of the customer buying cycle, more and more specialized roles are being forged for marketers.
 
From the mobile boom to the rise of social media, marketing has grown beyond promotional emails and consistent content. So, how do we take advantage of these different insights and integrate all of these efforts into a full marketing solution that generates powerful marketing campaigns?
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It's not a one-size-fits-all solution, but here are five surefire ways to start building a more efficient and collaborative marketing team:

1. Define a Work Strategy

I'm not talking about a lead generation strategy (although you need that too), I'm talking about a strategy for getting work done efficiently. What is your approval process? What happens when there is a roadblock... or multiple ones? Which deadlines are set in stone and which are flexible? How are you going to prioritize different projects and campaigns? These are questions you need to ask when defining a work strategy. 
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For example, Agile Marketing is a strategy that focuses on being proactive to change, working off several iterations, and being adaptive and flexible to incoming requests. Agile users today say the top three benefits to using Agile are improved quality of work, faster time to get things released, and better team alignment on priorities. 
 

2. Adopt a Collaboration Tool

Even if everyone you collaborate with is in the office every day, you still need a work management tool that will help keep work communication in one place, documents up-to-date, and priorities aligned. Going in and out of email, instant messaging, conference calls, and note pads looking for information can be exhausting and a waste of time. 
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Research shows that 20% of the workweek is spent looking for internal information or tracking down a colleague to help with a specific task. Finding a tool to archive all necessary projects, documents, and conversations can help eliminate the data search party and allow your team to devote more time to high priority tasks. 

3. Meet In-Person

Although too many meetings can lead to inefficiencies, it's important to have in-person meetings once in a while and to make them count. Get your remote workers into the office periodically and plan some fun, productive meetings your entire team can attend. 
 
In addition to this, hosting regular one-on-ones come in handy when it's time to evaluate your team's needs, individually. This will help you build trust and promote transparency across your team. 
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The planning doesn't stop once the calendar invite is sent out. Put together an agenda of topics and discussions that will benefit from having everyone there. If you need assets or updates from certain team members, let them know ahead of time so they're not blindsided. Have someone take notes during the meeting with action items attached to every topic. That way, team members can refer back to that document when they're considering next steps. 
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Healthy brainstorming sessions are a great way to attract people into the office for a day and get the creative juices flowing. In between trainings and conference calls, plan some fun team bonding activities to raise morale and engagement. It's a great way to discover hidden strengths and talents, and also encourages collaboration and teamwork. 

4. Measure Your Efforts

Metrics are the key to success in marketing. All that time you put into market research, building campaigns, and writing content should be tested, measured, and reviewed. Adopting a tool to measure click-throughs, time on page, and MQLs is essential to building an efficient marketing team. Experimentation should be encouraged across your team, as long as there is a tool to appropriately measure the outcome. 
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With an analytics tool, your team will be able to see what's working and what needs improvement. Plus, having metrics gives you an inside view into what your readers and potential customers are looking for, and what motivates them to buy. 

5. Review & Improve

Mistakes, missed deadlines, miscommunication  these are inevitable in almost every project. Stuff happens, but the last thing you should do is play the blame game or punish your team. Failures are just as important as successes when it comes to growth and collaboration. These mishaps give you and your team an opportunity to go back and review what went wrong and what can be done to prevent future mistakes. 
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Nothing is perfect, which is why successes should be reviewed just as closely as failures. After celebrating a success, studying what went right and finding ways to improve that process should be the next step. Ways you can streamline and improve successful processes include building templates, custom workflows, or creating custom fields, so you can make sure all project-specific requirements are fulfilled before they're passed along. 
 

Practice Doesn't Make Perfect

Don't ever expect your marketing team to run like a flawless, perfectly executed, collaboration station. Some of the best, most innovative ideas are founded on failures and disagreements, so it's important to embrace the chaos and learn from it. However, by setting ground rules, you're building a indestructible marketing engine that has enough structure to meet important deadlines, but just enough flexibility to stay agile and encourage creativity. 
 

Looking for a complete marketing solution to drive your marketing and creative teams? 

Check out Wrike's solution for Marketing & Creative teams to enhance collaboration and streamline workflows.
 
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