Trends come and go at warp speed in today’s digital economy, forcing marketing teams to act quickly if they want to see any ROI for their efforts. Producing high-quality work under very tight turnaround times is critical to building a unified and consistent customer experience.

Moving fast—that’s pretty straightforward. Moving in unison? That’s where the cracks begin to show.

Modern buyers interact with brands across multiple channels. Encumbered by a lack of organizational unity, cross-functional visibility, and general awareness of project statuses across the board, marketing teams are unable to drive a unified customer experience. These inconsistencies build up and chip away brand trust, making the overall marketing message confusing and ineffective.

Wrike’s State of Agile Marketing report revealed 24% of marketers say, “doing more with less” is their biggest challenge. But perhaps the bigger challenges here are the silos that form and limit the scope of what the marketing team can accomplish.

From content and design to events and operations, marketing teams must work together to build a cohesive, integrated experience. When people work in silos, fragmentation slows momentum and minimizes the impact of everyone’s efforts.

If you’ve experienced redundancy in work, conflicting messaging, or misunderstandings around deadlines and timing, you’ve felt the pain of working in a silo. So how do marketing teams eliminate these internal silos and improve brand consistency?

1. Set Nested Goals

One strategy we employ at Wrike is nested goals, or what I like to call the “goal ladder.” You start with an overarching company goal, and under that nest department-wide goals. Below those are goals for each subteam and then finally you drill down into individual goals.

Having this nested structure empowers every employee and every team to look at their work and see how it impacts the larger picture. They can easily go up and down the ladder to see how their individual work impacts team goals, department goals, and even company-wide objectives.

Making these nested goals known to everyone in the org provides visibility into what work is actually being accomplished and fosters a sense of true collaboration. Seeing how each individual’s work connects to the whole adds meaning to the work and inspires all to work in unison to achieve common objectives.

2. Unite your managers

Forbes lists “conflicted leadership” as the number one reason why silos exist. Managers and leaders hold the power to eliminate (or encourage) information silos across your teams. When the leadership team withholds information from each other, it slows progress and cohesive work processes to a standstill.

Leaders should set the tone for breaking down and working outside of silos. Setting nested goals is the first step toward uniting your managers. The next step is encouraging open communication and tracking around those goals.

Keep project-related information in a single, shared source of truth where it’s easily accessible to everyone involved (may we recommend Wrike?). When conflicts arise, everyone is aware and can accurately gauge the issue’s impact on their work, as well as work toward a joint solution, rather than moving forward (or falling behind!) in silos.

3. Centralize work across tools

To truly grow a culture of unity and excellence, your technology should foster easy transparency and communication across teams. Both managers and line workers cite working across too many systems as the top reason their teams are unable to execute flawlessly, according to Wrike’s 2018 Operational Excellence Survey Report.

Important information is isolated, or siloed, when communication and work management tools like file sharing (Box), or messaging (Slack) don’t “talk” to each other. The more integrated these various solutions are, the better. Information should flow freely and easily between collaborators.

Check out this blog post for a list of five popular tools marketers are centralizing via collaborative work management platforms like Wrike.

4. Make collaboration second nature

A breakdown in teamwork leads to redundant work, missed deadlines, and overall misalignment. For example, if your social media team isn’t equipped with the technology and tactics to work effectively with your events teams, your social campaigns will be disconnected from your event strategy. You might miss the chance to promote an upcoming event completely!

Aim to create a culture where sharing, collaborating and working as a team feel like second nature. Founder and President of Candid Culture Shari Harley gives five communication tips designed to help deal with a breakdown in teamwork. She recommends creating opportunities for co-departments to communicate regularly and ask the following questions:

  • What are you working on?
  • What challenges are you having?
  • What are you trying to change?
  • How can we help you?
  • What are you working on that we could do together?
  • How could our departments work better together?

Simple actions like this foster a culture of trust and collaboration. Have a remote or international team? These interactions don’t have to take place in person—find a work management tool that offers flexible, real-time collaboration anytime, anywhere, and watch teamwork improve.

Visibility shatters silos

When teams work in silos, it not only zaps productivity, but actually puts your brand experience at risk. If customers and prospects notice inconsistencies across any given marketing channel, your message becomes confusing and less sticky.

A collaborative work management solution like Wrike can help your organization break down silos by increasing visibility across teams, making it easier to execute on a shared vision.

We’ve put together a handy buyer’s guide full of insights, questions, and checklists to help marketing leaders pick the right solution for their teams. Simply enter your name and email to download the guide below.

This post originally appeared in its original form on MarTech Advisor.

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