Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at Aberdeen's CMO Summit 2009 in San Francisco on the topic of enabling collaboration in marketing teams. It was a fun experience and the audience asked some great questions. In most organizations, marketing as a line of business (functional department) has one of the highest demands for effective collaboration due to the creative and iterative nature of every day work flows. Following is a quick synopsis of my presentation I gave yesterday to Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and marketing leaders from companies with some of the world's leading brands.
The organizational pressures of pushing both short term performance and long term brand building initiatives rest squarely on the shoulders of the CMO. Increased customer complexity in an age of new forms of media and social networking further add to the CMO's challenges. In addition, ever changing cultural and lifestyle choices among staff members and target markets makes the role of CMO one of the more hot seat executive positions in any company.
Further, strategic marketing initiatives in response to the pressures, complexity, and trends can often create fragmented marketing teams or 'silos' which impact overall marketing department productivity by creating distance and communication barriers. The ability of marketing leaders to reduce distance barriers to enable collaboration and empowerment among staff members can ultimately lead to more streamlined marketing teams capable of faster decision making, better sharing and coordination of plans, goal setting and problem setting, and ultimately project option decisions, particularly in times of crises management.
Enter the importance of collaboration solutions for marketers - getting teams to work together closely on projects to achieve common goals. Voice and video conferencing, content sharing, and telepresence technologies can enable marketing teams to bust through silos and collaborate effectively regardless of their physical location. The application of collaboration solutions into marketing work flows can be in any number of everyday business processes including the following:
Global Team Meetings
Virtual 1:1s with CMO
Strategic Planning Sessions
Project and Event Management
Product Definition, Launch, and Life Cycle Management
Design Review and Approval
Editor and Analyst Briefings
Customer Demos and Presentations
Partner Meetings and Councils
The benefits and business value of effective collaboration are quickly apparent to the entire marketing organization at multiple levels: work flow, employees, partners, and company ROI. Benefits will flow down through the department in the form of sharpened marketing processes and efficiency, impressive innovation and creative thinking, better decision making and moral levels of employees. Customers and partners will be more loyal due to tighter relationships with your team. The company as a whole will also see results with a faster time to market on new products and initiatives, reduced costs and carbon footprint, and ultimately increased shareholder value.
Put collaboration tools in place for your marketing organization - you will clearly see enhanced efficiency, productivity, and creativity leading both short term performance and long term results!
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