Marketing departments are turbulent. New campaigns are churned out, placed on company websites and distributed via digital and social channels. Marketers call on external specialists to handle the details of brand work. Tasks are distributed. Who does what and when?
This is all tricky to manage. If information is lost during coordination, teamwork that was started full of anticipation can quickly turn into frustration. Marketers and agencies are therefore increasingly using workspace collaboration tools to help manage collaboration and drive it forward efficiently. Whereas colleagues and external service providers had to get together in meetings and then exchange information via e-mail in the past, today’s tools can save time and present the results clearly for everyone from the brainstorming to the project management phase.
Campaign planning time reduced by 16 percent
According to a study by market research and consulting firm IDC, collaboration hubs like Slack help reduce campaign planning and execution time by 16 percent while increasing the number of campaigns by as much as 8 percent. Fast communication in real time makes this possible. In the private sector, this knowledge has long since gained acceptance: Messenger services like WhatsApp help groups make quick decisions and are gradually replacing phones and e-mail as means of communication.
Clemens Pavel therefore doesn’t think much of Excel tables and versioning in business environments either. The Managing Director at Child, a strategy consultancy based in Frankfurt, relies on Slack as well as the project management software Monday and the knowledge feed Feedly to work with his clients. “Communication is at the heart of our collaboration.” This is the only way to master the complexity and overlapping nature of the modern working world, and accelerate processes. “We have significantly more contact and targeted discussions,” says Pavel.
Step by step: working like a team of builders
This is reflected in the results. First: there is no need for detailed consultation between departments and employees, because every employee is informed at all times. Second: every project participant can comment on the state of their work at any time. “Teams therefore don’t work in the dark for too long and project decision-makers can easily exert influence,” says the manager at Child. Together with his clients from the companies, he clarifies the project status using Monday at the beginning of each week and plans the week with new tasks. “The output is first and foremost structure and secondly a good feeling, because like a construction worker you always see clearly which tasks you have completed.”
Even creative processes are enhanced by quick agreements and direct feedback. Modern collaboration tools thus go far beyond being mere means of communication. According to a study by consultants Campana & Schott, the more employees use collaboration tools, the more innovative business owners become. This can also be applied to teamwork with external service providers. What is clearly arranged in boards often reveals connections that were previously invisible when just talking about them. The visualization that the tools provide serves as a second level. Projects can be more easily understood and memorized by the eyes. In addition, results can be checked again and again at any time by anyone.
Improved team spirit is a nice side effect
For Clemens Meiß, managing partner of the agency Get the Point in Cologne, the collaboration tools mean an enormous time saving. “They help us reduce travel and save ourselves the trouble of merging corrections from different sources,” he explains. “In addition, these tools also guarantee increased quality, because changes can be clearly traced by everyone and because everyone works with the same file versions.” Companies and agencies work together to achieve the goals. This improves the overall mood.
To do this, Meiß uses the following tools: WeTransfer for data exchange, GoogleDrive for data storage, Filestage for the coordination and correction of Pdf files or videos as well as the phone and video conferencing tool 3CX. “All these tools ensure we can work closely with our customers and with each other, even over long distances, and have access to the latest data and files from anywhere at any time.” This increases the creativity of campaigns and marketing measures. “It is possible to respond much faster to wishes, needs or changes, to generate and integrate ideas, and to propose new creative aspects.”
Face-to-face communication remains important
Even though the tools offer many advantages, direct communication between marketers and agency managers remains the basis of every good collaboration. “The direct face-to-face communication with the customer naturally still offers more intensive exchange than, for example, via Slack or Trello”, says Philipp Loringhoven, Director Data at the digital agency Towa, which is based in Voralberg and Vienna. A campaign idea can often be better discussed if you draw on it together using two pencils, according to the manager. “The active, even interactive exchange is sometimes missing in order to be able to profit even more from the knowledge and experience of the customers.”
Using the transparent and short communication provided by workspace collaboration tools, decentralized marketing teams can collaborate efficiently with each other and with individual agencies. The benefits lie in saving time and increasing creativity. In addition, employees feel more involved because they know at all times what stage the project is at. This not only improves their mood, but also increases their sense of responsibility for their tasks. Another advantage is that the basic versions of many of these collaboration tools are free. It is therefore possible to try them out before making a commitment. If you like them and want to try new features, you can upgrade at any time with a single click.