Man At LaptopWhile there are several components that contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of a company’s marketing team, it is has become evident that collaboration is perhaps the secret in shaping top performing marketing functions. Marketers operate as a team to achieve a common purpose by working together and gaining new insights. With that said, adopting and championing a centralized collaboration application will not only improve the way your marketing department collaborates but ultimately affect how your company does business.

Barriers to simple collaboration

Today’s marketer is expected to work on their personal computers, tablets and mobile phones with not only the entire company internally, but with a variety of agencies, customers and consultants externally across many locations and geographies. According to the 2014 Forrester Market Trends: Secure File Sharing and Collaboration in the Enterprise, a majority of employees are sharing information and collaborating with others inside and outside of the company. With all these moving parts, streamlining the development and review of content can be more difficult than ever.

The objective of the marketing team is to build powerful messages and effective campaigns that resonate with customers and drive revenue but as these documents move from inception to evolution and finally publishing, feedback is received and revisions are made at each stage, making the collaboration process even more complex and time-consuming.

In fact, a recent report from IDC showed that workers spend 8.3 hours editing and reviewing and managing document versions consumes four hours. This time can be a drain on company costs and productivity.

Today’s mobile workforce also adds to the complexity of collaboration. Research by Workshare earlier this year found that 81% of employees are now accessing documents outside the office. Running several projects over email is not only frustrating and disjointed but also slows down review cycles, hinders version control, and with email being an unsecured method of sharing, compromises data security.

So how does the modern marketer enhance the collaborative process to avoid these issues?

Bridging the collaboration gap

A recent study of more than 900 marketing executives by Oracle found that organizations that support cross-department collaboration are enjoying more substantial benefits, including reduced time to market, greater solution adoption and fewer defects in products. So what role does technology play in bridging this gap?

The “Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist,” an article in the Harvard Business Review discusses how a company’s marketing department is now becoming one of the most technology-dependent functions in a business. However, with over 1,000 marketing software providers worldwide, it is becoming even more difficult for a CMO to identify which digital strategies work best for the team.

It’s obvious that CMOs will need to identify the common collaboration pain points across the team and implement collaboration solutions that allow the marketers to share, work on, and progress briefs, proposals, creative concepts, and campaigns is a much more effective way.

Some of the areas that the new class of collaboration can help include:

  • Create a branded and secure client workspace: Share briefs, designs, and proposals securely with team members and clients without facing file size limitations and file access problems, in a personalized workspace.
  • Extend collaboration capabilities on projects: Instantly sync across all connected devices to access files, and comment on files anytime, anywhere.
  • Easily lead and manage project teams: Progress projects faster by tracking and managing comments and feedback from client’s in-place, in the asset in question.
  • Protect the confidentially of projects: Set expiration dates and remove access to folders when the creative process is over.
  • Maintain document version control: Ensure your team members always work on the most up-to-date document while easily gathering input, publishing real-time updates and alerting people when a new version is available.

The CMO should set their sites on developing an enterprise-wide application ecosystem where marketers can drive efficiency of their day to day activities and extend this system out the third parties that they may be interacting with.