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Marketing campaign management is more complex now than at any time, with many in-house and external professionals coming together to create, develop and deliver.
However, this combination of expertise is often missing the key ingredient of Purposeful Collaboration.
I would define Purposeful Collaboration as being the most efficient and effective way by which members of marketing teams can group resources to create, manage and deliver campaigns that add measureable value to the business.
In my experience, marketing professionals usually struggle against overwhelming odds in terms of effective campaign management, and the fact that great campaigns make it to launch is a mark of their expertise and knowledge.
That said, I do not think that marketing professionals can continue to deliver value to the business unless there is a significant change in the way campaigns are shared, developed and executed.
My reasoning is that marketing campaigns now need to address an increasing spread of audiences across a range of technologies and territories. These inputs, in themselves, are fiercely complex.
Add to that the ever-growing mass of content from diverse campaign team members, running to hundreds and thousands of document versions in some cases, and you have the conditions for a campaign crash.
If that were not enough, there is an increasingly urgent need to provide effective reporting to a range of stakeholders.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that marketing teams are not only in-house but also external and often in different countries.
At the same time, these professionals rightly wish to work on a variety of networked devices, and to be able to work “anytime, anywhere”. This BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) step-change signals a range of challenges for IT departments but is an unstoppable force.
I understand the pressures marketers are under, because that is my profession and because I have worked with creative chaos. It is an elemental part of marketing. But I know from experience that the campaign can crash because there is no easy way for marketing professionals to work together to generate better results.
For example, in my opinion, current management tools do not work for marketing, they are much too structured and I have often seen teams struggle to work without the flexibility they require.
I also continually see a huge disconnect between strategy/planning and what takes place on the ground.
What marketers strategise, they need to execute and currently there are no tools that blend and support these two fundamental points. They do not follow through to delivery, which has huge implications for any campaign because the granular detail and feedback is being missed. There is no visibility.
At the same time, campaigns need to be justified on results and in the past, marketing platforms have stopped way short of that.
I believe that this lack of campaign visibility becomes an even bigger issue as you move away from the marketers working together in complex teams day-by-day, and up to the executive management layer.
Currently, these executives rarely have complete visibility of campaigns in process and rely on their marketing professionals on the ground. The reason is straightforward, the complexity of campaigns and the lack of tools make agile reporting and overviews extremely difficult.
The key to resolving these issues is to synthesize the five types of collaboration: Planning, Project Management, Creative, Financial, Legal & Compliance:Planning Collaboration
This brings together marketing capabilities with resources to grow profits through infrastructure development, customer understanding and customer interactions.
- Project Management Collaboration. This involves the facilitated coordination of tasks owned by internal and external resources for on-time, on-budget and on-strategy delivery.
- Creative Collaboration. Outlined above - the fusion and management of creative elements and the processes involved in concept, design, review and decision.
- Financial Collaboration. These are financial exchanges, approvals to commit resources and changes in budget that relate to a plan, programme, campaign or activity.
- Legal & Compliance Collaboration. This is a growing challenge – the application of external regulatory requirements and internal policies to customer executions.
Brought together, these five types of collaboration form the pillars of Purposeful Collaboration and I believe that any campaign that embraces this philosophy will gain a significant marketing advantage with positive effects that ripple across the organisation.
I understand that effective marketing is all about creative people working closely together. With the right tools, you can harness the full power of Purposeful Collaboration, make communications work harder and drive your marketing forward.