Experience Your Design

Experience Keylay

Creating Efficient Marketing Teams

6 WAYS MARKETING DIRECTORS, DESIGN
& TECH TEAMS CAN WORK TOGETHER MORE EFFICIENTLY

There are never enough hours in a day to take on every task as a Marketing Director. Juggling multiple requests, hitting quarterly goals, and maintaining budgets can become difficult to manage. Adding yet another layer to these day-to-day tasks is managing your contractors. Whether they are freelance consultants, design agencies, or technical companies you must find a way for all of these groups to interact with one another. By using these tried and true plans of action, you can work better with your web designers, print designers, programmers and other contractors to be more efficient. In fact, these tips don’t include micromanaging or worrying about whether or not the job is getting done. In fact, we discourage it.

1. GET EVERYONE INTO THE SAME ROOM

You’ve got a new project that requires a team consisting of web designers and programmers (or print designers and printers). From the very beginning, it’s important to get the main players of your team in the same room. Keep in mind that the term “room” could also be a conference call, Skype, or Slack.

With your team in the same place, you might feel the urge to only provide the outline of the project. Followed by everyone going back to their separate corners to work.

But…
This is an opportunity to make sure that everyone is on the same page. To do this, each member of the team needs to express any potential concerns or issues that they may have with the project.

– Does the programmer need a particular file type or minimum size of an asset to make the final result look good?

– Will the designer need to know what their limits are to create a design that not only looks good but functions well?

– Are there any budgetary or technical restrictions that the team needs to be aware of?

These are all things that get hashed out during the initial kickoff. Don’t be afraid to push your team to bring up any potential issues or things that they need to make their–and especially your–life easier. You would hate to get to the middle of the project to find out that X won’t work because of Y.

2. MASTER DOCS ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND

Creative brief, technical requirements, project management systems–whatever you want to use. Having a place where you and your team are able to see what the project requires along with everyone’s part in it is vital.Wait, let’s repeat that. VITAL. It’s easy for things to get lost in the shuffle of emails, instant messages, or off the cuff conversations over the phone. Taking a little time to write this document will save you from having to answer the same questions over and over. Plus, this will help to hold your contractors accountable for their tasks. Apps such as Basecamp and Breeze are great project management tools that help projects move along more easily. You can keep ongoing projects, messages, and tasks all in one place. Plus, if there are any updates to the scope, changes are made instantly with updates sent out to the group.

3. MAINTAIN COMMUNICATION
WITHOUT MICROMANAGING

You have a lot on your plate and need to make sure that everyone is on task. So how can you do with without driving yourself and your team crazy with constant emails and phone calls?

Schedule Email Check-ins
Create a schedule that everyone can agree to as to when they will check in. This could be as simple as a quick email recap sent at the end of each day. Requesting a long-drawn out report isn’t necessary and can at times be an inefficient way to receive information. Also, who has time to write out a novella every day?

Weekly Calls
Sometimes it helps to see your programmer’s or designer’s face for a few minutes. You can dedicate one day a week to go over the progress of the project and address any hiccups that have come up. However, emergencies happen. You don’t have to wait until the weekly meeting to take care of anything needing a quick approval or answer to keep the train moving.

Project Milestones
Some projects require a bit more agility and speed than others. In cases like this, breaking the project up into smaller chunks will help everyone not become overwhelmed. Plus, each member of the team can focus on their part to deliver a quality product. Setting up specific dates for deliverables will keep your team on task and prevent burnout.

4. TRUST IN YOUR TEAM

As part of a marketing team, you have to trust them to do the job that they were hired for. Graphic Designers, programmers and even product packaging manufacturers and printers bring specific skill sets to the table. Ultimately, they are giving you work that makes you look good. This is the time for them to show you what they are made of. Let their work speak for itself and hopefully, it’s absolutely stellar.

5. TEAM DYNAMICS & CLASHING PERSONALITIES

It happens. Some people don’t mesh well. While you aren’t a parent, you may have to step in to serve as a referee when people don’t get along. Are your SEO guy and programmer butting heads and putting you in the middle of it? Maybe it’s time to have a back to basics meeting where everyone gets their issues out on the table.

6. PROJECT POST-MORTEM

After any major project, it’s important to have a post-mortem with your team to go over what went well and what needs improvement. This is the time to see how the process can be made better moving forward rather than casting blame. The purpose of this regroup is to also gain feedback from your team about how the project could be run more efficiently in the future.

CONCLUSION

As a Marketing Director responsible maintaining the quality of your company’s brand you can avoid the anxiety of maintaining peace among your contractors. As a Marketing Director, you are spinning many plates. Maintaining the peace between your contractors should not be one of them. While things happen using just a few of these steps will help you find balance. You can reduce the number of headaches and eye-rolls by instituting processes to help you better connect with your team. By having methods and tools in place to help projects run smoothly, your team of contractors can work cohesively and with less conflict. Leaving you with marketing work that you can be proud of.