Professionals have always been told that it’s better to have a specialty than to take a jack-of-all-trades skillset. Marketers are no exception.
In the golden years of advertising, you could specialize in art, copy, or accounts. Now, as marketing is further fragmented, you could have any number of specialties—SEO, email marketing, social media, content creation, distribution, strategy, PPC, and so much more.
Individual specialties have dictated the traditional structure of marketing organizations. Teams are set up in silos and operated according to functional expertise.
This is how it’s always been done—but it doesn't have to be that way. To better engage with customers, it’s time to adopt a one-team structure in marketing.
Fragmented Channels, Unified Customers There’s an infinite number of variations on the buyer’s journey today. Your customers will bounce from channel to channel and expect seamless interaction with your brand.
At first glance, this may seem to justify traditional, function-oriented marketing departments. You need to meet customers where they are—and to do so, you need experts in various channels.
But this leads to a different problem. Even with experts in each channel, silos create fragmented views of customers. Suddenly, you’ll try to execute a new campaign that requires collaboration between multiple channels and gaps will become evident in your customer data.
Unfortunately, this causes marketing leaders to spend about 25% of their time simply organizing data.
Siloed marketing departments can’t adapt quickly enough to evolving trends if they’re spending so much time trying to fill gaps in customer data. Taking a one-team approach to your marketing organizational structure can solve the problem and help you come up with more innovative strategies.
Benefits of a One-Team Structure in Marketing There’s no shortage of articles discussing the need for organizations to break down their silos. Because agile decision making is so important, entire organizations are looking to facilitate more seamless collaboration between departments.
Let’s take that idea a step further for marketing departments. Rather than just having department heads make collaboration between departments easier, what if entire projects were directed holistically?
That means building project teams with employees from all specialties and trusting them to strategize and execute as a group. Give everyone an opportunity to voice opinions and ideas instead of having everyone reporting directly to department heads.
Here are a few advantages to this type of one-team structure:
Better Experimentation: Trial-and-error are essential for marketing success. One-team structures give each project a distinct look and feel (in line with your branding). When you have one marketing leader calling all the shots project after project, you risk repeating the same type of work over and over again.
Empowered Employees: When everyone has a share of leadership, the entire team becomes knowledgeable about the project. In addition to speaking knowledgably about their specialties, employees will be able to analyze the progress of entire projects.
Performance Under Pressure: Siloed structures can lead to finger-pointing in pressure situations. When a department finishes its tasks for a project, they shut down. With a one-team structure, everyone has a stake in the project, making it easier to rally the troops during crunch time.
Align Priorities Across Projects: The one-team structure isn’t just for project teams—it’s for the entire department. Everyone has a role in every project, which means priorities can be set accordingly. No more fighting over time and resources for miscommunications in project priority.
Improve Strategic Creativity: Group think will help you develop far more strategic ideas for growing the business. And as the team sifts through these ideas, you’ll almost always come up with better, more creative projects. Strategists can’t come up with everything—everyone from designers to copywriters can provide valuable input.