Three Tips for Marketers to Break out of Work Silos

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picmonkey logo As the lines between marketing, advertising, and public relations continue to blur, working alone is no longer an option for most individuals and their departments. Roles and responsibilities are shifting and overlapping at an unprecedented pace, and marketers must adapt to avoid duplication of efforts and make sure everyone is working to their highest potential.

The answer to breaking down silos is Collaboration. In fact, a recent survey commissioned by photo editing and graphic design platform, PicMonkey, cites collaboration as a primary indicator of business success. From open-concept offices to Google Docs, there has never been a higher priority on collaboration in the workplace. That being said, “collaboration” means many different things to many people, and creating a collaborative environment is easier said than done.

Here are some tips for marketers to keep in mind when addressing this important issue:

1. Know each colleague’s “superpowers”

Despite the overlap in various marketing roles, everyone is passionate about something; often, their passion also correlates to their strengths. In a fast-paced workplace, open communication and collaboration are essential to working well and working rapidly. For instance, if one team member has a knack for developing social media campaigns, assign that person as the “expert” to which others can turn, for tips and advice. There’s no need to delegate all social tasks to this expert, but his/her expertise will benefit the rest of the team’s efforts and allows them to put the social media expert’s superpower to highest and best use.

One great way to highlight someone’s expertise without forcing them into a silo is to establish a Slack channel, or online office hours, where the expert can answer questions and share their ideas for others to execute.

2. Get creative about your network

According to the PicMonkey survey, more than two thirds (69%) of small business owners say they regularly rely on at least one other person to bounce ideas off of, and to discuss important issues that affect the success of their business. Networking is crucial for business success, and it’s equally crucial for marketing success.

When we think of networking, we often think of our LinkedIn connections or people we meet at conferences. Professional networks are great, but for marketers, leveraging colleagues within the same organization is an easy, impactful way to break down silos and get people thinking creatively – especially people from other departments. Try inviting someone from the accounting team or an exec to a brainstorm. If there’s an idea for an advertising campaign, ask for feedback from someone on the SEO team. Great ideas are uncovered when we take the time to reach out beyond our normal circle.

3. Use the right tools

A collaborative work environment doesn’t necessarily require more face-to-face meetings, especially with remote employees becoming more and more common. In fact, collaboration can happen entirely online or by using software tools that allow multiple people to add, edit, and update.

Collaboration tools are essential for breaking down work silos, and they run the gamut from project management, to design, to content development. Tools like Airtable for Collaborative data tables, PicMonkey for Graphic design and visuals, Asana for Project Management are easy to implement and allow anyone to collaborate at any time across all parts of the business.

The reality is that collaboration can be fast and functional, without inundating people with meeting invites or setting up common areas with bean bags and beer taps. True collaboration for marketing teams can be as simple as introducing new tools, encouraging intra-company networking and allowing specialists with superpowers to inspire others and be creative across departmental lines.

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