When we were at MarTech East in Boston recently, we saw first-hand how the right marketing tech stack can take your marketing team to new heights.
We loved hearing all the insights from the experts who have been there, done that. One of our favorite nuggets of wisdom was from Matt LeMay’s excellent presentation, “Agile is Marketing”. As Matt said:
We can’t capture the full value of cross-functional work unless we are willing to give up the very real benefits of working in silos.
– Matt LeMay (@mattlemay), Agile is Marketing, MarTech 2019
Often, we only think about silos as clearly negative things to be broken down (which, for the record, they are). But what Matt points out is that there are often (personal, selfish) upsides to working in silos — and that can make them hard to give up.
One “benefit” is what Matt called “functional empire-building”: that is, when you silo knowledge because it creates a reliance on you, as a team or as an individual.
Unfortunately, those kinds of “benefits” are at the expense of transparency, clarity, and accountability across the organization.
So how do you break down those silos within your marketing team, and between your team and others within the company?
It’s all in the way you manage your work.
There’s one silo-busting tool that’s still missing from most martech stacks: a work management tool.
Using a work management tool to track everything you need to get done, from major campaigns to everyday tasks, doesn’t just help you to manage your workload and deliver results on time and on schedule.
It also gives everyone on the team (and beyond) more visibility, more accountability, and more opportunities to share knowledge, so you can foster a more open, transparent, and ultimately un-siloed environment.
Here are three ways a work management tool can help you give up silos for good.
When you’re working on something with a lot of moving parts, you need to make sure that your team has full clarity on who’s doing what. Having a clear owner for each major piece of work, as well as clearly assigned tasks that help you to achieve those goals, removes any confusion.
And while each piece of work has an assigned owner, being able to track it all centrally in a shared work management tool means that everyone knows who to go to for project- or task-specific queries, and can see how the work is progressing in real time.
Better communication and knowledge-sharing
Using a centralized work management tool frees everyone to communicate directly with each other to solve their own problems, ultimately leading to better knowledge-sharing across the team and beyond. (Not only that, but it removes the need for constant managerial hand-holding and time-consuming approval processes.)
Have a question? You can ask it in the dedicated tasks or project, so all discussions (and outcomes) are kept in one easily-accessible place. With one platform for all of these important discussions and updates, there are fewer barriers to getting the information you need — so you can focus on taking the right actions.
Having all of your work-related data in one place also makes it easier for managers, leadership, and stakeholders to get a more complete perspective on the teams’ progress and achievements.
One of the major issues (or former benefits, depending on your perspective) of silos is that it’s easy to sweep your mistakes under the rug by just keeping them within your little silo. But that also means that you’re denying others the opportunity to learn from it, and can reduce trust in your team on the whole.
Not only can your work management software give you quick visual updates on where everything stands — what’s due, what’s overdue, how many tasks are assigned to each user — but you can then export this information to whatever format you need.
Having all of these important details so readily to hand means that it’s easy to keep stakeholders up to date, compare performance over quarters, and see where you can improve going forward.
Even though marketing teams are often the first to adopt new technologies and tools to help them do shiny new things with their marketing, tons of teams are still missing out on this one crucial piece of the puzzle.
Improved transparency is just one way it can help, but we wrote about four more in our ebook. Check it out and see how adding a work management tool to your martech stack can help you to unlock your team’s full potential.