Posted by Paladin on May 11, 2018
When describing the relationship between marketers and creatives, words like complicated, delicate, and strained often come to mind. These professionals work toward a common goal, but their approaches can be vastly different. Each team has a unique background, and that affects how they work. What’s more, their reliance on each other can put pressure on both to perform.
Working with a staffing firm ensures your company has the skilled creative and marketing professionals you need. But there’s still more you can do to make sure your creative and marketing teams get along. These three team-building strategies are sure to improve cross-departmental collaboration — and keep your staff from colliding down the line.
In a survey conducted by visual content company Visually, 60 percent of content marketers and creative professionals said they believe communication is at the core of most conflict. “So it’s not surprising that when we asked creatives and marketers to describe their relationship, the word used most often was ‘frustrating,'” Visually CEO Matt Cooper said.
To reduce some of that frustration, encourage open communication — both with adjacent teams and with senior management. This includes sharing vital information about projects, giving each other constructive feedback in a timely fashion, and being honest about any barriers that prevent teams from working together effectively. If creatives feel that marketers don’t give them enough information to work with, for instance, the outcome isn’t going to satisfy anyone — client included.
Identify Pain Points
The process of communicating openly and often is sure to reveal numerous pain points that need to be addressed. If your creative team butts heads with your marketers, it may mean they’re overextended. You may need support in the form of additional staff. Visually’s research found that only about a quarter of marketing professionals believe creatives have the adequate staff in place to handle their work.
The survey data also showed that only 27 percent of marketers believe their creative team is able to anticipate problems. On the other hand, just 18 percent of creatives believe marketers “stick to the brief.” When creatives and marketers are able to pinpoint areas that routinely cause friction, they can begin to make much-needed improvements, whether that means staffing up, adjusting training methods, or producing more detailed project briefs.
Get on the Same Page
One of the biggest challenges facing marketers and creatives is that they come from very different worlds. For marketers, engaging customers and inciting the desired actions is always top of mind. Creatives often value innovative and unexpected design.
These priorities aren’t necessarily incompatible. If teams can understand what motivates each other, they can work amicably to create content that meets everyone’s needs.
Try implementing shadow days, which allow creatives and marketers to observe each other’s process. Let them get to know the intricacies of every individual role. This way designers can get a better handle on what marketers need their work to achieve, while marketers can learn about the creative team’s strengths and how to put those skills to the best use.
Teams should also take the time to brainstorm together when embarking on a new project or campaign. Understanding the client’s brand identity and objectives early on can decrease stress. It can also save time by minimizing disagreements down the line. A little face time goes a long way. It helps craft the culture of collaboration and trust your company is looking for.
With the right strategy in place to promote compatibility and cooperation, these two creative groups needn’t collide anymore. And when creative professionals are able to work in harmony, your business reaps the benefits of increased employee satisfaction and productivity, and reduced employee churn.
For more insights and advice about staffing marketing, creative, and communications pros, be sure to explore the other articles on our blog.