Effective collaboration, from anywhere
As Australia begins to re-emerge from the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that the traditional workplace has been left behind in 2020. Nigel Mendonca writes about paving the way for the ‘new normal’ and a hybrid future.
Solutions to improve collaboration between marketing teams and relevant stakeholders will be the key to success. Smartsheet research, produced in collaboration with 451 Research, reveals that 79 percent of Australians believe greater collaboration is the best way to adjust to changes in the workplace over the coming years.
Collaboration tools have proven significant throughout the pandemic in ensuring the productivity of suddenly remote teams. Gartner has recently revealed that nearly 80 percent of workers are using collaboration tools for work in 2021, which is an increase of 44 percent since the pandemic began.
Where they once came together around a conference room table, today’s marketing teams rely on numerous work management platforms for collaboration, from Zoom, to Slack to Outlook. Often these tools are disconnected from each other, making it cumbersome to keep track of so many moving parts. This can open the door for redundancy or missed opportunities.
The move to a hybrid workplace has presented an opportunity to press the reset button, introducing processes or technologies to streamline operations. In turn, this can provide relief for some of the load from already stretched teams. Marketers need a solution that helps coordinate efforts to best manage resources, provide visibility, offer context around goals and serve as a single source of truth.
Putting the right data in the hands of the right people
It’s no secret that marketers are flooded with massive amounts of data from a wide variety of department stakeholders every day. A major element to achieving collaboration, however, is ensuring that everyone has the information they need to contribute. Searching for the information they need to get their work done can be a significant time-waster for your team.
According to a recent Smartsheet report, workers spend 36 percent of their workday looking for and consolidating information – drastically reducing productivity.
Achieving 360-degree, real-time visibility across marketing campaigns is critical to responding to rapid market shifts and meeting customer needs. To make this a reality, marketers need a system that is easily accessible, adaptable and transparent. Implementing collaboration software, such as Smartsheet, can ensure consistency and allow local authority teams to operate confidently with a single source of truth.
The success of all-in-one collaboration software is showcased by Wine Australia, which has been using Smartsheet to deliver hundreds of marketing campaigns and events globally. It has enhanced team collaboration and communication with internal and external stakeholders.
Wine Australia uses Smartsheet as a data repository to collaborate with hundreds of wineries. It can then update its data in real-time and organise the data into different categories, including wine region, variety, style, price points and awards won. Global wine buyers can now find hundreds of export-ready Australian wines in the one location and are able to filter them according to their needs, saving them hours of desktop research.
Shifting internal cultures to cultivate a collaborative work environment
When it comes to technology, the marketing department often leads the way by staying up-to-date on innovations, testing and tracking new tools, and constantly improving best practices. Yet, cross-department collaboration around a shared goal is only possible if the entire organisation invests in the right technology and tools that support it.
Collaborative work takes up 80 percent of the average employee’s day, according to Harvard Business Review. While employees crave flexibility, a dispersed workplace sets the stage for disconnected teams working from disaggregated data. To continue to deliver quality results, employees need to unite under a shared vision.
A centralised platform that maintains best practices and systems can help support and foster collaboration. A common infrastructure helps organisations build strong relationships and form partnerships between internal teams and external networks. It also provides a single source of truth for the data, strategies and brainstorming that needs to happen to plan and execute new initiatives.
Introducing a strong foundation of collaborative software that can be updated in real time ensures marketers can work together seamlessly. No matter their location, marketers won’t fall out of the loop with siloed data.
The different ways Smartsheet can reduce admin time and increase productivity
Harvard Business Review reports that the average professional spends 28 percent of their workday reading and answering email. The average full-time worker spends 2.6 hours and receives in excess of 120 messages per day. Collaboration work management (CWM) platforms can help reduce the reliance on email to manage projects by giving teams a space to organise and manage their work outside of their inbox.
CWM platforms enable organisations to build workspaces that plan and track progress for both repeatable process-driven activities and artifact driven workstreams. This helps teams to tailor their planning and collaboration capabilities. A work execution platform can help show the status of every element of the project in one place, without gathering everyone for a stand-up.
What will these platforms do for marketing teams?
As an industry representative body, Wine Australia sought to increase productivity and efficiency when executing events. As many wineries are small- to medium-size enterprises (SMEs), when it participates in international trade shows, Wine Australia seeks to action as many of the administrative tasks as possible so it can focus on doing business. Smartsheet’s dynamic view, external publishing functionality, forms and document upload functionality have saved hours of time and reduced errors in coordinating Wine Australia’s participation in these events.
It is broadly accepted that the way we work has changed forever. With remote workers, global offices and distributed teams, it’s much more challenging for organisations and teams to stay connected and work efficiently. With many organisations in growth mode post-pandemic, it’s especially important for marketing leaders to set up their teams and external partners with tools and practices that help them optimise productivity and transparency.
By adopting collaborative work management technology such as Smartsheet, marketing organisations can break down silos, work dynamically and align to common goals – creating a culture of engagement that can vastly improve the ability of teams to meet the rapidly changing needs of the market.
Nigel Mendonca is the Vice President, Asia Pacific, at Smartsheet.
Find out more by downloading the Smartsheet eBook.