Interns learn many things. In the weeks since I started my internship with Your Creative People I’ve learned how to make a killer latte, voice my ideas, optimize a page for search engines, and analyze traffic in Google Analytics. However, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is this:
Successful marketing agencies are built on teamwork.
Teamwork is built on trust, and the connections that build close-knit teams can take time and experience to build. However, there are a few key actions that you can take right now to foster an environment of teamwork in your agency or marketing department.
"Collaboration isn't a choice anymore; the question is how good you can be at it."
- Pat Fallon & Fred Senn, Juicing the Orange: How to Turn Creativity Into a Powerful Business Advantage
Newsflash: Even the best marketers don’t know everything. Eventually, you will need to seek out other team members for their knowledge or expertise. You need to collaborate. Collaborating with your team isn’t just a good idea, it’s essential. In the world of marketing, where often every minute is crucial, collaboration makes the difference between solving a problem and solving it quickly; between solving it well, and solving it extraordinarily; between creating a good product, and creating a product people will remember.
Collaboration makes the difference between good teams and great teams.
Talking about communicating with clients seems like stating the obvious, but breakdowns in communication between clients and agencies happen regularly. What can you do to foster a healthy relationship between your agency and your clients?
Be interested. Your clients have a great deal of knowledge, both about their industry and their business. Agencies that take an interest in their clients build stronger relationships. Listen to your client's ideas. Utilize their experience and knowledge to create a better final product.
Be real. Know your purpose and your values and stick to them. In the long run, it's worth far more to turn down a client and stay true to your values than to compromise for a profit. Your team will profit from a consistent and authentic culture and your clients will come to value your company as an organization that they can count on to have their best interests at heart.
Be open. Admitting when something isn't going well is hard, whether it's with your client or your team, but it is important. In the long run, transparency allows you to maintain your integrity and to produce your best work. Displaying honesty when problems do arise build trust and respect with your client.
A commitment is a promise, a contract. A successful marketing team commits to deliver for the client, profit the business, and support its team members.
In the YCP Core Values statement, you will find these words:
"We endeavor to always deliver what we promise you, to meet every deadline, and to communicate proactively. Because we treat your business like our own, we strive to deliver services upon which you can completely rely."
Trust is built when you demonstrate that you are committed to keeping your promises. If you promise the moon but you can't deliver, you lose your client's trust and the teamwork you've built falls apart. Make a commitment to your team - to your clients, coworkers, and company- to deliver on your promises, go to bat for your team members and take responsibility for your part in the company's success (or failure). To be a team-player you have to go all in.
Take the next step
Successful marketing teams aren't built overnight. They build on a foundation of teamwork through years of experiences. What you do today is building tomorrow's marketing team. Build a better team by fostering collaboration, communicating openly and authentically, and commit to being there for your team and your clients. Establish a foundation today for teamwork in your marketing agency.