December 15, 2022 | Samuel Chapman
If the last few years of living through a pandemic have taught us anything, it’s that we are better together even when we are apart. Creative collaboration has become more challenging as the world has gone remote. While the pandemic highlighted the need to bridge the virtual gap, striking a careful balance between team life and independent work is essential.
How do we bring creative teams and marketing professionals together to drive results? The answer is a combination of the right process and the best technology.
Today we’ll explore the key elements of creating a high-performing, collaborative environment—virtually or in person:
Creative collaboration is the process of bringing together a team (or teams) to conceptualize, develop, and deliver a product or project. Team collaboration toward a common goal pushes projects further, results in better outcomes, and fosters good team communication.
Creative collaboration can take many forms:
Collaboration between branding and creative stakeholders during the creative process is the foundation of exemplary customer experience. It makes the best use of creativity and problem-solving skills within teams. It strengthens these teams and allows each department to serve its highest purpose while relying on the support of the larger organization.
Working exclusively within creative silos isn’t the best way to grow a team and get results. Creative and brand stakeholders thrive on constructive feedback, idea-sharing, and internal networking.
A culture of collaboration ensures members encounter a unique perspective that improves the process and the outcome. Collaboration nurtures growth and skill sets in your teams and creates access to experience and institutional knowledge.
Creating proactive collaboration for your creative professionals and digital marketers offers many individual and collective benefits:
Give all your stakeholders an equal opportunity to invest in the process by bringing the team together to brainstorm and peer-review campaigns and assets. This provides a structure for critique and helps teams work through blocking issues and creative differences along the way.
When establishing a collaborative culture, it’s important to reinforce it with structure. There should be adequate time and methods of communicating ideas, easy ways to track suggestions, clear workflows for incorporating accepted suggestions, and documentation for informing future projects.
A team that brings its full capabilities and insights to a project delivers better results than those who work using siloed delivery methods. The group’s contributions shape the finished campaign, relying on insight from individual stakeholders who see creative work through various lenses.
Collaborating effectively also means communicating the structure and parameters of the assets in development. Through close collaboration, teams can raise the bar on brand continuity by getting different eyes on the project and suggesting ways to convey on-brand imagery, messaging, and values.
Teams that stick together, thrive together. Building the creative collaboration framework also brings stakeholders across your creative and marketing organizations closer together. It fosters a sense of mutual respect and common purpose. It also provides opportunities to strengthen the interpersonal relationships of valuable team members.
These connections are important for keeping employees happy long-term, as well. Companies that focus on effective communication realize 450% increased retention. (Not a typo!)
Collaboration doesn’t happen automatically. It requires careful planning and attention to group dynamics.
Following some best practices ensures each teammate has access to the tools and information needed to successfully do their part. Good communication structures enable stakeholders to feel heard and understood, even if the team is virtual or asynchronous.
Effective collaboration requires the right balance of structure and freedom. Define the roles each stakeholder will play in the creative process. Outline decision-makers and project owners to provide clarity in the process. But leave some room for receiving and integrating new ideas or approaches that serve the best outcome.
Collaboration becomes much easier when everyone has access to the information and assets they need. For marketing projects, creating centralized access to assets in a DAM allows every stakeholder to contribute to the project, access the best assets, iterate successfully, and deliver the final product. A DAM with robust versioning and DRM features allows multiple stakeholders to work on the same project without duplicating efforts or introducing unwanted changes.
Communication is the heart of collaboration. Tools that enable project communication make it easier for teams to drive results from different countries or time zones. Because people communicate differently, remember to offer more than one way to collaborate. This meets the need for stakeholders to deliver feedback in the best way for them individually while also providing opportunities for group discussion. Offering a variety of collaboration tools gives video-based, text-based, and audio-based learners ways to take in information and share what they know.
Any or all of these communication methods can enhance collaboration for your teams:
One caveat here: Plan your meeting time carefully. While nearly 90% of employees say that virtual meetings help them feel connected to colleagues, the increase in meeting attendance and the prevalence of Zoom fatigue makes brevity the soul of productivity.
Project management and approval workflows are important components of the development process. These allow teamwork and collaboration while keeping deliverables on schedule. Identifying and automating project management and approval workflows allows everyone to contribute at the right time, keep the momentum going, and ensure a high-quality end product.
For content marketers, creatives, and brand managers, there is no better tool for driving creative collaboration than a robust, modern DAM. A flexible cloud-based solution brings together your creative assets, provides common ground for creative and brand stakeholders, and offers seamless communication in one dynamic platform.
Using digital asset management software like Aprimo, you can easily build the framework for successful communication and project collaboration. Here are some of the features Aprimo has to offer:
A fully-featured DAM helps creative teams and marketing professionals come together to deliver best-in-class results. Ready to get everyone on the same virtual page? Start with a free trial of the Aprimo DAM.
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