Remote working is here to stay and with more of us now working remotely than ever before, it’s important to carve out new processes to make it work for your team, especially for remote marketing teams. At the start of the pandemic, a lot of companies had to scramble to shift to remote working overnight. Now that we’re all a lot more used to this new normal there are things that you can implement to help you and your team work better.
At Mediatool we believe that work isn’t a place you go, but a thing you do. And while we know that there are benefits to meeting in person, remote working doesn’t always mean working from home, or working from the office, it means flexibility to work where you want. And sometimes that might include the office.
86% of workers say they feel more productive working remotely, but according to Hubspot’s remote work report, most also said they needed more support from managers and better technology to do their job.
Luckily, there’s now heaps of research that can help leaders create a better environment for remote marketing teams. Read more for tips on leading your remote marketing team to success.
Biggest Challenges for Remote Marketing Teams
For team members, the biggest challenges are things like:
- Lack of communication
- Collaboration is more difficult
- Siloed teams
- Siloed information
- Poor quality technology, or too many tools to do simple tasks
- Stilted career growth
- Lack of personal connection with the rest of the team
As well as those that are relevant above, for marketing leaders, obstacles include:
- Lack of oversight of team productivity
- Poor overview of everything that’s going on across the marketing department
- Daily team management takes more time
- Lack of time or processes in place to make sure team is happy and fulfilled
- Less relationship building between the team
7 Tips for Leading a Remote Marketing Team
1. Set clear goals and expectations
Don’t expect your team to know what you want from them. Give them more direction than you would in the office. But also give them autonomy to reach those goals, giving them purpose in their work.
In marketing it can sometimes seem hard to set KPIs for certain employees for example for those in creative roles. There’s not always a direct link to leads generated compared to other roles. But by figuring out campaign specific targets for teams to work towards together, it can ensure that everyone on that project has a solid sense of purpose. It’s simple to set up targets in Mediatool, here’s how.
Shifting your team’s mindset to how they view goals, will bring them closer as a team as they work together to reach them, improving overall communication and team bonding.
To combat communication issues, whether it’s setting targets or chasing for an update, over-communicate what’s needed and what you expect.
This goes for how you over-communicate online too. Rather than agreeing tasks in a meeting and expecting them to get done, use a collaboration or project management tool to collect the tasks and set deadlines. In these tasks, provide as much information as you can and outline specific outcomes you hope to achieve.
You can do this in Mediatool by using our Brief feature. Write detailed briefs, share and comment your feedback during ideation and discuss the outcome. Keep other team mates in the loop by giving them access too.
3. Focus on the outcome, not time spent
Remember the days where those who hung around the latest in the office were considered the hardest workers? Well, thankfully, those days are behind us! The beauty of remote working is that workers are given a choice. If they need to pick up their children from school or go to the dentist in the middle of the day, they shouldn’t feel like they need to ask for permission or that it’ll reflect negatively on them.
Although it’s important to set working hours for functional reasons like arranging meetings, instead of focusing on if someone looks online on Slack all day, create a trusting atmosphere where you encourage ownership of your team’s work.
This goes hand in hand with the previous two points. By setting clear goals, over-communicating your message and giving your team autonomy over their work, not only will they be more engaged, studies also show that it improves productivity and creativity.
4. Give actionable feedback
No one is ever perfect and by giving your team feedback on how they can become even better marketers, they’ll feel like they’re career is still progressing whilst working remotely.
Like we said before, focus on the outcomes of the work, not the activity level. But if the outcome is poor, then what factors could be causing this? For remote marketing teams there are a lot of hoops (and platforms) they have to jump to get their job done. Could the number of tools be hindering rather than helping a team member do their job? Could they be stressed with their current workload and need some help? Give feedback but also empathize to find out why the work isn’t up to scratch.
Change your mindset to feedback meetings and use it to ask the right questions to find out how you can assist your colleagues, while giving them advice they can implement right away.
And if someone in your marketing team is struggling with the amount of processes, you could reduce the amount of platforms they have to work in significantly by using a platform like Mediatool.
5. Take advantage of marketing technology
Digital transformation has boomed in almost every industry, but especially in marketing. There’s not really such a thing as ‘digital marketing’ now as all marketing is digital. But we’re not just talking about how you reach your audience digitally, we’re also talking about the technology that helps you do your job.
Mediatool is built for remote marketing teams, to help them collaborate and communicate better, and to help agencies and brands build better relationships. We’re biased so of course we’re going to say to give your team the best platform on the market… but, if it’s not Mediatool (sad times 😢) then at least make the investment into marketing software that can help your team in their day to day to produce better results.
A vital part of using technology to your advantage, is using the technology to it’s best potential. Sometimes leaders invest in technology physically, but not mentally. This ends in them and their team not using it to generate the best results. We’ll let you into a little secret. No marketing software will produce results for you overnight! You need to put your all into it to reap the rewards.
6. Create a remote marketing team culture where everyone’s ideas are heard
Everyone has experienced a bad working environment at some stage in their career. We bet you have. What would you say made it so bad? Chances are it was the lack of space to grow and not being heard.
This is especially true for marketing teams. Marketers are creative, communicative creatures, regardless how analytical their role. And video call meetings might mean that some voices go unheard. Instead, create spaces or workshops that are dedicated to innovation and suggestions. If video calls don’t work for some, try a team brainstorming tool like Miro.
If spending time on innovation isn’t on your radar, carve out specific time for your team to focus on it. Rethink how you approach innovation and you can thank us later! More on this over on our blog.
7. Inspire others to go beyond what they thought was possible
Successfully managing a remote marketing team boils down to how confident you are in your and your team’s ability. By shifting your own mindset to become an inspiring leader, you’ll inspire your team to solve challenges, come up with new ideas and ultimately become the best marketers they can.
It’s simple, if you have the tools in your back pocket to excel as a leader, save time and use this extra time to push boundaries and produce your best work, you can inspire your team to do the same.
To learn more about how you can do this, read our guide on this very topic.
As you can tell by now, there’s a theme running through the tips above. And that theme is mindset. It’s your mindset you need to change in order to lead a remote marketing team to new heights and solve the challenges that remote working brings.
Maybe you’re already halfway there. But this change isn’t something that happens overnight, it’s something you have to work on over and over again. And as humans, you’ll probably slip up at some point. That’s OK, we all do! We’re just here to help you make this change, and by reading this we hope you have some ideas you can start with today.
We’ve tooted Mediatool’s horn quite a bit in this blog, but if you do want to find out more about the platform, click here. Or if you want to learn more about this approach to marketing, read our other blogs here.