Each month, the Technology At Work Series will examine technology’s impact on a different functional area of the workplace.
While the channels, media and delivery mechanisms used by marketing teams to get the word out have changed greatly since– well, since marketing began, really– one thing has been fairly constant: collaboration. Technology has always impacted the way marketers communicate and convey ideas to the outside world, but internally, it’s starting to have a big impact on the way marketers get things done.
All about internal communication
Communication is the key to success for any productive collaborative effort. In the marketing world (as I am sure it is in many other functional areas), communication must be clear and quick. Miscommunication can lead to incorrect information or the wrong messaging points being included in a promotion or ad. It can also slow a project to a crawl as more revisions are needed to correct mishaps. And in a fast-paced world where messaging is closely related to timeliness, a delayed project will beget poor results.
Advancements in communications technology have really opened up the door for marketing teams in terms of mobility and flexibility as it relates to collaboration. In years past, a conference call was about the only way a remote or out-of-office team member could offer contributions or insight. Email made it a lot easier, and now with applications for video chat, instant messaging, file sharing and, of course, mobile voice, there are fewer barriers between collaborators than ever before.
A cross-functional impact
Smartphones and tablets have also reshaped the relationship between marketing and project stakeholders from other departments as well. An email campaign, for example, sent on behalf of the sales team requires content review from a sales manager. The problem is, sales managers are almost always on-the-go.
In the past, this would mean there could be no copy or creative review from the sales team until the necessary reviewers were back in the office or had access to a PC/laptop on which they could open the file. Now, Office, Google, or other document types can be accessed via mobile, so anyone reviewing marketing projects can submit approval from just about anywhere, allowing the marketing team to work ahead on projects and meet deadlines.
Telecom’s place in marketing
When you think about marketing technology, many people’s first thoughts will probably involve some form of digital marketing– corporate websites, email, social media, click ads, etc; maybe even some kind of marketing automation software. But the truth is telecom and communications technology in general are having as big of an impact on marketing processes as any of the customer-facing marketing developments. Any time you can expedite communication, streamline collaboration, accelerate review/approval processes, and enable mobility, you’re creating efficiency and productivity that will eventually find its way to the bottom line.