How Internal and External Marketing Teams Can Work Together
- by Brian Bowman | April 16, 2019
- General Marketing
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Having an internal marketing team is critical for businesses to reach and sustain the highest possible net profit. In order to maximize revenue, a focus should be placed on building this internal skill set.
But, there is strategic value in benchmarking internal marketing teams against external teams. Benchmarking will help management validate the performance of the internal team, and increase team intensity by encouraging healthy competition.
This initiative will allow both the internal and the external team to render new ideas, eliminating tunnel vision and stale marketing. Further, internal teams that work in a silo for months often stop thinking outside the box and get stuck in a rut coming up with very similar ad creative concepts. By benchmarking the internal team against the external team, members from both sides will be encouraged to develop new concepts and media buying strategies and constantly be generating new ideas.
Below, we have outlined best practices for structuring the internal and external marketing teams to work effectively in tandem for success:
Total transparency and open communication are key to any successful venture. Internal marketing teams and external agencies that are working together should freely and openly share their ideas, strategies, and successful creative with each other. Open communication builds trust and ultimately allows the teams to generate more successes together.
Note: The internal marketing team should own all of these ideas and strategies.
In order to maintain transparency and cooperation, these two teams should be speaking on a weekly basis. This weekly meeting presents an opportunity to share information about work that has been recently completed and objectives for the coming week. More importantly, this meeting allows the external agency to talk to the internal team about upcoming objectives and marketing initiatives. This ensures that both teams have the most up-to-date information and that they stay on track.
Use Project Management Tools
Email inboxes are messy, cluttered, and hard to keep up with. Team chat tools like Slack, Google Hangouts, Hive, and Fuze have become a popularized way to execute intraday communications across teams. These tools allow user acquisition and design teams to ensure that information is staying out of crowded email inboxes and stored efficiently within specialized communication channels.
For creative reviews and approvals, project management systems with simple UI, like Trello, are helpful. These platforms make it easy to share ad designs and provide teams with a streamlined place to gather and centralize feedback. And again, these deliverables stay out of email inboxes.
This way, both the internal and external teams are able to operate efficiently in regard to creative reviews and approvals. This is especially helpful to intellectual property holders as they often have a multitude of external sources that are contributing feedback.
Benefits of Supplemental External Marketing Teams
The job of an external agency is not to replace the internal marketing team. However, marketers are often apprehensive about partnering with an external team due to the fear of the agency outperforming them. This is certainly not the objective of an external agency and is rarely the outcome.
External teams are put in place to help ensure that internal teams are operating at peak efficiency, and this offers a number of benefits to both the creative team and the media buying team.
Benefits for the Creative Team
External agencies are often leveraged on the creative side to assist in the brainstorming process and help deliver new concepts. When they find a high-performing deliverable, they share it with internal teams so that they can create variations. The creative testing strategies for finding high-performing ads are also recorded and shared between teams.
This also benefits internal teams by allowing them to efficiently share the lessons of what has worked and what has failed, which prevents them from making the same mistakes and wasting money. Both teams work closely in tandem to form a cohesive whole.
Benefits for the Media Buying Team
The two user acquisition teams are able to benchmark each other. When one account goes into a test bucket at Facebook causing something to stop performing as efficiently, it’s a good idea to have one or two more accounts running. It’s also more efficient to have one account that spends less because it does not reach as far, as it allows for more efficient running.
Giving media buying power to an external agency allows the internal team to separate their budget and run it efficiently in a split format. This is the concept of shifting budgets.
Both internal teams and external teams can work in tandem to learn, push, and drive better marketing results. To accelerate the growth of internal marketing skills and knowledge, consider partnering with an external agency to give your team the means to push further.