It’s team time: Collaboration is the cure for marketing complexity

From a LinkedIn promotion I recently received:


Dear Joe

Today’s successful marketers aren’t just good at one thing … We must be able technologists, social media experts, and savvy number crunchers …


Dear LinkedIn,

I couldn’t disagree with you more. Trying to be good at all the disciplines required to excel in our increasingly complex marketing environment is a recipe for mediocrity. At best. Yes, we need to understand the main elements that make up the marketing funnel. But the truth is, nobody is good at all the components required by today’s ultra integrated, multi channel, multi platform communications landscape. Writing, graphic design, front end, back end, social media, SEO, PR, trade shows, print, radio, TV, really?

I know what I do well: messaging strategy and writing. I’ve worked too long with outstanding graphic designers to think I can do their job. But the same is true of social media, programming, PR, video development etc. When you work with people who are excellent at what they do, you realize very quickly you’re not excellent at what they do.But you could be excellent at engaging their talent and energy and focusing it on the task at hand.

The real solution for addressing today’s complex marketing challenges is to be great at collaboration. A strong marketing leader is most likely not someone who knows how to do all of the above, but someone who knows how to build and manage a team that does. This means appreciating the talents and inputs of others, as well as delivering your own unique value. It also involves considering the requirements and parameters others on your team must meet in designing and executing your own piece of the puzzle.

While our clients aren’t always aware of the complexity and diversity of skill involved in reaching and influencing their audiences, we certainly ought to be. And though it might be tempting to take on business we have no real expertise in, it’s hardly a service to our client and a foundation for long-term value.

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