In the dynamic realm of marketing technology, where innovation is key and projects often require a fusion of creative prowess, technical expertise, and data-driven insights, the importance of cross-functional teams can be your superpower for success. The synergy derived from integrating professionals with diverse backgrounds, experience, and perspective — ranging from marketing and technology to data analytics and design—offers a formidable advantage.
A study published in the Harvard Business Review found that diverse teams solve problems faster than cognitively similar teams and, furthermore, that the solutions generated are of higher quality.
The research clearly shows that diverse teams are like the Avengers of the workplace – bringing collective powers to where the sum is greater than its parts. Similarly, it’s why you can’t have a team of just Iron-mans (and -womans), you need a blend of skills and viewpoints from all corners, a mashup of creativity and brains. This is how you can achieve innovation, smooth workflows, designs that users adore, and project management that can dance through ad-hoc change like a pro. This is the story of how collaboration isn’t just a buzzword; it’s the secret sauce that turns marketing tech projects into superheroes.
So, what are the ingredients for said sauce? It’s actually quite simple:
Innovation and Improved Decision-Making: Teams with diverse backgrounds are more likely to consider a broader range of factors and perspectives when making decisions. In the context of marketing technology projects, where decisions impact both technical implementation and user experience, having a variety of viewpoints can lead to more well-rounded and informed choices.
Streamlined Workflows: Collaboration across different disciplines can streamline project workflows ensuring that each aspect of a marketing technology project is considered, preventing silos and enhancing the overall efficiency of the workflow. For example, integrating marketing professionals with data analysts can result in more efficient data-driven decision-making processes.
Adaptability and Flexibility: Diverse teams are more adaptable to change. Professionals from different backgrounds bring diverse skills and perspectives, making the team more resilient and better able to navigate changes in project requirements or market conditions.
User-Centric Design: In marketing technology, user experience (UX) is crucial. Integrating design professionals into the team ensures a focus on user-centric design principles, leading to more engaging and effective solutions.
Research by the Design Management Institute found that design-driven companies outperformed the S&P Index by 219% over ten years, emphasizing the business impact of design thinking.
Having some experience in MarTech, you’ve experienced a project where someone was left out either due to politics or to “prevent the project from dragging on”. Typically, what we see is tech folks running with a project and leaving out marketing, e.g. re-platforming a website and not considering UX and data implications, or the marketers decide to create something new like a mobile app and "forget" to include the data analytics folks in their requirements. Each of these scenarios leads to a sub-par outcome when simply reaching across the aisle or tapping the other department for a bit of input could have minimized future rework. The upfront time may have been more efficient in their minds, but ultimately, projects typically falter at some point without the right mix of people.
Be like the Avengers and integrate professionals from diverse backgrounds into your marketing technology projects, so you can tap into a wealth of perspectives and skills, foster innovation, improve decision-making, and ultimately leading to more successful and streamlined outcomes.