Today's marketing teams are more diverse and more dispersed, which creates challenges as well as benefits.
Not only can it make it more difficult to manage the everyday operations of a marketing team, but it can also be harder to identify when your team members or team as a whole is having real issues.
There are, however, warning signs to watch for that can help you discern when there may be real problems with your team. Catching these potential issues early can be critical to being able to fix them before they have a more devastating effect on your strategy and marketing program.
1. Redundant Errors
If your team members keep making the same mistakes consistently -- such as not using (or using) an Oxford comma or spelling a keyword the wrong way -- that can be a sign of a more serious problem within your team.
Most likely, it indicates that there is a communication issue between your team members.
Possibly the right information is not being passed from the manager to the writers and editors, or there is an issue with how the team is accessing the guidelines.
The solution to this problem is to determine the source of the communication breakdown and find a way to resolve it. That could mean changing processes or determining a more effective way to communicate guidelines and expectations, one that makes more sense for your team members.
2. Lack of Collaboration
A lack of collaboration or communication between team members is another signal for concern in your team.
Examples include requests for feedback not being addressed and different pieces of a project not meshing together as they should.
The problems causing a lack of quality collaboration may be relatively simple to solve, and you may just need to have a discussion with your team about regular communication and the importance of working collaboratively.
On the other hand, the issue may run deeper, and the resolution may only come from a restructuring of the team or changing of the tools used for collaboration to make it more accessible.
3. Repetitive Solutions
Does your team come up with the same kind of solution for every issue that arises?
The absence of creativity and innovation in solving content puzzles is another indicator of
team trouble. Nearly the opposite of the above problem, repetitive solutions can be the result of too much collaboration.
An overemphasis on the team and collaborating can quickly diminish both individual contributions and overall creativity within your team.
When every step requires a meeting or discussion, taking time away from work, the expedient method is to rely on standard solutions for issues that arise. Allowing for individual brainstorming time prior to group meetings can encourage more innovative thinking.
4. Missing Deadlines
Missing deadlines are another warning sign that there may be a serious problem with your team.
If your group is consistently missing deadlines for publishing and promoting content pieces, several factors may be involved.
A single team member may be holding up the process for one of many reasons -- but often it can be the creative content process itself that is slowing down your team. The review process may be too long or simply broken by the time content pieces go from ideation to final approval and publication.
Uncovering the reason for delays means looking at each person and the steps involved throughout the entire process to identify where the process is taking longer than expected.
Keeping your content team working well as individuals and as a team means keeping a close eye on how that team is functioning.
By watching for and addressing these warning signs early on, you can prevent them from becoming more serious -- and even disastrous -- for your content program.