Seven golden rules of online collaboration

04 July 2014 image

Time is running out. Your new product launch takes place tomorrow. However, the campaign master plan is on your marketing manager’s laptop….and she’s on a plane. The marketing budget figures you urgently need were emailed to you after last night’s WebEx, but it’s buried in a blizzard of other inbox content that’s arrived overnight. And the PR agency desperately needs the product photography for the press pack—but it’s on your SharePoint system and you can’t easily share it outside the company.

Marketing collaboration can be a bit of a joke sometimes can’t it? The department responsible for communication coming apart when it comes to collaboration. It all works quite smoothly at quiet times of the year: but when your back is to the wall, deadlines are looming and everyone is scrambling to support an imminent event, campaign, announcement or other marketing program you need instant, easy and complete collaboration. And today’s systems for sharing marketing content—email, consumer file sharing tools, SharePoint, FTP—just don’t cut it.

Huddle brings the best features of these tools together, to give you instant, cloud-based—and importantly secure—marketing collaboration through the firewall. And you don’t need IT support to get up and running either.

So how do you make it work? Here’s my seven golden rules of online collaboration.

1. Don’t go supersize on day one. Start small and then build. Create a strategy, beginning with a defined manageable project with clear goals. Learn from these incremental steps.

2. Stay tightly focused on your marketing goals. Is it for lead generation? Customer event management? A loyalty program? Don’t create yet another jumbled repository—develop secure shared workspaces (which you invite participants to join) for each program.

3. Deploy a platform everyone wants to play with. If you announce you’re using SharePoint or similar complex collaboration platform—expect the inevitable backlash. Use a marketing collaboration platform that is easy to use, makes content sharing easy and which requires minimal training.

4. Be inclusive. All relevant stakeholders need to be involved in sharing content, including external agencies and other participants on the other side of the firewall. If they’re not involved, see opening paragraph of this blog for the repercussions.

5. Share easily and often. Thoughts and feedback should be encouraged at every stage. A two-way dialog must be created, and team members encouraged to share things they know are not perfect.

6. Never overlook deadlines. Ensure the collaboration platform alerts stakeholders to decision gates, deadlines and other program milestones. Don’t let the discussion run away.

7. Dump email collaboration. It’s confusing, lacking in security, not discoverable and overburdens users with content. Email is not a collaboration tool.