Five Tricks to Integrate Marketing Teams


The art to integrating marketing teams perfectly, can in many ways, be likened to card shuffling. You may ask how so let’s observe the similarities. Before a magician starts a trick or a croupier begins a new game, they will shuffle the deck. One of the most recognised card shuffle is the Overhand Shuffle, where the deck is face-down in one hand, moving the cards in small chunks from your dominant hand to your other hand, until you’ve gone through the entire deck..  

Although the most familiar and easiest to do, this is one of the least efficient and ineffective way of shuffling a deck. The best method is known as the Riffle Shuffle, where you split the deck into two even packs and slowly riffle up the side of each packet simultaneously with your thumbs. The corners of the cards overlap, so that they weave into each other, and then can be pushed into each other once complete. Get one card from each pack evenly 100% intertwined, and it’s known as Faro Shuffle. The Riffle Shuffle is the most perfect, satisfying method for integrating 52 different looking cards together.   

Now, the least successful method is splitting the deck in two and lay one on top of each other. In a marketing context, this is like putting two teams together and hoping for the best – a familiar challenge presented to Flock on a frequent basis; digital and brand, marketing and sales, US and EMEA, Performance and Brand – you get the idea. Just like shuffling, full integration is often not achieved this way because teams continue to work in siloes, rarely intermixing, and so find it hard to reach a common goal. Think about a creative session you might have been in recently. Oftentimes teams or individuals will have differing views on what is good and how best to perform tasks. This will, expectedly, bleed into the agency feedback and no doubt cause some air of confusion.

So, the fundamental question we are often asked to tackle is, “How can we get ‘our teams’ stronger, faster, more effective together, and in some instances, resemble each other?” 

It all begins with aligning the teams around a common goal or vision that can be pitched as a manifesto and embedded in an inclusive manner, using workshops as a meaningful way to get people to arrive at how they want to work together. This manifesto will then define the supporting infrastructure they need to be brilliant together. 

Goal Alignment Chart – Flock Associates

Experience tells us that getting a third part in, to facilitate these sessions usually provides an impartial aspect to the proceedings and can defuse any internal biases that may exist. Here are 5 tried and tested tips to tackle team integration challenges, we have used with some of our clients.

1. Understand the challenges by using interviews, surveys and working sessions
2. Develop a Manifesto using a workshop format to include:
  • What ways of working will you use? This could include a revised organisational structure
  • What does good look like? This can be a template or an example to get everyone aligned
  • What is your marketing operating model?
3. Use a Skills Assessment to identify what skills you have today and what you will need in the future
4. Transition your old model into the new one and decide how you will deliver against the team’s vision.
5. Ensure you have opportunities to measure how you a getting on. Don’t be afraid to change or adapt if you find certain areas aren’t working

We are under no illusion that team integration and dynamics are one of the most challenging aspects of our job.  But with a clear alignment on Vision and Goals quickly gets everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction.

If shuffling cards is to randomise a deck of playing cards to provide an element of chance in card games, then at Flock we hope we can help you integrate a randomised deck of people to stand a chance of successful marketing.

If you are interested in any of the suggestions and tips we’d love to hear from you – even if it’s a five minute talk to get you back on track.

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