Internet Marketing as a Team – 10 Steps to Success

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When it comes to working on an internet marketing project, are you the strong solo player or do you work well interacting with other internet marketing professionals?

Most of us in online marketing feel very strongly that our ‘branch’ of the industry – SEO, PPC, etc. – is the most important part of the process and often believe we each have enough knowledge of the other areas to judge how it should all be integrated ourselves; but throw in a graphic designer, in-house marketing staff, translators, then even more specialists and who decides how the project is run?

If you haven’t come up through the ranks working at an internet marketing agency or as part of an in-house marketing department in a large corporation, you may be used to taking on projects completely on your own.  You could work that way your entire career, but many find that there comes a time when you need to either bring in other specialists on a project or you start to outsource specific services of your own that require you to work in a team.

For most of my 10 years as an internet marketing professional I’ve specialized in search engine optimization, but I would normally take on all the aspects of a project because I couldn’t find reliable developers, graphic designers, copy writers, etc, with SEO knowledge, that could work the way I needed them to work, when I wanted them to work, where I wanted…  In other words, I am a control freak that’s very set in my ways – but so aren’t we all?! But even in my advancing years I am learning about the benefits of working in a team.

10 Steps to Success as Part of an Internet Marketing Team

  • Get clear and specific instruction from the client on what your role is on the team. Who makes the decisions? Do you deal directly with the client or with another person on the team, i.e. marketing staff, etc.?
  • Understand the roles of the others on the team. Does the graphic designer provide drafts to the web designer or direct to the project manager, etc? This will ensure that all tasks are addressed without duplication – and also that all parties know what’s expected of themselves.
  • Agree on timeframe and order of progression of the tasks in the project as a team. This will ensure that a design isn’t signed off by the client before the web developer has had a look to ensure that it will ‘work’ and the internal marketing staff hasn’t organised a launch and newspaper advertising campaign sooner than a site redevelopment is ready. This will avoid wasting time and frustration within the team.
  • Who do you go to if a conflict arises, whether on how the project should be addressed or because of personal differences?
  • Communicate clearly — whether it’s how and when you will work on your part of the project or suggestions you have on the overall project.
  • Treat all members of the team with respect. You may feel you know better than another member of the team, but each one of you has a specific role to fill and it’s better to deal with one and other with respect and work through issues from a positive angle.
  • Accept that you may not know everything about everything. There is probably something to learn from everyone that you deal with on the project – even if it is to be more patient with people that don’t know as much as you do.
  • Have an open mind. There is always more than one way to do a task so if a another member of the team comes up with something that you think may not work, have another look and you may find a new way to do something that is even better.
  • Give feedback – positive or negative, but be specific and fair.  Oh, and you have to take feedback too!
  • Enjoy the team experience! The responsibility is not all on your shoulders for a change.  You have people to brainstorm with.  You may even find new ways to do business and start working with the team on a regular basis.

As an internet marketing professional you may prefer to work alone, or are just used to working that way, but by working successfully within a team, you may find that you can reap even bigger awards!

Photo by Tsutomu Takasu available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License
Photo by woodly wonderworks available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License
Photo by EOverbay available under Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike 3.0 License

Ann Donnelly
For ten years Ann Donnelly has been helping businesses achieve their goals using the internet; starting with developing static brochure websites to now offering fully... Read Full Bio
Ann Donnelly
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  • Alingrinberg

    I actually worked for an affiliate network before and I assure you although there was some aloof time, there also was a lot of team work on day to day basis.
    Marketing in a sense is a very social field and incorporates a lot of networking. As a marketing professional you are bound to work with clients, higher-ups, designers ( even if you do some graphics yourself just as it is in my case), sales force, software people (in-house or outsourced) etc. If you do not work with all of them at lease a few come in contact during project term.
    Online marketing especially is also young and colorful field where people form all kinds of backgrounds come together, which means there is lots of “character” floating around. As marketing professional I have to deal with it, you have to deal with it, and we all have to deal with one another at some point in time. Therefore, I think all said above is very useful and well put together survival guide written from the prospective of an insider and should be used as such for peaceful coexistence of us all.

  • Michael Real

    The most important thing in an internet marketing group is being a good listener and a good follower. That is all you need. When you listen, you will hit your goals; your goals and the goals of the team. Enjoy feedback and accept it as a challenge for improvement.

  • N-Touch

    Not listening to group members or team members that are involved in internet marketing will quickly lead to the demise of your internet marketing team. The view from many different people allow you to ensure that you are getting to your target audience in different ways. Thanks for the article.

  • New York Yankees Hats

    As a marketing professional you are bound to work with clients, higher-ups, designers ( even if you do some graphics yourself just as it is in my case), sales force

    • AlinaGrinberg

      Is re posting part of my comment desperate attempt to get some links? Or shouldn’t i even ask?

  • Nick Stamoulis

    You may be able to do it all alone, but having a team behind you to rely on can make a huge difference, both for you and the client. Two heads are better than one, as the saying goes, and having a couple people attacking the same issue from different angles can lead to impressive and create results. But you have to be willing to play nice. Not everyone gets to be the alpha team member at the same time and fighting with your Internet marketing team is the surest way to make sure things don’t get done to the client’s expectations.

  • SEO UK

    Thank you for your post.

    You share some very crucial tips. It is important when working with other people in the industry that you perform your strategies in a way that works best for all of you. In such an industry, rather than having a team of individuals, teamwork is most effective. I agree that you should understand the roles of others in the team. In the team that I work in, we all have knowledge on the same things, however what we are best at and the area of the trade that we enjoy the most, we stick to, and we can help each other out along the way.

    Thanks for the valuable information!