Did you know that 77% of virtual companies with over 2,500 employees allow for telecommuting and 20% of the global workforce is part of a virtual team?
Meanwhile, remote workers enjoy more flexibility and are found to be happier and more productive, which can translate into higher employee satisfaction and retention.
More organizations are taking advantage of remote workforces and for very good reasons. Not only can they lower cost by reducing the overhead associated with maintaining physical infrastructures but also tap into a larger talent pool and access specialists that may not be available locally.
In particular, many brands are building virtual marketing teams, which enable them to use local experts with unique insights about regional markets. They can also introduce diverse perspectives from employees with different backgrounds to foster creativity and innovative thinking.
However, there are also challenges in managing a remote marketing team. For example, miscommunications and delays due to differences in time zones, locations, and cultural backgrounds aren’t uncommon while the low-touch management style isn’t optimal for everyone.
Thankfully, you can hire the right people, use the appropriate tools, and implement the proper processes to ensure that your remote marketing team is functioning cost-efficiently. Here’s how:
Hire Team Members With the Right Personal Traits
Besides solid marketing skills, an in-depth understanding of your target market, and a good grasp of the industry, your remote marketing team members also need to have the personal traits that will allow them to work well in a virtual environment and under a low-touch, flexible management style.
These include self-management skills, communication skills, organization skills, time-management skills, as well as the ability to work autonomously and make decisions independently.
Also, seek out candidates who have a track record of working in virtual teams and the technical competence in using the various communication and collaboration tools that are essential for remote working.
Establish a Common Ground By Sharing Your Company’s Vision
To create campaigns that are on-brand and resonate with your market, your team needs to understand the company’s vision and brand identity. This will enable them to proactively take initiatives that align with your organization’s values and create marketing messages that resonate with your target audience.
Clearly communicate what your brand stands for in the onboarding process, share your company’s mission statement, and make sure your brand values are reinforced in all employee touchpoints.
You can also include an in-house orientation to deliver an immersive experience that will generate excitement, increase employee engagement, and augment team members’ understanding of your business objectives.
Ensure Seamless Communication With Cloud-Based Software
Cloud-based communication and collaboration platforms allow employees to work together and share information in real-time from anywhere with an internet connection. Team members can be available and stay productive whether they’re at home or on the go.
Some key software applications you should utilize include a unified communications system (which provides voice and video calls, SMS forwarding, file sharing, screen sharing, etc.,) a project management software, a file sharing platform, and a password management application.
These tools can help facilitate real-time collaboration and information sharing so everyone stays on the same page to avoid errors and delays.
Standardize Workflows To Promote Autonomy
Set clear expectations and standardize processes so team members can work autonomously and make decisions independently. This is particularly important if they’re in a different time zone than their colleagues and supervisors, so they can move projects along without unnecessary delays.
Write up all internal procedures and make the documentation easily accessible in a centralized location. Automate workflows to facilitate compliance and ensure that processes are followed so nothing falls through the cracks. Schedule frequent check-ins and foster open communication so you can gather timely feedback to improve efficiency.
In addition, make sure customer-facing team members are getting the support and guidance, such as coaching and scripts, to deliver a consistent and on-brand customer experience. You can also use live call coaching tools and scorecards to evaluate employee performance and improve outcomes.
Implement the Right Marketing Technologies To Increase ROI
Your remote marketing team needs the right technology stack to help them do their job and optimize results.
Some of the marketing technologies you should implement include a CRM system, a centralized data management platform, an email marketing software, social media management tool, content management platform, keyword research/SEO applications, etc.
Also, identify the appropriate KPIs and set up reporting so your team can track customer data from various channels and extract accurate insights in real-time to inform data-driven decision-making.
Maximize Productivity With a Comprehensive Onboarding Process
A well-orchestrated onboarding process helps ensure that remote team members understand internal workflows, communication protocols, and other operational procedures so they can work independently and effectively.
The onboarding process should include training on the various collaboration platforms and marketing software you have put in place so employees can become productive as quickly as possible. Also, make sure team members receive ongoing education on the latest marketing methodologies and technologies to optimize their performance.
You should ensure that they’re connecting to your systems and accessing customer information securely using tools like a VPN and private browser to minimize cybersecurity risks. For your team to fully utilize the many online tools, they need proper IT training and support. Data breaches are not only costly but can also erode customer trust and tarnish your brand’s reputation.
Hiring the right people, implementing the appropriate tools, providing timely guidance, and having a well-designed onboarding process can help you effectively manage a remote marketing team.
It’s also important to have ongoing dialogs with team members and gather feedback so you can improve the virtual work environment, build trust, increase employee engagement, and fine-tune processes.
This will improve employee satisfaction, which helps retain the best team members who have a deep understanding of your brand and the nuances of your customers’ behaviors to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.