How two global companies are reinventing cross-collaboration

How two global companies are reinventing cross-collaboration

If you’re looking to compound Marketing’s impact, start with strengthening your connection with cross-functional partners.

Whether it’s winning more prospects or drumming up customer loyalty, maximizing Marketing’s impact means close collaboration with Sales and Product. According to research from Forrester, 80% of leaders view increasing connections between teams as a ‘high’ or ‘critical’ priority. Why? Because silos hamper teams’ ability to rely on data, drive revenue, and avoid mistakes.

If you’re a marketing leader, you’re likely already feeling the strain of fewer resources and tighter budgets. By aligning your team to the work of cross-functional partners, it’s possible to grow your impact and solidify your position as a mission-critical business partner.

For this reason, our most successful customers are taking a different approach to collaboration—connecting teams with data. When the marketing calendar syncs to Salesforce, or when the product roadmap fuels the campaign schedule, for example, details like deadlines and dependencies are updated in all places automatically. This pulls teams out of status checks and handoffs, and gives them the information they need to make faster, more accurate decisions. Imagine if sharing data was as easy as sharing a doc—what would that unlock?

Recently, we released an ebook about reinventing collaboration. Achieving the kind of collaboration that goes beyond surface level alignment—not just "working together," but truly moving as one. You can download A marketer’s guide to collaborating across the org, or you can read on to see the ways customers like Dropbox and BlackRock are amplifying Marketing efforts by taking a data-first approach to collaboration.

Fortifying the Marketing and Sales connection at Dropbox

When Cory Shrecengost joined Dropbox as part of their 2019 HelloSign acquisition, the enterprise was at the cusp of a major rebrand. Cory, a content producer with an eye for operations, needed to create a content engine aligning Dropbox and Hellosign messaging to increase awareness of new product offerings for customers. “We were producing separate content with separate processes,” Cory said.

Requests for content from Sales (and other teams) were “pretty much a black box”. They were working out of Slack, Jira, email, spreadsheets and Google docs, and Cory was constantly fielding questions from cross-functional partners. “Everything was fragmented, communication was fractured and none of our teams were aligned on process. It would take me days to track down information,” he said.

Using Airtable, Cory built a connected app to increase visibility between Marketing and Sales, and ultimately to make the company more successful. Here are some of the outcomes of Cory’s approach to collaboration:

More efficient and effective enablement: The Dropbox content tracker app allows Sales reps to request different content types via an input form, and they receive personalized progress alerts as the content is being produced. In addition to request-based comms, the entire sales team receives a weekly automated email digest of everything that’s published recently—which no one had time to create before.

A more cohesive customer journey: Cory is now able to view and connect the initiatives from product, engineering, developer relations, and content and communications teams. This approach makes it easier to see what gaps they have in supportive content, and how to produce content to compound and complement the impact of cross-functional work. “Airtable has made it possible for us to streamline our processes so that we can think about our content at a much higher level, and ultimately serve our customers better,” Cory said.

Greater ROI for every piece of content: Sales can now search for content according to use case or product type. When a team member is searching for content about a customer who is using Dropbox Sign for HR, for example, they can search the Airtable database for relevant, HR-related content. Previously they’d have to ask around and, by the time they found the most useful assets, the opportunity may have passed. ​

Unifying Marketing and Product at BlackRock

When BlackRock, one of the world’s most powerful asset and investment management platforms, was evolving its software and capabilities, Dan Cunningham knew he needed to align internal communications by connecting multiple teams and disparate sources of information. As Senior Director of Product Management for Aladdin WealthTM, BlackRock’s wealth management software, Dan was able to bring transparency to the product roadmap, connect 300+ global team members for stronger cross-collaboration, and save 580 hours a month across the organization.

Before Airtable, internal communications at Aladdin WealthTM were sometimes siloed between tools like Wiki pages, email, chat, and spreadsheets. It could take a full week of conversations to figure out which product would be released next. “Just knowing the status of projects required more manual processes,” Dan said.

To solve the problem, Dan centralized communication in Airtable so that every stakeholder can track the health of an upcoming product launch. There’s no more sifting through spreadsheets for deadlines; everything is in one place and clear details about each product are accessible to all teams at the same time, regardless of where in the world they’re working. Here’s how that work has impacted the wider org:

The whole company speaks from the same script. This alignment means smoother internal rollouts which lead to faster adoption of new technology. “Since using Airtable to communicate our product updates we've really seen faster time-to-market,” Dan said.

Client managers can more efficiently shape product updates. With Airtable forms, client managers and product teams can submit feedback live during a beta test of a product. And this feedback automatically populates an Airtable base for technologists and other teams to implement. This open internal line of communication has led to more specialized product launches and accelerated the time it takes to go to market.

Driving more revenue. Telling a consistent story. Evolving the customer journey. These outcomes are only possible when Marketing works in lockstep with Sales and Product. Using a connected apps platform, you can pull customer data, marketing data, Salesforce data, and product data into a single source of truth, offering a holistic view of performance and insights so that cross-functional partners can truly move as one. From here, fresh opportunities emerge for customizing upcoming product releases and tailoring future marketing campaigns to solve the most important problems for customers and prospects.

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