Marketing departments are undergoing a strange shift in some niches, reducing or eliminating the collaborative power of an entire team in favor of individuals — such as entrepreneurs or seasoned marketing professionals — who oversee campaigns by themselves. In reality, teams are far more efficient due to their collaborative nature, but too many businesses have been sucked into the idea that the human element is less important these days.Download the May digital magazineCover story: How analytics transforms IoT data into business intelligenceREAD NOWThe illusion of individual marketing “teams”As we see it, the root of the problem lies in the vast diversity of different tools and technologies available to the modern marketer. Market research tools make gathering data a snap, automation tools help you crank out tedious tasks in record time, and even most forms of modern communications technology — like email and social media — happen instantly. This has led many companies to the false assumption that a single individual can manage an entire campaign. Unless you’re a startup just building a foundation, it’s far better to have a team of people working together.The importance of teamworkTeamwork comes with its own challenges, but the benefits far outweigh those temporary hurdles:1. Creative brainstorming. Team-based brainstorming doesn’t always go smoothly; some people won’t stop talking and others won’t speak up. Still, the best and most creative ideas aren’t spontaneously created from one person’s mind; instead, they’re kicked around by a group of people, gradually tinkered with and improved until they resemble something the group finds admirable. Adding more creative people to your team, in ongoing forms of collaboration, is going to help you come up with more creative campaign ideas, which will put you ahead of the competition.ADVERTISING2. Establishing clear responsibilities. Your team can also do a better job of segmenting different marketing responsibilities, assigning them to different team members. This is going to accomplish two significant tasks. First, you’ll avoid crossing wires, and your team will be able to work more efficiently in an assembly line style. Second, you’re going to allow different members of your team to develop niche roles and niche forms of expertise. As a general rule in marketing, it’s better to have a group of specialists working together than a group of generalists.3. Sharing knowledge between departments. Remember that your marketing team is only one part of your overall team; tie your marketing department into your other departments to share knowledge for a better-informed and more efficient organization. For example, few departments know your customers better than the customer service department. Enabling your customer service team to talk with your online marketers (and vice versa) can lead to a much better mutual understanding of how best to target and serve your customers. This helps both marketing and customer service teams do their jobs better.