Successful marketing campaigns require the knowledge of multiple disciplines: websites, email, texting, social media, direct mail, publications, public relations, advertising and more.

The people with the knowledge have to collaborate to create an integrated campaign in which each element complements the rest.

And collaboration is most effective when people know each other well and work as a cohesive team.

That’s why team building is not a nice-to-have for marketing companies, it’s a need-to-have. The internal result is happier employees who stick around and build strong relationships with colleagues. The external result is higher quality work for the clients.

Three types of team-building activities work well for small businesses. This fall, BTC’s owners implemented all three, and we’ll share them as examples.

Community service engages the team in hands-on volunteer help for a charitable organization. Many charities welcome company teams. BTC employees spent a few hours at Caring for Friends, preparing enough food to create a nutritious meal for 460 homebound, homeless, and hungry people in the Greater Philadelphia area. By the end we were pretty tired and our aprons were a mess, but we all had fun and felt good about making a contribution.

Sharing a festive meal is a timeless human bonding experience that can take many forms, from a restaurant lunch to a backyard cookout to an early Thanksgiving feast with all the fixins. The latter is a longtime BTC tradition. The owners rent fancy plates, glasses, flatware and a warming oven, and decorate the conference room. Each employee signs up to bring something delicious, from the turkey to a pie. Much merriment and gobbling (of food) ensue.

An off-site experience literally takes people out of their comfort zone – a great way to spark spontaneity and see one another in a new light. BTC serves many clients in the hospitality industry, so our obvious choice of venue is one of the hotels or resorts we promote. But many places welcome groups and some are set up to host team-building activities. This fall, BTC visited ICONA Avalon. A sunny beach walk set the tone for 24 hours of camaraderie.