Getting your marketing team into Airtable

You’ve got your base (maybe it’s for content operations or another marketing workflow) set up: You’ve named your tables, you’ve organized your fields, and your records are looking good. Maybe you’ve even linked a few records so you can maintain a single source of truth. If you haven’t, that’s ok, we’ve got the guide for you.

But now, you might have questions on what to do next: Who do you share your base with? And when? And how do you know you’re ready? 

We’ve got three easy steps for you to take. Let’s get started.

1. Invite your closest partners to Airtable

Hundreds of thousands of organizations have taught us a thing or two about building an Airtable base. One of the best practices we’ve heard, regardless of team or company size, was a bit of a surprise: Co-creation.

The most effective bases aren’t built by a single person, but rather in collaboration with a few  teammates who know the workflow well. Invite one or two deeply invested co-workers to help you finish building out your base. If you’re making a content operations base, this might be your content strategist, your copywriter, or your product marketing partner who writes great briefs. 

What matters is finding a couple of marketers who are close enough to your work that they can help you catch gaps in your workflow and ensure that your base is going to help your whole team. Plus, they’re great advocates to help your team adopt Airtable.

We recommend bringing in your co-creators early, within the first week, so that they can help build out additional workflows and refine details of what you’ve already built. It’s okay if it’s messy, because they’re here to help you create order and ensure your workflow is ready to go.

⚡Airtable tip 

We recommend having a few working sessions with your co-creators, so you can:

  • Build your base together

  • Answer questions live

  • Pressure test your workflows in real time

It's also a great way to give them a rundown of how Airtable works, so they're up to speed.

2. Onboarding collaborators to your Airtable base

Now that your base is polished and pressure-tested (thanks to those wonderful co-creators), you’re ready to bring the rest of your immediate team (i.e. your content team) to your content operations workflow. These collaborators are different from your co-creators because they’re here to use, not build, the base. They might help you improve your workflow, but mostly, they’ll follow the structure you’ve built to create content, assign work, or request a new deliverable.

But first, there are five actions we believe you should take before you share:

  • Describe your base. Use the base description tool to let everyone know how your content operations base is set up and give them a few pro tips. In fact, here’s a pro tip about base descriptions: Include the most important info in your base description, but keep it brief. New collaborators will see your base description the first time they open your base, and a big block of text can slow them down.

  • Add a table description. Likewise, you can give your collaborators more context on what goes into each table within your base. In your “Content requests & deliverables” table description, for example, you might share the process behind approving inbound content requests.

  • Share what each field means. In the field description, you can give details about what data each field contains. In a “Project” field, you can tell your collaborators that you’re looking for a brief description of the project and remind them to keep it to a few sentences.

  • Name your views. We recommend adding a few views before sending invites, so that your collaborators can easily see what matters to them. Ensuring your views have descriptive names is one of the best ways to ensure your collaborators can use your base without creating duplicate views.

  • Disaster-proof your base. Finally, we know that sharing your base can cause some anxiety. You’ve spent time structuring your base and you don’t want anything to go wrong as you add co-workers. Taking a snapshot ensures that you’ve got a “save point” in your base and with revision history, you can easily revert any changes.

3. Onboarding your whole marketing team to Airtable

Once you’ve got that set up, you’re ready to start adding the rest of your team. When marketers hear that a new tool is coming, they usually groan (if you’re lucky, they’re on mute). But when you can show how Airtable benefits your team, it’ll be easier to get them on board.

We think there’s a fairly simple, three-part solution to this problem: 

  • Announce

  • Demo

  • Check in

Announce

Find your team-wide channel and let them know that you’re bringing in Airtable for your content operations workflow. Maybe your team uses Slack, Confluence, Microsoft Teams, or email. We suggest using the tool that your team normally uses to make announcements.

✍️ What to include in your announcement

  • Start with the pain points you hope your base will solve. Maybe it’s about how marketing approval processes are manual, hard to track, and ultimately, slow.

  • Share your goal in bringing in Airtable. For example, giving the team a smoother process in a single source of truth.

  • Share why you chose Airtable. It can be a simple or complex rationale, but letting your colleagues know more about the choice helps break down barriers.

  • Tell them that they should expect an email invite from Airtable next.

A few bonus items that are helpful to share (not necessary but these can be helpful):

  • A screenshot of what your base looks like

  • A description of how and when you’ll be inviting them and what they need to do

  • A heads up about the base description, so they know it’s an important part of their onboarding

Demo

Schedule time to walk your team through the base you’ve set up, so they can understand your tables, fields, and records. You can also answer questions as they come up and ensure that everyone knows how to work in your base.

⚡Airtable tip 

  • Focus on what’s most important in your demo. Airtable is a complex, flexible, and powerful tool, but your team doesn’t need to know every feature on their first day.

  • Walk them through your most-used workflow and then let them explore.

  • And, if they want a bit more help, you can share our guides.

Check in

Finally, set up regular check-ins or office hours to get feedback on what’s working, what’s confusing, and what’s not. One tip here: Set an end state for these check-ins, with criteria such as “once every team member is onboarded, we’ll switch to a Slack channel for questions.”

Now that you’ve got your co-creators, collaborators, and whole team on board, you’re ready to accelerate your marketing workflow in Airtable. We can’t wait to see what content you—and your team—build.

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