Let’s face it, the reason creatives get into this business is to be, well, creative. But all too often poor planning, clunky approval workflow and outdated management tools eat into creative time. If you’re thinking about how to grow an advertising agency and enable full creativity, here are some tips on how to get more structure into your work day and improve your marketing workflow and processes, which will ultimately leave you with more time and head space to be creative.
- Plan work with a marketing calendar
The enemy of creativity is burnout. A marketing calendar that can be accessed by all stakeholders will allow you to better plan your projects. Not only will this enable you to view and organise your workload, but stakeholders will also be able to see all project work prior to requesting new work. Additionally, managers can make sure projects are resourced adequately so that you’re not stretched beyond your capacity.
2. Make sure stakeholders utilise customised brief templates
Incomplete or inaccurate briefs create unnecessary work for creatives, which means less time is spent on the fun stuff. Instead of going back and forth to get the right information from stakeholders, make sure they’re using customised briefs that check off every one of the creative team’s requirements. A comprehensive brief decreases the chance of having to revise artwork further down the track because elements were missed or miscommunicated at the start.
3. Tighten up your approval workflow
Too many creatives today are bogged down in administrating approval workflow where too much time is spent tracking work on spreadsheets, deciphering changes, looking for lost email approvals and revising artwork. If your approval workflow is eating into your creative time, then it’s time for a restructure. A streamlined approval workflow should only ever involve stakeholders who are instrumental to the project and ensure that approvals are sent in the right order for feedback so late changes don’t have to be made.
4. Utilise online proofing tools to simplify artwork revisions
Deciphering hand written mark ups is another time waster — especially if you have to revise artwork later on because you got it wrong. Online proofing tools offer a framework that allow creatives to manage and track feedback and artwork changes in a simple and easy way. Artwork can be compared side by side and changes can be highlighted in both text and on images, so there’s less chance of making errors.
5. Implement approval workflow software to structure all facets of your workload
If you’re serious about getting structure into your working day and finding more time to be creative, it could be time to consider approval workflow software. The beauty of this kind of solution is that you can consolidate briefs, feedback, changes, artwork revisions and approvals all in one central online hub, which greatly reduces administration time as well as errors. Some approval workflow software also comes with features such as tiered approvals, automated reminders, reporting tools, resource management and digital asset management DAM for saving digital assets.
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