It’s a new year again. Yes, it’s that time of year when you can reflect on the year that has passed, the processes that worked well, the goals you achieved as well as reviewing parts of the business where you did not achieve your goals or the desired outcomes.
It is also an opportune time to think of what you’ll do differently to reach more of them, be more efficient, and more productive. This is especially relevant for marketers, considering that effective marketing isn’t becoming easier. So, to reach more people and create more awareness, you will need to work harder and spend more time and effort in finding ways to be more relevant. And let’s face it, it’s not going to change anytime soon.
This, ultimately, means that now is the time to review your workflow. It’s time for questions like, “Is my workflow really working?”, “Were projects finished on time?”, and “What changes can be made to improve?”. This is, of course, if you have a clearly-defined workflow.
Either way, the problem is, where do you start when you want to review your marketing workflow? In this post, we’ll aim to answer this question and give some tips you can use to review your workflow and approval processes and start the year off on the right foot.
Understanding Marketing Workflows
Before we look at these tips in more detail, let’s quickly revisit what marketing workflows are and how they help you.
At their core, marketing workflows are there to make your life as a marketer easier. You see, you constantly have to deal with not only increasing demands, but tighter deadlines, meetings, emails, feedback, and reviews. Juggling all these does get complicated very quickly.
That’s where marketing workflows come in. They lay out the steps you’ll need to follow to take your marketing projects to completion. So, they involve everything from taking the brief to the conception of an idea, the creation of collateral, the approval and review process, and the delivery of the final product.
You can almost think of them as the roadmap that guides you all the way from taking the instructions from your client to delivering the final project to them on time.
Why You Should Review Your Processes?
As mentioned earlier, marketing isn’t getting any easier. This is especially true for 2022. Why? Let’s explain.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, internet use exploded. For example, according to Statista, as of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users and 4.43 mobile internet users globally. This figure, excluding mobile users, is up from 3.97 billion in 2019 and 3.74 billion in 2018.
But what do these figures mean? Simply put, people are spending more time online with the result that marketers now focus more of their efforts on online channels to the extent that 70% of marketing budgets are now devoted to online channels.
In turn, this leads to more competition between marketers and they now need to do more work faster in order to stay relevant and reach their intended audience. In other words, marketing operations should now be more efficient than ever.
So, ultimately, you can’t afford not to have workflows that make your team more efficient and productive which, by implication, means you should review them and implement the necessary changes and improvements where necessary.
The Benefits of Reviewing and Adopting New Workflows
With that in mind, let’s now look at some of the benefits you’ll enjoy when you review your marketing workflows and processes and make the improvements necessary to face the increased demands on you and your team.
These benefits are:
- You’ll have more visibility and control over your marketing projects. This means you’ll be able to see exactly where a project is in the process, what still needs to be done, and who needs to do it. In turn, you’ll be better able to manage your projects.
- You’ll eliminate bottlenecks in your process because you’ll be able to control exactly where, what needs to happen in the process. So, simply put, your team will be more efficient. And when they’re more efficient, they’ll deliver higher-quality work consistently.
- You’ll be able to streamline your review and approval processes. When you do, you’ll manage project feedback much better and you’ll ensure that the right stakeholders approve at the right time. Moreover, with a streamlined review and approval process in place, everyone on the team will have visibility over the process and see exactly who reviewed the collateral and what comments they made. In this way, they’ll ensure that the changes are made and you’ll eliminate excessive revisions.
- If your workflows are transparent and offer greater visibility over your projects, your team will collaborate better. As such, they’ll understand what is expected of one another and communicate more. And with improved collaboration and communication, there will be no parts of the project to fall through the cracks.
- You’ll stay on top of your marketing compliance. This is simply because your workflows will provide a dedicated pathway that ensures your artwork gets reviewed by your legal and compliance teams when they need to. In turn, this ensures that only approved collateral gets published.
- Considering that your team will be more efficient, you’ll eliminate the frustration and angst of not getting work done on time. Flowing from this, you’ll also have satisfied clients that can trust you to get high-quality work done on schedule and on budget.
- Ultimately, by reviewing your workflows and processes, you’ll save a lot of time for your team that they can spend on what they do best. That is, being creative.
What Steps You Should Follow to Review Your Workflow?
Now that you’ve seen why you should review your marketing approvals and workflows, we’ve come to the best part. Here, you’ll learn how to review your workflows to make them more effective and efficient.
Step 1: What Are Your Goals
The first step in the process is defining your goals. In other words, you should decide what you want to achieve. And you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of setting goals as it’s the most important aspect of actually achieving them.
Moreover, because the end of a year is a good time to reflect on your team’s performance for the past year, it gives you the opportunity to see where you can improve to be more efficient and serve your clients better. So, what you see as possible improvements can be excellent goals for the coming year.
Step 2: What Are Your Current Marketing Workflow and Processes?
The next step is to look at your current processes. After all, if you don’t know and understand your current workflow, you wouldn’t know what to change.
So, you should look at how projects flow through your marketing workflow and whether your current processes help them on their way or whether they hold them back.
Step 3: What Issues Are You Having?
When you look at your goals and your current workflow and marketing processes combined, you’ll be able to identify the issues in your current workflow that are preventing you from reaching your goals.
For example, you might notice that your briefs are not complete enough which results in follow-up meetings to get additional information which then leads to delays.
Maybe you’ll notice that your marketing approval workflow doesn’t determine when the right stakeholders need to provide feedback which then leads to the inevitable scurrying to get artwork to the right people to get marketing approvals on time.
Keep in mind, though, these are just two examples and there could be multiple others. The key, however, is that, during this process, you’ll be able to identify the shortcomings in your workflow.
Step 4: What’s the Solution?
Once you’ve identified the issues in your workflow, you’ll be able to see how you can change or improve them in order to get the results you want. When you’ve identified the solutions to your challenges, it’s time you create a formal marketing approval template.
This will outline the exact process every project will follow from getting the brief to saving final artwork files. A major benefit of a template like this is that everyone on the team will be able to see what needs to be done at any specific stage and what role they’ll play.
Step 5: What About Technology?
Although this is the last step, it’s definitely one of the most important. In fact, it’s vital that you use technology to your advantage and let it help you streamline your marketing approval workflow and make it more efficient.
If you’re still using less-than-optimal tools like email and spreadsheets to manage your workflow and marketing processes, the answer is simple: You need marketing approval workflow software.
If you currently have a solution, you’ll need to review how it fits your workflow and whether it’s as effective as it can be. Here, you’ll need to consider whether it has all the tools you need to make managing your workflow easier.
Is it Time For a New Solution
If you don’t use marketing approval workflow software or your current solution falls short, you should consider a new software solution.
And here, Admation fits the bill perfectly. It incorporates all the tools you need to manage your marketing workflow effectively and efficiently including online briefs, online markup and proofing, digital asset management, project management, and more.
To learn more about Admation and how it can help you, why not schedule a demo today.