Effective marketing has now become more important than ever for a successful business. The tempo of marketing has also increased as many businesses are seeking that competitive edge in the market. That means more ads, more content, more concepts, more proposals, and more presentations.
The problem is that many businesses continue to use a traditional “chain of command” process for reviewing and approving marketing projects. Inevitably, at some stage, this leads to project delays, budget blowouts, frustration, and irritation. These delays lead to wasted time and missed opportunities, a bad combination for any effective marketing process.
So, you’re probably thinking that there must be a better way to do manage the approval workflow. Luckily, there is. To cut out the delays, wasted time, and to free yourself from repetitive tasks, you need to have a streamlined marketing approval process that ensures your marketing review and approval process as efficient as possible. But how do you design such a process to manage marketing approvals as effortlessly and pain free as possible? Here we’ll give you the steps to help you set up a process that will keep you in control.
Simplify the Approval Process
If you want a streamlined review and approval workflow, your first step is to simplify your process. To do this, take a look at your workflow from the planning stage through to completion, and record these steps. When doing this, it might be helpful to ask yourself these questions:
- How should work be submitted and changes requested?
- How many steps are there?
- Who’s needs to review and approve content
- At what stage in the process do different stakeholders or departments need to provide feedback?
- What are your marketing compliance requirements? When do legal need to review?
- How do you follow up and send reminders? Who is responsible for this?
- What happens after approval or rejection?
The answers to these questions will give you great insight into your process and how it can be improved. Where it can be improved, take the actionable steps necessary to improve and simplify your process.
When simplifying the process, remember, you want a step-by-step process in which everyone knows exactly what to do and when. It’s important that there are enough steps to ensure high quality results, but not too many to bog down and delay the creative process.
You may, for instance, minimize revisions during the process. More people mean more feedback, and if it isn’t managed properly, more confusion. So, reducing the number of approvers is an easy way to speed up the process. Likewise, reducing the number of revisions can shorten your marketing approval process considerably.
By going through these questions through several iterations, you’ll be able to add what is necessary and eliminate steps that are redundant. Also, keep in mind that your process can be tweaked as you go along and as you see how your steps fit into the process in practice.
Use Deadlines Wisely
To keep your process running smoothly, set deadlines and keep to them. Each step in your process, from briefing to final approval, should therefore have a deadline that should be adhered to. Missing a deadline in one stage creates a bottleneck, not only for earlier steps, but also causes missed deadlines for the later steps.
To prevent this, communicate the urgency of these deadlines and get firm commitments from all role players that they will adhere to these deadlines. Also helpful is that, in making this commitment, role players agree that, if they fail to meet the deadline, the project moves on with or without their input.
Get Actionable Feedback
Nonactionable feedback is as good as no feedback. Even worse is when feedback from one reviewer contradicts the feedback of another. This prevents changes being made and inevitably causes delays in the process. It’s therefore vitally important that you get actionable feedback on the steps where feedback is necessary.
Like we said, a possible way to implement this would be the reduce the number of reviews and revisions. This reduces the possibility of conflicting instructions and confusion.
But you also need a clear process for providing and receiving actionable feedback in which all reviewers understand the purpose of the project as a whole, but also are able to see the feedback and input of other role players. In other words, everyone on the team needs to be able to act on the feedback provided. Mere generic feedback will no longer suffice with this process.
Use Approval Workflow Software
One way you could improve and streamline your marketing approval process is by using approval workflow software. This software can help you to organize and automate large parts of your approval workflow.
It standardizes your process leaving no room for activities outside the workflow and, with the transparency it provides, everyone on the team knows what’s expected of them and when. It also enables people across different teams to review, mark up and sign off on steps in real time. By doing this, it reduces extra work, conflicting instructions, and saves time.
Therefore, by using an managed workflow system, you speed up the whole process and reduce costs, making your marketing approval processes far more efficient and productive.
Admation simplifies the review and approval of marketing content — check out the video below.
Analyze and Improve
Once you’ve designed and implemented your marketing approval process, you can collect and analyze data to improve your system even further.
Approval workflow software allows you to track all your activities on one platform and enables you to collect data and analytics on every part of your approval process. You’ll therefore be able to analyze this data from all angles and adjust the workflow, as necessary.
You’ll get to see exactly where bottlenecks occur, where the process slows down, and how to improve or make changes to your process.
Benefits of Using a Marketing Approval Process
Now that you’ve seen some actionable tips to implement a streamlined marketing approval process, you’re probably wondering how it can help you.
The main benefits of implementing a marketing approval process is that:
- you’ll save time
- you’ll maximize efficiency
- you’ll standardize your process
- spend less time on manual, repetitive tasks
- give your team more time to be creative
In addition, if you use approval workflow software, you’ll also improve transparency and marketing compliance in your process because everyone will be working according to predefined criteria.
There you have it. Now you know how to design your own marketing approval process and how it can help you improve your marketing efforts. Still need some help, a short discovery call with admation product team is a great place to start. Schedule a call now!