Getting approvals across the line isn’t always a simple feat. In fact, approval delays remain a key challenge for marketing teams when it comes to producing content. We recently talked about how to improve and refining your approval workflow to ensure that you’re maximising your marketing time and resources. The next step is implementing the new marketing process and achieving uptake. Given that people are typically creatures of habit and don’t like to invite change, how do you make the experience easier?
Here are our 5 tips on how to improve the marketing approval process, and make the change easier for your team.
1. Champion the benefits of the new approval workflow process.
Firstly, it might be a good idea to preface the benefits with a reminder of the ongoing issues that have thwarted your team’s work. These issues could be anything from incomprehensive briefs to high artwork revisions to lost marketing assets. Next, outline how the new process will set a new precedence for producing content. For starters, with an effective process in place, your team will be less bogged down in administration. They’ll also notice they have more time to spend on the creative work they love. In addition to this, approval turnarounds will be faster, which means that hitting deadlines and budget targets will become an actuality.
2. Confer with your team about a commencement date for the new process.
Hopefully you’ve already collaborated with your team about refining your approval workflow process. After all, having input into a project makes staff more likely to get on board with change. It’s just as important to keep your team in the loop about a commencement date and request their input. If you make an isolated decision, the date might clash with a particularly busy period which can only breed antipathy. Talk to your team and agree upon a start date; this will only increase the chances of adoption.
3. Be gentle on your team in the beginning of implementing a new process.
When implementing a new process, it’s not unusual to find that a few sticklers revert back to the old way of doing things. Let’s face it, when the pressure’s on, it’s what they know best and so it’s an easier option for them. In reality, though, you’ve already ascertained that it’s not an effective way to work. While you need to put a stop to this behaviour, go gently in the beginning because, as we’ve outlined previously, change can be difficult. For anyone who is not following the new process, reiterate the benefits and ask them if there’s anything you can do to assist. Perhaps you can also get the rest of the team on board to offer support and champion the change.
4. Check in with your team to monitor and evaluate the new process.
Your new approval workflow process has been implemented, but has it delivered on the benefits you’ve been championing? It’s time to ask your team. Are briefs capturing the right details for marketing projects? Are all stakeholders reviewing and signing off artwork in a timely manner? Have artwork revisions reduced? Are you beginning to hit your deadlines? Are you finding it easier to locate past campaign files? Are you feeling less frustrated? Checking in with your team not only allows you to evaluate the new process, but it also remind them of the improvements that are happening as a result. Improved work conditions equals happier teams.
5. Always be open to ongoing feedback from your marketing team.
Your team is your sounding board: always listen to and take on board their feedback. Maybe something still isn’t quite right in the approval workflow process, such as a stakeholder complaining that they is reviewing artwork too late in the process. Or perhaps your team has noticed that briefs still aren’t capturing the right information. If this is the case, you might need to do a quick review of the process and make some changes. Again, keep your team in the loop about any changes so they know their input and feedback is valued.
You might also like: Is it time to implement approval workflow software?