Right now is the perfect time to think positively about the future of how you execute your Marketing plans. That’s because it’s relatively quiet! So get the team together. Take stock and position yourself to come out of this with a more streamlined marketing model.

1. Review briefing/agency/rollout model.
Undertake a Marketing Audit.

What seems like an arduous task in assessing what you do and how you do it will reap big rewards. This is the right time to do a Marketing audit. To assess how you’re briefing your ad agency – what they’re coming back with and how much it’s costing you to execute the creative into market. Perhaps it’s time to compare this somewhat antiquated rollout model with an Automated Ad Production platform. Right now, you know it’s costing you a small fortune. It’s slow. It’s frustrating for everyone. Let’s face it – Ad agencies are great at ideas, but their production model is not ideal. So what does a different model look like if you insert an automated system into the production equation? Weigh the two up, side-by-side, and make the assessment in terms of time to produce work, streamlining your approvals processes and the bottom-line costs of production.

2. Stop wasting time and become more productive.  

ISO has shown us that we don’t need lots of internal meetings to get on with things. Sure, regular catchups can streamline communications and form strong connections. But we all know there are meetings that could have taken half the time and have distracted people rather than achieving anything. Take stock of the number of WIPs and team catchups and rationalise. See tips on streamlining meetings in our article in this newsletter - ‘Marketing team cut in half – what now?’

The same could be said of your supplier roster. Marketing WIPs arranged by the ad agency/media buyer/print rep are often just ways to engage and feel out work opportunities. Get on the front foot and wrest back the schedule so that it suits you and your marketing team.

Now that you’ve got a thirst for increasing productivity, there’s one old-school workflow model that is a complete time waster in your marketing department – and that’s the continual hunt for digital assets. This is an iceberg. You only see a small portion of the problem, but if you look more carefully at the endless string of emails, the phone calls, the despatch of assets to various parts of the network and the lack of clarity around which assets can be used where, it goes deep. The Digital Asset Management software industry has expanded with the explosion in volume of assets in marketing and advertising. New media is asset thirsty and the demands on your team to provide clarity around those assets, store them properly for efficient searching, ensure Rights Management around those assets and be ‘the Gatekeeper’ for a huge array of files (just look at that pile of portable drives over there marked ‘Rushes’) mounts every day.

A DAM (short for Digital Asset Management system) is a must have in the modern marketing world. It stores, collates, centralizes and manages all your digital assets for access by your Marketing team and the entire Sales network. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive your team will become – you are effectively streamlining your marketing processes, boosting productivity by nearly 20%. Do the math on that in terms of the cumulative Marketing incomes you have and it’s no small gain. Why 20%? That’s exactly how much time your team wastes every working day looking for assets, saving assets, distributing assets to everyone in the network.

3. Get everyone in the network on the same page with good planning tools.

“Streamlining stakeholder management” sounds like a great step forward in gaining efficiencies. But what exactly does this mean? From a marketing point of view, it’s simply about good communication around your yearly strategy – getting your Marketing team and your sales network on the same page, working as one.

Aligning Head Office Marketing plans with Local Area Marketing is often tricky. Only with a unified view of the calendar of marketing activity can central and LAM teams effectively control the message into market.

There are a range of ways to do this - diarizing meetings, regular all-in WIPs etc. But there are also software solutions that modernize the sharing of information and maximize efforts. Brand Management software gives all your teams visibility around the plans for the year, aligning efforts and ensuring gaps in the communications schedule are covered (and importantly, that efforts aren’t unnecessarily ‘doubled up’ during the year). Getting everyone in the network on the same page is not just about timing efficiencies, it also drives efficiencies in producing content that can be shared and released strategically into market.

Smart scheduling software can also trigger the production of content at the touch of a button into a Dynamic Content Creation platform that can execute the schedule into all the different kinds of media required. This saves considerable time that would normally have been taken in briefing a production team (ad agency or internal design team) together with the associated approvals requirements and rounds of author’s corrections.

Learn more about Brand Management Planning software here.

4. Spend smarter.

Putting in place an automated ad production system not only streamlines the working day of your marketing team, it empowers your entire sales network with the tools to develop specific content for their Local Areas. But convenience and time savings is just the beginning of the benefits of a Dynamic Content Creation system. You will also save significantly on the old ad agency production model, bringing your spending into line with a more delicate economic model ahead. You can either bank those savings or re-invest them in additional creative and more media.  

5. Make the workflows… flow.

Up to now, your Marketing team has had to be the brand police for your company (there’s little joy in being the bad guys when it comes to enforcing brand compliance). And because of this, workflows are bottlenecked to say the least. Then there’s the problem of having to get feedback from Legal (who you can never seem to contact), the Product team (Marketing are always on the bottom of their list) and every other department that wants their say (usually via a protracted email chain).

All this interdepartmental involvement clogs up the workflow up completely, frustrating network users and stopping you getting messages into market. One of the cornerstone virtues of Brand Management software is its capacity to streamline workflows – and in particular – to be the ‘Brand Police’ by ensuring brand compliant content creation. The Dynamic Content Creation platforms that sit within Brand Management software suites should be able to provide a robust and customizable workflow and approvals matrix while protecting the brand with flexible, reliable compliance features. This kind of software opens the door to allowing the entire network (on a local, national or global scale) to access editable templates and create their own brand compliant content in a matter of minutes. With inbuilt approval permissions and production protocols, the work will flow more quickly into market than ever before.