Four steps to balancing process
With 70% of marketers unable to fulfil their work potential without help from technology, how can marketers keep processes in check to resurrect their creativity?
There’s a crisis of creativity among marketers. According to Adobe Workfront’s ‘Tomorrow’s CMO’ report, 70% say their team cannot work to the best of their ability without efficient work management tools.
As such, marketers must streamline the multiple and fragmented workflows they handle on a daily basis to be more productive and unlock time for creativity, Adobe Workfront’s senior product manager, Richard Whitehead, told the Festival of Marketing.
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“Marketing challenges are universal. We see the pace of content as just being relentless - every customer, every data point, is demanding more content from us every single day, which has to be hyper personalised,” Whitehead said.
“The problem, of course, is getting that internal alignment across the organisation to get that hyper-personalised content done. And that, of course, results in wasted time, burnout inefficiencies, and really poor work experience.
“On top of all that, if you work in a regulated industry, which most of us do, whether that be brand regulations or government regulations, compliance is absolutely critical to ensure that we get the right information to the right people at the right time. How do we handle all this work that we have to do as marketers? The problem is it's all fragmented.”
Acknowledging that “there's no replacement for great marketing, judgement and creativity,” Whitehead presented four key steps to help marketers balance process with creativity.
“Our job is to find the stories that connect with audiences and engage customers.”
Emily Latham, Channel 4
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Adobe Workfront's Richard Whitehead on measuring campaigns and content
1. Align strategy to execution
Naturally, most organisations have a strategy that is set by the executive team and communicated via email, slide decks and company meetings, said Whitehead. But it’s often difficult to link that strategy back to an individual’s day-to-day to work.
That’s why Whitehead advised that all task requests to the marketing team should be submitted via a single platform, so they can be thoroughly reviewed against the company strategy and prioritised according to how well they correlate.
“As marketers, it's difficult to say no to things, and you end up with way more work than you could possibly handle. But when you have a single place where all submissions are flowing, where you can plan and budget that work, then ultimately review it against certain scenarios, you're able to ensure that you're working on the right work, and that you have the resources to get the work done,” Whitehead explained.
2. Accelerate digital content production
Once content is created, updating the relevant stakeholders on its status can also be a burden for marketers, which can be alleviated through alignment, according to Whitehead.
“We've all received requests like, ‘how's that project going?’. With a consistent workflow in process and having all of that in a single source of truth, everybody can know the status of a project - where the content is in the process, and know when it's going to be delivered,” said Whitehead.
Then, once that content is ready for review and approval, rather than track the relevant stakeholders down individually, using a workflow platform means documents can be digitally reviewed and approved by multiple people in one place.
“Most organisations will typically go through eight to 10 review and approval cycles before a final piece of content is done. By following this process, you can eliminate more than half of that,” said Whitehead.
3. Empowering brand excellence
The right piece of content can be ruined by the wrong image or logo, or insertion into the wrong campaign. But marketers can avoid this by using a single digital asset management system, recommended Whitehead.
“A content management system like Adobe Experience allows you to store information in a variety of formats to ensure you get the right content to the right channels,” he said.
4. Ensuring and optimising outcomes based on insights
Marketing is ultimately about ensuring that creative work generates the leads necessary to drive revenue and business outcomes, which is why measurement is so important, said Whitehead.
Campaign management, customer journey and analytics tools allow marketers to track results – as well as tweak and redistribute content – and, ultimately, allow marketers to and move processes away from being a “dirty word”.
Whitehead concluded: “Ensuring people have the right tools to get their work done will make them happier, and make work more productive.”■