Budgets are tight, workloads have increased, there’s a freeze on new recruitment and now there’s more marketing collateral to output than ever before. At last management has recognised there’s a need to implement a solution to assist the team in managing the approval process. You’ve been assigned the task of sourcing and recommending a solution. But where do you start?
It can be a little overwhelming when you start researching what marketing approval tool is right for you. There’s such a huge range of options available in the market place, so how do you know which one is right for you? Before you get started on the research, stop and ask yourself a few key questions.
Why do I need a marketing approval tool?
You might think the obvious answer to this is that you require a more effective solution for managing your marketing approvals. And, yes, you’re correct, but you’re going to need to be more explicit. That is, you need to write down exactly what you need your new tool to do i.e. I need a solution that:
- reduces the marketing approval time
- enables online mark up and annotations
- will store final files in a central online location, and so on.
What is our current marketing approval process?
This question is important in order to decipher what stakeholders and departments are involved, and the essential touchpoints, in your approval process. Once you’ve confirmed this, you can ask the right kinds of questions when doing your research i.e. Does this tool offer a tiered approval process allowing different department to review collateral at different stages of approval? Does it allocate project milestones for each stakeholder? Does it allow brands to mark up files directly into it? Is there an asset folder where all final files can be stored for future reference and use?
What sort of content do we create?
You need to ask this question to ensure you look out for a solution that supports all the different mediums you work with as well as to ensure it can support the types of volumes you output.
Do you need a tool that supplies reports?
If you need a tool that can provide reports, make sure you know exactly what kind of report you need, the data it needs to include and in what format you need it.
What time frame do you have for implementation?
With your focus on finding the perfect solution, this is a consideration that’s easy to miss. Nonetheless, time is indeed money, so you need to ensure you find a vendor with the right solution that can implement it within your time frame. It would also be worth liaising with your IT department on this as they might have some good questions for you to consider that you haven’t thought of. Ensure that training is included in this and look for a vendor that offers great support from implementation and ongoing.
What is your budget?
Yes it’s the million dollar question, but you need to ensure you get the right solution that meets your needs while staying within your budget. Be clear on what your budget is from the get go, and remember in life ‘you get what you pay for’.