As a marketing leader, one of your top priorities is advancing your organization’s brand in the market. Day to day, you focus on shaping big-picture strategy and the campaigns that flow from it—which doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for digging into the details of your marketing operations. So, when you start to see evidence of process breakdown, you may need help identifying the root causes — and uncovering the right solutions.
Perhaps you’re finding that your team is increasingly reworking marketing materials in the final stages of production. Or maybe your time to market is dragging. It could be that you recently centralized your marketing organization and your old processes aren’t translating to your new structure. Or perhaps your brand isn’t consistently applied across all your marketing channels.
Any of these symptoms are indicating that your marketing operations and processes need to be revisited.
Creating strong marketing processes has many benefits. Good systems increase productivity, enhance collaboration, and boost team morale — all leading to a better quality of work and a higher market impact. They also trim costs, reduce inefficiencies, and eliminate silos while increasing your ROI.
Ready to take your marketing processes to the next level? Here’s how to get started.
How to optimize your marketing processes to level up your brand’s performance
If your existing processes don’t allow your team to function like a well-oiled machine, it’s time to take a look under the hood. At BrandActive, we work with organizations like yours to assess existing marketing processes, identify key areas for improvement, and provide a workable roadmap to help your team function at top performance.
To do that, we consider four key factors.
1. Are your current processes efficient?
Efficient processes reduce costs, eliminate redundancies, uncover opportunities for technological innovation and automation, and streamline decision making. Beyond that, they reduce frustration and can lead to happier, more productive employees. To determine whether your processes are efficient (and to discover where there is room for improvement), we use both quantitative and qualitative measures.
- Quantitative benchmarks measure specific, tangible metrics. For instance, how long does it take your team to create a piece of collateral from start to finish? What is the timeframe to bring a new campaign to market? How many new projects are initiated on a weekly or monthly basis? Taking time to look at these numbers can reveal strengths and weaknesses in process. If you don’t already have metrics in place, we’ll work with you to establish a baseline moving forward.
- Qualitative findings are another way to illuminate pain points within your current processes. By talking with key internal stakeholders and asking insightful questions, we get to the heart of your team members’ experiences. We explore which tasks consistently frustrate them, what obstacles make it hard for them to adhere to established guidelines, and what would help make their responsibilities easier?
2. Are your processes effective?
In order to fully accomplish your marketing objectives, your processes must be both efficient and effective. After all, you can have the most efficient processes possible, but if no one needs or uses them as intended, they will ultimately be of little use.
Efficiency takes stock of how quickly and methodically your team works. Effectiveness measures how well your processes support your overarching goals and objectives. In short, efficiency reduces waste and improves output; effectiveness ensures alignment and ultimate success.
To evaluate effectiveness, we examine:
- Documentation. Have you documented your processes so they are well-defined and easily understandable? Are there processes that are currently unwritten and living only in theory?
- Roles and responsibilities. Do team members know who is responsible for each part of your marketing processes? Are there current breakdowns or gaps in structure that need to be addressed?
- Team member needs. Do your current processes give your team members what they need to successfully implement your brand and do their jobs well?
For an example of an effectiveness exercise, one of our clients on the East Coast found they had up to six approvers on any one marketing request – which meant gathering approval and consolidating feedback/comments could take up to three weeks. Through careful consideration, we helped to refine the process, reducing the number of approvers to two and expediting the process significantly to two days.
3. Are you actively managing your processes?
In many organizations, no one person is responsible for holistically managing marketing processes. This often creates a siloed approach where each marketing team is creating their own which, in turn, makes it difficult to identify systemic problems and optimize processes across the organization.
The solution is to appoint a methodical, process-minded person to provide big-picture oversight of your processes across the entire marketing organization. This brand and marketing operations manager should direct ongoing iterations of your processes, ensure procedures continually align with your business’s shifting needs, and identify new approaches to support your strategic goals.
The best person to manage your marketing processes is someone who will be excited to drill into the details of complex procedures. Appointing the right person will free up your subject matter experts to focus more intently on their primary responsibilities.
4. Are you measuring your marketing processes with smart benchmarks?
When it comes to marketing and brand operations, it can be tempting to “set it and forget it.” But effective processes grow and evolve with your organization’s ever-changing needs.
Your marketing and brand operations manager should continually review and evaluate a key set of metrics in order to provide proper care and maintenance for your processes. We’ll help your team create benchmarks that will provide important insight for continuous improvement. You can track things like:
- How many new project requests your creative team receives on a weekly and monthly basis.
- The average completion time for common projects.
- The number of approvals required for each project.
- Turnaround time for receiving final approval.
- Average return for each marketing initiative
- Duplicate requests coming from multiple departments for similar projects.
- How many templates or self-service options are (or should become) available and how well they are utilized.
- Total cost per project from start to completion, including the cost of employee time.
Moving forward, your team will be empowered to assess the ongoing performance of your marketing processes and proactively adjust course as needed.
It’s time to prioritize your marketing processes
Streamlining your marketing and brand operations is good for everyone. With the right processes in place, your team can do their best creative work — and amplify your brand’s impact in the market. Ready to get started? We’d love to hear from you.