Marketing is no longer a one-man’s sport. To be effective at it, you have to pull together a solid team of great minds and talents, and be able to consolidate all their efforts towards a common marketing process— not an easy task, but it’s totally doable.
The process is complicated, particularly where you have to coordinate work with other departments, clients, and a string of freelancers. And it’s NOT like you’ll be working on a single campaign at a time. But even in a situation where you’re juggling multiple campaigns, your clients are only interested in seeing results and that their work is completed on time, with no excuses of any kind.
But as many marketers are beginning to find out, it’s possible to make all this manageable by tapping into a tested and proven project management strategy by building an efficient marketing workflow.
No need to stress over the chaotic marketing machine when you can easily build an effective workflow that will be streamlining all the tasks and processes leading up to a common marketing goal you’ve set for your business or client.
What’s a Marketing Workflow?
As the name suggests, a marketing workflow is a sequential flow of small codependent tasks and actions that are carried out in convergence to a common marketing goal.
Usually, marketing workflows are created for an expansive team of marketers so as to consolidate all their marketing efforts and define the marketing process leading up to accomplishing a broad marketing task. Speaking of which, a marketing workflow has to factor in the different actions, the personnel, the different departments, and all the teams involved.
They’re even more important when the marketing process is a repetitive one, carried out so many times in a cyclic kind of manner. So instead of wasting time figuring out who’ll be handling a particular task, you simply sort out your team based on their specialty or area of expertise before assigning them roles.
The best part is that it’s possible to automate marketing workflows using some modern cloud-based technologies or platforms. What the system does is define the tasks involved, initiate appropriate actions, and even request for approvals based on the flow of work and completion of all the previous tasks within the workflow. It can even trigger separate downstream workflows should there be a need for it.
Benefits of a Marketing Workflow
Simple, taking the right project management approach is good for NOT only stretching out your profit margins but also for reducing stress and saving you from unnecessary headaches during the course of the project.
As a marketer, here’s a list of all the things you stand to gain by adopting a solid marketing project management workflow:
No Duplicate Efforts and Unnecessary Confusion
A marketing workflow first ensures that every single one of the tasks at hand is assigned to the most qualified member of your team. That way, you get to make it clear who’s responsible for handling a particular task and the scope of which the task must be handled. That’s besides cutting off unnecessary confusions in the line of “I thought x would be handling that” or “I already handled the same task the previous week.”
Work Transparency and Room for a streamlined Collaboration
Where each member is fully aware of what the other member of the team is doing, then you’re bound to have some sort of transparency and less friction between team members. In which case, members can decide to help each other, come together and exchange new ideas, and be even able to coordinate all their marketing efforts with the other departments involved.
Room to Prune Resources
Workflows allow you to view your project from a broader angle. You get to see how the pieces fit into each other and the value they bring to the project. So just in case you notice that a particular step has no real value with regards to the end goal, then you have the option to cut it off and direct the effort elsewhere.
Replicate some of the lessons learned
Once you’ve defined the steps involved in getting a project done, you’ll have an easy time understanding some of the things you’re likely to encounter along the way and when exactly to expect them. This will then allow you to make necessary calibrations as you go, thus making the implementation process run even smoother.
You simply take notes of everything that makes the project flow smoothly and apply it on the next campaign project while doing away with anything that appears to drag it down. Using an effective marketing project management workflow tool, you can easily record everything for an easy reference next time you have a similar project.
Juggle Multiple Projects all at Once
Agencies juggle multiple projects simultaneously without incurring any hardship and it’s all because they have mastered the art of streamlining all their projects. Even those with heavy deadlines, so long as they’ve managed to spread all their resources across the board, it’s possible for them to handle several projects at once without losing their mind.
Project Management Principles to Improve Your Workflow
Now that you know the benefits of a marketing project management workflow, let’s find out how you can start applying them:
Consolidation means bringing everything together at a central point where everyone can access it. With regards to marketing workflow, what it means is that all conversations, status updates, and resources should all be pulled together at a central place where everyone will have an easy time accessing.
That way, every member of your team stays on the same page because that’s where all the discussions, decisions and files are kept for everyone to see (or on the very least, locate them).
Balance Your Team’s Workload
A marketing workflow works to ensure that all your work is handled with the highest efficiency, potential, and productivity. That goes on to ensure that your productivity is further enhanced and that the quality of the work done is to the best of the industry standards.
And just in case one member of the team is lagging behind on a deadline, another member of the team is allowed to step in and bail them out for the sake of making the project a success.
A well-streamlined workflow will also be working to ensure that you’re able to keep track of everyone’s assignments together with their deadlines and everything. You’re also allowed to redistribute the project to avoid stalling or caught up with deadlines.
You can standardize the processes you follow and make every member of your marketing team follow clear approval procedures that align with your campaign and brand identity. Works even better for repetitive tasks; where you can use the same template, schedules, and outlines on the next task to save on time and minimize on expected slip-ups and miscalculations.
Track Your Tasks
Every single one of the tasks you do must be accompanied with a timeframe. With recurrent tasks, it’s even possible to estimate the amount of time it will take to complete the task. That way, you’ll have an easier time planning for future projects and coming up with near-accurate deadlines for individual tasks.
Room for Contribution
Besides defining what needs to be done and within what timeframe, workflows goes at length to make sure your teamwork improves by leaps and bounds. That’s because there will be room for every member of the team to chime in with their contribution, dish out innovative ideas, and
execute their scope of work faster and more efficiently, thus improving the overall performance of the team.
How to Draft a Marketing Workflow
You need to document your marketing workflow. But what’s the best way to go about it? Do you simply list it or compile it in a spreadsheet? How do you go about streamlining it in the first place?
Well, a marketing workflow doesn’t have to be complicated. But very succinct and straight to the point. That being said, we’ll be compressing all the processes involved into 11 vitals steps that you’ll be observing while creating one:
- Start by documenting everything about your workflow processes in bullet points; just a simple list highlighting everything your campaign project entails.
- Now go ahead and rewrite the list into detailed notes. You can do this by expounding on the list and afterward rearranging them in their sequential order.
- Assign responsibilities. Go through the steps and add responsibilities, making sure you’ve included all the do-ers and approvers.
- Try consolidating the steps into clear tasks. As you’re soon to find out, some of the steps can be consolidated into a single task, whereas some will require you to break them further into multiple tasks that you’ll assign to different members of the team.
- Define each task so it can be clearly understood. You can do this by defining the scope of the work involved and what exactly is expected of the assignee.
- You’re however advised to put approvers where necessary, but where there’s no need for one, it’s even wiser to go ahead and remove them.
- Now go through the tasks again and document them. Polish through the task and try to make everything even clearer and more understandable.
- Add a timeframe to individual tasks. Go through the list of tasks and attach a timeline to every single one of them.
- The next thing you do is keep track of the experiences you get. Be sure to document everything by handling the project as a test project, where the notes you draft are to help you with all your future project. You’re simply learning and using the experiences you get to figure out the best way possible on how to handle such a project.
- Find out if there’s any room for improvement and do the necessary.
- Once done, you can go ahead and publish the document for everyone to see and follow it through.
If you have an implementation consultant, this is the point where you hand it to them for further consolidation and improvement if there’s any room for it.
Simplified Step by Step Guide on how to create a Marketing Workflow (in 6 simple steps)
Document all the processes involved on a sticky note.
Assign: Figure out which member of your team is best suited to handle any given task on the list. Add them, and if there’s a need to review the work and approve, assign an approver as well. But first, ask yourself if the approver is necessary, and only include one when there’s a need for it.
Consolidate: Go through the steps and find out which ones among those listed brings any value to the project at hand. In which case, you’ll have to toss out any of them that doesn’t seem to bring in any significant value.
Define the sticky notes
Go through each one of them and define it by expounding on the scope of work involved and their corresponding times and everything else.
Test it out
Test the workflow out as you keep track of the progress made. Where possible, try to add in more sticky notes to cover for what’s missing as you remove those you deem pointless.
After you’ve created your marketing workflow, the next thing you do is enshrine it by publishing so it can be accessed by everyone in your team.
Popular Workflow Management Tools for Singapore Marketers
You have tons of software options to help you manage your workflow as a marketer. Here’s a list of all the common choices you’ve got:
Designed to let your team collaborate on everything in an organized manner. The tool features a flexible design that allows you to plan and execute new projects with so much ease, regardless of what it is.
For planning and organizing your projects, workflows, and so much more. All this is done to make sure your team stays on the schedule. Suffice it to say that Asana is one of the most efficient work management tools you can find.
Wrike allows you to set your priorities straight by organizing all your workload and tasks in a single place. It’s the tool you use to keep your team member on the same page, without necessarily meeting them in person.
With the tool, you can update your task descriptions, comments, and even mention the other team members in real time. You also have the option to share feedbacks and to keep the discussions in context.
CoSchedule is designed to provide businesses, individual and agencies with a broad range of marketing and social media scheduling tool for managing their online campaigns. Also featured in the tool is email marketing, canned and reusable workflow templates, as well as social analytics to name a few.
Basecamp is one of the most efficient workflow management tools you’ll ever come across online. It basically features all the tools you’ll ever need to manage your marketing work project, all compiled in a simple package.
You can use the tool to share your project details, discuss ideas, plan your marketing campaigns and even share screenshots and important images.
Let’s wrap it Up Here
Workflows are basically meant to hold you accountable for the goals you’ve set for your project.
In addition to that, having everything in a single place allows you and your team to save loads of time and enhance productivity.
Curious about how our marketing team manages workflows? Make a point to contact us today and we’ll be able to walk you through everything we’ve mentioned.