Do you have a Simple Process for Reviewing and Approving Marketing Materials?
How many of you have experienced this before:
You are given a request from your sales team to create a marketing brochure for a particular client meeting that is in less than 1 week.
The creative process begins and along with it comes many questions about size, spacing, logo, colors, text placement, typography and the list goes on. With each new question for approval the process gets delayed. Now you’re in a crunch because the meeting is in a few days and some elements of the brochure are not yet finalized, not to mention for this particular piece your legal team needs to go over it as well.
Hopefully I didn’t bring back too many nightmares, but when it comes to marketing assets the approval process can be long and laborious especially if you don’t have a process already defined.
One of the most important things for any marketing team to do right away, is to include the legal team if needed, as soon as they know that a marketing asset will need to undergo a legal approval process. Let them know ahead of time so that they are aware that this will be landing on their desks soon. This way they are more prepared and the process can begin hopefully, as soon as they get it. This will eliminate the waiting game that we all have come to know all too well.
You will also want to establish your brand standards, such as sizing, colors, placement..and so on. Once you have your brand standards in place one sure way to control your brand image, and make sure it is reproduced in accordance to these guidelines, is to use a marketing asset web portal to distribute branded assets to the market place.
By having your marketing assets distributed from one central source is a sure way to be sure the brand image is reproduced correctly. If the assets need to be edited for fresh content or edited for localization you will still be able to provide asset customization while locking down the ability to change brand imagery.
Remember all those questions that come up during the design process? Whoever is responsible for the design is taking much valuable time out of their day to get those questions answered. Which inevitably delays, delays, delays the completion of the marketing asset.
Now there is a separate layer to this issue, who are they asking to answer these questions? Every question takes time out of the answerer’s day as well, not to mention the person who answers these issues may not always be available. So what happens? Well, you’re already behind so you go ask someone else and hope they know.
All of this leads to wasted time and inconsistent brand materials. One way to get around this is to create a style guide, also known as a brand guide. It will take you some time to put it together, but in the long run it will save you so much time and headaches. Animal planet uses a style guide to streamline their approval process and it is used to clearly layout what fonts, colors, logos, spacing etc…are already approved. This guide allows designers to skip the Q&A and refer to the guide for help.
What a guide also allows you to do is shorten the chain for approval. Perhaps after getting the style guide approved by your CMO for example, you now may allow your marketing manager to be in charge of reviewing marketing assets. It no longer has to go so high up in the command chain maybe the administrative assistant can give the stamp of approval. Any way you can shrink the number of people that have to be involved, the easier it is to get marketing collateral from conception to into the client’s hands.