Admin. The bane of the Marketing Manager’s life.
Administration in marketing can take many forms.
You may spend a lot of time producing manual reports for your leadership team.
You might tear your hair out about managing suppliers – agencies, printers – and the admin involved in working with them.
You probably spend a huge amount of time on proofing and managing edits to your content – whether online or printed material. And this is only compounded if you work in a regulated business, where the need for Compliance approval adds another layer to the sign-off process.
The cost of all this admin can be immense. An article this week estimated that financial advisers lose 43 days a year by failing to make the most of technology solutions.
How can you emulate success? What steps can you take to minimise the time you waste on marketing admin?
Identifying where you waste time
Repetition and duplication of effort can be a huge issue in marketing. Many firms remain overly-reliant on labour-intensive, paper-heavy manual processes.
Imagine you’re producing a new brochure. Even if the end result is a pdf or other soft copy, it’s highly likely that you will print off hard copies to proof. As will your Compliance team, and probably your business teams too.
Someone – usually a Marketer – then has to collate a number of hard copy edits and send them back to the design agency.
Some of these changes will be due to non-compliant content – wording that your Compliance team will pick up on and reject. Some will be typos or subjective comments about the design of the document.
Take a look at your own processes – where do you waste time? Where are processes inefficient – for instance, do you have numerous people making the same edits to documents?
How can you cut down on the need for rework and administration?
Once you’ve identified the areas where your team’s time is wasted, how can you address them?
If you take each area in turn, you can look at why work is repeated and what you can do about it.
The problem: designed documents need a lot of work to meet your expectations
The solution: better briefing of external agencies
The need for multiple changes at first proof stage can be indicative of inadequate briefing – a breakdown in communications between Marketing team and agency. Read Best practice agency briefing for tips on getting better results.
The problem: content is rejected by your Compliance team
The solution: understand what they are looking for to write ‘right first time’ content
Having content knocked back by your Compliance team is an occupational hazard for regulated Marketers – and can create lots of admin and rework. But there are ways round it. Understand the FCA’s financial promotion rules so that you can write content that your Compliance team can approve first time.
This can be a particular problem for professional services firms, where a wide range of people are often responsible for producing marketing content. Find out how to tell if your financial promotions are out of control – and what to do about it.
Also look at whether creating a searchable online library of pre-Compliance-approved wording, data and other content could help to reduce the amount of work you – and your Compliance team – have to do in reviewing already-approved content. Often, 90% of presentations, brochures and other content has already been signed off. Find ways to identify the new content that needs review and approval, and you’ll dramatically reduce your admin mountain.
The problem: concurrent reviews create duplication of effort…
The solution: find ways to make reviewing more efficient
When a number of people or teams review documents concurrently, version control can be a nightmare. Marketing teams tend to be the victims of this duplication of effort, spending time to collate a large number of changes and ensuring that they’re all picked up.
The problem: manual processes waste time and effort…
The solution: consider automating your marketing activity to streamline your approach
Automation can reduce marketing and compliance admin, as well as speeding up your approvals process. It can mandate Compliance team approval, reducing the risk of regulatory breaches and improving brand consistency.
Automating your processes can also improve the delivery of your marketing activity, as well as upgrading your sign-off processes.
How can we help?