Want to make your marketing approval process easier?
Last week during my morning pace-with-coffee routine, I walked by a book my life partner Robert recently read: David Thorne’s Deadlines Don’t Care if Janet Doesn’t Like Her Photo.
It’s a title that resonates with marketers, as the approval process can sometimes seem like the most difficult part of marketing. It can be much more time-consuming than creating great content.
In good news, it is possible to make your marketing approval process easier. Here are 4 tips:
- Agree on a 1-page marketing strategy
- Make a Message Map
- Formalize your marketing approval process
- Standardize your approval requests
Make the approval process easier with a 1-page marketing strategy
One thing that commonly stalls the marketing approval process is when leaders are asked to approve something that they weren’t aware was planned.
This can lead to a lot of questions and back-and-forth emails, stalling the approval process and potentially causing missed deadlines.
Creating and agreeing on a 1-page marketing strategy at the start of each year can avoid these delays in the approval process. How? Because everything you send for approval should be related to your marketing strategy for the year, avoiding surprises for your leadership team.
Don’t have a 1-page marketing strategy? Download our free template here.
Make a Message Map
If you regularly read my blogs, you’ll know I ALWAYS recommend making a Message Map before you start creating any marketing materials. That’s because they work.
When you co-create and agree on a 1-page Message Map with your leadership team, everyone buys into your strategic message. This makes the approval process easier because executives have already agreed on the underlying message.
Formalize your marketing approval process
If you haven’t put a formal process around marketing approvals, do it now. And make sure you get buy-in from your executives, all the way to your CEO. When people have agreed on a process and timeline, they are much more likely to stick to it.
To avoid making your formal approval process too complicated, agree with your leadership team exactly who needs to see what types of materials, and in what order they will be reviewed.
Once you have an approved process, educate your team on it and post it internally for easy reference.
Standardize your approval requests
The final step in ensuring a smooth marketing approval process is to standardize your approval requests.
Executives don’t have time to read long explanations for requests. Keep your emails short and to the point.
Here’s a template I often use:
“Per our marketing plan, we are publishing X content on Y date. Comments received by end of day on Z date will be considered for incorporation into the final document.”
Yes, it’s only two sentences. But when you have an agreed-on plan, Message Map, and approval process, 2 sentences are all you need.
And the book that inspired this blog? I haven’t yet read it, but here’s a one-sentence review from Robert: “Quick, funny, I think your readers would like it.”
Don’t get frustrated by a time-consuming approval process. Make it smoother by creating a 1-page strategy, making Message Maps, formalizing your process, and standardizing approval requests.
For assistance with marketing, messaging, and communications, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org