Like “automation” or “agile” before it, “workflow” has become a hot topic for marketers and creatives—how to define it, how to simplify it, how to optimize it. That’s because most are finding establishing an effective workflow is clear to their success.
What’s not so clear? How to make the case for a solution that will actually help them make improvements.
Creative workflow management can make the lives of marketers and creatives a whole lot easier (think getting content approvedover 75% faster). But getting buy-in for a new solution from the rest of their organization can seem like a daunting task.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be. Creative Strategist and InSource President of the Board Andy Brenits and Chief Marketing Officer Alex Withers recently co-hosted a webinar on how marketers and creatives can build a business case that easily convinces their teams, clients, and other stakeholders of the value of creative workflow management. Here’s what they shared.
Drawing from years of experience leading marketing and creative teams, Alex recommends showing how creative workflow management will specifically benefit your team, clients and stakeholders, and the business overall.
“Taking the values creative workflow management delivers—accountability, collaboration, efficiency—and translating them through the lens of all teams involved in the workflow can give you a much stronger business case,” Alex says. “For example, inefficient project kick-offs can hurt internal clients on the marketing team just as much as the creative team. The marketing team can feel like they briefed the creative team very accurately, but if there’s no standardized request form, there’s total ambiguity and lack of clarity on what needs to happen on both sides.”
“Be transparent about risks, considerations, and change you anticipate specific to your team,” explains Alex. “But have a plan for negating them and include that in your business case.”
An experienced design strategist, Andy has also spent years building and leading creative teams.
“As a business leader, there are a lot of things you need to think about before choosing and implementing a new solution,” he says. “Think about your team’s current workflow state. What are you using to manage your process now, and how different will that be from a new solution? What kind of ramp up time are you expecting before everyone is on the new system?
“When I was going through this process with my team, I asked them what they would want in a workflow management solution,” says Andy. “It’s really important to show that you’ve carefully thought through your team’s top priorities as well as yours and then used those to evaluate solutions to help you get buy-in.”
Both Andy and Alex agree that a winning business case clearly demonstrates how the benefits of creative workflow management will translate to the bottom line.
“The C-suite looks at business cases from all over the business,” explains Alex. “Whether it’s the head of marketing operations, the CMO, or the CFO, they always want to see what’s going to be the return on investment.”
Alex recommends thinking through what the problems creative workflow management solves will mean for the business overall.
“There’s a real cost for when deadlines are missed or projects are delayed that creative workflow management can solve for,” he says. “Show how much money the business could have been saved on printing costs, make-goods, or wasted employee time if you had a solution for the past year.”