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Improving effectiveness and efficiencies in the design, development and execution of marketing communications begins with a process that is well-defined and documented. Experience and time in the trenches has revealed that 3 key elements are at the root of delivering quality marketing communications – people, process and technology.
The following provides 7 steps to realizing highly effective marketing communications.
Step #1: Map Current Process Workflow and Stakeholders
Processes cannot begin to be changed for the better until there is full documentation of the existing marketing communications development process. Taking time on the front-end to map the process, identify the primary and secondary communications goals/objectives, the strategies, both online and offline that will achieve the stated goals, as well as identifying all the various contributors to the process and their contributions to the process is critically important to getting the marketing communications process improvement off to a good start.
Step #2: Identify Opportunities for Improvement
Once the overall process is mapped and documented, various contributors to the process can take the time to identify opportunities to improve strategies, workflow and capture additional efficiency. This is a critical step in the process, as contributors to the process will quickly find that if this step is not taken, the organization will find that there is little improvement that will be realized.
Step #3: Redesign Workflow
Once the overall process has been mapped and all efficiency gains have been identified, the redesigning of the process is the next step. With a revised process map in hand, the improved process can be shared with the internal team members for a final review and edit before the process is incorporated into the technology platform(s).
Step #4: Automate Where Possible
SaaS platforms provide highly cost-effective off-the-shelf solutions that are designed to automate the marketing communications design, review, approvals, archiving and delivery solutions. There is no need to start from scratch when there are software designers and developers that are familiar with the requirements of a multitude of industry verticals and have demonstrated experience in creating cost effective software solutions to address the business rules and requirements for the marketing communications process.
Step #5: Training
Most organizations, both large and small have already been engaged in manual processes to manage the marketing communications design, development, implementation and measurement processes. Thus, the training required to bring teams up to speed with a software enabled systems to automate the process will likely require likely days and not months to accomplish.
Step #6: Implementation
The steps to automate the process will be fairly straightforward once the process contributors have had the proper training and hands-on experience in working with the platform. Experience has shown that an effective approach to initiate the implementation for system automation is to utilize a small, recently completed project, possibly a digital media campaign or a direct mail piece. Automating the process by utilizing a recent project will allow the team members to easily compare the manual with the automated process, quickly seeing the value that can be derived from the shift to the new marketing automation system.
Step #7: Measurement & Performance Improvement
In the early stages of mapping the existing process documentation of time invested by all contributors along with the documentation of qualitative improvements will provide a baseline of data from which the organization will be able to refer to once the processes have been improved upon and automated. Over time these metrics will provide management with clear insight into the value that was realized with the process improvement changes that have been made.
Organizations both large and small continue to be challenged to grow revenues and profits for their shareholders. Increasing regulations have brought about new challenges for financial institutions, and other verticals to achieve their business goals. Mergers and acquisitions will continue to be a strategic pathway for businesses to improve operational efficiencies, grow profits and deliver greater shareholder value. However, on a smaller more immediate scale, all organizations have an opportunity to improve operational efficiencies, strengthen their bottom line, while improving internal processes. Taking the steps outlined in this article will provide immediate efficiency gains for organizations that employ these steps.
For more information on improving the marketing communications effectiveness for your organization reach out to Parisien & Associates for a no-obligation assessment.