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A business case for marketing approval workflow software

In the past few years, brands have finally begun to grasp the benefits of using approval workflow software to streamline their content production. Nevertheless, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) found that only 48 per cent of Australian marketers delivered consistent content in 2018 compared to 60 per cent the previous year. While the decrease can be attributed to a range of factors, too many marketers are still tackling the daily grind of managing projects, resources, approvals and brand assets with outdated tools.

Recommended reading: Managing marketing projects ? why are ancient practices still in place?


If you?ve been wanting to review your marketing approval workflow and have been thinking about implementing approval workflow software, here?s a template for building a business case that?ll help get you the green light.

A business case for implementing approval workflow software.

Reasons for implementing the software.

1. Issues affecting our content production.
Straight up, you want the people at the top to know how your current way of operating is a barrier to productivity and success. List each issue clearly and concisely. For example:

  • Items from paper-based job bags routinely get misplaced/lost.
  • Briefs are inconsistent and critical information often goes missing.
  • Managing feedback and approval via email is high maintenance and error-prone.
  • Stakeholders miss steps in the approval process so feedback is inconsistent or not actioned.
  • High artwork revisions are a daily issue because of inconsistent feedback.
  • The design team can?t get other work done because of revisions.
  • Current brand assets are difficult to locate on the server.
  • There?s no consistent audit trail of marketing work.
  • Marketing compliance is difficult to monitor.
2. What we expect to achieve by implementing approval workflow software.
This section needs to demonstrate how implementing the software is going to solve your current issues. For example:
  • Transparency over all approvals, projects, resources and brand assets
  • Capturing all project details with custom-made brief templates
  • An organised approval workflow framework so that steps/stakeholders aren?t bypassed
  • Visibility over all stakeholder change requests with an online feedback system
  • Accurate, concise feedback with online proofing and markup tools
  • Less artwork revisions and bottlenecks in the approval workflow
  • An automatic audit trail of marketing work
  • Better marketing compliance
  • Faster access to brand assets with secure digital asset management
  • Less administration and faster turnaround times for marketing projects
  • More organised, efficient teams
  • Greater marketing output

Software features and how specific users will benefit.

3. Must have features of approval workflow software.
Outline the features of the approval workflow tool you intend to implement so that management understands exactly what it can deliver.

Approval workflow management
  • Approval workflow framework
  • Approval dashboard
  • Online proofing tools
  • Online feedback system
  • Automatic audit trail
  • Approval reminders
Project management
  • Project management and planning
  • Document management
  • Brief templates
  • Reporting tools
Resource management
  • Task management
  • Resource planner and templates
  • Assign and reassign task tools
  • Time tracking and online timesheets
Asset management
  • DAM & artwork repository
  • Intuitive search function
  • Secure file sharing

4. How specific users will benefit from the software.
This is your opportunity to show how truly effective this software will be by drilling down to the micro level. You can set it out in a chart like this one below.



Marketing Manager

  • View a dashboard summary of approvals
  • Plan marketing work with more accuracy
  • Transparency over resources and ability to assign/reassign tasks quickly and easily
  • Track the time resources spend on tasks
  • More efficient marketing workflow
  • Measure performance with accurate reporting tools
  • Spend less time on project administration
  • Spend more time on developing impactful campaigns

Marketing Team

  • Provide accurate project information with briefing tools and templates
  • Manage approvals and feedback with greater ease
  • Transparency over all feedback in one central system
  • Batch feedback and send to design team in one go
  • Spend less time chasing approvals with automated reminders
  • Track and monitor marketing compliance with automatic audit trail of work

Creative Team

  • No more chasing brief details
  • More structure, less confusing feedback, decreased artwork revisions
  • Locate current brand assets in just a few clicks
  • Spend more time on creative work rather than artwork changes
  • Know exactly what you?re working on with an online resource planner
  • More productivity, less stress

Reviewers/ Stakeholders

  • Provide feedback faster and more accurately with online proofing and mark up tools
  • View other stakeholder feedback to avoid conflicting changes
  • Feedback and approval prompts with automated reminders
  • No more reliance on email approvals where artwork versions get confusing
  • View the status of approvals at anytime

Legal/Compliance Department

  • Reserve button so that revision work doesn?t get doubled up
  • Never get bypassed in the approval workflow process
  • �Feedback prompts at the right time in the approval process 

The cost of the software.

5The cost of implementing approval workflow software.

It?s time to outline the cost of implementing the software which means providing information such as:

  • Is it a monthly fee?
  • Will this fee include training?
  • How will the implementation and training impact your resource expenditure?
  • Will there be an extra cost associated with ongoing support from the vendor?

6. The cost savings of implementing this management software.
In this section it?s also worth mentioning the cost savings that will offset this investment such as:

  • Eliminating the licencing costs and productivity time for running other systems like standalone DAM, resource management and/or proofing tools.
  • A dollar value for the productivity gains on decreasing repetitive admin, artwork revisions, chasing feedback and approvals, not meeting deadlines, the list goes on.
  • An intuitive system will offer more efficiencies as it grows with your business. More ROI right there.
  • Staff retention as teams work more effectively with approval workflow software. 

Best of luck with your business case!