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Tips for managing approval workflow on a co-marketing campaign

In its Modern Trail Campaign the US lifestyle brand, Timberland, launched a social media campaign that saw its independent retailers spruik its products across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The campaign proved to be highly successful for re-igniting interest in Timberland's products as well as demonstrating the power of co-marketing. But while co-marketing offers new and creative ways for brands to leverage their products and services, how does one manage the complex approval workflow of such a strategy?


If your brand is considering a co-marketing campaign, here are some tips on how to simplify your approval workflow so it?s easier to manage.

1. Implement one universal project plan for your co-marketing campaign.

As there are two or more marketing teams involved in a co-marketing campaign, you?ll need to implement one universal project plan. In this case, all parties will need to meet and agree upon a plan that designates a project manager as well as maps out milestones, stakeholders, shared tasks, resources and timelines. This way, everyone knows from the get-go what is expected of each brand.

As co-marketing relies on a multi-faceted approval workflow, the ideal tool for managing this kind of campaign would be marketing project management software. Project management software enables users to save working files, feedback and approvals in one central online hub. This means the project can be accessed remotely by other brand stakeholders in order to provide feedback and approval, and track the campaign?s progress.

2. Start your co-marketing campaign off on the right foot with nailing the brief.

With the potential for many hands to touch this project, you don?t want to waste time and money going back and forth for design spec?s. First and foremost, meet with your co-marketers to ensure you are all on the same page in regards to how you want the campaign to look and feel, and what you want it to communicate. Next, using a customised brief template, fill out all the design details so that they are captured at the beginning of the project. You don?t want your designers to have to revise artwork further down the track because elements of the brief are missing.

3. Co-marketing will be a nightmare without being in sync with your approval workflow.

It?s likely your marketing department has only ever managed approval workflow for one brand in the past. Now, all of a sudden, there's more stakeholders, feedback and approvals to consider, which means the potential for more mistakes. You and your co-marketers are going to have to put your heads together again and make sure your approval workflow is in sync. This means everyone understands the correct sequence in which stakeholders are to receive artwork for approval, that feedback is to be collated and sent to the designers in one hit, that deadlines are to be respected, and that artwork versions are to be checked and saved carefully.

Approval workflow software is a great tool to manage workflow, especially on co-marketing campaigns. Approval workflow software provides customised brief templates, a way to set unique approval pathways, a feature to batch feedback, automated reminders as well as it manages all files in a central online hub.

4. Online proofing tools make it effortless to mark up and change artwork.

Do you want to gamble with your designers having to decipher even more handwritten feedback than normal? Online proofing software dispense with illegible handwriting as all feedback is typed into a comments box as well as artwork can be marked up directly. Additionally, artwork can be compared side by side onscreen so the designer knows exactly which version he/she is working on to check off changes. Some project management and approval workflow software have online proofing tools inbuilt as a feature.

5. Digital asset management (DAM) means that all brands have easy access to final marketing assets.

Your co-marketing campaign may depend on all brands having access to the marketing assets as soon as the project is completed for dissemination. There's no safer and easier way then for stakeholders to log in to a DAM feature to access marketing assets whenever they need to. No more phone calls to chase assets or having to Dropbox files across to remote stakeholders. DAM also uses meta data to tag assets so that they can be located in just seconds.

To get up to speed on Marketing Approval Workflow Software, download our free guide now!

Understanding approval workflow solutions