Hey CMOs, VPs and Heads of Marketing, I know you paid your dues on the way up. For all those days of brainstorming where the creative ideas flowed and the office hummed with energy, there were also bad times.
Pulling presentations together for under-the-gun review meetings and chasing down feedback from recalcitrant stakeholders. Entire days lost when your boss was traveling and didn’t have the software to open the image file that needed reviewing. Laboriously documenting video timecodes in an email for each piece of feedback.
Those days are behind you now but your team still faces those exact same challenges today. Like you, they prefer getting the job done over complaining. But that doesn’t mean you should do nothing to help improve their lot. Struggling with ineffective creative workflows shouldn’t be seen as a marketer’s initiation rite.
As a great marketing leader, your role is to foster creativity and promote the kind of collaboration that produces great results-driven creative marketing. To improve how your team works together on creative projects, you should address the following three collaboration pain points.
In addition to the marketers, designers, product managers, channel managers and more, your team extends beyond the boundaries of your business to include external freelancers and agencies. This large set of collaborators creates a “communications tax” on your team members as they struggle to stay abreast of what’s happening and keep you and the team up to date on their progress and challenges.
How can you get these insights without breaking your team’s creative flow by having to attend update meetings or write status emails?
One of the biggest time killers for creative projects is the waiting. Waiting on feedback, waiting on new versions, waiting on final approvals, the list goes on. Everyone on the team needs to know when there is new creative work to review, what changes have been made, who recommended that change and why. And everyone needs to be clear on who has the final approval at each stage, so there aren’t any version missteps.
Where are the bottlenecks in your feedback and approval process? Is it you? How do you ensure that every reviewer can share comments quickly, concisely and clearly?
New tools and processes can be the solution to many of the problems associated with creative collaboration. But too often complex, overly structured project management processes are imposed on creative teams who value conversational, fluid interactions and need tools purpose-built to support creative collaboration around visual assets. This lack of flexibility affects your team’s ability to be agile and respond quickly to the ever-changing demands of content marketing.
Is the way your team collaborates flexible enough to work for all the visual content your team needs to create?
Your team feels the same pain of creative collaboration that you felt back in your day. Now is your time to act and ease their agony with processes and tools that get everyone on the same page. Not only will your team’s creative output be better, you will be a better leader for it.
An amended version of this article originally appeared on Business 2 Community.
See how Hightail can address your team's collaboration stressWatch the video