Team collaboration

We need tech purpose-built for creative review

In parts 1 & 2 of my trilogy on the power of creative in content marketing, I’ve examined the mistake marketers make in prioritizing data over creativity and explored why technology has boosted our ability to automate and analyze campaigns, but not to create them.

Now it’s time to look at how technology is finally enhancing the creative process and helping marketing organizations increase the speed and quantity of creative content they produce to fuel those other tools.

Purpose-built for visual creative review and approvals
Dedicated creative collaboration services like Hightail will streamline your review and approval process. The key benefits of such a purpose built solution are:

Communications are contextual to the creative

– Generic communication tools like email or instant messaging are separated from the creative itself, creating many opportunities for misunderstandings and delays.

– You want the entire team – especially all of your approvers – to be able to open and see the creative right in the app. You don’t want to have to ask them to have special software or to download large files as they will often be reviewing and approving on the go.

– Precise feedback is the best kind of feedback. You want to be able to annotate specifically where you need your creative team to look or make changes — directly on the creative itself. This is especially true with video when there are so many elements in play. This approach, which is available for multiple file types in Hightail, saves the reviewer time in supplying feedback, provides the creator with clear action items in one place and, ultimately, reduces the time it takes to create new versions.Feedback is fast and enhances accountability

– Old school creative teams dread feedback, fearing it will take the project off-track or regard it as an assault on their creative vision. Modern creative teams comprising individual creatives, managers, clients and stakeholders know that collaboration is core to success

– If feedback is rapid and conversational, it can significantly improve the quality of the work and provide momentum for getting the project over the finish line.

– To see the benefit from rapid feedback, it needs to all be in one place, contextual to the creative itself. This avoids missing key feedback from any one stakeholder or client.

– It’s important for everyone to be on the same page during the feedback process. With Hightail, anyone can access a project Space to catch up on missed conversations easily, join active ones instantly and see what others have said so that there’s no duplication of feedback, questions or — more importantly — decisions.

– You also want accountability, so the entire team can see who has been assigned a follow-up or when questions have been asked and answered.

Approvals are convenient and clear

– You always want to make it easy and convenient for your boss or client to say “yes”. This is especially important for creative approvals, which often need multiple sign offs. Making it convenient means your approvals are not delayed and won’t be marred by ambiguity.

– To make it convenient for your approvers and clear for your team you want to be able to clearly identify who needs to do the approving and what they need to approve. A solution like Hightail makes it easy for them to open and see every kind of visual file — especially on the go as this smooths the way for a quick, one-click approval.

– Their approval is documented and alerts the entire time when the milestone is reached.The whole team can participate 

– Whatever the process and whatever the tool, it needs to work for the whole team. This mean your creatives, your marketing managers, your executives or clients, everyone involved in the creative collaboration — including your external team members, like agencies and freelancers.

– Adoption should feel as natural as joining a conversation and it needs to be accessible — apps and browser — so the entire team is always on the same page.

It’s time to continue the evolution of the marketing function and bring technology to your creative development processes. You’ll see the benefits in both the quality of your creative and in the speed to market. And of course, the more creative content you can get in front of your target customers, the more your investment in those analytic and automation tools will pay dividends.

This article is based on a webinar presentation hosted by American Marketing Association (AMA). You can view the original slides on SlideShare.

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