We have just experienced the biggest shift to remote working in modern history. Tessa Court, CEO of IntelligenceBank marketing operations software shares her perspective on how marketing departments can best ‘remote control’ their brand.
What solutions has IntelligenceBank put in place to allow your staff and clients transition to remote work?
As marketing technology is in our DNA, working virtually comes naturally to us. Given our team is spread out across the globe, daily video calls, instant messaging and using our own software that centralises marketing materials, routes creative approvals and enables sales and customer success teams to access content instantly has been critically important. We are ‘drinking our own Kool-Aid’ so to speak. While our documentation has actually dramatically improved – we can no longer rely on ‘over the workstation’ chats – so having processes and systems has never been more important.
If a team doesn’t have a system just for marketing – how should they begin?
I’d say first start off with a centralised digital asset management system, where you can put your marketing collateral, branding and sales materials in one place. We are currently standing up IntelligenceBank Digital Asset Management systems for clients within 48 hours so they can ensure everyone who is remote is using the right materials, and are automatically alerted when new materials are added. This is especially important when content has talent usage rights associated with the image or video – so you can track which piece of creative is going where.
Is there a good way to stop the email chaos for requesting marketing projects?
A lot of our clients use our marketing inbox capability – whereby there is a simple form to ‘ask marketing’ for materials or to start on a project via an online creative brief. From these requests – you can automate responses – such as send people to download the approved logo, or you can accept a new creative project. This basically gets people out of email and forces them to provide marketing with complete information, and streamlines the whole process. This ultimately saves everyone time.
How do you best handle creative approvals when people are working remotely?
Creative approvals are a challenge at the best of times – especially waiting on legal and sign off from other senior managers. Without an approvals tool in place, creative production can grind to a halt. We have heard from several of our clients that by having online creative approvals in place has made working from home ‘possible’. A feature a lot of our clients use is creative risk scoring, which automatically assigns a score to creative projects based on price points or claims made. This helps to prioritise approvals. While you can solve most problems with technology – if you are just starting out – the simpler the better. What’s important is that you have a way for everyone to approve urgent creative work when they are in different geographic locations.
What’s the best way to collaborate on projects?
In the spirit of keeping things simple, yet effective we are using our online project management with a Kanban board so everyone has both a calendar view of what’s going on in marketing, and decision makers can collaborate on prioritizing projects. What’s even better is that each card links back to the creative so you can see the campaign’s creative in the same interface.
A lot of industries are hurting – especially retail and consumer services, what are ways to operationalise creative and save money?
I have a couple of thoughts about this. First, if you can de-duplicate creative by having marketing content in a DAM – this saves money as artwork can be reused and not reinvented everytime. Another way our clients save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on agency fees is using our creative templates for business cards, point of sale and other repetitive creative that needs continuous customization. It’s pretty simple, all you have to do is upload a ‘locked down’ inDesign template, and your team can adjust only what you permit – such as logos, names of people, images and text. To ensure there are no mistakes you can also run this through workflow approvals.
Do you have any parting thoughts for what marketing teams need to be doing during this time?
This is obviously a very challenging time – both all of a sudden everyone working from home and the economic consequences of Covid19. To get through this, marketing teams need robust systems to continue to collaborate above and beyond what email, spreadsheets and consumer file sharing systems can do. And equally important, now is the time for marketing teams to do what they are good at. It’s time to get creative, and pivot offerings to their customers in a way that is relevant and meaningful in the new ‘business unusual’ reality we have all been thrown into.