How do you make something better in less time? For larger companies and small business, these not so shocking ideas are simple but very effective.
Think Process. Ugh, process stuff? Yes but wait, do you have a simple who-does-what list for developing marketing materials – from conception to final signoff? Where does it start, and how many people are in the review process? It could be as simple as creating a check-off list in an excel spreadsheet.
Put these 8 suggestions in your pocket. Create a form or guide to help someone get started when writing a marketing piece that asks these 8 questions; 1. What is the purpose of the piece? 2. What are your customer’s needs? 3. What are the solutions to the customer’s needs? (Make sure you are communicating value, click here later if you need help on what value is) 4. What is the company’s expertise and value to meet or exceed those needs? 5. Why is your solution different? 6. Is there a compelling story to support the product or service? 7. What is the desired out come for the piece? 8. What is the call to action? When the person starting the marketing document passes the answers to these questions on to the next stage in the process, it should make things go much smoother.
Who is adding value and who is just a pass-through? What value does each person add by participating in the process? Here’s a simple, yet shocking idea: Create a short list of bullets that helps each person know what value they are required to add to the process, so when they pass it on to the next step, the next person has what they need without backtracking.
Get rid of bottlenecks in your process once and for all. Is there a step or two in your process that takes longer than you think it should – based on the value being added and the time it takes to move the piece to the next step? No finger pointing or blame, because everyone is busy, but if there is a bottleneck there could be many reasons for it. It’s typically the process that needs fixing, not the people. Most times it’s either not the right person in a process step, or they are having to add value that people before them left out because the people before them are lazy and just wanted to move it off their desk, or the required input and value each person adds wasn’t properly defined in the process.
Any process could be improved with specific requirements of the value each person adds – but if you are creating value-based marketing materials from start to finish in 2 to 3 weeks, then you probably have a pretty smooth running process.