7 Signs you need Online Proofing Software
By Jodie Byass
Just imagine this quickly. Your marketing project is complete, you thought you everything had been checked and approved and you eagerly await for it to go to market.
Oh no, here it comes, you've just received an email from the compliance team that they need to double check the disclaimer because they're not sure of it. And right there, your deadline is under threat, and your enthusiasm is waining.
It is likely you have probably experienced this, or something like it before. However, if it is occurring frequently, with more projects than not, then it may be time to consider adopting online proofing software. It can streamline your marketing approval workflow and definitely help deliver your marketing projects on time.
Let's take a look at some signs that your team is in desperate need of Online Proofing Software.
Feedback Lives in Your Inbox
Let's face it, feedback keeps the review process moving. So, when team members review and approve content at the right time, the process will be far smoother, and you are more likely to meet project deadlines.
However, receiving feedback via the wrong tool or at the wrong time in the workflow can have devastating effects. It is not realistic to expect an efficient process when you are using email to review and approve marketing content. The average employee receives more than 120 emails a day, so how can they stay on track when competing with so many other priorities. With email as the tool of choice, it is more likely for deadlines to be missed and stakeholders will have less visibility over the feedback of others.
Online proofing software eliminates this risk by providing a central online location for everyone to view the comments and feedback of others in real-time. Ultimately this encourages better collaboration and makes a far more streamlined marketing review process.
Feedback That Misses the Point
Okay, so you may not miss feedback or you, to a large extent, eliminated duplicate feedback. But what about feedback that misses the point? And this happens more often than you think.
You see, feedback that lacks context and doesn't address the point it should, requires additional communication and conversations for clarification. This makes marketing approvals slow and inefficient, while also opening the door for errors and a greater number of revisions before a campaign is approved.
Online proofing software makes it easier for your team to provide effective, timely, and relevant feedback, because all the information everyone needs is stored in the project online.
You're Running Around for Assets
Have you ever found yourself running after team members for documents and other digital assets? For example, you'll take an asset to one team member to review and approve, and then, with the deadline looming, you must run to another for another approval. And don't forget about the times you have to hound team members to get their feedback and the asset to take it to the next level.
This is a breeding ground for mistakes and leads to delays which you often can't afford.
Fortunately, some online proofing solutions are integrated with Digital Asset Management, so everyone has access to the assets when they need to and wherever they are.
When your feedback collection is disjointed or contained across a series of emails or an email thread, it creates ripple effects throughout the entire approval workflow. One of these effects is version sprawl, or, in other words, when teammates create versions of assets based on feedback that wasn't supported or challenged. The result is that you end up with endless design revisions, which are costly and cause project delays.
Online proofing software solves this problem by not only improving the quality of feedback, but also by reviewing or comparing previous versions side by side to mark off the changes that have been made. the feedback across versions. In other words, you're able to manage versions as they're created. This, ultimately, improves the efficiency of your process and ensures the timely delivery of new creative content.
Compliance, Compliance, Compliance
Compliance plays a vital role in the marketing approval workflow. This is simply because marketing content frequently needs to comply with strict requirements.
These requirements can include brand compliance requirements, comparative claims, special offers and contests, marketing to children as well as the collection and use of marketing data.
If you don't comply with these, the risks can be significant, and can include everything from lost customer confidence to financial penalties, and legal liabilities. You'll also face the cost of a rework because of the non-compliance.
Online proofing software gives you greater control over marketing compliance and your marketing approval workflow. For one, comments are logged and archived and linked to specific versions of each proof, while teams are notified of all new feedback. This means everyone is on the same page and nothing slips between the cracks.
Lack of Coordination With External Teams
During any marketing project, you can work with external stakeholders. Now, if you're struggling to keep the project moving in-house, just imagine the struggle with external stakeholders. This is simply because different team members use different tools which, cause challenges in the process.
When you use online proofing software, you use one system for all team members which, ultimately, means that you're eliminating any variables that can lead to inefficiencies in the process. In simple terms, having one process and one tool, means everyone is on the same page.
Your Process is Slow
When you don't have control over your assets, you struggle to get timely and relevant feedback, and working with external team members poses a challenge, your entire workflow is slow and inefficient, and you'll miss deadlines. And let's not forget about the room for errors when you work with this kind of process.
The Bottom Line
If you're still consistently missing deadlines, and using email or other out-dated tools that lead to ineffective feedback and challenges in communication, it may be time for you to consider online proofing software.
Ultimately, it will streamline your process which means you can focus on the things that matter instead of wasting time on sorting out problems. This leads to better results overall.
Download Our Free Guide to Online Proofing to learn how it can benefit your team.