Select the Right Marketing Approval Software

By Jodie Byass



AdobeStock_217660992 [Converted]Are you considering selecting and implementing marketing approval workflow and project management software to overcome the challenges faced by your marketing team? Poorly executed briefs, bottlenecks, non compliance, excessive revisions, slow email approvals, and missed deadlines are just some of the issues you may be experiencing.

A comprehensive software requirement document is a vital tool in the software selection process, helping you avoid common mistakes and ensuring that you invest in the right tool for your business. By outlining your objectives, current marketing challenges, and software requirements, you can ensure that the software you select meets your business needs. The following article will guide you through the steps.

1. Objectives

Selecting the right marketing approval workflow and project  management software can be a game-changer for businesses looking to improve overall efficiencies and productivity. The first section of the software requirement document should outline the objectives of adopting a project management tool. It is essential to state clearly what you aim to achieve with the implementation of such software. It could be anything from increasing collaboration and communication between team members, streamlining workflow processes, managing compliance requirements and meeting deadlines. These goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).


2. Identify Current Challenges

By identifying your current marketing challenges, the second section of the software requirement document can help you build an all-inclusive software requirement list. To ensure that you're not overlooking any issues, it's essential to consult with colleagues and stakeholders. They can provide valuable insights into the challenges they face, and you can use that information to improve the selection process. Common marketing challenges you might experience include poorly executed briefs, difficulty managing email approvals, excessive artwork changes, lack of transparency over project tasks and resources, lost project documents and marketing assets, repetitive and time-consuming administration, and costly mistakes.


3. Business Requirements

The third section of the software requirement document focuses on the software requirement list. It's critical to get this list right to ensure you select the right marketing approval and project management software that meets your business needs. The software requirement list must be comprehensive and should contain all the necessary features and functionalities required for your business. You should provide a detailed outline of the functionalities needed, including a project set-up tool, dashboard summary, briefing tools, approval workflow management, checklists, online proofing and markup tools, collaboration tools, resource management feature, digital asset management (DAM) tool, security, reporting tools, and cloud-based software.

For instance, the project set-up tool should be easy to use, allowing you to create projects and assign tasks quickly. The dashboard summary should provide an overview of all the projects and their progress, enabling you to keep track of deadlines and milestones. Briefing tools should enable you to create and share briefs with team members and stakeholders, ensuring that everyone is on the same page. Approval workflow management features should provide an easy-to-use interface for revising and approving content. Resource management features should enable you to allocate resources, such as people, time, and budget, to specific projects. A DAM tool should allow you to store, organize, and share digital assets like images, videos, and documents securely. The software should have robust security features that protect your data from unauthorized access. Reporting tools should provide data-driven insights into project progress, helping you make informed decisions. Cloud-based software should enable you to access the tool from anywhere, at any time, with an internet connection.


4. Understand Users and Roles

In this section, you need to provide a detailed breakdown of the different types of users who will be using the marketing approval workflow solution. It is essential to identify the specific roles that will use the tool to ensure that the software meets the needs of everyone involved. Consider the following factors:

  • The number of users: Be sure to specify how many users will be using the tool. This information will help the vendor determine the most cost-effective licensing model for your organization.
  • The role of each user: List the different roles and the tasks they perform. For instance, the head of the department may use the software to oversee all projects, while the project manager may need to assign tasks to different team members.
  • Access levels: Determine the level of access each user requires. For example, the legal/compliance team may need access to confidential documents, while other team members may only need access to project-related files.
  • User permissions: Specify the type of permissions each user will have, such as read-only or editing permissions.

Providing detailed information on the different user types will help the vendor customize the software to meet your organization's needs and ensure a smooth implementation process.


5. Software Features

This section is crucial to selecting the right marketing project management software. It is essential to identify the features that the software must have to meet your organization's needs. Consider the following:

  • Project management: The software should have project management tools that allow you to plan, schedule, and track progress across all your marketing projects.
  • Approval workflow management: The software should allow you to create custom approval pathways to suit your unique approval process. Online proofing tools, collaboration tools, and automated reminders can help streamline the approval process.
  • Resource management: The software should enable you to allocate tasks and resources quickly and easily. A drag-and-drop function to reassign urgent tasks and a calendar that displays each resource's workload and capacity can help you manage your team efficiently.
  • Marketing Compliance: The software should include a number of features to manage marketing compliance requirements such as audit trials, approval checklists, version control, tier approval paths, external partner approvals. Collectively the tools need to provide you with the confidence that your business can report on and demonstrate you are complying with industry regulations.
  • SSO:  The company should be able to implement Single Sign On to reduce access risks anestreamline processes

Be sure to ask the vendor how their software and its integrated features will address your software requirement list.


6. Costs

In this section, you need to request a quote from the vendor based on the number of people who will be using the tool. Be sure to ask them to include any additional costs such as training and implementation. Consider the following:

  • Licensing fees: Determine the cost per user and the number of licenses needed.
  • Implementation costs: Ask the vendor if they charge any fees for setting up the software, migrating data, or integrating with other systems.
  • Training costs: Find out if the vendor provides training for your team, and if so, how much it costs.

Having a clear understanding of the costs involved will help you make an informed decision about the marketing project management software you select.

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7. Vendor Testimonials:

 Even if the software looks like a match from your research, it is crucial to ensure that you'll be doing business with a reputable vendor. In this section, you need to ask the vendor to provide:

  • Written testimonials: These can provide insight into how other organizations have used the software and their experience with the vendor.
  • Case studies: If the vendor has not already cited them on their website, ask them to provide case studies that demonstrate how their software has helped other organizations overcome similar challenges.
  • Referees: Ask the vendor to provide contact information for current customers who can speak to their experience with the software and the vendor's customer service.

8. Implementation Process:

Before making a final decision, it is important to understand the implementation process for the software. You should ask the vendor to provide: Implementation timeline: How long will it take to implement the software and get it up and running? This is important to know so that you can plan accordingly and ensure that the timeline aligns with your needs. Implementation team: Who will be responsible for implementing the software? Will the vendor provide a dedicated team, or will you be expected to handle it on your own? Training: What kind of training will be provided? Is it included in the software cost, or will you need to pay extra for it? Will the training be conducted onsite or online? It is important to ensure that your staff will receive the necessary training to effectively use the software.

Choosing the right software for your organization is a critical decision, and it requires careful consideration of a variety of factors. Conducting thorough research, understanding your organization's needs and goals, and asking the right questions of vendors can help you make an informed decision. By taking the time to do your due diligence, you can increase the likelihood of choosing a software that will meet your needs, be easy to use and implement, and provide a positive return on investment.

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