It’s quite a challenge to keep the review process of these materials smooth and efficient.
When reviewing marketing materials for your new product, usually there are a lot of opinions involved…..because who doesn’t have an opinion on a commercial or ad?
Team members from different disciplines review and give comments in multiple review rounds. And often new comments pop-up all the time, because of new insights, changes in the technical specifications of the product during development or because team members did not really review thoroughly enough during the first review round.
It is wise to start involving your marketing communication expert early in the development of your new products. Parallel with the development of your new product, you’re also working on your product launch to make sure that all deliverables for your product launch are ready when your final product is on stock and ready to be sold.
One aspect of a product launch are the marketing materials like brochures, leaflets, movies, teasers, social media campaigns.
There are usually lots of moving parts here and a lot of opinions involved. Because anyone has an opinion on marketing, right? There a so many elements that are combined in the marketing strategy. For example, the branding, the colors used in the materials, the images, the copy, the look and feel. And mostly anyone has a slightly different opinion.
Even in the same team, people tend to express their personal taste, even when it comes to professionally created materials. And their opinion might change during the review process. Resulting in going back and forth in adjusting copy and imagery.
Lessons learned the hard way; I can now share a review strategy with you that worked for me and hopefully you can benefit from it too.
Here are 5 tips to efficiently review your marketing communication materials with your team.
Tip 1: Create an excellent briefing for your marcom expert so you have a smooth start with your first version and first review round.
As it is quite a challenge to brief marketing communications on a project that is still in the first phase of the development process, and a lot of aspects are still unknown or unclear, some guidance might be helpful. I’ve written an extensive blog article about this topic, called ‘12 high quality ideas to brief marketing communications on your new product’. Click the link above to learn more.
When the quality of your briefing is poor and incomplete, the first version of materials that are created by your marcom expert will also lack quality.
Tip 2: Align with your team on beforehand who is going to review what element of the marcom materials.
You can divide your marcom materials into different elements:
- Copy content: Are the right content, features & benefits included?
- Copy technical facts: are the technical facts, correct?
- Image resolution: is the quality/resolution enough for how the image is used?
- Image technical match: is the image technically matching the copy that the image is linked to?
- Total readability: will the target group understand and takeaway what you want to be the takeaway of the deliverable?
It would be inefficient if your review team is going to review every element of the marcom deliverable. In this case they would spend time on topics they don’t have any knowledge on.
It’s better to ask them to review the elements they are an expert on.
For example, ask the engineer or product manager to review the technical copy and whether from technical perspective the right image is used with a certain text.
Your marcom expert has the knowledge to judge whether the quality of the images is okay and whether the branding is applied correctly.
Your sales responsible is capable to review whether the right features and benefits are communicated and whether his customers would be able to understand the marketing message and feel engaged by that specific marcom deliverable.
Of course, you would also ask some team members to review the complete deliverable to have feedback on the total brochure, leaflet, or video as well.
Make also clear to your review team how many review rounds are planned and that they need to be very thorough from the first round onwards. The last review round is only meant to make small corrections. Big changes can only be made in the first round.
Tip 3: Create a review planning for your marcom materials
If review rounds do not go efficient, a lot of time will be spent on reviewing new updates and the risk is there that the final materials will not be ready on time for the product launch. Especially if translations need to be done.
That’s why it’s so important to make a review planning.
In this marcom materials review planning you can include the following:
- Create marketing communication briefing for agency or marcom expert.
- Create first draft of marcom material.
- Review the first draft and provide comments.
- Create second version of marcom material.
- Review second version and provide comments.
- Create third version of marcom material.
- Review third version and provide comments.
- Create final version of marcom material.
- Review final version of marcom material.
- Translate marcom material.
- Materials ready for product launch.
You also need to add the number of days needed for the agency to process the feedback and create a new version. And you need to add the days your team needs to review the drafts and provide comments.
In your planning also add the responsible person to the task and split the tasks in the different elements as proposed in step 2.
Tip 4: Structure your feedback rounds to create efficiency.
To create a smooth and efficient feedback loop to the agency, you can make use of a structured feedback process.
In this process you include the following:
1.In which way you’re going to provide feedback.
There are several ways to provide feedback on marcom deliverables.
- Add comments in a PDF
- Make use of spread sheet and indicate the time slot in a video where you want the change.
- Make screen shots and add these to a PowerPoint presentation and add comments in the presentation.
- Use a Word document and refer to page number, paragraphs and sentences where you need the change.
Adding comments to a PDF is the most efficient way for documents as it is clear in one glance where the change needs to be made. If you’re really clear in your comments what the change needs to be, this often can be processed correctly in one go.
2. In which order you’re going to work.
Decide upfront which experts you want to have a look at the materials first. If your business has multiple layers in hierarchy, perhaps the first review rounds are done by the operational staff and when just before the final review round, the end responsible persons in your business can give their feedback too.
3. Who will be the go-to person for collecting feedback and communicating with the agency.
Appoint one person who is the contact person towards the agency and towards the experts in your business. This will help making the review process smooth and efficient as one person knows all the details and can manage the review process daily.
4. Where you will archive the feedback.
As sometimes discussions occur on when feedback has been provided and by who, it is wise to keep the feedback documents archived during the review process. Create a special folder on your shared drive or in the cloud and archive the feedback documents in here. Add the reviewers name to the document title for easy recovery of the documents in case of questions.
5. How you will administer the changes made to the materials
To maintain a clear status of the review rounds and have a one glance overview, you can create a ‘Review status spread sheet document’. In this document you can add the review round number, the version number of the document or video, the main feedback that is been given. If there are questions on when, which feedback has been given, you can provide this information from one glance at your ‘review status spread sheet’.
Tip 5: Agree on beforehand who gives the final approval.
There are always a lot of opinions out there, especially on marketing communication materials. It saves time and endless discussion if it is agreed on beforehand who makes the decision if the final version is approved. This will increase your chance of finishing the marcom deliverables on time for the product launch.
Try to involve only the needed review persons and don’t make the group too big. This will limit efficiency and reduced the speed in the review rounds.
Hopefully the above tips will help you define a smooth and efficient review process of your marcom materials.
What are your tips for efficient review rounds of marcom materials?
Let me know in the comments.
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