Building campaigns is one of the core elements of marketing operations, and let’s be honest, it’s the easiest part of marketing ops to explain to your family and friends. Whether it’s creating newsletters, a set of webinar invitations, or creating quarterly campaigns to track content downloads, a lot of time and detail goes into building a successful campaign.
When creating new programs and campaigns, marketing and MOPs often work together to translate the asset details and objectives into your marketing automation platform. While team collaboration is important to the success of a project, it can also create situations where there are miscommunications, misinterpretations, or misalignment.
One way to maximize the efficiency of your marketing operations team is to standardize campaign intake processes as much as possible. As marketing operations professionals, we’re often tasked with the responsibility of remaining efficient while being strapped for resources, which is easier said than done.
In this blog, we’ll break down strategies around optimizing your campaign intake process so that your team can ultimately do more with less.
Set SLAs and Expectations Early
It may seem rudimentary, but establishing time commitments for your team (and sticking by them!) is critical for the long-term success of your marketing operations team. The perfect timing varies by team and by project, but setting expectations that your team requires enough time to complete projects prevents requests from coming in on short notice and causing bottlenecks in your team’s availability.
They say haste makes waste, and tight deadlines increase the risk of errors. Typically, allowing yourself multiple business days to complete requests and building in enough time to allow for stakeholder review and updates before the desired launch date is good practice.
Use Program Templates
If you know your business requires certain types of campaigns to be created on a recurring basis (a blog email every week, a webinar once a month, etc.), having a customized program shell in your instance that lives in a Center of Excellence can dramatically reduce the time required to build out new programs and improve consistency.
A program template can include any required assets (landing pages, emails, etc.) with the necessary modules already populated, any smart campaigns required to deploy assets or track behavior, and reports that teams need for that specific campaign type.
Program templates are easily cloneable for efficiency but also are blank slates, so they carry a lower risk of details being unchanged, which can be a risk when cloning from older programs, or not being added in, which can be a risk when creating from scratch.
Utilize Intake Forms or Project Management Software
Jumping off of program templates, the biggest game changer for scaling your campaign operations is to solidify your intake strategy. For some businesses, this may be an editable PDF with an outline of what is required for email copy, links, audience, etc., and is filled out by the requester.
For others, this may come in the shape of a project management tool like Workfront, where a customized form can be created to ensure that people provide the exact information that is needed before they submit the request.
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In either case, it is important to be as specific as possible when creating intake forms to reduce the need for future follow-up. If emails require links with specific tracking, make sure to specify that the marketing operations team needs the full tracking link, not just the base URL.
If images need to be a certain size and file type, state exactly what is needed. This is also a great way to make sure that you are capturing all of the business requirements from the stakeholder, such as what their main objectives are and who the target audience is.
When it comes to campaign operations, the less that is up for interpretation when a campaign is being built in the automation system, the better.
Like all new processes, it may take some time and diligence to get intake processes off the ground. However, by enforcing SLAs and intake forms, marketing operations teams are able to put the needs of the team first while accommodating other departments and stakeholders to make sure all objectives are being met.
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It’s amazing how many multi-email chains can be eliminated when requirements and details are established before kickoff and how much more your team can produce when you put time-saving tools in place.