As a marketing director or manager, you know that there are certain points along the marketing project lifecycle that are prone to delays. Whether due to a lack of a streamlined intake process, unclear ownership of project tasks and requirements, or setbacks in the approval phase, these marketing bottlenecks can threaten the successful and timely delivery of your projects. 

In this article, we’ll address three common marketing bottlenecks, including the client intake process. We’ll also look at some practical tips for streamlining your intake procedures and ensuring each project is properly managed and approved in a timely manner. 

Common issues with the marketing request intake process

Without a clearly defined and organized request intake process, marketing projects and creative requests can be derailed before they even begin. It’s not uncommon for marketing departments to experience “drive by” requests; co-workers dropping sticky notes on a desk, shooting an informal message through Slack, or just casually mentioning a need in passing and expecting it to be taken care of. 

The reality is that without a streamlined and centralized intake process, you and your marketing team will receive vague, undefined request briefs from everywhere, which makes it difficult for your resource capacity plan to hold up.  Unclear requests can quickly snowball and lead to valuable time being wasted on back and forth communications trying to clarify the need. What’s more, a haphazard intake process can result in unclear priorities, deliverables or assets that don’t satisfy the requirements, and even worse, requests slipping through the cracks altogether.

Further, these issues can put a strain on interdepartmental relations and impact organizational morale. That’s why it’s critical to set up smooth intake procedures that capture all necessary information and make it easy for your marketing team to manage incoming requests.

How To Combat Marketing Bottlenecks With a Streamlined Intake Process 1
Streamline intake procedures with Wrike request forms and gather important project information upfront.

How to streamline your marketing team’s intake procedures

The simplest way to streamline your marketing team’s request intake process is to implement a work management system that can automate the request intake procedure. With Wrike, for instance, making a request is simple and straightforward. New requests can be generated within the appropriate marketing campaign folder, which is accessible across departments. Request forms in Wrike are also customizable, so you can build out separate request forms specific to campaigns, creative services, IT support, and so on. 

Additionally, employing an automated work management platform like Wrike will ensure that every request form includes all the information you and your creative team need to start taking action ASAP. 

How to combat other common marketing bottlenecks

Undefined client intake processes and request intake procedures can certainly hamper marketing productivity. But there are a couple other common bottlenecks that tend to hold up production and delivery, too. Luckily, they both can be solved using the same powerful marketing project management software

Getting projects off the ground

For example, once a request has been submitted, marketing teams often end up re-inventing the wheel for projects or deliverables they produce on a routine basis. In one instance, the team may act under the guidance of the designer, while in another, the team takes its cues from the creative services manager. This dissonant and unorganized approach can result in unclear ownership, undefined timelines, unrealistic expectations, and even missed deadlines. 

The solution to this is to organize and document unified procedures for these repeatable tasks. In Wrike, you can accomplish this easily using Blueprints, which is essentially a staging area that houses ready-to-use templates for common projects you do repeatedly. Blueprints allows you to outline all the tasks and requirements necessary for the request as well as assign durations, dependencies, and people to the individual tasks. 

Expediting the approval process

Another typical marketing bottleneck is the approval process, which can get jammed up in a few different ways. In some cases, managers may feel like work is never complete because of an oversupply of opinions. In others, key approvals may be missed or forgotten, or an approver may be unclear of the deadline for a needed approval. 

This can all be resolved using a unified approval system like Wrike Proof, a tool designed to help creative and marketing teams ensure all assets and deliverables get the approvals they need. With Proof, a designer, copywriter, or other creative team member can simply attach an asset that’s ready for approval, assign specific approvers, set approval due dates, adjust project statuses based on approvals, and more. All tagged approvers receive a notification that includes the due date, making it easy to gather all the needed approvals in a timely manner. 

What’s more, Wrike Proof allows approvers to quickly mark up and give feedback or revision requests on a given asset, then kick it back to creative. All feedback is tracked, so team members can ensure that nothing gets overlooked and all requests are properly addressed. 

Simplify your marketing client intake process and request intake procedures

Wrike equips marketing teams with tools that boost collaboration, efficiency, and accountability so important requests don’t fall through the cracks. To see all the ways that Wrike can help you simplify and streamline your marketing operations, try it free for two weeks — click here to get started!