Cut The Delays: Boosting Efficiency in Your Creative Ops

Kevin Kerner
March 19, 2024
6 minutes

Creative Operations: The Need for Speed (and Effectiveness)

We can all feel it these days... orchestrating all the campaigns and assets needed for the myriad of your tech marketing strategies seems simultaneously easy and complicated. Budget and headcount constraints make it more challenging, but the availability of many new tools (including AI) promises some real opportunities for efficiency like never before. Still, a recent Gartner survey of CMO's highlights that 71% believe they lack sufficient budget to fully execute their planned strategies.(Gartner)

One of the areas that often gets ignored but is critical to the entire marketing process is creative operations. 

Creative operations, or "creative ops," is the process of managing and optimizing creative production. Similarly to marketing operations, it involves streamlining workflows, improving collaboration, and implementing best practices to ensure your team works as efficiently as possible. Creative operations efficiency is crucial in managing and optimizing creative production and for better marketing campaign optimization across all your efforts. (Ziflow)

With budget cuts, smaller marketing teams and the need to prove every dollar and project is working well for your company, your creative operations efficiency has never been more critical. I've witnessed firsthand the frustration that arises when ambitious marketing plans are met with delays and subpar efforts from creative teams. 

In today's resource-constrained environment, where time indeed equates to money, such inefficiencies can significantly slow down your market entry and dilute your campaign's impact. From emails to ads, landing pages to videos, ensuring you have an agile creative processes and systems in place for conversion-focused marketing asset creation is critical. 

Let me share five key strategies that have revolutionized how we approach creative operations at Mighty & True, ensuring our team is not just a step ahead but setting the pace in the tech marketing sphere.

A Great Briefing Process

The foundation of any successful project lies in understanding its core objectives. This begins with a great marketing briefing process. We've developed a system where our briefs are not just documents but blueprints for success. They are tailor-made for each campaign or asset type, ensuring every team member knows exactly what's expected. 

But it doesn't stop there; we follow up with a briefing meeting, creating a space for questions and clarifications. This approach ensures that our creative team has a crystal-clear understanding of the storyline and objectives from the outset.

For an example of one of our briefs, download this free ABM briefing template and modify it for one of your campaigns. 

Robust Brand Templates and Playbooks

Why reinvent the wheel with each new campaign when you can streamline the process with solid brand-consistent templates and marketing playbooks? At Mighty & True, we've curated a comprehensive library of templates for every type of marketing asset. 

These templates aren't just about saving time; they ensure consistency and quality across all creative outputs. 

Additionally, we've standardized the types of campaigns and related assets we create for the most common types of tech marketing campaigns into what we call Playbooks. 

Our M&T playbooks are a group of plays for a similar purpose. Using playbooks, our customers can select from a play menu that fits a specific purpose. Our playbooks are designed to be flexible and customizable, allowing tech marketers to tailor the tactics and messaging underneath each play to suit their particular goals and target audience. This flexibility is crucial in the tech industry, where markets and products can evolve rapidly, and segment messaging can be extremely important.

We also prioritize training our team on these templates and playbooks, with specialists in place for specific play and content types, ensuring expertise and efficiency are always at the forefront.

A Structured Review Process

One of the biggest bottlenecks in creative production can be your review process. Long review cycles, confusing feedback, and ineffective systems can all delay getting campaigns in the market. Yet, a structured review process is essential in eliminating bottlenecks in creative team collaboration and production. Yet, A structured review process is essential in eliminating bottlenecks in creative team collaboration and productionAt M&T, we've implemented standard proofing checklists, instructions, and tools like Ziflow to tackle this, enabling asynchronous proofing and feedback. 

This proofing system is integrated into our project management tools, allowing us to track feedback stages effectively. By streamlining the review process, we ensure that feedback is timely, actionable, and, most importantly, conducive to the creative process.

Standardized Design Tools and Systems

In the realm of design, consistency is king. That's why standardizing our design tools and systems has been a game-changer. By training our team on a unified set of tools—be it Adobe for image editing, Figma for vector art, or Grammarly for copywriting—we've eliminated the learning curve that comes with tool fragmentation. 

Moreover, our design systems, including component kits and brand libraries, ensure that every piece of content is aligned with our brand ethos while speeding up the design process.

We've found the most effective design tool standardization elements include:

  • Design Toolsets: Adobe, Figma, Canva, Dall-E
  • Copy Toolsets:  Grammarly, Jasper, ChatGPT, LP and Email Planning Documents
  • Design Systems for the following:
    • Email
    • Landing Pages (including component kits like Relume)
    • Social Media Ads and Posts
    • Video Bumpers
    • Brand Animations
    • Content skeletons for assets like ebooks, white papers, and infographics
    • Templates for sales enablement (presentations, data sheets, email signatures, Teams backgrounds)

Feedback Systems

Feedback is the lifeblood of improvement. At Mighty & True, we've established robust marketing feedback systems that track campaign and asset performance, creative process improvement, and foster a culture of continuous learning. Regular performance reviews give our creative team insights into what works and what doesn't, while post-project retrospectives offer a platform for discussing improvements. 

Furthermore, feedback from our martech and production teams ensures that the transition from design to deployment is seamless, with no surprises down the line. Check out this M&T post to uncover our methods for ensuring a great design to martech handoff.

Improving your Creative Operations

In closing, enhancing your marketing team's creative operations is not just about adopting new tools or processes; it's about fostering a culture of efficiency, clarity, and continuous improvement in your creative operations and broader marketing department.

At Mighty & True, we've made it our mission to help technology companies scale their creative operations, ensuring that your campaigns hit the market faster and resonate more deeply with your audience. 

If you're looking to transform your creative operations efficiency and propel your technology marketing solutions to new heights, we're here to help. Reach out to learn more about how we can elevate your creative operations and, in turn, your marketing success.

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