A creative review and approval software mechanism must be in place for any team that generates marketing or brand content. In this post, we’ll go through the top ten tips for developing a review and approval process that streamlines decision-making and facilitates content sharing across teams as it’s developed, reviewed, updated, approved, and distributed.

The creative review and approval process is a collaborative process that takes place around the development and finalization of creative material. Advertisements in print, online, product labels, and legal documents are all examples.

All of the different versions, decisions, sign-offs, comments, feedback, and stakeholders involved in getting a piece of content or a marketing campaign from concept to finished product are included in the review and approval process. Finally, the sequence in which material and information flows for creative decision-making and adjustments is known as creative review and approval.

Using these best practices will not only save a lot of time during content development, but will also enhance collaboration and consistency among all of your creative contributors in these Covid times where work from home is the only option. By adding greater control and automation over the creative review and approval processes, everyone in your Design, Copy, Marketing, Client Services, and Compliance teams will be able to monitor ongoing content production and make better-informed judgments and final approvals quicker.

Let’s look at some best practices for the creative review and approval process.

Step 1: Build review stages

Defining a review stage is the first step in designing a workflow to automate the creative review and approval process. It’s natural to want to construct a distinct review procedure for each team that needs to analyze data.

The most important aspect to consider when selecting how to define the steps in a review and approval process is visibility. When you think of visibility, you’re thinking about the data you’ll need if you’re looking at several projects. When looking at many projects, determine the facts about a project or proof that you want to be able to identify right away, where the delays in the process are occurring, whether it is bottlenecked in development or compliance, and upcoming deadlines that you need to meet.

As a result, understanding decision sign-offs, review and approval dates, and individual groups or stages is more significant than understanding specific groups or stages.

 

Step 2: Segment review group members

The next step is to figure out which jobs should be broken down into sections. This will assist you in determining which reviewers should be assigned to which review group and when along the process. Segmentation seems like an easy thing to consider early on when laying up your review process in phases, yet it’s often overlooked.

Segmentation may seem obvious when building up your review process in phases, but it’s sometimes overlooked. Everyone must interact with each other when a piece of a project is still in progress. Comments and collaboration should be either private communication between group members or public conversation on the content item that any stakeholder may see.

 

Step 3: Defining client engagement rules

You’ll frequently need to incorporate stakeholders from outside your company, as well as members of your own team, in the document review and approval process when building review groups.When looking at their own internal-external review process, there are a few factors that everyone should keep in mind.

You must decide how you want to proceed with this discussion, including who from your team should communicate with the customer, the papers that must be given, and so on. Before developing a new version, you must also decide on the drivers for it based on external input, as well as how to set the cut-off point for receiving feedback. These questions can help you choose not just when and when to bring in consumers for review, but also when it comes to versioning and project schedules.

 

Step 4: Use deadlines and automated reminders

When forming review groups, you’ll usually need to include stakeholders from outside your firm as well as members of your own team in the document review and approval process. There are a few things that everyone should bear in mind while looking at their own internal-external review process.

You must decide how you want to handle this conversation, including who from your team should contact the customer, what documentation must be presented, and so on. You must also decide on the drivers for it depending on external input, as well as how to establish the cut-off point for collecting feedback, before producing a new version. These questions may help you decide when and how to bring in consumers for review, as well as versioning and project timetables.

 

Step 5: Link comments to content versioning

A reviewer’s viewpoint or a desired adjustment might be expressed in a remark throughout the creative review and approval process. To prevent generating endless variations of a piece of content and to save the time your creative team spends on unnecessary changes, it’s critical to be able to quickly identify and filter comments as essential revisions. As a result, you’ll have more control over your material’s version numbers.

 

Step 6: Align version numbering around review rounds

The next phase is to determine how many internal and external rounds a project will take to be completed. Establishing a version numbering system that distinguishes between internal and external versions is critical for process efficiency.

To begin, select an acceptable organizational structure for review comments. The initial step is to sort comments into actionable and non-actionable categories, depending on your process. After that, separate the steps of internal and external assessment and approval.

This will help you find out how to tell the difference between internal minor versions and the versioning that your external reviewers will see.

 

Step 7: Use automated workflow templates for multi-stage approvals

Automated workflow is a powerful tool for complex multi-stage review and approval processes. It controls the flow of data through new stages in real time, based on real-time assessments, comments, and actions based on a set of parameters.

Make sure you know how much automation you’ll need and how many process templates you’ll need to start with. Then you may decide who will do the initial review. By having a predetermined review process, an automated workflow may completely eliminate that stress and ambiguity.

 

Step 8: Add reviewers to multiple stages

At each level, it is preferable to have a reviewer. Automated proofing workflow characteristics enable the use of the same reviewer at many stages of the creative process. You’ll need to look at what reviewers must do in the early and later phases, standardize decision sign-offs, and approach this process with a timetable in mind.

 

Step 9: Identify redundancies in your workflows

Consider how to construct review stages that save needless work while designing review and approval procedures. Using the same method for each version of a piece of information while the review and approval process continues can sometimes result in wasted work. If you use the same review process for subsequent revisions of a piece of information as you did for the first, you can end up with more steps and time. Consider how much time you could save if you didn’t skip a step throughout the review and approval process. Determine which teams should collaborate and when they should cooperate. If that set of requirements has been met, those steps may be skipped.

 

Step 10: Reduce collaboration delays by using sequential and parallel reviews together

When a former reviewer has to be looped back into the review process, many types of review methods might help.

There are two types of review structures that may be used in combination with each other. Linear reviews are process steps that are completed in a certain order. A parallel review occurs when some or all phases of a process are being examined at the same time. Adding or combining sequential and parallel review techniques can help speed up the review process and cut down on time-consuming back-and-forth between reviewers.

Conclusion

Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creative review and approval, automating, centralizing, and simplifying your review process is critical for speedier project delivery and a less chaotic feedback loop.

These ten stages may help you create a review and approval process that is adaptive and dynamic enough to handle any type of creative project, whether it is repeating the same work or working on unique projects for a range of customers in these work from home environments.

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