It can be challenging to orchestrate campaigns whether you’re a large enterprise organization or a high-growth start-up. It goes without saying that marketing operations teams and marketing campaign stakeholders need to have transparent and effective communication through each step of the campaign execution process. Marketing operations teams are stepping up as leaders of the broader marketing organization to ensure that processes around campaign requests are executed as efficiently (and flawlessly) as possible.

Setting the Stage

An email is just about ready to be deployed, but during the final review, you notice the marketing stakeholder supplied a low-resolution image. This happens all the time, even at Fortune 100 companies. You think to yourself, “No big deal, I’ll just ask for it now!” Seems so simple, doesn’t it? What you realize is that it’s not so black and white. You find they either aren’t getting back to you or they need to follow up with their creative team, causing further delays and stress as the deadline approaches. Instead of being able to neatly wrap this up, you’re left hanging.

It doesn’t end here – they finally get back to you, except it’s one hour before deployment. This leads to a last-minute QA. You barely have time to make recommendations for conversion optimization, and UTM parameters were not supplied causing future reporting issues. You realize that sometimes, it’s the most minute details that can turn into the largest disruptions.

The good news is that you’re not alone. For most marketing operations teams, the most common distraction is related to the back-and-forth involved with campaign execution. It’s no wonder that the average worker spends only 60 percent of their time on productive work, while the other 40 percent is dedicated to emails, interruptions, and meetings according to a study conducted by Asana.

To dig deeper into the subject and provide a few practical tips, we tapped into the knowledge of our Jeto team. After working with Fortune 500 marketing operations teams to seamlessly launch over 35,000 campaigns, they know a thing or two about optimizing communication and collaboration around campaign requests.

The Goal: Establishing a Campaign Request Process

We’ve identified a lack of process and inefficient communication around orchestrating campaigns as one of the largest pain points facing marketing organizations. For this reason, each of the steps we’ll share is related to establishing a campaign request process. The good news – aligning marketing operations and marketing stakeholders can be alleviated by leveraging processes and tools.

For organizations that shy away from processes or a MarTech investment, this is one process you’ll want to invest energy into. By keeping processes simple and leveraging tools like Jeto, you can prevent both MOPS professionals and marketing stakeholders from pulling their hair out. We all have the eye on the prize – an efficient marketing organization with a campaign engine firing on all cylinders and of course, happy marketers.

Step 1: Set the stage for change management

As with any new process, you’ll have to keep change management top of mind.

So, how can you ensure this process goes smoothly and your request gets approved?

  • Plan for continuous change
  • Put people’s needs at the top
  • Provide opportunities for wins, early and often
  • Avoid the pitfalls

We dive into each of these deeper in the article, Change Management for a Smooth Digital Transformation.

Securing leadership approval is the first step to implementing change. To do this, it’s advisable to use data. Here are a few data points you might want to include related to streamlining campaign execution:

  • Number of campaigns without losing quality
  • Time spent executing campaigns
  • Completing more work without adding headcount
  • Documentation of work

Other data points are less obvious like flawless execution and happier employees resulting from less last-minute, rushed work and empowered marketing stakeholders.

You’ll also have to ensure marketing stakeholders have a complete understanding of what they will gain from the change. This is your opportunity to speak to their pain points – make it clear that the new process will not only reduce confusion, but also provide more predictable SLAs. Provide clear process workflows and concrete examples to eliminate any grey areas.

Step 2: Audit your current process

In order to create a better request management process, you need to take a closer look at your current process.

Don’t worry about creating an exhaustive document that accounts for every minute of everyone’s day. Instead, focus on how marketing operations and marketing stakeholders collaborate related to campaign execution.

Through our experience working on more than 1,500 Marketo projects, we’ve seen many different approaches to collaboration, from shared Google documents to more advanced project management and collaboration tools like Jira and Monday. One theme that seems to show up despite the tools teams use is campaign request forms. The goal is to provide marketing stakeholders an efficient way of requesting campaigns and sharing campaign-related assets for Marketo emails and landing pages.

For these campaign request forms, you might use pre-set project management templates found online, but you’ll achieve the best results through custom-built intake forms.

In order to create the most precise form, you’ll want to consider your team’s unique needs.

  • Do you receive repeated campaign requests, like webinars or newsletters?
  • What assets are typically involved in your campaigns?
  • How does the division of labor work across different teams?

By thinking through and mapping each step of the process, you’ll be on your way to having a streamlined campaign process. Here’s a sample flow chart showing how marketing stakeholders and MOPS might work together:

campaign setup and marketing flowchart

Image Source: Honeypot Marketing

As you advance both your processes and your MarTech stack, you may be looking for additional ways to automate processes; beyond marketing collaboration. For additional reading on how to automate marketing campaign processes, take a look at Perkuto’s CRISP Framework for Process Automation.

Step 3: Centralize and standardize intake with request forms

By this time, you have alignment with the team and a document workflow in place around campaign execution. You are well on your way to creating a marketing center of excellence.

Here are 5 steps to take for creating a marketing center of excellence:

  1. Establish success metrics
  2. Identify recurring campaigns
  3. Templatize assets
  4. Determine roles and permissions
  5. Establish processes for requests, revisions, approvals, and launch

For more on each of these steps, review Jeto’s article, What is a Marketing Center of Excellence. Who Needs One, and How to Build Yours.

With your center of excellence in place, one benefit is saying goodbye to the days where you receive requests from all directions – email, Slack, and even in passing on a Zoom call. You’ll want to choose one tool to create your forms, whether that’s Google Forms, Jira, Asana, or Jeto. If you remember nothing else, remember this:

Choose one tool for creating campaign requests!

Creating a list of fields for your intake form, even for a simple email, can get long fast. You’ll want to include all of the fields related to the email itself; but also information on the audience segment and if there will be an A/B test of any kind. You might also include an option to attach a recipient list.

Here’s an example of an intake request form from Jeto. Fun fact – this form actually syncs directly with Marketo and creates a new program from an existing program template.

marketing operations campaign request intake form

Having a centralized communication channel ensures no information gets lost, no request is forgotten, and you have a reliable record of communication. Think of your new form as a catalog for marketers: they get to browse and select what they’d like in their next campaign. It’s easier for you, for them, and most importantly the success of your campaign.

Step 4: Make forms user-friendly and add instructions and limitations

Once you’ve designed your campaign request form, you’ll want to make sure the proper instructions and limitations are implemented within the form. You’ll also want to make sure your forms are user-friendly and that your team knows how to best leverage the new form.

Make sure you are focused on continuous improvement by creating a feedback loop for your marketing stakeholders related to the process and specifically, the campaign request form.

When creating your forms, we recommend keeping these best practices in mind:

  • Keep forms as short as possible, while still gathering all necessary information
  • Provide some visual indication of what final assets will look like
  • Incorporate in-form guidance if a specific format or length is required
  • Put limitations on submissions to ensure completeness

Curious to learn the tactics behind these best practices? Download the full guide from Jeto to learn more.

Step 5: Balance structure and flexibility during implementation

Implementing effective request forms will be the ultimate time-saver to your campaign. Not only do they add structure, but they also help streamline communication and eliminate the cycle of back-and-forth communication. When campaign requesters can clearly grasp what information is needed on their end, campaigns get deployed faster with fewer hurdles than a formless campaign process. This has compounded efficiency savings if you launch multiple campaigns a month, not to mention it makes work much more enjoyable! And who doesn’t want that?

Overwhelmed by Campaign Requests?

Download the Marketo Admin's Guide to Campaign Requests!

Take Action

Are you feeling empowered to take control of your campaign request process and implement change? The next step is to take action.

Start with your vision for change, compile the data, and align with stakeholders from the very beginning. Keep it simple, leverage technology to help you execute your vision, and focus on continuous improvement. Before you know it, your marketing organization is going to be firing on all cylinders when it comes to campaign execution.