It doesn’t just improve efficiency and help you meet your regulatory requirements. Automating your marketing processes can also improve brand consistency, give you the data you need to refine your strategy, and ensure a more joined-up approach between teams within your firm.With all these benefits, it’s no surprise that increasing numbers of organisations are choosing automation.
But with so many solutions available, how can you be sure you opt for the right one?
Here we’ve compiled the 10 questions you need to ask providers when you’re making the comparison.
1. How user-friendly is it?
No point investing in a solution that’s meant to make your life easier if it just creates extra stress and hassle. Test out your shortlisted solutions; put them through their paces. Make sure it’s intuitive and easy to pick up – or you just won’t get the buy-in you need to make it a success.
2. What support does it offer?
No matter how user-friendly your chosen solution, there are times when you’ll need support. Find out what this comprises among the solutions you’re considering. Is it available 24/7? Are you guaranteed ‘plain English’ advice, not tech-speak?
3. Does it make project management simpler?
After all, that’s one of the main aims of automation. Does your chosen solution allow you to manage all aspect s of your marketing project – from online agency briefing to reviews and approvals? A comprehensive solution will ease the burden of juggling numerous projects simultaneously.
4. Is it good value?
Costs can vary hugely. Make sure your solution offers best value. The price should be transparent, so you know what you’re getting. What’s included – and what do you have to pay extra for? Are fees scalable, so you can cost-effectively roll it out across your business?
5. Can it be used by an unlimited number of teams, in any location?
On the subject of rolling out, ask how many teams can use the solution. If you’re a regional or international firm, where teams in different offices or countries collaborate on financial promotions, it’s vital that you can all benefit from it. Find out about any restrictions in terms of licences and access.
6. Will it help with brand compliance?
After regulatory requirements, issues with brand consistency are probably your biggest challenge when it comes to getting compliant financial promotions out on time. How does the solution you’re considering help with branding? Are document and slide libraries available to ‘lock down’ on-brand content, imagery, logos and data?
7. Does it have benefits for other teams - like Sales and Compliance?
An automated workflow solution shouldn’t just benefit Marketing. The advantages in terms of efficiency and mandated compliance approval help your other teams too.
Find out how well your chosen solution integrates the various teams you work with, and what it can deliver for them. The more parts of your firm can benefit, the easier it will be for you to build your business case for automation.
8. Does it automatically create a compliant audit trail?
Compliant record-keeping is a priority for the Financial Conduct Authority. Not only does the content of your financial promotions need to meet the regulator’s requirements, the way they are stored, managed and reviewed does too.
Make sure the solution you’re considering offers a rigorous method of storing electronic assets and collateral, and records their approval records for compliance purposes.
9. Does it give me comprehensive MI?
Continually refining your approach is vital. Never more so than in today’s digital world, where the performance of your activity is easily measured and quantified. Marketers are under the data microscope as never before.
A good automation system will provide you with invaluable management information – find out how long you spend on the various aspects of your role; where the blockages are to a more efficient approach, and what you can do to improve.
10. Does it provide the best data security?
You need to know that your collateral is hosted securely. Ask about your storage provider’s accreditation – they should be accredited to standards like PCI DSS, ISO27001 and ISAE 3402 Type II. If not, your data security and business continuity is at risk.
Choosing the right automation solutions is a big decision. Asking these questions to potential providers will help to ensure you get it right.
To read more about how automation can deliver tangible efficiency improvements, download our short case study.
It shows how the Nottingham Building Society:
- Saved their Marketing and Compliance teams 1500 hours a month by reducing the approval process from 3 days to 1 day per promotion
- Slashed the time spent on administration by 80%
- Improved project management, enabling business growth and increased promotional activity without the need to increase staff levels
- Reduced their risk of breaching internal rules and external regulations
- Saved £1,800 on internal printing costs in the first 6 months of going paperless
You can download a free copy here.