These cardinal process sins hinder many direct marketing campaigns

Process management, business rules, project workflows and client on-boarding are typically not the most intriguing aspects of the marketing world.  These terms are often associated with the nit-picky details of standing up a successful direct marketing campaign for a new customer.  But many marketers have enthusiastically jumped into new projects, only to experience major setbacks in timing and accuracy that could have otherwise been avoided by laying the necessary ground work for a smooth first-time execution.

Most process errors happen in the proofing phase–it can be difficult to ensure you’re commenting on the most recent version of a concept when your email inbox is cluttered with updates.  SeQuel’s dynamic online proofing platform tracks changes and approval sequences automatically.

That’s just one example of how seriously SeQuel takes the on-boarding process.  We realize that we must pay close attention to all campaign details and make sure all participants understand the value of a thorough on-boarding procedure.  Essentially, we like to grab the reins and help our clients navigate through all of the mundane order entry processes so that they can focus on the strategic priorities, rather than project management.

The on-boarding process

On-boarding clients can be an art–it requires two ears and one mouth.  We must figure out the right questions to ask, listen carefully to the responses, fill any information gaps, understand the client’s expectations, solve related problems–then execute flawlessly, on-time, and within the budget.

For a first-time customer campaign, SeQuel develops a unique action plan and documented process workflow that defines individual activities, ownership and deliverable timelines.  These activities can include the following:

  • Discuss and determine any current marketing process problems the client is facing
  • Understand the life cycle from planning to creative–through execution and analysis
  • Understand the client’s brand guidelines
  • Learn the internal flow of communication and know who the key stakeholders and decision makers are
  • Understand the various participants & departments involved in the creative development process
  • Get familiar with the client’s approval process and requirements (internal, legal, governmental review, underwriter reviews, etc.)
  • Determine the review process timelines per reviewer
  • Establish the online proofing process requirements: How does the client like to see layouts? How will they return them with changes?
  • Discuss the data processes that need to be followed, such as security, data flows, hygiene, ownership, reporting and analytics
  • Build schedules using the defined process workflow

Ongoing refinement

As each campaign closes, we continually look at refining our processes.  We seek improvement opportunities that will save time, eliminate redundancies and reduce the chances for errors. SeQuel’s clients benefit greatly from our expertise in campaign management and from our thorough on-boarding and workflow processes. It is often said, “The devil is in the details.”  At SeQuel Response, we’ve gotten to know him quite well.


Want to remove inefficiencies from your marketing workflow?

Schedule a free analysis