A pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words, and the most impor­tant part of a mar­ket­ing cam­paign is get­ting a mem­o­rable mes­sage to your cus­tomers and prospects. It takes an entire team work­ing together to develop the ideal dig­i­tal imagery and videos to mar­ket your prod­ucts, brand, or services.

Col­lab­o­rat­ing as a team can be an end­less merry-go-round if you don’t stream­line your work­flow. With a clearly defined process, you don’t have to ride an end­less merry-go-round as your team col­lab­o­rates on dig­i­tal assets. The right work­flow will let you col­lab­o­rate inter­ac­tively as you develop your design. A stream­lined dig­i­tal col­lab­o­ra­tion work­flow saves time and money and pro­duces a bet­ter end prod­uct by giv­ing your entire team input on the dig­i­tal asset you’re designing.

Rid­ing the Dig­i­tal Merry-Go-Round

Your team must coor­di­nate inputs from pho­tog­ra­phers, design, mar­ket­ing, pro­duc­tion, and even legal to develop the ideal mes­sage. Some­times their ideas can be inte­grated into a design, but other times there are con­flicts. Imag­ine a typ­i­cal sce­nario: A mar­ket­ing man­ager emails inputs on a new prod­uct photo; changes are made to the photo, which is then sent via email for dozens to review; another team mem­ber requests a change dur­ing a phone con­ver­sa­tion; the sec­ond change is made; and the photo is sent out via email. Your email begins to get over­loaded, and a design is cho­sen by fatigue or even worse—the Franken­stein cre­ative gets scrapped alto­gether and it has to be reshot. It’s a merry-go-round, and every­one wastes time and money rid­ing it.

Get off the Merry-Go-Round: Define Your Workflow

Every­one needs a role, and those roles must be clearly defined to avoid hav­ing too many cooks in the kitchen try­ing to add their ingre­di­ents. Con­tent edi­tors, approvers, review­ers, and view­ers must know when it is their turn to par­tic­i­pate and what spe­cific actions they need to take. For exam­ple, the owner is the mar­ket­ing man­ager, who ini­ti­ates the cre­ation process. Is this the same per­son who inputs the tags and meta­data, or do you want this han­dled by your dig­i­tal agency? Is the cre­ative direc­tor or brand man­ager required to check for adop­tion to brand guide­lines? Finally, does the Web team have any edi­to­r­ial input into the process or are they only inter­ested in view­ing and lever­ag­ing the new dig­i­tal asset? A clearly defined work­flow will let every­one know when it is their turn to participate—and stop the merry-go-round.

Every­one Has a Role

The work­flow begins when the mar­ket­ing direc­tor, or owner, calls for a dig­i­tal asset to be cre­ated. Then the two editors—the pho­tog­ra­pher and the cre­ative director—work together to develop the dig­i­tal asset. The cre­ative direc­tor approves the dig­i­tal asset and sends it to review­ers, who look for brand­ing and legal con­sid­er­a­tions. Finally, the Web depart­ment loads the asset into the com­puter for the cus­tomer to view. Assign­ing every­one a role avoids the dig­i­tal merry-go-round, sav­ing time and dig­i­tal resources and let­ting us use our time effectively.

A digital collaboration workflow.

A dig­i­tal col­lab­o­ra­tion workflow.

When your entire team is work­ing together to develop the ideal dig­i­tal imagery and videos to mar­ket your prod­ucts, brand, or ser­vices then you can leave the merry-go-round and stream­line your cre­ative process. Dig­i­tal tools, such as those avail­able on the Adobe Cre­ative Suite and Dig­i­tal Asset Man­age­ment sites, can help you stream­line the cre­ative process and be more productive.