The process of closing a sale to launching a campaign isn't streamlined in most digital marketing or advertising agencies.
When you sell a marketing service to a client (whether we're talking PPC campaigns, SEO strategies, or whichever specific service you offer) you start a journey that takes your team and often your client through several different task management tools and communication channels.
These fragmented processes require significant hands-on management from your team.
Instead of working on increasing sales or driving conversions, your sales and account management teams are working on building out orders, following up on pending tasks, and creating reports. When working with large brands, clients' marketing teams often play a role in this process, so your ability to work together in a streamlined way drives customer satisfaction.
If you can reduce the number of steps and platforms your agency needs to utilize to capture and execute an order, you gain the benefit of increased customer satisfaction. Plus, it will be easier and less expensive for your agency to operate, as well as scale.
Today's post covers the benefits of using a marketing workflow platform to solve these (and other) issues.
First, we'll discuss the difference between a purpose-built marketing work management platform and a workflow or project management application. Then we cover in detail how TapClicks unifies the core activities in marketing operations, including:
- Capturing orders from new or existing clients.
- Managing multiple moving parts to execute orders (creative development, campaign creation, etc.).
- Analyzing performance when marketing campaigns are live.
- Creating and sending reports on the results of those campaigns.
If you're ready to streamline your advertising operations by using our all-in-one platform, try our free 14-day trial.
Advertising WorkflowPlatforms vs. Project Management Applications
Editor's Note: Throughout this article, we discuss how marketing agencies can benefit from an advertising workflow platform like TapClicks. But TapClicks also benefits in-house marketing teams. Who you're sending reports to may change, but in-house teams still need efficient and automated workflows for planning and executing campaigns, and easy-to-master reporting and analytics for measurement and optimization.
As businesses continue to rely on several different online platforms to operate, workflow management companies have developed solutions to meet the challenges involved with distributed teams working together.
But when advertising teams use common project management software like Asana, Trello, or Monday, they're using non-specialized solutions built to work for as many different industries as possible (as opposed to agency software custom-built for improving your advertising workflow).
To solve this, we've developed a workflow software that is built specifically for marketing and advertising teams to scale their processes by planning, executing, measuring, and reporting on omnichannel campaigns all from one platform.
We modeled our advertising workflow platform from the best practice processes we saw our customers using, which we go over below.
- Your sales team sells a client on a service. For this example, let's say a 3-month engagement on PPC marketing (both Google Ads and Facebook Ads) and a website/SEO optimization project.
- Once the sale is final, your sales team writes the order. This includes getting the details right time frame, scope, and audience. This is a critical step, as a vague order can lead to misinterpretation (or inaction) from your marketing team. We've seen agencies use simple email threads for this important step; we've also seen agencies use Google Forms so the sales team can get the information to a spreadsheet; larger agencies may use a CRM platform like Salesforce.
- That order is fulfilled. However your order was captured, it then needs to be pulled by your marketing, creative, and accounting team. At this point, some agencies use a combination of project management software(Trello, Asana, Monday, etc.) or marketing work management tools like Workfront and various modes of inter-team messaging(Slack, email, etc.). Various heads of department may be responsible for tracking progress making sure marketers and designers are on the right task and have the necessary resources, following up with accounts payable to confirm the invoice was sent correctly and paid.
- The campaign is launched. After the initial deliverables have been designed and approved (through back and forth in platforms like Trello and Slack), they are launched. This is done by a marketer logging in and manually launching campaigns in both Google and Facebook Ads and assigning the design resource for the website build.
- Your marketing team gathers data for analytics and reporting. Most marketing and creative agencies do this by taking data out of the platforms and putting it into an Excel spreadsheet or Google doc. If they prioritize data visualization, they take their data to PowerPoint (sometimes using free PPC report templates they found online) or Google Data Studio.
When agencies invest in an advertising workflow platform, what they're doing is housing as many of those disparate processes outlined above within one ecosystem. The process doesn't necessarily change, but it is improved by using one centralized platform to assign, and complete (and with TapClicks, even launch) marketing campaigns.
Here are some of the benefits your team gets from using an advertising workflow platform versus a generic project management platform:
- It's painless to onboard new clients.
- It's faster to plan and launch marketing campaigns.
- It's easier to manage new and existing clients, which allows you to take on new marketing projects and scale strategies.
- Your team is less focused on time-consuming and recurring tasks (such as creating marketing reports or submitting new orders) and more focused on revenue-driving tasks (closing sales and improving marketing strategies).
Below, we show you how advertising teams can use TapClicks as their advertising workflow platform.
TapClicks: An All-in-One Advertising WorkflowPlatform
TapClicks's advertising workflow platform can be broken down into four components.
- TapOrders: Accurately Log Customer Orders
- TapWorkflow: Connecting Teams and Increasing Productivity
- TapAnalytics: Gain Valuable Insights into Campaign Performance
- TapReports: Save Time with Automated Reports
Each component works together to create an advertising workflow platform tool that marketing agencies can use to streamline communication, centralize and analyze data, show results, automate reports, and influence the next steps in their marketing strategy.
Let's look at how.
1. TapOrders: Accurately Log Customer Orders
Agencies that have a product catalog of services they offer their clients will benefit from TapOrders. You can set up the services your team offers, such as PPC campaigns or technical SEO site audits, as ready-to-go order templates for your sales team to use.
Because your sales team is using a template of pre-approved services including what information is needed to make those services successful you cut down on the risk of costly mistakes, such as offering a PPC campaign with a timeline that's too short to properly show value.
Plus, by creating a template of pre-approved services, you make it easier for your team to upsell services. As your sales representatives fill out the order information they will see where they can offer an upsell, such as offering Instagram Ads with Facebook Ads, or backlink PR campaigns with a SEO site audit.
Note: These order templates are extremely customizable. As you discover through reporting and analytics (covered below) which services are bringing you the greatest profits, you can optimize your order forms.
If you currently use a CRM platform like Salesforce, you can integrate your CRM with TapOrders. Then your order information can be transferred seamlessly from your CRM into your advertising workflow platform.
Bonus: Your Customers Can Use TapOrders as a Self Service Platform
TapOrderscan integrate into your current billing system so your clients can buy your services from their end.
For example, large brands who need help capturing ad revenue from smaller vendors can use TapOrders as a self service ad platform. Vendors simply login through their portal, order the ads they want, and pay for it through our secure portal.
Agencies can also use this portal for other services, such as running ads during specific holidays or increasing ad spend on a specific platform.
2. TapWorkflow: Connecting Teams and Increasing Productivity
Once your sales rep has filled out the form for the new PPC campaign, it's time for your marketing, creative, and accounting teams to get involved.
Usually, advertising teams handle this by assigning point people to monitor task management.
For example, an account or project manager emails a designer, and that designer assigns a task to a junior designer who takes a creative brief and puts it on a project management platform like Trello.
Instead of relying on manual processes (that are time consuming, prone to human errors, and resistant to scale), you can leverage TapWorkflow for the automation of your marketing processes.
TapWorkflow automatically routes tasks based on the business processes and approval workflow you've outlined.
For example, it helps facilitate the whole process from order completion and approvals to fulfillment, optimization, completion, rejection (if needed), and cancellation (if needed).
That is the process we see as commonly used by most advertising teams, but you can modify it as necessary to fit your business model.
After the sales team submits an order for a Facebook and Google PPC campaign, TapWorkflow takes that order and alerts the appropriate team members.
Plus, in TapWorkflow, tasks are procedural and status aware your team only sees the tasks that are ready for them so their dashboard isn't crowded with a long list of tasks that are irrelevant to their workday.
This helps your team stay productive and efficient because they're only working on tasks that need their immediate attention.
Note: The process of who gets alerted for which tasks is highly customizable and something we can setupfor your company during onboarding, and it's something you can change as your business grows.
Bonus Feature: Launch Campaigns with TapClicks
In January 2021, we announced a new feature you can now launch Google Ads campaigns from within TapClicks.
This is another way we reduce the amount of swivel chair work required by digital marketing teams. Instead of logging into Google Ads and building the ad again, you can launch it directly from TapClicks.
Over the next year, we will be adding other advertising platforms to our list this way you can manage your entire advertising workflow from order capture to execution to reporting and analytics with just one tool TapClicks's all-in-one automated marketing operations platform.
3. TapAnalytics: Gain Valuable Insights into Campaign Performance
Advertising agencies can use TapAnalytics to monitor two types of KPI performance.
- Their client's performance
- Their agency's own performance
Whether you're focusing on your own marketing performance or your client's, the benefits remain similar.
With TapAnalytics, you can use a highly customizable dashboard template to view disparate data sets in one location.
To get all the data you need in one place we offer 250+ Instant-on marketing specific connectors.
These are connectors that we've built live API connections with over the past decade to help our current clients scale their marketing efforts. These connectors can be set up quickly (sometimes in under an hour)and can pull in historical data (up to 12 months in some platforms), as well as real time data updates.
This means you can view Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn metrics side by side with data from Google Analytics, your eCommerce store, and more all within TapClicks.
You can also roll up data into one new metric to get an accurate overview of specific metrics over all campaigns or clients.
For example, instead of separating ad spend by each platform, you can roll up all ad spend metrics into one new metric and call it Overall Campaign Ad Spend.
This advanced data control lets your marketing team learn more valuable insights.
Plus, our connectors were built by marketing experts for marketing experts.
For example, when we pull in data from Facebook Ads, you're pulling a depth of data that corresponds with how you built your ad this means we pull in information that lets you break your ad performance down by demographics, audience affinity, and more.
4. TapReports: Save Time with Automated Reports
As your campaign is ongoing, you'll want to create visually compelling reports that tell a story around your data.
You can do this with TapReports.
TapReports takes the data you put together, in the dashboard we discussed above, and lets you share it with both internal and external stakeholders in two ways:
- You can set custom permissions. This lets your stakeholders log into a user-friendly reporting dashboard to see the data you selected. For example, you can make sure your margins aren't visible so your client is focusing less on the cost of a service and more on the value you're delivering.
- You can send out one time reports or set up recurring reports. Automated reports are sent to whichever party you select as a recipient and can be delivered in various file formats (PDF, PPT, .CSV, etc.).
Plus, all of our reports are white-label so you can customize them to match your agency or your client's brand.
Final Thoughts: Using an Advertising WorkflowPlatform to Scale Up Your Marketing Services
The lifecycle of a marketing service from when it's sold to a client to when it's launched live and tracked by your team is fraught with fragmented and manual processes.
This is generally because advertising teams whether we're talking about an ad agency or an in-house marketing team are using several different online tools to communicate, delegate, and execute tasks.
Furthermore, these online tools are not built toward optimizing the common advertising workflow you see across different teams and departments.
At TapClicks, we took what a marketing team needs streamlined order capture and automated workflows for executing campaigns, along with intuitive reporting and analytics for campaign measurement and optimization, and created a platform with advanced functionality that lets you scale up your marketing services while maintaining profitability.
If you're ready to streamline your advertising operations by using our all-in-one platform, try our free 14-day trial.