Mastering the Marketing Approval Process

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While speed and ongoing production certainly can matter in marketing performance, teams still need a good marketing approval process to ensure quality, accuracy, and strategy alignment. But where do you draw that line between a drawn-out process and a marketing approval process that works? Let’s discuss.

Defining the Marketing Approval Process

A marketing approval process refers to the specific steps every piece of marketing content must go through before being published.  A clear approval workflow enables teams to collaborate while maintaining standards.

An approval process does not need to be complex. Simply document the key stakeholders who must review content, the criteria they will assess, and at what stage their input is required. This process mapping keeps content moving efficiently to publication.

Exploring Standards & Criteria

Companies must determine what standards matter most when designing a marketing approval process. Common criteria include brand voice, content accuracy, strategic alignment, and grammar/spelling.

use this to check grammar

Not every reviewer needs to focus on every criterion. For example, legal experts may assess regulatory compliance, while subject matter experts evaluate technical correctness. Creative leads could examine brand voice. By separating duties, reviewers can concentrate on their specialty.

Documentation should clearly outline the standards each stakeholder will apply during their phase of review. Setting expectations upfront streamlines approvals down the road.

Read next: From Start to Finish: How to write engaging blog posts

Essential Documentation

While extensive documentation is not required, capturing approval workflows for reference is helpful. A lightweight process guide, kept in a collaborative team site like Trello, gives transparency into review steps.

Documentation enables foolproof implementation moving forward. New team members can quickly understand how content gets reviewed and published. A centralized playbook also simplifies iteration if processes change.

Approval Workflows – Implementation

The success of a marketing approval process relies wholly on consistent implementation. Teams must actively adhere to documented workflows rather than taking shortcuts. Otherwise, content could completely bypass necessary governance checks.

Building review timelines into project plans is, therefore, essential. If key stakeholders notoriously take weeks to sign off, schedules must accommodate accordingly if changes aren’t possible to the stakeholders’ timelines. Teams struggling with long lag times should also reexamine whether those steps improve content quality or slow progress. There is a delicate balance to strike between oversight and efficiency.

Managing Stakeholder Input

With multiple reviewers and opinions involved, marketing leaders must manage stakeholder dynamics thoughtfully. Perspectives on tone, messaging, and even grammar often vary across functions.

When conflicting feedback arises, keep an open mindset. Discuss edits in context rather than jumping to conclusions. And remember that every team member aims to refine content, even if their style differs. However, if certain reviewers continually raise unreasonable concerns, reassess their role in the process.

Continuous Process Optimization

Finally, no approval workflow is set in stone. As business needs shift, so too should governance models. Regularly evaluate bottlenecks, speed bumps, and redundancies. Can any steps be streamlined or eliminated? What new risks should be mitigated?

Do not let great be the enemy of good – a good enough process that moves content out the door is better than chasing perfection. But simultaneously remain open to positive changes that might enhance output. Continuous improvement is key.

Need help optimizing your workflow? Let’s talk!


A balanced marketing approval process ensures quality while enabling consistency and speed. Teams can collaborate smoothly by clearly defining standards, documenting workflows, sticking to protocols, and optimizing over time. The result is content that reliably reflects brand values and resonates with audiences. Though governance takes work, when done well, it pays dividends.

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