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Why you need a marketing creation platform

Marketing leader looking away from table where his team is working

 “Why do I need a marketing creation platform if my organization already has a builder in our ESP/MAP for emails and landing pages?” 

If you’ve ever asked yourself that – good for you! It suggests that you might be wondering if your marketing creation process isn’t all it should be, that it’s not as efficient as you need it to be. This post will help you answer that question and offer a way to turn your current process to produce emails and landing pages from complicated, time-sucking, and all too frustrating. into easy and efficient.

Let’s start by looking at the people involved in your organization’s process to create marketing assets.

There’s an excellent chance you have some skilled people handling the building of emails and landing pages in your ESP/MAP. And that makes total sense. They know your deployment platform inside and out. They understand handling sensitive data in that platform, like personal identifiable information (PII). They also know how to add content to templates without breaking code and what your company’s brand guidelines call for to ensure full compliance, including regulatory requirements.

Manage the people in your process easily

There’s another group of people, the marketing, design, and copy folks. This group will typically take one of two steps.

Creative team working on an email
Young freelance workers communicating while working on a digital tablet in the office.

They’ll either send a creative brief to a design team to create a layout that goes to a production team or send a technical brief directly to a production team. 

The production team then copy-pastes the content from the design file or directly from the technical brief into templates in the ESP/MAP.  With that, a review and edit process kicks in, with lots of back and forth. 

This process is usually managed with Microsoft Word or Google Docs, a spreadsheet like Excel or Sheets, and the design team uses a tool like Figma and a workflow platform to track all the steps. That all seems complicated, filled with the potential for errors because it is.

It would not be surprising if you did not want to let the marketers or designers into your deployment platform. After all, they do not have the skills nor the experience of the technical members of your team. 

The reasons for keeping them out are clear. There is data in the platform they shouldn’t touch. And there are templates they don’t know how to update without breaking the fragile HTML code those digital frameworks contain. 

Given this, what typically happens is your skilled people get drawn into copy-pasting content and making little edits on behalf of the marketers, designers, and copywriters. These highly capable individuals end up changing periods into commas instead of spending time finding ways to improve the performance of your operation, particularly your martech ecosystem.

Keeping with that thought, the marketers and the others who know the content end up waiting for the skilled producers to create the email or landing page – hoping they see what they want. The probability is high that it won’t reflect what they envisioned.  That means the back-and-forth dance continues, sucking up enormous amounts of time to get all aspects of the particular marketing asset perfect.

Meet SLAs and more easily

A seemingly endless loop of corrections means SLAs won’t be met, launch dates will be missed, and revenue opportunities, among other matters of consequence, will be lost. More than that, your overall marketing program suffers since both sides of this creation equation cannot attain their full potential. That happens when you use the builder in your ESP/MAP instead of a marketing creation platform.

Benefit from a process that’s risk-free

A marketing creation platform allows marketers, designers, and copywriters to risk-free add their content. There is no risk since

  • There are brand, rendering, and compliance guardrails in place
  •  Workflows can be enforced before any code can be exported
  • The platform has no PII in it
  • Builders can’t send the email since an operations team is still doing a final check and hitting send. The ability to even export HTML to the ESP  can be removed from some users.

If your design team uses a design tool like Figma, they can build right in the marketing creation platform. Once the build is done, there is no need for production work. The marketing creation platform outputs the HTML directly to the ESP/MAP for a final check and deployment.

If your marketers send their briefs to the operations team to move into templates, they can now input the content directly into the creation platform and see exactly what it looks like.

Remember that not all marketers need to do this when you have a marketing creation platform. Some can still submit a brief but can now make edits within guardrails without going back and forth with a production team. And more advanced marketers can build where others still submit a brief to start. 

With a marketing creation platform, your skilled team members who’ve been tied up producing emails and landing pages now get to spend time on things they like to do and make the best use of their capabilities.

The back-and-forth that comes with content creation and reviews is eliminated, removing the risk of missing deadlines due to approval bottlenecks.

Instead of depending on the foibles of humans to keep a process moving efficiently, you can leverage easy-to-use, effective technology with a marketing creation platform.

A marketing creation platform removes the need to wait till the end to see what the email or landing page will look like. Plus, those who know their way around your deployment platform can focus their time on more strategic matters that help drive operational performance and business results.

When dependent upon an ESP/MAP builder, your core marketing operations team (MOPs) is heavily relied upon to ensure brand guidelines are followed. They must oversee a lengthy and frustrating QA process to ensure emails render correctly. Any changes to templates or content elements will require their abilities. Lastly, while ESPs/MAPs may have builders, none allow for efficient creation processes since they rely on highly skilled people. 

To learn more about how a marketing creation platform can make turn your process from one that’s too complex, takes too much time, and is fraught with risk, download the Stensul eBook How building emails in ESPs/MAPs limits your marketing success.

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