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Guy Little

Written by:

Guy Little

Mar 20, 2018

How agency technology can support your content marketing journey


Great agencies use the latest content marketing tools and technology to strengthen your partnership and establish high-performing strategies.

As you’ll have guessed by now, Tomorrow People is positive about technology — whether it’s in the server room or up in the cloud. Along with the services our digital teams can provide, we believe that cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service apps enable and empower the client/agency relationship, letting us work across borders (and frequently across continents) whatever the device or time zone. With customers in North America and Europe as well as the UK, it’s an approach that’s working for us.

Client/agency bonds are strengthened when technology is shared between parties and understood so well it becomes invisible. So ease of use matters a lot. At Tomorrow People we believe in KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid. And we only ask you to adopt tools that give back real value, and only as many of them as we need.

For us, that means collaboration app Workfront and Google’s office SaaS GSuite. Let’s face it, the benefits that technology can bring in terms of quality, productivity and how they scale from the latest TOFU to the largest global campaign are undeniable. But we’ll show you why the apps we use will become fundamental to your content marketing campaigns.

Tip-top content marketing: an evolution of processes

In 1750s England, industry was artisanry: all tools and machinery had to be hand-built by a craftsman. Then the Industrial Revolution streamlined processes, and Britain became the workshop of the world.

In 1880s America, home lighting was an expensive luxury... then John D Rockefeller mixed his Standard Oil, and fuel became cheap and plentiful.

Until the 1950s, shipping goods by sea was a labour-intensive chore needing hundreds of men with shovels… then Malcolm McLean published the design for his intermodal shipping container, and the global freight trade exploded. 

What changed? Standards.

These industries and countless others discovered the value in adopting one way of working. Shared agreements and design protocols that lead to greater productivity and higher profits for all concerned. Standards are the basis of every competitive economy. And of course, they’re behind the internet itself. Simple published standards like TCP/IP, HTTP, and HTML let any vendor build hardware and software that follows them — creating a way for machines of different form factors to work together.

The strategic bit

A single document, when shared, becomes a team thinking space that scales to as many people as needed. And a single space for stacks of documents, showing each individual on a team how they relate to each project, raises the bar even higher. That’s why a great client/agency relationship tends to be based on a small number of standard software solutions everyone agrees to use. It drives up the productivity, and cuts out the chaos.

Workfront: streamlined project processes

Workfront is Tomorrow People’s weapon of choice for managing projects. So it’s worth taking a tour of what it can do. Learn its simple traits and features, and you’ll avoid maxed-out lists and Inbox hell whenever you work with Tomorrow People.

Centralise your marketing projects

Your account manager will ask to add you as a Workfront user. The benefits start early, by letting you see all your projects on a single dashboard. Unlike some other project management software, Workfront doesn’t just let you string tasks and actions into projects — it connects projects together, so you can see all your marketing activity as an integrated whole.

On the client side, it helps vital tasks and dependencies get executed in order. On the agency side, it ensures all our clients get appropriate right time and resources for their work. It’s a big advantage, and a principal reason we use it.

Manage assets irrespective of file type

Another benefit is the way Workfront treats your digital assets — holding them in context with each project they’re part of, yet letting them be used across multiple projects at once. And with over 150 file types viewable, it’s unlikely legacy software will be a problem once you move onto the SaaS.

While we love standards at Tomorrow People, we appreciate our customers have long histories of software adoption and asset creation, and Workfront helps us cater for them.

Review a project plan visually

Multiple rounds of review-and-approve are common in any project scenario. Workfront helps to cut them down to size — by letting you automate each cycle. Whenever a new piece of work emerges from our design or editorial team, the relevant stakeholders are invited to comment, review, and approve — automagically. Helping us make sure no signature is missed, and helping you form habits that get your work to market faster.

The approval process is always a pain — so why not make it less painful? Look at how Workfront can help.

Always keep an eye on the numbers

We find Workfront unusually good at keeping numbers in check— from our own cost and resource plans to your campaign’s conversion rates. Giving us a “single version of the truth” that evolves over time, instead of endlessly emailing copies of spreadsheets.

You’ll find it’s a great tool for justifying your marketing projects and spend, too — you can peel off reports as easily as we can.

Keep all customer-facing documents singing in tune

Whether you’re in a regulation-rich business or not, compliance means more than the legal stuff. Workfront lets each project proceed from a basis of brand compliance and corporate governance. Because it understands over 150 file types, approval checks can take place right there on screen — with the good-to-go and stop-right-there buttons ready for clicking.

A brand’s strength grows with consistency across channels. Workfront gives us a great way to achieve that — for both your digital assets and those elsewhere. 

Google’s GSuite: documents and spreadsheets galore

The other standard SaaS we use is GSuite and its Drive, Docs, and Sheets applications. Sounds simple? Yes, it is. Simple is good.

Google Drive

Drive gives us a place in the cloud where we share important documents and keep assets safe. Of course, access is only granted to the team members authorised to see your work - whether that’s early briefing documents, planning and strategy, or final creative.

Google Sheets

Sheets is GSuite’s tool for creating spreadsheets online, and after several years of development it’s now as mature as you-know-what from Microsoft. A sheet is usually how we show how different pieces of content in your campaign link together and build on each other along the customer journey, and also how they fit into your agreed editorial calendar or other master content plan. Sheets you create are stored in Drive and can be shared easily.

If you’ve got a Google account, you’re already ready to use Sheets. Your account manager will give you the right links.

Google Docs

Docs is, as you’d expect, an online word processor. Now capable of sensible formatting, with spelling and grammar checks built-in, it’s an excellent solution for creating and sharing written documents — our writers are required to use it for all content they create. Again, docs are stored in Drive, keeping all your project’s creative work together.

You may well use Docs already; tens of millions do. Again, your account manager will send you links to any documents you need to see and you’ll be able to find them in the Workfront documents home.

Here to support your content marketing journey

The basics of software choices may sound humdrum, but take a look at the effect such standards have on productivity within the client/agency relationship. You might change your mind quickly. In digital content marketing, nothing’s as hot n’ sexy as a smoothly functioning campaign workflow.

There’s a lot to working a digital content marketing agency, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or want to quickly recap on what we’ve covered in this 10 blog part series, you’ll find a short-and-sweet rundown of the most common questions and answers about the client/agency relationship, in our FAQ.

The tools and tech to manage your content marketing journey are critical to success. See what the rest of the market is doing with their tech. Download Content Marketing in the UK 2018: Benchmarks, budgets, and trends.

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