Marketing Approval Process: What You Need to Know

marketing approval process

Marketing Approval Process – Defined

A marketing approval process or marketing approval flow is an organized approach that includes all the marketing components that align with the brand guidelines, compliance regulations, and organizational goals.

The marketing approval process should include all the key components such as creating content, reviewing, approval, publishing, and performance monitoring. Here the approval of the content is a significant step. This acts as the communication channel between your brand and the consumers, and so it needs to be thorough.

Why is it Important?

The marketing approval process can be quite challenging for businesses. This is why your business needs to have a robust marketing approval process in place. Combining it with automation, you can enhance your business efficiency.

In general, the creative team in your organization will be responsible for the content creation. The team comprises content writers, graphic designers, editors, web technicians, marketing managers, creative directors, digital marketers, suppliers, clients, and brand partners. These individuals are responsible for generating content that grabs the attention of your target audience.

Compared to invoice approval processes, the marketing approval process is a bit complicated. However many companies end up in bottleneck situations without an established approval process. Why? Because of the various stages of revisions, and feedback sessions the marketing approval process ensures that all the modifications history, sign-offs, comments, and version changes are all taken care of before the content goes live.

Each member involved in the process must stay on the same page in terms of approving the content created. Having a marketing approval process will help streamline the workflow and a robust automation tool like Cflow will help simplify the process much more.

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Reasons To Automate Your Marketing Content Approval Process

Content ∝ Business Success.

47% of companies agree that producing more content and consistently maintaining frequency has significantly increased traffic to their website. They say this is one of their most effective content marketing strategies.

However, producing quality content takes time as it needs intense research and the final draft needs to be approved by all your stakeholders. The whole approval process can take forever if you don’t have a clear roadmap in the first place.

This is why having a marketing approval workflow can help reduce redundancies and help you stay away from unforeseen failures. This will increase clarity and your final content can be launched quickly.


As marketers, you need to focus on ROIs with your content marketing strategies. First, think about the purpose of the content you are creating. How does it benefit your target audience? This would help you align your content to your buyer’s journey.

But how will you measure your ROI? By keeping track of your content approvals using key performance indicators (KPIs). You need to sit down with your team and discuss to establish ideal KPIs for internal content approvals.

With a proper marketing approval process workflow, you can set up content KPIs easily to keep track of deadlines, feedback from clients, content plans, and much more. Further, when you automate this process with a workflow automation tool like Cflow you can always ensure that your content production and approvals always stay on track.

Eliminates bottlenecks.

Human errors are unavoidable. Even the most seasoned marketers cannot avoid mistakes. This is why you need to have a robust internal content approval process in place. Having a second set of eyes will eliminate such bottlenecks before releasing the content to your client.

The content goes through a series of approval steps before going live. It has to be approved by the client within the organization provided all the necessary changes are done. The content should also adhere to your organization’s compliance guidelines.

With a marketing content approval workflow teams can easily identify errors and efficiently review them before sending them for approval. They can also audit the changes which can be used in the future. The approval workflow ensures that all the requirements are met.

Improved Communication And Teamwork.

Without teamwork and proper communication, your content approval workflow will quickly become disorganized.

Creating content requires input from content writers, SMEs, graphic designers, website managers, and video editors. In most organizations, these members work independently. Providing them with ad hoc feedback can disrupt the flow and delay the outcome. Delay in any step can delay the outcome to the client which will severely impact your business.

This is why you need to fine-tune your content approval process using an efficient tool like Cflow. This workflow solution helps bring all the members on board together and helps them stay on the same page throughout the content creation and publishing process.

Steps to Streamlining Your Marketing Approval Process

These are the steps that you need to follow to create an effective marketing approval process for your business:

Defining All the Contributors.

The first step for an effective content approval workflow is to identify all the contributing members. You need to include both the internal and the external stakeholders.

Setting Up Stages

In this step, you need to map out the stages of your content approval process. This is a very crucial step where you’ll need to separate the internal and external approval stages.

In any organization, the internal team consists of your creative team while the external stages include the client and other high-level stakeholders. Mapping out separate stages for each of them would make things crystal clear and eliminate failure.

The main goal of setting up stages is to help both the internal and external teams receive timely feedback on the content, make relevant changes, and deliver it on time. So before setting up each stage, think about the approval details that need to be quickly spotted out, prioritizing which comments or versions should be sent to internal and external teams, the type of content that should be subdivided, and how to enhance your creative team’s efficiency.

Guidelines and Access Control

Defining your brand guidelines is important for an effective marketing approval process workflow. This is to ensure consistency in your created content throughout the process.

Brand guidelines include your brand’s voice and design. This has to be briefed to the stakeholders. Some of the typical brand guidelines include: colors, style and accent of the elements; graphics, image size, grammar standards, and the name of your products and services as known to your customers.

Next, setting up access control is important as too many people in the approval process can lead to feedback creep. Involve only those people whose approval is actually relevant. The reviewers that you choose to give control should be qualified, be available on time, motivated to provide solid feedback and comments and bring fresh perspectives and depth to the content.

Deadlines and Reminders

This is often an overlooked step in the marketing approval process workflow. Delays happen when you are waiting for feedback from specific stakeholders or confirming the changes with them after the changes are made.

Well, this can be managed by automating reminders using one-click approval timestamps, and timecodes offered by Cflow. In Cflow, once the review is done and all the stakeholders are happy with the content, all they have to do is click “approve.” If any of the stakeholders haven’t given their approval, the process will not reach the final stage and will be reminded automatically. Cflow lets you automate the marketing content approval process completely.

Audit Trail

Audit trails are essential for regulatory compliance. When you automate the entire marketing approval process using Cflow, you can store comments and versions which can be useful for future audits and insight research on how to improve content and provide better for your consumers.

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Examples of Marketing Approval Process

Workflow management tools like Cflow offer predefined marketing approval process templates that can be completely customized by the users based on their approval needs.

Let’s see some examples of different marketing approval processes. First is a content approval process.

A content approval process focuses entirely on getting approval for the created content – blogs, videos, social media posts, print designs, and other marketing assets.

Whether you create the content for your internal teams or your client it is best to keep the content straightforward as much as possible. The main goal here is to get the content approved quickly so avoid unnecessary review steps.

A simple three-step review process would be like this:

  • The first stage is where the content is reviewed for design and other elements by your SMEs.
  • The second stage is where the content is reviewed by your SEO team and is optimized.
  • The third stage is where the content is reviewed by your client if it is absolutely necessary.

Let’s take another example of a campaign approval process. Campaigns are an integral part of marketing and this requires approvals from multiple stakeholders. It takes more time and to ensure that you navigate through all the review steps successfully you need to automate the stages effectively.

You can keep the clients and other higher stakeholders informed by keeping them in an email loop which can be automated using Cflow for faster approvals. The review stages for a marketing campaign would include the following:

  • Reviewing the design and content
  • Reviewing the brand guidelines
  • Reviewing the legal and compliance

The social media marketing approval process can be tricky as it is fast-paced and any error can cause the brand to get flagged and stir up controversies. To maintain balance in your review ensure that you include only the crucial stakeholders for approving the social media content. The social media content has to be checked for design, and legal compliance and should be relevant to the trend to attract the target audience.

Creating an Approval Process using Cflow

Nowadays automation is everywhere. All your manual business processes are being efficiently automated using workflow automation software that comes with a wide range of functionalities.

An approval process is no different and you need to have the best tool for automating it – Cflow.

Cflow can be used as a marketing approval software that allows users to automate their approval processes easily. You don’t need to have extensive coding or technical knowledge to use Cflow as it is designed with users of all kinds in mind to help enhance their business productivity.

Here is how you can automate your marketing content approval process with Cflow:

Cflow helps users assign approvals and tasks such as campaign reviews, collateral requests, content approvals, graphic designing, video making, and much more. It comes with predefined templates that you can customize to add or delete stages in your approval workflow.

The designer dashboard lets users drag and drop fields into the workflow and multiple stages and approvers can be assigned with ease. You can set automatic reminders and never miss a deadline.

Content management using Cflow:

Companies use different content management systems (CMS) such as web hosting sites, email and marketing systems, and video hosting sites that are suitable for their marketing assets.

Here with Cflow, your CMS marketing material approval process can be combined with your internal CMS that you already use to make it simpler for both your team and client.

Cflow will also let you automate your file sharing between your internal CMS and approval process and help segregate in setting up your CMS only for approving marketing campaigns. You can customize based on your business needs and Cflow’s customizations s are limitless.

You can also use Cflow as a content review and approval software to set up markup, version control, and approval stages for all your marketing campaigns which are stored and accessed completely on the cloud. Sharing and giving access control is simple with Cflow as it can be shared with your stakeholders working remotely around the globe.


The marketing approval process is not a walk in the park. Getting approval on your marketing assets is not something that is easily achieved. Taking care of conflicting opinions and managing all the feedback takes great organizational skills and the right set of tools.

But with a workflow automation tool like Cflow, the approval processes can be smooth sailing. With its no code automation and cloud-based workflow management, you can automate all your manual approval processes effectively in less than 15 minutes. In addition, Cflow offers advanced data encryption options, access controls, and customizable integration functions to work seamlessly with all your third-party applications. Check out Cflow and sign up for a free demo today.

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