BPM and CMOs: A Match Made in Heaven
There's been a lot of talk recently about how BPM is gaining traction across a wide variety of industry verticals. BPM's surge is part of the larger trend of agile development; organizations are weary of growing top-heavy and employing a number of individuals to perform tedious, manual processes that could easily be handled by a single person if they had greater visibility into the complete processes and tools to automate all or certain portions of it.
In addition to BPM's increased momentum across different industries, though, it's also being embraced by an increasingly diverse group of professionals within organizations. Over the past few years, BPM use cases have run the organizational gamut: From HR to sales to IT, and nearly everything in between, BPM has proved to be an effective tool to increase productivity and output.
Marketing officials stand to gain from BPM solutions as well. Marketing professionals are constantly expected to wear a countless number of hats and interact with an endless string of individuals from inside and outside their organization on a daily basis. It goes without saying that organization is key to ensuring accountability and maximizing output for marketers; automating key processes with BPM can go a long way in helping to meet those goals.
Here are just a few marketing-centric use cases in which BPM can help.
Marketing professionals are constantly working on their organization's latest bit of printed collateral -- be it a white paper, byline article, or even an e-book. The approvals process for this can be quite tedious and overly drawn out -- somebody will write a piece, somebody else will edit it, and then a third (or fourth, or fifth ...) party will approve the content and OK it for distribution.
This process, which is often plagued by opacity -- nobody ever seems to know if they're making edits on top of the most recent document -- can be drastically streamlined by automating the approvals process. BPM can ensure greater accountability and transparency in the approvals process. Once a given draft is ready, an automatic alert can be sent to the editing party; when they're done, somebody else will be alerted that the document is ready for approval, and so on.
Like content creation, this is another process that is too often plagued by opacity.
By automating the website update process, both the IT and marketing sides can be appropriately alerted when a review is necessary and materials are ready to be published to the Web, ensuring that the proper information is in place before the website goes live.
Events and Conferences
Ask any marketing professional how they feel about tracking the myriad list of events and conferences that their company is looking to either participate in or sponsor, and you're guaranteed to get a pained look in return. While these events are often critical to the continued growth and welfare of organizations -- especially startups and smaller organizations -- tracking the status of each can be an extremely time-consuming process.
Enter BPM: You can automate the process of tracking events to be sure that you and the rest of your team are accountable for all necessary components, from registration to payment to tracking leads from the conference -- and you can easily sync this up with a CRM system via a simple connector. The devil is in the details when it comes to events, and implementing BPM can go a long way toward ensuring data integrity is preserved and critical details aren't missed in this area.
When you're running a marketing department, you're generally tasked with a finite budget for a given month or quarter. It comes as no surprise that this budget can dry up quickly; you're fielding requests from members of your team and external vendors on a nearly daily basis, and they generally come from a number of channels of conversation, from email to instant message to verbal conversations.
Given that, it can be difficult to maintain a central mechanism that tracks your spend in real-time to ensure you can keep up to speed on where your budget stands at all times. BPM can help create a process by which all approved requests are fed into such a central repository that doubles as a reliable audit trail to track the spend for a given timeframe.
Today's IT environment -- which is dominated by streaming, real-time, as-a-service delivery models -- is spurring a fundamental shift from the "management by spreadsheet" era. More and more, you're approving things on the fly, and it's easy to forget to update a given spreadsheet. By integrating BPM, marketing professionals can automate a number of important processes that will allow them to focus more on implementing strategy and less on logistics.