This step is where many projects become critically bogged down. Web developers are particularly susceptible to crippling delays at this stage as clients get stuck on details such as product specifications, third party endorsements or approvals, legal concerns, and any number of copy points that can cause content approval to drag on for weeks and even months. This is often referred to in marketing circles as “death by committee.”
How can you avoid it? By planning early and thoroughly and defining a review process with reviewers, responsibilities, and timetables spelled out in advance.
A typical review process might look something like this for a general B2B marketing content project:
To keep a content project on track and moving, an initial review should be held as early as possible in the process to catch any basic errors and omissions. This is often handled by the project manager – in a typical B2B company, that might be the marketing director or vice president of sales and marketing who can review the content for completeness and overall accuracy.
- Are all the required products and services included?
- Does the overall tone and text fit with the company’s brand identity and marketing strategy?
- Does the content align with its purpose and overall marketing goals?
The Comprehensive Review
Once the initial draft has been reviewed and revised for basic style and content corrections, the next step is to review it for specific product or service information accuracy:
- Are all specifications correct?
- Are all claims, guarantees, and comparisons accurate?
- Is all contact information current and correct?
This review ensures the value of the new content – is it of compelling interest to the target audience? Does it accurately represent what it is we’re presenting to build a strong, unassailable position relative to the competition? At this point, the reviewers should no longer be concerned with style and presentation – they should be focused on accuracy and comprehensiveness.
The Final Review
At this stage, the draft has been reviewed first for correct style, tone, and overall content; then for informational accuracy (product or service specifications, competitive positioning, etc.). The final review provides one last opportunity for correcting overlooked errors, fixing typos, and double-checking contact information before final approval and sign-off. This is NOT the time to second-guess copy points, raise major questions that should have been addressed in the first round of writing and review, or consider a major change in direction or purpose.
If everyone in the review process had been informed early in the project about their responsibilities, what was needed and when, the review procedure should be able to be conducted with minimal delay.