Decorative pattern

How to choose the right workflow approval platform for your business: a guide to navigating the selection process

February 2024


Two of the main challenges facing marketing teams are how quickly they can get content to their audiences and how to ensure the compliance of content before it is published. Speed is of the essence: marketing teams engage constantly with multiple audiences in the process of building brand awareness and loyalty. They must respond quickly to changing circumstances in competitive markets. Furthermore, sales teams often rely on marketing teams to provide them with the collateral to react swiftly to selling opportunities as they arise.

Compliance is a key issue facing marketing teams, especially in regulated companies. Regulatory authorities are holding companies increasingly to account for their marketing content. This applies to the specific regulatory requirements of the industry the company operates in and to the companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. Breaching regulations or making false ESG claims can cause significant reputational damage and leave the company open to financial penalties. Taken together, the need for speed and marketing compliance can make generating marketing content a complex and stressful process. It is little wonder that increasing numbers of marketing teams are turning to workflow approval platforms for a solution.


The benefits of a workflow approval platform 

There are multiple advantages to using a workflow approval platform. They reduce the time it takes to produce content, ensure brand accuracy and marketing compliance, and increase productivity by streamlining processes from initial briefing to content creation, compliance approval and publishing.

Two attributes of a workflow approval platform drive these efficiencies: improved collaboration between marketing, sales, and compliance teams and replacing cumbersome paper-based processes that involve managing an unwieldy paper trail. A workflow approval platform enables content to be reviewed and edited by several people simultaneously until the content is approved for publishing. The efficiency of this digital process drastically reduces manual tasks, marketing admin, and the risk of errors while considerably increasing the speed of achieving marketing compliance. It is the most efficient method for content to be thoroughly checked before it is sent to the company’s various audiences.

However, companies must choose a workflow approval platform that meets their requirements.


Assess your requirements

Being clear about why you need an approval workflow approval platform is a good starting point. Special attention should be paid to the pain points and inefficiencies that need to be remedied and improved. These may include problems regarding team collaboration, maintaining version control, production bottlenecks, or making the marketing compliance approval process more efficient. It is also beneficial to know how many users will need to access the system from the outset and whether this might increase in the future. Identifying these issues will determine which platform will provide the best solution for producing content within the industry regulatory framework.

A workflow approval platform that is difficult to use will put users off, especially as some users may not be ‘tech minded.’ The platform should have an easy-to-use interface that encourages teams to use it, which will enable a quick and efficient adoption of the system and early realisation of the benefits it provides.

As well as being aware of a potential increase in the number of users, companies with ambitions to expand should factor in the likelihood of their marketing content management requirements increasing. This is likely to cause a concomitant growth in the number of marketing compliance approvals. The workflow approval platform should be able to accommodate these increases in usage, volume, and complexity without requiring a change in approach.

The continual threat of cybercrime makes safeguarding content before it is made public a top priority. A workflow approval platform that prioritises confidentiality should include protocols such as secure hosting, encryption at rest and in transit, and access permissions that control who can interact with content, and in which way, while it is being produced.

A key benefit of a workflow approval platform is making compliance approval obligatory by having compliance review and approval sign-off built into the marketing process. This is designed to reduce the risk of human error that could cause regulatory breach. A good workflow approval platform will include features such as automated version control and full audit trails that meet regulatory requirements and remove the need for manual record-keeping.

Every company establishes procedures over time that are designed to meet its bespoke needs. Even companies operating in the same market space will have their own specific protocols. The workflow approval platform should be sufficiently flexible to adapt processes and checklists to reflect the way the company works.

Understand the costs
Budget is an important consideration in buying software. The total cost of using a workflow approval system needs to be understood. The key issues include how the number of users affects licensing fees, especially if the number of users is likely to increase in the future, implementation costs, whether training is included as part of the set-up, and ongoing service and maintenance costs.  These should be transparent so that ongoing costs can be easily calculated. Understanding the total cost for the package will help the company evaluate the worth of having the system.

Technical support and customer service
A good workflow approval platform should be intuitive and easy to use, but technical advice and assistance may be needed if users encounter issues. Being clear about how to request assistance and the level of support that is provided are important considerations in choosing a workflow approval platform.

Request a demo or trial
It is important that the software meets the company’s specific needs, so asking the provider for a trial or demo will help ascertain if the platform does so. It is a good opportunity to see how intuitive the interface is, how user-friendly it would be for the team, and how easy the transition process is likely to be.

Provider research
Before choosing a workflow approval platform it is worthwhile doing due diligence on the provider. A good starting point is customer reviews that express opinions about the systems usability, features, customer care quality, and affordability. It is useful if the provider has experience of the industry the company operates in and understands the specific requirements regarding security, confidentiality, and regulatory compliance. Case studies and customer testimonials can also be informative about the provider’s tech development credentials and experience, especially those provided by customers that operate in, or are connected to, the company’s industry.

It is widely recognised that using a workflow approval platform provides huge benefits to marketing compliance processes but choosing the right system and provider is essential for realising these benefits.


Ready to streamline your approval workflows effortlessly? Explore Perivan’s Workflow Approval Platform today! Click here to discover how our customisable solution can revolutionise your business processes: Explore Now

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