Quality, speed, volume: Manage the variables of content creation in hectic times
Anyone who has worked in financial services marketing long enough recognizes there are times when the workload is overwhelming. One day you’re cruising at a steady pace with projects reasonably staggered, and then the perfect storm starts brewing.
An important fund launch is coming up, your website is being refreshed and a mountain of content must be created or revised, plus your sales team wants a new suite of advisor support tools – ASAP, of course. Add to that your regular work and maybe sprinkle in a batch of portfolio manager commentaries, and suddenly your days have gone from manageable to mayhem.
If you’re leading a part or all of a marketing department, when times like this hit you – and they will – your first thought is to see if you can handle the onrush. If not, options may include outsourcing some duties to an agency, hiring freelancers or prioritizing work so you can spread out the initiatives to help alleviate stress.
The lowdown on “quality, speed and volume” (QSV)
If you still can’t make any headway, then it’s time for a frank meeting with your internal partners about this challenging confluence of projects. One proven way to frame the discussion is to view all of the competing demands in the context of QSV.
When it comes to the variables of creating marketing materials, consider a triangle where the three major points represent quality, speed and volume. In a perfect world, your department could deliver on all three measures at all times.
Then again, in a perfect world our brainstorming sessions would always yield ground-breaking creative, click-through rates would be off the charts for all of our digital content and the translation team would never be squeezed for time at the end of projects. Right, it just doesn’t happen very often.
QSV variables in action
So, back to the triangle. Inform your internal partners (or department head) about the challenges your department (or team) is facing, and let them know you’re confident in delivering two of the three points on the triangle. They can choose whichever two they value the most for the current initiatives:
- They can get high-quality materials fast, but not expect much of it (“Q” + “S”)
- They can get lots of content quickly, but quality won’t be as strong as usual (“V” + “S”)
- They can get a lot of good quality work, but it’ll take some time (“V” + “Q”)
Let’s assume that “quality” is table stakes, as you always want to produce compelling, effective materials. That leaves “speed” and “volume,” and whichever they choose will help determine next steps. For example, if they want speed then you’ll have to scale back on project components that aren’t as essential. If they want volume then they’ll need to be more generous with timelines for content development.
This discussion with internal partners likely won’t be easy and there could be pushback. They might not even choose to deviate from original plans (or maybe they can’t, for legitimate business reasons).
People typically want everything they ask for, but finding a reasonable compromise might be possible. If your partners can step back and appreciate the bigger picture, they’ll collaborate with you to devise a course of action that best meets their needs, while also maintaining the integrity of the materials without stressing out their valued team members.