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Creative Operations
April 19, 2022
January 24, 2024

How Marketing Teams Can Handle Multi-Stage Approvals In 2024

Mrignayni Pandey

How Marketing Teams Can Handle Multi-Stage Approvals In 2024

April 19, 2022
January 24, 2024
Mrignayni Pandey


Marketing teams want to make impactful and profitable content, but instead end up wasting a lot of time in getting approvals at each stage.  This becomes a major impediment to the creative progress of the team.

These multi stage approval processes cannot be avoided either. They are important to get all aspects of a marketing content right, so that it hits the right audience and boosts the brand’s performance.

So in this article, we’ll talk in detail about how marketing teams can handle multi-stage approval that doesn’t weaken their creative flow.

Let’s get started.

Designing A Multi-Stage Approval Process

A marketing approval process refers to the review and supervision of all the creative marketing assets created for advertising the brands across any number of channels within a Creative workspace. This approval process is crucial for any brand.


The marketing content approved is responsible for how customers perceive your brand. It sets a tone and defines your brand’s image. This content also helps the company position itself in the market and mark its presence among the top brands in the segment.

So, a thorough multi-stage approval process becomes necessary to finalize a content that best represents your brand, its values and its products.

A good example to show how marketing content is pivotal for a brand’s perception is the case of McDonalds. When you hear McDonald, you think of affordable and tasty fast food. It’s because the ads, posters and its social media promote that image. For instance look at the ad below that clearly indicates a pocket friendly deal one can get at McDonald’s.

Multi-Stage Approval in Artwork Label Management Software

Source: McDonald’s Corporation

But how to design a multi-stage approval process?

The structure of the various stages of an approval process depend on a number of factors. The components are influenced by the size and organizational flow, the objective of the marketing asset being created and the time available for its approval.

So, when designing a multi-stage approval process, ask the following questions:

  • What content is being created?
  • Why is the marketing asset being created?
  • Who are the team members contributing to the project?
  • How is the artwork going to flow?
  • Who will give the final approval?

After answering the above questions, move on to design a multi-stage approval process that is effortless and effective. You may divide the structure into four different stages.

  • The creative designing stage- In this stage, the design and visual appeal of the content must be perfected. The copy, graphics, color scheme etc. must all be checked for consistency. 

  • The legal review stage- This stage consists of reviewing the legal compliance of any content being created. If posting on social media, the content must adhere to community guidelines of that platform. 

  • Approval of suggested changes- The next stage is reviewing the changes made based on the suggestions, comments and feedback given. It is to check if all the edits are made accurately and the overall marketing content is ready to be released.

  • The final review by clients- This step only happens if you are working for another company. In that case the clients approve the artwork.

Challenges Faced By Marketing Teams In Multi-Stage Approval

Introduction of a multi-stage approval in the marketing team brings along with it a lot of complexities. These challenges introduce friction and confusion in the system. Here are some challenges that impair a multi-stage approval process:

1. Reliance On Mails

55% of the average marketer’s time is wasted on things like responding to email and messages, running after people for feedback and attending meetings for updates. All this time could be instead invested into something more productive and fruitful.

Apart from wasting time, email makes the whole approval process more complex. With every new feedback added to the thread, the loop becomes heavier and difficult to keep track of. Emails don’t allow easy viewing of a particular comment or feedback. They reduce clarity and increase the number of questions arising due to confusion around updates.

The result is searching through threads of comments and loss of important data. 

2. Use Of Multiple Platforms

Marketers rely on multiple platforms for the approval of a single artwork. They might use emails for assigning tasks and receiving artworks, platforms like slack, flock or microsoft teams for discussing changes, illustrator for designing and google docs for writing the copy for the content.

The use of so many platforms makes the tracking of artworks very tough and the approval process haphazard. A lot of the marketer’s time ends up being wasted in switching between different platforms and keeping things organized. The State of the Services Economy Report of 2019 said that employees spend more than an hour switching and navigating from one application to another.

3. Discordant Teams

Marketers spend about 7 hours just duplicating work and more than 60% of their time responding to messages and updating about the project’s progress. 


Because all the team members involved are not on the same page about the progress of a marketing content. There is a lack of proper communication among the different teams involved in the creation process. This gives rise to more rounds in the editing stage and increased frustration among members.

The Solution: A Digital Artwork Management Software To Handle Multi-Stage Approvals

A software that can handle the data and movement of marketing assets is of paramount importance for a congruous multi-stage approval system. 7 out of every 10 employees believe that their productivity could be enhanced if they have the right processes to streamline their work. 

The reasons to implement a digital artwork management software?

Here are a few that make a digital system for marketing teams a necessity rather than a choice.

1. Creative Approvals

A digital artwork management system helps you get all your creative approvals at one place. From creating the rough draft for idea approval to creating the first draft, a software can help you make your creative approval process more succinct.

It can be helpful in managing font color and size and setting the right designs for the background to express the brand’s voice in the best light. Using the measurement tools, brands can maintain consistency across the contents being produced.

Artwork flow is a digital system that can provide you these features that help marketing teams get creative approvals faster and with more accuracy.

2. Legal Review

Legal review can be made a lot easier with the help of digital artwork management software that allows commenting on a particular design or text in the content. These legal reviews are critical for the brand reputation as a single non-compliant may ruin the brand’s image and affect the revenues negatively. 

Artwork flow has made legal reviewing simpler than ever with a feature like checklist that never lets you miss out on any guideline. These checklists can be customized according to the requirements of the project.

3. Updates And Feedback

You can now ditch the email loops, and get updates and feedback directly on your artwork management software. These software let you handle multiple projects all at once and let you track their latest update.

For making changes, you can always have access to any previous comment made on the artwork. You can either accept or reject the suggestions in just a click and also give feedback easily.

A tool like Artwork flow can be a game changer in the way updates are taken. The platform tracks the movement and changes made in the artwork at every stage and gives access to all this data at any point of time.

4. Version Control

Having control on the versions of the artwork is crucial for maintaining a coherent brand voice. An artwork management software lets you access any version of the artwork in the designing process. It also lets you compare two artworks for consistency in deigns, tone, and measurements.

Software like Artwork flow allow version comparison that can be used to compare any two contents alongside on different criteria. Marketing teams can use this tool to have uniformity in all their marketing assets for the brand.

Wrapping Up

A digital platform has now become a must-have for marketing teams in 2022. It not only allows teams to have a better tracking of the marketing content but also an overall view of all the stages of artwork approval.

Marketing teams now need a system that can be a one-stop solution to all their issues related to multi-stage approval of their marketing assets. Artwork flow provides all the features that equip them with team collaboration, legal review, feedback approval, and much more all at once. 

So, if you also want to handle your multi-stage approval process in a more functional manner, sign up for a free trial of Artwork flow today. 

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