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Requests from your marketing team are pouring in left, right, and center.
Your email marketer needs access to a tool, your content writer needs a brief for your latest blog post, and your social media strategist is asking for an increase in budget.
How do you manage all of those requests without going stir-crazy?
The answer: A marketing request form.
In this guide, we’ll share exactly what a marketing request form can be used for, along with a step-by-step guide you can use to create your own.
Before we dive in with the details, let’s be clear on what a marketing request form is.
Here’s the simple definition: It’s a form that your team can submit to request something related to your marketing strategy.
Requests could be related to anything your marketing team handles—such as budget, new ideas, or asking for access to a toolkit. Anyone on your team can submit a request, but they’re usually handled by someone senior, like a Marketing Ops Manager or CMO.
But a marketing request form isn’t just a faff, or a form that you spend hours creating but don’t actually use.
Marketing request forms solve five huge problems.
You know the feeling: You’re planning a campaign. But just before you’re about to launch, you’ve been asked by your social media manager to up budget, and your copy team has some last-minute changes.
How do you make sure those things get done?
A marketing request form prevents important tasks from getting missing in action. It gets rid of poorly articulated requests coming in from multiple places, and instead puts them into a consistent format, funneled through one location.
You won’t lose track of them.
The average office worker receives 121 emails per day. Combine that with Slack notifications and in-office chat, and your to-do list probably won’t be bulletproof.
We’ve already mentioned that requests go missing when they’re flying in from all directions.
However, another benefit of a marketing request form is that they funnel all requests into one place—rather than noting them on sticky notes (which you’ll probably forget about.)
Picture this: Someone passed through you in the corridor and mentioned they wanted to chat about a new campaign idea. When you’ve got time to chat about it, you forgot who asked. You need to go round the office and disrupt people’s workflows to find out.
That won’t do any favors for productivity—especially if you’re doing a scavenger hunt in the office to find the person you’re looking for.
A request form solves that problem… if you have a Name field.
You can control exactly what someone needs to enter when they submit a form.
It will likely have a field for important things like:
This solves the problem of back-and-forth to get the full details. Everything is there for you to see in the form submission.
Who should a marketing employee ask if they have an idea or request?
It’s tricky for new employees to understand who they should direct their ideas to—or any member of staff if you’ve got a large marketing team.
Solve that question for them with a request form that your CMO or Marketing Ops manager handles. They won’t need to remember; the form will send their request to whoever you direct them to.
Create all the request forms your team needs by following these simple templates:
There’s no doubt that a marketing request form makes it easier for teams to stay on track.
So, how do you create a request form that your team actually uses? And more importantly, what important fields should your forms contain?
Marketing teams need to be creative and reactive.
Take this reactive tweet from Specsavers, for example. Their quick-thinking post that jumped onto an Oscars blunder ended up landing them a customer:
You can create a marketing request form to do this. It’s a simple way to allow your team to submit ideas that don’t get brushed off—and can be acted on quickly.
When creating this type of form, you’ll need to include:
Let’s put this form into practice.
You ask your team to brainstorm PR ideas for a client. Ask your team to submit ideas through this request form, instead of sitting around a table and balancing the dynamics of a group discussion.
It solves the problems of dominant staff overpowering shy staff, or team members feeling embarrassed about their ideas… even though they might be golden.
By submitting campaign ideas through this form, everyone’s voice gets heard—allowing their best ideas to shine through.
Did you know that mismatched communication costs the average organization $62.4 million per year in lost productivity?
When you’re outsourcing work to another member of staff, it’s easy for things to get missed or lost in translation. Prevent that from happening by using a request form to understand exactly what the person asking for it wants.
Create a marketing request form that includes:
You might use this type of brief form when you’re working with a freelance videographer to create a promotional video for social media.
You send them a creative brief using the form template you’ve already created to make sure they create the right thing. That way, they’ve got all the information they need, and know exactly what you want.
It makes sure neither of you waste your time (or money.)
There’s a reason why 44% of businesses think that project management improves the quality of the final product.
Your team need a particular asset—like a blog post, video, or social media post.
Instead of getting lost in your crowded inbox, you can use this form to encourage staff to submit details about the assets they need. Then, you can decide whether to give them the resources/staff/budget they need, or whether it’s a waste of time.
To create your own asset creation request form, add required fields for these things:
For example, let’s say a huge SEO goal is to rank for the term “car insurance,” but you’re not sure how. You can ask your content team to submit their ideas through this request form.
Since each idea is fleshed and thought-out, you’re able to go through their ideas and pick the one most likely to make you rank.
It’s the simplest way to get feedback that’s easy to digest.
Employing a new marketer is exciting, but don’t forget that onboarding can come with a lot of paperwork.
And, remember: if you don’t impress your new member of staff, they’re twice as likely to look for other career opportunities in the future. That could add up to lots of onboarding and recruitment costs, along with huge disruption to your team.
This type of marketing request form makes sure you’ve got all the information you need from your new hire, so long as you include:
Let’s say that you’re employing an email marketer, for example. They use this form to tell you that they’re starting next week, and need a desk, ConvertKit account, and $50 monthly budget for email-related tools before they start.
That preparation makes sure they’re off to a smooth start—and stops them from falling behind whilst they’re waiting for resources.
Most social platforms have an advertising network, and it often falls into the hands of a marketer to run PPC campaigns.
The downside? Advertising campaigns need money.
You can use this type of request form to manage budgets for your advertising campaigns, making sure you’re not spending more than planned.
This form should include:
Here’s what that might look like: Your social media team wants to spend $5,000 on a new Facebook retargeting campaign in the run-up to Black Friday. However, they need approval before going ahead—so they use this form.
The advertising manager approves the request, then passes to your CFO for final approval (if the budget is significantly larger than usual.)
The average company has over 90 marketing technology tools in their arsenal.
If you need to grant someone access, don’t do it in passing in the corridor. That could be a huge security risk—especially if you’re in a shared office environment.
Instead, ask staff to complete this request form to gain access to a specific tool.
To create this marketing request form, add the following fields:
An example of this form would be if your social media executive needs to cover for a social media manager whilst they’re on vacation. They use this form to ask for access to your client’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, along with your scheduling tool.
A problem has happened and your employee isn’t sure who to report it to. Or, they’re worried about it getting lost.
Direct staff with any issues or problems to this form—and watch for responses like a hawk.
Add the following fields to this marketing request form:
You might need to use this form if a customer informs a sales rep that there’s a problem with a blog post. It’s showing the YouTube video you’ve embedded has been removed.
The sales rep uses this form to tell you, who can then tell the writer to fix it.
Ready to create your own marketing request form?
Regardless of what you’re using the form for, it’s relatively quick and easy to set-up a marketing brief form for your internal team to use.
However, a Google Form is the simplest option because they’re easy to use. You likely already have your team using GSuite products—such as Gmail, Docs, or Sheets. It’s also free to create a Google Form.
To get started, head to Google Forms. Browse the selection of templates, or click “Blank” to create your own from scratch:
(For the sake of this post, I’ll be starting from scratch.)
Give your form a name, and add a description that tells your team:
Then, hit the “Add Question” button to insert the fields you’ll need for your request form:
Once you’ve created your form, it’s time to start sharing.
You can share a link to a Google Form with anybody by hitting “Send”, and limit permissions to only allow internal staff members (or departments) to access it:
Don’t blindly send the form and assume that your team knows how to use it.
Sure, your description might give them extra information. But it’s important to explain the benefits we discussed earlier, and build the new marketing request form into your process. Bear in mind that you might need help from Marketing Ops here.
In your explanation, tell your team who will handle the requests—and that requests won’t be accepted unless they come through the form.
Something like this might work:
“We’re making it easier to manage ideas for new projects.
Instead of sitting in groups to brainstorm, please use this marketing request form to submit your ideas. All responses will go to Lucy, our Head of Content.
We’ll meet later the following week to discuss how we can go ahead with the best ideas.”
You might also need to add the form into process documents to make sure they’re being used.
Form submissions are trickling in, and your team are using the form when they’ve got something that needs your attention.
How do you keep control over the requests, and make sure you’re spending enough time monitoring the responses?
(Failing to do so is a complete waste of the form, anyway.)
If you’ve created your marketing request form with Google Forms, submissions can be automatically added to Idea Board within CoSchedule by using the Zapier integration.
You’ll then see any form submissions in your CoSchedule calendar, which allows you to view your team’s requests all in one place—without remembering to check submissions from each individual form.
What’s the use in creating a request form if you’re not going to act on your team’s suggestions?
Spend some time looking at your team’s requests and decide your next plan of action. That might include:
The best part? If your marketing request submissions are added into CoSchedule, you can decide whether to action them into your marketing calendar. This makes it easier than copying and pasting ideas—or remembering what you should be doing.
As you can see, creating a marketing request form isn’t as complex as you might’ve thought.
Follow these steps to create your own submission form, then encourage your staff to use them when they’ve got something relevant to say.
February 17, 2020
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