Why You Need to Integrate Proofing and Project Management

[fa icon="calendar'] 6/19/18 8:07 AM / by Hassaan Bey

It’s not uncommon for organizations to spend a lot of time choosing the right scalable software for the team to tackle upcoming projects.

Unfortunately, it’s only until after a team has gotten into the weeds that they find the tool they’re using doesn’t cover all their needs like collaboration, knowledge sharing, communication, etc. This is particularly common among marketing and creative teams.

Projects are complex structures, and a generic project management app isn’t enough on its own. In a recent post Zapier polled 13 brands and found they used an average of 5 apps in a “project management stack."  In most cases, the apps were used to cover project management and proofing/collaboration.

When you’re in the thick of a project, adding more tools isn’t ideal. There’s a smarter way to consolidate these activities and tools.

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Every Creative Manager Needs These 5 Skills

[fa icon="calendar'] 6/14/18 8:38 AM / by Hassaan Bey

A good creative manager is more than just a project manager. They’re a leader. Managing any team is hard enough, but the moment you become a creative manager you’re in charge of people tasked with being highly creative on a consistent basis in order to deemed successful.

That adds some next-level complexity (read: stress), because creativity is not a tangible thing. It can’t be turned on and off. It can’t be tapped in the same way a developer can churn out code for a specific task.

Managing a creative team requires skills beyond what is necessary in managing and leading any given team. Need a crash course in creative management or faced with managing a creative team? Here’s 5 skills that you should start honing.

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How to Introduce a New Software Tool to Your Team

[fa icon="calendar'] 6/12/18 8:25 AM / by Hassaan Bey

After spending weeks (if not months) of due diligence, you finally spring for a new software tool you believe will have the desired impact on your business. The operational efficiency on the horizon is a huge relief. But when you share the news with your team, you’re met with a bag of mixed emotions that translate to murmurs and sideways glances. It’s obvious some team members aren’t on board with the decision.

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7 Ways to Accelerate a Project's Timeline

[fa icon="calendar'] 6/7/18 8:55 AM / by Hassaan Bey

Regardless of the size of the task, organizations set milestones and deadlines on projects for a reason. It’s as much to create an expected end-of-project as it is to have a roadmap that keeps the entire team working in the right direction.

While 97% of organizations believe project management is critical to the success of an organization, fewer than a third of all projects successfully complete on time and on budget.

You can minimize risk of delivery failure through scheduling and monitoring activities but odds are you’ll need to identify ways to speed up the delivery of your project and accelerate the timeline at some point. Here are seven choices that don’t require any sacrifice in quality or cutting corners.

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How to Deal with Creative Failure

[fa icon="calendar'] 6/5/18 6:58 AM / by Hassaan Bey

Creativity inherently involves risk because it uses the imagination to generate something from nothing. The common denominator in successful creative people is their ability to drive output despite the results. Disappointments become portals of discovery for new opportunities or approaches. From this point of view, failure is a necessary element in fostering innovation.

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The Roundup: The World of Podcast Advertising

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/31/18 11:08 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to The Roundup, a weekly series in which Hassaan, Slope's Creative Manager, and myself, CEO & Co-Founder, discuss news from across the marketing and creative industry. This week we are talking about podcast advertising and the unique access it offers brands.

You can watch the full video below, and read through this blog post for quick links to the topics we discuss.

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How to Design Landing Pages that Convert

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/31/18 9:38 AM / by Hassaan Bey

Every page and piece of content you create should be designed with a purpose. That purpose will vary, from encouraging a visitor to take action immediately to imprinting a message that will encourage them to take action later on.

Some content, like your homepage, are designed to provide a snapshot of what you offer to funnel visitors to the right information. Other pages serve only to grow the relationship with your audience and establish trust.

Landing pages have one vital purpose – to convert visitors into customers.

No matter how the completed landing page is presented it’s still made up of core elements meant to interact with the emotions and psychology of your audience, effectively driving them to click. While there’s no single correct way to design a landing page to maximize conversions, there are key elements you can include to improve the success of your campaigns.

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How to Incentivize Your Creative Team to Do Their Best Work

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/29/18 9:54 AM / by Hassaan Bey

Since the primary role of a creative team is to generate insights and programs that drive business growth, being fully present and motivated is critical to the success of every project. It also has a significant impact on company profitability. Rapt Media estimates that companies lose $500 billion annually due to disengaged employees. You can see why keeping your team members engaged is a must have project management skill.

Employee incentive programs that recognize effort and success have a proven history of inspiring employees to work harder and participate at a deeper level. After all, an engaged mind is an inspired mind. As a project manager, you must be proactive in offering opportunities that push your team members to excel and rewarding them when they succeed.

You do not need an elaborate plan or a big budget to recognize employees' contributions. Instead, focus on praising actions, approaches and willingness to take on new challenges. Additionally, by building these three programs into your team’s culture, you will have the necessary tools to produce an environment that promotes continual growth in creativity.

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How to Facilitate Better Feedback in the Creative Review Process

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/24/18 6:40 PM / by Hassaan Bey

Managing feedback is a crucial project management skill. While feedback is vital to virtually every aspect of a business from a marketing campaign to operational adjustments, creative feedback is particularly difficult to nail down. This mostly stems from the fact that while stakeholders have the power to approve or reject a creative endeavor, they rarely are creative professionals.

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5 Ways to Arm Your Sales Team with Content

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/24/18 10:44 AM / by Hassaan Bey

The average marketing team spends countless hours strategizing, planning, and executing the production of content for the purposes of inbound marketing. The goal, above all else, is to use top-of-funnel content to attract prospects into the funnel.

That’s where, once in the funnel, the focus shifts as 70% of brands concentrate on converting leads to customers. But sales teams continue to struggle through that final conversion process for a variety of reasons.

If your sales team isn’t ready to roll over and give up, then consider how they could start using content strategically at key points in the buyer’s journey. Here are some proven-effective types of content that will help your sales team build relationships and dramatically lift conversions.

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The Roundup: How Traditional Media is Reinventing Itself with Branded Content

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/23/18 1:01 PM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to The Roundup, a weekly series in which Hassaan, Slope's Creative Manager, and myself, CEO & Co-Founder, discuss news from across the marketing and creative industry. This week we are talking about brand marketing and the trend of publishers building studios to take branded content in-house.

You can watch the full video below, and read through this blog post for quick links to the topics we discuss.

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How to Set Deadlines that Make Sense for Creative Projects

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/22/18 10:07 AM / by Hassaan Bey

When you stop to think about it, deadlines are one of the most familiar practices in a business setting; we’ve all been dealing with them in one way or another since our first encounter with homework. By setting up a precise schedule of events and breaking up the entire project into a series of deadlines, teams can actively plan and meet their goals rather than stumble towards one large date. But just as there’s ambiguity with one deadline, so is there with many of them.

Project deadlines are incredibly helpful, but also demanding and intimidating. They don’t have to be. A large portion of project management stems from the deadline; without them it’s basically impossible to keep track of a project’s progress. Setting proper deadlines is a project management skill that’s not a simple walk in the park - that’s why it’s so important to take a step back to make sure you’re using them effectively.

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Distinguishing Between High and Low Creative Stakes

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/17/18 9:07 AM / by Hassaan Bey

With many marketing departments producing a large volume of assets, creative teams are always chasing the next deadline. The high of wrapping up another successful project can quickly give way to waves of panic at the thought of having to come up with another genius marketing plan. Between brainstorming, collaborating, negotiating and arranging logistics, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the scale of a project, especially if you are juggling multiple ones simultaneously.

By learning how to distinguish between low and high creative intensity work, your team will be able to prioritize their allocation of time so that they are no longer drowning in the clutches of panic-induced creativity.

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The Roundup: The Rise of Live Streaming Video Marketing

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/14/18 12:48 PM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to The Roundup, a weekly series in which Hassaan, Slope's Creative Manager, and myself, CEO & Co-Founder, discuss news from across the marketing and creative industry. This week we are talking about how different brands, influencers, and marketing teams are using live streaming video to engage their audience in new ways.

You can watch the full video below, and read through this blog post for quick links to the topics we discuss.

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How to Recharge Your Creative Energy

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/10/18 12:04 PM / by Hassaan Bey

A creative team on the brink of burnout is easy to spot: lack of enthusiasm, derivative ideas and consistently poor results. Just as there is no single cause of creative fatigue, a magic cure does not exist for refilling your creative well. However, team managers can use these seven proactive strategies to bust through mental blocks and rejuvenate drained energy.

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A Conversation with Kristin Twiford, Content Marketing Manager at Libris

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/9/18 10:43 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to our interview series, Creativity Drives Business, where successful marketing and creative leaders share industry insights, how they got to where they are today, and explore the future role of creativity in business.

Kristin Twiford, Content Marketing Manager at Libris, discusses how Libris focuses on visual storytelling as a pillar in their marketing strategy.

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7 Ways to Get Better Creative Feedback

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/3/18 10:27 AM / by Hassaan Bey posted in Featured Post

Meaningful feedback is super important when trying to tighten up a creative project and exceed expectations. While great creative feedback makes your project look great, the relationship it tends to harbor makes your department look even better. Here are 7 ways to get better creative feedback on your next project.

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The Roundup: What's Next for Out of Home Advertising?

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/1/18 7:34 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to The Roundup, a weekly series in which Hassaan, Slope's Creative Manager, and myself, CEO & Co-Founder, discuss news from across the marketing and creative industry. This week we are talking about one of our favorite forms of advertising, Out of Home! We discuss how Out of Home has come in and out of style, what the future of Out of Home looks like, and give some hot takes on our favorite billboards.

You can watch the full video below, and read through this blog post for quick links to the topics we discuss.

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How to Recognize and Combat Creative Fatigue

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/26/18 2:11 PM / by Hassaan Bey posted in Featured Post

Our fast-paced, performance-driven culture demands working at full speed. When you're constantly building and representing your company's brand, modern marketing teams must keep around-the-clock hours to build their credibility as determined, committed and thorough employees. The added pressure to consistently produce genius results on tight deadlines is often the tipping point for falling into a creative funk.

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Why Your Brand Needs a Visual Style Guide

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/19/18 1:20 PM / by Hassaan Bey

Track the presence of any of your favorite brands around the web, television, and print ads and you’ll notice a consistency in how the company portrays itself visually. Those brands likely have a visual style guide in place, and it’s one of the most essential marketing documents a business has.

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Why Your Work Requests Need Examples

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/17/18 11:16 AM / by Hassaan Bey

As creative professionals, we are in the business of interpreting stakeholders’ wishes. Since we are not mind readers, it is critical that we establish a clear idea of what the stakeholder wants at the very beginning of the project. The problem is that most stakeholders don’t know what they want or what their budgets can buy. It is common to get vague work requests that sound something like, "I want a clean-looking brochure,” “I want a website that is engaging” or “I need a video that will go viral.”

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How the Milwaukee Brewers Recreated an Iconic Scene from "The Sandlot"

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/12/18 9:04 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

It was the 25th anniversary of “The Sandlot” this week, and the Milwaukee Brewers took the opportunity to recreate an iconic scene with players from the team. The video went viral, and was covered by ESPN, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and more. I spoke with Caitlin Moyer, Director of New Media, and Evan Entler, Senior Manager of Marketing and Advertising, about how they put it all together.

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Introducing Work Requests in Slope

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/11/18 2:37 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Product

We're excited to introduce Work Requests to Slope! Work Requests make it easy for teams to submit, review, and approve requests – and instantly create the resulting projects and tasks right in Slope. We know work requests are difficult to manage, and if they were a game show challenge, they may look something like this:

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A Conversation with Leslie Ye, Senior Content Strategist at HubSpot

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/3/18 9:13 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to our interview series, Creativity Drives Business, where successful marketing and creative leaders share industry insights, how they got to where they are today, and explore the future role of creativity in business.

Leslie Ye, Senior Content Strategist at Hubspot, discusses how the role of content marketing is changing within organizations.

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The Roundup: Marketing March Madness

[fa icon="calendar'] 3/30/18 10:38 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to The Roundup, a weekly series in which Hassaan, Slope's Creative Manager, and myself, CEO & Co-Founder, discuss news from across the marketing and creative industry. In honor of March Madness, we are talking about sports marketing! Some of the strongest and most loved brands in the world are sports teams, and there is a lot to learn about how they engage with their audiences.

You can watch the full video below, and read through this blog post for quick links to the topics we discuss.

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