TIV Branding is a boutique marketing and creative agency focused on helping clients build their brands with comprehensive digital campaigns and website development. As Brandt Hoekenga, Founder and Creative Director of TIV Branding described, “The campaigns we put together for our clients include everything from digital to traditional marketing. We design and develop websites, handle social media, and work on all of the pieces of a campaign that help our clients build their brand.”
Working as a nimble team of 14, it is critical for TIV to have a robust process in place to coordinate the work of multiple designers across many projects for all their clients. Some of the specific challenges they identified in their old process were:
- Having real-time visibility into project status, putting deadlines and client relationships in jeopardy
- Lack of clarity around who is doing what, and when they should do it
- Regular interruptions and bottlenecks caused by not having their work in a centralized, accessible system
Brandt highlighted an important consequence of not having a birds-eye view of all the work his team was doing, “The other partners and I were always bugging our project manager for updates on work, because we had no system we could quickly check. As a result, she had to manage us more than she was managing the actual projects.”
That need for alignment brought TIV to inMotion ignite when they realized it was time to put a better system and process into place.
A Purpose-Built Platform for Creative Agencies
As TIV began their search for a creative workflow platform, Brandt made a point of checking out inMotionNow because he was already familiar with their industry leading thought leadership and best practice content.
TIV ultimately chose inMotion ignite because they could see that it was purpose-built for an agency like them. Brandt described their search, “We looked at a number of different platforms, but what we liked about inMotion ignite is that it is specifically tailored to the unique creative challenges found in the agency environment. We felt like we wouldn’t have to do any workarounds like we might with other platforms. ignite was going to be immediately impactful for us.”
Creating Scalable, Repeatable Process with Templates
Since much of the work that TIV produces for clients is related to designing, building, and maintaining websites, the TIV team has focused on leveraging templates in inMotion ignite to streamline their web design work.
Brandt explained TIV’s approach to using templates. “Our clients ask for a wide range of website work. Some need just a basic build with some SEO, others need a larger site with full e-commerce functionality. So, we took the approach to build a master template that had everything, and now when we go to start a project, we just remove the groups or tasks that don’t apply.”
This “master template” approach has several advantages. First, as Brandt explained, when tasks are organized by group it’s easy to identify which ones need to be kept or removed for a specific project. Second, having all the possible tasks that could go into a project listed out ensures that nothing is forgotten. Brandt explained, “Going through the master template to remove unnecessary tasks is a good exercise to ensure that we aren’t leaving something out that the client could benefit from, and then we also have the audit trail to say that yes, we considered that, but decided not to do it. We leave a little note on those tasks to indicate that it was reviewed, and an intentional choice was made to leave it out.”
Beau Baumbach, Marketing and Social Media Strategist, pointed out three additional ways that templates help their process:
- Launch new projects quickly. “With templates we can build an entire project in seconds. This saves time so the team can start working on projects faster.”
- Update templates as process evolves. “We’re able to stay in a constant state of improvement because we can learn from past projects and easily tweak and improve the templates we create in ignite. Once we’ve updated the template, that new best practice will be incorporated into all our projects going forward.”
- Effective client communications. “We can give our clients accurate timelines and a clear picture of what the work will look like, including what we need from them, and when, so they can be prepared on their end.”
Brandt added that using templates in ignite has revolutionized how they set expectations with clients. “A lot of clients have no idea how much effort these projects actually take, and how much we need them to be involved. As much as we’d love to be able to just go away and come back with a website, we are always going to need their input on content. Templates in ignite helps us keep track of all those pieces we need from the client, so we’re able to set expectations from the beginning, get client buy-in, and have accountability go both ways.” This improved client collaboration is key, as more brands are seeking to partner with agencies who can work in a collaborative and integrated fashion with their own in-house teams.
Growing the business with ignite
In addition to optimizing TIV’s current workflow, templates in inMotion ignite are also key to fulfilling a growing area of the agency’s business, a subscription-based service for website management. “Our new subscription model will allow us to take a proactive approach to managing our client’s web presence. Rather than them having to come to us when a need arises, we can leverage templates, so we know to reach out in advance.” This allows the TIV team to offer a higher level of service. Rather than having to wait for clients to come to them with problems, they have a pre-built list of tasks that can help clients avoid those problems in the first place. Templates in ignite make that level of pro-activity possible by automating the account manager’s outreach.
Beyond templates, Brandt’s team has some other favorite features in ignite:
- Review + Approval. “As a designer, my number one challenge is getting feedback from people in a way that makes sense. We’ll also do internal reviews to get alignment on a brief or to review work before it goes out to the client.”
- Personalized Project Views. “There are so many ways to get the information you need out of ignite, so everyone can build the view that works best for them. I like Calendar views, others prefer a task list, and some people use Kanban.”
Better Content Outcomes with inMotion ignite
By leveraging templates in inMotion ignite, Brandt and his team at TIV Branding are now able to better manage their workload, collaborate seamlessly with clients, and grow their business by proactively offering solutions to clients. As Brandt put it, “inMotion ignite and the ability to templatize our work has been a game changer for us. We’re able to standardize our work and continue delivering the high-impact, brand-building campaigns that move the needle for our clients.”
Elise Hauser is a product and content marketer with a passion for telling brand stories. She has produced inMotionNow’s annual Creative Management Report for 4 years, webinars, content sessions for major industry events reaching audiences of 11,000+, and of course, countless blog posts. When Elise isn’t writing about the marketing and creative industry at inMotionNow she is teaching economics and hanging out with her cat, Tucker, at her home in Raleigh, NC.