How One Grocery Chain Is Making Marketing Work Better

The 120-person in-house agency at a natural foods company works hard to promote benefits of healthy eating. Now, they’re doing it more productively than ever before.

The grocery chain recently redeployed the Workfront Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solution to address process transformation and critical needs for reporting and visibility. While PPM had been up and running since 2016, functionality supporting organizational structure, process and responsibilities had yet to be enhanced, limiting benefit derived from the cloud-based tool.


Initial Workfront implementation coincided with a period of profound change throughout the organization. “A significant acquisition, aggressive competition and the ongoing complexity of marketing in the digital age drove the need for us to seek better ways to get marketing done,” said the executive in charge of marketing operations. “In an always-uncertain marketing environment, we’re focused on solutions built for change.”

By leveraging Workfront functionality not yet fully tapped, the agency is better able to manage in a state of change. The recent deployment is enabling the organization to:

- Complement in-store experiences with online/offline marketing (social, broadcast, sponsorships, events, etc.)

- Understand customer digital journeys to optimize brand experience

- Meet unique requirements of each of several hundred stores

- Leverage coop programs to drive marketing funds

- Maximize the AOR for more synergy between internal and external teams

Using Workfront to automate time-consuming manual reporting, eliminate duplicate efforts, manage capacity, and scale was a corporate imperative.



Orchestration and consistency was required for smarter, faster and more efficient marketing in a decentralized business. Reconceiving process and reconfiguring Workfront would help achieve that goal. To aid in their efforts, the company engaged Zee Jay Digital—consultants focused on orchestrating work across internal and external teams and deploying supporting technology. Zee Jay Digital worked with marketing leaders to fully implement Workfront’s native reporting and resource management functionality, and provide the instant, accurate visibility needed.

System changes to realize these benefits included:

- Hierarchy to align retail and food programming—seasons, food holidays, etc.—by replacing a flat structure with an hierarchical structure of Plans, Programs and Activities for optimized ability to report, scale and roll-up campaigns

- Process variation allowing marketing to treat types of work differently (New-Custom vs. Fixed-Repeatable) for better use of resources

- Templates for Fixed-Repeatable work to streamline workflow

- Intake governance to ensure work is “in good order” before committing resources

- Standardized workflow, with consistent steps across media types, reviews and roles to minimize cycle times

- Standardized task durations for better resource management


Within three months, goals set by the in-house agency and Zee Jay Digital had been met, risks avoided and benefits achieved:

Visibility into project tasks—from creation to review and approval to archiving—is now realized, making agency teams more productive and accountable.

What’s Next

Redeployment is extending to adjacent technologies. Zee Jay Digital defined/refined agile resource management, financial processes and DAM processes, and integration continues.

- With a system configured around how the business operates, managers better manage. They now see what work is in demand and structure accordingly. For example, they have data to know to fill a designer position with a digital specialist, or train long-form content developers to write for social. Capacity and utilization continue to be enhanced.

- Before redeployment, Zee Jay Digital re-engineered financial planning and budgeting to prioritize and track spending. Now managers see what’s been spent and how, which gives them more autonomy and accountability. And user-friendly financial management is being fully automated with Workfront-integrated tools.

- Asset hierarchy and nomenclature have also been aligned so corporate, regional and store teams—and external agencies—can locate the right image, template, etc. Soon access will be easier: DAM/Workfront integration is underway.


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