More Value from Workfront—It’s In the Bag

How one Supermarket Chain Is Making Marketing Work Better

The 120-person in-house marketing team at a natural foods company works hard to promote the 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, which was originally deployed two years ago, to address process transformation and critical needs for reporting and visibility. While PPM was up and running, key functionality supporting corporate marketing and the internal agency’s organizational structure, processes and responsibilities had yet to be enhanced, limiting the benefits derived from the cloud-based resource marketing tool.



Initial Workfront implementation coincided with a period of profound change throughout the organization. While Workfront had been in use since 2016 (even beyond marketing), functionality supporting organizational structure, process and responsibilities had yet to be enhanced, limiting the benefit derived from the cloud-based tool.

“A significant acquisition, aggressive competition in the high-end, experiential food store space and the ongoing complexity of marketing in the digital age drove the need to further leverage Workfront to give us better ability to get marketing done,” said the executive in charge of marketing operations.

Improving financial management, DAM and agile process were high on the list of to-dos, but marketing’s need for immediate scale was pressing. Without adding headcount, marketing had to adapt to operating in a constant state of change. The Workfront redeployment—maximizing the value of the single, centralized solution—was designed to make it easier to manage in an always influx environment.

  • The supermarket chain, which historically relied on the in-store experience, recognized the need to incorporate the full gamut of online/offline marketing opportunities (social, broadcast, sponsorships, events, etc.) to stay competitive.
  • The company knew the importance of understanding their customers’ digital journeys as a way to optimize their experience with the brand.
  • From initial request to delivery, the marketing team was aware that the ability to meet unique marketing requirements of each of several hundred individual doors—including catering menus, signage, local/regional promotions, etc.—was critical.
  • They also understood that, managed right, the increasing number of coop programs they were part of could be better leveraged to drive funds for marketing activities—and drive business to stores.
  • Marketing also wanted to maximize its new AOR to gain synergies between the internal and external agency teams.

Leveraging the depth and breadth of Workfront to automate time-consuming, manual reporting; eliminate duplicate efforts and bottlenecks; manage capacity; and scale the organization became a corporate imperative.



Implementing orchestration and consistency needed in a decentralized business was necessary for marketing to work as smart, fast and as efficiently possible. Reconceiving process and reconfiguring Workfront would go a long way to achieving that goal.

The grocery chain tapped Zee Jay Digital, a consulting team focused on helping clients orchestrate work across internal and external teams and deploying technology to support the work, to help.

Zee Jay Digital consultants worked with marketing leadership to fully implement the solution to permit better usage of native reporting and resource management functionality, and in turn, provide the instant, accurate visibility that enables higher productivity and more accountability among agency team members.

Major system changes were made to realize these benefits, including:

  • Implement new hierarchy to align retail and food programming—seasons, food holidays, etc.—and make it easier to manage by replacing a flat structure with an hierarchical structure of Plans consisting for multiple Programs, and Programs consisting of multiple Activities. This structure optimizes marketing’s ability to report, scale and roll-up campaigns.
  • Incorporate ability to treat different types of work activities differently, i.e. New-Custom (brand and seasonal) vs. Fixed-Repeatable (item-price). This process variation for single customer-facing executions enables more efficient management of creative and operations resources.
  • Utilize templates, especially for Fixed-Repeatable work, to streamline workflow and eliminate redundant work.
  • Incorporate governance that better manages intake, ensuring all work is determined to be “in good order” before resources are committed.
  • Standardize workflow, with consistent steps across all media types, a baseline number of reviews, and standardization of roles, minimizing iterations, rework, misunderstandings and cycle times.
  • Standardize task durations and planned hours permitting better usage of native reporting and resource management functionality.



Within three months of the start of the Workfront reconfiguration, the goals of “Deployment 2.0” set by the in-house team and Zee Jay Digital had been met, including:

The visibility that Workfront provides into every project task—from creation to review and approval to archiving—is now being realized. The result? The company’s in-house marketing team is more productive and accountable than ever before.


What's Next

The Workfront redeployment extends to adjacent technologies. The Zee Jay Digital team has defined/refined agile resource management, financial, and DAM processes, and integration work is next up.

  • With a system configured around how the business operates, managers can better manage the business. They can now easily see what types of work are in highest demand and quickly take steps to structure the organization accordingly. For example, they can fill that vacant designer position with someone specialized in digital, or they can train long-form staff content people to write in the language of social—with data to back their decisions. Capacity and utilization capabilities will continue to be enhanced over time.
  • Prior to redeploying Workfront, Zee Jay Digital re-engineered financial planning and budgeting processes to help managers prioritize and track spending. Now they see what money’s been spent, how (and how much remains), giving them much appreciated autonomy and accountability. The user friendly financial management processes are in the process of being fully automated using tools integrated with Workfront.
  • Asset hierarchy, nomenclature, taxonomy, naming conventions have all been aligned. Now everyone on in-house corporate, regional and store marketing teams—and the external agencies—can locate the right signage image, item-price ad template, menu, TV spot, value statement, etc. Soon access will be even easier: DAM integration with Workfront is underway.

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