With brands looking to tap into cross media marketing programs to further reach customers, forward-looking graphic communications firms are offering clients a slate of multi-media services in addition to print. Take The Lab, a New York City-based integrated media arts company, which creates...
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With brands looking to tap into cross media marketing programs to further reach customers, forward-looking graphic communications firms are offering clients a slate of multi-media services in addition to print.
Take The Lab, a New York City-based integrated media arts company, which creates advertising and marketing content for print, digital, and broadcast platforms. The Lab got its feet wet as a print production house, and now offers a full spectrum of content creation services, along with traditional print production, retouching, and design services.
Offering all these services under one roof is a viable way of working, says David Bridges, president and CEO, The Lab. "It is pretty well established that the results are better for an integrated campaign," he explains. "Moving forward, more and more companies are seeing the benefits of seeing their campaigns translated consistently, with the same idea, rather than running separate campaigns for different platforms. Right now though, I don't know of any other company that is able to offer the amount of diversified content that we can, from print to online to social media to broadcast, to CG (computer-generated) print imagery and animation."
Getting the Staff on Board
The Lab creates final assets—such as a print ad for a magazine or video for an online ad—for integrated campaigns. The idea, adds Bridges, "is to not have multiple vendors duplicating assets or multiple teams within one company working independently within each medium."
One of the biggest challenges working in multi-channel campaigns is reconfiguring the workflow to ensure it is at its most efficient. The cultural change within the facility has to be addressed. "The staff isn't working in a silo-type environment anymore," says Bridges. "They need to be retrained, to learn to think about the work in a more general, flexible way. We're taking people who are set in their ways—whether they're from a print world or a digital world, and trying to get them to look beyond how they are used to dealing with things traditionally."
The digital team will work with the print team to adjust assets to make sure they look exactly the same as they do in print. "Our digital team will pick up the files to build an online campaign and our retouchers, for example, will take the approved files in print and work with the digital team to do color corrections in Flash," explains Robert Pepe, director of operations. "Verizon Red and AT&T blue have to be the same whether the final asset is in print or digital."
Every PDF begins in Dalim's TWIST workflow. Within the digital and print arena, Dalim's TWIST automated workflow system is able to facilitate content in whatever file format is necessary for the platform. TWIST drives color management for proofing as well.
Keep Data Consistent
Ensuring the data is in sync across the different touch points is a key element for any cross media campaign, notes Judy Berlin, director of Worldwide Marketing, XMPie, A Xerox Company. "You have to keep the message relevant, intimate, and consistent," Berlin says. "You can't make one offer in a print piece and then lead them to a PURL and have a different offer."
A campaign can include personalization and variable data imaging, PURL, email, mobile messaging and SMS, QR Codes, and social media.
Cross media marketing fosters more personal communication between brands and their customers, notes Berlin, necessary because these customers expect a high level of customization. "It is transforming the way brands communicate, turning one-way broadcast and complex dialogue into interactive, real time communication with millions of people," says Berlin.
XMPie is calling the management of the cross media process ICM, or individualized communications management. "Managing the one-to-one dialogue in a business workflow is the next frontier," says Berlin. "We feel there is a gap, not so much in the technology, but in the complexity of managing this dialogue. An ideal ICM solution should reengineer the process of campaign management, making it more efficient and effective."