Are you struggling to get your point across?

Just the other day I was engaged in a deep conversation with a senior Marketing Director of a major wholesaler/distributor. The opportunity covered several disciplines from Web 2 Print, Point of Sale, Digital Cross Media, Asset Management, Augmented Reality, and Data Management……blimey, what complexity I hear you say, but they all had a relevant place when looking at their particular needs. The challenge for me in creating an opportunity with this customer was not to look at each one of these services as a stand-alone application. Success would come from outlining a joined up approach for this particular campaign and articulating how it would incorporate all the various touch points to deliver a cohesive end-to-end solution.

Last month I wrote about “Turbulence” where in a recent survey of the world’s top 400 CMO’s, this was cited as the biggest issue – there is just too much technology and too many different channels to choose from. As a community of print service providers and suppliers we are on a learning curve to leverage opportunity by carefully positioning the technologies and applications our industry is creating and so is the modern marketer, hence confusion reigns. In an article I came across the other day it listed over 133 types and styles of marketing components; a “Mash Up” of tools and strategies that the modern marketer is looking to achieve an RoI with.

With all this complexity, how do we provide assistance to string our ideas and solutions together in an easy and well thought out way, so it appears logical and simple so the customers “get it”.

One answer is to look at Circle from XMPIE. First off, it’s free,….. so instantly compelling. Sign up is simple and you can be up and running in minutes. You don’t have to be an XMPIE user either, which allows you to start the process of engagement with your customers without any significant levels of investment. Circle is a cloud based digital campaign canvas. It allows you to sketch out full campaign workflows that are relevant when leveraging and engaging in conversations with CMO’s, CFO’s or other Marketing based decision makers. The beauty of this application is you can literally have an illustrated workflow and scoped solution of your ideas within minutes. The simple drag and drop icon function allows you to drop all the significant folders and icons onto your canvas and then very simplistically link them up. Another great feature is the “snap grid” which makes your presentations neat and tidy in a very fast and intuitive way.

I call my workflow illustrations “Visual Articulation” it allows me to visually create solutions for my customers that are easy to follow and demonstrate a seamless workflow process of how campaigns are structured. It also details how achievable outcomes can be delivered as part of the campaign planning process. I even include processes that are nothing to do with me or fall under my direct control. By “Owning” the process you are in charge of the architecture, and in a world of collaborative working, demonstrating the service capabilities of other suppliers within the whole end to end process is a critical factor. Not all the Icons within the Circle folders will be relevant for your applications, but don’t worry, XMPie have thought that through. You are able to change the individual folder titles, but once you have finished your draft you can also save it as a PNG file and import into PowerPoint. Here you can overlay the folder Icons with your own adaptions either form Icon Finder on the Web or just searching Google Images.

I have now used this process in several key presentations to position an array of technical applications within the Digital Cross Media and Print World, and the slides that everyone interacts and engages with are the Circle slides. Circle also has enhanced versions that they make a charge for, this offers improved features such as upload of campaign artwork or visuals that can be viewed in a collaborative environment allowing all approved users to have access via a secure login. For simple and compelling customer engagement this tool is a great start in understanding the cross media journey and full end to end marketing communications planning. Play with it, understand it and present it.  I think you will find it valuable in engaging customers in a more meaningful conversation about effective campaign planning and defining how RoI can be created and realised.

Watch the video  XMPie Video

Graham Reed – Print Tribe

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