Conversion to multi-channel for a printer meets workflow revision. Engage multi-channel eyes wide open. It is a must to stay alive. Print integrates as a piece alongside other communication channels of social, mobile, online, and email. It has to fit with SEO and viral initiatives. You want to be consulted as plans are made in your organization. Before you take off do competent flight check.
Workflow is really, really, really important. Intersection, data, programming, and visual workflows need your attention. Let's look at the first one.
Intersection Flow is the Big Picture:
Multi-channel has intersecting pieces. Make them work for you and your customer.
“Kick Off”: This is a time to meet and greet and talk with all of the key players involved. Prior to this, you need to have sold your idea and gained agreement by decision makers. The Kick Off allows leadership, planners, and doers clearly understood time and action plans. Make adjustments for foreseeable problems. Decide on the communication frequency and methods to be used by the teams.
Marketing Design: Address intersection of decisions with marketing designs. How will variables be used? What data do you have for variable integration? Is it presentable across the different chosen formats? What are the channels to be used? A good questionnaire that covers all the components of relevancy, timing, calls to action, offering, affinity, objectives, data, program, etc is needed. Take time to develop one for your shop. The objective and measurements must be clear before beginning. This is a formal document. Begin with the end in mind.
The Ticker or wireframe: Bring all the prior discussions into a single flow image that everyone grasps. Sales teams need to see this. It is the vision. Executives relate to it. Production teams are guided by it. Every team produces this a little differently. It can be as simple as group of boxes on a powerpoint or as complicated as a multi-variant wireframe. Don’t skip ahead to the until you can represent the activity on a single page in a simple manner.
Content, content, content: Content blocks cross channels. They have to fit each channel. A big post card can carry much more content than a single landing page. Landing pages need to be simple. However, landing pages can have elaborate if-then-else logic and tell multiple stories. Content needs designed for all the possible conversations.
Psychotactic is a strange word: The psychological tactics to be used intersect with the content, channels, graphics, layouts, and communication paths allowed by your design. Have a specific discussion and agreement with the build team. As a print delivery and multi-channel delivery team, you may not be involved in the marketing design, ticker, content, and psychotactic. But you should understand and make sure your client has passed all these points. Be a professional for them.
Objectives Review: Bring all of the supportive materials together and review. Take time to look back at the design objectives and see that all believe in this approach. Talk it over with key production coordinators and lock on understanding and support.
Sites build: A post card is a site. A letter is a site. A personalized landing page and following sequence and each page is a site. A poster is a site. All of the design, layout, pre-flight, and prepress are done on each site. Coordinate and check and proof back to approvers.
Variable Integration: Last big intersection before a launch is variable integration. Run your data test through all pieces in the same sequence you will do at launch and test the integrations. Don’t leave much to chance. One time with someone inventing a different approach to data handling for their 'site' causes disruption on an alternate site and submarines design objectives.
Intersection is the first workflow requiring major attention in printer support of multi-channel. Integrate your workflow with your customer's needs. Be the professional.
This article focuses on Be Focused and Be Responsible and Thrive sides of the operational pyramid.