Multi-Channel: 4 Unavoidable Printer Workflows: #4 Visual

September 29, 2014

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. Nelson Mandela

Nelson MandelaAll of us have different languages, expressions, and ways of viewing information and making decisions.  Most of us relate to a visual and to a story more quickly than we do words on a page.  Many just don’t get it any other way.  Tend to the visual workflow with supportive text and numbers and each of the key folks will stay with you.

Visual components we have found to be essential are the ticker or wireframe, the printed piece designs, the landing page designs, the email designs, and QR design and placement.  Let me say this here.  Not having QR included in any printed piece designed for marketing is like not using color.  What are you thinking?  Any piece printed today should have an augmentation component to bring it to conversational life via a mobile and online access method.  QR is simple.

The Ticker: Your ticker or wireframe (discussed in prior installments) should represent in a single page what will happen in what sequence with the people involved in the campaign conversation and in what sequence or timing.  The sales person, customer service, prospect, customer, and curious observer can all get involved.  This is not about your production team.  It is about what the multi-channel event or ongoing conversation does.  As you build your campaign, this ticker should also be updated and redistributed to the team at every update.  Why do we call it a ticker?  Many times the initiative has a predetermined time frame for start and finish.  At least, there is an expected time lapse and sequence for participants.  A clock seems an easy way to represent this progression.  A “ticking down” of the action connects with folks.

Site Visuals: For impact the mailer(s), landing page(s), and email(s) need to be fully visualized.  Make sure you visualize emails with images blocked and images visible.  Most office software blocks images in emails.  Forget this in your design and you are doomed to meaningless distribution.  No matter how cheap you think email can be, if you are high on images you are low on readership.  The most frustrating emails are those with great tag lines that always get opened only to find a single image blocked by the software.  Display that headache to the designers and they might change their logic.

Approvals: Make sure you have approvals based on visual representations not just text notes.  Words have different meanings.  Just put RED in front of five people and see if they agree on the color.  Now put a RED bar on a page in front of them and wait for the changes to begin.  Get visual.

After approvals on the other pieces is the best time to finish QR and email designs.  They seem to have the most changes impacted by other element choices.  Trying to finish them ahead of those pieces will just be frustration.

Objectives Review: Okay, here it is again.  People get off course.  It happens. Constantly match all your visual elements to the objectives on that marketing design sheet.  A multi-channel initiative is about reaching the objective.  It is not about results.  It is about reaching the objective.  If the objective is looking for specific results, that is determined by how well all the marketing elements and sales follow through perform using the channels.  You are involved in delivery of what is hopefully a good message with good offer and good timing and good affinity and good relevance and good audience.  Those items make results pop.  You make the delivery engine do the job and measure against objective.


Summary:  No one likes to speak a language they have not studied well.  Get your study on.  Remember this is a visual industry and you are good at visual.ROI/ROE

See you at GraphExpo.  I'll be focusing on performance metrics magic for your organization.

This article focuses on Sales/Marketing/Operations and Information levels of the operational pyramid.  

Let’s talk: Phil Larson or Shepherd Consulting OK

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