It's a Digital World (2,835 words)
(3) What is your time frame? For instance, how soon do you want to be up and running? The faster you want to implement this change in workflow, the more likely you'll need to depend on an outside vendor to handle most or all of the job.
Leibly advises direct marketers to take a phased approach, where the challenge is to build upon each step and not start all over again for each addition of content, users or media. You don't want your costs to go through the roof every time you add another piece to the puzzle and realize you don't have the infrastructure to support the next step.
According to Francesco Rietti, product manager for Cascade's Mediasphere software, the bulk of his company's customers set up an in-house system. For example, Sears Canada stores its digital content in one place while its print vendor is in another location and its creative somewhere else, too; all operations are linked via a digital content system server that allows teams access to the latest images for up-to-the-minute marketing campaigns.
Who are the Users?
Obviously, when you're talking about content and creating communications, you tend to focus on the team that develops your efforts: the creative department.
However, both Leibly and Keizer believe that it will pay off in the long run if you look beyond the obvious and seek the opinions of other teams that help shape your customer focus. Managers from merchandising, marketing and customer service should be in on the plan, as their departments all have contact with customers and help determine how they are marketed to and with what kinds of communications.
In short, anyone who needs access to the latest technical information needs to be linked to the digital content database so there's no hold up in any one department, explains Leibly.