Friday, May 12, 2006

May's 'Digital fact' - taking the initial design brief

One of the most difficult element in digital projects is getting the design 'spot on'. Given the flexibility & opportunities that digital media such as CD-ROM and the web, during the design process, clients 'learn' what is possible and the final designs can be very different to initial concepts.

E-creation uses a three step process during the early stages of the design processes in order to generate the most creative & appropriate designs:

1. Project View
2. Self View
3. Market View

In the Project View step, we look at the project to define the boundaries of the work - is the projects really a website or infact an animation to be used on a website, etc. We demonstration previous projects that are relevent & brainstorm with the client potential concepts & the latest technological advances that might affect the scope of the project & design.

In the Self View step, we use a standard 'business analysis' document to record essential information about the company, how they perceive themselves & how they would like to be perceived. Within 25 questions, we have a clear view (both E-creation & the client) of what 'values' are essential to communicate within the design.

In the Market View step, we analyse the competitors & their design & marketing. This provides the context in which any designs are going to be seen. There are very few clients operating with an absence of competitors, so seeing what competitors are doing should factor into our design work.

Case Studies for City and Guilds

Whilst we are not making all the information available yet, here is a 'snippet' of the case study for City and Guilds

City and Guilds

For City and Guilds, a move from paper-based distribution of course information to digital distribution of information was proving problematic. E-creation worked with the marketing, development & training departments to develop a ‘marketing wheel’ training application that integrates directly with the websites and increases information retention. Some benefits include:

Communications was paper-based, making it difficult to update, manage and distribute.

When communications made digital, updating and distribution became more cost effective & quicker whilst improving the sense of ‘value’ the customer receives.

Each information pack weighed over 3 kilograms, requiring a specialist courier company for delivery of over 10,000 units.

Information is available on-line, accessed via a short training CD-ROM & induction pack weighing 150g which can be sent

What is the Marketing Wheel?

E-creation created the ‘marketing wheel’ to provide businesses with an analysis tool that shows visually how treating IT, marketing and operations as a unified unit will allow a business to perform better overall.

In today’s highly brand conscious business environment, companies sell an overall experience, a ‘value’, and if an overall infrastructure does not support that ‘value’, then your business will be considered a liar or ‘sell-out’.

In our experience, businesses in early stages of growth or in ‘fire-fighting’ mode, can operate and survive using a ‘fragmented’ marketing approach, but as that business begins to build momentum or moves back into ‘normal’ operating mode, underlying problems manifest themselves.

Spokes of the wheel:

1. SWOT analyse
2. Business strategy
3. IT strategy
4. SEO & link strategy
5. E-mail marketing
6. Website
8. Presentations
9. Video
10. Brochure
11. Sales letters
12. PR