Tuesday, January 8, 2008

August 2008 - Updatable multimedia CD-ROMs & digital brochures - the latest digital content delivery methods

Updateable multimedia CD-ROMs & digital brochures ...
a case study of the latest digital content delivery methods

Traditionally, one of the key disadvantages associated with CD-ROMs has been the speed with which content can go out of date. Using ''hybrid'' technology, it is now possible to design & develop CD-ROMs using the Internet for the storage of some types of information. If the client has an administration system for the information stored on the Internet that is ''connected'' to the CD-ROM, then they have a content management system for the content of all their CD-ROMs.

There are some businesses that lend themselves very well to this type of approach. For example, E-creation recently looked at producing a digital brochure for a holiday company. Their objective was to reduce costs by delivering their brochure in digital format but E-creation also looked at how the digital medium could deliver additional benefits over the printed media.

It became very rapidly obvious that if we could enable the digital brochure to reflect changing prices for the various holidays, we would be onto a winner. Further to this, the ability to show the changing prices needed to be within the control of the client – one who was not particularly technology focused.

Looking into how holiday sales representatives traditionally highlight special offers in brochures, E-creation developed digital post-it notes that could be ''stuck'' onto the digital page. The holiday company could text in the details of the offer and this would be ''written'' onto the digital postit note. Of course, it had to be simple and easy for the client to ''stick'' the digital postit notes to the page. E-creation designed a drag and drop tool, where the client could drag a digital postit note directly onto the brochure page from a menu at the bottom of the screen in their content management system. A dialogue box immediately opens and the client is able to enter the text to be written on the post-it note.

Once they have attached all their special offers to the relevant pages of the digital brochure, pressing the ''publish'' button would publish the postit note details to a secure area of their website. People browsing the digital brochure CD-ROM can press the ''view latest offers'' button, whereupon the CD-ROM would connect over the Internet, load the postit note information (since the information is textual rather than graphical this takes a few seconds rather than minutes) and display the postit notes on the right place on the relevant pages with the special offer details written on them.

This changed the way that the client viewed digital media and in particular, CD-ROM technology. Previously, the website, travel agents and teletext had been the only way to broadcast time dependent pricing strategies. Now, CD-ROMs represent a cost-effective communication channel that offer all the benefits of the Internet and more.