Bridging the gap between PIM and design with MatrixCMS

Bridging the gap between PIM and design with MatrixCMS

Getting your print collateral just right requires cooperation between multiple departments: creative, marketing, product management and data teams to name just a few. Unfortunately, having so many cooks – including ones who’ve never dealt with a creative brief before – can make it difficult to get consensus on what the key focus of different spreads is, leading to rounds of time-consuming amends.

In MatrixCMS, product managers can just drag and drop elements onto a page to create a visual brief that shows products and page hierarchy, ready for designers to pick up and refine in InDesign. And best of all, it only takes minutes to create.

Design Brief from Matrix Software on Vimeo.

MatrixCMS is designed to streamline print production and centralise product information in five key ways. Here’s how it can help you bridge the gap between product management, project management and marketing…

Drag and drop creative briefs

Rather than asking your product teams to fill out a creative brief – a time-consuming and manual exercise in which they’re likely to encounter new and ambiguous instructions – MatrixCMS allows product teams to drag and drop product codes, descriptions and images onto a page to demonstrate which products need to be featured where. MatrixCMS then sends this document to your designers, who can refine the plan and design the page in InDesign.

Access to rich media assets

As well as raw product data, MatrixCMS can house product imagery and other rich media, so product managers have access to promotional materials from suppliers, plus content you’ve created in-house. Not only does this make it easier for them to add rich media to product descriptions (great for increasing online engagement), it makes it far simpler for them to see their options when it comes to images for print marketing, and identify images that have been used previously or are out of date. This way, they can manage visual assets in the same way they do data, so internal marketing teams will always have the most up to date imagery and assets.

Centralised product information

MatrixCMS stores all your product information in one central repository, so you have a single version of the truth that can then be pushed out to all your web and print channels, ensuring your product data is always consistent. It reduces the risk of customers encountering conflicting data if they check two sources, as all your channels can be updated at once. And because your staff are no longer manually updating each and every product on each and every channel, they have more time to invest in moving the business forward.

 

 

Template-driven automation

Common marketing types can be templated so that any staff member (or reseller, if you’re providing materials for people further down the sales chain) can update images and text, if the job is too small or time-critical to be referred to a dedicated team. For example, staff at Flight Centre produce personalised itineraries for each of their clients.

Integrated approval systems

Workflow tools are built right into MatrixCMS, so project managers can see the status of various pages of a project, and use automated alerts to ensure design, product and data teams get the right information at the right time. MatrixCMS also supports an automated approval workflow, where proofs are distributed, annotated and signed off from within the software, rather than incurring extra print costs by carrying out hard copy approvals.

Want to find out more? Give our team a call on 03332 400 888, email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Tips for tackling ecommerce in 2017

Tips for tackling ecommerce in 2017

Over the course of last year, ecommerce was worth £133 billion to the UK economy – a 16% year-on-year rise that was due in part to a 47% jump in the number of transactions carried out via smartphone.

With experts predicting ecommerce sales will jump by another 14% this year, failure to make the most of your online and mobile sales channels soon could see you missing out on a hefty slice of potential profit. With that in mind, we asked Jigsaw24’s ecommerce manager, Craig, to share some of his top tips.

Optimise your website for mobile use

“Last December saw a 47% year-on-year increase in the number of people doing their Christmas shopping on their smartphone, so having a responsive website that can recognise when a user is on their phone and present them with a mobile-friendly view is important. Nobody wants to have to click on extra links to be taken to the right version of the site, or be prompted to click out of their browser to download your app, which won’t have their browsing history in. Similarly, you need to make sure that any email comms you send out are optimised for mobile viewing in order to ensure maximum engagement.”

A/B test your checkout pages

“People are quick to A/B test subject lines, landing pages and content on their outbound comms, but often overlook their checkout pages. If you’re seeing a lot of dropped baskets (ie customers who start the purchasing process, but leave your site without confirming a purchase), try A/B testing the pages they encounter along the way to see which one is tripping people up.”

Get your logistics team on board

“The key to getting good word of mouth online, as in life, is to consistently deliver what you’ve promised. Yes, it feels good to write ‘free next day delivery’ in large letters on your checkout page, but if you can’t actually do it, all you’re going to do is disappoint people and lose repeat custom. Before launching a new offer or pushing a particular capability, put your heads together with your logistics crew and work out what’s feasible. By a similar token, you’ll need to brief your salespeople when you launch online or social-only offers, so that they don’t muddy the water or offer conflicting pricing.”

Know when to automate and when to personalise

“People are talking a lot about personalisation at the moment because, as we’ve previously reported, it can lead to increases in sales of up to 31%. Emails, welcome screens and offers that are directed at a single user can all increase engagement and promote brand loyalty, but while creating that content is worthwhile, it does take a little longer than producing your standard issue content.

“Happily, though, not everything has to be personalised, and you can automate or pre-schedule run rate tasks to save time. One area where this can be particularly effective is in social media. Obviously you need to have a real person keeping an eye on your accounts to respond to queries, follow up complaints and jump in with reactive marketing where appropriate, but a good scheduling tool will let you pre-plan updates ahead of time and automate their delivery and cross-channel sharing. Try scheduling posts for similar audiences at a range of times and measuring the response you get, so you can gauge when in the day it’s best to target those customers.”

 Use the right tools for the job

“The market leader in ecommerce analytics monitoring is obviously Google Analytics, and I recommend anyone looking at their ecommerce performance use it. However, in order to check that your traffic is being monitored correctly, it’s always best to take a look at your site through a second system, too – we like Clicky for this.

“If you want an at a glance overview of how different page elements are performing, heat maps are always good (and go down well in meetings, where no one wants to look at graphs). Hotjar and Crazy Egg are both popular here. I also like Screaming Frog for content audits.”

Not sure what you’re measuring?

If you want to see whether ecommerce platforms are helping your business grow, the KPI you want to be measuring is your cost per customer acquisition (CAC, for all you acronym collectors). This is the total spend on these channels over time, divided by the number of new customers you gain over the same period – ad spend divided by customers is a common shortcut to get to this number, but to get a truly accurate picture you need to factor in time, effort and internal systems costs as well.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that this is a distinct measurement from cost per action (ie how much you have to spend to close a deal), which is your total spend on ecommerce over time divided by the total number of transactions in that period from new and returning customers.

Where does Matrix come into this?

A valid question, given that it’s not a social media engine, or an analytics tool or any of the other things Craig mentioned. What it is, however, is a great way to speed up your core marketing activities so that you’re free to pay closer attention to new channels. As well as speeding up catalogue production for customers like Next, Boden, Christie’s Auction House and Bauer, MatrixCMS also allows you to automate the updating and management of your ecommerce platform, and can even be used to customise channels for different market segments, distributors and suppliers.

You can use it to convert print-ready images and assets into web-ready ones, and to enter data once and use it across all channels in a consistent and efficient way. This will not only enable you to get your products to market faster, but also improve the efficiency of your processes and ultimately reduce costs or increase capacity.

To find out more about MatrixCMS at an online demo, pop your details in the form here.

Want to know more? Call 0161 804 1850 or email info@matrixcms.com. To keep up with all the latest news and blogs, follow us on Twitter @matrixtweets or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Print in the digital age (or, why you should care about catalogues in 2017)

Print in the digital age (or, why you should care about catalogues in 2017)

Over the last few years, digital marketing has made its way to the heart of most companies’ marketing strategies. Whether you were won over by the instantaneous nature of social channels, the ‘stickiness’ of video content or the eye-popping possibilities afforded to us by recent advances in VR, chances are print is no longer the most exciting part of your marketing strategy. Which is odd, because it still works. 

As recently as mid-2015, the DMA were reporting direct mail response rates were nearly 600% higher than for digital channels, and it’s still pulling ahead of digital channels in this year’s report (heads up: it’s a paid paper). And research by Royal Mail has shown that, regardless of which age group you look at, 26.7% of consumers say that they’ve purchased something as the result of direct mail in the last year.

So why is direct mail still working?

A popular theory is that unlike, say, emails and social media notifications, which some consumers are receiving an almost overwhelming number of, well-crafted print pieces have rarity value. Their very unusualness makes them eye-catching and memorable, meaning your messaging stays front of mind for longer.

And if you combine this with personalisation – one of everyone’s predicted hot trends for 2017, as it leads to a rumoured lift in profits ranging from 31% to 10% depending on who you ask – you can use print to make a lasting impact on your audience.

Even the cost per acquisition, a metric that you’d assume would get increasingly shaky for print as online advertising becomes better targeted, has stayed reasonable thanks to the shift to digital printing and a variable print workflow, which allows greater economy at smaller scales. You can even provide different areas of your organisation with templated documentation that they can personalise for customers and then send to print on an as-needed basis.

This means you can supply customers or groups with uniquely targeted content and still have money left over to invest in other channels, something that’s reflected in the fact that 52% of DMA respondents are now combining at least three channels on any given campaign. A highly personalised print piece can be used to generate initial impact, then transition customers over digital channels such as email and social. It also provides an element of trustworthiness – we’re all more likely to open the brochure of a company we don’t know than click on their pop-up add – that can translate to more ready engagement on the consumer’s part once you’ve moved them to the digital pipeline.

Streamlining print production

While many of us are already cutting print costs by opting for digital over offset printing, it’s also worth bearing in mind that streamlining in-house production can bring down the cost of print media by making things more efficient in-house.

Centralised, accurate data, a streamlined approvals amends process and easy-to-use team management tools all help make things run more smoothly. Seeing them combined with PIM and CRM functionality in tools like MatrixCMS is likely to become increasingly common as we see the demand for content become more immediate and the number of channels content is duplicated to increases. After all, why update your catalogues and web platforms separately when you could drive them both from the same system?

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook