interactive media

Retail Marketing – Maximising Your Resources.

Posted by 30 Jan, 2013

The figures just released on Retail Sales over the Christmas period is a good indicator on the power and continual rise of online shopping and trading.  Increasingly it is not just components such as cameras, computers and non perishable easily posted items that are purchased online.  Retail businesses generally and particularly in creative,  fashion and […]

The figures just released on Retail Sales over the Christmas period is a good indicator on the power and continual rise of online shopping and trading.  Increasingly it is not just components such as cameras, computers and non perishable easily posted items that are purchased online.  Retail businesses generally and particularly in creative,  fashion and interior furnishing sectors need to focus on how they can  maximise sales and drive their margins by using online marketing channels.

As a case in point a Client I have worked with over many years contacted me a couple of months before Christmas.  He had recently been appointed as marketing manager of a specialist, sustainable flooring company in Bristol and looking to see how digital marketing could expand sales of new products, drive special offers and stimulate interest and imagination in potential customers.  Whilst their core business was in providing personalised, high quality carpeting and flooring solutions for commercial and domestic customers locally, they now wanted to reach beyond their business base in Bristol and the South West.

I therefore spent some time going through their business marketing model and identifying where modern technologies and marketing channels could be used to drive the business.  They already had a good working web site so the key areas were identified as follows:

1. Email promotion of special offers and new products to their existing customer database.

 

2. Instore digital signage to create product awareness and stimulate customer interest.

3. Website promotion of special offers, fashion items and accessories.

4. A new web module enabling web customers to create their own flooring design from a wide range of options, have it made and delivered all online.

5. Using Social Media channels to create conversation, interaction and awareness.

Following these initial discussions in October Applause has now provided the following digital media solutions:

    • Product photography
    • Digital signage programme running on plasma screens in store
    • A new special offer sustainable rugs feature on the Naked Flooring website
    • A ‘Happy Christmas and New Year email to existing customers with special offers on fashion items and new product and we are shortly to go live with a new ‘My Rug Creator’ feature.
    • If you would like your own customised Sisal Flooring – click here!

I am also now working with their team to develop and create engaging social media conversations through SM channels.  In addition I will be helping their team analyse web traffic and direct sales result to determine the return on their investment.

Postcript: ROI achieved in within four weeks of the site module going live!

(0) Comment Categories : interactive media, internet and web, Projects 2012

DVD Publishing – An Offline Success

Posted by 28 Jun, 2011

When learning a new subject or skill, especially if self teaching, a continual and easy access to learning resources is a fundamental part of the process.  This is particularly relevant in pan global, multi language and multi cultural situations where connection to the internet or provision of modern computer equipment may not be available. In […]

When learning a new subject or skill, especially if self teaching, a continual and easy access to learning resources is a fundamental part of the process.  This is particularly relevant in pan global, multi language and multi cultural situations where connection to the internet or provision of modern computer equipment may not be available.

In my own experience, it’s a huge benefit to  have  manuals, tutorials, video all at hand so I can instantly cross reference from one media to another,  mix animated demonstration or video with detailed study in text form and listen to audio description without having to consider the Internet. As, whilst an almost inexhaustible library of research material, it can also be quite frustrating.  Setting aside the issues of connectivity and bandwidth, for the provider the cost of delivering constant access to such large quantities of media rich applications on a continual basis going forward can be prohibitive.  For the user constant online access over a long period of time to media rich material can also be expensive consequently the benefit of  having everything on your hard drive in your own computer is clear.

A company with huge expertise in this area is International publisher Macmillan Education. With over 150 years of publishing experience and operating in over 130 countries they work with local teachers, students, institutions, and educational authorities to develop high-quality coursebooks, supplementary materials and digital products to suit the needs of classrooms around the world.

At the end of 2010 Macmillan asked Lemon Digital and Applause to provide an interactive DVD resource for two of their forthcoming projects;  ‘Learning Teaching’ a training manual first published in 1994, now revised as a third edition and to be complemented with a DVD training video produced by MTJ Video in Oxford and a range of digital publications provided in pdf format;   ‘The Business’ a DVD resource bank  at pre-intermediate to advanced level, containing a massive resource of video, worksheets, teachers notes, authentic listening activities, Powerpoint and more.

applause, macmillan the business dvd

Both interactive Enhanced DVDs were to be distributed world-wide and required accessibility across a wide range of media platforms, basic DVD player, PC and Macintosh computers Applause were asked to develop the programmes which would then be exhaustively tested across virtually all known combinations of hardware and software  by Testronic Labs in London.  Both titles passed out with flying colours and are now available on Macmillan’s website.

Learning Teaching

The Business

Guy Jackson at Macmillan commented “The Enhanced DVD was a steep learning curve for us but Applause worked tirelessly and patiently on both projects taking complete responsibility for the builds. We handed over the assets and let them get on with it!”

 

(0) Comment Categories : design for print, interactive media, Projects 2011

Banham Locks – Digital Signage Case Study

Posted by 17 Dec, 2010

Applause recently teamed up with one of the south west’s leading digital signage companies Inurfacemedia to deliver a retail display signage solution for Banham Locks London showrooms.  Banham Locks is an established business of 80 years and now one of the largest suppliers of burglary prevention systems in London. They had expanded their business portfolio and […]

Applause recently teamed up with one of the south west’s leading digital signage companies Inurfacemedia to deliver a retail display signage solution for Banham Locks London showrooms.  Banham Locks is an established business of 80 years and now one of the largest suppliers of burglary prevention systems in London. They had expanded their business portfolio and wanted to inform customers visiting their showrooms of products and services that they might not necessarily be aware of.

Inurfacemedia were commissioned to provide a range of digital signage display units and teamed up with Applause in providing media rich product information to customers and visitors browsing in-store and viewing  street side.  Banham said ” We have found the signage systems an invaluable resource to introduce customers, who traditionally purchase one type of security product, to other areas of our our business such as fire protection, garage and window security and cctv monitoring. In addition we have noticed  increased footfall due to the window display units which engage and interest street browsing.

For more information:

Inurfacemedia Digital Signage Systems
Applause Signage Media Solutions

(1) Comment Categories : interactive media, Projects 2010

Sending Forms – A Professional Answer

Posted by 26 Jul, 2010

Sending forms has been a real problem for small businesses who need to get information back from customers and want to retain the branding and professional identity of documents sent out on behalf of their company.  Here is a technique from Applause that will enable you to achieve this. Until recently if you wanted to […]

Sending forms has been a real problem for small businesses who need to get information back from customers and want to retain the branding and professional identity of documents sent out on behalf of their company.  Here is a technique from Applause that will enable you to achieve this.

pdfForms

Until recently if you wanted to send a simple form for a client or potential customer to complete and return to you there have been four broad options

1. send a word document – pretty much works but difficult to design and layout properly; and your carefully crafted fonts will disappear on receipt, usually screwing up the layout at the same time.
2. send a printable pdf –  this works, design and layout are retained but can’t be electronically completed and returned thus taking you back to fax or post.
3. create a web based form – works well but a lot more work, requires technical staff to manage or outsourcing to developers.  Either way it is expensive.
4. create an xml coded pdf – again this works well but as in 3. above needs qualified people to administer.

For large businesses or systems using standard forms on a mass scale clearly the web route works best, but for SME’s the cost of this route can be prohibitive.  For smaller operations MS Word or resorting to print and fax has been the answer, and anyone who has ever tried to creatively brand and format a Word document will be aching for a better way . . .

. . . and so here it is.

With the latest upgrade to Adobe Acrobat the age old problem of not being able to save edited pdf has now been removed. It is now possible to create forms  in a design programmes such as Quark, Illustrator, InDesign using creative design, images, logos, brand fonts and typographical design export these to pdf and then add all the data fields you want the recipient to complete and return to you.  The finished pdf can be easily managed by non technical staff who simply email to the recipient who complete the form and email by return.

Hey presto, clear, well designed forms that retain brand identity and professionalism managed simply.

Adobe haven’t exactly made this crystal clear but here is the method to produce editable AND saveable documents

1. Create your branded form in your preferred software package and export to pdf
2. Using Acrobat Professional ( you can’t do this in the Reader sadly) open the pdf

3. In the menu bar below the main menu find and select ‘Forms’ and ‘Start from Wizard’.  Go through the wizard process Acrobat will create a new version of your pdf and will have tried to insert all the forms fields guessing where they should be.  If you’ve made your form field areas pretty obvious the wizard is pretty good and will have sorted it all for you.
4. Now you can fix the fields where the wizard has got it wrong, adjust and edit to suit or add more as required.
5. Save the form using a different name and reopen.  Youl will now see all your field areas, check boxes  etc. (important to Save as a different file name as you can’t go back to the original)
5. The final step is to make the form editable and savable in Reader. Go to the ‘Advanced’ menu and select ‘Enable Useage Rights in Adobe Reader.  Now you have a form that can be emailed completed and returned

Send a test email to a colleague, get them to complete and return to check all is OK.

Job Done

If you need any help with this process please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call 0117 933 4416 or 07770 750327

(1) Comment Categories : design for print, interactive media, Projects 2010

Screensavers – The Original Digital Signage

Posted by 22 Apr, 2010

Computer screensavers have been around for well over a decade now,  whereas digital signage is the recent emergence of massive plasma screens at exhibitions and stadiums. So how do these connect? Well although you might be more used to a screensaver displaying a personal photo or some excessively garish cartoon, and  of course its original […]

Computer screensavers have been around for well over a decade now,  whereas digital signage is the recent emergence of massive plasma screens at exhibitions and stadiums. So how do these connect?

Well although you might be more used to a screensaver displaying a personal photo or some excessively garish cartoon, and  of course its original purpose was to prevent ‘image burn’ on old cathode ray tube monitors.  Nevertheless in one sense they both provide a similar function  in delivering information to anyone in the vicinity or walking past.

interactive screensavers from applause

The potential to use these screens to reach out and inform has been utilised by Active Assistance a company working in the live-in care sector who’s purpose is to create choice and independence for those they care for.  Working with their designers Soap Marketing based in Portishead near Bristol they created a series of images specifically designed to attract attention combined with key messages (chocolate cake always gets our attention!).  Soap then commissioned Applause to turn these images into interactive Flash screensavers combining animated sequences of imagery and messaging. The finished screensavers where delivered as a simple 10 second install program in a range of computer screen formats to suit all types of machine.

Active Assistance’s computers throughout their offices and public areas now reinforce the company brand message of personal choice in care.  In addition the visual reminders of cake and latte may potentially also improve sales in the local fitness centre!

applause screensavers

(0) Comment Categories : interactive media, Projects 2010

Is the CD/DVD Training and Business to Business Communication Tool Dead ?

Posted by 16 Feb, 2010

In 1991 Applause took delivery of one of the first 2 x speed Philips CDROM recorders for the princely sum of £7000 and here it is … About the size of a very large amplifier – and certainly wouldn’t go in the drive bay of your PC.  Today a more sophisicated version would set you […]

In 1991 Applause took delivery of one of the first 2 x speed Philips CDROM recorders for the princely sum of £7000 and here it is …phillipsCDrecorder-SML About the size of a very large amplifier – and certainly wouldn’t go in the drive bay of your PC.  Today a more sophisicated version would set you back around a tenner!  During  the nineties and early ‘noughties’ the rewritable CD quickly established itself as a means of delivering media rich business communications. They came through the post, arriving in the conventional round form,  cut out shaped versions even business cards and were fully browseable  interactive marvels.

The web, however, was going to change things Sir Tim Berners Lee’s
proposal in march of 1989 was to formulate what we now know as the worldwide web.  In the early stages this didn’t really impact on the CDROM simply because of the severe limitations of software technology and data connection speed.  A photograph of any reasonable size could take an age to appear on screen, video and animated graphics restricted to tiny content windows  So CDROM and its big brother the DVD continued to be the media of choice.  The  web, in the meanwhile,  was gaining ground.  Increased bandwidth and continuous upgrade and improvement of programming technologies and facilities meant that as of today a web page can have pretty much all of the features a CD or DVD can provide plus a lot more.

So is the CD/DVD dead … surprisingly not.  Rather like the cinema when the siren voices announced its death at the launch of television, the CD and DVD ROM seem to have found their niche markets in digital signage for conference and exhibition and retail display, as a  means of reliable communication in developing countries and in helping its old adversary by driving websites forward. When technology becomes easier and cheaper it also becomes more accessible, thus although not many organisations could afford the twenty or thirty thousand pounds a multi-media CDROM could cost in 1995 so many more can afford the few hundred pounds it can cost today.

The huge reduction in cost of digital display screens and players has meant that a 42″ lcd screen and dvd player can cost  under £500 making it a viable and easy to maintain  the means of displaying product and brand information to customers who walk into your reception area, or attract potential business from those who walk past your shop window.

For charities  and organisations who work tirelessly to communicate and inform the health and community professionals working in developing countries, where a battered old TV and player is just as likely, maybe more likely  than a sophisticated broadband network. It is a brilliant way of sending training video, interactive browsable media together with attached further reading files and links to websites for further information where internet access is available.

Is the CD/DVD dead?  No – in this world of downloads, uploads,online backup, streaming, mobile apps and squillions of web pages there are still oft times when you think …. where’s my installation disc, where are my photos, I’m presenting in 2 minutes WHERE IS MY WIFI!!

(0) Comment Categories : conference & exhibition, interactive media

DVD Video Presentations for Remington and Alfa Romeo

Posted by 7 Sep, 2009

Whilst on-line web based  media is now very effective at delivering video and rich media content DVD still has a unique place in providing high quality video using  simple and uninterruptable technology. Two projects just completed involved encoding and editing high definition HD video source material into looped interactive dvd video discs for exhibition and […]

Whilst on-line web based  media is now very effective at delivering video and rich media content DVD still has a unique place in providing high quality video using  simple and uninterruptable technology.

alfaTwo projects just completed involved encoding and editing high definition HD video source material into looped interactive dvd video discs for exhibition and showroom digital signage display.   In each case discs were replicated and distributed to showrooms or retail outlets throughout the country and displayed continuously at exhibition sites.

remington

Technology involved is simply a display plasma or LCD TV and a DVD player eliminating the need for sophisticated equipment with it attendant security issues or web based connections.

Short of a complete power failure the programmes will run and interactivity easily controlled by the player remote.

Video content can also be encoded to run on standalone digital signage displays or delivered online to mobile devices and video player.

(0) Comment Categories : conference & exhibition, interactive media, Projects 2009

Digital Signage Display for Alfa Showrooms

Posted by 24 Aug, 2009

Alfa Romeo dealerships around the country will be using digital signage technology LCD screens to display video of the new Alfa Romeo Mito and ‘159’ models, illustrating key engineering philosophies and lifestyle enhancement with corporate marketing video and customer testimonials. Video footage has been edited and encoded to provide a series of looped DVD video.  […]

alfaMitoAlfa Romeo dealerships around the country will be using digital signage technology LCD screens to display video of the new Alfa Romeo Mito and ‘159’ models, illustrating key engineering philosophies and lifestyle enhancement with corporate marketing video and customer testimonials. Video footage has been edited and encoded to provide a series of looped DVD video.  DVD masters then duplicated for distribution to dealerships.

(0) Comment Categories : interactive media, Projects 2009

Premier Business Audio – Flash Audio Mixer

Posted by 27 Oct, 2008

Premier Business audio help their clients to stand-out from their competitors, by maximising each point of contact by considering  sensory contacts that are often overlooked.  One of these being audio. PBA wanted to be able to give visitors to their website the ability to ‘play’ with sound, mixing various music and voice over tracks to see how this service could […]

Premier Business audio help their clients to stand-out from their competitors, by maximising each point of contact by considering  sensory contacts that are often overlooked.  One of these being audio.

PBA wanted to be able to give visitors to their website the ability to ‘play’ with sound, mixing various music and voice over tracks to see how this service could help their marketing efforts.  Applause provided an interactive audio mixer, programmed in Flash actionscript 3, which enabled viewers to select modules such as ‘Christmas Messages’, Business to Business, ‘On-Hold Messaging’ then pick from a selection of tracks and then mix them to create differing effects.  The finished Flash .swf file was emailed to PBA who themselves programmed it into their Content Managed web site.

image of flash audio mixer

Want to play??  visit Premier Business Audio’s site

premier business audio
(0) Comment Categories : interactive media, internet and web