Look ma, no hands Digitally enable print to reach an online audience

Posted by tom klein June 15, 2007 at 2:30 am

Think print media will die because you can’t click it? Think again.

Olive Software’s Active Paper can recreate a publication so that it has the look and feel of the original, but is accessible online. Print publications like Red Herring and The Denver Post show that all of the investment in beautiful fonts and graphics hasn’t been wasted, but now the links are alive and functional – and pointing readers to advertisers. Move over PDF, the moment you web enable your publication this way, you’re in the online advertising business.

If you market a publication or even if you’re just looking to bring a print document to a web audience, don’t let your old notions fool you. Print’s being redefined and can offer a direct line of sight to an online business … and a global online audience.

To enable this transformation from print to online, Olive software takes print documents and translates them into XML (extensible markup language). Think of this language as a way of defining different parts and pieces of a print document so that a computer program can understand. Once a program knows the difference between a title and a byline, the magic can happen.

Even if you’re not a publisher, you may be printing documents that are good candidates for transformation and not even know it. Boeing decided that its Delta IV Payload Planners Guide (it’s a rocket) for the spacecraft user community needed to be electronically enabled. What used to be a printed doorstop now lives online. Your user guides could be candidates as well.

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  Start from one Don’t reinvent, look to SlideShare as a presentation resource

Posted by tom klein June 12, 2007 at 2:30 am

Do you ever get the sinking feeling we’re all just creating the same PowerPoint documents?

SlideShare can come to your rescue as the “YouTube of PowerPoint” – a place where you can share your presentations and find other ones (by companies, consultants, financial analysts) that might help you avoid any painful slide reinvention.  Whether it’s a business plan, learning how to leverage social networks for results, or picking up tips on sales ROI benchmarking, you can search and find what’s relevant because the presentations have been tagged with key words. 

At the same time, don’t let your own great presentations languish.  You’ll find that once you’ve put your own presentations online, it’s easier to put them to work for your sales force, customers, and prospects.

In just a minute or two, you can post your own presentations. Once uploaded, the slideshows can be viewed in both a small version and full screen - suitable for you to use in a presentation if need be. In addition, based on the preferences of the user, some presentations can also be downloaded as PDF’s for offline viewing.

Remember to respect copyright laws and give attribution where it’s deserved.  At the same time, before you get started, be sure to implement precautions to prevent disclosure of confidential information.

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  More ant than grasshopper Bring all of your marketing elements together in a customer blog

Posted by tom klein June 5, 2007 at 2:30 am

At some level, the reason for integrating marketing investments is to create results that are greater than the sum of the parts. If that’s the case, why not make it easier for your customer to integrate your marketing?

Enter the blog (short for web log) – the web version of a free, blank sheet of paper. Consider using this resource to literally integrate all of your marketing in the voice of your target customer. The 7 Days in a Sentra blog moves in this direction. It highlights how a blog can create a narrative that knits together all of your marketing efforts. It’s an informed stream of consciousness to make sure that your biggest fans don’t miss out on anything.

You spend so much time aligning the timing of your marketing investments. Why not create one, simple place where your customer can tell the story as it’s unveiled. You can create blog postings months in advance – don’t let the perception of daily publishing keep you from putting blogs to work.

Blog search engine Technorati currently tracks more than 71 million blogs. Just like this email, by blogging you create something that your target customers can subscribe to by RSS – just as we described in Bring It On.

What’s exciting about using blogs for marketing is the ability to abandon (okay, loosen the ties of) the control of your company website. Depending on your target, you may not even have to worry about grammar. The smarter you are about your target customer, the better your blog can be.

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  You're gonna be a star Put low cost print on demand to work for your brand

Posted by tom klein June 4, 2007 at 2:30 am

It’s hard to beat web publishing . . . unless you want to reach someone who travels or need to communicate something that’s more than a page or two long. If you have a complex product or service, it would be foolish to avoid the dead tree format – paperback and hardback books.

Consider writing a book to tell your entire story, and then using Print on Demand (”POD”)services to avoid the costs and hassle of inventory. At POD publisher Lulu, you can print 100 standard paperback books (each with 100 pages) for less than $500.00. Printing turnaround is a matter of days and the prices continue to go lower as quantities increase.

Give your sales force something to really think about beyond standard powerpoints from the sales meeting. Help your prospect or current customer understand a critical process or key element of differentiation. In so many cases, your brand would benefit from telling the whole story.

A vanity press or vanity publisher is a book printer which, while claiming to be a publisher, charges writers a fee in return for publishing their books or otherwise makes most of its money from the author rather than from the public. Availability of print on demand has made vanity publishing much less appealing.

Identify that combination of target and product that would really benefit from a longer, more detailed, more thorough explanation. Think what you would say to your Top 100 customers. Raise the bar on the value of your content - no boring 100 page sales pitches. You'll be rewarded with attention of someone who's very important to your business. Business Week's best selling business books

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