Brand Management

What is Web-to-Publish software and why should marketers care?

Simply, Web-to-Publish as it is also known, enables your marketing teams to produce top-notch artworks in-house – no digital or design skills required. Better still, this technology makes huge savings in marketing production costs and drives up brand compliance and consistency at the same time.

So that’s not a bad start, is it? Let’s drill down a bit and find out how web-to-print helps to make all this good stuff happen.

But first take note that it’s important to have your platform integrated with, or part of, a digital asset management platform. Successful web-to-print depends crucially on having direct access to approved, consistent brand imagery, logos and values. A web-to-publish platform separated from a DAM will only result in another isolated silo of information – and that means potential trouble with the risk of wrong images or information being selected, as well as a lot more time taken to shift images from one system to another.

How does it work?

Essentially web-to-print is an automation tool that makes the editing of marketing materials a piece of cake. Your design team or agency tags frequently-used marketing artworks turning them into web-to-print templates. Once uploaded into your DAM platform, the text and images that were tagged up become dynamic fields in the template that can be edited in real-time and output as omni-channel marketing content.

Users log in via their web browser, ready to edit preconfigured, approved dynamic templates – no need for any additional skills or third-party software. Thus marketing teams can create their own customised, on-brand marketing materials on-the-go and at low cost.

So why does this matter to marketers?

Here are five reasons your team needs web-to-print software:

 

Controlled brand governance

Managing a brand and overseeing consistency can be a tough call, particularly if you have decentralised teams working in different geographic locations that need to localise their artwork. With web-to-print, frequently-used marketing artworks can be turned into dynamic templates, each pre-approved for brand compliance and pre-designed to allow specific fields and images to be updatable. Users easily produce consistent on-brand, localised marketing materials – all to an approved design.

Web-to-Print Mitsubishi
Web-to-Print Mitsubishi
Fast artwork turnaround

There’s no need to brief an agency or internal design team to make changes that might take days; users can self-serve and edit artwork themselves.  They don’t need design skills or specialised programmes. They fetch the relevant artwork from the DAM platform, select the template they need, click to open, make any changes and watch it update in real-time on-screen.

Templates can be designed to be ‘intelligent’, so if you need to change the dimensions, the artwork shifts within the parameters. If you need to amend pricing from sterling to US dollars in an ad, for example, other details associated with product availability or specification in that country will change too. Even multi-page documents can be edited from within one screen, and edited templates can be saved in the DAM system for re-editing or reuse.

 

Cost savings

We calculate that the conventional briefing, artwork modification and approval process for a single piece of artwork will take an average of 6.5 hours. At a conservative average of £20 per hour salary cost, each artwork amend will rack up to £130. Scale that up across dozens of artworks, or multiple regional teams, and suddenly you’re looking at thousands of pounds in costs. Now compare it with the few minutes it takes one person to update a web-to-print template and issue a digital or print-ready proof. Makes you think!

 

Reuse of marketing artworks

Because artworks can be reused multiple times, the cost of creating the dynamic template reduces to pennies per iteration.  Unnecessary duplication of artwork is minimised too because centralised, accessible marketing content and artworks makes everyone involved aware of what’s been created previously, so only content that is genuinely needed and doesn’t yet exist gets created.  Even better, requests from local teams in the field for localised marketing materials will reduce by as much as 90 per cent as users can find and create their own.

University of Greenwich Web-to-Publish
University of Greenwich Web-to-Publish
Automated processes

A range of management tasks is also taken care of. Inefficiencies cause marketing processes to slow down, which can be detrimental to time-sensitive projects and deadlines, but Web-to-Publish ensures teams collaborate more effectively and can operate to tight deadlines.

Additional integrated features improve efficiencies further. With an Approval Workflow module in the DAM platform, for example, users can submit their artwork amends for approval before they go live. And by connecting to an Ordering Widget in the DAM users can place an order for printed marketing materials immediately after completing their edits.

 

What our clients tell us

Two of our clients, the University of Greenwich and Mitsubishi Motors, are successfully using an intelligent Web-to-Publish tool, integrated into their digital asset management platforms, to improve processes and marketing ROI. You’ll find case studies we’ve published here reveal further inspiring evidence of how, by centralising, managing and repurposing digital assets and marketing artworks in one platform, teams can be empowered to produce brand consistent and cost-effective communications themselves.

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