Marketing Production in the COVID-19 Era: What You Need to Know

Today’s society is one of constant motion. Fast and furious; forward — and suddenly, everything shuts down to protect the most vulnerable populations from a nasty virus in a matter of days, or even hours. It’s a time of navigating uncharted waters, and it’s left many feeling nervous and unsettled in both their home lives and their work lives.

In these uncertain times, many are unsure about how to proceed; with their daily life, with their families, and with their work. The entire globe has been impacted by this virus, and in countries across the world, people are pulling together to fight, prevent, and heal in countless ways. It’s inspiring to see so many working for the greater good, and for the health of their neighbors, but it opens up questions about how work can continue during social distancing and quarantines.

As the coronavirus continues to spread globally, millions of office workers are required by local governments to work-from-home with very little notice. This is causing massive interruptions for organizations without a comprehensive plan in place to access mission critical systems and databases to keep your processes moving forward.

Things are completely up in the air globally, with news reports and health recommendations changing seemingly by the minute. It can feel overwhelming unless one stops to look for the opportunity. Right now is the perfect time for businesses to reevaluate how they operate, and the future they can create during this critical time.

Marketing Production & Working from Home

For many, working from home might feel like getting thrown in the deep end to learn how to swim. It’s a challenging time; finding strategies to be managing and maintaining marketing campaigns and creating content from home.

Questions and problems might arise in this new work-from-home era, no matter the industry. Things like:

  • Laptops that can’t process large amounts of data or lack the security and applications of an office computer.
  • Connecting to office or remote servers can be slow and clunky, and workers can’t easily access the data they need.
  • Employees don’t have all the necessary data to complete work accurately. They need things like images, brand copy, and access to price lists or other vital information, but they don’t have access to it.
  • Delay in communication between team members means employees struggle to know where the team is in the course of the workflow, and what still needs to be done.
  • Storefront retail establishments are closed, which means data posted to the web may be inaccurate– all while online ordering, curbside pick-up, and home delivery are experiencing rapid growth. How can content correctly reflect inventory?

Issues like these and more are being tackled by workers all across the world right now – it’s a lot to handle all at once, and there’s more and more workflow coordination that must be implemented and maintained.

Moving Forward

Things won’t ever be the same after this pandemic ends –which it will– and that’s good news. Business will take many new key learnings away from this time of social distancing and self-isolation, and adapt and commit to digital transformation, making their operations stronger in the future.

With so much technology available, companies can harness the capabilities available in the digital age to grow the way their employees work and communicate from any location.

There’s no better time than this to implement employee cloud-based access to applications and data, with one enterprise system replacing multiple-point solutions. Multiple systems mean multiple web sessions and potential challenges that could easily be eliminated.

What other changes can be implemented moving forward?

  • Companies can develop built-in workflow processes and stage gates so that remote teams know always what tasks are in their jobs folder– from any location. These workflow processes can outline exactly what needs to be done (and by whom) and can include all of the required data. This data needs to be available locally for remote teams to work accurately and efficiently.
  • This is the time to create a remote workflow plan that accounts for scenarios like this one. Is critical data replicated in more than one place? Essential members of sales and marketing teams should be able to access all critical marketing assets so that workflows continue without disruptions during and after a pandemic–or any other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Companies need bi-directional connections between data and creative marketing content. Uninterrupted access to secure InDesign documents, means DAM and PIM systems have never been more critical for a remote workforce.

We are a pioneer in multichannel media, which means we can make sure your team is always ready to work from any location in the world.

Want us to improve your workflow processes? Contact us today!


Comosoft-

Comosoft presents LAGO in Japan

Comosoft visited the PAGE 2020 to present our Multichannel Software LAGO.

Japan it was a pleasure!

From Wednesday 05/02/2020 until this Friday we attended the yearly PAGE 2020 that took place in the  Sunshine City Convention Center in Tokyo, Japan. The exhibition was assembled around the topics Digital, Print and Marketing for B2B customers and took place for the 33rd time this year. Of course we presented our Software LAGO and as you can see our audience was very keen to learn more about it . We are looking back on three exciting days of networking and presenting LAGO at the PAGE 2020.

Our Head of Product Management Paul and our Managing Director Peter presented  Live-Demos, to show the benefits of LAGO helping you in your Print Publishing process. We would like to thank the around 66,000 specialists, who attended the PAGE 2020 from following industries:

  • Living | Paper & Paper Products
  • Printing & Publishing
  • Information
  • Telecommunication
  • Data Processing
  • Computer


Ikea-award-eversfrank

IKEA's most eco-friendly print supplier

IKEA's most eco-friendly print supplier:

The Eversfrank Group wins IKEA Tulip Award

Sweden, October 2019 – On the evening of 9 October, the Swedish furniture chain IKEA hosted its annual Tulip Awards. Year after year, IKEA awards the prize in the form of a wooden tulip for the best printing performance in the production of its current catalogue. The Eversfrank Group is one of the prizewinners and scored highly with its sustainable print production concepts. Now the Scandinavian colleagues of the Eversfrank Group have brought the prize to Germany, where it was happily received by Managing Director Axel Polei. 

31 printing companies from 24 countries accepted the invitation to the small Swedish town of Älmhult, where the IKEA headquarters are located. The Eversfrank Group won the coveted prize in the “Sustainability” category for the “Best Sustainable Initiative” – after just two years of working with the Swedish furniture store giant. With its two largest production sites in Meldorf and Preetz, the printing company is now one of IKEA’s best printing suppliers. IKEA was particularly impressed by the print production according to the so-called “Healthy Printing” concept, with which the Eversfrank Group produces print products in an exceptionally sustainable way.

“In the spring and summer of this year, we produced a part of the IKEA annual catalogue”, says Ulf Malmberg, Manager Business Development of the Eversfrank Group, who closely supervises IKEA’s print production. “We have been continuously working on making our processes and production sequences even more environmentally friendly for years. Together with IKEA, we wanted to go one step further and implemented printing in accordance with the criteria of the Healthy Printing Principle.

Ikea-award-eversfrank

As a member company of the Healthy Printing Initiative, the Eversfrank Group is committed to working towards healthy print products in the long term by actively supporting positive impacts rather than just minimizing negative ones. “For example, we are working to ensure that all ingredients and materials in the printed paper cycle become a useful biological or technical resource for other processes,” explains Hauke Klinck, Environmental Manager of the Eversfrank Group. “Our long-term goal is to produce printed products that contain 100% defined biocompatible components that are safe to compost, can be used in other products, or can be incinerated without a contaminant filter. For IKEA, a catalogue production was made possible, among other things, by changing the sheet and roller colours to the Cradle to Cradle® standard with improved and sustainable properties.”

Axel Polei, Managing Director of the Eversfrank Group in Meldorf, emphasizes that the award is due to all employees who have worked energetically with IKEA and contributed to this success. “It is highly motivating to be honoured by such a renowned customer and it shows us that the environmentally conscious path we have been taking for years is the right one,” he concludes.


PIM-Point Accuracy


PIM-Point Accuracy

When a retailer has hundreds of thousands of SKUs and over 2,000 stores, how can it leverage all that data effectively—and profitably—in its public marketing efforts?

Enterprise databases are not built from scratch. They certainly do not spring into existence fully-formed, complete with a high-profile launch event. Rather, these dinosaurs of the IT world evolve slowly—and successfully—from their primordial ancestors. Engineered to handle huge volumes of complex data, such systems are powerful enough to support large, complicated businesses.

This awesome power comes at a cost, however. Because they have evolved from previous, often arcane systems, enterprise databases are notoriously slow to adapt to changing market conditions and disruptive new technology.

So Many SKUs, So Little Time

Such is the case with Product Information Management or PIM systems. When a company manufactures or sells a product, data from a PIM are used to keep track of every aspect, from colors, size variants, and part numbers to serial numbers, optional accessories, and specifications. Each item, known as a Stock Keeping Unit or SKU, also has pricing information, inventory levels and locations, manufacturing details, and a host of marketing data. The latter, usually product descriptions, photos, and even videos, are kept in a separate but somehow related database called a Digital Asset Management or DAM system.

That’s a lot of data. For each SKU, there may be dozens or even hundreds of data points. Usually, these not all in the same database but spread over several related but very different systems. Each has its own, important business purpose and each much share information in order to manage that particular product. One particular department—product marketing—must access almost everything related to a particular SKU.

Now, multiply that problem by 400,000.

Home improvement retail giant Lowe’s handles that number of products and more, selling them from any of its 2,000 stores—plus its online sales portal. To market this vast array of products successfully, the company must find a way to leverage millions of data combinations—and do so in a way that guides the shopper to just the right product at just the right price.

Up to the Challenge

In August, Multichannel Merchant published a case study describing how Lowe’s and PureRED (Lowe’s digital agency) were able to solve a complex, data-intensive marketing problem — the retail circular. Using the LAGO system from Comosoft, product marketing managers and designers were able to identify and prioritize SKUs for a campaign and, using data from both PIM and DAM systems, import each product into a well-designed Adobe InDesign template.

 

Much of the detailed circular production work (e.g., formatting and populating tables, finding the right product image) became highly automated. Pricing and other data were linked to the original data source, so a last-minute change to the latter would automatically update the former—right up to the moment the file was generated for the printer. The potential for errors was greatly reduced.

The massive data juggling act at Lowe’s is even more impressive when you consider that each individual store circular, although similar in overall design, is unique in terms of featured products and sale prices. Multiply each data-intensive printed circular by the over 2,000 Lowe’s stores that use them on a daily basis.

lago-software

The Digital Shift

The PIM/DAM dilemma would be hard enough if printed circulars were the only marketing channel. (LAGO is also used for other complex, versioned print products, notably catalogs.) However, digital marketing—especially mobile apps—have upended the plans of most retail marketers. A digitally produced circular ad must not only be attractive, informative, and easily findable, it must also be an “E-Z button” for buying the item.

Think about it. An ad for a screwdriver set on a store’s mobile app not only has to show the user what it is, and how much it costs (with prices changing at any moment), but also similar items, customer reviews, and whether it’s in stock or available for delivery.

That’s a lot of data. Fortunately, as the case study shows, the same PIM/DAM data acrobatics used to streamline print circular production could be repurposed to populate the Lowe’s mobile app.

Reaching the Target

By definition, product marketing must be nimble and responsive to consumer habits and preferences. Online and mobile tools are ideal vehicles for connecting with today’s customers. However, only if the massive amounts of product data can be accurately and cost-effectively managed—behind the pretty face of an ad or app—can the targeted message reach the consumer.


Case Study: Bass Pro Shops

Check out this in-depth case study to see how Bass Pro Shops is using Comosoft LAGO
to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their retail marketing operations.

 


Press Release

COMOSOFT EXPANDS THE SOUTH AMERICAN MARKET 

Comosoft successfully continues course of internationalization and finds the right partner in Brand&Label to develop the Latin American market. 

South American digital transformation experts company Brand&Label SPA and Comosoft form a strong cooperation in South America (LATAM market).

Hamburg/Chile, February 2017: Comosoft, one of the leading providers of multichannel solutions for the segments „Consumer Goods & Retail“, „Mail order & E-Commerce“ as well as „Industry“ continue their course of international expansion launched over 16 years ago and have found the perfect partner in Brand&Label. The aim is to support businesses on the Latin American market actively both in digital transformation as well as with omnichannel commerce.

A solid foundation was laid more than 16 years ago with Comosoft‘s venture into the North American market: leading US agencies as well as some of the world‘s largest retailers (such as e.g. Sears, Lowe‘s, Walgreens, Bass Pro) from a wide range of segments rely on Comosoft GmbH‘s technical competence. About the time Comosoft GmbH entered the North American market, an important and successful trading firm for cosmetics in South America (Peru) was also acquired.

The cooperation with Brand&Label is a logical and important step to further expand in this promising future market. Brand&Label plays an important role in this process, allowing the cooperative venture to meet local customer tastes and requirements in the best possible way.

More than just the language – expertise par excellence 

An important factor to success as a German provider on the LATAM market is to overcome language barriers – no software can be used successfully if it is not professionally implemented with knowledge of the industry. In Brand&Label, Comosoft GmbH has found a young and dynamic team who are qualified in much more than just local languages. The team at Brand&Label are experts when it comes to digitization strategies. They know precisely how they can help businesses to save a lot of time and costs in marketing processes – and now they also have the right software tools in their portfolio.

Think global, act local 

Comosoft now hopes to bring their established expertise from international projects successfully to the Latin American market and work together with partner Brand&Label SPA to further leverage potential. Both companies share a passion for digital transformation/omnichannel commerce, a global mindset and local roots for successful implementations.

Benjamin Ferreau, Managing Director of Comosoft GmbH and responsible for global Sales & Marketing: „We are very excited that we have found a partner in Brand&Label to jointly support businesses in digital transformation. We are combining the best of two worlds – this is a perfect fit, not only in regard to business expertise but also on the people side.“ 

Sebastian Hercovich, Founder and CEO of Brand&Label: „We are a young and dynamic team that provides businesses with solutions that meet the constantly increasing requirements of the market – that‘s why we look for experts with solutions. In Comosoft and the LAGO software, we have found the perfect partner, true experts in everything related to multichannel solutions and product information management. We look forward to working together!“ 

Images available on request.
Contact: Christin Oswald | Sales Assistant | Tel.: +49 40 853318-0 | c.oswald@comosoft.de


Press Release RAJA

Comosoft, the leading supplier of PIM- & Multichannel Media Production Software, wins over Europe‘s number one in packaging distribution, the RAJA Group.

RAJA is establishing the basis, with its strategic project entitled “RAJAMEDIA“, for further development of its multichannel customer approach. Comosoft is providing the corresponding software solution (PIM) jointly with IBM (MDM).

 

Hamburg/Paris, October 2016 – The French RAJA Group, with its expertise in packaging products, has been transforming itself into a multichannel player in recent years. Catalogues, online shops, telemarketing and 19 country-specific disctributors in Europe have to date been the main sales channels for the group‘s extensive high-quality range of products. As part of its efforts to expand in this respect, the company launched, in 2015, the RAJAMEDIA Vision project, which has given rise to a wide search for a suitable system solution or solutions. The four-stage selection process has finally found the right candidate: LAGO4 from Comosoft.

These are just a few of the features that helped to swing the decision of the RAJA Group:

  • The combination of complete PIM and MAM systems within the core, including fully integrated transfer of data into the desktop publishing program InDesign.
  • The high-performance “whiteboard“ feature, which allows products to be dragged and dropped quickly and efficiently into catalogue pages for layout planning purposes.
  • Media planning allows the E-Commerce Department to structure and organise all its online shops, complete with
    product-feeds into specified categories.
  • LAGO4 was also the only shortlisted candidate to offer both a fat client and a web client with similar coverage. This allows each department to work in its own way, while also permitting unrestricted access when on the move.

“We have come through a long and intensive selection process, and are 100% confident that we have found, in Comosoft, an enormously innovative, long-term partner with whom we can optimise our internal processes and continue to develop our competitiveness“, states Hélène Gariba, project manager of RAJA MEDIA.

“The important selection factor for us was the combination of technological foresight, functional availability and a good basis for mutual communication“, continues IT program manager Lionel IT Lionel Moraux.

Other joint projects envisaged for the future include automated customisation (based on a one-to-one approach) and an online marketing suite (for the simple creation, approval and distribution of online content).

“We are very pleased, after what has been a long and intensive selection process for us, to be able to satisfy the needs of the RAJA Group. The company is not just totally compatible with our range; the joint team also works together perfectly - which is a well-known prerequisite when it comes to the successful implementation of software-based initiatives. All this is in addition to the fact that RAJA has provided us with a good basis for further expansion into the French market; including the setting-up of a corresponding subsidiary in the course of 2016“, in the words of Benjamin Ferreau, CEO of Comosoft GmbH.

We will be pleased to supply accompanying images on request.

Contact person: Pia Kröger | Marketing Manager | Tel.: +49 40 853318-0 | pia.kroeger@comosoft.de


Presse Release HAWESKO

bildschirmfoto-2016-10-14-um-17-12-02
COMOSOFT ‘BEWITCHES‘ HAWESKO IN MEDIA PRODUCTION - HAWESKO CHOOSES LAGO4.

Germany‘s leading provider of top quality wines and champagnes will be putting its trust in Comosoft GmbH for its PIM and multi-channel media production system. Structured, fast, flexible and multi-channel - Hawesko has been won over by the LAGO4 software from comosoft for its product information management (PIM), media asset management (MAM) and multi-channel export to assure continuous information flow across all sales channels.

Hamburg/Tornesch, March 2016 - Hawesko GmbH has selected LAGO4, one of the world’s leading PIM and multi-channel media production systems by the Comosoft company. Hawesko goes for multi-channel: print, online, mobile, social media. Hawesko went searching for a suitable PIM/MAM and multi-channel provider to expand its approach and the cross-channel activities associated with that.

It focused on finding a software that would meet three essential strategic objectives:

Time 2 Market
Individualization of all media production
Developing new channels

LAGO4 offers a comprehensive, combined core PIM and MAM system as well as a fully integrated export into InDesign, its desktop publishing program and was thus able to exactly meet Hawesko’s expectations. With its high-performing whiteboard, Comosoft’s product manager provides an aid for quickly and efficiently designing catalog pages well as the entire multi-channel activities using drag-and-drop. The e-commerce department will  be able to structure, organize and finalize its integrated webshop by using the media design and product feeding to the desired categories. LAGO4 also provides a fat client and a 100% congruent web client. This allows every department to work in its preferred form and also have unrestricted access when on the road.

“We have a very intensive selection process behind us and are now 100% confident that we have found a very innovative and long-term partner for optimizing our internal processes and expanding our competitiveness,” said Ina Dittman, Project Manager at Hawesko.

“From the beginning, we believed in providing Hawesko with just the right ingredients in the form of software modules - in fact, we dubbed the project the ‘media production bewitchment’. After its intense selection process, we are all the more thrilled that Hawesko decided on us,” declared Benjamin Ferreau, Managing Director of Comosoft GmbH.

Hawesko is already making future plans with Comosoft to address automated individualization (One2One address) and roll-out for further concepts based on the foundation that’s been laid.

 

Please contact the comosoft GmbH Press Office for more information.
CONTACT PERSON: Pia Kröger | Marketing Manager | Tel. : +49 40 853318-62 | pia.kroeger@comosoft.de