by R. Harvey Bravman
The goals of every media replication and packaging project are:
~ Deliver your product to the end-user on time.
~ Use the most cost effective options possible to achieve the project's business goals.
~ Deliver to the end-user.
The first step to achieving these goals is to establish a budget and timeline that meets all project requirements. The best way to ensure that timing and budgetary restraints are met is to involve all the pertinent players from the start. On many projects, the replication and packaging people are brought in too late to optimize the campaign's effectiveness. Too often decisions are made without the input of key participants in the process, resulting in a truncated replication and packaging timeline and less-than-optimal product costing more than it should.
The participation of replication and packaging experts throughout the process more effectively organizes your project. They can be particularly helpful in identifying opportunities for improving efficiency. In many cases, for example, key media packaging elements and the final media content development stages can be produced concurrently. Most importantly the early involvement of a seasoned media replication and packaging professional can give the project more options and help avoid challenging situations before they occur.
Organizing a Media Replication and Packaging Project
There are steps to be taken and questions to be asked at the offset of all media replication projects. Working through each step ensures the most efficient process and highest quality results.
1. Establish business goals - what are you trying to accomplish?
~ Sales or marketing?
2. Identify your audience.
~ Business executives?
~ Factory workers?
~ Senior citizens?
~ Children or adolescents?
3. Determine the final quantity.
~ How many people does the campaign need to reach?
4. Decide how the final product can meet the business goals of the project.
5. Determine which delivery mechanism will be used to get final product to the end-user.
~ Are they being given out at a trade show?
~ Will they be sent in the mail?
6. Decide which media should be used - CD, DVD, or VHS.
~ Will end-user view product on a computer or TV?
~ Does end-user have a DVD player or computer with DVD drive?
~ How much content is the on final product? Can it fit on a CD?
~ Will there be video in the final product? Is it a talking head or full motion video? Is the sound quality important?
7. Assign a level of importance to the final product's design element.
~ Is the end-user required to view the media?
~ If not, will it take a powerful design element to persuade the end-user to view the media?
~ Does the design need to be consistent with the company's established corporate palette?
8. Choose the kind of packaging that achieves both the delivery and impact goals of the project.
~ Do collateral printed materials need to go in the packaging along with the media?
~ Will it benefit the project if a sample of the company's product is packaged with the final unit?
9. Identify the project's final budget.
10. Specify the action desired of your end-user after receiving the product.
11. Is a Business Reply Card needed?
~ Should the return address on the packaging?
~ Should the URL and phone # be clearly visible on the packaging or media label?
About the Author
R. Harvey Bravman is the owner of Advanced Digital Replication, Inc.; offering a full range of state-of-the-art CD and DVD replication/duplication as well as media archiving services since 1998.