My point about print magazines is the same. Though we in the business sometimes forget it amid all the innovation in digital channels, the process for managing print advertising, and print production, and color reproduction, and workflow, is incredibly complex. And it’s getting far more sophisticated and versatile.
I had the pleasure of spending a day last week at the Engage Conference, held at the Time & Life Building in New York, and produced by Blanchard Systems, which makes the SendMyAd portal product for managing advertising workflows and quality assurance.
The event was well attended—perhaps 80 people—across the print-manufacturing supply chain, including printers, workflow software tools providers who partner with Blanchard, and some of the largest magazine-media companies, including Meredith, American Media, Crain Communications and more. Blanchard’s SendMyAd is a “cloud based” portal accessed through a browser. It gives publishers control of specs, deadlines, job tickets, automated notifications and file delivery, and gives advertisers a tailored, easy-to-use gateway to submit, verify, preflight, edit and manage every stage. SendMyAd also works with products up and downstream, including the Woodwing content creation and digital asset management solutions, and Dalim’s production workflow automation products, which are used broadly by marketers, agencies, retailers, prepress specialists and publishers.
The event, according Blanchard Systems CEO Charles Blanchard, was as much a learning experience for his company as it was for the attendees. “It was about getting customers to tell us about what we’ve done and what we should be doing,” he said. Chief Operations Officer Keith Zibilich noted that in software development, it’s easy to devote development time to many initiatives, but ultimately, it has to be based on customer needs, not merely perceived needs. “Our customers were so willing to share,” he said.
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