Please describe how your company managed daily workflow and media sharing needs prior to using Simian.
LAD Marketing is the in house agency for Lithia Motors. We have over 70 retail automotive clients, as well as corporate clients and produce roughly 80-100 TV and radio spots per month. Before Simian, we used a different web based ad approval system. That system required Windows Media format, which prevented easily viewing spots on mobile devices. It also required the account manager to download the spot to their local computer and then, email it as an attachment to the client. Given our email attachment size limits, the spots had to be created with a small enough bitrate to email. As a result, the quality suffered and email inboxes got overloaded.
Please describe in detail, the needs, challenges or problems that made Simian the right choice for your company.
As the cable and broadcast stations in our markets gained the ability to broadcast HD spots, we needed to begin producing spots in HD. We needed our clients to see the commercials with a lot better video quality than we were able to offer with the current system. Also, our account managers are on the road many days a month and with tight deadlines, we can’t always wait for them to plug in a laptop to review and approve. They need to be able to do this on their mobile devices.
Since deciding that we needed a better system, we had a few other things we had wanted to do, but hadn’t been able to previously.
First, we wanted the ability to send a group of spots to a client for review. Sometimes we want to show the client what other stores are doing, to see if they’re interested. Other times the client would like to see the commercials they’ve done over a period of time.
Second, when we have a special sales event, we needed the ability to send a presentation of all collateral material to the clients for approval and buy in. This would include PDF’s of POP materials, web banner templates and TV & radio creative, etc.
Please describe in detail the ways in which Simian addressed these needs, challenges or problems.
Most importantly, Simian fits so well into our workflow. We upload a commercial or corporate video to the Simian project and an email is automatically sent to everyone on the project. We want all account managers to have access to all the projects so they can monitor what is being produced for the other clients. With the old system, if someone had access to a project they were automatically going to get an email. That produced hundreds and hundreds of emails that account managers didn’t need or want. They would the have to call and ask to be taken off those other projects so the emails would stop. We love that with Simian; the account managers can have access to all the projects but only get email notifications of the projects for which they are directly responsible.
The video file format is a very mobile friendly h.264 QuickTime. The account managers can view the video wherever they are and provide notes or send to the client for final approval. Getting a spot to the client for review and approval is easy. With a few clicks, a presentation of the spot can be sent directly to the client and since this video is still hosted on Simian (no download required), it can be of much better quality without filling up inboxes. With Simian’s reporting tools, we can get email notification when the client views, provides notes or approves (or rejects) the spot. This has made it so much easier for us to do our jobs efficiently and with better quality.
The reel tool lets us send as many spots as we need to for review, complete with full analytic and commenting tools. We are also able to use this to quickly organize and distribute all event assets (audio, video, PDFs, etc.) to a client or group of clients.
We probably use Simian very differently than others. Some will probably use the Reel tools and analytics more than we do. Some will organize projects differently. That’s one of the benefits of Simian. It is flexible enough to be used in the way we need to use it. Simian is constantly updating and improving to bring new features. In fact, there were things we needed for our particular workflow that Simian created for us.
Please describe in detail, the overall benefit that was achieved as a result of using Simian. This can include additional revenue or products related to a specific job or project.
Advertising is about communication. The tools that Simian provides, like easy account manager access on-the-go, presentations and reels help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone who needs the information receives it.
Retail advertising is also about deadlines - sometimes extremely tight deadlines. During peaks times of the month, spots may be completed just hours or sometimes minutes before they need to get to stations for air. The workflow that Simian provides allows us to get those approvals quickly, which can mean the difference between making it on the air on time and having to push or cancel a media schedule.
Scott Back - Creative Director
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