5 Keys To A Smoother Proofing Cycle For Retail Marketers

child crayonIt doesn’t matter if a retail organization does it weekly or quarterly, proofing media is often an unpleasant experience. There’s no reason why it should remain a painful step in your execution process.

With holiday planning in full swing, we’d like to offer up some suggestions on how to make your next set of proofing cycles a little smoother.

1. Review the proofing process with print production, creative and merchant teams

I know this seems like a no brainer but, a quick kickoff meeting to review the process and deadlines always helps. The typical process for multiple proofing cycles should look something like the one we’ve outlined here.

2. Schedule document locks

Schedule and enforce lock times on the documents that your team will be proofing. Your creative team will be able to focus on a defined set of changes without worrying about a constantly moving finish line. The deadline will also encourage the merchants proofing the media to be thorough, and get all their changes in before the deadline.

3. Track Annotations / Markups
Post-it notes just don’t cut it anymore; any annotation made to a document should be captured digitally via a soft proofing / markup solution. You should be able to track who made the annotation, when it was done, and a reason why. Having this type of information will allow you to run reports and examine who’s requesting the most changes, the main reason why and when changes are typically made.

4. Standardize Annotation / Markup Reports
As much as your creative team enjoys deciphering scribbles on a page, they’d love getting a standardized markup report. This would take the guess work out of figuring out where changes need to occur. The most ideal situation would be to connect your page production program with your proofing solution. Most of retailers that we work with utilize our InDesign plug-ins to map markups and comments directly on to their document.

5. Enforce Signoffs
Have folks that are proofing the media signoff once they are done. This is a great way to get a confirmation that they do not have any additional changes to make. If you have several proofing cycles, have your team signoff on each one or just on the final proof.

What steps does your organization take to ensure a smoother proofing cycle?


Original image by chatirygirl

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