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Giving more control to Travel Agents via a web-based Artwork Builder

The Client.

A UK based tour operator offering customers luxury, worldwide holidays.

The client features within a dedicated online portal which is accessed by over 1,200 agents from more than 170 agencies.

The Challenge.

The client’s in-house marketing team was producing bespoke marketing material for individual travel agents on an ad-hoc basis. Not only was this time consuming and unsustainable for internal employees (who needed to focus on other pressing tasks) but there was a risk that these branded materials would have a long turnaround time and provide out of date information.

The client was looking for a way to enable travel agents to produce their own branded marketing material which would promote the latest travel offers by pulling in key information from one central database.

The Brief.

  • To create a bespoke artwork creation system which was easy to use, maintainable and fully integrated with the existing agent system.
  • It needed to be intuitive and simple, allowing users to create a final output of printable high-resolution PDF files which could be used for both internal and professional print purposes.
  • The system needed to be bespoke and customisable, yet able to fully integrate with the existing system. The client was keen for the end user to have a seamless user journey.

The Process.

  • This project was a new challenge for the SimpleClick team; therefore, we needed to use our considerable expertise in usability to design and develop a system which met the client’s requirements.
  • We started off the process by exploring the existing online portal and determining how the new system would blend in, as well as how it would be used by end-users and how it would be consistently maintained by internal staff.
  • Our project manager worked closely with the client’s in-house design team to examine how they produced the existing marketing material as well as meeting with the client’s wider marketing and branding team members.
  • It was a collaborative process, and the client was fully engaged at all stages of the project with specific involvement in gathering the information required, steering the project development and during the final testing phase.

The Solution.

We were incredibly proud of the resulting artwork creation system. Not only did it integrate fully with the portal, but it pulled in data from one central source allowing synchronicity amongst all end-users.

Agents were provided with an easy-to-use artwork creation platform which enabled them to search for specific holiday details and popular into a choice of branded artwork layouts. Thanks to automation, the end user could choose set sales messages and agency details as well as exporting the latest sales data from one central source. The creation platform allowed the end-user to preview the artwork onscreen before creating final print-ready PDF files which were ready for instant download/print.

The integration of the online portal meant that end-users did not need to go through a separate login process, therefore making it more user friendly.

The client benefitted from an in-built admin system which allowed the client to monitor usage and see what artwork was being produced on a regular basis.

The Timescale.

Due to the complexity of the task and the lengthy information gathering process which required input from several departments, the development of the specification document took several weeks. It was important to us that we worked closely in partnership with the client to produce the most appropriate system for their needs. 

However, once the final project was in agreement, the solution and delivery of the artwork creation system took just six weeks to develop, tweak and test.

The Immediate Results.

The resulting artwork creation platform has been used by travel agents on a daily basis since its launch. Within the first year, 1,300 pieces of branded artwork had been created via the platform.

The client’s in-house design team noticed an immediate impact their workloads – not only did it free up internal resources but the client benefited from timely creation of marketing materials by agents themselves. This allowed the client to enjoy increased promotion ahead of competitors, with consistent branding and advertising messages which were centrally controlled.

The Longer-Term Benefits.

  • Over time, the client has seen increased agency sales as a result of improved promotional activity. The client has also been able to retain sight of the messages which have been distributed through the system.
  • The client is looking to build upon and expand the system through offering an increased number of artwork layouts and designs.