Extranets For Advertising Agencies

Extranets For Advertising Agencies



Extranets for​ Advertising Agencies
Ideally, clients and​ agencies have aligned interests, and​ they usually do .​
Today there are real challenges to​ that important alignment, forcing clients and​ agencies to​ look for​ new and​ better ways to​ collaborate .​
Enter easy-to-use, web based extranets.
What is​ an​ extranet?
Specifically, an​ extranet is​ a​ private web site that provides a​ secure environment for​ a​ select group of​ users to​ share documents and​ information.
Although it​ is​ accessed through a​ web browser, such as​ Internet Explorer, it​ differs from a​ public web site in​ that it​ can be used only by an​ audience that has permission to​ access it​ through the​ use of​ IDs and​ passwords.
Agencies use extranets as​ a​ client service tool to​ share documents with clients and​ vendors, to​ organize projects, and​ to​ archive previous work for​ direct client access .​
There is​ no limit on the​ size of​ files that can be posted, allowing agencies to​ share text documents, graphics, audio, video, message boards, and​ data.
Often, extranets are used to​ replace email as​ a​ means to​ communicate within and​ across work groups .​
Unlike email, all communication is​ secure and​ any size document can be exchanged .​
Plus, an​ extranet provides a​ system for​ filing all the​ documents into project-related folders as​ part of​ the​ exchange process.
An extranet increases agency efficiency and​ makes a​ client's life easier by saving time and​ frustration .​
An extranet facilitates faster and​ easier access to​ materials .​
Essentially, it​ is​ a​ web-based filing cabinet shared by the​ agency and​ its client.
Controlled by the​ agency, it​ puts both current projects and​ past work within easy reach at​ any time, resulting in​ significant time savings for​ both you and​ your client.
It provides instant client feedback and​ a​ permanent record of​ all comments and​ activity .​
Input and​ decisions are fully documented, and​ the​ work-flow moves faster in​ a​ more informed environment.
In addition to​ supporting day-to-day client service, extranets can be used in​ a​ variety of​ ways .​
Agencies with retail clients use them to​ service retail locations throughout the​ country, or​ to​ support clients with multiple offices that need a​ single source for​ the​ agency's work.
Choosing an​ extranet
As with all ad agency software, when choosing an​ extranet there are a​ variety of​ choices, each with its own strengths and​ weaknesses .​
Here are some questions to​ ask yourself as​ you examine the​ alternatives:
Does it​ support the​ way you work now? if​ you have to​ change the​ way you work, it's possible that your staff will be reluctant to​ use it .​
The extranet design should allow you to​ move forward without upsetting the​ way you and​ your clients currently work together.
Will your staff and​ client want to​ use it? the​ more complex the​ extranet, the​ less it​ will be used .​
Consider carefully the​ features that you really need, and​ choose an​ extranet that offers only those features .​
That will assure that it's easy to​ learn, and​ easy to​ use.
Does it​ have the​ tools your agency needs? Make sure that the​ extranet supports all the​ applications used in​ agency/client collaboration .​
For instance, assure that it​ will stream audio and​ video .​
And look for​ tools that allow you to​ create folder structures that mimic your current approach to​ communicating, filing work, etc.
Today, clients have less and​ less time .​
Projects are moving faster and​ faster, and​ there is​ less administrative support available to​ both client and​ agency.
An extranet addresses these issues directly, and​ offers the​ advantage of​ having all pertinent information available 24/7 from literally anyplace on the​ globe, within a​ highly secure environment.
Ultimately, the​ case for​ an​ extranet is​ driven by everyone's desire to​ be more efficient and​ effective, with less frustration and​ aggravation.




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