How MRM Global Streamlined Custom Event Designs for Global Beverage Brands

MRM GLobal

About MRM Global

Based out of Edinburgh, Scotland, MRM Global is a marketing technology company that provides industry-leading web-to-print software and design services to global beverage brands in over 20 different countries. Companies such as Bacardí, Diageo, and Carlsberg use MRM’s Brand Creator app to build POS materials, menus, and other marketing materials for the venues and bars that they represent. 

MRM’s Premium Design service team also works closely with clients and their venue partners to offer exclusive designs with bespoke finishing like foil, spot UV, and other custom branding for special event materials. 

 

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The Challenge: Scaling Client Review Across Brands, Markets, and Languages

MRM Global's 9-person design team serves over 1,000 clients, working on over 100 active design orders at any given time. As the company launched its Premium Design service in additional countries, the design team needed a way to collaborate in numerous languages with clients while still providing efficient delivery timelines for event materials.

“The ability to proof, review and receive feedback regardless of language is imperative to providing a successful service. We work in a fast-paced industry where we need to create material for one-off events. Reviewing and approving designs and getting them to print on time is vital to our clients,” said Josh McDonald, Senior Designer at MRM. 

Prior to using online proofing, MRM’s designers would email low-resolution versions of menus and other designs to clients for review. Clients would send back their changes in a variety of formats, ranging from a simple email response to PDF markups and Excel spreadsheets.

As demand for custom design orders grew, this ad-hoc review process made it difficult for designers to accurately and quickly track approvals and versions and communicate the status of each project--particularly when designers needed to work remotely or jump into a project mid-stream. 

“There was confusion on what state the proof was in, what changes had been approved or actioned, and who was responsible for deadlines not being met,” explained McDonald.

The ability to proof, review and receive feedback regardless of language is imperative to providing a successful service [...] Reviewing and approving designs and getting them to print on time is vital to our clients.

Josh McDonald, Senior Designer

The Solution: Custom Client Workflows in a Cloud-Based Interface

MRM searched the market for an online proofing solution that its designers could use to standardize the global design review in multiple languages and prepare a higher volume of orders as business expanded.

Josh said that Ziflow’s cloud-based, mobile-friendly interface provided the right flexibility needed to collaborate with clients across the globe. The fact that Ziflow’s was built by the same team that created ProofHQ also made the team take note of Ziflow’s approach to stand-alone proofing.

“Ziflow was a clear contender from the start. We didn’t want to force our proofing process to be behind an app as this would cause a host of issues, so it being cloud-based was key for us,” said Josh.

With the Ziflow API, MRM was able to combine Ziflow with Google Translate and other language extensions to manage proofing in each client’s preferred language. Now, MRM’s clients can comment on proofs and communicate changes to the design team in German, French, or any other language if they are not comfortable communicating in English. In a click of a button, all comments on the Ziflow proof can be translated to English for the design team to take action.

Ziflow was a clear contender from the start. We didn’t want to force our proofing process to be behind an app as this would cause a host of issues, so it being cloud-based was key for us. 

Josh McDonald, Senior Designer

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Ziflow combined with Google Translate enables MRM's design team to work seamlessly with clients in multiple languages during the review process.

This language flexibility enabled MRM to use ZIflow to manage all of its incoming custom design orders, regardless of client or country or origin. Here’s how the process works:

  • The design team creates custom marketing materials (POS items, menus, and other digital assets) and uploads the design to Ziflow as a proof. 
  • The client who has placed the order can view the design and make any comments or amendments on the proof in their language. Ziflow’s markup tools make client change requests immediately clear to the design team. 
  • Using guest reviewing and concurrent collaboration, the client can also share the design file with venue owners and other event partners and gather their feedback directly on the design file. 
  • Automatic reminders and review deadlines keep project delivery timelines on track and the design team and clients constantly informed of the current project status. 

“Rather than our clients provide feedback that they have received from the venue, we are starting to have direct conversations with the venue themselves, freeing up the time and workload of our clients. Having direct contact with the venue and the customizable permissions within Ziflow enables us to cut out the middleman and shorten the turnaround time,” said McDonald.

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Using guest reviewers, MRM's designers can collaborate directly on event design assets with both their clients and the venues and outside stakeholders their clients work with to host events.

Ziflow’s workflow builder also allowed MRM to customize the online proofing process for each client’s approval requirements. For each project, the design can create one or multiple stages of approval and connect those stages to automatic and manual approval progressions, depending on the client’s preferred deadlines and security needs.

“We were able to build a custom workflow for each market, ensuring that the right people see the design at the right stage and that every order we send to print is correct and has been approved by all key stakeholders,” explained McDonald.

Using Ziflow’s markup tools brought a new level of clarity when receiving modifications from clients. Automated emails that communicate new comments, versions, and proofs have eliminated the confusion in the review process and replaced the time the design team spent drafting notification and follow-up emails. 

“The response internally to ZiFlow has been very positive, specifically from the design team as they are the real beneficiaries from using the software,” said McDonald.

Benefits

With Ziflow, MRM Global’s design team was able to:

  • Facilitate client feedback on custom designs without relying on email communication.
  • Increase the company’s bespoke design business by expanding the design team's bandwidth for a higher volume of orders with clients in numerous countries and languages.
  • Provide clients with a way to share designs with stakeholders at venues and other event partners without having to manually manage the feedback process themselves. 
  • Implement automated staged workflows tailored to each client and project type.

It’s our belief that a successful proofing process can’t be achieved within companies and brands without an online tool. With remote working on the increase and teams spread among different locations, there is a real need to have a tool to convey clear and direct communication.

Josh McDonald, Senior Designer

 

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