An effort to equip Slate's sales and client services team with a comprehensive library of pre-sale materials that meet the company's market needs.
In order to remain effective beyond a single immediate use, materials need to perform both in "pre-RFP" scenarios (in-person where slides are projected and seller can add depth to the narrative) as well as in response to an RFP (Request For Proposal; where slides are accompanied by tactical outline for proposed program and seller-crafted-email). Often copy is dropped from the layout into the speaker notes (or vice versa), images are swapped last minute, slides are shuffled or eliminated altogether... essentially; if a seller feels a change would increase client interest, it happens.
Due to the nature of how smaller-sized digital publishers operate internally to stay competitive and in business, teams are also expected to build and send out these presentations quickly, often without a bottleneck approval process in order to meet agency deadlines. The result is a "Frankenstein" approach to the presentation creation process, with sellers and client service managers pulling slides in from different files to create a new narrative, with or without the help of a sales marketing strategist.
These parameters create an incredibly complex design challenge out of a deceivingly simple task: establish and maintain brand consistency (in both art direction and narrative) across all client-facing materials.
Components (in order of appearance)
Strategic framework designed to preserve quality control while teams build presentations from scratch and tailor slides for client-specific conversations. Includes type and object styles, file management best practices, and non-designer-friendly art direction.
Overarching pre-sale narrative designed to give teams a suggested "table of contents" for their presentations without assigning a specific number of slides to each component; empowering teams to think strategically about what a given client needs to see more or less of in order to want to work with Slate.
Slides for each story block within the narrative, ultimately creating a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure approach to building sales materials.
Examples of the system in use.
All files made exclusively in Keynote. All proprietary data has been blinded. Project ongoing and began spring of 2016.