Right Image Saves Marketers a Thousand Words

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The National Research Council of Canada recognizes CleanPix as an innovation leader in PR and marketing picture management technology.

NRC-IRAP support enabled us to find and then hire the top developers who were able to do this, and it's been central to our success.

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Nelson Vigneault is a digital matchmaker. You're an editor looking for a great digital image? You're a PR professional wanting to send just the right image? Vigneault wants you both to be happy. And he's got just the tool for the job. With support from the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Calgary-based CleanPix Corporation's ground-breaking digital asset management service has made getting the right image, in the right format to the right person as simple as clicking a button.

CleanPix is a sophisticated software technology, says company president Vigneault, but he emphasizes that for users it's a seamless easy-to-use service. Vigneault had a graphic design and printing business in the late 1990s during the printing industry's transition to digital files. He realized that many of his marketing and PR clients, a notoriously deadline-driven group, were scrambling to deal with cumbersome file conversions and other technical requirements.

"We needed to do something to give them a way to deal with their digital marketing and PR material without bogging them down in the IT aspects. They needed an interface so that they could control their digital marketing material, and thus effectively manage their brand," says Vigneault.

The result is CleanPix, now a leading international digital asset manager used by marketing professionals from India to Sweden to Australia. In the past four years CleanPix clients have used the service to respond to more than a million requests for images and other digital files.

Here's how it works: Imagine you're a marketing professional on-the-road and you get the following urgent e-mail request from a magazine editor on your Blackberry: Please send requested image ASAP; must be 300 dpi, CMYK full page and ready for printing. Traditionally this is a recipe for frantic phone calls back to the office, missed meals and often missed opportunities. This is where CleanPix shines.

Rather than send images as large e-mail attachments, or burn CDs that must be shipped, CleanPix provides clients with a web-based, highly organized digital file system. CleanPix converts and stores each of the client's uploaded files into all of the required file formats, from high-res print-quality files to low-res web ones. When a file request comes in, the client simply points the requester to the online file which can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Vigneault says the company's success with five staff and a bevy of clients primarily in the travel and tourism industry is largely based on making the CleanPix interface extremely "visually ergonomic". Users, whether they speak Hindi, Portuguese or English can quickly and intuitively learn to use the site.

"We spent a huge amount of time creating an internationally user friendly interface," says Vigneault. "NRC-IRAP support enabled us to find and then hire the top developers who were able to do this, and it's been central to our success."

NRC-IRAP works closely with all kinds of small and medium-sized enterprises, helping them grow their businesses, increase their competitiveness, and enhance their impact in the marketplace.

CleanPix has already clearly demonstrated that it reduces clients' costs and increases their marketing and PR reach. Up to a third of the marketing costs for many companies is in their physical brand management, such as burning and shipping CDs with promotional materials. Prior to using CleanPix the City of New York Tourism Bureau couriered about 1500 CDs a year to magazines and others. Now they respond to 2000 media requests a month, with downloads of up to 60 megabytes, from the http://www.CleanPix.com site.

But while CleanPix makes marketers' jobs easier, where it really pays off, says Vigneault is in making the job easier for the journalists and editors who request files or images. He recounts the case of a magazine editor who e-mailed a thank-you note that "she'd never seen such an easy to use tool to get art." And when it's easy for those sourcing information, says Vigneault, everyone's a winner.

"What we're doing is assisting the relationship between our clients and the media representatives," he says. "And by making our clients successful, we become the success story."

Source: National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)

CleanPix Corp. Contact:

Chip Hoffmann, 1-239-872-3335

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Chip Hoffmann
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