“Organizations looking to create a high volume of quality content can benefit from automation by removing tedious tasks from employees’ to-do lists and allow them more time to focus on high quality, strategic work,” says Greg Sheppard, Chief Revenue Officer, Templafy, in an exclusive interview with TalkCMO.
TCMO Bureau: What are the struggles brands encounter when creating high-performing content?
Greg Sheppard: Let’s start by defining what content is; from there, we can identify where that disconnect is across businesses. Right now, the general definition of content is marketing collateral – web pages, one-sheets, case studies, etc. that help outline a solution, or describe a product and its value. But we view it as way more than that. Business content is every written asset that drives businesses forward, such as documents, presentations, sales proposals, and even emails. They act as a primary foundation for an organization’s success.
When looking at content that way, marketing leaders can see that this critical driver of business is not supported by tech stacks in most organizations today. Content is often disconnected, unregulated, and hard to find – there’s no infrastructure connecting it to the key applications where employees work. Without this, content cannot perform or serve in that critical role.
Organizations may have attempted to address this problem with ECM solutions. Maybe they store a template in a shared drive, or in a digital asset management (DAM) platform. But if the employees aren’t frequenting those origin points, they’re missing out on using that content to their advantage. This leads to loss of compliance (such as not carrying over “fine-line” legal info into a new contract) brand integrity (like using an old logo in a sales proposal while the company is going through a branding refresh) and employee productivity (constantly having to find information or new content elements that live across these disparate platforms).
TCMO Bureau: What are the ways they can create high-impact campaigns at an accelerated pace?
Greg Sheppard: Every employee has a handful of applications where they spend the majority of their day – whether that’s Microsoft Office, Salesforce, Google Workspace, etc. To create accessible content that truly enables business success, you need to meet employees where they are already working. This is how you create connected content.
Organizations looking to create a high volume of quality content can benefit from automation by removing tedious tasks from employees’ to-do lists and allow them more time to focus on high-quality, strategic work.
TCMO Bureau: How can brands develop an efficient tech stack that centers around business enablement?
Greg Sheppard: For organizations looking to build tech stacks that truly support their business goals, they need to build what is known as calling the business enablement tech stack. There are three key elements to any business enablement stack – the software must be:
- Horizontal: Business enablement solutions need to be leveraged across entire organizations. If brands adopt tools that just work for the marketing department or the sales teams, then the information within those applications isn’t easily shared or accessed by other employees. A cohesive approach to technology means everyone is singing from the same song sheet.
- Integrated: They also need to easily integrate with the other systems in your tech stack. Here, again, it’s about encouraging cross-functional collaboration, and that requires common sources of truth for information. Not every tool is a fit for every activity, but ensuring it integrates well with the other platforms means that crucial data can be easily shared across different software. Otherwise, it will fail in the onboarding stage – in Templafy’s recent Business Enablement survey, the number one reason workplace tech adoption failed was that the tool didn’t fit into existing workflows.
- Easy to use: Finally, it needs to have a seamless and easy user interface, so that employees are empowered to do their work with it, not discouraged by its complexity or impracticality.
TCMO Bureau: What trends do you think will transform content enablement platforms in the foreseeable future?
Greg Sheppard: The biggest trend transforming content enablement in the future is also the most basic: defining and truly understanding what content is, and its place in an organization’s success. Content – the creation of it, the sharing of it – is really what drives business results, and it needs to be seen as such. Instead of just focusing on the result – whether that’s the sale or the new partnership – brands need to also focus on the process that gets us there and stop just looking at content as a vessel for those results.
Beyond that, they’ll see a shift from content platforms just being focused on how to create the best content, but also understanding its performance and tracking it once it’s beyond the origin phase. Who is opening your sales proposal? How long are they keeping it open? Is there a certain section that’s performing well, and another that isn’t? Getting this insight means that employees will be able to improve their content creation going forward, and further elevate business results through it.
Greg Sheppard is the Chief Revenue Officer at Templafy where he helps enterprises discover the power of content enablement. Prior to joining Templafy, Greg was the SVP of Business Intelligence and Data Products at TravelClick, and held positions in sales, marketing, product, and operations at companies such as American Express and LexisNexis.