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March 30, 2021

Fix content workflows: 4 ways to streamline content marketing

No matter what kind of marketer you are, certain challenges seem to be universal. The pace of content is relentless, there are countless customer touchpoints to address, and customers expect higher levels of personalization and customization than ever before. Combine these pressures with the challenges of achieving internal alignment—made extra difficult by a sudden shift to remote work—and burnout becomes a real risk.

A recent webinar with Patrick Haywood, Senior Manager of Content Operations at Poly, may be just the lifeline you need to solve problems with manual processes, broken communication, poor visibility, and disconnected systems. 

Poly is a company of 7,000 people that makes the headsets, webcams, and other solutions that make remote collaboration possible. And its marketing team of 200 has been on a 4.5-year journey to revolutionize its internal content workflows. Here are four top takeaways from the webinar:

1. Start with a plan.

“We’ve been able to create a system of record for all of our marketing content—a complete record of all our production work,” Patrick says. “It also operates as a plan that shows progress of the production process. We run about 4,000 projects a year through our system, and each of those projects is attached to a deliverable.”

All of these pieces at Poly—the initial plan, the visibility into it, requests that come in, the actual production process, and the ability to review and share assets—are connected through Workfront. “That system of record is the place of truth to understand what’s happening, what’s being planned, where it’s at in production, and to gain access to the final asset,” Patrick says.

2. Get the right workflows in place to execute work faster.

One mantra Patrick’s team lives by is “crawl, walk, run.” When they started with Workfront, they started small, focusing first on the teams that displayed a high level of maturity and ability to execute. 

“We looked at those teams that could really identify their process and really understand them,” Patrick says. “We used them to lead by example.” They initially allowed production teams to individually work in their own ways. But over time, they observed and noted the common elements across teams and standardized workflows further.

A key part of the “crawl” phase was to do tons of discovery around processes. “We recruited all of the teams and players involved,” Patrick says, “from the requesters who needed work, to the project managers who helped get the work done, to the production teams who helped build the content and assets—and we really tried to understand their needs.” In other words, they didn’t invent something in a vacuum and force it on people from the top down. 

3. Use work visibility to make critical decisions and communication simpler. 

“Streamlining operations is really key to successful content marketing,” Patrick says. “Integrating your systems also saves you time and protects your team from burnout.” 

Having decisions that are driven by data, being able to tie stories back to actual data points, and then being able to iterate and plan based on data from actual customers—all of these have led to higher levels of success at Poly.

4. Integrate critical systems to streamline work.

“We really focus on trying to understand all of the processes that are involved, the different motions that trigger other work, etc., and we’ve connected a lot of those different pieces together,” Patrick says, including an integration between Workfront and the language service provider Poly uses for translation and localization projects. 

This single integration decreased project time by a whopping 47% percent—and that’s just the beginning. Patrick’s team has since identified other efficiencies around these translation tasks that they plan to streamline next.

Watch the complete webinar for more details about Poly’s transformative approach to content workflows and integration, including peeks inside Poly’s actual Workfront instance—showing exactly how it simplified, standardized, and created efficiencies that are benefiting Poly’s team  today. 

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