Category Archives: Content Strategy

Projects where my role was to develop a content strategy

Adding Revenue With Google AdWords

Challenge:

Google, a leader in Internet and ad tech products and services, needed to grow engagement and online advertising spend among millions of small businesses–starting with the 2.8M small business owners who had created an AdWords account.

Given that small businesses spend less than 3% of their marketing budgets on online advertising, and AdWords is a complex product that businesses large and small struggle to master, increasing spend among  the nearly 3M small business AdWords account holders was be no small feat.

Strategy:

Make it simple and accessible. We developed a series of videos and worksheets to complement an email campaign and small business events that Google hosted in select cities.

The videos provided answers to the most frequently asked questions (based on interviews with Google’s customer care teams). We selected video as the medium because our research indicated that the medium made learning seem complex things “seem” simpler to our target audiences–since they were already searching or working online and because they often had their hands full in their businesses (literally and figuratively).

The style and tone of the videos–from the script to the voice over and the images–projected simplicity and approachability. We used straight-forward, descriptive titles, familiar metaphors and analogies (…”using this feature is like…”), and graphics and images that mirrored the Google brand’s bright, no-fuss, elegance.

To account for a variation in learning styles and to provide an opportunity to practice, we paired the videos with downloadable worksheets. The worksheets featured space for note-taking and provided supplemental information that small business owners could take with them.

Finally, we designed a website to serve as an “online classroom” and toolkit for small business owners. The site featured all of the videos and worksheets and provided a framework to help users navigate the content in a way that helped them solve specific challenges and achieve desired goals.

google_awoc_video_guide_what is Adwords_storyboard1_v0-0-1

 

Links to Learn With Google/AdWords Online Classrooms Around the World:

Americas:
EMEA:
JAPAC:

My Role In The Solution:

I led a team of talented UX and visual designers, developers, program and project managers. To this team and project I contributed…

  • Developed the creative strategy and provided creative direction for all of the content
  • Developed the content strategy for the video, worksheets, and website
  • Partnered with the client teams to conduct customer/user research
  • Analyzed data to identify actionable insights
  • Partnered with UX and visual designers and back and fronted developers to deliver the website
  • Wrote all scripts and worksheet and website copy
  • Directed videos
  • Named the hub Learn With Google
  • Partnered with vendor and client to modify and adapt scripts for use in 15 videos for use in 19 countries and 12 languages

Results:

The website launched as part of a larger promotion. The video content was leveraged as part of email and web campaigns, used on Google’s YouTube and other owned channels, and were used a reference materials to which customer service teams referred customers/users seeking help.

Influencers Make Plastic Positively Palatable

 

Challenge:

Plastic had taken a bit of a public pounding. But the businesses and organizations that comprise the American Chemistry Council (ACC), were determined to demonstrate their collective commitment to developing products that are not only eco-friendly but also integral to the advancement of medicine, fashion, sports, cooking, packaging, toys, and many other fields and disciplines.

Strategy:

Plastics Make It Possible was a great campaign created by agency partners. The ads featured people whose lives were improved by the unique characteristics of plastics.

We wanted to leverage and extend the campaign to unexpected but everyday spaces where consumers might have taken plastic’s integral role for granted.

My Role In The Solution:

We developed a content-driven online campaign that leveraged bloggers and other social media influencers in key verticals–food and wine, fashion, and sports–and centered on popular events.

We chose the Aspen Food & Wine festival as our food and wine event. The annual event draws thousands of food and wine lovers from around the country to enjoy gourmet food made by celebrity chefs and wine from the world’s best wineries.

I developed criteria to identify and qualify the top 100 foodie bloggers, twitterers, and facebookers.

My criteria included the number of followers or subscribers, the percentage of followers or subscribers who were active participants (commenting, sharing, retweeting, entering contests), and their site’s  search engine rank.

I also identified local culture bloggers based in and around Aspen, CO.

I developed an outreach plan and an editorial calendar of content to offer and co-author with the bloggers in the days leading up to the event.

Content included brief articles on plastic cooking products and on the ACC’s participation in the upcoming event.

We also worked with the ACC to develop a giveaway. We offered participating bloggers the opportunity to give free silicone cookware and a chance to win a pair of free tickets to the Aspen Food & Wine Festival to their followers/subscribers.

The ACC secured a prime location in the tasting pavilion where they offered plastic flatware and recycling containers for all to use.

Results:

Nearly half of the influencers participated. Most took advantage of the giveaways. Some shared the articles we developed, and others attended the event and covered the ACC’s cameo at the event.

We also garnered significant social mentions.

Securing Attendees For World’s Largest Security Conference

RSAC-2014-theme
Campaign to drive attendance as we had 3 years running

Challenge:

RSA Conference is the world’s largest IT security conference, bringing together computer security experts to network, share ideas, new products, and new ideas. The Conference takes place annually in San Francisco and in Singapore.

RSA Conference began in 1991 so keeping the conference new and interesting and growing and maintaining attendance year over year can be a challenge.

Strategy:

In my fourth year on the account, it was difficult to think of new ways to drive attendance. Email and search marketing continued to be effective channels, helping us do an excellent job of securing repeat attendees but were having less success with prospects. But we needed a way to grow attendance.

Our Approach: We needed to broaden our net, attract new audiences–younger IT practitioners, women, and those interested in IT security as part of their jobs/businesses in industries such as finance and health care.

To attract these audiences, we needed fresh marketing and marketing collateral.

Campaign included emails, banners, mobile and web ads.
Email campaign featuring cryptography and a mystery to be solved
Email campaign featuring speaker and social media game

My Role In The Solution:

I developed a marketing campaign that spanned email, direct mail, web, print, outdoor, and social channels. The campaign centered on multimedia content, images that reflected the audiences we wanted to attract, and infographics that educated and entertained.

I developed the Conference theme–Share. Learn. Secure. I served as creative director, leading visual designers and copywriters to design the Conference marketing collateral, venue signage, street signs, rich media ads, email templates, augmented reality mailers, and infographics.

Each info graphic targeted an audience segment and delivered key messaging on why attending RSA Conference was important in protecting their data, assets, and customers.

Results:

Year-over-year double-digit increase in attendance.

Taking Charge of AMEX Corporate Card Programs

 

BSF
Early design comp of solution finder
Corporate Payment Services Solutions Finder

Challenge:

American Express(R) is known for its iconic charge cards but few knew that the world’s largest card issuer provided more than cards. The Corporate Card division of American Express introduced several new and complex products  and services as a way of growing its relationships with enterprise and mid-sized clients.

American Express Corporate Cards needed a way to explain and grow adoption of its Supplier Payments Solutions.

Strategy:

American Express cards are recognized by all and their value proposition is fairly simple–we’re not the cheapest or the easiest to get but rich rewards (e.g. travel points, priority access to event tickets, and status) accrue to our card members.

Our Approach: Leverage the recognizability and reputation of the cards to introduce and grow adoption of new products and services and make the rewards of adding these new products and services as simple to understand as American Express’ other rewards.

My Role in The Solution:

I developed a “Business Solution Finder”, a simple interactive tool that focused on WHY customers might need one or more of AMEX’s Supplier Payment Solutions not describing WHAT the solutions were. The tool is part of the business.americanexpress.com website.

I developed the questions and workflow and then designed the experience: The customer identifies their business need and answers a few questions about their business to reveal the solutions that can meet their needs.

I also developed the interaction flows, initial prototype (see below), wrote all copy, and provided creative direction to the visual designers who designed final images, icons, and other assets.

 

Results:

AMEX significantly grew adoption of its Supplier Payment Solutions.

Coaching Users to Better Health With WebMD

Challenge: 

WebMD is a leader in health media and provider of health services to insurers and large employers. WebMD wanted to build upon the success of its Health Coach product, which provides health and wellness advice to users via telephone, and to grow its ROI on owned and licensed content.

Strategy:

The strategy was simple: Leverage underutilized content, smart but light technology, and insights from the most effective practices of telephone coaches to create a lower cost digital health coach that could be extended to thousands of additional customers.

Solution:

We evaluated the telephone coaching offering, interviewing coaches, customers, content managers, and other stakeholders to meet the most effective coaches; understand what customers found valuable about the service; learn what types of advice, communications, and coaching led to behavior changes; and identify the most often requested information.

We inventoried, evaluated, catalogued, and organized thousands of pieces of owned and licensed content.

Based on our findings, we designed an extension of the Health Coach product and WebMD’s health media offering. We organized the content such that it created “an interactive relationship between WebMD and users, one that approximates that of WebMD Health Coaches and their clients.”

We brought the thousands of pieces of content to life as a digital health assistant. We connected written, video, and graphical content and interactive tools via an intricate taxonomy and ontology, and activated it via an elegant series of triggers that created the impression that the digital health assistant was responding to users action and inaction, communications, successes, requests, and preferences.

My Role In The Solution: 

I was part of a great team of talented designers, developers, program and project managers. To this team and project I contributed…

  • Conducting the stakeholder research and identifying actionable insights
  • Assessing and cataloguing and all content and identifying gaps
  • Prototyping the digital health assistant
  • Developing a taxonomy, ontology, and tagging for all content
  • Developing the content strategy for the digital health assistant
  • Defining triggers to create interactions between the digital health assistant and users
  • Writing copy for alerts, emails, instructions, pop-ups, and managing copywriters, designers, and HTML developers who produced content for the assistant

Results:

WebMD launched the digital health assistant as “The Digital Health Assistant” and are currently selling it via insurers and large employers seeking to lower health care costs associated with smoking and conditions such as diabetes and obesity. The product has evolved a bit but it’s largely unchanged–and it’s having significant positive impact on users’ health and wellness.

Digital Health Assistant Prototype and Flows

Putting the X-Factor In XMatters

Challenge: 

XMatters creates “Relevance Engines” that deliver relevant information about business interruptions, disasters, ad community alerts to individuals and group audiences based on their geographic location, job group, availability, channel preferences, and other key factors.

Their Relevance Engines have myriad uses for organizations across industries. However, XMatters needed to clarify their offering in order to grow their customer base and increase value to existing customers.

Strategy: 

There are few industries and few professions that couldn’t put XMatters to use but we needed to start with their Super Fans and Early Adopters–groups for whom the use cases were apparent and the success metrics and stories were easy to share.

We also needed a simple way to share the learnings of XMatters’ existing customers, Super Fans, and Early Adopters–and to leverage this to grow value with new and existing customers.

This was the basis of our content strategy for the XMatters website and the online community.

We ultimately delivered…

  • A redesigned website with completely new messaging and content that was targeted to Super Fan/Early Adopters and easy for like audiences to understand;
  • An elegant UI, taxonomy, and ontology that made the information easy to discover–and “breadcrumbed” site visitors to contact XMatters; and
  • An integrated community that allowed current and prospective customers to share their XMatters knowledge and experience.

My Role In The Solution:

I was part of a great team of talented designers, developers, program and project managers. To this team and project I contributed…

  • Developing the initial design concepts (sketches) for the new visual design
  • Leading visual and UX designers to design a new visual design, information architecture and interface.
  • Developing the content strategy for the redesigned website and community
  • Writing copy and managing copywriters, designers, and HTML developers who produced content for the site
  • Providing creative direction for the website and community
  • Developing IA and UX for the website and community

Results: 

Increase in the percentage of website visitors who engage with video and other interactive content and who complete a lead form (demo, contact sales, request info). Growth in number and percentage of website visitors who join the XMatters community. Lower percentage of level one questions being escalated to higher level support.

Resume

I’ve always considered myself a rather colorful person so it should surprise no one that I have a coloring book version of my resume. Check it out! If you bring me in for an interview, I’ll bring you the awesome color pencils to go with!

coloring-book-sm_2017.05.01

A Portfolio Approach To Contented Customers With Kendall Jackson

 

Challenge:

Kendall Jackson, or Jackson Family Enterprises (JFE), owns and distributes award-winning wines from vineyards large and small. JFE takes a portfolio approach to managing their many wines, allowing each brand to stand alone and to establish its own customer base and reputation while leveraging their distribution network.

Operating as separate businesses and brands works well in terms of selling in the aisles of grocery stores, and at restaurants, bars, and wine stores. But, noting their success at leveraging shared customer relationships and distribution, JFE sought a similar solution for managing their owned and licensed content across all of the web properties for all of the wines in their portfolio.

Strategy:

JFE owned many valuable content assets and had invested in developing online properties, features, and functionality for some of the web properties they owned but had not leveraged those investments across all properties.

Our approach: Inventory and evaluate all content assets; assess their relevance/appropriateness for all wine brands, their audiences, and all JFE web properties; and identify and configure a CMS to make sharing assets across properties possible.

The content strategy was built upon two guiding principles:

  1. Each JFE brand must retain its own unique branding and continue to appeal to its core audience
  2. We can leverage owned and licensed assets, content, features, and functionality across all web properties

We ultimately created a map of all assets, content, features and functionality and used it to develop content strategies for each of JFE’s websites, starting with one of the company’s most accessible wines–millennial-targeted Murphy Goode.

 

My Role In The Solution:

I was part of a great team of talented designers, developers, program and project managers. To this team and project I contributed…

  • Developing the content strategy
  • Writing copy and managing copywriters, designers, and HTML developers who produced content for the sites
  • Developing a taxonomy and ontology for the content
  • Conducting audience and market research
  • Developing customer personae
  • Devising a tagging strategy for the Sitecore CMS

Results:

Improved efficiency and increased ROI on assets and systems.

Growing Customers And Value For American Express

Challenge: 

American Express, a global financial services corporation and the world’s largest card issuer, needed to grow the number of qualified leads they acquired via their website corporate cards and services websites–and to grow the lifetime value of their existing customers.

“Selling” corporate credit and charge cards and commercial payment tools is a complicated business with a relatively long purchase path that requires multiple stakeholders and approvals and a complex account setup process–none of which can be completed online.

Strategy: 

Given that we were asked to sell a product online that can’t be sold online, we focused on what we could absolutely deliver–more traffic, more engagement, and more lead forms completed.

Our approach was simple: Target, measure, and optimize.

We identified the primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences for the sites, analyzed the data to understand how those audiences responded to existing website content, online ads, and micro sites driving to the website.

We discovered four insights about our audiences:

  • Virtually all had completed at least some, if not a significant amount of, research prior to visiting the AMEX website
  • The primary audiences visited the site to validate that AMEX products/services had features superior to their existing payment solution
  • While executives would make the final purchase decision, program administrators and managers reporting to those executives gathered the lion’s share of the information on the executives’ behalf
  • Executives were less likely to visit the website for general content but were more likely to read/watch/download more technical or expert content

My Role In The Solution: 

I was part of a great team of talented designers, developers, program and project managers that ultimately developed a new visual design for the website, revised the messaging, copy, and CTAs; identified and included relevant written and video content AMEX already owned; designed landing pages and lead forms; and defined and tagged paths within the website to understand traffic patterns and paths to conversion.

To this team and project I contributed…

  • Leading the creative strategy
  • Developing the content strategy for the redesigned website
  • Writing copy and managing copywriters, designers, and HTML developers who produced content for the site
  • Developing an interactive recommendation tool to help site visitors identify the right product/service
  • Devising a tagging strategy for Sitecore CMS

Results: 

Marked increase in qualified leads generated via sites’ landing pages. AMEX grew their business with us.

Reinvigorating a Pioneering Brand With Cord Blood Registry

Challenge: 

Cord Blood Registry (CBR), a pioneer and leader in the cord blood stem cell banking industry, needed to grow the number of expectant parents who choose to bank their babies’ cord blood stem cells with CBR.

In researching the market and interviewing and surveying expecting parents, both CBR’s customers and parents who chose not to bank, we learned that there were four challenges we’d need to overcome in convincing parents to bank:

  • Low awareness of cord blood banking among expectant parents
  • Low understanding of stem cell science and medical applications
  • Relatively high cost of banking
  • Lack of agreement among physicians on the benefits of banking

We also discovered three barriers to growing preference and the number/percentage of banking parents who choose CBR:

  • Confusion around the Cord Blood Registry’s private banking offering and nonprofits that offer let parents donate cells free of charge
  • Competitors co-opting CBR’s branding and messaging, making differentiation among un-savvy expecting parents challenging
  • Low understanding of the benefits of CBR’s superior quality and research-backed offering

Strategy: 

To counter these challenges, we’d need to…

  • Make the science accessible;
  • Position CBR’s superior offering in plain English and in terms of things parents value;
  • Reach parents outside the current target audience; and
  • Leverage the credibility of physicians, parents, and others who believe in banking.

We repositioned the brand–crafting new brand messaging, value proposition statements, product benefit and feature statements, and a new brand identity.

CBR's new logo lockup
CBR’s new logo lockup

 

New storage kit design
New storage kit design

 

We redesigned and completely reimagined the responsively designed website and mobile website. The content strategy was built upon the above insights and prominently featured videos of CBR customer and employee stories and physician testimonials, info graphics to explain stem cell science and CBR’s clinical trial outcomes. We also developed an online enrollment process, designed landing pages and lead capture forms and downloads to grow qualified leads.

We developed email marketing campaigns to persuade existing customers to bank the stem cels of their second (or third) babies and to refer CBR to expecting friends in exchange for a discount on their annual storage fees. We also targeted prospective customers via email, print, direct mail, mobile, and wall boards and brochures in physicians’ offices.

Finally we created a patient education microsite that supported physicians in educating patients on cord blood banking.

My Role In The Solution: 

I was part of a great team of talented designers, developers, program and project managers. To this team and project I contributed…

  • Developing new positioning for the brand
  • Developing a new tagline that aligned with the company’s long-term vision–“Healthy Futures Born Here”
  • Developing the content and creative strategy for customer and prospect email, online, print, direct, billing, and medical office campaigns
  • Wrote scripts, created storyboards, and directed videos
  • Writing copy and managing copywriters, designers, and HTML developers who produced campaign content
  • Serving as creative director for the website, patient education microsite, and marketing campaigns
  • Designing the A/B testing strategy to identify highest-converting pages and copy
  • Developed taxonomy, tagging, personae, and tracking for Sitecore CMS

Results: 

Double-digit increases in brand awareness, preference, and referrals. Online enrollments contributed to significant percentage of new enrollments.