Laura Bellamy is Director of Content Strategy and Operations at VMware, a global leader in cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology that accelerates digital transformation for evolving IT environments. In a recent interview for our Active Content Governance playbook, she revealed her approach to helping the company build a successful content governance program.
Can you tell us about your role at VMware?
I’m the Director of Content Strategy and Operations. My charter is to look for cross-divisional content challenges, then design, implement, and scale solutions that address them.
Why did VMware invest in content strategy and governance?
My role was created because the business saw the need to take some of the best practices and tools that came out of product documentation, marketing, and customer support and apply them consistently across the customer journey.
I’ve been given the charter and the responsibility to go do that and I have a team that supports me. We also have a corporate content management council that includes the business leaders from each of the departments that handle customer-facing content. It’s an open forum and allows us to expose issues, set goals, and track progress.
How did you get the stakeholders involved?
First I laid out the content challenges the business was facing. I highlighted the five main things that were wrong, and built my case using CSAT scores and social media data. I also used spending records to show the cost of duplicated effort.
Then I explained my ideal vision — what the future could look like — and the three things I wanted to orient around. Crucially, I explained what I didn’t want to do. By demonstrating that people wouldn’t have to dedicate resources or find extra budget for this program I allayed a lot of fears.
How did you get started?
I made my initial pitch to my vice president who owns all of the central teams — performance, release management, security, globalization, and localization, as well as all of the product documentation teams. I knew that someone had to take responsibility for content cross-divisionally, if we were to achieve our business goals of aligning the customer experience. Luckily, she agreed with me. She was very supportive and made it possible for me to take on the challenge.
What content problems are you trying to solve?
Number one is retrievability. How can we ensure that customers can find the content they want? Part of this is about SEO, but we also considered how they discover content on our site and through portals.
The next big one is content performance. We’re identifying all the various dimensions of content performance and using this information to determine the best way of measuring value. We’re also considering how we track these metrics. Do we have the capability or mechanism to measure them?
The final challenge is enabling and improving self-service. Traditionally there wasn’t any real cohesiveness across the customer journey, so we’ve done a lot of the journey mapping. The big question is how do we enable customers at every stage of the buyer journey?
What’s your advice for anyone launching a content governance program?
Look for quick wins that are also meaty wins. I think sometimes people go for a quick win that doesn’t move the needle at all. This is dangerous as you can end up wasting a lot of time.
The other thing to consider is disruption. You want to make an impact but you don’t want to create a lot of work for people. We look for projects that are impactful enough to move the needle but that don’t require a complete overhaul of every single microsite.
To learn more about content governance and how companies like VMware are approaching it, check out our Active Content Governance playbook.