By Ellen Barnes Pfiffner, EBP Business Consulting and Darby Mason-Werner, Director of Client Solutions, Signet
Depending on the company culture, infrastructure and operations, multi-site Client Center programs are structured differently. Award winning companies like HPE, Dell Technologies and Salesforce have a large facility and staff at their headquarters location. The other Centers are located strategically to provide customers and prospectsthe opportunity to visit in those regions. These Centers are usually smaller, have less staff and fewer resources. The HQ Center provides support and sets standards to manage the experience across the program’s footprint.
Customer Experience instead of EBC
In some global companies, Marketing and Communications teams located in headquarters locations are responsible for working with the business unit teams to define approved content that can be used across all Centers. In some cases,they will also push content to shared gathering areas within regional sites across the globe. For briefing presentation content, local teams are given access to primary decks and can work with local discussion leaders to personalize and customize the content for briefings.
Some Fortune 50 Software Companies have adapted a decentralized but coordinated model. The experience in the headquarter Center is unique and different compared to the regional Centers which are then globally consistent. The content is then scaled and coordinated between the two types of Centers.
Other companies have “independent” Centers across the marketplace. These Client Centers typically report to different departments and have separate budgets. A best in class practice is to establish a cadence of calls to share best practices; especially content. Developing content can be expensive andlabor intensive. Plus, it is complex because marketing communications dictates strict branding and messaging standards. Sharing content across the Centers provides a more consistent customer experience and eliminates duplicate work in the field. As Pamela Evans, Senior Director of the Palo Alto Networks Executive Briefing Program, shares, “It is essential that we share consistent content for Center branding and for briefing sessions between our headquarters EBC and regional Amsterdam Center. With customers visiting both sites on a regular basis, we must maintain a singular and up-to-date presence that reflects our latest technology and solutions.”
Client Centers need to have fresh relevant and engaging content. This is a critical success factor! Regardless of whether the Centers are part of the same program, operate as a coordinated model or share independently, the content platforms need to be accessible in all locations and must easily scale across different size screens or other digital endpoints. Shared Client Center Content platforms often include:
Today’s content platforms are more technically advanced, with the ability to drive interactive content, provide data visualization, and integrate with briefingscheduling tools to automate and personalize content for Client Center guests. They are now referred to as digital engagement platforms for all of these reasons. These capabilities are key to how Client Centers are up-leveling the impact of their content and improving the satisfaction of their visitors.
Strategies for Managing Client Center Content Series Summary
Across the marketplace, meaningful content differentiates your company by communicating the brand, offering relatable solutions to address customer challenges and providing a memorable experience that leads to the decision to do business with your company. Client centers are a powerful and strategic sales tool that require continuous content refreshing to personalize client experiences and support the corporation’s bottom line.
Increasingly corporations are focused on and investing more to create and manage relevant content. To optimize that investment, companies are employing content curators to coordinate and distribute content across multiple and global Centers providing a consistent experience. Client Centers’ best practices for content curation include having a content strategy, a plan for sourcing existing content, access and knowledge of corporate campaigns and launch plans, as well as processes in place to organize, and refresh or replace content when it expires. By participating on governance committees, content curators can build agreements with internal teams to understand what content is available, how often it will be updated, and when to deploy it to the Centers.
Establishing and maintaining consistency across global centers is imperative. Regardless of whether the Centers are part of the same program, operate as a coordinated model or share independently, they should reflect one clear corporate brand and solution offering. In order to do so, digital engagement platforms are implemented to offer scalability across global Center locations while providing access to shared content. These platforms allow Client Center programs to be highly productive and truly customer-focused to create those memorable experiences that briefing teams strive for. Research and case studies prove if a company provides the customer an experience that is collaborative and customized to their needs, customer loyalty and consequently sales increases.
Below are the other articles in this series:
ARTICLE 3: Essentials of Managing Content
Ellen Barnes Pfiffner, M.Ed.,CMM – Ellen is the principal of EBP Business Consulting and offers benchmarking, tools, and consulting to executive briefing programs globally, on-site ABPM Competency courses, and customized training programs including Facilitation Skills. Active in the ABPM for 15+ years, Ellen has published Briefing articles on numerous topics and , has served on the ABPM Advisory Board . She can be contacted at: www.ebpbusinessconsulting.com, Ellen@ebpbusinessconsulting.com, or at 214-789-3571.
Darby Mason-Werner, Director, Client Solutions – Darby has been a member of the briefing profession for more than 15 years having built and managed the Xilinx Corporate Briefing Center Program before joining Signet in February 2016. She has been an ABPM member since 2003 and served on the ABPM Advisory Board. Darby is a frequent presenter at ABPM conferences including Core Competency Curriculum courses. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-472-8181.