Webinar3: Building the Business Case for Content Optimization


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In the third webinar of our series, “Your Content, Only Better,” we’ll help you put together a strong business argument for adopting content optimization software like Acrolinx.
Our presenter, who has spent the last twenty years helping companies communicate better, will cover these topics:
*Benefits of content optimization: strategic & measurable
*Tying into your organization’s strategic objectives
*Six hidden impacts of content problems
*Calculating your ROI
*Five key elements of presenting your case to management

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  • In most organizations, investments in improving internal processes must:Align with and reinforce the organization’s strategyProduce sufficient savings, productivity improvements, and revenue increases to pay for itself within a reasonable timeWe’ll begin by looking at how content optimization can support the organization’s strategy.
  • From a presentation at the 2012 Best Practices Conference, Ben Jackson (VP) and Paul Perotta (Director) of Juniper Networks shared their experience trying to get top management to invest additional resources in technical documentation. This slide reinforces our advice to associate yourself with the company strategy instead of focusing solely on increasing efficiency.
  • The left column lists some potential corporate strategies, and the right column lists how optimizing your content could reinforce those strategies.But do not select ALL of them – make sure you know which initiatives your executives care about, and align your messages to those initiatives. (If you have trouble figuring out your key strategies, look at your company’s annual report or a recent “message to shareholders.”)
  • This gives some examples of the impact of improving content on outcomes that executives may care about.
  • In this example from Juniper’s presentation, you can see the contrast between a department-centered approach (on the left) vs. an executive-centered approach (on the right). The executive-centered approach is much more likely to resonate with executives and earn their support because it demonstrates your focus on what’s important to the company.
  • And here are some great ways to position the importance and impact of technical documentation. Instead of allowing techdocs to be viewed as a “necessary evil” or a “cost center,” the guys at Juniper position techdocs as critical to:Buying the product – because customers increasingly consult techdocs BEFORE they purchaseUsing the product productively – the classic purpose of techdocsAll of which adds up to:Driving revenue growthImproving customer satisfaction
  • And for the final slide from Juniper’s great presentation, here’s how they quantified the impact of a greater investment in techdocs – which leads us to the ROI side of the argument.IX = Information Experience, which is analogous to User Experience (UX)JTAC = Juniper Technical Assistance Center.
  • An error missed at the “Specification” stage can cost $500 to correct after it’s been distributed to customers – and the cost is amplified for each language.
  • Borrow from our slides – as we have borrowed from Juniper Networks (for which we received their permission).
  • It’s likely that your world is changing in important ways, and you can help your business case by emphasizing the maturity of these changes and their likely impact in the future.For example, in many companies, content is increasingly created by people who are non-professional writers, non-native speakers, or both – and at the same time, there are fewer resources available to ensure that customers can understand that content. If this is a new phenomenon in your organization, then it’s likely that you haven’t fully felt its impact – and if you anticipate problems before they happen, your organization will be in a better position.
  • Where should you invest? When you consider your technology recommendations, you may find this chart useful – and potentially worth building into your proposal.“Process Impact” has both positive and negative implications:Positive: streamlines and automates the process, removes work, increases productivityNegative: causes greater disruption, may involve longer implementation times & costs“Customer Impact” refers to the positive impact on customers from implementing the technology.Content management: primary impact is internal, with little to no impact on what customers seeContent optimization: improves internal processes (especially in localization, editing and SEO); compared to the other technologies, implementation of content optimization causes only modest disruptionStructured authoring (XML): potentially yields a lot of impact on customers because it expands the number of media on which the content is available and enables personalization and faster time-to-market. However, it’s by far the most disruptive and expensive technology of the three.
  • Does language matter? Here’s one analyst’s assessment.
  • Webinar3: Building the Business Case for Content Optimization

    1. 1. Building the Business Case forContent OptimizationThird of our series: “Your Content, Only Better”October 4, 2012 PG Bartlett, Acrolinx
    2. 2. You’re Here Because: You produce a lot of content Your content is vital – Pre-sales – generates revenue – Post-sales – enables self-service Your budget is under pressure Your market is competitive Your team is international Your market is global
    3. 3. Agenda Benefits of content optimization Tying into your organization’s strategic objectives Calculating your ROI Presenting your case About Acrolinx
    4. 4. “When a Japanese manufacturer was asked by his North American counterpart, "What is the best language in which to do business?" the man responded: "My customers language.” – Leonard I. Sweethttp://www.thinkexist.com
    5. 5. Business Cases Have Two Foundations
    6. 6. Tie to Your Organization’s Strategic Goal Geographical expansion  Lower translation costs Faster product cycles  Faster editing & translation Lower costs  Lower editing, support & translation costs Greater customer  Higher content quality, more satisfaction understandable & consistent Better customer support  Improved findability & comprehension Higher productivity  Less work for SMEs, editors, reviewers & translators …  …
    7. 7. Tying Language Improvements to Strategy Plain language improve reader comprehension improve customer satisfaction & first-time fix rates One voice improve branding consistency support transition to “solutions” provider Localization costs (human & machine) reduce cost and time expand geographically Compliance reduce legal risk limit negative publicity improve brand image Search improve search results increase revenue, improve customer satisfaction
    8. 8. IX = Information eXperience
    9. 9. Typical Benefits of Content OptimizationCustomer-Facing (Strategic) Internal Process 100% increase in web  10% cost benefit in traffic authoring 30% improvement in  60% cost benefit in editing readability  15% cost benefit in Increased customer translation satisfaction  Lower support costs Higher revenue  Faster time to market
    10. 10. Hidden Impacts of Content Problems Internally-facing issues – Content rework later in the development cycle? – Costly editorial and technical review processes? – Higher translation costs? – Excessive support calls? Customer-facing issues – Purchases that don’t happen? – Product returns from frustrated customers? – Negative customer reviews?
    11. 11. Early Corrections Save Costs $1 – SpecificationThe earlier you catcha mistake, the less it $5 – Writingcosts to fix. $20 – Editing $50 – Technical Review $100 – Pre-production/QA $500 (per language) – Distribution
    12. 12. What Quantifiable Benefits Can You Expect? Localization yields greatest “hard” savings – Typically significant budget item – Savings come from: • Phase 1: 2-5% word reduction, 10% fewer issues to resolve • Phase 2: reused sentences “Soft” savings in editing – Editors re-deployed to higher-value work, i.e., improving accuracy “Soft” savings in authoring – Built-in guidance reduces training time – Authors find more of their own errors; faster & easier than fixing errors caught downstream by editors (or customers) Time-to-market savings – Difficult to quantify, highly dependent on your situation
    13. 13. Let’s consider the “hard” savingsCost BenefitsVersion 2012-10-01 Annual BenefitEnter data only in cells marked like this: Enter data hereAuthoring cost improvement $25,000 Authoring payroll = number of authors times the average fully Authoring costs $500,000 loaded cost. Savings come from relieving authors from Improvement expected (%) 5.0% looking up terminology or style guidelines.Editing cost improvement $50,000 Editing payroll = number of editors times the average fully Editing costs $100,000 loaded costs. If editors are part-time, then adjust the payroll Improvement expected (%) 50.0% cost down accordingly.Translation cost improvement $18,000 If the translation budget is unknown, then consider deriving it Translation budget (annual) $150,000 by multiplying the number of words created each year times Improvement expected (%) 12.0% the number of languages times the cost per word (25 cents?). Total Annual Cost Benefit $93,000 Total Annual Opportunity Benefit $125,000 Total Annual Benefit $218,000 This Excel file will be posted on acrolinx.com along with these slides.
    14. 14. And now the “soft” savingsOpportunity BenefitsVersion 2012-10-01 Annual BenefitEnter data only in cells marked like this: Enter data hereCustomer Retention $62,500 This reflects improvements in customer satisfaction because Annual revenue ($millions) $250 you produce content that ranks higher in search results and is Gross margin (%) 5% easier to understand. Improvement expected (%) 0.5%Customer Acquisition $62,500 This reflects improvements in acquiring new customers Annual revenue ($millions) $250 because you produce content that ranks higher in search Gross margin (%) 5% results and is easier to understand. Improvement expected (%) 0.5%Improved Time-to-Market $0 This reflects reductions in time-to-market thanks to reducing Annual revenue ($millions) $250 documentation & localization time. (Many companies will Gross margin (%) 5% experience zero impact here because documentation never Improvement expected (days) 0 delays the product release.) Portion of product revenue affected (%) 20%Regulatory Penalty Avoidance $0 Few companies will see impacts in these areas, which reflectLitigation Cost Avoidance $0 reductions in regulatory and legal penalties by producing fewer documentation errors. Total Annual Opportunity Benefit $125,000 Total Annual Cost Benefit $93,000 Total Annual Benefit $218,000
    15. 15. Presenting Your Case How content problems hinder achievement of your organization’s strategic objectives Impact of technical content on your customers Impact of technical content on your organization How your proposed project will: – Improve your content – Support your organization’s strategy Quantitative business case Third-party credibility – List other organizations already optimizing their content – Analyst commentary (see next two slides) “Borrow” from our slides!
    16. 16. How is your world changing? Content creation moving upstream to engineers, support people, help desk? Content creation increasingly performed by non-native speakers (perhaps created offshore or outsourced)? Content required in more languages? Content increasingly consumed by non-native speakers? Tighter schedules? Lean/agile development processes?How recent are these changes? How much impact is felt today? Howmuch more impact is still to come? How can you get ready now?
    17. 17. Impact of Content Automation Technologies Customer Impact Content Optimization Structured Authoring Content Management Process Impact (Efficiency & Disruption)
    18. 18. “Language Afterthought Syndrome” (LAS) From Gilbane: LAS is “a pattern of treating language requirements as secondary considerations within content strategies and solutions.” “Companies leak money and opportunity by failing to address language issues as integral to end-to-end solutions rather than ancillary post-processes.”http://gilbane.com/globalization/2009/09/suffering_from_language_afterthought_syndrome.html
    19. 19. LAS Symptoms “Painful time-to-market delays” “Pesky inefficiencies due to redundant translations” “Content that should be reusable, but isn’t” “High customer support costs due to mediocre quality of translated content” “Time and money to retrofit translated content to meet compliance requirements” “Maxed-out language capacity, constrained by unscalable globalization infrastructures” “Multichannel customer communications that are inconsistent and out of synch” “Mysterious localization and translation costs”http://gilbane.com/globalization/2009/09/suffering_from_language_afterthought_syndrome.html
    20. 20. Acrolinx Overview
    21. 21. Acrolinx Overview Technology developed by Acrolinx team at German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence Spun off in 2002 to develop software that helps write better content Privately owned Berlin headquarters, offices in U.S. & Japan Available in English, Chinese, German, Japanese, French, Swedish
    22. 22. Everyone can Managers canHow Does it Work? access terms view status & results Acrolinx works within editing tools Acrolinx checks content against rules & terms Set up rules & terms Set up users & systems
    23. 23. Some Acrolinx Customers Aerospace Medical Software High Tech Industrial
    24. 24. Follow-Up Contact info: pg.bartlett@acrolinx.com Next & last webinar of this series: – “Planning for a Successful Implementation of Content Optimization” – October 25 – Register at: http://www.acrolinx.com (link will be live soon) Recording, slides & spreadsheet will be posted soon at http://www.acrolinx.com/webinars_en.html
    25. 25. Thank You!PG Bartlettpg.bartlett@acrolinx.com