and future’s

Who is today’s content professional?
Lavacon 2013
Kapil Verma | Sr. Product Manager, Adobe
A little bit about myself..
• Manage the Adobe Technical
Communication line of products

• Responsible for product strateg...
So, what is causing shifts in the content
professional’s role?

Content
Professional

Peers

End Users

Business
Insights drawn from several surveys over time
Feb’12

1

Tech comm Tools and
trends survey
STC

May’13

2

Who is today’s ...
So, what is causing shifts in the content
professional’s role?

Content
Professional

Peers

End Users

Business
Business
Business is demanding more efficiency
72% reported their
software budgets
are either
decreasing or at
best stable..

..whi...
How are content professionals responding
to this changing expectation?

How to produce
content?

Structured
Authoring

Wha...
Adoption of structured authoring is increasing..
% of respondents who are already doing structured authoring
% of total, v...
..And it is quite broad across corporation size
Structured Authoring Migration Trends
Percent of total responses

Small

M...
..And by industry and geo
Already doing/Migrating/Planning to do SA
% of total respondents
49%

Top 5 verticals
High Tech
...
Rationale for choosing structured authoring
supports the desire for efficiency
Importance of factors in migration to SA
Av...
Structured Authoring is here to stay..
But, there is a skill gap which will need to be
bridged

2,858

555

139

699
Only 10-15%
may have the
right skill set

So...
How are tech comm professionals responding
to this changing expectation?

How to produce
content?

Structured
Authoring

W...
Content that “really” matters

30% of respondents rated
usage of web analytics tools as an
important requirement

Source: ...
CASE STUDY: Adobe Documentation team
Challenge

Action

Result
Insight

• Maintain 100K
pages across 30+
products

• Imple...
The second thing business is demanding is
show the business value of content
Challenge and opportunity are two sides of the
same coin..
Business views Tech Comm ..but is there an
as a cost center..
o...
Technical content can drive business value
Technical content can add value
in the purchase funnel..
MARKETING CAMPAIGN

.....
CASE STUDY: ifixit
So, what is holding us back?
New areas to learn and new mindset to
develop

Structured
Authoring

Web
Analytics

Content
Marketing
So, what is causing shifts in the content
professional’s role?

Content
Professional

Peers

End Users

Business

Peers
Collaboration is becoming ever more
important in organizations

Edwin CatMull – Pixar
“A movie contains literally tens of ...
Survey shows that the need and extent of collaboration
is increasing in our profession as well

30%
~9
2x

Percentage of t...
CMS as a collaboration tool, has lot of headroom to
grow and will do so in the coming years
CMS penetration
% of responden...
However, the current tools and approaches being used
to collaborate are neither efficient nor scalable
Email

Tools used t...
Collaboration skills will continue to become
more important in the future as well
Tools will need to
change for effective
...
So, what is causing shifts in the content
professional’s role?

End
Users

Content
Professional

Peers

End Users

Busines...
What are end users demanding?

1. Content should be
accessible from anywhere
2. Give me the info I need,
quickly!
3. It is...
Consumers demand content to “live” everywhere
Smart mobile devices are displacing PC sales
CAGR
2012-17

WW Units sales by category
In million units

Smartphones

Table...
..and consumers are changing their usage and
consumption habits

24%

38% of our
daily media
interactions occur
on a smart...
Organizations are clearly responding to this trend
Responsive web design (RWD): A web design approach aimed at crafting si...
and that includes content professionals as well
Mobile publishing
% of respondents publishing to either EPUB, Kindle or HT...
Secondly, attention spans are crashing..

You read David
Copperfield?!

This trend will
become even
stronger due to..

Ima...
..and they will become worse

Image courtesy: http://www.google.com/think/research-studies/the-new-multi-screen-world-stud...
We need to “wow” the consumers with engaging
content and give them info they need quickly
And that’s what the content professionals are
doing
~58%
of the
respondents

Use images/vector art in their technical cont...
Impact of visually rich documentation
“ Traditional” help content

“Visual” help content
Impact of visually rich documentation
“ Traditional” help content

“Visual” help content

61,514

9,657

Page views
Source...
Thirdly, it is becoming a 2-way conversation with end user
Content professionals are interacting with end
users through a variety of channels
Distribution by end user interaction
% ...
Social media is an upcoming channel for user
engagement
Use of social media in end user engagement
•
Distribution by statu...
Some starting to leverage user generated
content as well

17% of companies today
allow customers to create
documentation a...
Need to think about user engagement
Need to engage the
users in this
information heavy
world

End users have a voice
and t...
Changing role of the content professional

Illustration of changing tech comm role
World is changing around us..
Traditional Content Creation Workflow

AUTHOR

PUBLISH
To this..
Finding efficiencies

Author

Organize and
assemble “best of
the world” content

More seamless,
more collaborati...
In summary..
STATUS

CHANGING MINDSET

NEW SKILLS

Thinking like a “marketer”

• Content Marketing
• Web analytics

Early
...
Adobe’s solution..
Adobe’s solution in the tech comm space
Thank you!

.com/adobetcs
blogs.adobe.com/techcomm
@KapilVermaAdobe
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20131021 Lavacon keynote - Who are today's and future's content professionals? (Kapil Verma, Sr. Product Manager, Adobe Systems)

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Slides from the keynote address I gave at the Lavacon conference 2013 in Portland, Oregon

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20131021 Lavacon keynote - Who are today's and future's content professionals? (Kapil Verma, Sr. Product Manager, Adobe Systems)

  1. 1. and future’s Who is today’s content professional? Lavacon 2013 Kapil Verma | Sr. Product Manager, Adobe
  2. 2. A little bit about myself.. • Manage the Adobe Technical Communication line of products • Responsible for product strategy and roadmap, and customer and partner relationships • Prior to Tech Comm, worked in marketing, strategy and software engineering
  3. 3. So, what is causing shifts in the content professional’s role? Content Professional Peers End Users Business
  4. 4. Insights drawn from several surveys over time Feb’12 1 Tech comm Tools and trends survey STC May’13 2 Who is today’s technical communicator? STC Sep’13 3 Tech Comm Content Strategy & Tools Survey Worldwide tech comm groups
  5. 5. So, what is causing shifts in the content professional’s role? Content Professional Peers End Users Business Business
  6. 6. Business is demanding more efficiency 72% reported their software budgets are either decreasing or at best stable.. ..while >40% reported increase in workload There is more to do –deadlines to meet, more devices, more languages and more technologies to comprehend Source: Adobe tech comm survey 2013 (N=490); The 2012 Writers UA Salary Survey Survey question: Over the last 3 years, what has been the trend for software spends in your tech pubs department?
  7. 7. How are content professionals responding to this changing expectation? How to produce content? Structured Authoring What content “really” matters? Content Prioritization
  8. 8. Adoption of structured authoring is increasing.. % of respondents who are already doing structured authoring % of total, various industry surveys 44% 42% 13% 28% 29% 28% Plan to Already Doing 19% 15% 20% 2008 2009 Scriptorium SDL 2011 2012 Content Wrangler Source: Scriptorium 2009, 2011; SDL survey; Content Wrangler Survey 2012 2013 Adobe Surveys Source: Adobe survey to STC NA 2012 (N=237) Adobe tech comm survey 2013 (N=490)
  9. 9. ..And it is quite broad across corporation size Structured Authoring Migration Trends Percent of total responses Small Medium 34% 21% 7% 3% 8% 5% 46% 32% Already doing Migrating Large Enterprise 24% 6% 39% Source: Adobe tech comm survey 2013 (N=490) Survey question:At what stage of structured authoring journey are you currently? Small”1-9; Medium=10-1K; Large=1-5K; Enterprise > 5K FTE 11% Planning to migrate 42% 8% 9% 55%
  10. 10. ..And by industry and geo Already doing/Migrating/Planning to do SA % of total respondents 49% Top 5 verticals High Tech 50% Prof Services EMEA 41% 40% Manufacturing 40% 32% Telecommunications 56% NA APJ Healthcare 32% Source: Adobe tech comm survey 2013 (N=490) Survey question: At what stage of structured authoring journey are you currently? % of respondents who said they are already doing/migrating/planning to migrate to structured authoring
  11. 11. Rationale for choosing structured authoring supports the desire for efficiency Importance of factors in migration to SA Average rating, scale 1-5. 1=Not Important and 5=v. important Content re-use 4.4 Document consistency 4.3 Ease of updating/maintenance 4.3 Easier publishing to multiple formats 4.1 Reduced content errors 3.9 Savings in content development time Majority of the top reasons are related to driving efficiency in content development, localization and publishing 3.8 Savings in translation costs 3.3 Source: Adobe tech comm survey 2013 (N=490) Survey question: Please rate the importance of the following factors in your decision to move to structured authoring.
  12. 12. Structured Authoring is here to stay..
  13. 13. But, there is a skill gap which will need to be bridged 2,858 555 139 699 Only 10-15% may have the right skill set Source: Indeed.com
  14. 14. How are tech comm professionals responding to this changing expectation? How to produce content? Structured Authoring What content “really” matters? Content Prioritization
  15. 15. Content that “really” matters 30% of respondents rated usage of web analytics tools as an important requirement Source: Adobe tech comm survey 2013 (N=490) Survey question: Please rate the following potential enhancements for Adobe RoboHelp according to their importance to you
  16. 16. CASE STUDY: Adobe Documentation team Challenge Action Result Insight • Maintain 100K pages across 30+ products • Implemented comprehensive web analytics • 27 people team • Identified key metrics Results for tracking related to traffic, content • Focused approach led to engagement and improvements positive discoverability ratings by 25% and reduction in support calls • What to focus on? + • 10-20% of content generates >80% of interest • More empowered role for tech comm
  17. 17. The second thing business is demanding is show the business value of content
  18. 18. Challenge and opportunity are two sides of the same coin.. Business views Tech Comm ..but is there an as a cost center.. opportunity? Content Marketing Source: Google Trends
  19. 19. Technical content can drive business value Technical content can add value in the purchase funnel.. MARKETING CAMPAIGN ..and there is evidence to show for it A According to a HP study, 90% of users never even touch the product before buying. The knowledge users gain is from reviews and product content on the Web B A NA engine manufacturer repackaged maintenance/repair procedural content into interactive eBook, and plan to sell it to customers C Adobe team generated multi-million $ in revenues for CS by generating leads from documentation AWARENESS INTEREST EVALUATION COMMITMENT REFERRAL REPEAT
  20. 20. CASE STUDY: ifixit
  21. 21. So, what is holding us back?
  22. 22. New areas to learn and new mindset to develop Structured Authoring Web Analytics Content Marketing
  23. 23. So, what is causing shifts in the content professional’s role? Content Professional Peers End Users Business Peers
  24. 24. Collaboration is becoming ever more important in organizations Edwin CatMull – Pixar “A movie contains literally tens of thousands of ideas. They’re in the form of every sentence; in the performance of each line; in the design of characters, sets, and backgrounds; in the locations of the camera; in the colors, the lighting, the pacing”
  25. 25. Survey shows that the need and extent of collaboration is increasing in our profession as well 30% ~9 2x Percentage of technical writers who reported that the extent of collaboration is increasing in their organization Number of SMEs a technical writer collaborates with on average Is the proportion of organizations which cited increasing collaboration and planning to move to structured authoring as compared to those who don’t have any plans 76, 57, 37% Percentage of technical writers who collaborate with engineers, other technical writers and marketing personnel respectively Source: Adobe tech comm survey 2013 (N=490)
  26. 26. CMS as a collaboration tool, has lot of headroom to grow and will do so in the coming years CMS penetration % of respondents who are using any CMS 68% 50% 49% 39% 2012 2013 2012 2013 No plans of moving Already doing to structured structured authoring authoring Source: Adobe tech comm survey 2013 (N=490), Adobe Tech Comm Survey 2012 (N=237) Survey Question: Which of the following CMS are you currently using or planning to use?*
  27. 27. However, the current tools and approaches being used to collaborate are neither efficient nor scalable Email Tools used to get SME feedback 81% In person / phone 70% ? PDF comments 70% MS Word 49% Common authoring tool Are we using the right tools for effective collaboration? 11% CMS 11% Shared cloud review 9% Source: Adobe tech comm survey 2013 (N=490) Survey Question: How do you collaborate with SMEs to get their feedback?*
  28. 28. Collaboration skills will continue to become more important in the future as well Tools will need to change for effective collaboration at a larger scale Slide which illustrates this point CMS adoption will grow Professionals will need to develop new skillsets and learn new technologies
  29. 29. So, what is causing shifts in the content professional’s role? End Users Content Professional Peers End Users Business
  30. 30. What are end users demanding? 1. Content should be accessible from anywhere 2. Give me the info I need, quickly! 3. It is a 2-way street!
  31. 31. Consumers demand content to “live” everywhere
  32. 32. Smart mobile devices are displacing PC sales CAGR 2012-17 WW Units sales by category In million units Smartphones Tablet PC 1,516 16% 468 32% 272 -4% 1,078 919 722 472 293 139 305 347 299 2008A 2009A 2010A 315 302 266 357 172 19 341 70 2011A 116 2012 A 197 2013E 2014E 2017E Source: Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Gartner and IDC research
  33. 33. ..and consumers are changing their usage and consumption habits 24% 38% of our daily media interactions occur on a smartphone 9% Source: Google study, 2012. The New Multi Screen World
  34. 34. Organizations are clearly responding to this trend Responsive web design (RWD): A web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors) Source: Google Trends, wikipedia
  35. 35. and that includes content professionals as well Mobile publishing % of respondents publishing to either EPUB, Kindle or HTML5 44% 34% 29% 25% 15% 13% 11% 5% 5% 2012 2013 2012 2013 11% 3% 2012 2013 Source: Adobe tech comm survey 2013 (N=490), Adobe Tech Comm Survey 2012 (N=237) Survey Question: Which of the following output formats do you currently publish or plan to publish your technical content to?* Future
  36. 36. Secondly, attention spans are crashing.. You read David Copperfield?! This trend will become even stronger due to.. Image courtesy: http://www.killianbranding.com/whitepapers/the-post-literate-era-planning-around-short-attention-spans/ Gangnam Style
  37. 37. ..and they will become worse Image courtesy: http://www.google.com/think/research-studies/the-new-multi-screen-world-study.html
  38. 38. We need to “wow” the consumers with engaging content and give them info they need quickly
  39. 39. And that’s what the content professionals are doing ~58% of the respondents Use images/vector art in their technical content Use videos 33% 41% Use hotspot linked images Use audio clips 11% Use 3D models Source: FrameMaker Survey to STC members (2012), N=237 18%
  40. 40. Impact of visually rich documentation “ Traditional” help content “Visual” help content
  41. 41. Impact of visually rich documentation “ Traditional” help content “Visual” help content 61,514 9,657 Page views Source: Adobe LR team Page views for Photoshop Elements (Sep 23, 2012 - Oct 19, 2013) Page views
  42. 42. Thirdly, it is becoming a 2-way conversation with end user
  43. 43. Content professionals are interacting with end users through a variety of channels Distribution by end user interaction % by # end-user interaction per month Medium of interaction % by medium used 89% 1-2 27% 3-5 16% 46% of companies provide ways for 53% 44% customers to share feedback and/or rate 6-10 10% their documentation and training 26% 5% 11-15 1% 16-20 >20 5% 9% content. NONE 36% 4 end user interactions Source: Adobe tech comm survey 2013 (N=490), Cxontent Wrangler benchmarking survey on average 1% Survey Question: How often do you interact with the end users of your documentation? Please specify the number of interactions per month? Which mediums do you use to interact with your end users?*
  44. 44. Social media is an upcoming channel for user engagement Use of social media in end user engagement • Distribution by status of mobile publishing Column1 32% will be Most popular social media sites using social media Currently using 17% 68% 62% 29% • No plans 54% Industry differences • Hi-Tech (38%) • Education (42%) • Manufacturing (31%) • Healthcare (25%) • Generation differences • Baby Boomer: 28% • Gen X = 37% Planning to 15% Not decided 14% Source: Survey to STC members, N = 393 Numbers in red represent using or planning to leverage social media to engage with end users
  45. 45. Some starting to leverage user generated content as well 17% of companies today allow customers to create documentation and training content. 20% allow them to edit 10-20% of Image courtesy: http://ejl179.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/crazy-dude-cartoon.jpg Source: Content Wrangler Benchmarking survey 2012; Adobe Tech Comm Survey 2013 organizations starting to use wikis for end user engagement
  46. 46. Need to think about user engagement Need to engage the users in this information heavy world End users have a voice and they will use it, whether you will like it or not Content should be accessible from mobile “devices” “Content curation” becomes important with “democratization”
  47. 47. Changing role of the content professional Illustration of changing tech comm role
  48. 48. World is changing around us.. Traditional Content Creation Workflow AUTHOR PUBLISH
  49. 49. To this.. Finding efficiencies Author Organize and assemble “best of the world” content More seamless, more collaboration Curate Collaborate Drive user engagement Engage Publish New devices
  50. 50. In summary.. STATUS CHANGING MINDSET NEW SKILLS Thinking like a “marketer” • Content Marketing • Web analytics Early Making content “ubiquitous” • Mobile formats • Consumer behavior Establishing Looking for “efficiencies” • XML/DITA • Topic based authoring Established Achieving “scalable” collaboration • New tools • CMS Establishing Creating “engaging” content • Rich media Establishing Becoming a “content curator” • User generated content Early
  51. 51. Adobe’s solution..
  52. 52. Adobe’s solution in the tech comm space
  53. 53. Thank you! .com/adobetcs blogs.adobe.com/techcomm @KapilVermaAdobe

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