How the Esri marketing team navigated change to get more done.
Provide greater visibility, transparency, and measurability of marketing projects
Scale to support growth
Consolidated 74 request systems into one streamlined marketing operational system of record
Reduced print collateral approval time from 2 weeks to 1.5 hours using the Workfront for Outlook integration
Saved 16 hours per week by standardizing legal review of localized assets in Workfront
Helps marketing division move quickly, work intelligently, get things done right, and efficiently collaborate across teams
For 50 years, Esri has been helping their customers solve real-world problems by providing mapping, geographic information systems (GIS), and location analytics software to frame data in a geographical context, what they call: The Science of Where®. From coffee giants that use location intelligence to improve sustainability of their crops and farmers; to parcel delivery services that use Esri’s technology to deliver on time and keep their costs down; to utilities that track their assets in real time to close outage or repair tickets quickly for their customers — Esri is the technology behind these brands. Esri is at the heart of 90 of the Fortune 100 companies, in all 50 U.S. state governments, and 87 of the Forbes Top 100 colleges in the United States.
This innovative way of looking at patterns and relationships extends to the marketing division at Esri, too, as they look to optimize and streamline the way that they approach marketing work.
“As a company that has continuously grown over the last 50 years while always striving for excellence, we knew that in order to expand our business and to reach more companies and users, we would have to undergo our own digital transformation to scale and support our growth,” says Christina Sullivan, Marketing Leader.
“For the marketing division, one key to our transformation was to have visibility, transparency, and measurability to all our work. We started on the journey to find a tool that would help us transform the way we worked. We looked at several tools, but Adobe Workfront came out on top.”
Marketing Leader, Esri
Turning patterns of excellence into a new way of working across the marketing department
The marketing team realized that by harnessing the power of automated workflows they could scale their execution quality and quantity — streamlining everything from email creation to campaign execution.
“For the marketing division, one key to our transformation was to have visibility, transparency, and measurability to all our work. We started on the journey to find a tool that would help us transform the way we worked. We looked at several tools, but Adobe Workfront came out on top,” says Sullivan.
The first step in scaling was to build trust and advocacy in the new processes and the new solution, Workfront. The Esri change management team, led by Norma Awad and Brian Sapp, created a comprehensive plan to reach the desired outcomes.
“We created a powerful plan to prepare our teams for the change by focusing on building the awareness and desire first with strong sponsorship by our CMO,” says Norma Awad, Manager of Marketing Enablement. “This was a key factor in the success of the project.”
To begin the process of scaling, the teams streamlined their work intake process, consolidating 74 request systems into Workfront, their new marketing operational system of record.
Next, the marketing team optimized the email creation and execution process, creating detailed workflows and project templates in Workfront to minimize duplicative work and decrease time to market.
Once the email creation process was optimized, the team continued on, reverse-engineering all other marketing processes into streamlined workflows.
As a final step, Esri executed their comprehensive change management plan, which included more than 2000 training session hours for over 300 employees across the 16 teams in marketing. They gathered feedback at each step of the transformation to get as many people as possible collaborating in Workfront and familiar with the new way of working.
“We no longer have to spend time building out project plans for repeatable work and our regular stakeholders know exactly what to expect when they submit a request.”
Marketing Process and Reporting Lead, Esri
Scaling projects for efficiency
The ability to track and manage tasks in Workfront allows the Esri marketing team to see connections between projects and discover exactly what needs to get done next. As a result, they have two fewer monthly status meetings and complete weekly CMO review and approvals entirely within Workfront. Digital project approvals have improved from six weeks to one day.
“Having project templates helped us scale our project planning efforts and ensure that all project managers and team members work consistently,” says Linnie Ciepielowski, Marketing Process and Reporting Lead. "We no longer have to spend time building out project plans for repeatable work and our regular stakeholders know exactly what to expect when they submit a request . The project templates also give us the ability to pinpoint specific tasks where projects consistently get held up, so we can determine if additional resources need to be allocated, durations extended, or we need to explore breaking down the task into more manageable parts.”
Another of the efficiency gains comes from the Workfront for Outlook Integration — enabling Esri to manage the entire lifecycle of a project from within their main tool for daily communication, Microsoft Outlook. This integration produced an immediate change on previously manual and lengthy approval processes.
“We increased Workfront user adoption through the native integration with Outlook,” says Brian Sapp, Change Management. “Our staff can submit requests with the responsive fields and reply to notifications as if they were in Workfront. They became comfortable with Workfront by using it in the tool they were comfortable with, Outlook.”
Emails from Outlook can be converted directly into Workfront as tasks and project updates, while allowing users to reply to updates directly from their inbox. The Workfront for Outlook native integration removes the need to switch tools, streamlines communication, and moves marketing projects toward completion more quickly.
“We increased Workfront user adoption through the native integration with Outlook. Our staff can submit requests with the responsive fields and reply to notifications as if they were in Workfront. They became comfortable with Workfront by using it in the tool they were comfortable with, Outlook.”
Organization Adoption Lead, Esri
Unlocking the full potential of all work by integrating team workflows
For Christina, unlocking the full potential of work management is about empowering people to do work that matters.
“Our campaign teams now have full visibility to all aspects of their campaign, including the asset development and channel team’s work, via Workfront,” says Sullivan. “This allows campaign owners to focus on the strategic and creative aspects of their campaign to drive a bigger impact.”
The Esri marketing team uses Workfront projects to manage their integrated campaigns, providing full visibility into every asset needed to bring an integrated campaign to life.
Not only are the marketing teams more empowered, but every stakeholder sees the value of this integrated system of record approach. They can access the information they need to stay informed of the team’s progress and cut down on lengthy meetings and phone calls.
The changes went beyond the marketing teams. Teams like Esri’s legal department now have the context to provide more strategic input, review and approve language, and ensure assets have secured the right permissions.
“Workfront has allowed us to be a more compliant company by having the legal department be a part of the workflows rather than advising after project completion,” says Pete Schreiber, Managing Attorney.
“With Workfront, our Marketing Division has greater visibility, process transparency, and accelerated speed of execution. As a result of this efficiency, we are now able to focus and advance our core marketing objectives that are most important to our business.”
Chief Marketing Officer, Esri
Mapping out today’s needs while building for tomorrow’s opportunities
Esri is committed to unleashing the power of location technology — and helping their customers reveal deeper insights in their data. They are tapping into the power of work management in Workfront to scale processes and create a marketing operational system of record.
“Having a single source of truth for our projects has been critical to streamlining workflows, reducing time to market, and enabling our teams to do their best work,” says Ciepielowski. “With Workfront as our marketing operational system of record, we’re not only able to standardize our work, but constantly measure and improve upon it.”
Just as Esri applies The Science of Where® to unlock data’s full potential in every organization, streamlined processes in the Esri marketing department give unparalleled visibility to where all work is happening.
The marketing division at Esri supports the entire organization as they work to get their ground-breaking software in new industries and companies. Using Workfront to manage work across the 16 teams in the marketing division is helping them move quickly, work intelligently, get things done right, and efficiently collaborate across teams.
“With Workfront, our Marketing Division has greater visibility, process transparency, and accelerated speed of execution,” says Marianna Kantor, Chief Marketing Officer at Esri. “As a result of this efficiency, we are now able to focus and advance our core marketing objectives that are most important to our business.”