In an era of The Great Resignation, how has Appian managed to more than double its workforce? Marketing magazine sat down with Appian chief marketing officer Denise Broady to talk about how she brings her team together, across national borders.
When talking to Denise Broady, it’s clear that she is passionate about the people that she works with. Managing a team from her New York office, Broady also looks after marketing personnel based out of Appian’s Sydney location. But, not only is it Broady’s care and concern for her team, but also the business that she works for that has helped Appian grow over 50 percent during a time when many businesses are cutting losses.
What is Appian?
Started in 1999, Appian helps organisations build enterprise apps and workflows rapidly with its powerful Low-Code Platform. The company is not focused on a product or a market, but about building innovation and value for businesses.
Appian is often sought out for its ability to help transform business processes and enhance the customer and employee experience. For instance, the company is working with local internet provider Belong to automate key customer service actions, manage fraud identification and rapidly respond to changing demands. As a result of automating common customer service requests with Appian, Belong’s ‘Mobile Disconnection Bot’ diverted 18,556 customer interactions from the contact centre, saving 2,164 manual hours, while the ‘NBN Fallout Activations Bot’ diverted 15,032 contacts and saved 1,753 hours.
Appian software has been in high demand through the COVID-19 pandemic. As teams were thrust unexpectedly into a remote work environment, those without the capabilities of overseeing workloads, communicating freely and onboarding new employees fell behind. Technology was, and remains, at the forefront of teams that were able to successfully not just survive but thrive throughout the pandemic.
Surviving and thriving in COVID-19
COVID-19 was a precarious time for many businesses around the world. It wasn’t just about navigating the unknown, but also how to keep day-to-day operations running smoothly. Denise Broady spoke of missing the genuine connection made with people that can only happen in person.
“We see value in face to face interviews,” says Broady.
“Going online, we wanted to feel that connection again. When it was possible, we brought it back to seeing one another. Human connection is important.”
But, when face to face just isn’t possible, Appian provided a platform that made interviews and onboarding not just possible, but bordering on seamless.
“Our software performed strongly during the pandemic. We allow you to build enterprise apps faster. Enterprise apps including those as simple as a HR onboard. No longer do we have long emails, five pages of word documents, confusing lists about who’s who and where’s what. We support businesses in making this process as easy as possible,” Broady muses about Appian.
It isn’t just with internal communications that Appian was able to lend assistance. When the world began to open up again, businesses needed safety assurance. Assurance for the community that public health was a priority.
Jewellery business Pandora started to slowly open up its doors after hard lockdowns all over the world lifted. But, there was hesitation from shoppers. Using Appian, Pandora was able to enhance workforce safety. All floor associates and Pandora employees were tracked with vaccinations, as well as confirmation that everyone customer facing was healthy and symptomless. In a time of such unrest, it’s the small things that provide both employees and customers comfort.
Marketing across borders
One of the challenges faced by Broady and her team is that they work across international borders. However, the CMO is a big believer in the power of personal interaction and bringing remote teams together.
Denise Broady is the CMO of Appian.
“We get together once a quarter,” says Broady. “It’s about sharing our thoughts and visions. The ideas just don’t come together as quickly when you’re remote.”
“Sydney to LA door to door is 24 hours. But it allows us to share our cultures and our ideas. It’s important,” continues Broady.
Broady believes in open passages of communication. Bi-weekly all hands, weekly emails from the team of everything they’re working on, monthly updates.
“There’s no such thing as overcommunication,” Broady believes.
Hybrid work has also changed budgets. There has been a big shift in marketing budgets as how people consume content has changed exponentially.
“We aren’t using budget on big airport ads,” says Broady. “We started to shift budgets. The two minutes that someone has spent watching your video, they could have been doing anything! It’s about ensuring you’re spending budget on making incredible content. Content is everything”
It goes back to the rule of seven: you have seven times to get your message across before someone buys your product. And, with this, content has changed.
It’s critical to think about content consumption. Broady speaks of the difference between Australian and American audiences. How do they consume content differently? What do they want to engage in? This then dictates how content is created.
Finally, Broady’s last piece of advice is how marketers need to think.
“All marketers need to think of themselves as growth marketers,” she advises. “Whether I’m on content or digital, everything I do on my day to day is based around whether or not I’m growing the company.”
Denise Broady is the CMO of Appian.