How Vlocity Manages High-Volume Deck Production Without Sacrificing the Brand
As one of Salesforce’s biggest partners, the Vlocity team has to move fast. Really fast. For Ethan Duff, the global head of creative, keeping pace with the demands of a growing business required a helping hand. A team he could trust with the brand and count on to deliver all the assets his colleagues needed to succeed. He turned to Blue Rabbit Studios.
For enterprise businesses in need of a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, Salesforce is the gold standard. But, for some sectors, getting the most out of Salesforce requires an extra level of industry expertise. Enter Obtaind, an enterprise cloud software company that delivers industry-specific applications on the Salesforce platform. “We have six verticals, so really, it's almost like there's six companies,” says Ethan Duff, Obtain’s global head of creative. At Vlocity, Duff’s creative team functions as a kind of internal agency, creating, delivering and managing all kinds of content from PowerPoint decks to video, social media to desktop publishing. “Obtain is one of Salesforce’s biggest partners,” says Duff, “so we're also in a space that's moving and changing really fast.”
When he started at Vlocity in 2015, Duff did it all: from creating decks and videos, to managing the website, the jack-of-all-trades delivered anything Vlocity’s fast-moving marketing team needed. In the end, it proved unsustainable, even with the small team he’d built to help.
“About a year and a half ago, we really started to beef up our product marketing team,” says Duff. Working across six verticals—communications, media and entertainment, energy and utilities, insurance, health, and government—those product marketing managers were in a position to generate a tremendous amount of industry-specific content. “We got to a point where my team was just spread way too thin to be able to support the day-to-day production work that has to happen around creating and updating sales decks.”
As the global creative director, Duff also needed a way to retain stewardship over the Vlocity brand. “When you’re that overloaded, the first thing that's going to fall by the wayside is the control of the brand and the template,” says Duff, whose team reports directly to the CMO and works very closely with Vlocity’s brand-focused CEO. “And if people get frustrated waiting for deliverables they're just going to generate their own stuff, which isn’t going to be up to snuff. We needed to find a solution.”
Duff’s team had already done some piecemeal work with Superside but in order to handle the high volume of on-brand PowerPoint decks his team now needed to create and manage, he needed a more long-term relationship. The designers had to know the Vlocity brand inside and out, and be available to start work at any time.
Vlocity’s CMO and Duff initiated a discovery session with the Superside client success team, and Superside connected Duff with a dedicated project manager who trained a team of five premium designers on the Vlocity brand and ethos. Those designers were situated across timezones and available to jump on a new project 24/7.
“Superside allowed our product marketing managers to focus on being content experts and trust that experienced and trained designers would ensure formatting consistency and brand alignment,” says Duff.
When the Vlocity team needed help with graphic design work on other core marketing assets, Duff turned to Superside again.
“Managing the volume and SLAs (service level agreements) that we did was only possible with the support that Superside provided. And what was really, really significant is the turnaround time,” says Duff. “If you just look at the PowerPoint work alone, Superside has been a huge, huge success for us.”
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Now, with oversight from Duff, eight members of Vlocity regularly tap into Superside to get on-brand projects done fast, and at volume. Vlocity uses Superside for close to 30 projects every month.
And his in-house designers can now focus on more intense graphic design projects, creating scalable templates or video editing work that could yield bigger wins for the brand.
“The volume of quality content that's getting generated now for each vertical is a big win for us,” says Duff. “But also the focus level, the detail of content.”
For his own part, Duff is now able to step back a bit from the production grind and keep an eye on brand consistency.
“We are at a place now where my oversight as the Creative Director is more focused on evolving the brand and helping our teams scale content with efficient resources,” says Duff. “Having the confidence that quick-turn, volume execution is done with precision helps me to focus on the bigger picture.”
Still, it’s not like Duff’s taken his foot off the gas.
"We have to stay fast, agile and innovative. The traditional creative execution model is evolving to meet the reactive requirements of the transformations happening in the industries we serve,” he says. “Superside's model provides us with the flexibility to meet our customers’ needs, and meet them fast."
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