There is a Jane in every company.
Full of passion for what they do. Digital marketers and content creators crafting masterpieces despite what many would consider a daunting office routine—emails, phone calls, meetings—busy as a beehive in the middle of the spring.
So, when Jane entered the virtual training meeting and expressed her frustration, being unaware that her mic was unmuted, everyone, from senior leadership to her peers and colleagues, paused for a moment in silence. This was an important meeting.
The company had just migrated its CMS to Sitefinity from one of the leading vendors. Everyone from marketing, demand generation, customer success and even the legal sharks flocked in with curiosity to see whether this new CMS would help them do better or add another layer of complexity to their busy daily schedule. Savvy content creators and digital marketers instantly recognized the opportunity to own the digital experience—from crafting campaign landing pages to updating product information. For them, the days when they would have to open a ticket with the IT team and wait for days, or weeks even, were over.
Jane did not share their optimism. “Why change the workflow that works for me,” she thought. “Why should I care about who updates the website? I provide my input. I do my job. I do it well.” Jane’s frustration was building up as the meeting time approached. “I am busy,” she thought, “I don’t need to learn anything new. This is…”
The meeting started. The presenter introduced themselves and went through the agenda. Sitefinity was the new CMS that would replace the cumbersome solution that, according to the CMO, no longer met the company’s goal—putting customers first. Engaging with them via the channel of their choice. Improving content and maximizing SEO. Ensuring branding consistency across all websites. Keeping the lead flow and the funnel healthy.
Many saw the opportunity that came with what seemed a very intuitive CMS. The presentation picked up the pace, the demo flowed nicely from screen to screen, and the presenter hit many curveballs the virtual audience threw at him.
Jane kept quiet.
That did not go unnoticed. Jane’s direct manager anticipated her reaction. When the meeting wrapped up and everyone returned to their business-as-usual routine, Monica, Jane’s manager, sent a quick note to the presenter looking for advice. “Have you been in a similar situation where someone resisted a change,” she asked. “How did you get them hooked? How did you help them recognize the benefits? How do you make them fall in love with what they would normally consider a chore?”
“It’s easy,” John said. “Successfully completing a marathon requires one thing only—to show up in the park. No, let me step back—to get your trainers out of the cupboard. Be there; just show up.”
Both agreed that they would try to approach the challenge Jane had brought to the meeting and handle it with a personal touch. “Let’s start with something small,” they began exploring. “How about another meeting? I’d love to understand what motivates Jane and what she is afraid of. What moves her world, what brings her joy? I promise,” John added, ”That we won’t talk software.”
What followed was a series of meetings that not only transformed Jane but also had a huge impact on the entire organization.
Over the course of several sessions, John met with Jane to understand the essence of her work. Listening to and learning from Jane, John was able to gain her trust. It turned out that Jane was a fantastic marketer, passionate about her work. But for some reason, she was not open to change. And somehow, technology frustrated her.
“I’ve read your work; it’s fantastic, John complimented Jane. “Who is helping you publish them on the website?” he asked “It used to be the IT team,” Jane responded. “Now, our VP wants us to do it ourselves. I can’t do it! I don’t know how to do it!”
This was the tipping point.
Over several screen-sharing sessions, John took Jane through what IT would do to support Jane: copy content from Word, paste it into the editor and clean up the formatting to make the result look awesome. Then upload an image as if posting a vacation picture to Instagram or Facebook. “That’s not very hard,” Jane thought. “I can do it.”
“Oh, this looks good,” she nodded as they were about to wrap up another meeting.
John, however, did not expect the question Jane asked the next time they got on a screen share. ”Tell me, John, is there a way to see if people are reading my articles? Can I somehow show one article to some visitors and something else to other prospects? “Of course,” John interjected, “let me show you. What would you like to know?”
“Everything!” Jane exclaimed. She felt energized, empowered and inspired. Technology was no longer a foe. Sitefinity was a friend. Step by step, she learned about the people who read her content. She could finally see how her work contributed to engagement and conversions down the funnel to a happy end. Jane had the visibility she had never had before. The ease of use and the insights Sitefinity provided had transformed the way Jane looked at her job. Jane was becoming a true marketing hero.
“John,” she asked. “How can I drive more visitors to my content? I want to be number one on Google. Can we publish a link to my section on other company-owned websites? “
Questions were pouring in, and results followed.
Jane’s transformation did not get unnoticed by her peers. And just three weeks after the first meeting, her manager asked John to meet and talk about Jane's progress.
“John, I couldn’t help but notice that Jane is doing great. I see that the website is up to date. There are no requests from her in the support queue. Jane’s colleagues have mentioned that she has become more open, friendly, confident… What have you done?”
John must have smiled as he answered: “I did not do much. I just showed Jane that technology was there to help her. And, as she picked up Sitefinity, she fell in love again with what she does."
Several years have passed since I heard this story from one of our Progress Partners. I spoke to John and asked what happened to Jane. The story goes that, thanks to overcoming her fears and the confidence she gained, Jane got promoted, and several years later, she landed a senior position at another company.
“I often think of Jane,” John said, “and tell this story—how an easy-to-use CMS like Sitefinity can transform a person’s life, an entire team, and even a whole organization. And how by adding a human touch, whether across the org or in our interactions with customers, organizations can transform from within. Jane’s story is a great example of the butterfly effect and the great outcome of a meeting where she entered with frustration only to later become proud of herself.”
Instead of wrapping up this blog post with a CTA, I will ask a question. As a decision maker, a manager, a VP or a CMO, do you get fixated on the product capabilities, or would you rather focus on the human experience? Sitefinity gives you the capabilities that enable people like Jane and John to tell stories. And we are here to support you.
Thanks for reading.
Alexander Shumarski is a Sitefinity Product Marketing Manager at Progress. He has spent the past 10+ years managing large-scale website initiatives and has deep-dived into online media and e-commerce industries. An adventurer at heart and a power CMS user, he has embarked on a journey to empower marketers to tell compelling stories without reliance on IT.
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