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Calling all marketing teams who use Confluence - we want to hear from you!

Hi Community! me again 🙂

If you’re a marketing team using Confluence, we want to hear your story! How did you start using Confluence? What are your use cases? What have been some of the benefits? We want to know it all!

(PS - if you're not a marketing team, we still want to hear from you here!)

2 comments

I used Confluence in a Global Marketing team from 2010 to 2016 and have continued to use it personally and with clients as a freelance consultant since then. I'm a big fan of Confluence, but getting the full benefit in a non-technical team is a huge struggle (as others have mentioned in the related discussion).

In our Global Marketing team, a few product managers used Confluence for project management. I too used Confluence in that context. Also for distributing content and files, for an internal newsletter, and for an editorial calendar. I would have liked to include much more in terms of workflow, but this can only really happen with everyone on board. Instead, the main benefit for me was (still is) in terms of knowledge management. I quite like being able to log a history of thinking on topics of interest that don't (yet) belong to a formal project. Commenting on pages and blogs is a great way to track developments in thinking or on competitive intelligence, for example.

Eventually, our whole Global Marketing department began using Confluence for monthly reporting and dashboards. For a while, our shared services team also used Jira to track layout and design service requests. This is not the same as Confluence, obviously, but the considerations for use in a marketing team are similar. Both of these whole department efforts were short-lived. @Kesha Thillainayagam, I'm not sure if you are looking mainly for success stories or instead for product development input and a better understanding of the use cases. I can help more with the latter. If you want to talk with some users, let me know.

Hi @Ryan Carpenter

Thanks for your detailed response! It sounds like while it was in use, it served value as a central repository to share and store information across your Global Marketing team (and totally agree - page commenting is a great way to just document related thoughts, and surface subject matter experts in particular areas as well). We, as a marketing team, also use Jira to track our design and web requests, so it's definitely relevant, and a great way to work with the cross functional teams that are supporting our work.

Do you have any insights into why it was so short lived and why there wasn't more buy-in? It is definitely hard to get non-technical teams onboard and able to see the full benefit, which is exactly why I'm trying to talk to as many non-tech teams as possible to understand why. 

I'm also curious to know how you use it as a freelancer if you can add any insight into that!

In terms of what I'm looking for with this question, it's all the above - I want to know where it was successful, use cases, where it wasn't successful, why it wasn't, why it is, etc. I'd love to get in touch with some users if that's an option and dig into it more! and of course, if you have anything at all to add here, (especially on those use cases) please do - I want to know the good and the bad :) 

@Kesha Thillainayagam, I should clarify that there were several projects and activities that did successfully rely on Confluence - and still do, as far as I know. These cases hinged on one or more of the following:

  • A cross-functional leader (typically a product manager) whose project team included, or at least interacted with the technical teams that already used Jira/Confluence—meaning the cross-functional leader could use the tools with minimal change management
  • Shared commitment among a team/workgroup—meaning the amount of change management required was manageable without the help of major top-down initiatives. As long as the team got on-board effective collaboration could take place. Again, I am thinking of product management teams (I was part of one of these and collaborated daily with a partner team).
  • Content maintained mostly by a single user—meaning that training and change management were not required. NB: This was in a highly regulated industry (medical devices), and different regions used different document management systems for formal approval, so my regional counterparts could not easily locate marcomms and other collateral, even if they knew it existed. One way I used Confluence was to easily distribute such collateral (formal and otherwise), from brochures and white papers to competitive intelligence.

Where Confluence was not used or adopted there was a multitude of reasons, some product-related, many not. It's worth mentioning that this was in Sydney at the home of Atlassian, so Jira/Confluence rolled out in their early days, when Confluence at least was highly functional but not nearly as user-friendly as it has become. That elemental nature of Confluence is precisely what many of us like about it, but the same ethos does not always apply in the marketing department. I would not want Atlassian to shed that personality, but I do think there is room for improvement in making the experience more comfortable for people coming from a different style of thinking. I would like to explain more, but it will have to wait for the moment.

Hi Kesha, 

Here at Blend we use confluence as our internal wiki, knowledge sharing and community building tool. 

As our agency grew, we saw that we needed a place to capture and share our best practices, processes and findings. It needed to be flexible, scalable and accessible anywhere. 

Prior to adopting Jira for our project management I'd looked at other ways of doing it like Sharepoint, Onenote, Tettra and others. But Jira really showed us the power and potential of the Atlassian stack - and we never looked back. 

Now our entire team use confluence, wherever they are, to power their work. 

In addition to documenting important work related stuff, we hold regular 'off-topic' discussion on Confluence to foster familiarity and adoption. These are a fun way to get feedback on ideas, share personal stories and support our agency culture. 

In order to enhance our use of Confluence, we recently created a 'Confluence Champions' group. This cross functional team take responsibility for building the use case for confluence, maintain key content, run our regular #wikiwednesday article sharing, and gather feedback and requirements from our wider team. 

Confluence has been a total hit. 

Cheers, Phil.

That's my kind of place! Nice work, Phil.

Hi @Phil Vallender!

love how you're using Confluence! Particularly the community building part - it's my favorite part about Confluence :) I have a few questions if you don't mind - answer whichever you feel comfortable answering!

-Was it the integration with Jira that mostly turned you on to Confluence? It looks like you researched a lot of other competitors, so what is it about Confluence that made you choose it? 

-Would love to know how your team is using Jira as well (and if you're using Jira + Confluence together, that too!). As a marketing team we use Jira to 1) run weekly sprints, even as marketers and 2) submit any requests to cross functional teams like design, web, online marketing, etc. 

-This is more clarification, but feel free to expand, it sounds like your team doesn't just consume information in Confluence but you all regularly contribute to each other's pages/blogs with comments? Does everyone create content/pages within Confluence or is it usually just a few people who are actually creating and more people are just liking/commenting, etc.?

-Do you use any other documentation/content creation software in addition to Confluence? For us, we do everything in Confluence. Meeting notes, all of campaign plans and documentation, blogs that we're writing for our customers - you name it. 

-Does all of Blend use Confluence or just certain teams?

-Last question - how did you get teams to start using Confluence? Was it just like "hey we're using this thing" or any formal onboarding? 

Also Champions group - so awesome! Hopefully this team attends some AUG gatherings in your city to learn from other champions too!

Thank you so much for sharing Phil! 

Hi @Kesha Thillainayagam

Happy to answer all questions :)

- It wasn't the integration with Jira per se. It was more about ease of use. All the other solutions I'd looked at required a less than intuitive workflow for my team. The single sign on and shared UI of Jira and Confluence really appealed. And once I'd figured out how well it met my knowledge sharing objectives, I was convinced. 

- Jira is our sole project management system, internally and for clients. We run month long sprints and follow a modified agile/scrum process. We use Jira and Confluence side-by-side, but not quite together, if you know what I mean. I'd like to see that evolve in the future, but its not critical to success right now. 

- Everyone is free to create content in Confluence. As you might expect, the Champions tend to create the majority of the wiki articles and the majority of the input from others is in comments - with some exceptions as follows.

- Yes and no. Our team uses Confluence for all meeting notes, capturing client kick-offs, sharing strategies, etc. The number of uses is always growing. But, individuals are free to use other tools if better suited the needs of the client, the task, or themselves. 

- Everyone in Blend uses Confluence but the most value is had by those delivering client work.

- An initial step we took was to put all of our 'New Starter' and useful office information on to Confluence (it was on Trello). New joiners are pointed to the New Starter space on day one to learn about the company and the office. We recently moved office too so that gave existing team members a reason to look at this content too. 

I hope that was interesting!

Cheers, Phil.

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