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Workspan's CEO & Founder Mayank Bawa on Joint Marketing

Digital innovation is driving the move to bring together the organization's own systems and contributions from outsourcers and "as a service" providers. As many recent studies back it up, more and more marketers remain committed to a best-of-breed approach to vendor selection rather than seeking the advantages of single-source solutions. Additionally, Gartner stated that of the 123 references surveyed for its Magic Quadrant, 88 percent reported integrations with at least one hub product other than the one by which they were referred. More interestingly, this collaboration is not only happening between the systems but between the stakeholders ranging from internal company communicators to partner ad agencies and PR firms. This is exactly where Workspan comes into play.

Founded in 2015 and based in Silicon Valley, WorkSpan is a marketing network where marketers can utilize to execute joint marketing programs with a circle of trusted partners and agencies by collaborating on various projects. In other words, it creates an environment where teams can plan, fund, build, edit, and measure the power of campaigns done together. To go in-depth on this interesting new network, our media reporter Laura Myers interviewed Workspan’s CEO and Founder, Mayank Bawa.

Among many benefits that users or potential users should be aware of, Bawa, firstly, mentioned about how being able to collaborate and have status updates results in time efficiency and the heightened communication. On the people side of the things, Bawa tells that people want “working and collaborating with partners on projects to be as easy as connecting with friends on WhatsApp or connecting with your colleagues on LinkedIn.” On the business side of the things, the scenario is not so different as he also believes, “companies now are also finding that it's really important to go to market with multiple partners because they need to participate in multiple ecosystems so that they can either increase their market share in a particular ecosystem or defend their market share across multiple ecosystems.”

I definitely agree with that trend. As I also previously stated in one of my articles entitled Martech Thought Leader to Lead HubSpot’s Platform Ecosystem, digital platforms have started underpinning the creation of new business models by integrating ecosystems of people, business, and things. This is, unfortunately, easier said than done as organizations need a paradigm shift in perspective, away from the traditional supply-demand economic perspective. Another important point should be also considered is that developing a win-win-win model that is beneficial for all platform ecosystem actors may represent a huge challenge and requires a strong commitment.

With these in mind, let’s take a look at what Workspan offers in this area. One of the common use cases could be an effort by a bank to promote a custom credit card with an online retailer. In this hypothetical project, for instance, not only are cross-company tools involved but also cross-functional departments are required to get their hands on that marketing campaign. As I said, it is a daunting task for the executor of the given project. Workspan claims to ease that pain as the campaign creator can decide the role of all the participants collaborating on the campaign. With its multi-tenant network architecture, the platform gives each company a secure shared space with other partner companies in their network.

To put how scale the platform can get into a perspective, according to the vendor, SAP and Intel employed WorkSpan to roll out a collaborative marketing effort involving about 300 marketers from both companies on five continents. “Using WorkSpan, we drastically reduced time spent on mundane coordination tasks, doubled the number of campaigns and tripled marketing impact,” said Steve Asche, VP Digital and Partner Marketing, Digital Enterprise Platform Group, SAP.

If you ever wonder what other benefits of Workspan existing users or potential users should take advantage of, Bawa perfectly explains it by dividing them into five dimensions as follows:

  • Visibility into status of activities, campaigns, and content

  • Accountability for performance, budget, and funding joint projects

  • Velocity in proposing, approving, executing joint projects

  • Secure access to audiences, funds, content, people across company boundaries

  • Scalability to repeat successful campaigns with more partners across regions and industries

WorkSpan is integrated with Marketo, Hubspot, Microsoft Dynamics, On24, Box, Eventbrite, Salesforce, Eloqua, Google AdWords and Facebook, whereas other integrations are in the pipeline.

With marketing initiatives, the success sometimes takes a fair bit of tweaking of marketing campaigns as marketers often need to go through multiple loops to fail, learn, and improve, meaning marketers learn a lot throughout their marketing campaigns, and often, many assumptions made in the beginning get replaced with the facts over the course of the campaign. Therefore, they need to be able to make changes to a running campaign on the fly without losing any kind of data so they can immediately see what impact the changes have on their campaigns. With Workspan, not only can marketers make tweaks but also other shareholders can easily send a message to the campaign manager, change their funding allocation, or make other changes if needed.

The platform allows organizations to execute integrated marketing which has become a high priority for marketers to reach buyers in an increasingly complex consumer journey that stretches across numerous devices and channels, according to a study conducted by research firm 451 Research. The market research firm queried 200 multi-channel marketers operating in North America in categories including automotive, consumer goods, restaurant, retail, and travel. While lack of collaboration across marketing teams was the number one cited challenge, it was followed by a lack of unified measures of success.

My POV

First, to recap how the platform works, a marketing campaign creator, first, can define goals. Then, other shareholders such as partners, PR companies, and internal employees can be invited. Now that all the players are on the platform, the coordinator can identify work tasks and assign them to individuals and groups. From there, collaboration begins through comments, updates, and campaign assets, and so on so forth. There is also a messaging app baked in the platform for making communication easier.  

Second, all businesses today are talking about consistent and personalized omnichannel experiences but to me, without setting up a clear alignment on the goals, execution, deployment, and strategy, a claim on delivering personalized experiences “across all channels” remains, unfortunately, vague. Therefore, it is important to have platforms like Workspan in your martech stack to thrive with joint marketing instead of striving with prepackaged campaigns and their limited customization capabilities.

Finally, not only does technology matters, but also the company culture plays a huge role here as it is one of the root causes of lots of roadblocks to the digital transformation. Your digital initiatives can only be effective when your organization is truly integrating ecosystems of people, business, and technology.

Venus Tamturk

Venus Tamturk

Venus is the Media Reporter for CMS-Connected, with one of her tasks to write thorough articles by creating the most up-to-date and engaging content using B2B digital marketing. She enjoys increasing brand equity and conversion through the strategic use of social media channels and integrated media marketing plans.

Laura Myers

Laura Myers

A digital business, marketing and social media enthusiast, Laura thrives on asking unique, insightful questions to ignite conversation. At an event or remotely, she enjoys any opportunity to connect with like-minded people in the industry.