- story – 6 min read
- AUDIO – 50 min
Powering Ivanti’s GTM pivot
with enterprise-grade AI
content from podcasts
Listen to Ivanti’s story or read the (edited) transcript below
Writer is an enterprise-grade generative AI platform built for the needs of companies and teams. Unlike other AI products, Writer’s training happens securely on your own provided data — their documentation, blog, product website, landing pages, ppc ads, email, and LinkedIn and Twitter social — and your style and brand guidelines. The result is content that’s consistent and on-brand, whether the initial text came from humans or from AI.
Ashley Stryker is senior content marketing manager at Ivanti, the Utah-based security automation platform, that secures devices, infrastructure, and people across 40,000 enterprises. Read or listen to the story of how Ashley accelerates content and aligns brand at Ivanti — allowing their 100-person marketing team to punch way above their weight to serve a company of +3,000 employees.
The Ivanti team uses Writer to:
- Repurpose podcasts, webinars, eBooks, and thought leadership content cross-channel
- Automatically generate first drafts of blog posts, longform creative content, nuture email, and LinkedIn post copy
- Automatically enforce brand, terminology, and compliance requirements across marketing and technical content
Why did Ivanti need a generative AI platform?
We’ve undergone a radical shift in our go-to-market strategy. We’ve gone from focusing on net new customers in a traditional marketing motion to working to better cross-sell into our current customer base.
When we met Writer, we had just spent the last two months completely redoing our automated drip campaign series. The types of people we were selling to, even if they had the same titles, the same needs, they already had exposure to Ivanti. It’s a different messaging challenge as anyone who’s worked in these kinds of positions will feel in their bones.
And so we’d had to scrap entire projects to reprioritize for the new strategy, because we’re a tiny team and have a lot of products. There’s only really four people on the entire content marketing team. And we supply most, if not all, of the copywriting needs for campaigns globally, in addition to traditional thought leadership and anchor content as well as content consulting within the organization.
We were looking for any way we could do more with less, which seems to be the running theme for 2023. And so Writer really appealed to us, and it’s become even more important than we thought when we first bought the platform. We’re looking at enormous quantities of copy to be written in the first half of 2023, and I can’t tell you how grateful we are that we have Writer.
Why did you choose Writer?
Before I had even started vetting Writer, I had been using different types of generative AI platforms. There were other AI opportunities that were everywhere when you stopped to look at it. So I’d already had experience with generative AI. I’d already brought it up to Rachel, my boss, but I’d expressed some dissatisfaction with the other generative AI platforms that were out there.
I wasn’t a huge fan of other tools. The outputs felt very clunky. They felt very generic. And no matter what I did in the little recipes that they gave you, I couldn’t get it to quite spit out proper meat. It took too much effort to put stuff in, even for public-facing and blog content.
It just wasn’t doing what I needed it to do and it wasn’t saving me enough time, but I could see the potential was there.
So we approached Writer with a couple of things we knew we needed to get that buy-in from stakeholders.
We needed to make sure it was secure. We’re a cybersecurity company and have a robust process for vetting the security of vendors. Ivanti is very aware that there are people who are trying to get to us to get to our customers, and so we have stringent security regulations. Not every vendor gets through.
“I wasn’t a huge fan of other AI writing tools. The outputs felt very clunky… very generic. And no matter what I did in the little recipes that they gave you, I couldn’t get it to quite spit out proper meat.”
Sr. Content Marketing Manager
Second of all, one of the things we really wanted out of Writer was the ability to train it. Ivanti is a cybersecurity company and an IT company. We have very specialized language and wordsmithing that needs to occur that’s often relegated only to experts within the field, and that takes time.
So we thought, if we found an AI platform that’d be able to learn based off our inputs and our whole library of acceptable material, we’d be able to make sure that it understood our acronyms and terminology.
We knew our stakeholders internally well enough to know what questions they were going to have of us and to be able to counter it. They were going to ask how good the output was. So that meant testing Writer out in all of the different ways in which we used content today.
So we used Blog Builder, and told our internal stakeholders what they could do, what they could expect, what they needed to have before they went into the prompt. We tested out the metadata and social media highlights that Writer produced, we tested out the recaps functionality.
For me, it drastically sped up my outbound emails, even in the raw template and not having anything customized.
My boss loved it for, in part, the brand enforcement. We’re constantly reminding people not to use passive voice or we don’t use the Oxford comma. And if I have a problem remembering, you can imagine how hard it is for our other people.
And so there’s a consistency in being able to use the correct terms, knowing that Zero Trust, for example, at Ivanti is capitalized all the time, not lowercase. Banning certain terms and old word names of products, especially because we had four or five acquisitions.
So for all of us, stakeholders included, we all found very different use cases for it and could vet Writer’s quality versus other solutions.
How has your workflow changed with Writer?
I found our output to be about twice as fast as it was previously.
Our ratio of writing to editing has become much more lopsided on the editing side since starting Writer, as opposed to the curse of the blinking cursor blank page. Pure writing has gone down enormously. I think it’s halved the time that it takes for us to produce a lot of the “keep the lights on” content.
It’s helped us find the time to produce derivative content of big anchor assets like podcasts and webinars and big eBooks that I wouldn’t have the time to develop at all.
And it’s helped us get to more creative outputs. Because when you can refresh the same prompt several times and tell Writer, give me five subject lines using…, give me five quirky subject lines, give me subject lines encouraging people to open this email for this webinar, and you can just keep going refresh, refresh, refresh.
Writer is also giving us the mental time and energy to come up with more creative things — by freeing up time that’d otherwise be spent fighting fires.
“My ratio of writing to editing has become much more lopsided on the editing side since starting Writer, as opposed to the curse of the blinking cursor blank page.”
Sr. Content Marketing Manager
Brand voice is important at Ivanti. How are you using Writer to train people on it?
My newbie marketer, who’s fresh out of college, isn’t used to writing to a style guide.
And as everybody who’s ever hired somebody fresh out of college knows, you’re retraining them on how to write in corporate speak versus writing in academese. Writer can enforce our style guide, remind him to drop that Oxford comma, for example.
One of our biggest problems, ironically, has been our technical marketers not giving us sources. So they’re making claims that they’re not supporting with references. I put their drafts into Writer to just have it highlight all of the claims, and I’ll ship it back to ’em and go, hey guys, y’all are making claims, I need sources for all of these.
Writer has been that impartial third party that keeps us as consultative-empathetic, kind of, oh yeah I know, I hate it when it does that to me too! We can be allies to our internal stakeholders instead of constantly having to be the crack-the-whip vice principal.
You folks are great at repurposing content.
How has recaps in Writer helped you?
In content marketing, one of the biggest things that you do is you take a big piece of content and spin it up into lots of other bits and pieces.
You’re spending all of this time, effort, brain power, opportunity cost. You have just invested so much into a single piece of anchor content, whether it’s an eBook, a webinar, a podcast — you need to be able to use that in as many ways as possible.
But there’s a couple problems with that because it requires you to think about how you’re going to split it up and then make sure that it makes sense. I can’t just take half the transcript from the podcast and slam it up on the blog and say, okay, there’s my derivative post.
There’s no context, there’s no flow, there’s no organization, there’s no tighter story. There’s things that need to happen to do the derivative work. So it’s just as much work as putting together the main anchor piece. You’re just starting and creating a cohesive narrative and story at different parts and in different formats and in different channels.
So for me, being able to use recaps from Writer has been amazing. I’ll usually just try and rip an audio file, not the whole video file, and I’ll upload it into Writer and it’ll spit out 3-4 takeaways based on the conversation. And for me, each of those takeaways is a different long form blog post on LinkedIn.
Each of those takeaways represents one or two or three different blog posts.
I host our Security Insights podcast with our VP of Product Management for Endpoint Security, Chris Kettle.
I’m basically the rubber duck figuring out security and he’ll explain it to me in very layperson’s terms, which is a lot of fun. But the conversations run long, and the final podcast isn’t always everything that we talked about. There’s great little bunny trails that we go through that might not make it into the final cut.
By uploading the whole thing into Writer, I saved those insights for use on maybe a separate blog on a question for a panel or event or a roundtable. That information isn’t lost just because it wasn’t put into the final product.
Now I can polish up the recaps content from Writer, and Writer has also been in the background generating my meta description for the blog post, a summary, and Twitter and LinkedIn posts.
And that’s half of my distribution work out the door because everybody knows if you make something, they’re not gonna come unless you tell them about it.
You have a very interesting perspective on AI and neurodiversity. Tell us about it.
One of the things I discovered in my professional life was that I would get energized by a new job, by a new project, and then as soon as I got to the part where it became routine, my energy would start to flag.
So I’d take on a new project, use that burst of energy — and what I realize now is dopamine — to finish off my old project. But now I have this new project that I’m now completely exhausted for, and this would just pile up.
I’d get to the point where I’d just freeze, I’d just look at this mountain of work and just go, I can’t do anything.
One of the other ways in which my ADHD affects my work is that I have very little sense of time and deadlines in particular. Two weeks is plenty of time and then suddenly it’s here and I’m now spinning up and I have no idea what to do.
“Writer takes the routine, the boring, and it makes it something that I can explore… Write me a quirky one. Write me a punny one. That’s a good one. Write me a rhyming one. Write me a sleazy one. Write like Shakespeare.”
Sr. Content Marketing Manager
Writer helps me in three distinct ways.
First, deadlines. I forget things all the time. Routine things, small things. So having a product that can help me churn something out really quick helps me cover when I forget really important deadlines, which sounds silly, but you beat yourself up so hard when it’s so easy for everybody else to keep their deadlines and you can’t do it, too.
Writer has proven particularly helpful when it comes to deadlines. I get intimidated by that giant wall of work and I get paralysis, but it’s just that going one step at a time. Sometimes just getting something, anything on a page helps you, and snowballs into the rest of the action, into the rest of the activity.
Writer has been truly remarkable, and it’s been a new avenue of creative expression. It takes the routine, the boring, and it makes it something that I can explore. There’s a thousand different adjectives I could experiment with, with a prompt for how to write a LinkedIn post on this webinar abstract. Write me a quirky one. Write me a punny one. That’s a good one. Write me a rhyming one. Write me a sleazy one. Write like Shakespeare.
It’s a new creative outlet. It’s a new medium for me. And as somebody who’s always craving something new, even when I’m required to do the routine, it’s brought a great smile to my day.