Controlling Content Chaos with Content Orchestration – February 2024 Webinar

In an era driven by content, companies across all industries and of all sizes face the considerable (somewhat of an understatement for some) challenge in managing and distributing their content efficiently. We see it every day with the clients we work with, and is one of the reason we are engaged – to help content leaders and teams gain, and then retain, control over their content, streamline processes, and maximize productivity by navigating away from an often disconnected content operations approach to coordinated content orchestration practice.

Why make the move to content orchestration?

As Hilton has found, content orchestration optimizes content creation and delivery by minimizing bottlenecks and friction in the content supply chain. By connecting teams and sources, orchestration allows for greater efficiency, consistency, and speed.

During our webinar, Liana Cardenes Cave, Hilton’s Senior Director Content Orchestration and I talked about the changes needed to make the shift, the critical success factors in sustaining the momentum, and the five pillars of content orchestration that provides structure to the strategy.

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Full Transcript of the Webinar

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Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Welcome everyone. We will get started shortly. Everybody can grab their favorite beverage and a snack, and we’ll let everyone get settled in, and we’ll be back with you in a couple minutes.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Alright, just another. I see some names still trickling in, so let’s just give those couple more a chance, and then we’ll get going.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): I hope, wherever everybody else is today it’s a little bit warmer than it is here in Toronto. It is a chilly day minus 14 or at least was this morning not sure what it’s at now, but winter has still got its holds on us. Liana. I know you are in warmer climbs. How’s the weather in Dallas?

Liana Cave: Beginning of the week? Well, of course, cause we’re Fahrenheit. We hit 95. But now we went back into the thirties this morning. So typical Texas swings.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Yep. Well, that’s That’s the way it’s going these days doesn’t matter where you are warm or cold. So alright it is 1 min after. So I wanna make sure we’re prompt and keeping respective people’s time. So why don’t we get going so welcome? Everyone. My name is Kathy Mcnite, and I am the chief problem solver at the Content advisory, and thank you for joining our webinar today on controlling content chaos with content orchestration. We are thrilled to have you here today.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): So in an era driven by content companies across industries of all sizes and everything that they do services and and whether it’s product doesn’t matter, they’re challenged in managing and distribating their content efficiently and effectively. We see it every day with the clients we work with.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): and that’s why we’re here today to help you navigate your way to and see how content orchestration can help gain and maybe help you retain control over the content and streamline processes and and maximize your productivity.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): So during this webinar Leana, who, I am so happy to have me join here today, and I’ll introduce her in just a sec. We’re gonna share our first hand insights and perspectives on the benefits and best practices surrounding content orchestration, how we’ve worked together, over the years, and how we continue to work with with Hilton to manage content across various platforms, through orchestrated workflows, teams

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): and processes that ensure consistency and quality of content, and really ultimately drives continuously improving the customer experiences which we are all after. So whether you are a marketer content, creator, strategist manager, because really content is part of all of our jobs. We’re gonna help equip you with the knowledge you need to conquer, content, chaos and leverage content orchestration in your day to day and to your advantage. So without further ado, let’s get going.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): So, as I said, my name is Kathy Mcknight. I am the chief problem, solver at the Content advisory and joining me today is my client and my friend Leana she is the senior Director of Content Orchestration. She and her team, you know, she’s got what close to 20 years now, Leanna, in content and digital asset management experience, and she’s been with Hilton for almost, I think, 7 years now.

and she really is helping Hilton’s content machine run efficiently and effectively. She has a team of

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): globally dispersed content professionals that is continually growing her team. Every time I talk to her she seems to be adding people to her team, which is a Testament to her as a leader as well as to Hilton’s commitment to content but she and her team manage and publish content across Hilton 17 brands of both owned and external content channels.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Her team’s responsible for building and maintaining over 6,000 properties and brand websites. So welcome, liana.

Liana Cave: Thank you? Yes. So yeah, definitely, over 20 years. You got it right, almost 7 this year, and I do every single time I do talk to you. I think my team is getting larger. And this is my third role at Hilton.and it’s great to see the evolution. And it’s been fun to be on this journey with you and many different capacities. So I’m excited to talk today.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Excellent. So as I mentioned we’ve been working together for a long time, and honestly, I’m amazed at the progress and maturity Hilton has gained in terms of content specifically, because, of course, that’s where I work with you. The vision for content orchestration that we planted years ago has been. We’ve been cultivating it ever since. It’s now rooted, and it’s really growing and quickly.Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): You know, Hilton has come a really long way which we’re going to talk about that shift today. So you know what? Let’s let’s actually dig into it.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): So let’s level. Set. The the name of this slides a little bit of a misnomer, because, you know, from content operations to content orchestration, it’s not that Content Ops is going anywhere. It’s a part of content, content, orchestration.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): but really content. OP. Orchestration. It takes those content practices to the next level.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): It takes those disparate strategies from the different lines of businesses or geos divisions, etc., and rolls them up into a singular focus strategy, to which those then different parts of the organization can leverage and personalize and make it fit for them. So you know, for Hilton, that’s it’s for the State strategy.Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): That is what everything the team does. Everything within content. Orchestration rolls up to. If it can’t support that. If what is being asked doesn’t support that.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): then, is it really what should be done? Right? It’s evolutionary. It’s it’s based on continuous improvement. I think that’s another big change from or difference between content Ops and content orchestration isCathy McKnight (she/her/hers): content. Ops infers that it’s an operation. It’s practice, it’s repeated. You just keep doing the same thing over and over again, but with content orchestration similar to when you think about an orchestra, it’s practice, it’s improvements, it’s tweaking. It’s making things better. It’s making things sound better and come out better. So, Leona. I mean in the early days of content orchestration that you’re in. Maybe you can share some of the things that you’ve seen as early wins, and what you’ve had to do to get there.

Liana Cave: I think some of the earliest ones is first. Hilton was at the right place to kind of take on this journey, as you mentioned for this day. That’s also fairly new, right? So until we had this clarity of where we are as a company and how we’re gonna look at our marketing journey that has really helped align, also how we should look at our content because content chaos can come also from just not having that clear North Star. So I would say that that piece of work which I cannot take credit for, but it also really helped enable this piece of work.Liana Cave: As you can. You touched on the strategic piece has also been really important for us, sitting under the marketing and loyalty. Umbrella at Hilton. It is really important for us to Cbc. And strategic partners, and I don’t think that was always the case, and I’m sure, Kathy, you could attest to this, as we were seeing as much as doers, so a lot of it was

Liana Cave: changing the name of the team right? Just because we changed the name of the team. It didn’t mean that’s who we were right. At that moment it was a maturity piece, and so we started to have

Liana Cave: constant conversations about what content orchestration could be, who we were, gonna grow up to be, and looking at us as a strategic partner, and I will say that the leaders that I work under have just really paved the way we, we, we set out what we wanted to do. We wanted to minimize the friction in these bottlenecks, and we’re starting to see it come to life in all of these early wins in these early days

is letting our Se. Team be seen differently, so as much as we have so much more to do. It doesn’t feel as much of a bumpy path, because strategic is one of the things that people think of when they think of our team. Now.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): I think exactly right. It’s it’s the strategic element we often think of content as something that companies do. So when people are working within, especially in an operations, as it infers, it’s a it’s a do job, right? It’s it’s operating something, whereas orchestration takes talent, it takes purpose, it it takes a vision

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): really to be able to set the the path forward and where you want to go, and I know the work that that’s been done at Hilton both by yourself and your predecessor, and and the teams that we’ve worked with. It’s really about changing that perspective. It’s it’s about getting

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): leadership in particular, but also other stakeholders within the organization to buy into that vision of a streamlined ideation to archive process, and what that actually brings to the organization and its audiences, which is the center of everything that we’re doing, right content. Orchestration is centered on being customer centric. It’s about delivering the best possible experience at each and every turn.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): And you guys, I mean Hilton and Visionary within the industry. Not only within the hospitality industry, but also, you know, you’re a case study for others to look at, as far as

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): the type of content that you put out there the engagement that you do, and the attention to customer. Experiences that you deliver against right. So this is, you know, the the dream to repeat is is exactly what drives us. It’s we went. We set out to build a singular content process that enables

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): content across each of these steps and keeping in mind that it doesn’t always start with it like, in this case, the dream. Sometimes they’re they’re jumping in at the reservation stage or at the stay stage. You just don’t know where they’re going to be. So you have to have a content process

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): that enables content to be delivered the right content, the contextual content to be delivered at the right time. And in order to do that one, you have to empower the team to be able to do the right things.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): but also reduce friction and complexity in terms of the content process. I know when when we started to work together, Content was the ownership of it was kind of dispersed

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): right into different parts of the team. So different stages of the content belong to different parts of the organization, and Hilton has done amazing work in starting to into pulling that together. Now you don’t own the end to end. You know, there’s other parts of the team who contribute from a creative standpoint ideation and all those things. But your team’s involved now, from the ideation to archive, it’s providing that consistency.Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): So the clarity and roles and responsibility, I think, has also made a big difference for your team as has the process in order to support diversity and the quality of content. And you’ve been, you know, your background and digital asset management and understanding the intricacies of that, I think, has played a really critical role in getting Hilton to this point.

Liana Cave: Well, thank you, I mean, I in, as I alluded to before, I’ve been in multiple roles. So my first role was focused on digital asset management as much as that is. Still today, part of my job. It is really, really, it’s influenced a lot of how I think of everything

we. When I came into Hilton we were decommissioning multiple dams. We were looking at a new Cms. Which Kathy, I know you were part of that as well. So we started this journey a long time ago with this massive vision, and I don’t think we could have even envisioned where we would be today. But start making that starting point and thinking about our assets and our content differently. And some of that was just modern systems, right? We have systems that couldn’t do what we wanted them to do.

And it was still this, you know, very desperate silo things happening. But as we had these systems that could at least start to intake all of it, that that was a real key piece of the journey.

And to your point, we don’t know where people start with our customer journey. Sometimes they’re not even the one doing the booking. Sometimes they’re just at at the stay, you know, bringing the the family along and whatnot. But you want to make sure that you’re actually getting all of those messages out in a nice organized, less chaotic way. I don’t think that we’re. You know we have so much more work to do which is actually exciting to me, and just being transparent and honest.

But what I have seen that really takes off is that real?

Liana Cave: You know, everything’s kind of sitting in. When these centralized systems were being brought in from the ideation to archive conversations which is really quite new. So the way that we’re working now is we’re working with all of the content that is marketing and loyalty is working on from, you know, anything that starts that’s gonna even start in a social channel versus what it’s gonna just be inon our websites. We’re we’re part of that conversation now, not just from a let’s make sure we can help you get it out. But strategically, how can we actually assist in this like thinking about. You know the taxonomy work that we’ll be doing later this year

and understanding how we can actually support these different teams

Liana Cave: and make sure that we’re part of these teams. So we have a different seat at the table, and part of that is this rebranding at who we are and just a Testament to, you know our constant

Liana Cave: desire to see it be seen as a strategic function. So I think I’m very proud of that work, but excited about. Well, how much more work I do have to do.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Yes, this th. Your journey is nowhere near its end. It’s a very nascent beginning of it. But we’ve we’ve we’ve actually killed a couple of really big milestones, or boulders in the last little while, one of them, being that recognition of content is a strategic function of the business. As you mentioned, you now have a a seat at the table, right? Th. The team is is looked upon as the experts in content. It’s not just.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): They’re not just ticket takers or problem solvers. It’s about, you know, directing the direction of. They’re directing the the function of content, and how it’s best used and served and managed, etc.Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): And I think, too, as well. One of the things that has been really important is the transparency is we’ve we’ve worked hard to pull together the team

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): across.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): you know, these 5 pillars of content orchestration where they might not have seen themselves before where they’d be like. Oh, well, I’m not part of the optimization phase, or I’m not, you know. It’s not my role to measure, but understanding. Now the up

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): stream and downstream of the process in relationship to what each of the parts of the team does has created more capacity for collaboration, as well as enablement of each other’s jobs and the roles and responsibilities involved in those, because

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): when we think about content, especially as a team as as something, somebody who’s either executing the strategy or a subset of that. We often get myopically focused on what it is that we do, and we don’t necessarily consider what’s coming before us or coming after us.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): And by anchoring the entire team across, you know the different focus areas that we’ll get into in a minute about how you’ve got the team sort of divided against these 5 pillars. I think it’s really helped them take in a bigger perspective as well as be more strategic in how they approach content.

Liana Cave: I think all that is true, but one of the things I think is really critical to add, here is when you’re looking at all the different levels that sit with any kind of team in any matrix organization, it’s really, really critical to skill build right? We, we took what the skills they did have. And we’ve done a lot of intentional work on skill building. And a lot of that is also mindset which Kathy’s been a huge part of as well.

So not only are there these very hard skills, their soft skills that we’re building because you can’t just say, Hey, we’re on this journey. We’re gonna be strategic, and everyone is right there with you. You know I have.

Liana Cave: I have probably the full gamut of, you know, ones that I have to get there, some that are even probably ahead of me, and those that I’m I’m making sure that are really intentionally bringing them on this journey. But when you’re going through a transformation like this, you have to be very intentional to make sure. Not only do you have these areas, these 5 pillars that we’re we’re building against and giving them kind of knowledge for, but actually unlocking their ability to

participate in each of these. Sometimes it’s making sure that they have a seat at the table. And sometimes it’s making sure that they have the skills. So when they do have that seat at the table. They’re ready to show up in a very new way. And it is something that

Liana Cave: you know changing, and how someone shows up how someone thinks of our team is is been a very consistent and intentional journey. But having these very clear areas from strategy already to archiving, I think it. It’s really helped because they have a map that they’re working against.

Liana Cave: because I’m definitely one of those ones that talks about the big picture, and I’ll go full on in on that. But making sure, we’re saying, Okay, well, these are these areas and whatnot. And taking that time to bring everyone along. And and also likewise you mentioned earlier our stakeholders. That’s a really critical piece to make sure they’re on that journey. So some of these things that we have coming later in the year. Is each person on our team really having

Liana Cave: some responsibility of saying what content orchestration is? Not just from their seat, but overall from their the full team, and making sure that we’re all messaging in a similar way, but also from where they sit.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Yeah, excellent point on the on the training and socialization. Some of the work that we started more than a year ago. Now on, you know, the tenants of of good teams, right? So we initially had 8, and we narrowed that down to 4, across which each of the teams and your adjacent teams and I’ve got to say. That’s one of the things that I’ve just been continually wowed about in terms of Hilton is

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): how

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): open the teams are to coming together and working to have this vision like when people really, you know, when we when we first sort of launched and started talking about content orchestration and what it meant and what it would mean, and the things that go along with it.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Of course there was trepidation. Of course there were people who were like, Oh, my gosh! How are we gonna get this done? Or oh, there’s no way we’re ever gonna get this done.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): But once the context of how it impacts them and their role and what it means for them and their growth, as well as the organization and the clarity of their contribution to the organization’s success. This was going to make, I think the penny dropped huge.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): and then by giving them that baseline of commonality of things like customer centricity and radical transparency and bias towards action, and enabling them to leverage that with the rest of their team. So for those who maybe you know, and not everybody, moves at the same speed. I will say that, Leona, you move at this the speed of light. You you wanna you wanna get there tomorrow.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): or yesterday, as the case may be, and have the vision, and can see how that happens. And then other people don’t. They don’t move that quick. Right? So. But that’s okay. But what having that baseline of commonality on how they’re gonna work to apply these things and to to get aligned with things like strategy and the collaboration. And then, you know, the measurement elements across the different parts of their job, I think, has really brought the team together. And made them feel empowered to make this change

Liana Cave: definitely. I think this is also the benefit of coming from a hospitality company. We’re very hospitable. We’re very friendly. It is definitely part of our culture, and also the growing piece is part of our culture. We open more than one hotel a day, right? So growth is kind of inherently who? How we think of ourselves. So I do think, kind of matching this culture piece to to the way that our team is evolving has been really a big unlock as well.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Oh, absolutely you know. Hilton again moves fast the one hotel a day, and being anchored in in hospitality and serving others. Now we have found that we bumped into that a little bit because people can be too nice. If there is such a thing, especially coming from a Canadian. But where that is a major shift that’s also happening for the team, and that it’s gone from

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): being. Yes, I can do that for you, even when it’s not part of their roles or responsibilities, because they were seen as a service organization, they were seen as doers, and getting that mind flipped, which I think is going to be one of the the

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): biggest

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): you know challenges that team is going to have to keep reminding themselves of is that we are the experts we are, we know, content best. We know our area best. So we’re going to convey that we’re going to give that information. We’re going to help our stakeholders leverage that. And we’re going to do what’s best for Hilton.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): By applying that knowledge. And so sometimes that’s gonna mean saying no, right? Sometimes that’s gonna mean doing things differently the way? Well, it’s not sometimes a lot of the time. Now, it’s gonna be doing things differently to how things have done. Been done traditionally for many years.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): That’s going to cause some friction. And that’s going to cause some change. So we are planning, you know, big communications and and ownership of that messaging with stakeholders, with leadership, etc. But I think another thing that Hilton has has done immense work on and made huge investment in is the technology side of things.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): The Hilton Content stack is

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): it’s replete. I can’t think of really anything else to add to it. There’s a few things that are in work, but again, that that rounds it out, and the focus on continuously improving that and creating the integrations and removing the duplicacy and the redundancies, so that the process can be enabled and streamlined

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): is fantastic. And I think the work that you’ve you and the team have done on the on the man implementation and roll out over. The course of 23 was was massive. You must have seen huge impact on that. And I think to tell, you know, maybe you can tell us a little bit how the the

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): shifting to owning some of that technology, at least the direction of the technology has helped move the content orchestration message forward.

Liana Cave: Absolutely. So, ma’am, got off the ground last year. It was on my 2020 goals to be completely honest, and we all know what happened.

So it was really exciting to pick that work back up right, and also to be in a different role, a different leadership role to bring that to life

Liana Cave: because it was behind in in a sense, and and being brought back and refunded at that point. It was really critical for us to go fast, but to go also, be really intentional about it, and I think I use that word intentional, but it’s it’s really is something that we work at Hilton to be.

Liana Cave: And as we were building this, we it was a story. As all those times, especially around digital asset management, all the assets are in multiple places sitting with different teams. So we went through a complete exercise of gathering actual physical, hard drives, digital drives and working through that. But you can’t just get everything ingested in there and in in a standalone system. So we need to make sure that we’re thinking about the evolution and the maturity of that.

Liana Cave: And we’re consuming more videos. Just all consumers are consuming more videos and in different places, right? So we wanna make sure that we don’t just bring this in. And one thing that we haven’t really touched on yet is, it’s also, we’re obviously a global company. And so as we’re bringing in these assets, not all assets can be used in different ones. And that’s not just because of intellectual property rights. It’s also

Liana Cave: thinking about localized content and what is appropriate to show in different areas of the world. So making sure as we’re building

Liana Cave: like any other system or working through any content. We’re thinking through those distribution piece, especially so when you’re looking at the under that rocket like making sure that we can and put it there. But if you’re not actually from the strategy and understanding what is actually being created, are we actually even creating enough content for all of these channels, and the answer is probably no right. II don’t think you can almost have as much content as you really need. So that’s one of the things, is it? Also lets us know.

Liana Cave: looking at all the content that we do have. Do we have enough

Liana Cave: like? I said, most likely not. But where are our gaps? What is the different areas that we need to make sure to that? We’re recovering? So until we even had it all together. We can’t even intelligently say around the strategy and planning is, yes, we have it. And also, just as in the digital jam and mam world. We wanna make sure we’re reusing content. Net new is something that I think is a habit and probably a habit in a lot of your cultures

is that you have a project, and you need to go net new. And the ma’am’s allowing us to reuse content in a different way as well as a dam, because it’s all there it’s ready to use. It sounds obvious, but it is really an important part of being part of that strategic and planning and the reuse. Because not only is this, you know, going from the left to your right of screen, and really it could be a full circle. It’s an entire life cycle which we can. We can dig into later.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): absolutely. And and the work that again on the ma’am, and making it accessible. So anybody in Hilton can go in and see what content is available and what can be leveraged, and you know they don’t necessarily have access to download it like that, but they can see what’s there, and that’s half the battle, because most of the time, you know, when there is something there. It’s 80 done, you know. Yes, you can tweak it and modify. We’re not saying it’s going to be 100. Lift and and shift and use. But

imagine the time. Save the money save the return on investment that can be gained through this orchestration of availability.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): This isn’t the orchestration part isn’t just about the process of getting content

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): there, but it’s about making it available and reusing and leveraging it to the point to where you know what. Maybe it’s gotten tired. Maybe it’s been over amplified which can happen. So you want to. Then take that out of distribution right to keep the Hilton. In this case brand clean and fresh and new and engaging, exciting and non-repetitive.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): So it’s about that life cycle management being able to move things in and out of availability and shifting and and being making it, making it real time and relevant.

And I think another thing that you know from a tech perspective

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): you guys moved really quick on on Jen AI, as I mean

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): the rest of the world trying to figure it out. For those of you who are trying to figure out. I point you back to our January webinar on on getting ready for a generative AI. But I think the strategy of how you’re rolling out new technologies, and making.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): giving breadth and depth of time to the team, to the people.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): to do the the human-based innovation and excellence and creativity

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): by taking away some of the route mundane

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): activities and Bea and and things that need to get done through technology so enabling that as well as through your use of which, you know, we can get into on maybe another conversation. But

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): how you leverage external resources as well, so that you enable your team to do the strategic work while the route activity, the ticket taking the the the the task doing is being off site offhanded to, you know, trained resources that

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): aren’t necessarily employees right? The 1,000 ninety-nine’s or agencies. You’ve done great work in leveraging external resources to that extent which, again, I think is part of the orchestration pro orchestration process is you. You keep the important strategic work to the team, and then you offload, if need be, the the stuff that that isn’t. That can be done by just about anybody.

Liana Cave: I think that’s very true. And also we kind of orchestrate the team just as much as just to be orchestrate content. Yes, AI is really taking off, and there’s that nervousness that a lot of people feel like this is going to take my job. We’re, you know, we’re it’s going to do the thinking for us. And actually, we’re gonna orchestrate the AI as well. Right? We can continue to use that word, and probably over and over.

Liana Cave: AI to me isn’t scary. It’s exciting, but you have to make sure you’re you’re creating quality content as part of it. So big piece of what our team is involved in is setting standards for. How? AI not just where we should use it. But what is what are we actually getting from it? And is it? Is it good enough to put in front of a customer, or is it something that is just helping us in the background to get us a little bit further, and I think the answers are probably all of them above, and depending on what kind of content, that is.

Liana Cave: And, as you said, you know, we’re not just ticket takers. Yes, so a lot of my team is within a ticket system. But they’re not just. It’s not rote. It’s not just they’re they’re thinking they’re being very making sure we’re we’re delivering the right thing to the right channel. And even

Liana Cave: the clarity of the message that and that being on brand is really critical. So we last year alone, my team process 45,000 tickets, you know. It’s a huge piece of what we do. But it doesn’t mean we’re not thinking and not being a strategic partner when we’re we’re we’re messaging that. So. AI, yes, and our managed service team are really critical to make sure we can manage that capacity. But knowing what we’re growing at the speed that we’re growing at. No jobs are ever going to be lost because of this. It’s it’s really to make sure that they can like you said, really.

Liana Cave: all of us. The entire content orchestration team are strategic thinkers and seen as strategic partners, not just to our our customers, but also to the properties that we support and our stakeholders.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): of course. Yes, and so. You know I’m a project manager by trade, so I love process. I love plans, you know. I give me a good Gantchart any day, and I’m happy, girl. So one of the things we’ve worked really hard on as well is is the execution and change management plan, you know, and not approaching it from necessarily a timeline perspective.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): but from the key aspects of what needs, you know of the areas of work that needs to happen. Right? So this represents those work streams which you know, we have to be customer centric in this, any organization who’s looking at their content. Practice whether it’s an Ops practice, whether you’re looking to get move to something that’s more orchestrated. The center of that has to start with the customer. And what is it that they need, and what are they looking for?

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): We talked a little bit about the working principles in terms of enabling the team. Content. Innovation. What’s coming down the pipe? How do you enable that? So maybe, Leona, I’d love to, you know, if you can maybe share some tidbits on on these work streams, and how you’re moving forward, keeping again that customer first lens

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): as you’re as you and the team and the rest of the organization, really, because they’re coming along as part of this journey. How you’re moving it forward in the plan for execution.

Liana Cave: Absolutely. So what is really critical here is to think that this is almost like a checklist to make sure that we are not just operating in this one piece, and here and here. But the entire team is looking at all of these different areas. So our working principles, which we touched on a little bit content innovation. So for me, under content innovations, there’s lots of things, you know, we used to think about systems. And the word adoption always comes to mind. And I’m I’m kind of over that word adoption. It’s a community of practice, right? Because it’s just like

anything that we do like a yoga. It’s not. You just don’t go. And you’re just there. It’s a practice, right? It’s something you continue to do and to innovate on. And a lot of what we do is not one and done everything really is in this cyclical way of not just improving and

Liana Cave: embracing technology. Same with our stakeholder management. Who we were last year is not who we are today. That’s really critical piece to make sure we’re having those ongoing conversations about not just who we were where we’re at, but where we’re going and taking people on that journey with us. And I think that’s that’s important to say.

Liana Cave: because you don’t. You don’t just say who you are when you’re done right. You’re you’re on literally the same path with them, because not it’s not just your team who’s evolving in a company like Hilton. All these teams have their own really

Liana Cave: very specific ways and objectives that they’re moving towards. And you want to look for that alignment, that collaboration, and also their partner activation. We partner with a lot of different kind of companies and and different ways that we’re set up and messaging architecture, that that’s that’s something that is a bit new of strategically how we’re thinking, because, as you look at something like our websites, it’s easy for our messaging to be very clear, because there’s different pages, right? So as we start to look at at this multi-channel

Liana Cave: systems and orchestrating across that, we need to be very clear what is for the stay? What is? What is it we’re trying to say about our honors? And because we have 20 plus brands, what are we trying to say about that brand that you’re either staying at or we want you to stay at, and we’re making sure that there is clarity around that, and meeting all the different customer needs and customer needs is really interesting at Hilton, because a lot of people might travel for business like I do, but not. Every trip is for business. So once you kind of understand that

Liana Cave: consumer, it’s not even necessarily the same consumer when they come back to you, it might be a very different trip for them. And there’s a lot of unlocks that will happen with partnerships with the more tech team and getting to that. But we want to make sure. On the content side, we’re ready to answer that and provide the content.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Yeah. And I think you know the the last 2 that you talked to there. The messaging architecture and the customer needs so

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): one of the things to remember, too, from a messaging architecture is, you have customers, internal and external, that you need to communicate to, and by providing the a messaging architecture where it’s okay from the very top. This is Hilton. This is the message of Hilton. And then underneath that, you know, there may be 2 or 3 main

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): core whether their values, whether their objectives, whatever it is, and then you have the brands underneath that. But as you go lower, everything has to roll up. whether it’s an internal audience, whether it’s an external audience or customer in terms of the messaging, and I think that’s one of the things that the orchestration of of you know the content orchestration does, and has the most impact on is that consistency of experience, whether you’re going in Hilton’s case to be a business traveler and then shift over to being a family traveler or going on a special weekend away with that special someone

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): being able to have that consistency of voice and expected experience. Even if you’re getting completely different

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): experiences in themselves, one being, you know, that downtown hotel that’s convenient to, you know, great restaurants and the the convention center versus the beautiful resort. And Riviera Maya.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): that maybe you’re you’re taking your family to, but you expect the same kind of quality and tone from that perspective. And so you that you know that it’s Hilton, regardless of which brand that you’re engaging with, and that orchestration, when you get to be

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): an orchestration

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): of content versus an operations of content. That’s where the penny drops. I think that’s where the big difference happens in that. You’re not shocking your customers by having a a, an, a discong, or an incongruent experience, because you’ve got all the right pieces working together at the right time to deliver that right content.

Liana Cave: Exactly.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): and sorry. Go ahead.

Liana Cave: I was just saying, but making sure that you’re having that clarity is is also an efficiency play. Right? So it’s not just so the customer understands the value proposition of each piece of the of what we do. It is equally about efficiency of assets and content, and how we think about it, because if you have these core pieces, you can orchestrate them across all the channels, and and you and you have not just that consistency. But efficiency, right? Because right now we’re almost creating content. That’s answering all of those all at once.

Liana Cave: And I think that’s that’s that’s going to be a big unlock for us this year.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Yeah. And to do that, you’ve had to reconfigure and reconsider the areas of focus for your team.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): So where previously it may have been a more traditional, you know, segregation across the steps within a content process. Now you’re looking at the team more in that enablement perspective. And and what are the areas of focus that

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Orchestration requires? So the content life cycle, the the platforming. So the technology involved. And then, of course, innovation which I love this because for the orchestration to continue to meet customer expectations, you you constantly have to innovate. You ha! You have to be able to know what you’ve done, what’s worked, what hasn’t, as well as what you want to try and what’s coming forward so that you’re ready for that. So

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): as as you were pulling together, and we were looking at the structure of the team.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): you know there’s a couple of things here like content concierge, which maybe you can give a little bit of insight into, because that’s a very Hilton thing. Nobody else is. Gonna do that as as part of their team structure. But you know how these 3 things

tie together for you and the team in order to deliver against the promise of orchestration

Liana Cave: absolutely so. Contact concrete. This was a bit of a passion project. Last year we actually got to see come to life is part of the team that is servicing the properties, and we’ll start to see this expand, you know, into the coming years

Liana Cave: is that they’re much more consultative, their their their white glove service. So we’re not just hey, put this image here. We want to update this content. We’re coming to them and saying, You know, I think II don’t think that is the right decision. I do think that this should be here, or we have images that were shot, and we’re gonna go ahead and place them for you, and it’s a different relationship with the properties. And there was a lot of trepidation about going this route. But I will say that you know

Liana Cave: not a perfect one. But I think almost like close to a hundred percent, just really are passionate about this service that we’re providing. So we’re looking to, how? How can we expand this? Because it’s only a core set of

Liana Cave: of properties that get this level of service to thinking about. What? What could we do to to leverage and and grow this and looking at what we do there.

Liana Cave: Innovation like, I said, I’ve I’ve kind of talked about a lot of these things, but being intentional about objectives this year to make sure that we’re doing it. A lot of these have been side projects projects that had been thrown at us at the end of last year. But we want to make sure that we’re thinking of them and creating goals against them. So we’re we’re not just

Liana Cave: side projects like off the side of our desk, which a lot of what we we do but saying, Hey, we’re gonna focus on these things. We’re gonna make sure that we are going to do the AI enablement and measure and platform governance. And so that’s a whole thing of getting away from the word adoption, and making sure that you know our systems are not just being used. But how can we continue to evolve each system which plays in very nicely to the content platform piece.

because we have a lot of nice, steady state systems, but they steady state, should still also continue to evolve and meet the needs and also work with that. So we continue to develop it. And we have a strong connection with our Mar tech team

Liana Cave: and and making sure that that’s all working together. So I think almost every slide of ours Cathy, could be this cycle right? Because even though one part said it onto life cycle. W. Nothing’s one and done and nothing’s nothing happens without even blurred lines between these 3 areas of focus. It’s it’s kind of that consistent, will it. But that’s that’s the movement and the growth that we’re kind of expecting to meet from a customer need from a growth need from an overall, Hilton. And

Liana Cave: and it is us also adapting.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Yeah. And I think one thing to point out to here is that expansion of the internal stakeholder and your your and your team’s involvement in different parts of the organization. So, having not just your your foot in the door, but a seat at the table about conversations in terms of

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): where Marte is going when it impacts content. So the direction, the the change of functionality, the upgrading. If there’s change over or legacy to be taken out that you’re part of that conversation. Same thing in terms of

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): a AI technology as well as collaboration. As I mentioned. You know, the ideation archive is a very big.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): complex process in any organization, not just Hilton, but even if in much smaller organizations.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): And you now have a seat at that table from the very beginning. So where again, you may not be involved in the writing of the content, the the ideation. There are people, you know, obviously within the marketing Loyalty team that that’s there. You’re still at that table. You’re you’re contributing to that to say, Hey, listen! You know we’ve got this, or you know, here’s the technology to use for that, or here’s where it could be used in terms of

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): other channels and same thing on the life cycle. You’re a part of that.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): but you’re you’re absolutely setting and and helping drive the direction of where it’s going, which you know is I think is one of the biggest change that that strategic role that content is now playing is is largely because of the shift into an an orchestration focus.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): And I think, too, with regard to

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): all of the changes to make this shift all of the work that’s been done. You’ve you’ve you’ve you’ve looked, you’ve tackled all elements right? There hasn’t been anything left

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): to. Well, we don’t need that or we’re not. Gonna we’re not gonna ask to be a part of that. So you know, we focus so much on culture, whether it’s the tenants, whether it’s the empowerment, you know, we talk a lot about radical ownership at our last, all hands meeting and really moving that forward, that shift from being the task takers to the end, doers to the drivers of the change, right to be the strategic thinkers.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): and I think, like with any project, the change management has probably, and will continue to be, one of the biggest challenges.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): I think I think you can probably agree with that. And you know, lastly, again, I loved

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): you know the the focus of our our big, you know, planning meeting that we just had on being radical ownership, because you have to believe in the change. Right culture. This is for anybody who hasn’t seen this quote before, I cannot take responsibility for it. It’s it’s something that’s pervasive. But culture does eat strategy for breakfast every time. If you do not have a culture of engagement and

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): willingness for that radical ownership, and to have an even higher up culture, the leadership culture to lean into support the beliefs that you guys are are doing here in the shift being made.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): I you know it. It just can’t win. So you know, kudos to you and the team you’ve you’ve done amazing work. I’ve I’ve been on this journey with Hilton for I think just a little bit longer than you’ve been with them about 8 years. So honestly, there, there isn’t a client that we’ve worked with that has

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): taken the the focus and the drive of wanting to put content orchestration in place, and and you and the team have brought it to fruition. So it’s, you know.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): Full street cred to you, and maybe you know as our as we wrap this up. Talk a little bit about what’s next for you and the team.

Liana Cave: First of all. Thank you. I think it’s really critical for me to say as as much as you know, we’ve worked on this. It took the entire team, my leadership, and just the belief in, you know, I wanna go a million miles an hour making sure I’m bringing everyone along. And II can’t take all the credit. My my team is absolutely

Liana Cave: amazing to work with. And it’s been a really exciting. So, looking forward in this year, I know we’re gonna do some amazing things you talked about rounding out the tech stack that we have and some critical work that we’re we’re gonna be doing. So hopefully, next time we talk, we can share more about that. But I know we’re getting faces. And that’s the most fulfilling thing. We’re we’re solving problems.

Liana Cave: And we’re in a really exciting industry that we’re seeing grow and travel something I’m very passionate about. So just bringing this to customers and and having them be in our hotels is very fulfilling and and leading this team has been an absolute, a joy, and I cannot wait to what we do and what I can share next time we talk.

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): I know I am so excited. We have so much plan for this year is just I, yeah, it’s gonna be amazing. So we’ll definitely have you back a a, an update and and and share the progress that’s made, and a few more tips and tricks and and things to watch out for. So, Leona, thank you so much for taking the time, making the time to share

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): the story of Hilton and content orchestration, and where you, where you, you and the team are at, and the organization and again, I will extol the virtues of you, your team and the leadership that have enabled this kind of change and the evolution that’s happened at Hilton.

Thank you. Everybody for attending. This has been great. We will be sending out the recording to everybody attended, and for those of you who couldn’t join us and are listening to this on the recording. Thank you for that next month’s webinar is. We are going to tackle fractional expertise so how to fill the holes and and build your team through fractional expertise. There’s a QR. Code. You can sign up. Now, be early. Be one of the first. We’d love to see you on March 20

Cathy McKnight (she/her/hers): first, and thank you again. If you have any questions please feel free to either respond. Send an email via the invite that you got. You can scan this code and send us one via the website. Also, I am totally track downable on Linkedin, as we are on our website, so we’d love to hear from you so, Leana? Thank you again. It was a pleasure, and for everybody, all the attendees. Thank you for attending, and we’ll talk to you next time.
Liana Cave: Thank you.

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