Enterprise Growth Council Meeting – January

The Enterprise Growth Council met for the second time on January 25th, 2018. (We previously met in December for an initial intros call but didn’t take notes). We’ll be meeting monthly going forward and will be posting notes here.

What is the Enterprise Growth Council?

Read Matt’s original introduction to the WP Growth Council from late 2016 and watch him talk about it again at WCUS in the State of the Word.

The Enterprise Growth Council is a group of representatives from several companies who are focused on marketing, delivering and using WordPress as an enterprise-grade CMS. We’re meeting monthly to share the work we’re each doing as well as discussing things we could do better as a community or via wordpress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/.

Current Council Members: @matt, Alexa Scordato (Stack Overflow), Anil Gupta (Multidots), Bradford Campeau-Laurion (Alley Interactive), Cameron Barrett (SchoolPresser), Chris Taylor (Automattic), Edd Hurst (Pragmatic), Jake Goldman (10up), Jason Cohen (WP Engine), John Eckman (10up), Nick Gernert (Automattic), Tom Willmot (Human Made). This may change week to week as people swap out or availability changes.

Meeting notes

  • Chris, Alexa and Matt also sit on the Consumer Growth Council and we started off with a quick catchup on the work they’re doing including discussions around:
    • Creating guides on .org for things like how to start a blog, app, shop, site, etc.
    • A directory of professionals that could help you with the above.
    • An SEO review (Wix is ranking above us for the term “create a blog”.
    • A separate group is going to split out to work on the broader brand strategy.
  • At this stage of the discussion, we have a lot more questions than answers.
  • We talked about the major competitors to WordPress in the enterprise space.
    • Adobe Experience Manager
    • Sitecore
    • Acquia / Drupal
    • Episerver (in Europe)
    • Contentful (Headless)
    • Arc (Washington Post)
    • The bespoke CMS
    • Umbraco
  • There is a challenge for us to decide whether we try to compete in the niches or whether we try to compete more generally.
  • At the moment we really don’t have much of an enterprise story on  WordPress.org.
    • We discussed potential first steps there including a wordpress.org/enterprise page, whitepaper and case study content etc.
  • We explored ideas we each had for initial projects we could tackle on the enterprise side.
    • We could contribute or collaborate on a selection of whitepapers.
    • Is there a place for generic enterprise case studies?
      • We weren’t in agreement as to whether there is specific value to having them on .org (lots already exist elsewhere). There was a sense that we already have this content and the issue is more to do with getting WordPress in front of the decision makers at large enterprise. We really need to step back and map out the buyer journey, what’re the sales funnels? How do buyers make decisions? At what point in the process is a case study (or whitepaper) useful, what are the other tactics that could help move that buyer forward?
      • We could potentially look to sanitise some enterprise RFP’s and build a library of common needs, questions, use cases etc.
      • We need to strike the right balance between tackling low hanging fruit and not getting trapped being too tactical vs strategic.
    • We also want to tackle the broader brand strategy and a sub-group agreed to own this and report back on the Feb call. It’s likely that we’ll want to coordinate with the consumer council as we get into things.
  • We discussed the different audiences that exist within Enterprise and that we’ll want to treat each of them as different buyer personas:
    • Developer (used WordPress, evangelises internally)
    • Marketing (CMO)
    • IT department (CTO)
    • Compliance (often a gatekeeper)
    • Likely others
  • We talked about the taxonomyTaxonomy A taxonomy is a way to group things together. In WordPress, some common taxonomies are category, link, tag, or post format. https://codex.wordpress.org/Taxonomies#Default_Taxonomies., language, buzzwords of the enterprise CMS space. Does WordPress need to use them, are we a CMS or a Digital Experience Platform? Something to continue to discuss and explore.
    • WordPress is one part of a suite of products that deliver digital services/functionality
    • Should WordPress try to compete at that level or stick to the CMS
    • Jason explained WP Engine’s rationale for their use of “Digital Experience Platform” as a way to bring together all their various tools and services, one of which is WordPress CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. under an umbrella term that they see being used in the industry.
    • Alexa felt that it’s not really a buzzword, but how marketing, sales, support think about their function and how they relate together.
    • The term “Digital Experience Platform” is about speaking to the fact that marketers or content creators now need lots of tools that cover all the aspects of their job. WordPress can only do some of these and requires lots of technical experience to build out the others. An all in one ecosystem makes it much easier for someone who doesn’t have a technical partner who can build all the integrations they need.
    • WordPress does have plugins or services in its ecosystem that can do the things a digital experience platform needs to do, how do we tell that story?
      • If we can collect the things together that serve those needs then we can list them on wordpress.org/enterprise
      • They also want someone to talk too, an account manager etc. Where do they get that.
      • We have a bunch of the constituent parts but we don’t tell a cohesive story that brings them together in a way that is discoverable.
      • We can distribute the work required to keep up with changes in the needs of the industry we’re serving by relying on the wider ecosystem of plugins to fill changing needs
    • Cameron would like to see a functionality matrix/table that breaks down which plugins or services fill which needs, we talked about this being a potential task we could tackle later.
    • We talked about how we could collaborate to agree on a set of “enterprise ready” plugins and services, perhaps as part of a path to core adoption or at least focusing community effort around a common set.

Action Items

  1. Tom is going to take a look at updating the WordPress Security Whitepaper.
  2. Alexa is going to lead a buyers journey/brand strategy workshop with Nick.
  3. Brad is going to have a go at wireframing or taking a look at a content strategy for a potential wordpress.org/enterprise page.
  4. We each going to inventory the content that we could contribute to wordpress.org, be that whitepapers, case studies, or anything else that seems relevant.

We’ll meet again on Feb 19th.