Scott Matthews is the CEO of WebCollage, a company that offers SaaS to manufacturers to publish rich product information—videos, interactive tours and enhanced product descriptions—on their retail channel. Scott has 20+ years experience in sales and executive management at companies including Optum, Oracle and Siebel. We recently spoke with Scott about his current role.
The Makegood: Scott, you have over 20 years experience working in technology. How did you get into the space and what keeps you there?
SM: Twenty years ago it was just becoming apparent that technology was going to profoundly change our lives. I wanted to be at the forefront of that change so jumped right in with Data Switch, Oracle, Siebel, Genesys and Sperry Univac. I am not sure even I could have predicted how pervasive technology would be in our everyday world today, but I am pleased with my career choices. I loved and – still love – being part of innovation that changes peoples’ lives.
The Makegood: How do you define content as marketing? Can you give a specific example of this?
SM: WebCollage has 3 different entry points for a brand on Officemax’s website. 1)Take a Product Tour below the product image in the upper left, 2) all the real estate starting with Technical details in the middle of OfficeMax’s product and 3) visit the showcase button below the Product Tour Button.
That encyclopedic offering of product information has proven to be effective in lifting sales on retail websites by 17% to 30%. Yet it is not paid media. It is nearly free. It is enabled by WebCollage which makes it simple to load, mindless to syndicate out to thousands of retailer sites and painless to update across all sites in real time. The content can vary from manufacture to manufacture and can include things like consumer generationed product reviews such as click on “Take a product Tour” link below main product image; then click on “Video Reviews.” These are the result of our EXPO partnership.
Most of the major advancements in content syndication over the last several years have come from WebCollage, which allows our customers access to consumers shopping for their products in ways not possible through our competition.
Power Pages is an example of content as marketing. WebCollage introduced this concept into the market two years ago and has been very successful in using technology to allow manufacturers unprecedented access to communicate to shoppers on retail product page online. WebCollage also created and launched Power Page technology with the ability to have content delivered inline as HTML, which would impact SEO. Initially it was much simpler for the channel to implement Power Page content using traditional methods versus the slightly more complicated HTML implementation. We believe that all inline content will eventually be delivered via HTML and therefore have an impact on SEO.
The Makegood: What are the major content-related challenges facing manufacturers and e-tailers going forward?
SM: When WebCollage started building our network of e-tailers and manufacturers years ago, the major challenge we saw was the overall lack of content available from the manufacturers. As we’ve focused on opening up the retailer channel for manufacturers to deliver their rich marketing message, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in investment on web-enabled assets.
The next hurdle will be focusing on optimizing those assets. There is typically a similar message being delivered throughout the web, often one that mirrors offline marketing. As changes in WebCollage technology allow manufacturers more flexibility in terms of content delivery, we anticipate more focus on assets being created specifically for the retail (e-tail) market.
The Makegood: Thanks, Scott.