Many marketers know well the frustrations of coordinating the creative process — reviews and approvals can drag on, key feedback can get lost in lengthy email chains, and creative flow can be interrupted by too many stakeholders.
And as the need for content continues to climb, friction in the creative process becomes more obvious and more painful.
In order to keep up with the demand for original content, marketing teams are looking for an easier way to collaborate and communicate throughout their creative processes. To meet this need, we’ve seen the emergence of creative collaboration SaaS products, which enable teams to more efficiently review, discuss, and approve content.
OpenText Hightail is one such application. Hightail was acquired by OpenText in February 2018, and offers a cloud-based SaaS product that enables seamless file sharing, precise commenting and reviews, and approval routing for better creative collaboration with both internal and external partners.
Hightail works with clients including Patagonia, Jimmy Kimmel Live, the NFL Network, and Whole Foods Market.
We spoke with Lindsay Sterrett, Head of Marketing at Hightail, to learn more about their product and how it helps streamline the creative process for marketing teams.
ClickZ: Briefly describe Hightail – what’s your elevator pitch?
Lindsay Sterrett: Hightail is the essential collaboration software for creative content reviews and approvals.
With one place for creative and marketing teams to share large multimedia files, collect precise feedback and approve content, Hightail streamlines the creative process and helps teams keep projects on schedule.
CZ: What’s the biggest problem you solve for your customers?
LS: We help simplify clunky creative collaboration processes in several ways, including:
- Putting an end to lengthy email chains and feedback that is not in-line with visual, creative assets.
- Reducing delays caused by waiting for feedback to go through the team one by one, since Hightail allows multiple reviewers to comment in real-time.
- Making it quick and easy to share large files, with security features—such as expiration setting, password protection and download notifications—that ensure that your files are shared the way you want them shared.
CZ: How / why was Hightail founded?
LS: Originally founded as YouSendIt in 2004, Hightail was a pioneer in the file sharing category.
As the file sharing industry became commoditized, we looked for opportunities to continue to service our key customers in the Media & Entertainment, Advertising and Creative Services industries, whether they were customers within a business or self-employed creative professionals who were exchanging large multimedia files both internally and externally.
Through hundreds of customer interviews, we learned that they needed an easy way to collect precise feedback on their creative content, and they needed that feedback to be collected across various roles within the organization.
From there we designed a solution that is purpose-built for managing a creative project from concept to completion.
CZ: Why do customers choose you over your competitors? What do you do that they don’t?
LS: Marketers and creatives don’t often have a technical background, and they don’t want to have to rely on IT to implement and sustain the solutions they use.
We have heard from our customers that Hightail is easier and more intuitive to use with no training required.
They’ve also said that we enable them to consolidate a hodgepodge of various tools by providing one solution to share and store files, collaborate on projects and assign tasks, and route projects for approval.
CZ: What impact would your solution have if a company were to implement it tomorrow?
LS: Companies that have implemented our solution report that they are able to shave hours of time off their review and approval processes tied to digital content.
They are also able to eliminate frustrating miscommunications tied to feedback that gets buried in long email chains.
That means less time wasted on process and more time spent focused on the development of inspiring creative and campaigns.
CZ: Can you share 1-3 success stats from companies who have used your product?
LS: I’ll share a few testimonials from our customers:
Steve Simkins, Producer/Director, North by Northwest, said,
“We send video files that can be anywhere from 50MB to 1.5GB. If the client cannot open a video file and view it immediately, we lose the ‘ease’ factor. . . We needed a file sharing solution that was consistently simple, fast and easy to use.”
Michelle Hotta, account coordinator at Fullscreen, said,
“The email notifications come in really fast—as soon as someone comments. This is super helpful in managing the work.”
Mark Barlee, Business Analyst at TPF Sports, said,
“TPF Sports has been able to save nearly 500 hours of creative work alone over the past year.”
CZ: If a customer started today, how long would it take them to 1)onboard your product, and 2)start seeing results?
LS: Our customers have said that Hightail is intuitive and easy to use right out of the box, so they can start to collaborate more effectively and efficiently from day one.
CZ: Who do you look to for example and insight?
LS: We are always inspired by the creativity of our customers, and the feedback they provide helps us continue innovating to deliver a solution that meets their needs and defines this growing creative collaboration category.
Customers are and always have been our most valued resource for insight – and they’re the reason we embarked down this path to expand the offering to solve their pain points around creative collaboration.
CZ: What are you focusing on for the next year?
LS: We are focusing on driving greater value for marketers by integrating Hightail into martech solutions, starting with our recent integration into OpenText Media Management, an industry-leading, enterprise digital asset management solution.
In the coming year, you can expect Hightail to solve additional pain points for marketers to support the continuously growing volume of campaigns and demand for assets in rich and visual formats.
We also regularly incorporate feature requests and feedback from our user community, and that is foundational to our product strategy.
CZ: Briefly list key integrations / partnerships
LS: Hightail has integrations with the following services:
- Adobe Creative Cloud Plugins: Sync the latest version of work, respond to feedback and burn down your to-do list without leaving Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator with the Hightail for Adobe plugin.
- Google Drive: Import files stored in Google Drive and send or collaborate via Hightail (one-way sync)
- Dropbox: Import files stored in Dropbox and send or collaborate via Hightail (one-way sync)
- Microsoft OneDrive: Import files stored in Microsoft OneDrive and send or collaborate via Hightail (one-way sync)
- OpenText Media Management (OTMM): Send files stored in OTMM via Hightail or request approval on the files stored in OTMM from internal or external reviewers via Hightail.
- OpenText Core: Lock and sync large multimedia files to Hightail for content reviews; when collaboration is complete, you can sync your latest version back to Core from Hightail.
CZ: How much does your solution cost?
LS: Hightail offers several plan options. Our Lite plan is always free and allows you to send files up to 100MB. We also offer three paid plan options depending on your needs and if you are looking to share files as an individual or collaborate on assets with a small team or business. These plans range from $12 to $36 per user per month. For customers interested in kicking the tires on our full collaboration features, we also offer a free 14-day trial.
Year founded: 2004
Employees: 12,000 companywide at OpenText
Customers: Nearly a million
Martech category: Creative collaboration software as a service
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