PieceKeeper Keeps Promotional Material Current, Co-branded, and Compliant
By Jenny Rollins
A new local software company is determined to end the pain that comes from managing promotional material—making sure partners and sales reps have documents that are consistent, current, co-branded, and compliant.
The team behind PieceKeeper is tackling the seemingly impossible task of keeping hundreds of PDFs up to date, designing customized material for every sales rep, and ensuring that all the material has the necessary legal disclaimers or disclosures.
PieceKeeper documents can also allow sales rep to properly be attributed for their sales because they used customized material. And during employee turnover, the process of updating documents to match the current employee is simple.
In January 2020, Chad Waite, CEO and co-founder of PieceKeeper, was starting a new job as a partner marketing manager at Divvy when he came across a problem. Every partner and sales rep wanted to have individualized promotional materials that also included Divvy branding.
“That was a reasonable request for the first request and the second request. And then by the fifth request our designer got a little tired of it,” Waite explained in a recent interview with TechBuzz.
But the requests still kept pouring in. Eventually the company had hundreds of partners, and each request for co-branded material took around 90 minutes of back-and-forth to get the logos and information to create a one-off one-sheet to send over.
And then if the core documents changed, as they often do in sales and marketing, then all of the co-branded documents were outdated. The attachments had a short shelf-life that resulted in wasted time and money.
Then there was the matter of compliance. For example, any heavily regulated industry typically requires legal disclosures. So, if any partners or sales reps create their own material without those disclosures, there can be serious legal repercussions.
Waite decided to look for a software solution that would keep things co-branded, current, and compliant. He found some solutions like LucidPress, SharePoint, and Canva that had pieces of those requirements, but he was surprised that he couldn’t find anything that met all three.
“I just started doing a lot of research to make sure I wasn't in my own echo chamber. Turns out I am not,” says Waite.
He decided that if he couldn’t find a software solution, then he should make one. Waite joined four other co-founders (who prefer to remain anonymous for now): one partnership manager, two developers, and one UX/UI designer.
“I know that's a crowded space, but everybody plays a role in this,” explains Waite.
The team did some cost-saving analysis on the time individual in-house designers and outside designers spend doing the manual work that PieceKeeper would be automating, and then they quantified that by finding the average hourly rate the designers would charge.
During these conversations, designers expressed that most companies are willing to spend a lot of money to guarantee that the promotional materials that partners and reps are using are the latest and greatest version.
And with that in mind, they worked through several iterations of PieceKeeper’s product: a platform that creates core, compliant documents that can be updated all at once, and partners and reps can customize them with their own branding.
Waite says, “What we want to do is empower companies to be able to allow their sales reps, their partners, or whoever's using this collateral, to send it in a way that never expires using links, and then also give them the ability to update any information that is pertinent to them."
Sales is all about personalization, but personalization is design intensive, explains Waite. Instead the designer will create an approved template with a specific space for personalization for promoters to add their headshot, name, and email. Then that document is sent out via a link.
If the messaging, pricing, seasonality, compliance language, or anything else changes, the designer can make changes to that core document, so that it updates all the personalized versions to be consistent and compliant.
“While sharing a document through a link isn't necessarily a novel concept, what it allows is for the promoters, salespeople, partners to update information at any given time and then have that percolate out to literally every single person that they sent the link to,” says Waite.
Before they even wrote the first line of code, the team created product mock-ups and feedback loops to make sure the platform was as easy to use as possible.
The team put in the sweat equity to get the product ready by the end of March of this year and brought it to market for a few beta users.
Waite left his full-time job at Divvy to start fundraising and selling the product to clients. He described PieceKeeper’s current status as “at the tail-end of a soft launch.”
PieceKeeper’s pricing is based on an annual subscription and has three package options: a starter offer for $500, a business package for $1,500 and a professional plan for $4,500.
“We're still wrapping up, getting ready to launch a crowd-funded campaign, which is exciting, and we have quite a considerable amount of interest from institutional investors as well,” he says, noting that most investors are holding off on investing after a major economic downturn.
Rather than looking for institutional investors, Waite said the team plan on going to other growing businesses in Silicon Slopes and other investors who might not otherwise have a chance to invest.
Jenny Rollins is an award-winning writer, editor, and content producer. Jenny is a senior editor for Business.org and manages her own freelance writing and editing business. She has previously worked for KSL.com, Harvard Business Review, and Deseret News.