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PR tools head-to-head: Comparing digital adoption platforms

by | May 27, 2024 | Public Relations

When running a PR campaign, like it or not you’re going to be using a lot of software. That’s easy if you’re computer savvy or maybe an early adopter of new technology. But there are people who are great at PR content, copywriting, analytics, and dealing with journalists, but who are simply hopeless at adapting to workplace changes in workflows dictated by technology upgrades and software updates.

To achieve this, rather than people relying on their colleagues and managers to ask every single time they encounter a new process in their email client, Google analytics or whatever, PR firms would do well to invest in a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP). 

A DAP can be a lifeline to employees and employers alike in these changing times of technology accelerating at an exponential pace

Employee burnout is a new hot topic and may be caused in part by the pressure of people having to constantly adapt to software updates. Unless updates or even new software introductions are integrated carefully, workers can find themselves bewildered and angry at management for turning their workflows inside-out.

Clearly, it’s the responsibility of human resources (HR) and other training professionals to introduce new working practices at an appropriate pace, but even then, there are early adopters and digital laggards. That latter group can really struggle to cope with constant change. If employers aren’t careful, those workers will be off looking for other jobs with competitors faster than you can say ‘software upgrade.’

Fortunately, a DAP can help even the most computer illiterate individual, while significantly improving an organization’s efficiency and productivity  

In order to simplify matters, this article focuses on two main DAP providers, namely WalkMe vs Whatfix.

Both platforms offer comprehensive facilities and capabilities, from workflow configuration, management reporting tools, hyper-personalization, employee performance analytics and assistance with onboarding. A PR company running a social media advertising campaign allied with data analytics is going to need optimal time spent actually producing results for clients, and less time learning new software procedures.

How a DAP works

Without getting too technical, a DAP is effectively a teaching layer of software, which runs in the background alongside the primary platform to which it’s allied.

The overall idea is to help with onboarding and workflow, but crucially, it does this in a slightly different way for each and every individual employee. Working on a user-account basis, the artificial intelligence in the DAP will ‘understand’ the employee’s ‘learning style’ and predict when they are about to make an error on an input screen, for example.

The DAP then interjects with appropriate help – but it will monitor the person’s activities and cease assisting once its AI is satisfied that the employee has mastered the process in question. In a perfect world, a DAP could run in the background and an experienced highly competent software user would never know of its existence.

The duel of the DAPs

It’s worth noting that you should read this synopsis with a view to what you would like a DAP to achieve for your organization. It could be that WalkMe is ideal for one issue, but the factor you need to address is better addressed by Whatfix.

WalkMe is well established, having gained the prestigious InfoWorld Technology of the Year Award in 2022, Forbes Cloud100 World’s Best Cloud Companies, Software Asset Management Solution of the Year 2023, and other accolades.

One reason for WalkMe’s usability might be its conversational interface that draws upon Natural Language Processing (NLP) for chat-based interactions with users. The Whatfix product is, however, known for ‘light touch’ quick fix suggestions without deep-dive; which can result in more calls to an organization’s IT help desk. However, if you search the internet for reviews on Whatfix, you might come across phrases such as:

“One of the standout features of Whatfix is its exceptional customer support and onboarding experience.”

User reviews for WalkMe across the leading software review websites such as Capterra are very favorable, achieving excellent scores for ease of use, customer service and affordability.

Whatfix also sports many positive reviews, especially for software onboarding and real-time task assistance.

When assessing which package might be better for any PR organization, potential DAP users might want to think about the following criteria:

  • Data and workflow analytics – PR firms are often small and don’t tend to have technology support help desks.
  • Management reporting for individual employees and team performance – can this be analyzed by both client and PR campaign statistics?
  • Omnichannel digital adoption – desktop, web, and mobile devices are all part of a modern PR firm’s social media strategy. Does every employee understand how every device and their apps work across the business?
  • Is there support for internal & external users – employees, partners and even people such as journalists and clients themselves?
  • Workflow automation via conversational interface. Thus can be crucial. In the fast paced world of PR nobody wants to be Googling how the latest AI-driven data analytics platform works when there is a copy deadline in half an hour!
  • No-code/low-code content management
  • GDPR for EU and CPRA compliance for US data security
  • Pre-built templates for form creation
  • Hyper personalization on a per-user basis.
  • Language translation on the fly – e.g. can an operator talk to the platform in Spanish, even though preferences are globally set to American English?
  • Integration via APIs with other popular enterprise platforms (e.g. Prowly).

Content management

Whatfix offers some customization in this regard, such as the ability to edit pop-up messages and events that will trigger them. However,  anything more complex requires a knowledge of coding, especially when it comes to customizing reports on user interactions.

WalkMe excels with its drag-and-drop interface to create and edit templates- effectively flow charts that employees can easily envisage to assist them in understanding user experience issues. PR is all about being slick. When making presentations to clients, the chosen DAP should enable the employee to learn methods of presentation seamlessly.

WalkMe also enjoys easy third-party integrations assisted by a forum in their developer community. Without this, other platforms might provide difficult setup and configuration processes, requiring multiple help-desk calls. It’s noteworthy that Whatfix’s online community ecosystem isn’t particularly busy, so users don’t have the same level of community support offered by WalkMe.

Data security and ROI

WalkMe carries data security certifications, being ISO 27001 certified, with SOC 2 Type II adherence. The platform is also the only DAP that has US federal government certification approval.

In terms of ROI, WalkMe’s efficiency gains can lead to significant cost savings. By the same token,

Whatfix customers have also reported enhanced user experiences leading to a significant reduction in training and support costs. It seems like both platforms seem to be worth the investment as far as their customers are concerned. WalkMe probably offers a comprehensive solution, whereas Whatfix provides a more slimmed down affordable set of tools.

Pricing

Both platforms, as you might expect, come with standard and premium facilities. WalkMe’s standard package is a cloud-based SaaS platform, which works with any desktop, web, and internal enterprise system. The premium package also does this but additionally offers customer-facing applications.

WalkMe’s standard service allows funnel insights, event properties, action tagging, dashboards and more, with 25 tag user actions. The premium version offers an unlimited amount of such tags. This is invaluable for tagging clients’ campaigns either by subject keyword (e.g. ‘Party manifesto strategies’, ‘green energy focus’ etc) or tagging by individuals (e.g. Bill Gates, Clint Eastwood or whoever).

Whatfix’s facilities include pre-constructed content templates, management analytics, API integrations, and white-labeling. Most significantly perhaps, Whatfix offers a free trial period to ‘try before you buy’; for some small PR firms, that could be an invaluable bonus.

Summary

Some of WalkMe’s significant advantages are found in its unique features such as the ‘ActionBot’ that responds to conversational commands and queries, plus WalkMe’s cross-app automation is a powerful tool.

This means in effect that a user can be progressing a workflow, and the DAP will take them to another screen within another app if necessary, seamlessly taking the instructional facilities with it. In short, if you have WalkMe working in software package A, and the user is taken to package B, WalkMe moves over with them.

Whatfix however does offer an easily usable DAP solution at an affordable price. The platform

May well be suitable for enterprises seeking basic training capabilities to help employees through more common, less involved workflows. Whatfix’s simplified content creation and real-time walk-throughs can certainly reduce training time and the number of support calls to help desks.

WalkMe is probably the more appropriate DAP if you have several different types of users who need to be onboarded variously to a wide range of software packages, especially for a PR firm that might have locations based across several cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Austin. However, Whatfix might well be ideal if everyone in a small PR agency is using much the same software package in one office.

WalkMe is also invaluable if accurate data-driven insights are required, with complex management reporting on an easily understandable dashboard.

In the end, it’s really about horses for courses. You wouldn’t expect to deep-plough a clay field with a small pony; you’d expect to harness up a team of four shire-horses and rip through any terrain you might encounter. But if you just need a small cart to carry bags of seed across that same field, the lighter option is ideal.

Matt Willis
A UK-based digital copywriter, Matt Willis is a skilled and passionate scribe with a keen interest in an array of subjects; his varied written work can range from deliberations on advances in the tech industry to recommendations about the top wildlife-spotting destinations. When he doesn’t have his fingers attached to a keyboard, you’ll likely find him hunting down obscure soul records, professing (inaccurately) to be an expert on craft beer, or binge-watching documentaries about sharks.

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