“Content marketing must closely align with sales enablement efforts to create content that drives growth and revenue.”
Hi, Angela. Could you tell us about your professional journey? How has it been so far?
I began my career in the education sector, where, for 18 years, my focus was teaching and coaching. Over time, I began working on a wider range of projects—amplifying the need for inclusion and accessibility in many different spaces.
As a leader in inclusion and accessibility, for more than 20 years, I’ve spearheaded many efforts to bring mainstream communities and underrepresented people together. My efforts have fostered initiatives that expanded the reach of accessible education and employment practices in the DC metro area and beyond. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to work toward creating an inclusive environment that didn’t previously exist. In the MarTech industry, we aren’t yet where we need to be, but every step counts. I’m honored that my work is so meaningful and impactful; I wouldn’t change a thing!
Tell us about your role at Siteimprove.
As a Senior Field Enablement Specialist, I am responsible for supporting Siteimprove’s Sales team in their efforts to make web accessibility possible and to do what I can to elevate their selling process. Companies, often driven by misconceptions surrounding disabled and neurodivergent people, lose out by denying opportunities to talented workers. Siteimprove is here to change that because we help brands create content that is accessible to everyone.
How does Siteimprove help transform content into revenue?
Content can make or break a brand’s success. When content is not visible online, leads are missed, revenue dwindles, and brands lose profit. Siteimprove’s capabilities help brands maximize their digital content using a carefully balanced formula of SEO, performance, and accessibility. Together, this makes content more visible and findable online, which ultimately drives company and revenue growth.
Marketing teams often face pressure from executives to tie their efforts to tangible revenue, and they need to understand where to optimize content in order to drive sales and growth. Siteimprove isn’t just providing a solution—it is altering the way marketing departments operate, transforming them from a cost center into to a revenue center. Marketers tend to struggle to demonstrate their ROI to executives, and we help address that challenge.
How has the use of technology in sales and marketing evolved over the last decade?
Marketers today need to keep up with the latest developments. Between changing algorithms, Google’s updates, and AI technology, they’re facing a stream of rapid changes. For salespeople, this technology has proven to simplify data and help with lead generation.
One of the biggest changes we’ve seen is the emphasis on the user experience, and, in turn, on accessibility. In the U.S., the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) is only 32 years old, so the concept of websites being ADA-compliant is still not quite as widespread as we’d hope. Still, a lot of brands are realizing that being inclusive and accessible also extends to their online presence, and more marketers are making it a part of their user experience strategy. It’s wonderful to see how assistive technologies like screen reading software, screen magnification, and speech recognition software are making web accessibility possible and improving the user experience for all.
According to you, why are marketers struggling to find new ways to pivot and grab customer attention?
We’re living in an attention economy. Consumers are inundated with non-stop content. In 2020, the average consumer spent more than eight hours a day on digital media! That number will only go up. With all this content coming in, consumers are quickly fatigued, cognitively overloaded, and ready to move on to the next thing. If marketers hope to succeed, they need to find ways to retain the customer’s fleeting attention.
Many marketers have failed to realize that digital consumers are—first and foremost—human. Brands and marketers need to start approaching consumers more thoughtfully by fostering engagement organically to create more meaningful content experiences. Customers now determine brand value by measuring it against their own values – that is, the principles by which the brand operates. Being accessible, inclusive, authentic, and relevant is what will elevate the successful marketers above the rest.
The customer isn’t stupid. They know when you’re making an authentic effort to engage them versus when you’re superficially engaging their interest just to grow your revenue. Until marketers realize this and change their overall strategy, any new effort to capture customer attention will be in vain. Marketers need to continually find authentic ways to connect.
As an accessibility expert, why and how is accessibility crucial in changing marketer retargeting and performance optimization?
A recent study found that nearly 60% of consumers are more inclined to support brands that use inclusive ads. But how often do we see disabled people in these ads? According to the World Bank, around 15% of the global population lives with a disability. As of 2022, 26% of American adults live with a disability. And yet only 3% of the internet is accessible to people with disabilities. Stock photography used in ads doesn’t often include people who are actually disabled—they’re actors playing the part. For those of us living with disabilities every day, we don’t get to lose our disabled identities after the photographer is finished and the director yells “Cut!”
What you have here is a broad market that is effectively ignored or forgotten in both digitally and physically inaccessible spaces. In a world where we rely on the web for the most basic functions, like ordering food, contacting family and friends, or applying to college or job opportunities, this is a serious disruption in the lives of a vast community. Usually, this is because most website developers and content managers don’t know how to build accessible websites and apps – some don’t even realize they should. It’s a mutual loss, both for the disabled and neurodiverse consumers who are unable to use the digital space to their advantage and for the marketers who damage their brand reputation and lose out on the opportunity to broaden their target audience.
Accessibility is key to competing in a crowded virtual marketplace. Marketers will boost their SEO with content that is discoverable, relevant, accessible, and meaningful to a larger, more diverse target audience overall. With greater accessibility comes a greater possibility to tap into new, untouched markets across borders and communities. This is a wealth of opportunity that will only optimize their performance and elevate the marketer’s bottom line.
Establishing a more inclusive digital reality will not only benefit marketers, brands, and consumers, it could very well redefine the way we engage with each other online—reshaping the nature and future of the internet.
How would you define sales enablement and marketing? What are their differences and similarities?
Sales enablement is a central part of marketing, ensuring that those who are selling have the correct materials to engage with potential customers. Content marketing specifically needs to look at creating the right assets that are going to engage buyers, while sales enablement is about ensuring salespeople can close the deal with the content they have.
Content marketing must closely align with sales enablement efforts to create content that drives growth and revenue. If the content isn’t performing – whether it’s not discoverable, inclusive, or useful – sales enablement teams can’t properly ensure their sales team has the materials they need to close a deal. Solutions like Siteimprove simplify the workflow of content marketing teams by prioritizing recommendations based on the potential impact on SEO, the digital experience, and paid search performance. With these insights, content teams can more thoughtfully create digital assets that drive an organization’s sales enablement efforts.
Can you tell us about A11y? What are your views about bringing Accessibility and Diversity to the Invisible Disability community?
I would love to! A11y is a project I am super passionate about. 1 in 4 people have a disability in the U.S., yet accessibility in digital spaces is frequently overlooked. Traditional website design and development education are two important areas where inclusivity should be foundational—and that’s where the A11y project was born. The goal is to set a real example of how to create beautiful, accessible, and inclusive digital experiences for everyone. My views on this topic are simple; I cannot believe it’s taken so long to happen, but better late than never! While there is a lot more to be done, we cannot overlook all the hard work and progress we’ve made so far. Not every disability is visible, and it’s important to remember that and not pass judgment— instead, focus on bringing them in and helping them grow, just like you would anyone else.
Can you recommend someone that you would like to see featured on our platform?
I’d love to recommend Izabela Misiorny, our newly appointed Chief Marketing Officer. Iza has a proven track record of leading with a solution-oriented commercial mindset and has elevated Siteimprove’s marketing efforts through her tenure as our Senior Vice President of Product Marketing. Iza’s ability to tie marketing, products, branding, and storytelling into a compelling and progressive narrative, situating Siteimprove at the forefront of digital accessibility, has transformed our organization in the last three years. Iza is a true marketing visionary, and I’m so excited to be a part of this journey with her and her team!
What is your message to all the organizations out there trying to be more inclusive & accessible?
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that you can’t operate in a vacuum and expect to succeed. We’re experiencing an age of accelerated digital transformation and globalization, reaching new borders like never before. Consumers are being fed content 24/7, and that saturation is forcing brands to fight for consumer attention in order to remain relevant.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (or DEI) have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Customers are smart and are paying attention to brands that align with their values—not just their needs and interests. Organizations that continue to remain inaccessible will quickly lose out to their more inclusive counterparts, and not just because the latter will have a wider net to cast across its overall target audience. In a world demanding inclusivity, being inaccessible will only damage a brand’s reputation. If they want to stick around, brands must catch up with the times and respect all consumers and target audiences.
It’s not just about survival. If companies promote inclusivity and accessibility, that will lead to a more diverse workforce, with new ideas, ways of thinking, and innovative culture. Customers will be more inclined to support companies that align with their values and represent their communities, creating a richer customer experience and, in turn, elevating the organizations’ respective ROIs.
Angela Young (She/They) is the Senior Field Enablement Specialist at Siteimprove, a people-centric SaaS company helping businesses achieve top digital potential by creating an accessible, purposeful, and performant web experience for all users. In this role, she manages sales, content, platform, and tools involving accessibility and inclusivity— gathering feedback on enablement programs to elevate opportunities. Previously, she was a social media coordinator for Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, although much of her career was spent in K-12 education.
Siteimprove is a people-centric, $100M ARR SaaS company driven to help businesses achieve their digital potential by creating an accessible, purposeful, and performant web experience for all users. We strive to create true inclusivity – in ability, geography, ethnicity, and culture – for every customer. We are a leader in content experience, inclusivity, and marketing performance and our 550+ employees serve over 7,000 customers worldwide.