The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

26. Increasing Lifetime Value and Decreasing Acquisition Cost by Holding Attention w/ Jay Acunzo


Everyone has an experience of your company. Are you in control of it?

While the cost of keeping customer attention continues to rise, many marketers are still relying on industry trends and best practices to maintain engagement. What if your brand could be the one to set the trend?

We dove into this idea with Jay Acunzo, founder of Marketing Showrunners, to better understand how to drive audience attention through valuable experiences. You might be surprised at what we uncover in this episode of The Customer Experience Podcast.

I'm going to bust down the doorto my VP's office and say enough one off, one hit wonders. Where'sour series? Where's our network of shows? The single most important thing you cando today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers.Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desiredoutcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is thecustomer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Hey, welcome backto the customer experience podcast. You are in the right place for a greatconversation about content marketing generally and shows specifically. We have a former sports writer whospent three years as a digital media strategist at Google. He was thehead of content at hub spot, he was the VP of content and communityat a VC firm and now he's doing his own things, the author ofthe book break the wheel and the founder of marketing show runners. So hehelps people produce B tob shows in order to engage their communities. Jayakonzo,welcome to the customer experience podcast. Appreciate the entrail thanks for having me.Yeah, thank you so much. I'm really excited. You know you havea wealth of experience, but the theme seems to be, for me,digital and content and community. There's a really nice intersection there and I thinkthat is really all about a customer experience pre, during and post transaction,let's say so. So let's get into it. I always start with thedefinition or characteristics of customer experience from your perspective. Yeah, I like thewhat Andrew Davis, who's a buddy of mine who's a speaker and author,but he runs a youtube series called the loyalty loop, which is incredible.So he defines it as an interaction with your brand that leaves an impression ornot, and I love that part. Or Not right, because I thinkeverybody has an experience of your company and the question has really become not whetheror not you have a customer experience. I know we talked a lot aboutthat, as if it's like a discreete thing. It's not. Everybody hasan experience of your company. The question is whether or not you're proactive aboutcultivating a good one, and I think that really is the tipping point betweena great customer experience and, to drew's point, something that doesn't really leavean impression, or maybe even leaves a bad one. Love it you've broughtand that's the reason I always ask everybody, with all these smart people with differentbackgrounds, the same question. Is that the wrinkly V added here isthis, this idea that it's happening, whether or not you're thinking about itor controlling it, is going to happen no matter what. And you alsothere's also implies your that concept of being remarkable and remarkable just being worthy ofbeing mentioned again. And in this case, you know you've offered the potential fora completely flat, nonremarkable experience. Yeah, you know. So Idid a twenty part documentary series, is podcast series, where we went insidetwenty of the best, what we thought were the best be to be brandsthat really cared about customer experience, because for a while and be to beespecially brand customer experience, these were like for our consumer counterparts, you knowwhat I mean, it was like a dirty ware to bring up brand andno longer. So we went inside twenty of these companies, ranging from,you know, the recently public zoom all the way down to small startups thatmaybe some people have heard of, but they're doing really innovative things and oneof the things we looked at was how do you define brand and link itto customer experience, because it really is, and what we landed on as ashow was brand is how others experience. There's that word, the collective behaviorof your people and so like. Just to break that down really quickly, because I think it's it's important to get that definition because then you canbe proactive, like I said before, about developing your customer experience others.It's not just existing customers or prospects soon to be customers. It's potential partnersand existing partners. It's investors, it's the team, it's potential employees,it's everybody, the press, right, you name it, Co marketing partners. So it's how others experience. There's that word again, and they willhave an experience whether you cultivated or not.

Right, the collective behavior of yourpeople. Because what is a company? What is a brand? What's theIP of Your Business? All this stuff we use, these are justempty shells or monickers to summarize the collective behavior of a group of people.Right, we as people make the work weapen. And so to address yourcustomer experience to build a great brand. You don't have to look for,I don't know, some collateral that's lacking or some kind of hidden best practice. You need to start with the people who are doing the work and reallyget them aligned and have good leadership and and good talent, etcetera, etc. Because the rest doesn't quite take care of itself. You don't want tobe Lais a fair about this stuff, but it really becomes a lot easier. Right. So, brand is how others experience the collective behavior of yourpeople. It's a great definition. You did two things that are like oneof these background themes on the show that I really enjoy and continue to explore, and you've connected a couple of them. When is the relationship between exploit employeeexperience and customer experience, and the other one is the potential synonymous relationshipbetween customer experience in and kind of brand experience. Some people have used thosewords interchangeably, so you gave me new language for it. Really love it. Talk about before we go further. You just mentioned a twenty twenty episodeseries for you and marketing show runners a what are you trying to do withmarketing show runners and how are you serving people and what is what is ashow in this context? We just talking podcast or, you know, talka little bit about marketing show runners. Sure so. The company itself isa media and education business to help marketers create serialized content to build passionate audiences. But the reason it exists, I think, is far more interesting topeople, which is we're living through this huge shift in marketing and it's beenunfolding for many years. But we're not overtly talking about the shift. We'retalking about the industry's reaction to the shift, things like content marketing. The shiftis marketing used to be about grabbing attention. You know, a fewchannels existed, you'd run campaigns, things would start and stop, you'd wantimpressions and views and all that stuff. Now marketing can no longer be aboutgrabbing attention. It has to be about holding it, and when you holdattention, everything else gets easier. Number One. But number two, allthese things we talked about as marketers kick in, namely two measurable benefits.The lifetime with value of the people you reach goes up because they spend significanttime with you, they trust you, they take actions with you. Sothe LTV of your existing audience, or ALTV for people who are in Sass, because there's another LTV which is for the user of the product. Right, the LTV goes up. The then, because of that loyal engage passing apassion audience, your cost of customer acquisition comes down because that audience startsthis word of mouth fly will, right, because what is better than an armyof people who adore your company, can't get enough of your content andyour business, your product, your people, and they share that message out intothe world. So LTV going up, CAC going down, customer acquisition costsgoing down, and that sound you here is every cmo on the planetdrooling like that is the Holy Graale of marketing. Really, but we're nottalking about what it takes to get there, which is the whole attention. Andthere's no gaming that system. You have to genuinely deliver something worthy ofpeople's significant time investment. And there is this precedent, there's this vehicle thatis world class, beloved by everybody, and audience centric. To do thatto whold attention, it's called a show. It's just that this is a newmuscle for marketers from making pieces of content to making a series, ashow, an original series. So that could be video, that could beaudio. You see people doing newsletters that have this journey arc to them.They're not just updates once a week, they actually build on each other.So you have all these serialized content initiatives coming out and and you're now witnessingmoving from one off shows like bomb bombs great podcast, to whole strategies,whole arms of teams, whole networks. Mail chimp presents shopify originals. Profitwell, which is a start up out of Boston, has four different videoseries that all connect to each other to tumble you through that experience. Keepusing that word, I guess it's appropriate,...

...but you're seeing this evolution from grabbingattention with pieces of content to holding attention with one show, and thatshows a side project, to now entire teams and strategies and networks, andit's like, oh my gosh, we need a home for this stuff.Let's bring the community together and push this forward, because it's great for thebusiness, it's great for the audience. So marketing show runners was born earlierthis year to kind of put a stake in a ground and say we're goingto call this show running, because it is. It's just not from marketinghistorically. Now it's a part of marketing. We're going to bring together the bestand brightest and teaching each other how to do this incredibly well and andso kind of our sweet spot is a marketing executive who really believes in thisshift and wants their business to execute on it, and all the parts andpieces that go into planning and producing and marketing and measuring love it. Let'sbreak that down just a little bit, like tactically. I have three questions. You can take them in any order. One just for folks who aren't familiarwith the language. You know, breakdown show running. Let's start.They're like show is common power lance, just not to the average marketer intwo thousand and nineteen exactly. So we don't have to reinvent the wheel.A showrunner in TV, for example, is the individual or group of individualsthat's essentially the mini CEO of that program or group of programs. So ifyou run a network of shows, so a showrunner is both responsible for thecreative direction and the day to day management and strategy of the show. Andso, in a marketing sense, you know this is very familiar to alot of content marketers. They're like, Oh yeah, like content marketer meansa lot of things. But the sweet spot, I think, the strategictype of leader that a lot of companies want as their CMO, as theirsvp, their VP, the director of content, however, whoever is owningkind of the roll up of all the content marketers and agencies and freelancers.That person has to be equal parts. You know they're they're dual minded.They have to be strategic and analytical and logical and think about when this goesout into the market and how that helps our business and the audience as well. And they have to care about the asset. It's like no commodity.The content coming out of our walls not yet another how do we create theonly and all the systems and processes that a leader has to keep in mindto do that can be very difficult. So my forecast, if you will, not something I'm typically prone to doing, but because of this business I haveone. I believe that you're going to see that title within the nexttwelve, maybe less months, in businesses, in brands, that's all products andservices, because it's very common in media, but it's you know whatbig media does? I think marketers do next. Yeah, I think youtied together a number of related themes, including this idea of being more ofa media company. So my other question. They're just for people are super intrigued. They buy the premise. They're like yes, is a consumer.I recognize this. I am more engaged with some of these companies. They'redoing this type of work. What types of shows you know, in termsof serialized content, and let's say, you know, we, let's saybombomb expands from the customer experience podcast. When we do a video show,typically on Facebook, we also put on Youtube called the bomb cast, whichis more specifically videocentric. Like talking about video strategy. You know, ifwe wanted to add two or three more shows to the portfolio, what typesof shows are these? And then to the word community, do you seecompanies tapping community members in order to produce shows on behalf of the brand inthe brand's portfolio of shows? So let's start there, which is the ideaof community, because I think you're seeing this shift. When you talk aboutmoving from grabbing attention to holding it, you talk about measuring success in verydifferent ways. You don't just want a giant top of funnel. You wantvelocity down the funnel, because I think that's the role of a show.It doesn't sit on the top or the bottom. There's benefits there too.It's straightens the whole thing because people feel they have a relationship with you.So the velocity down the funnel, the trust is there. So you startto measure things like subscribers and time spent, not clicks and views. All thesethings change, but really, at the fundamental human level you move yourbusiness from caring about traffic to audience,... community. So traffic is peoplethat come and leave right they clicked on an article. They have no ideawho you are from Google and they read the article. They inject that knowledgeof their brains. They don't subscribe, they don't recognize your brand, theyjust get the content and they're out. Maybe they add it to an RSSreader or collector like pocket and they even remove the brand and doing so right. So they're in there out, they're passing by. Its traffic necessary,insufficient, though. Audience is more a to be audience is what the listenersto this show start out us. It's US talking to each other and reallytalking to the audience. A to be community is like A to B betalking back to a and B Toc and CD and FTG and G Toj,like it's an interconnectivity. It's a sense that you're part of something bigger thanyourself. You're in part of a movement, and I think that's what shows doreally, really well. They create this movement is or connectivity, becausewho doesn't love that idea of like, wait, you watch that show,I love that show, you listen to that podcast. Let me recommend mynext favorite. So when we move from audience or traffic to audience to community, now what we have to do is we have to reorient how we buildthe assets in our businesses. To do that, we can't let the ideallead, like it's cool to do a video show talking to experts, becausefirst of all everyone's doing that. We have to start with the brand itselfand think about what does the brand represent in the world? What changes whenthey buy our product? What do we believe in? Like creating a showis creating a big, important asset that should be central, not a sideproject, and it's very visible and it should own a theme in the marketand spark that movement so it's very important to your brand. In your experience, however, if you're looking at other shows for inspiration to start, it'sdifficult to map that back to your brand. Let me give you a quick example. I was talking to a showrunner named John Benini, who's the directorof marketing at a start up in Boston called data box. That data boxhelps you aggregate all your sources of marketing and product data into one dashboard,and I was talking to him about his podcast for the business ground up,where they talked to experts and successful people about building from the ground up.Just like lots of other shows, John is really skilled, but it's theconcept that was lacking. So I asked them what is data box do?What changes? And he was like, well, we're really passionate about thisidea that when you see a big report from your CEO, where your Cmoor your department head, you don't really know how your work specifically contributes tothat number. You have a sense, maybe it's broken down to smaller numbersyou have to hit, but when you talk about the health of the business, which is what the data box product shows you analytically, you want toknow that, like your micro actions your day to day contributions and motion contributedto the overall business success, and so data box helps teams do that,which spurs alignment and clarity and all this good stuff. I was like,excellent, even if you make only a minor change to the show, mapit to that. If you're going to keep talking to successful people about howthey built from the ground up every episode, pluck out three or five, orpick a number, five small things they did that added up to bigsuccess. So if you talk to x, Y Z, famous people in marketing, they've appeared on all these other shows you're competing with, but notlike this, not like you talk to them, because, yeah, they'retalking about their book, but they're talking about the five micro decisions they madethat added up to the best seller, right, and that only happens onthe data box podcast ground up. So that's what I mean when you starttalking about shows. It's not about grabbing it trends, it's about looking atyour brand, thinking about what you represent and having that manifest through some kindof concept in your show. So good, so a lot of things. They'retalk about the core value piece. They're a little bit more so.Do you what is your engagement with. So I know you work with anumber of great companies. Are you helping them at that level? Or whenyou're engaging with people around this theme, are you typically starting at values,purpose mission, or are you finding a...

...lot of people already know that andyou're just helping them map that into how do we walk that out and turnthat into content? Yeah, it's funny because you just turn that problem overfrom multiple angles and there's probably sixteen more different ways people approach this stuff.And then historically, for the last three years, they would come to mebecause I have a podcast called unthinkable, which is just me and nounce,me and a producer, tally Gabriel. But historically I was doing it alone. But it sounds like there's a whole team involved and it's just because Ithink I looked harder at the process and the strategy than most people. SoI'm proud of how delicious the sound is. It's ultimately a marketing and business show, but it doesn't seem like it is. It's just it's entertaining andand delicious. So people would come to me and say how you do that? We'd like to do that, and I so I was like, Oh, I could make money doing that. So I started to actually create showsfor brands and because the way you just let line that up is so poignant, because everybody was coming to me with a different question and different flavor ofproblem, and I realize that they don't need client services, they need educationand community. Like we're all doing this in a black box. It feelslike a black box. Were reinventing the wheel every time, like let's.I've managed to connect myself to all these very smart marketers and strategic leaders andnow tech vendors building products solely for showrunners and marketing. It's crazy, it'shappening. I'm about a year too soon, which is good. It's exactly whereI want to be. And I'm like, well, because they haveno idea how to Steven Start and not start, like how to launch apodcast. One one start like where I'm a CMO. How do I encouragemy team to think about holding attention? How do I encourage my team tothink about serialized content? I'm going to bust down the door to my VP'soffice and say enough, one off, one hit wonders. Where's our series? Where's our network of shows? How are we holding attention? Earning trustand building that passionate fan base because I want to increase LTV and lower CACright. I'm the I'm the team leader. They didn't know how to come atthat. So I ditched the client services after doing about a dozen showsfor companies like Whistia and drift and flipboard and I decided to do the educationalroute. So to your question, there's no one right way to come atthis stuff. So it has to be bespoke. It has to be becauseit's such a big asset. It has to be about talking to the rightpeople internally and the right customers externally to think about what is it we're tryingto accomplish? What's our aspiration for our brand? What do we are alreadyrepresent and also, like, what should we own outright in the market thatis unassailable, that no competitor can copy, because they can copy our tips andtricks blog posts and no one will bat an eye, but if theycopy our show, that is brand Ip, it is ours, it is identifiable. So when you're throwing that big rock into the lake, so tospeak, that does take a lot more strategic planning and that's super dependent onthe business. So good you you offered earlier before and you just echoed it, at least the way I heard you use you tossed off really quickly theonly and it reminds me of you know, you don't want to be the best, you want to be the only. In in that way you're being yourbest self, which reminds me a little bit. Before I go tothe way I always love to wrap up these conversations, you were a bookcalled break the week, which gets into best practices, which I have toassume you address, questioning best practices, honing your intuition and doing your bestwork. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that in questioningbest practices it's about not aspiring to be the best, but aspiring to bethe only and being your best self. Talk a little bit about why youwrote the book and maybe a couple key premises in there that that folks cantake away. Sure, I think especially in marketing, but it really affectsall of business. With with his book, which is why I wanted to writeit. We've misconstrued the goal of our work, because the goal isnot to find best practices. The goals define the best approach for you.But unfortunately, whether it's the education system or the system of work that we'rea part of, we're never really told that and or taught how to dothat. And so what I sought out in two years of doing research andtelling stories on my podcast and then culminating in the book, I sought out, can we put a system of asking good questions in place as a kindof like mental filter so that we can... any best practice or trend orpast precedent, any new idea we have of through that filter and some thingswill make it through, some things will get stuck and most things will getkind of halfway or pieces of it will lead through, because the goal iscontextualized or context based decisionmaking, not deciding in a vacuum in a board room, in general, copycat, none of that, because that leads to commoditywork. So throughout the book we look for who has done something that seemsanti or counter the best practice. When you talk to them, they explainit in logical terms. It doesn't seem risky. Why? And the reallythe big realization for me, and this came from doing this the show,the series on thinkable, is they pointed as something in their own unique contextas how they rationalize this countercultural or anti best practice decision. They weren't beingrebels, they weren't geniuses or visionaries. They were very logical and strategic,almost safe in their path, and it seemed that way because they paid moreattention to one of three things or all three. Their context is made upof one, their team, the people doing the work, to their customers, the people they aim to serve specifically, not a generic persona these people,and then three, their resources. Right, because I'm not so andso I'm not that brand. We have a finite number resources, not justmonetarily but time and goals and all that stuff. So if you look atthose three things, first you set up a decisionmaking filter to make tough decisionsfaster when you're surrounded by way too much information, which, spoiler alert,is everybody in business today. So that's that's the purpose of the book.It does help with making shows, for sure, but I think it's somuch more than that. Is just how we approach making decisions at work.It does. I this filter. I've all I came up as kind ofa brand marketer. I was not doing a ton of direct response. Icame up in broadcast and it was this idea of building a brand filter ofwhat we do, what we don't do, what are we what happens that wedon't talk about because it's not worth talking about to reinforce the brand orto demonstrate that we live the brand or whatever, you know, what arewe celebrate? And so it's just I think this connects back to your pointof it helps you with shows, but a lot more it's I think itall ties to this kind of North Star brand filter. Who Are we?What are we about? What are we uniquely equipped to do in the worldand how are we going to go forth? I love it. I also loveyour take, quick take on visionaries. There's that they don't see the future, they just see the present much more clearly because they're paying attention,in a very intentional way, a hundred percent of best practice. Even atrend, if it's a new trend, we're like, this is a hotnew trend. Will really even that is a lagging indicator, right, becauseit builds up over time to become a trend, to become more ubiquitous thannot, and so we're most of US base our decisions on lagging indicators.These visionaries that we laud again. They don't see the future. They canextrapolate to the future easier, but their real magic is they just look atthe present and they update their knowledge constantly based on that. So the switchis, rather than act like an expert, which cares about absolute act like aninvestigator, which cares about evidence and asking really good questions as the hallmark. So I think the the question I'd ask your listeners and your viewers islike, what if we stopped obsessing with everybody else's supposed right answers and gotreally good at asking ourselves and our teams the right questions? I think westart from that premise, we can build up more original thinking in a waythat feels logical like it makes innovation and creativity feel within our grasp and strategicinstead of lofty and out of touch. Or Yeah, you're some visionary ona pedestal. I just don't believe in that. So good. It's aboutempowering yourself, empowering your team members. I love this curiosity play that you'recalling for. I wish we had more time, but to honor your timeand our listeners. Relationships are our number one core value at bombomb and hereon the show. So I always love to give you the chance to thankor mention someone or multiple people. Some people have done that had a positiveimpact on your life or your career. And a quick mention of a companythat you think is doing experience the right way. I have to shout outAndrew Davis, I mentioned him at the... of the show, for howhe defines customer experience. He has been a tremendous friend and mentor for meover the last four or five years, where, you know, from myspeaking business and getting that off the ground, and I'm really showing me the ropesbehind the scenes, because it's still kind of a black box industry,to talking through the development of this business, marketing show runners to, you know, surfacing stories for unthinkable my podcast. Like he's done the big and thesmall without expecting anything in return, and so I've therefore tried to givehim as much possible hype and gratitude and stuff in return as possible, likethat's the benefit of a real relationship, to your point. So Andrew Davisis someone that people should keep an eye on. I have the shout himout. Check out his loyalty loop videos. So loyalty loop is his series onYoutube. It's unbelievable for all marketers. So That's Andrew Davis, the loyaltyloop. And as a business goes, I'm really impressed by the evolution ofWhistia. I think they're going through this similar phase. We talked beforethe show about how we've both been part of businesses that word like teenagers,kind of growing from start up to large growth stage companies, and that couldbe really awkward, just like any business with you has tripped and stumbled itsway forward. But they have this clear revision based on the founders and they'rereally gracefully evolving from creating one off individual videos to creating series of videos.They watched their first one last year. It was a four part Docu series, but now they're actually starting to plan behind the scenes some shows and someproducts to help marketers make shows. So keep your eye on Wistia. Ithink they tremendously care about the evolution of business from a human standpoint, whichalso then leads for them to them having tremendous empathy for their customers and theirprospects and everybody involved in their business, Aka the customer experience. So withyou gets my love there. Yeah, that series they did last year wasreally cool in the findings are interesting to you. Are Very obviously a wealthof knowledge, great perspective, fresh perspective, very encouraging and opening, I think, for doing better work. Is Very inspiring to me and I haveto imagine it's do in part to all of the conversations you've had with otherpeople and that you've produced for yourself on your own podcast. For people whowant to follow up with you, how can they connect with you or unthinkableor marketing show runners? What are some good ways for people to follow upon this great conversation? So there's one way to listen and one point oneway to read. So the way to listen is to check out on thinkable, which is my podcast. It's going to sound a lot different than mostbusiness podcast I hope that's a good thing for people who are interested. Andthen the way to read is marketing show runners. Has a monthly email.Because I want to respect people's time. It's a monthly email that shares onebig idea that can change how you view marketing and create not only better showsbut just better work and a roundup of resources that are kind of packaged infunny, random ways. So that's the marketing show runners. Website has asubscribe button right at the top and we're fortunate were early, but we havemarketers from red bull and shopify and sales force and adobe all the way downto startups, and so we're, I'm very lucky, I think. Ithink we're putting our finger on something a lot of people care about and,most importantly, I think we're ushering in an era where marketing has to bebased on experience and it can't be based on just tricking your way forward intosomeone's life. It's got to be genuinely worth their time. So I likethat idea of marketing overall, and so that newsletter is kind of where weshare the best ideas that we've both found and created every month on some month. So good. I love your philosophy. Ja Conzo, this has been fantastic. I appreciate your time so much. Continued success to you and I'm aboutto go subscribe to that email. Well, first all, thank youfor having me in. To the listeners, or the viewers, if you madeit this far, I'm somebody who believes that marketing is not about whoarrives. It's about who stays, and so I just want to say like, thanks for sticking with us. This is it's a commitment. So thanksfor sticking a half for this episode. Yeah, very good. Thanks somuch. Have a great afternoon. See. Yeah, clear communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding videoto the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just alittle guidance, so pick up the official book rehumanize Your Business. How personalvideos accelerate sales and improve customer experience.

Learn more in order today at BombombcomBook. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember, the single most important thing you can do today is to createand deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tacticsby subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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