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

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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 door to my VP's office and say enough one off, one hit wonders. Where's our series? Where's our network of shows? The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. Hey, welcome back to the customer experience podcast. You are in the right place for a great conversation about content marketing generally and shows specifically. We have a former sports writer who spent three years as a digital media strategist at Google. He was the head of content at hub spot, he was the VP of content and community at a VC firm and now he's doing his own things, the author of the book break the wheel and the founder of marketing show runners. So he helps 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 have a 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 think that 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 the definition or characteristics of customer experience from your perspective. Yeah, I like the what 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 or not, and I love that part. Or Not right, because I think everybody has an experience of your company and the question has really become not whether or not you have a customer experience. I know we talked a lot about that, as if it's like a discreete thing. It's not. Everybody has an experience of your company. The question is whether or not you're proactive about cultivating a good one, and I think that really is the tipping point between a great customer experience and, to drew's point, something that doesn't really leave an impression, or maybe even leaves a bad one. Love it you've brought and that's the reason I always ask everybody, with all these smart people with different backgrounds, the same question. Is that the wrinkly V added here is this, this idea that it's happening, whether or not you're thinking about it or controlling it, is going to happen no matter what. And you also there's also implies your that concept of being remarkable and remarkable just being worthy of being mentioned again. And in this case, you know you've offered the potential for a completely flat, nonremarkable experience. Yeah, you know. So I did a twenty part documentary series, is podcast series, where we went inside twenty of the best, what we thought were the best be to be brands that really cared about customer experience, because for a while and be to be especially brand customer experience, these were like for our consumer counterparts, you know what I mean, it was like a dirty ware to bring up brand and no longer. So we went inside twenty of these companies, ranging from, you know, the recently public zoom all the way down to small startups that maybe some people have heard of, but they're doing really innovative things and one of the things we looked at was how do you define brand and link it to customer experience, because it really is, and what we landed on as a show was brand is how others experience. There's that word, the collective behavior of 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 can be 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 partners and 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 will have an experience whether you cultivated or not.

Right, the collective behavior of your people. Because what is a company? What is a brand? What's the IP of Your Business? All this stuff we use, these are just empty 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 your customer 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 really get 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 to be Lais a fair about this stuff, but it really becomes a lot easier. Right. So, brand is how others experience the collective behavior of your people. It's a great definition. You did two things that are like one of 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 employee experience and customer experience, and the other one is the potential synonymous relationship between customer experience in and kind of brand experience. Some people have used those words interchangeably, so you gave me new language for it. Really love it. Talk about before we go further. You just mentioned a twenty twenty episode series for you and marketing show runners a what are you trying to do with marketing show runners and how are you serving people and what is what is a show in this context? We just talking podcast or, you know, talk a little bit about marketing show runners. Sure so. The company itself is a 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 to people, which is we're living through this huge shift in marketing and it's been unfolding for many years. But we're not overtly talking about the shift. We're talking about the industry's reaction to the shift, things like content marketing. The shift is marketing used to be about grabbing attention. You know, a few channels existed, you'd run campaigns, things would start and stop, you'd want impressions and views and all that stuff. Now marketing can no longer be about grabbing attention. It has to be about holding it, and when you hold attention, everything else gets easier. Number One. But number two, all these 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 significant time with you, they trust you, they take actions with you. So the 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 a passion audience, your cost of customer acquisition comes down because that audience starts this word of mouth fly will, right, because what is better than an army of people who adore your company, can't get enough of your content and your business, your product, your people, and they share that message out into the world. So LTV going up, CAC going down, customer acquisition costs going down, and that sound you here is every cmo on the planet drooling like that is the Holy Graale of marketing. Really, but we're not talking about what it takes to get there, which is the whole attention. And there's no gaming that system. You have to genuinely deliver something worthy of people's significant time investment. And there is this precedent, there's this vehicle that is world class, beloved by everybody, and audience centric. To do that to whold attention, it's called a show. It's just that this is a new muscle for marketers from making pieces of content to making a series, a show, an original series. So that could be video, that could be audio. 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 witnessing moving from one off shows like bomb bombs great podcast, to whole strategies, whole arms of teams, whole networks. Mail chimp presents shopify originals. Profit well, which is a start up out of Boston, has four different video series that all connect to each other to tumble you through that experience. Keep using that word, I guess it's appropriate,...

...but you're seeing this evolution from grabbing attention with pieces of content to holding attention with one show, and that shows a side project, to now entire teams and strategies and networks, and it'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 the business, it's great for the audience. So marketing show runners was born earlier this year to kind of put a stake in a ground and say we're going to call this show running, because it is. It's just not from marketing historically. Now it's a part of marketing. We're going to bring together the best and brightest and teaching each other how to do this incredibly well and and so kind of our sweet spot is a marketing executive who really believes in this shift and wants their business to execute on it, and all the parts and pieces that go into planning and producing and marketing and measuring love it. Let's break 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 familiar with the language. You know, breakdown show running. Let's start. They're like show is common power lance, just not to the average marketer in two 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 individuals that's essentially the mini CEO of that program or group of programs. So if you run a network of shows, so a showrunner is both responsible for the creative direction and the day to day management and strategy of the show. And so, in a marketing sense, you know this is very familiar to a lot of content marketers. They're like, Oh yeah, like content marketer means a lot of things. But the sweet spot, I think, the strategic type of leader that a lot of companies want as their CMO, as their svp, their VP, the director of content, however, whoever is owning kind 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 goes out 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 the only and all the systems and processes that a leader has to keep in mind to 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 have one. I believe that you're going to see that title within the next twelve, maybe less months, in businesses, in brands, that's all products and services, because it's very common in media, but it's you know what big media does? I think marketers do next. Yeah, I think you tied together a number of related themes, including this idea of being more of a 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're doing this type of work. What types of shows you know, in terms of serialized content, and let's say, you know, we, let's say bombomb expands from the customer experience podcast. When we do a video show, typically on Facebook, we also put on Youtube called the bomb cast, which is more specifically videocentric. Like talking about video strategy. You know, if we wanted to add two or three more shows to the portfolio, what types of shows are these? And then to the word community, do you see companies tapping community members in order to produce shows on behalf of the brand in the brand's portfolio of shows? So let's start there, which is the idea of community, because I think you're seeing this shift. When you talk about moving from grabbing attention to holding it, you talk about measuring success in very different ways. You don't just want a giant top of funnel. You want velocity 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 start to measure things like subscribers and time spent, not clicks and views. All these things change, but really, at the fundamental human level you move your business from caring about traffic to audience,...

...to community. So traffic is people that come and leave right they clicked on an article. They have no idea who you are from Google and they read the article. They inject that knowledge of their brains. They don't subscribe, they don't recognize your brand, they just get the content and they're out. Maybe they add it to an RSS reader 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 listeners to this show start out us. It's US talking to each other and really talking to the audience. A to be community is like A to B be talking 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 than yourself. You're in part of a movement, and I think that's what shows do really, really well. They create this movement is or connectivity, because who doesn't love that idea of like, wait, you watch that show, I love that show, you listen to that podcast. Let me recommend my next 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 build the assets in our businesses. To do that, we can't let the ideal lead, like it's cool to do a video show talking to experts, because first of all everyone's doing that. We have to start with the brand itself and think about what does the brand represent in the world? What changes when they buy our product? What do we believe in? Like creating a show is creating a big, important asset that should be central, not a side project, and it's very visible and it should own a theme in the market and 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's difficult 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 director of marketing at a start up in Boston called data box. That data box helps 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 the concept that was lacking. So I asked them what is data box do? What changes? And he was like, well, we're really passionate about this idea that when you see a big report from your CEO, where your Cmo or your department head, you don't really know how your work specifically contributes to that number. You have a sense, maybe it's broken down to smaller numbers you 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 to know that, like your micro actions your day to day contributions and motion contributed to 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, map it to that. If you're going to keep talking to successful people about how they built from the ground up every episode, pluck out three or five, or pick a number, five small things they did that added up to big success. 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 not like this, not like you talk to them, because, yeah, they're talking about their book, but they're talking about the five micro decisions they made that added up to the best seller, right, and that only happens on the data box podcast ground up. So that's what I mean when you start talking about shows. It's not about grabbing it trends, it's about looking at your brand, thinking about what you represent and having that manifest through some kind of concept in your show. So good, so a lot of things. They're talk 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 a number of great companies. Are you helping them at that level? Or when you'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 and you're just helping them map that into how do we walk that out and turn that into content? Yeah, it's funny because you just turn that problem over from 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 me because 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 I think I looked harder at the process and the strategy than most people. So I'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 and and 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 shows for 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 of problem, and I realize that they don't need client services, they need education and community. Like we're all doing this in a black box. It feels like 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 and now tech vendors building products solely for showrunners and marketing. It's crazy, it's happening. I'm about a year too soon, which is good. It's exactly where I want to be. And I'm like, well, because they have no idea how to Steven Start and not start, like how to launch a podcast. One one start like where I'm a CMO. How do I encourage my team to think about holding attention? How do I encourage my team to think about serialized content? I'm going to bust down the door to my VP's office and say enough, one off, one hit wonders. Where's our series? Where's our network of shows? How are we holding attention? Earning trust and building that passionate fan base because I want to increase LTV and lower CAC right. I'm the I'm the team leader. They didn't know how to come at that. So I ditched the client services after doing about a dozen shows for companies like Whistia and drift and flipboard and I decided to do the educational route. So to your question, there's no one right way to come at this stuff. So it has to be bespoke. It has to be because it's such a big asset. It has to be about talking to the right people internally and the right customers externally to think about what is it we're trying to accomplish? What's our aspiration for our brand? What do we are already represent and also, like, what should we own outright in the market that is unassailable, that no competitor can copy, because they can copy our tips and tricks blog posts and no one will bat an eye, but if they copy our show, that is brand Ip, it is ours, it is identifiable. So when you're throwing that big rock into the lake, so to speak, that does take a lot more strategic planning and that's super dependent on the 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 the only 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 your best self, which reminds me a little bit. Before I go to the way I always love to wrap up these conversations, you were a book called break the week, which gets into best practices, which I have to assume you address, questioning best practices, honing your intuition and doing your best work. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that in questioning best practices it's about not aspiring to be the best, but aspiring to be the only and being your best self. Talk a little bit about why you wrote the book and maybe a couple key premises in there that that folks can take away. Sure, I think especially in marketing, but it really affects all of business. With with his book, which is why I wanted to write it. We've misconstrued the goal of our work, because the goal is not 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're a part of, we're never really told that and or taught how to do that. And so what I sought out in two years of doing research and telling 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 kind of like mental filter so that we can...

...press any best practice or trend or past precedent, any new idea we have of through that filter and some things will make it through, some things will get stuck and most things will get kind of halfway or pieces of it will lead through, because the goal is contextualized or context based decisionmaking, not deciding in a vacuum in a board room, in general, copycat, none of that, because that leads to commodity work. So throughout the book we look for who has done something that seems anti or counter the best practice. When you talk to them, they explain it in logical terms. It doesn't seem risky. Why? And the really the 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 context as how they rationalize this countercultural or anti best practice decision. They weren't being rebels, 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 more attention to one of three things or all three. Their context is made up of 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 and so I'm not that brand. We have a finite number resources, not just monetarily but time and goals and all that stuff. So if you look at those three things, first you set up a decisionmaking filter to make tough decisions faster 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 so much 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 of a brand marketer. I was not doing a ton of direct response. I came up in broadcast and it was this idea of building a brand filter of what we do, what we don't do, what are we what happens that we don't talk about because it's not worth talking about to reinforce the brand or to demonstrate that we live the brand or whatever, you know, what are we celebrate? And so it's just I think this connects back to your point of it helps you with shows, but a lot more it's I think it all 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 world and how are we going to go forth? I love it. I also love your 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 a trend, if it's a new trend, we're like, this is a hot new trend. Will really even that is a lagging indicator, right, because it builds up over time to become a trend, to become more ubiquitous than not, 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 can extrapolate to the future easier, but their real magic is they just look at the present and they update their knowledge constantly based on that. So the switch is, rather than act like an expert, which cares about absolute act like an investigator, 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 is like, what if we stopped obsessing with everybody else's supposed right answers and got really good at asking ourselves and our teams the right questions? I think we start from that premise, we can build up more original thinking in a way that feels logical like it makes innovation and creativity feel within our grasp and strategic instead of lofty and out of touch. Or Yeah, you're some visionary on a pedestal. I just don't believe in that. So good. It's about empowering yourself, empowering your team members. I love this curiosity play that you're calling for. I wish we had more time, but to honor your time and our listeners. Relationships are our number one core value at bombomb and here on the show. So I always love to give you the chance to thank or mention someone or multiple people. Some people have done that had a positive impact on your life or your career. And a quick mention of a company that you think is doing experience the right way. I have to shout out Andrew Davis, I mentioned him at the...

...top of the show, for how he defines customer experience. He has been a tremendous friend and mentor for me over the last four or five years, where, you know, from my speaking business and getting that off the ground, and I'm really showing me the ropes behind 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 the small without expecting anything in return, and so I've therefore tried to give him as much possible hype and gratitude and stuff in return as possible, like that's the benefit of a real relationship, to your point. So Andrew Davis is someone that people should keep an eye on. I have the shout him out. Check out his loyalty loop videos. So loyalty loop is his series on Youtube. It's unbelievable for all marketers. So That's Andrew Davis, the loyalty loop. And as a business goes, I'm really impressed by the evolution of Whistia. I think they're going through this similar phase. We talked before the 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 could be really awkward, just like any business with you has tripped and stumbled its way forward. But they have this clear revision based on the founders and they're really 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 some products to help marketers make shows. So keep your eye on Wistia. I think they tremendously care about the evolution of business from a human standpoint, which also then leads for them to them having tremendous empathy for their customers and their prospects and everybody involved in their business, Aka the customer experience. So with you gets my love there. Yeah, that series they did last year was really cool in the findings are interesting to you. Are Very obviously a wealth of knowledge, great perspective, fresh perspective, very encouraging and opening, I think, for doing better work. Is Very inspiring to me and I have to imagine it's do in part to all of the conversations you've had with other people and that you've produced for yourself on your own podcast. For people who want to follow up with you, how can they connect with you or unthinkable or marketing show runners? What are some good ways for people to follow up on this great conversation? So there's one way to listen and one point one way 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 most business podcast I hope that's a good thing for people who are interested. And then 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 one big idea that can change how you view marketing and create not only better shows but just better work and a roundup of resources that are kind of packaged in funny, random ways. So that's the marketing show runners. Website has a subscribe button right at the top and we're fortunate were early, but we have marketers from red bull and shopify and sales force and adobe all the way down to startups, and so we're, I'm very lucky, I think. I think 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 be based on experience and it can't be based on just tricking your way forward into someone's life. It's got to be genuinely worth their time. So I like that idea of marketing overall, and so that newsletter is kind of where we share 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 about to go subscribe to that email. Well, first all, thank you for having me in. To the listeners, or the viewers, if you made it this far, I'm somebody who believes that marketing is not about who arrives. 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 thanks for sticking a half for this episode. Yeah, very good. Thanks so much. Have a great afternoon. See. Yeah, clear communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up the official book rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience.

Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. 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 create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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