The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 6 months ago

209. Making Marketing More Memorable with Sara Varni


It would be different to receive a marketing email asking you to respond with a “1” for more information on a topic. The campaign most likely wouldn’t have the ROI a brand would be looking for.  

For SMS marketing, that’s exactly what’s happening… and it’s working. Texting is the latest marketing funnel focused on personalization and data gathering. Its capabilities in getting target audiences to interact is changing the game for brands and marketers.  

Hear our conversation with Sara Varni, CMO at Attentive:

  • Why SMS texting is the personal and meaningful approach to marketing
  • How marketing is a long game; not short 
  • Why building a digital persona is so important to marketing 
  • What roadblocks are in place for successful digital marketing 

More information about Sara Varni and today’s topics:

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

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, what it means to meaningfully personalize, how to build an accurate and useful digital persona, why to reduce reliance on third party data and get to zero party data, where we've been with text marketing and where we're going. Today's guest will guide us through these opportunities and challenges. She's been a decade at sales force. She spent four years as Cmo at twill Oh and she currently serves the CMO at attentive, the most comprehensive text marketing solution driving an average of twenty and a half percent of total online revenue for modern e commerce brands. Sarah Varney, welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thanks for having me then. It's great to be here. Yeah, I'm really excited to learn more about your career and also will certainly spend a little bit of time there. But I love first to of course start with customer experience and move through some of those schemes of how do we personalize in this environment, how do we create an actually a useful persona? But then also, I mean your career in marketing is very impressive and interesting, so we'll probably peel into that a little bit too. But Customer Experience, Sarah, when I say that, what does it mean to you? To me, customer experience is really all about the details. I think if you look at the textbook definition, it's going to be some combination of marketing and sales and customer service. But I think if you asked a customer what they think, let's say Nordstrom's customer experiences, those words, you know, marketing, sales service would never come out of their mouths. They would talk about the personal experience, the way they felt when they came into a store. They would talk about how the person who checks them out walks their bag around the counter. They have that like signature move at nordstrum and you know, it's all of those tiny things that culmbate together that, I think, defining what how people view a customer experience associated with a brand. Yeah, really good. The key word you a keyword that you use there was feeling. It's the just got emotional resonance that's left. Look, what does it feel like to be a customer of yours? How much has this been on your radar throughout your career? I mean, obviously a lot. You see a lot more podcasts, blog post webinars, etc. About customer experience. But, you know, setting the language aside, how long is this kind of been on your radar as a marketing leader? I mean I think it's it's been on my radar and all different types of ways. I think in in the software that I've been marketing, it's I'm going to get pretty Meta here, but in the you know, the software I've been marketing, all it at sales forcet Fulio and now attentive, is all been geared towards creating a more personalized experience at at scale for for end users. But I also think, you know, I think about that in my daily life and how I operate personally as a marketer. I think that there is a huge element, you know, what makes a good marketing program versus a Great Marketing Program is normally, again, all the details and all the story that you're telling and it's easy. The easy thing to do is to be, you know, by the Book and factual and say, Hey, you know my my product livers, you know x percent productivity and you know that that done has this feature, in that feature, in the other feature, but no one's Eve to remember that. And I think it's similar if you're going to send you know, you're going to just send a mass email blast without any personalization. That's not going to be memorable either. And so you know, I think I always I tell a story. I was working with a product marker of mine a couple of years back and we were trying to deliver a training to sales and it was all...

...about getting these use cases kind of really baked into their heads so that any wrath I could turn to and an elevator or a hallway and say, hey, tell me the blue apron story, and they'd be able to tell it to me in a super compelling way. And what the person came to me at first was like, Hey, we've got you know, Blue Apron delivers text messages with ninety nine point nine undred and ninety nine percent accuracy, and you know they're able to do it in, you know, a third of the time of our competitors and Bubbaba. All true, you know, compelling, but they miss the huge story. This is in the middle of the pandemic, and you know what they could have said is, Hey, you know what? Blue Apron one of the fastest growing food delivery businesses in the country right now. They are thriving through covid and the way that they're doing that is by building trasts with their customers and they're doing that by delivering messages that assure that, you know, no matter you know where a parent is or, we're, a busy worker is, they know that that food is going to be delivered to their door on time at six and they're going to have a great meal no matter what. And you know, that's a totally different approach to hell. That tell that same customer case study, and so I really try to instill that in my marketers, like you have to make your marketing memorable, or else why doing the first place? Yeah, absolutely, I want to. I actually I didn't have this to kind of in my mental agenda, but I want to go one layer deeper in here. I how formal is the process of obviously developing these stories. But but you kind of mentioned like quizzing in a way, quizzing salespeople and other people that should know these stories. Is there a formalized process around internal education on stories like this, like memorable marketing stories? Yeah, I mean, I think every company you go to is going to be a little bit different and stories, my stories, are always important, but at certain companies they can be even more important than others. Like when I was at toually Oh, I was working for a platform compan me and it's much harder for the average like for developers. They get it, you know, out the gates and totally understand what Willyo does. But we were not just selling to developers, we were selling to marketers. Were selling to head the customer service who don't live in code all day, and so in that scenario, customer, you know, storytelling becomes super important, and so I'm a big believer in certifications. I think forcing functions are always even though you know you don't want everyone to be robotic in their storytelling either, but I do think you know, having a certification with your if you're you're running kind of a be to be marking organization, having some sort of forcing function and making people pitch back live, not just like even in like, you know, loom recording or whatever. I think really the live audience forces people to make sure that they're telling a story in the most compelling way because you're going to see the body language back to you. Are People nodding their heads? Do they? Are they on their phone? Are they, you know, really listening to what you're saying? And I think it's hard to replicate that in like an online quiz or, you know, something that's not doesn't have a real real time element to it. Yeah, really good and so perfect. Certification programs. How many like in any of the organs? We don't need to get like crazy deep in the weeds on this, but in general, how many different types of things might a, say, salesperson be certified in? Or does it? or or even a marketer? And like what gate are they? Are they gatelock sequential, you know, or is it you know? These are these are the three things you need to know and we're going to have like a lightweight quiz to make sure that you're familiar with these. I think that there is like the onboarding and again you have to obviously you're going to want to build this in close connection with your sales leader. You don't, I don't think any marketer should go and build this in a vacuum. There's onboarding training. That's going to happen with any BB sales organization to get the basics to make sure that they can sell the products that are going to be driving eighty...

...perses, eighty to ninety percent of your revenue. But then there is a need for ongoing certification making sure that they're not getting rusty in those skills and that they know kind of any new updates that are that have come with your core product. And then, you know, there might be a quarterly or, you know, buy annual certification on trends or other things that are going to keep your customer conversations continually relevant. But I think you have to figure out what the right cadences of training and enablement with your sales team so that nothing you know, you don't want to overwhelm them. They still have to sell. You don't want to take them away from actually, you know, you don't want them learning how to talk to customers so much that they never have time to talk customers. And so I think you've got to figure out that right balance with with your cro or your sales leader. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for going on that side road with me. It's really interesting and I don't think it comes up often enough here on the in on the show, and so when you open the door, I just want to kind of like blow through that. So so let's let's reset really quick. For people who aren't familiar, tell us a little bit about attentive, like who is your ideal customer and what are some of the problems that you're solving for them? Sure, attentive delivers text message marketing to large spectrum of customers, everyone from creators that have built brands largely in a DVC capacity or through Instagram, all the way to some of the more most established brick and mortar companies of the world. We have customers like forever, twenty one or Michael's as part of our of our customer base, and really what we are mission is to drive a personalized marking experience at scale. And you know, I believe, I truly believe I was had the good fortune of learning about attentive as a when I was at totally Oh, just being in the SMS space, and I truly believe this is the future. I think SMS delivers a very scalable way for people to communicate with their customers that's modern and that also automatically gives a brand of personality. You know you're talking to someone, you're talking to a brand back and forth, just like you would talk to your best friend or, you know, a colleague, and I think that there is something super powerful in that and something that is is helping all of our brands, you know, across the board. Yeah, totally agree. It's a much more intimate space than, I think, any other kind of digital communication channel. If we think about social, certainly social feed, but likes, even social DM's. Obviously, email is not nearly as personal as it was twenty years ago, where the only people emailing you were people who knew you. And so I think we're I my gut is and I'm more, obviously more a consumer. You've been in the space for four years now. If I'd love your AC he's on it. I feel like we're still early stages in in SMS. I think a lot of people that are doing it wrong. So at Bombomb, you know, we allow, we may get easier recording, send video messages and people can text those messages out of our out of our mobile APP. You can email them and you can put them anywhere that you want, and we've had people asking for mass texting from us for a long time. Like I don't trust you with that here. I mean and so and so I think we're think there's still a bit to be developed here. Like for me, if I get an unsolicited text message, it's like four clicks on my iphone to like block that center. At the same time, I would assume several of these people, I'm thinking of our attentive customers. There are brands that I specifically have asked to hear from and it's really useful and it's just like this intimate space. Like give us some from your view, like some historical perspective on where are we with text messaging? Like how early is this as part of like a normalized well adopted? Obviously it's adopted on the consumer side, but like where are we all in but in terms of texting between brands and consumers? Yeah, I mean I do think we are still early days, is, although I will say...

...the space is definitely picking up. Steaming last year a lot. Yeah, sale attend to sorry, I've liked all my company names in my head at the same time. But in tend of sent eighteen billion SMS messages last year through our customers. So you know, that's that's a, you know, sizeable number. But you know, I think it's a privilege to be in someone's inbox or to be a contact in someone's phone, and we spend a lot of time with our customers, you know, sitting down with them, making sure that we don't abuse that privilege and I think it's really key that, number one, you're watching the frequency of how you would you engage their customers, but number two, that you're making the experience as personalized as possible. We are. We see people moving to SMS as a channel because, like you said, emails become less personal. No one likes the no reply at whatever brandcom like. How unwelcoming is that? And we want to make sure that we're not just taking the bad practices of email and putting it into smask because SMS has higher open rates, because that's only going to last for a certain amount of time, and so we really work closely with our customers to make sure that they are building as personal of an experience as possible. That will be engaging and ultimately drive, you know, happiness from the customer side and brand affinity, but also performance for our customers. Yeah, really good call. So let's let's dive into personalized. You've used the word, I think, three or four times now in our conversation so far. What does it mean to you to be personalized and perhaps to be personalized in a meaningful way? I think that it's all about recognizing what a customer has recognized in a couple things. We're customer is at their journey and what's going to be more most useful to them at this point in time. So if let me try and think of a good example. You know, if you have recently bought pink sweater and you know the retailer knows that it goes great with this pair of jeans, well, instead of recommening another pink sweater, they're going to recommend the pair of jeans like you, kind of recognizing, all right, what is this person done in the past and what are the complementary kind of items that would take them along further in a journey with us. Or Hey, I can see that, you know on our website they've been interested in resort. Where will let's you know, if I'm going to text message them, I'm not going to go text message them about active where I'm going to like compliment that experience that they've been having online and, you know, serve up the right items, you know, via tax, versus just kind of doing the blanket. It'd be easy to just be like, I'm going to send the same message to everyone because, you know, that's what we want to push today, but that ultimately is not going to necessarily result in conversion. I so I think really kind of trying to mix both, like what people are doing online in a browser or on your storefront with the SMS channel is Super Critical, and then also what they're doing, more and more so now that we're kind of coming out on the spog of Covid, what they're actually doing your physical locations to and making that transition seem less between your physical and digital brand presence. I think shows that the next level of personalization that we want all of our brands to achieve. Yeah, I mean a key phrase there was you know, or what we want to push today. Like no one wants to be on the receiving end of what a company wants to push today. You know, whether that's a particular product that's discounted today, or whether it's an upcoming event or whatever, in that kind of mass way. Take us one layer deeper and you can make this about attentive and perhaps how attentive integrates with other platforms, or you can make it from your own experience as a Cmo, but like give us a couple practical steps for people that like are thinking. Yes, Sarah, that is what I wanted to I want to be reaching out, whether it's through text or any other channel that I'm using, in a timely, relevant, meaningful way that's...

...specific to one person or a very narrow segment of people that share something very relevant in common. What are a couple like steps in that process from getting to you know, we're a little bit uniform, we're a little bit homogeneous, were a little bit mass we're a little bit too much about ourselves. We want to move in the direction that Sarah just described. What are a couple of key steps in that process to become more personalized? Yeah, I'll speak in my own for my own experience as a Cmil and then I can I can go into more of the attentive examples. But you know, I think in my own experience when, you know, when I moved from sales first to tolio, that was a big transition for me because I went from a very enterprise sales motion to a developer led in self service motion and I had to reprogram myself from having more of a marketing lean towards my messaging to being very practical and and straightforward in in how we spoke with developers. So developers are, you know, I think that I'm not telling anyone something that they don't know already. Developers are very cynical when it comes to marketing. that you rule number one of marketing developers is don't market to developers. And so, you know, I had to move away from a motion that was much more about selling than actually helping and getting people through a process. And so, you know, things like product documentation became way more important in the the programs and marketing that I ran on, versus like ebooks that were really geared towards capturing a lead. And so I think that that was one place where I had to I think, and you know, how this translates to an attentive experience. I think instead of just pushing your own thing, you've got us. You know, you've got to realize that you're playing a longer game and you have to earn the right to talk to your customers and that has got to come from a place of helping, not always sell and not always putting kind of your product priorities first. And so, you know, I think at attentive right now we're really focused on helping our customers through this new era of zero party data. You know, if two thousand and twenty one was all about first party data, now in two thousand and twenty two were about zero party data, and that's moving from just identifying signals and what people are doing to why they're actually doing it and getting that capturing that intent. And I think in really harnessing zero party data through interactive quizzes or, you know, fun gaming experiences like a spin to win module, you're able to capture that intent and really deliver what the customer wants and help them, not just constantly sell to them. You are preaching to the choir on helping rather than selling. It in it it's the only way forward because every single time we ask someone for their time or attention we're training them. Whether or not we value and appreciate their time and attention, and so if you're constantly going out about yourself or, in your case of you know, developers being among the most cynical with for Card to marketing, you're training them that you're not worth their time and attention. You only have, you know, it's just so easy to ignore, delete and block now that we can't afford to do that. So I really appreciate your caution there for the ignorant among us, that's me. Just really dumb it down. Third Party data, I think we've all relied on. I believe that's kind of cookying. And you know, between GDP are, what's being picked up in California, what's being legislated in multiple states. Just this idea that people get to own their own data and have more permissions about what's being done and what isn't being done, set the scene in them as if you were explaining it to someone who knows almost nothing about the different types of data in the threats to them. Just to make it really clear for people, because I think your expertise on this is something that I really want to share with people that aren't necessarily thinking about...

...this in the right way, because I think it has in significant consequences for how we go forward over the next decade or two. Yeah, I mean, I don't know. I will not claim to be any sort of GDP are data privacy expert, but I'll also I'll all awesome. Yeah, tell it. I'll explained it at a high level. I think leading up to where we are today, there was a big reliance on third party data and that helped us get to new audiences. And what what would happen in in scenarios is that you could see people coming to your website, you would attach a cookie to them so that you could follow them around and see, you know, other places they were going, and then you can display ads, you know on other networks to reengage them and get them back into your website, which doesn't you know, on its on its face doesn't sound all that terrible. But what would also happen in that net in in parallel to that, is that you could also buy look alike pools and that essentially you're buying data from larger kind of aggregators to find prospects that look similar to the your ICP and your ideal customer profile to build a broader audience, and so people you know, the people that read all of the fine print might have known that that was what's happening behind the scenes, but in a lot of scenarios customers did not, and that has been part of what has kind of led to some of the mistrust of our social media sphears and, you know, mistrust in in advertising in general. And you know, over time that has become much more regulated and you know, I would I would love to take credit here in the US, but I think that Amia and a lot of ways, and you know, Europe, has led a lot of this privacy law. They instituted I don't even know what the acronym stands for, but GDP are, you know, around two years ago, I believe, now at this point, and basically what that did was it mandated that you were super upfront with how you're using any piece of information, which was in some ways a marketer's nightmare, because we've gone from this like wild blad law scenario where it was pretty easy to go out and find these prospect audiences to being much more limited and having to be, you know, very, very transparent, to the point of adding like, you know, multiple checked boxes to a Webinar form. Let's say, I to to actively mark to people that you had no issue of marking two in the past. So with that, marketers have had to become much better about how they use the data that is on their website, which we call first party data, or data that we can easily observe through you know, people, you know interacting with our brand and in various formats, and you know you can't look to that like third party pool of data anymore. So that's where we were, I'd say, last year and that was really a focus. But you know, you can only get so much from first party data, and now what we're shifting towards is this phenomenon of zero party data, which is really all about customers proactively offering up more detail to have an elevated, personalized experience with a brand. So this might take form in a product quiz or a survey. This might take form in we have what we call at attentive. We have this, you know, spind wind sign up unit that you know you will, you know, oft into something and it'll you will get more information about what the customers most interested in, and these kind of gamification elements are giving marketers more data in a transparent and in clean way, to do better targeting, to again deliver, to not abuse the channel and to make it so that the...

...experience is super personalized and relevant. And you know, that is where we really think the future of data is going fantastic and and it's also probably going to, I guess, kind of markets of one in a way is like kind of the Holy Grail, although I think it will be more achievable. I guess the Holy Grail is something that no one got their hands on. I'm not sure. But as for personas, you mentioned ICEEP's kind of in that in the in that third party, and thank you for that breakdown in that third party pass. Talk a little bit about how you think about ICEP's digital personas, like, as we move more toward more individual, more individual, more individual, what rolled of Persona's play like? Where are we in that shift from, you know, mass to you know, well segmented, to even more narrowly segmented to kind of treating people as individual human beings based on first and zero party data, like, where are we in that and how do you approach personas at this point? Yeah, I mean I think we are. This is some place. This is the place where we are constantly getting better and better, but I think that we can get to a pretty, you know, pinpointed persona and, you know, depending on how broad your your product sphere is, you know, I think we can get hyper targeted at this point and I think it's all of them matter of kind of again drilling down into, you know, all the things. What are what are your customer preferences? What type of year is it? When do they like to receive these types of messages? And I think for us at attentive, one thing that we are really excited about is how to way conversations can really drive an even more granular level of personalization, because you can you can even in a broader based campaign. You can say, Hey, text one if you're interested in eyeshadow, text too, if you're you want to hear what's new and mass era, and you know, that's real time data they can get and you know, you can get as granular as you need to, depending on on what your product catalog looks like. That's a really good example. I think a lot of the reason I had cast around some of the people that were asking us about mass texting is that all they wanted to do was push as opposed to go out with ways to engage, like seeking engagement, seeking feedback, seeking tool to to equip somebody to create their own little journey off any one of these messages. And so are so, I'm clear. Are Your customers using attentive and part to collect more zero party data, like using that to, like using texting to create fun, engaging, interesting and formative and helpful experiences that also help the company get to know each customer as an individual better. Absolutely, I mean I think that that's what we think is the beauty of having these two way experiences. It's not. I mean, I don't, I cannot imagine a scenario where someone would say, like reply with one and an email and you know, will send you more emails about whatever the category is. It's just doesn't have that same back and forth kind of dynamic to it. And so that's why we think text is is perfectly geared for this new world of Zier party data, because it's quick, it's real time, it's lightweight, it doesn't take a huge commitment and we just think that and it's not super invasive. It doesn't you know, it's easy to text back of one and and so you know, in that sense. We do think that this is going to be a new channel for marketers to really think about how they can collect this hyper personalized information and deliver these onet wanting experiences at scale. Yeah, let's go really,...

...really high level. You know, obviously, all of the channels, just as a marketer, all of the channels that you and your team are using to try to connect with, engage, in form, help, convert on board, serve people. All these channels are noisier and more polluted than ever. They're probably getting noisier and more polluted every day. Where are we in general? Is it just a matter of hat would ay? Do you observe that that's true be how do you think about it and what's the best path forward? I mean my my own expectation is that these channels will continue to get burned out by people that are playing a numbers game and they're perfectly satisfied with, you know, one half of a percent conversion rate, because they're doing enough. They're they're making enough noise, they're creating enough pollution that they can make it work. Where are we in terms of digital noise and pollution from your perspective? I think it goes back to what we were talking about earlier, and I think you have to constantly earn the right to talk to your customers and as part of that you have to, as a marketer, have a vision of a long game, not this short game, Short conversion game, although obviously conversions the name of the game and that's, you know, super important for marketers. You could wake up one morning and realize that your database is a quarter of the size it was because so many people have decided that this is not a personal experience, that it's, you know, too frequent, that it's, you know, all these different native things, and so I think it's super critical that marketers are constantly focused on, you know, again, helping, not selling, and in personalizing wherever they can, and I think that if you always kind of have that as your North Star, you're going to be way better off long term than just, you know, thinking about the kind of quick bait or quick hit that you know might help you in the short term but long term is going to be, you know, detrimental to to your brand. Yeah, so good. Making me think about the intersection of reputation, relationship and revenue and the idea that we would try to peel those apart in any way is a kind of a short term view and it is. The long game is a harder game, it's more complicated, it takes more trust, but it's I agree with you that it's probably the only real way forward and I think there's a lot of mean you mentioned the idea of not treating text messaging like email, and I think one of the problems with emails a lot of people treated email like direct mail. Right, like wh I got the address, I'll just you don't send it it and I think it's going to continue that way. I think a lot of people that are either just my optic in their approach or urgent in the things they need or want for themselves will continue to mistreat this opportunity. My hope and expectation is that people like you and people that learn from people like you will increasingly stand out in the face of kind of old fashioned, Lazy, selfish, homogeneous marketing and communication. Is that too hopeful on my part? Well, no, I mean I just I'll give you a kind of real world, every day experience from, you know, being running marketing, attentive to I think you always have to have that balance of conversion and hitting your numbers but also with the brand elements to it, like to what you just said, and right now we are. We set up a website, passports internally attentive, and it's not just my growth team that's doing that. I have a mix of growth people, I have product marketing in there, I have our brand team in there, because I want it to be a mix of a be testing conversion on the site but also, hey, if we want to be, you know, a certain size of company... three years and five years and seven years, what are those elements of our site that we don't have? And those might not a lot of them are definitely not going to have any sort of CTA on them or any sort of lead form on them. They're really about building our brand longer term and I think you know, taking that experience to you know what we're talking about in terms of consumer performance. I think you have to take that have that same mindset. What are what is that right mix of, you know, conversion tactics that you want to take while also making sure that you're not doing any kind of long term damage to to your brand? Yeah, and I think you know, as you've already just described, really nice this idea of increasingly building an understanding of individual people based on what they've done, what they've not done, what they've shared with you. You can probably identify patterns in where people are converting and you start asking for conversions at better places, which is kind of dramatically approved the rate of good version, and and probably identify some very some variations in like kind of broader segments and personas. I'm tempted to ask something like what are a couple trends you're excited about, but I already feel like you've done that with zero party data. Is there any blocking and tackling that in that type of question tends to overlook probably the better opportunity in front of most people that are listening to this conversation. What are some basic blocking and tackling that you know some marketing teams might benefit from from paying more attention to? Or, to ask it a different way, what is something that you've done in your career as a marketing leader that you maybe, Gosh, I would I just done that six months or a year or two years earlier. It's something that I overlook. Like give us, give us a couple like basic blocking and tackling, like this is something that you need to get right to make these three other things work. Something like that. Yeah, you know, I think for me over the years and in leading marketing teams, I'm going to come at it from more of a leadership and management perspective. Sure, but I think it's all about being super clear on what you're trying to accomplish for the year and writing it down and and just saying it over and over, starting every all hands meeting with that, starting every leads meeting with that, and making sure everyone's super crystal clear on what the long term objectives are for the year. I'll say you know, everyone, take a look at you know what your plan is for the year? Do you have something that you'd be proud enough to put on your linkedin profile? Do you have something you'LD be proud enough to talk about in an interview? And if you don't, I think you should ask yourself why that is. I'm not. I don't want to lead a team that's just focused on making small tweaks and iterations from the year before. I want a team that's doing breakthrough work. You're after year and really kind of moving the ball down the field in a significant way, and so I always try to I spend a lot of time in our you know, late q three to q four of our calendar year, saying ourselves up for a strong, you know, following year, and I think you know, that was something that I think I was forced to do in some of these fast growth, you know, high growth environment, sales, first, Fulio, attentive, all been, you know, growing super quickly and adding employee super quickly, and I just think like having that repetition and and kind of continually reminding people of what our North Star is has been really helpful in helping US put some some big wins on the board. I love it. Such good advice for folks listening. If you don't have a leader or a manager who is guiding you down that path, it seems like something you could do on your own. What are you looking forward to over the next twelve to eighteen months that you'd be proud to put on your profile? The story you'd love to tell in an interview that's also aligned with the teams in the company'school. I think it's something someone...

...could do for themselves if they're not being guided into it, but I think it's a gift for people that are leaders and managers this is a gift to give your team members. As I mean, yeah, you don't want to create it, don't get me wrong. You don't want to create a culture that's all just focused on bright, tiny objects and people's professional linkedin profiles, and it absolutely has to be aligned with, you know, what your obvious what you're trying to do as a as a company, and it has to drive business impact. But it should be at that level. It should be at bit like point where, like, your CEO wants to talk about it at all hands like that should be the inspiration, and so I just try to drive that home with my team. I love it so good. For people who have enjoyed this conversation with Sarah so far, I've got two more that I know you're going to enjoy. First is episode one hundred and eleven with Greg Segal. He is the CEO at Alice, and we talked a great deal about making customer experience a more personal experience. Sets one hundred and eleven and then a little bit more recently, one hundred and forty two with Christina Haramo, who's the founding partner at personal ABM, and the theme on that one was don't just personalize, get personal, and so we've used the language of personalized here, but at some level it really is approaching truly personal and that's something that we all need to be looking for opportunities to do. You need to prioritize, you need to make hard decisions about when to be much more personal. But I think we can do it more often than we give ourselves permission to do. I think so often we's like that's not scalable or you know, we can't do that, without actually going through the hard work of finding out can we, or how far can we get in? So that's one hundred and eleven with Greg One hundred and forty two with Christina. Sarah, before I let you go, I would love for you to do two things for all of us, which is to think or mentioned someone who's had a positive impact on your life, for your career, and then, secondly, to give a not or a shout out to a company or brand that you personally appreciate for the experience that they deliver for you as a customer. Sure, yeah, I'll start with someone who has helped me through my career. I have all these usual suspects you know I've got. I'm number of different managers just too me to think, but someone that recently I have really admired and I think about the impact that he's left on me. As semer to Lockia, he was the former CEO of Sind grid and now it's just joined Bessemer as a partner there, and Samere is just someone who is whip smart, fantastic leader, decisive, but also just one of the kindest humans I've ever met and I just think it's rare to meet someone who is that capable and driven as a leader but also just known to be such a nice carrying person, and he's someone that I want to model my leadership style off of because I just think that he's a rare breed and just a fantastic human beautiful. How about a company or brand? Yeah, come to your brand. I'll have to say glossier. I'm totally late to the party on the on Glossy A, but I love makeup and you know, make up is something that's tricky to buy in a in a digital world, and I think they've done a great job transcending that physical to digital world. It's really, you know, hard to know what how makeup is going to look on your skin, you know just by looking at it in a browser. But I think they do a great job of, you know, delivering a compelling website experience but also really you know, I'm biased. They are an attentive coupler, but they also deliver a great experience over SMS and to the point where I gloss a is now an official contact in my phone. I think that, you know, I think that that's a true sign that a brand has built a really personalized, relevant experience for you. And you know I am repeat purchaser and, I think, a long time customer. I think I've got a lot of gloss a purchases ahead of me. So really good. Well done. Second time mentioned on the show. It's been a number of episodes since we've heard Glossy A, but I love the way that... describe it and I think just even in that last pass on with some leadership advice. I mean you set a couple of bars. They're like something that a leader would talk about in an all hands meeting. Like this idea of a brand or a company being a personal contact in your phone and being welcomed into the most intimate digital communication channel that that I use. Text Messaging, is a really high bar, but I think it's one that everyone can shoot for. And and it's funny, Sarah, I I don't know how much of an impression this book left on you, but I've been thinking a lot throughout our whole conversation about permission marketing from Seth Golden which is now well over twenty years old, and it's more relevant than ever. And and I just think this this you know, your language around privilege in permission is the necessary a it's really nice language in a business context, but it's also the necessary respectful thing to have in mind. And you know whether, as a listener, you get it out of this conversation or whether you go back to a twenty year old book or you look around for other good examples. I just really appreciate, Sarah, you raising the bar on this, honoring the privilege that it is to be in communication with people. Yeah, I mean I'm pinnying it on a developer audience, but in general no one really wants to be sold too. And I think a key to driving long term success through a brand is building a true, authentic relationship that's not just about your needs but also the customer needs. And you know that's why I'm super excited to be, you know, part of what attentive is doing and how we're helping customers really personalized experiences scale. Awesome. I'm excited for you. I appreciate you so much spending this time with us. How can someone follow up on this conversation if they want to maybe connect with you or certainly learn more about attentive? Where would you send people? Yeah, absolutely, at our websites, attentive, MobileCom. You can reach me on Linkedin. Feel free to to connect with me. My real name is Sarah Bernie Bright. I just have never rebranded myself after getting married, so you can find me there or you can find me on twitter at at Sarah Bonnie Bright. Awesome. I'll link all that up. We write up these episodes and drop in video highlights at Bombombcom podcast. Sarah, you're awesome. I appreciate this and I hope you have a great rest of your day. You too, thanks so much for having me. In the future will be virtually selling and serving more often, but the channels we're trying to connect and communicate through. Our noisy and polluted and our faceless digital communication is both visually and emotionally impoverished. So how do we stand out? How do we truly connect? How do we make people feel like people and not like numbers? Get answers to these questions and more from more than a dozen experts, including a marketing futurist from sales force, the first salesperson at hub spot, to cofounders of Ven Gresso and an emotional intelligence expert with seven US patents in the analysis of facial coding data by The Wall Street Journal best seller human centered communication a business case against digital pollution. Learn more about human centered communication at Bombombcom up book. That's bombombcom 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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