An Expert’s Guide to Successful Marketing Personalization

Tyler Lessard - An Expert's Guide to Successful Marketing Personalization

Tyler Lessard, VP Marketing at Vidyard, joins the Content Experience Show Podcast to share insights on the right way to approach marketing personalization.

In This Episode:

Tyler Lessard

Vidyard

Please Support Our Sponsors:

Huge thanks to our amazing sponsors for helping us make this happen. Please support them; we couldn't do it without their help! This week:

Full Episode Details

Tyler Lessard - An Expert's Guide to Successful Marketing Personalization

How Authentic Is Your Marketing Personalization, Really?

In this episode, we’re welcoming back Content Experience Show veteran Tyler Lessard to explore one of his favorite topics: building authentic relationships with your audience. As Tyler explains, this crucial component of business success touches all corners of your marketing efforts, from your marketing personalization to your content strategy.

Tyler’s time at Vidyard has shown him what works (and doesn’t) when brands try to connect with customers in more personal, less sales-driven ways. He’s learned when to turn on the humor and when to stick to the facts. He understands the power of the human voice and face in marketing. And he’s learned that what passes for marketing personalization these days too often carries an over-digitized aftertaste.

Listen in for examples of common personalization pitfalls, successful relationship building, and more. You’ll hear Tyler’s take on effective one-to-one video, insights from Vidyard’s most successful experiments, and why video and podcasts are such powerful personalization tools in today’s saturated content climate.

In This Episode

  • Why over-digitization can be an obstacle to authentic relationship building.
  • The most common pitfalls Tyler sees in marketing personalization.
  • Why common surface-level personalization strategies no longer cut it for today’s savvy customers.
  • Examples of how Vidyard gets personal in their marketing.
  • When to buckle down and educate versus when to showcase your brand’s human side.
  • Secrets to successful one-to-one video marketing.

Quotes From This Episode

“Podcasts and video are emerging ways to communicate in a richer format.” – @tylerlessard

We get out there in the field with our customers because you still cannot beat that one-to-one human connection. Click To Tweet

“Our job as marketers is to help build a relationship in addition to educating like sales reps would.” – @tylerlessard

Resources

Content Experience Lightning Round

If you had a podcast that had nothing to do with your professional life, what would it be about?

As a parent of four kids, ages four to 12, Tyler loves learning about child psychology and early childhood development, especially as they pertain to growing up in the digital age!

See you next week!

What Great Brands Do That Good Brands Don't in Content Marketing

Okay content is easy. Killer content is hard. This nifty eBook shows you the difference, based on our real-world work with dozens of brands. A must-read!

Episode Transcript

  • Randy

    Welcome to the Content Experience podcast. I am Randy. Hey, Anna. We have one of our final podcasts together. As always, this podcast will continue on this channel, on this subscription for all of you loyal listeners. But this is a fun one because we bring a really brilliant marketer, a marketer I’ve got a ton of respect for in everything they do from a creative perspective, but also one of my past co-hosts. In fact, your predecessor, Tyler Lessard. I didn’t feel any awkwardness during this podcast. The three of us in the room together, it was all good vibes. You cleared that up pretty quickly, but we did get to talk about just being more personal with our marketing, and I know it’s something you and I always riff on all the time.

  • Anna

    Yeah, I know it’s something that we talk about all the time, but it was really great to get Tyler in. He had some really cool tangible examples about how Vidyard and his team and everybody there is really using video to create connections. But then also just the broader context of creating connections and even more so making them meaningful and relevant. It’s a really good episode.

  • Randy

    Absolutely. I mean, I think as marketers we struggle a bit with how personal can we be with our audience. It’s funny because you compare that to certain situations that we get in with our customers where we’re very comfortable to be personal. This week we have Conex happening, the actual Conex event, and we’ll be very personal in rooms with people talking about their lives, asking them how they operate as marketers, asking the stuff that pisses them off or gets them excited. That’s the personal stuff, but when we get into our email communications, in our blog posts, in our eBooks, they’re usually written as though it’s a thesis.

  • Anna

    Yeah. It’s not. It’s usually very like manuscript like or brochure like. What we think of as personal oftentimes is the complete opposite of personal. So I agree.

  • Randy

    It’s hard.

  • Anna

    It is.

  • Randy

    It’s funny when I wrote my book, one of my biggest things was to make sure that it read as though I was speaking.

  • Anna

    Did you read it out loud after every …

  • Randy

    I would read it out loud to a degree in sometimes I gave it to our copy editor, and every once in a while she would make some changes, and I would revert them back in the track changes because I was like, “No, that’s way too formal. I would never speak that way.” Sometimes I try and push our marketing to be a little bit more like you’re in a coffee shop with the customer or the person that you’re speaking to because that’s who they are at the end of the day.

  • Anna

    Yeah. Tyler hits on this too, and everybody will have to kind of listen in to the end, but really drives home on authenticity and exactly what you’re talking about. It wasn’t your voice. It might’ve been a good edit, but it wasn’t done in your voice or that it was edited just slightly to take away your personality. Yeah, at the end of the day, authenticity wins.

  • Randy

    There you go. On that note, here we go to the most authentic guy there is, Tyler Lessard.

  • Anna

    Hey, Tyler. Thanks so much for joining us today. It’s so great to have you back.

  • Tyler

    It is a pleasure to be back. Thanks so much for having me. I’ve missed being a cohost on the show. I’m not going to lie. It’s really great to be back and to hear your guys’ voices.

  • Anna

    Yes.

  • Randy

    That’s good to know because I was going to take it personally if you were like, “Oh, life has been so much easier. Yeah, I’m enjoying my weeks now. I don’t have to look forward to this podcasting with Randy.” But we can now proceed with this podcast.

  • Tyler

    No, that’s perfect. No, in all honesty before we hop into it, Anna, here I do want to say that it was a really important experience for me to cohost a podcast with you guys, and it’s actually kicked me off into launching some of my own shows. I think everybody out there who is looking to learn, is looking to sort of dive into their markets, that’s really what I enjoyed was I learned on every episode in people that I was speaking with, and I made such great connections. So thank you for the opportunity, and it’s been a real pleasure.

  • Anna

    Yes, I know. Yeah. This show has been a ton of fun. Of course, it’s only fitting that we bring you back for the penultimate episode of this podcast in its current iteration. Obviously it’s going to evolve into something different and bigger and better. But Tyler, real quick before we jump into it, what have you been up to since everybody last heard from you? A lot actually, but I don’t want to give too much away. I know.

  • Tyler

    Yeah. I continue to be very busy here both in my life as the head of marketing at Vidyard and as a father of four and a proud family man. It’s been a great little while here since our last conversations together as co-hosts here. At Vidyard, I’ve been really busy at growing out not only the video marketing and video selling space, but we’ve continued to expand what we’re doing to reach a much broader audience, which we’ll talk about during the podcast, I have no doubt. Because it’s been a real learning experience for me moving from really enterprise marketing and selling into almost that consumer freemium app world, which has been a really interesting experience.

  • Outside of that, I’ve launched my own show called Creating Connections as well as a sister show called Video in Focus, which I’m really excited about. Those are podcasts as well as video series where I’ve been talking to some amazing people in the world of marketing, sales, video, to really tap into what they’re seeing as the top trends and how businesses are creating real human personal connections with audiences using new types of marketing tactics in creating experience based marketing as well as of course using tools like video. So it’s been been a lot of fun, and I’m really excited about the new shows.

  • Randy

    We’re about four minutes into this podcast if I’m timing it right. I’ve now counted three times where you use the word connection. So unfortunately we didn’t pour some tequila or Crown Royal or something like that and say that we would do a shot each time. Otherwise this is would be a really fun episode. But it’s obviously something that you’ve been thinking a lot about. What do you mean by this term connection? It’s a heavy loaded term.

  • Tyler

    Yeah. So it is. I think it is something that’s really important to be clear on. Where I’m at right now in spending a lot of time working in the market is this sense that most B2B companies in particular have swung too far in the direction from the old world of brand and communications and really focused on building emotional engagement and emotional responses with audiences to this world of kind of spray and pray demand gen, if you will, which is kind of this over digitization of how we communicate with audiences. I feel very strongly that there’s this need in the market for us to really find that balance and say, you know what? It’s not good enough as marketing and sales teams and as businesses to say, well, we’re going to build new email nurture programs and social engagement and all these things that hit our audience as opposed to really truly connecting with our audiences, building more meaningful relationships and using that as a way to engage our customers.

  • So there’s a lot that goes into that, but I think we need to think about that idea of, how are we connecting with our audiences as a way to really build relationships?

  • Randy

    As you hit on that, I mean, first off, very timely. This podcast will live on, but this is airing the week where we join with marketers in Toronto. Vidyard’s got a big part in Conex this year at the Content Experience Event, not the podcast to confuse those listening, where we’re live in Toronto. It’s funny, sometimes people pronounce Conex connects, which is not the intention, but I love it because they’re like, “I’d love to come and connects with other people.” But that is, I think, how a lot of us naturally think of creating a connection is from a sales perspective, we got to get on the plane and go visit them. Or how do we keep this customer engaged? Well, let’s jump on a plane and go visit them or fly them out to an event of some sort. How do you see that translating node to a digital world?

  • Tyler

    Yeah. Well that’s, I think, the real crux of it for most people because we’re used to building connections, building relationships in person. It’s something that if we could do that with all of our prospects and clients, we would, and that’s the reason that we do events like Conex and we get out there in the field with our customers is because you still cannot beat that one to one human connection. The best salespeople know that. Any opportunity they have to be able to meet with customers in person, they won’t pass that up because that’s all about building that relationship.

  • But as marketers who need to think about, how do we do that at scale, and how do we build those relationships even before they’re ready to talk to sales? We need to be really thoughtful about that, and we can’t meet people face to face. We can’t hold their hands and have direct conversations. But what we can do is be thoughtful in how we create content in how we deliver our messages into the market, into how we inspire action within our audience, how we engage them in communities. There are lots of different ways we need to think about changing marketing as a sort of one to many broadcast to thinking about it as, hey, everything that I put out there and ask of my audience is about building a relationship and creating an ongoing conversation. There’s lots of ways to do that.

  • Then you also think about the mediums that we use to try to build trust and create authenticity with our audience, which is a big part of it. You start to dabble into things like video, like podcasts, things that actually bring our personalities to life and can create a more human connection. So there’s lots of different pieces that can go into it. I’m really excited about this idea of thinking about, how do all those things start to work together so our brands can really become really 3D almost, living, breathing organisms that are building relationships with buyers?

  • Anna

    Nice. I love it. I couldn’t agree more. There’s so many different ways to build connections, and how marketers choose to do that I think is probably something that we should dig into after our break because that is a big conversation to have. But love it. Love where you’re going, Tyler. Everybody hang in there with us while we take a quick break from our sponsors. When we come back, we are going to hear more from Tyler about the amazing ways that we can actually make connections and how we can put all these great pieces together. So hang in there and we will be right back.

  • Jay

    Hi friends. This is Jay Baer from Convince & Convert reminding you that this show, the Conex show podcast is brought to you by Uberflip, the number one content experience platform. Do you ever wonder how content experience affects your marketing results? Well, you can find out in the first ever content experience report where Uberflip uncovers eight data science backed insights to boost your content engagement and your conversions. It’s a killer report, and you do not want to miss it and get your free copy right now at uberflip.com/conexshowreport. That’s uberflip.com/conexshowreport. The show is also brought to you by our team at Convince & Convert consulting. If you’ve got a terrific content marketing program but you want to take it to the very next level, we can help. Convince & Convert works with the world’s most iconic brands to increase the effectiveness of their content marketing, social media marketing, digital marketing, and word of mouth marketing. Find us@convinceandconvert.com.

  • Anna

    Hey everybody, welcome back to the Content Experience Show podcast. We are here with Tyler, and we just started talking about all these great pieces that make up connections and how brands can make connections. So Tyler, I would love to know from your perspective, and maybe you even have a case study or an example of how you’ve done this, how can we actually make connections relevant and meaningful? Because you had this sort of great little tidbit at the beginning about how it’s not just about blasting our messages at customers, it’s about really forming connections. But Randy and I have mentioned a lot of times on this show that for some reason or another, when marketers get into a room, they forget what it was ever like to be a consumer. We start to think that just because there’s a first name field in an email, that that’s personalization. Help us out here. How can we actually make these messages meaningful and relevant and create connections?

  • Tyler

    Yeah. I think it’s such an important point because a lot of people do think about personalization as the way to create that connection. Then often we land on well, personalization equals the right information at the right time to the right person, addressed to them, by merging in their name. All of that is important. Don’t get me wrong. That stuff is important, but I think it really misses a final element, which is the right experience and the right tone and the right sort of human element. Because again, you can deliver the right information at the right time all day long, but if somebody doesn’t feel inspired to want to engage in that, if they don’t walk away from it with some kind of an emotional or visceral response and go, “Yeah, you know what? This really connected with me. I want to action on this.” Then you probably haven’t done nearly enough to progress them through the journey.

  • I think for our own team, we really think about all of these touch points are not only opportunities to educate our audience and be helpful, but also to build a relationship. If the buyer’s journey has progressed the way that the analysts say, i.e. 80% of the purchase decision gets made before they even talk to sales. Well our job as marketers is to help build that relationship in addition to educating just like sales reps would.

  • A great example is we’ve seen tremendous success in doing content that is designed wholly to appeal to sort of the personal, almost fun and sort of interest side of our audience as a way to show that we get them as people and that we can be interesting and creative in how we deliver our messages. For example, we’ve had real fun with things like April Fool’s day campaigns and videos that almost shed a little bit of lightheartedness and almost … We sort of poke fun at ourselves in some of the content we put out there by creating these almost silly stories about our market that people can really relate to. It’s all about being very relatable. Halloween time of year, we create culture videos that again, bring some of our stories to life by … We did a Stranger Things knock off where we did Stranger Views, and we talked about our products and our audience through that lens of a show that everybody could quickly relate to. We’ve done personalized holiday videos that we’ve genuinely had people responded back saying, “OMG, you get me.” I can’t wait to do something more with you guys.”

  • Things where people don’t respond like that to your email nurture that says, “Hey, download this ebook.” Right? But when you can get to that level where somebody is responding that you get me, and then we have people going, “Can I get on your mailing list?” Our good friend, you know Matt Heinz, a good friend of ours and he talks about taking your content strategy from being interruptive to irresistible. That’s always been in the back of my mind where I’m like, “Can I create experiences and content that people genuinely feel are irresistible, that they would want more of it?” That’s the real home run as a marketer.

  • Randy

    Absolutely. It’s interesting, Tyler, because as you went into that response, I was predicting some of the campaigns that you would talk about. What I think is cool about that is, yes, we know each other and I’m a fan of your work, but the fact that I can remember all of the campaigns that you’ve done and I was anticipating them shows that they’re resonating, that they’re making a connection. Maybe it’s part of why I’m a Vidyard customer here. I mean it’s that ability for me to relate to the work that your team is doing, which kudos to you and your team on that. Less of a softball question here, so brace yourself, but we all love the lighthearted, the emotional, the connection. How do you determine how to balance that with some of the hard hitting facts? Because the buyer journey, we can definitely ignite it with an emotional response, but how do we figure out the right points to have the emotional versus the more practical?

  • Tyler

    Yeah. We always are explicit in making sure we have a consistent cadence of communications that are designed to educate, engage, and connect with our audience. Some of our content and communications are geared 100% on that educate piece of that. For example, we create an annual video and business report, which looks at what’s happening across the market, and we put a lot of time and energy into that to research for our audience and deliver them highly educational content that we believe will be a great value to them. We do other research reports. We do other content that’s geared explicitly towards educating. We don’t try to sprinkle humor into those because that’s not the place. Those pieces are really important for earning trust with the audience and showing that you’re a market leader and you can deliver them value.

  • As we look at other things that are meant to engage or connect, that’s where we start to look at, are we balancing our communications with some of these other elements to make sure we’re building a holistic relationship with the audience so we’re not just educating but we are connecting? That’s where things like, yeah, the holiday seasons are great times to do those kind of lighthearted communications. But we will also often do one-to-one, more sort of personal and human and authentic communications as part of that Conex side. So when we’re inviting customers to join us at Conex, we’re sending out one-to-one videos or I’ll get on camera and record something where I’m showing them very genuinely, this is what you’re going to learn at the event, and I can’t wait to see you there, and I can’t wait to connect with you in person. That’s just about being authentic, being genuine, and having those consistent cadences of communications that address each of those educate, engage and connect at a steady cadence.

  • Randy

    Yeah, absolutely. Go ahead, Anna.

  • Anna

    Oh, no. I was just going to say I love that you touched on one-to-one video. I feel like especially when brands think about video, they think about these like big budget, slick, glossy videos. One-to-one video is so undervalued and so under utilized. It’s almost criminal. I mean even just having that personalized message, just saying like, “Hey,” or even just saying like, “Hey, I’m so and so from this brand.” Nordstrom does that now with their online videos whenever you view a product. It’s just so amazing to get a face, to get like a pseudo conversation through video. One-to-one, I’m just a big fan of.

  • Tyler

    Yeah. It’s one-to-one video, but I think in a broader context, it’s really just about this rise of like conversational video is really the way that I think about it. That for a sales rep might mean know doing a one-to-one video to a customer to communicate a message that they may have otherwise typed out or what not. But they can use a video as a way to build that human rapport. So in the 60 seconds it takes somebody to watch it, they’re not only educating them, but they’re also building a personal connection. But there’s lots of other ways.

  • Randy, you yourself I think have been doing a great job of posting conversational videos on your social channels as a way to, again, share your ideas and your value with the market but to do it in a way where people can see you. They can see your body language, they can see your passion and they can relate to you. I think that goes a long way to allowing people to connect in a more real way. I think in many cases to create those videos, once you get a feel for it, it’s no more work than typing that out in written format. Sometimes it can actually be easier and more natural.

  • Randy

    I think it’s a lot easier and more natural. Yeah. It’s funny, I actually had someone recently who’s one of those people I get a lot of feedback from on LinkedIn, and they said to me, they said they watched one of my videos and they thought it was terrible. I was like, “Oh my god.” At first I was hurt. He goes on and explains why, and then I’ve looked back and watched the video and I remembered it was one where I had to read off a script. I don’t know why. I can’t remember. I think it was we were doing this video with a partner, and they’re like, “This is exactly what you need to say.” I actually remember who it was. I won’t say it though because I don’t want to paint them into a box. The point was is that you lose a lot of that human emotion when we go to the script or when we overthink what we’re going to put down on paper and it goes through our copy editor and it gets onto the blog eventually in that way. Sometimes shooting from the hip is the way to go.

  • Tyler

    Yeah. It’s interesting. One of the things that I’ve learned over the last few years in really trying to practice this in reality and walk the talk is there’s things like podcasts and video and these emerging ways to communicate in a richer format. They do require us to be a little bit thoughtful of how do I leverage this medium in the way that is most effective? How do I communicate here in a different way? A good friend of mine, Jay Acunzo, who I’m sure you know as well, has been running a business now of creating shows and podcasts for companies. I’ve studied his work and he does a great job of helping you understand writing for podcasts, or communicating on video is different from the written blog or the written ebook or writing for website copy.

  • I think we all have to stop and make sure that we are thinking about that as part of our communications arsenal. Whether you’re actually the marketing communications team who’s building videos that are going out, or whether you’re an individual like you or I or a sales rep or a social media marketer who’s creating rich media content to go out. How is it that we represent ourselves differently? How do we make sure it feels authentic and real? Because I think that’s the biggest part that a lot of people miss in video and in podcasts, which is to your point, Randy, when it feels overly scripted, when they don’t feel comfortable and natural delivering their message, then it does more harm than good because it comes across as marketing or selling. It doesn’t come across as connecting. I think that’s a really a fundamental point that we need to be mindful of.

  • Anna

    Yeah. At the end of the day, authenticity wins every single time, whether it is a super slick, polished video, one-to-one or even conversational video. Tyler, thank you so much for being on again once again in our second to last episode here as the current iteration of the Content Experience Show. Speaking of creating connections, you have a new podcast. Where can everybody go listen to you?

  • Tyler

    We have a new podcast and video series called Creating Connections. Needless to say, you can find the podcast on all of your favorite podcast channels. Just search for Creating Connections by Vidyard. Those have been a lot of really great conversations. Also check out the Vidyard YouTube channel, which is where we have the Creating Connections and the sister series Video in Focus. The value of the video versions of those episodes is A, you get to actually see and meet and learn about the individuals in a more personal way. Then we also bring in some other visuals to help you understand things that they’re talking about, things that they’ve done. So check out the Vidyard YouTube channel and check out Creating Connections on your favorite podcast platform.

  • Anna

    Nice. All right, everybody. Go check it out. Go follow it. Tyler, since you were last on, the name of the show might have changed a little bit and the format might have changed a little bit, but you know the drill on this next bit. We are going to get to know you on the fun personal side now that we’ve gotten to know you on the professional side. We have a couple of fun questions coming up so everybody stick around, and we’ve got a couple of fun personal getting to know you questions for Tyler.

  • Hey everyone. I wanted to take just a few seconds today to talk to you about Emma. Emma is an email marketing platform that helps you connect with your audience and grow lasting relationships. They’re awesome. They offer really intuitive tools to build and automate emails with powerful segmentation and reporting to. The big difference is they’re focused on you. Between their award-winning support and their pro services team, they make sure every customer has success with their email marketing. Seriously. They are amazing. You can learn more and request a demo today at myemma.com/jayisawesome. Again, that’s myemma.com/jayisawesome.

  • Randy

    All right, Tyler, we have podcasted together. You are podcasting on your own. Anna is going to be podcasting on her own soon. I’m going to be podcast on my own. We’re all going the solo road. We have a question as we get to know the personal connection side of the show is, if you were to do a podcast that had nothing to do with marketing, video, nothing to do with your professional life, but more so your personal life, what would the topic be? What’s something you’re passionate about, a hobby, something on the side, and do you know who your first guest would be on that topic?

  • Tyler

    I’m a proud father of four, as you know, Randy, and I have kids ranging in age from four to 12. They are a huge part of my life. This may be too closely connected to marketing, but I’m fascinated by the psychology of children and children development today, looking at two boys, two girls in this age of online, social and how kids are learning, how they’re developing as people, and how different that is from when I was younger. I would love to do a show to explore that and to actually have not just experts in the field but to actually have kids, if I could, in those ages on the show to allow everybody to just hear and digest how they answer different questions and think about things so you can really appreciate how different things are for today’s children than they were when all of us were young.

  • Randy

    Nice. What would be a question that you would want to ask these kids to understand? It’s funny. I actually saw an amazing video, I don’t think this is where you’re going with it, which asked adults, I don’t know if you’ve seen this video, asked the adults if they could have dinner with one person in the world, who would it be? Then they asked the same question to these kids, and all the adults talk about movie stars and athletes and all the kids talk about their parents and their siblings. It is the most touching video. It’s for some sort of like food company.

  • Tyler

    That’s amazing and very touching. But the problem for me is my kids would answer names of a bunch of YouTubers instead of me.

  • Randy

    Right. That’s informing to your point. You’d get a whole other response.

  • Tyler

    Absolutely. Right. It’s things like that that fascinate me. Like for example, my seven year old son, he would answer probably ADSF, who’s a YouTuber or Ryan from Ryan’s Toy Reviews. It’s like again at my time at that age, I would not have been exposed to any online media and to see how they gravitate towards that is fascinating. I think actually questions like that would be very revealing.

  • What I also find super interesting, a simple question like if you had to find out what time it is, how would you do that? For today’s kids it’s not, “I would check my watch.” It’s typically not, “I would look at the clock.” The answer I know my kids would give is, “I would ask Google.” It’s a fascinating thing to me to think we’re in a world where if my child wants to find the answer to a question, their first inclination is to ask Google and how that changes the way the world is heading. Because that immediate access to information is interesting and their ability to use voice, to use video, as opposed to traditional media we’re used to, I think for all of us as marketers and sellers actually has a massive impact.

  • Randy

    Yeah, absolutely. All right, I’m tuning into that podcast. It’s going to be fun. I’m sure you’ll squeeze it in amongst all this other work that you got to get done. Tyler, thanks so much. Again, everyone please check out the podcast that Tyler does have, that is live, that’s called Personal Connections?

  • Tyler

    Creating Connection.

  • Randy

    Creating Connections. My bad. Creating Connections. Got caught up on being personal here. On all the same channels that you can find this podcast. As Anna’s eluded to, this podcast is going through a change in itself. It will start to be known as The Marketer’s Journey. You’ll hear more about that on the next week episode with Jay Baer where we’ll unveil a little bit more. Until next time, on behalf of Anna Hrach over at Convince & Convert, I am Randy Frisch from Uberflip. A big thank you to Tyler Lessard from Vidyard. This has been the Content Experience podcast.

Show Full Transcript
Close