About The Content Experience Show:
Welcome to The Content Experience Show where content experience is the new content marketing. It’s not only about reaching our audiences where they are, but engaging them with a personalized experience of meaningful, useful content that they’ll take with them over time. The guests on the Content Experience Show share strategies, tips, and real-world examples of how they’re taking their content marketing to the next level and providing their current and prospective customers with a true content experience. This isn’t just a trend. It’s a movement.
Apple Podcast Reviews:
It doesn't get any better for content marketers. They present a balanced, insightful discussion of current trends and ask all the right questions. Their guest list is a "Who's Who" of content professionals. Outstanding.Jared Johnson Piano
I love listening to marketing podcasts and this one is on my must-listen to list. Very knowledgable hosts and topical discussions.The Marketing Book Podcast
Mathew Sweezey, Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce, joins the Content Experience Show Podcast to discuss optimizing experience for your audience.
What Have You Done Today to Improve Your Experience?
How positive are your audience’s experiences with your brand? To answer that question, many marketers rely on imperfect or incomplete data (or worse, no data at all). Salesforce’s experience expert Mat Sweezey proposes a radical concept: Why not ask your customers?
Recent research from Salesforce reveals that most marketers are not only failing to communicate with audiences about the quality of their experiences but neglecting to adapt as audience needs change. As Mat explains, download metrics are only a small piece of the puzzle. If your feedback doesn’t resemble a human conversation, you’re not getting the full picture.
In this highly actionable episode, Mat shares surprising research about marketers’ approach to experience and offers alternatives your team can implement immediately. You’ll hear him make the case for a Chief Experience Officer, share case studies of audits done right, and more.
In This Episode
- The three questions you should be asking your audience after they engage with your content.
- Shocking research about how most marketers are approaching experiences.
- Why surveys alone won’t cut it when it comes to gathering experience data.
- Where to start when revamping your experiences.
- The case for a Chief Experience Officer.
- Who should own the customer journey map.
- A preview of Mat’s upcoming keynote at Conex 2019!
Quotes From This Episode
“Too often, we just look at the download metric and believe that we created success.” –@msweezey
If we really start to think about human ways of conversation, we then can create better experiences. Click To Tweet
“In our little world of control, we have a really good idea of experience, but sometimes experience gets lost when it gets handed off.” –@msweezey
- Get the free Content Experience Report here.
- Stay connected with your email subscribers using Emma.
- Learn more from Salesforce Research.
Content Experience Lightning Round
You’re passionate about painting. Tell us about the role visual art plays in your life.
Mat has been painting since he was a kid and enjoys it as a way to keep his creative vibe alive. He’s even been known to bring his travel-friendly watercolor set on airplanes with him!
See you next week!
Welcome to another great episode of The Content Experience podcast. I’m Randy Frisch. I’ve got Anna Hrach here with me and today we have a guest that just makes so much sense. Now this guest is Mathew Sweezey, also known as Sweezey to many people and he works as the Principal of Marketing Insights for Salesforce.
Now when this guy joined us on a road show tour, a lot of people came up to me and they were like, “How did you get this guy to write a complete keynote presentation at his level of experience. Like how much did you pay him?” Thinking that I paid him to do so. The reality is, this is what Mat goes around and talks about all the time. He is so passionate about experience and our move to that and I warned you about that, Anna, but did I deliver on my promise?
Oh, yeah, and this episode is amazing. Mat gave so much good advice, so many trips and tricks, it’s immediately actionable. It’s insightful, it’s future-facing, it’s wonderful. Like this episode is chock full of just great tidbits from Mat.
Yeah, and one of the things that stuck with me and it ties to when I often emote trying to define content experience for people, where I’ll break it down for them and just say it’s any time someone encounters your content. And he takes experience at a similar level just to say how do your customers feel? And it makes me realize how much we fail, very often, at listening to our customers or taking the time to look at things as though you were in their shoes.
And I’m wondering like when’s the last time that you got to really talk to customers? I’ll be embarrassed sometimes to tell you how infrequent it is.
Today, you got to talk to a customer?
Okay, cool. And so is this a daily thing for you? Do you block off time for this? How do you go about it?
Well, I mean, it’s an ongoing conversation. Or it happens periodically. I’m just a big fan of customer interviews so even for like, my clients, like those are things that I love to do and I think it’s absolutely critical and just gives you that context that you just don’t get. But yeah, I mean, it’s hard to make time for it. It’s hard to get ahold of them. It’s hard to get them to stop and take even 30 minutes out of their day to talk to you. It’s a much more difficult task than it seems.
Absolutely. Yeah, I mean one of the things that I’ve started to do more at Uberflip on a day-to-day basis is we put in an executive alignment program to better align with some of our customers at that level. We’ve also put in things like customer advisory board so that we actually, a couple times a year, we’ll fly out customers, get them in the same room, get them talking. And that was reinforced as something I know we should continue to do because as Sweezey put it, when we ask people to fill out a survey, like let’s be honest, I mean, you’re either there because you’re really frustrated or you’re there because you’re super happy but you don’t really tell any of the information in the middle.
No, yeah, totally. There’s no opportunity to find something along the way. It’s the extreme.
Yeah, absolutely. Those Likert scales just don’t cut it for how we actually feel and if you feel that way, too, you’re going to love this podcast. Let’s bring it in. Myself introducing Mat Sweezey from Salesforce. Here we go.
Hey, Mat, thank you so much for taking the time to join us today. This podcast, as everyone knows, is called The Content Experience. And sometimes we talk a lot about content, but today we are going to talk about experience. We’re going to go overload on experience because that’s kind of your forte these days, or maybe always. How did you stumble into this experience work?
I stumbled into it like the rest of it, so we have to. It wasn’t a choice. It wasn’t like, hey, I love experiences, let’s make them. It was more or less this is where we have to go. That’s because that’s what the consumer wants. We just come out with new research that says 84% of consumers actually say the experience a company provides is just as important as the product or service. So we all have to follow what the consumer wants. Hence, we’ve ended up with experiences.
So I want to eventually link this all to content as we get deeper into this podcast but when you say we, you also mean Salesforce, which is where you work. Maybe you can tell people a little bit about your role at Salesforce and as well, how experience kind of pulses through that whole organization.
All right. I can start with that. So my role is Principal of Marketing Insight so I primarily focus on the future of marketing. I help disseminate that back internally and help direct products, help direct strategy and then externally, through our customers so that they’re aware of what they should be doing. And then us, as an organization, experience is a massive piece of everything that we do from user experience, customer experience, buyer experience, it kind of all ties together. But really, we see the experience that we create as every single moment. It’s not a single thing, it’s a constant thing and they’re all connected together.
So creating experiences is a big task. I mean, it’s this big sort of lofty idea and I think you broke it down really nicely about how Salesforce looks at it but when businesses and organizations and companies are starting to think, okay, how can I create the best experience possible for my customers? Where do they start? Where do you recommend, because that’s a big, big bite to chew off.
Yeah, I mean, it’s a pretty easy answer. They should start by asking their customers what does a great experience look like? I mean, so many times, most marketers ask this question to me, of like, hey, what does a great experience look like and I have to reply to them, “I’m not your customer. I can’t answer that for you.” I can give you some ideas of what to ask, how to ask, but really we must be really diligent in understanding a couple things and it kind of boils down to, there’s a framework that came out from, I want to say it was, I’ll come up with the consultancy later but they’ve been acquired, they’re no longer. But it’s the model of saying all right. Let’s go through the customer journey and ask three basic things at each stop.
What are the customers thinking? What are they doing? And what are they feeling? And based on those things, we have a really solid idea of what the desired experience is at any given moment. If they’re feeling anxious, the experience needs to help remove the anxiety. I can give you some ideas on kind of how that would flow.
Right. So literally talking to your customers and just saying, hey, what makes it a great experience? That’s kind of this amazing, novel idea that, I think, Randy, you and I have talked about this a lot on this podcast. That for some reason, when marketers go to market, they forget what it was ever like to be a consumer. And it’s kind of funny that if we just go talk to them, we get the answer.
I need to make this point, first, right? You hit it right on the head. This is not rocket science, this is not a radical idea. I know I’m not the first person that’s ever suggested that idea. But here’s the reality. So I travel all over the world, give speeches all over the world. I always ask this one question. I always say, marketers, raise your hand if you’ve done the following. Have you ever followed up with somebody that downloaded a piece of content to ask them three things.
What did you think of the content? What were you feeling at the point of time, what led you to that content, and have you found better? Follow-up with them and ask them, because too often we just look at the download metric and believe that we created success. The reality is, I did the research, 71% of consumers that have downloaded content were disappointed with that experience. And 25% of those said they were so disappointed, they would never engage with that brand ever again.
Now, here’s the kicker. How many marketers have ever followed up to ask about the experience? Less than 1%. We would fire any product marketer or excuse me, any product owner that didn’t follow-up with its customers to ask about the experience of the product. We must do the same thing. It’s just a reality of our job.
So Sweezey, first of all, for anyone who hasn’t heard Sweezey talk before, you’re probably starting to catch on to what I love about this guy, is that everything is data-minded. And I’m often guilty of having all these theories that I have, but they’re theories. A lot of what you’re hearing today is going to be done through research and you hit on that important thing, which is to understand the experiences, we need to ask about them. We need to find out how people feel. Maybe you can talk about some of the ways you’ve done that because I know that was a big part of preparing for you’re upcoming book.
Yeah, so I mean, it’s tough. For me, writing a book, that’s a little different idea than if we’re talking about experiences across the customer journey. But it kind of all boils down to like we’ve just said. Sitting down and actually having conversations with people to kind of figure out what they actually are looking for and then really going deeper. So I think one of the big things, and this is something I always love to talk about and a lot of people don’t really know, but we have this practice in marketing called public relations. And I’m going to relate this back around really simply.
Public relations starts in 1917 by a man named Edward Bernays. Most people don’t know who Edward Bernays’s uncle was. Edward Bernays’s uncle is Sigmund Freud. How Edward Bernays understands these whole ideas that actually fuel the practice of public relations is because he sends his uncle a box of cigars as a gift and his uncle sends him back the first book of understanding psycho-analysis. So Bernays then gets this idea of if we’re going to do things, we must have a deeper understanding of why the human is actually acting. And so when we ask these questions, like going back to that thing earlier, you can’t just say what experience do you want? Because the reality is all the data has told us that it needs to be fast. It needs to be real-time. It needs to be helpful. It needs to help them accomplish their goal at the moment.
But then the reality of we never really get to those deeper levels of what are they thinking? What are they feeling? What are they doing in those moments? And if we really start to think about these human ways of conversation getting to that data, we then can create better experiences out of that.
So do you think that that, I mean, that was a very well-researched response. But how do we get to most of this data as a marketer? I mean, marketers are sitting here, they’re listening to those podcast, they’re like, okay, great. We got to ramp up on research. Do you lean more to those opportunities to have face-to-face interactions or a Zoom call or a phone call or is it more the traditional survey?
Where do you think that you actually cut through the BS, if you will, and you start to actually understand where you got to transform?
Cool, so the simplest way to think about it is this way. Have you ever filled out a survey and been like, “Damn. That was a great experience”. The answer is no. So if we as marketers first want to get real data, we have to actually talk to people because the nuances of what happens in conversation are going to give us the key pieces that we want. If we simply rely on a survey, we’re only going to get a limited set of the data back. We’re not going to get the full story. And you’re also only going to get the answers back that you ask. And a lot of the times, what you’ll find through conversation, is they’re going to take you down paths you would not have gone down. So I think that’s the first part of that.
The second part of that is I think we need to rethink about how we do research. So when you think about the endless amount of experiences and journeys that we now must be managing, we don’t need to think about how do we front load all this research. Yes, let’s do a little bit of research to kind of point us in the right direction but let’s continue to iterate. So maybe three months down the road, if something’s not performing well, we then ask six more people and have conversations.
And so it’s a continuous process rather than a one-time thing and I think we need to get into the process of continually going back and asking, because we have to realize what we’ve created are things that are continuously happening to people. This content is not just served up once, it’s served up continuously, over a very long period of time. And so our research must do the same thing.
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. There’s something that context brings to the conversation that changes this feedback entirely. And it takes that conversation and that one-to-one to really uncover some of those deeper issues or even those really essential experience things that people are looking for that a form with set questions that doesn’t give them any room to really elaborate, it just doesn’t provide the same sort of context and even on that note, one of my absolute favorite things to do within customer interviews is have one final question after I thank them and just say, “Is there anything else that we didn’t touch on or anything else that’s been on your mind as we’ve gone through this conversation”, and it’s amazing how therapeutic that question is. People just dump out information that wasn’t even on my radar or even in my thought process. Like the amount of information people are willing to give, I think, is drastically underestimated with just the right questions. Yeah, love it.
Well, okay, so now that we know exactly sort of where we’re going with content experiences and or sorry, I should say where we’re going with experiences, we are going to take a super quick break and then come back and talk about what we need to do to prepare for the future and also how we can tie this all back to content so everybody, hang in there with us through this break and we will be right back with Mat Sweezey.
Hi, friends, this is Jay Baer from Convince and 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. Get your free copy right now at uberflip.com/conexshowreport. That’s uberflip.com/conexshowreport.
And this 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 at convinceandconvert.com.
All right, everyone. We are back here with Sweezey. We’re talking about experience and I got a good understanding of your definition of experience or I should really say the definition that you’ve gotten from the people you’ve spoken to. Now how do we take to steps that marketers can initiate? Because a lot of our audience, just for your context, are marketers. What can marketers do to put a better focus on understanding experience and making changes to experience as they get input?
Awesome. Yeah, so I think, let’s go back, first step is to ask questions. Second step is to map those things out, as we all know. Journey maps, kind of getting the content tied in to where it needs to go. But then there’s also higher level things. I think we all know those answers. I think some of the things that we may struggle with are one, is the inconsistency of experiences across the entire customer journey. So a lot of times, we find that marketing, in our little world of control, we have a really good idea of experience, but sometimes experience gets lost when it gets handed off, right?
So if you look at the customer journey, there’s marketing, we’re filling the funnel, then we’re passing it to sales then sales is closing the deal, passing it to support, passing it to service. We need to make sure all of those experiences are accounted for and connected and overseen and that really moves us into somebody has to take on that role inside the organization, as we need to see somebody and I would suggest we have a chief experience officer who is sitting on top of all of those experiences and able to connect them. Without that, each then siloed operation operates for its own goals and sadly, none of those goals are customer experience. So we need to have an executive help to kind of push that forward.
And then next, we need to make sure that we’re reporting on these things efficiently and effectively and making sure that we’re looking at not just what are the conversion metrics but looking at the journeys as a whole and saying are these things actually producing what we want them to, i.e., are they creating a good experience that moves that person forward continuously through the journey?
Yeah, first off, I love that answer. I’m going to zero in on the first part. I actually wrote an example of this in my book about a year ago and it was something that happened here at Uberflip, where we had this illustration that showed the buyer journey as we understood it, and more so, our customers and what they were going through, the buyer journey with their customer. Long story short, without walking you through, we called it something very simple. It was called like the content wheel. That was our wheel of explaining our industry or our approach to industry.
But as you said, the customer success team we had here, they were calling it something else. They were calling it the helm, because it looked like the helm of a ship and then there was another group in technical support that called it the death star because they were just Star War fans and they thought it looked that way. And I found this out one day and I was like, oh, my god. This is such a mess. And that prompted us, not necessarily to hire a chief experience officer, but to hire a content experience officer, which I assume may have some similarities. As you said, it’s aligning that buyer journey. I’m wondering if you can speak, you talked about a journey map. Where does a journey map live when you actually have someone owning this and how do you use that as a resource?
That’s a tough question. Really the journey map, here’s where it currently lives. It currently lives in marketing. Marketing is making this journey map because we’re the ones that have to create demand and we realize that the most efficient way to create demand is to help guide somebody through their journey. But we’ve also limited that to just the buyer’s journey. So first off, we need to take a larger idea and say the entire customer journey needs to be experienced and owned by the entire organization. It needs to be owned by a higher level. I mean, that’s why there’s the suggestion of the chief experience officer, who would own that entire journey and make sure it’s cohesive and consistent across those. So that’s kind of what I think about on that one.
So in terms of, I think you really had a good point, which is that as of right now, a lot of different groups within organizations, their goal isn’t content experience. How do you get people to get on board with that? How do you evangelize that and let them know that hey, by focusing on the customer experience and focusing on experiences, we’re going to to actually hit sales goals. We’re going to hit numbers. How do you drift it away from those hard metrics into actually going into the experience?
There’s only two ways I’ve even seen of teams changing. And that’s either one, they paid a lot of money for a consultant and the consultant says do this and they’ve already invested so much money into the advice that they take the advice. That’s one way. The second is by small actions inside the organization and testing out ideas. And I find that most new organizations, that’s the much more effective way. So looking at creating small tests, looking at creating small projects, looking at small wins and up leveling those and those are really the only two ways I’ve ever seen.
And to the second way, that’s why I started writing my new book, which will come out in March of next year, it’s to kind of help people understand how to do these things and how to move that process forward. So that’s the only two ways to do it. And they both take work.
Perfect. So in terms of preparing for the future, because you’re all about future insights, what do marketers need to do today to prepare for the future of experience?
I mean, we can just go back to the thing we’ve already talked about. If you’re going to change one thing, and do one thing, I’d say make sure you talk to your customers more. That’s it. And when I say customers, don’t just limit it to customers. Don’t just limit it to the buyer’s journey. Just talk to more people. It’s the idea, one of my favorites, so there’s the old story about Trader Joe’s and the CEO of Trader Joe’s and he flies around all the Trader Joe’s. And he walks into the Trader Joe’s. First off, take two steps back. Why don’t you hear about Trader Joe’s in the press?
His response to that is those aren’t my customers. I’m going to go into the stores and spend my time talking to customers, not talking to press. And so he flies and he will walk into the store and see a customer and he’ll walk up to the customer and say, hey, I’m the CEO of Trader Joe’s. Do you mind if I shop with you? And so the customer, nine times out of ten, says, sure, come along. So then they walk through the store. This guy then starts opening bags of chips and he’s like, hey, taste this. Tell me what you think about it. And he’s asking what they’re buying, why are they buying these things? And he’s having a dialogue with these people the entire time. That’s the leader of the company doing the market research and focusing on experience.
So we have to think about that as a part of our jobs and something that is intrinsic to the success. Not intrinsic, it is the basis of our success. And we the have to do that. So if we’re going to do anything, let’s start there.
I love that. I love that. I think it’s so important to talk to customers, in-store environments or get out of your office, as you said. On the weekend, I did my Conex shopping. I always call it my Conex shopping, because it’s like one time a year, I go and get my new outfits and you and I have talked about this, like standing in airports together. It’s like, we always seem to be wearing the same thing when we’re going to do a talk somewhere. And it’s just because I’ve got like my two or three outfits I buy at the beginning of the year and I just wear them all year, anytime I’m doing one of my talks.
And this time when I was in there, the owner of this fairly large company was asked to come meet with me. And I was just like, I felt like I’m this lone, I’m this customer who shops one time a year but they clearly knew it and they brought him over and it was this great engagement, very short, where he just wanted to understand what brought me in. What was my motivation and now I’m sitting here, being like, he’s focused on experience.
And it works. You shop there.
And I’ll probably go back next year even though I could buy some of it online.
All right. Well, this has been a lot of fun. What I want to do is get you to stick around a little bit. We always like to get to know our audience a little bit more. Before we do, just what is the talk that you’re going to do at Conex in a few weeks from now. What’s the topic going to be that we’re going to hear about there?
Yeah, the five key traits of high performing marketing organizations. And that’s driven based off the research that we’ve conducted over the past four years, over about 11,000 brands at Salesforce.
Amazing. It’s going to be great. I’ve seen this before. It’s worth attending. August 20th, 22nd in Toronto. We’ll be right back here with Mat, not to talk about experience but just to talk about Mat and get to know him a little bit better, as he’s been encouraging us to do so all episode.
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All right. Sweezey, thank you so much for sticking around. You’ve already given us a ton to think about but we want to get to know you a little bit better. And for those who listen to this podcast, you’ll love to know that we’re actually looking at each other right now. Not in the same room, Sweezey and I, we’re all remote but we use Zoom when we record this and I can see some art behind Mat and I said to him, leading into the podcast, tell me the story behind this thing. So now we’re going to get the story. I had no idea, despite how many times we’ve been in the same room, that you are into your own art. Tell us a little bit about how that took off and where you get your inspiration from?
Yeah, so I think most of us that are marketers were creators of some way, shape or form and my creation, I’ve always, I have a couple things I create and one, I’ve always liked to paint. And I’ve always painted since I was a kid. And so yeah, I paint. I even travel with it. I’ve got a little watercolor set that I travel with and you’ll see me in the middle seat on an airplane painting.
No way, that’s awesome.
It’s just a fun way to kind of keep my creative vibe alive. And then I get to express that sometimes through presentations, like the presentation I’ll be giving at Conex is definitely done with tattoo art. At the time, my roommate was a tattoo artist. So getting lots of different places and in the painting you’re mentioning behind me, my brother’s a pilot and lives out in Seattle and took that picture of Haystack Rock and then so I just decided to paint it and so I had fun with it.
So do you often like to be in front of, I don’t know proper art terminology, your subject? Is that what it would be? Are you going to have this picture in front of you when you’re painting it or are you going to go more abstract off a memory that you have?
It just all depends on what I’m doing, man. It just depends. I think that’s the fun part. Everything’s different. You can do each one however you want to do it, however I’m feeling. If I’m feeling mad and angry, I can put more blacks and bold colors and if I want to be more light and airy, I can have more fun or, you know, it the depends. I think that’s the beauty of it.
All right, Anna, now I’m curious. Are you artistic? Like I have very limited artistic abilities. I will admit this. I’ll play around with creating a logo for something or something like that. I just created a logo for my son’s hockey team, which I’m really happy with but Anna, what’s your go-to for artistic expression?
A little bit. It depends. Fine art wise? Absolutely not. Like jealous of that painting, because I’m literally staring at it going like how did you do that? Like trying to figure it out. It looks beautiful, by the way. I wish everybody could see this. We’re only going to publish the audio but I got all the writing skills, but my brother got all the fine art skills and I was always jealous growing up of that.
It’s all good. It’s all good. Dr. Seuss books are great through a combination of the art and the word, I would say. So maybe the two of you need to team up and who knows what you’d have coming at us next? This has been a lot of fun, Sweezey, thank you so much for taking the time. Where can people go and get some of this research that we’ve spoken about today? Maybe send us one location here.
Yeah, so a lot of the research can be found on the Salesforce research page. A lot of the state of marketing, state of the connected customer. If you’re into retail, there’s the future of retail. So that’s where we have all of that research, as well as if you follow me on Twitter, I always share research either that I’m conducting or that I’ve found that’s interesting and that’s just @msweezey on Twitter.
All right. Fantastic. Thank you so much. I’ll let people take a look and read that Twitter handle, as they do. I know you poke fun at it yourself at times. Let’s see if they catch on to it. They’re all going to go check out your Twitter now because we’ve created a little bit of curiosity gap, as my friend Drew Davis would say. And we’ll leave it on that note. Thank you so much to everyone who’s tuned in. This has been The Content Experience podcast. I’m Randy Frisch from Uberflip, with Anna Hrach from Convince and Convert. This has been another episode. Thank you so much for tuning in.