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From Organization-Centric to Customer-Centric

Video Summary

Customers don't look to brands for great marketing experiences — they focus on their own personal needs. Sounds simple, right? But as marketers, we're often too focused on our expectations of what our brand is that we fail to see things from our customers' point of view. Whether you are an agency or part of an in-house marketing team, join Dana as she walks you through how to understand customer needs, so that your brand serves your customers instead of vice-versa.


We help companies and organizations take or keep their marketing in-house. There are no secrets at Kick Point — we develop achievable goals, plan the best way to meet those goals, and train and coach you and your team as you work toward your goals.

We bring our clients more business, money, education, and freedom. Visit kickpoint.ca to learn more about how we will help you do better.

I'm also a highly recommended international keynote speaker and panelist. Am I a good fit for your next event? Find out more on my website at danaditomaso.com.

What you will learn?

  • Understand what the difference is between the needs of the organization and the needs of the customer
  • Come up with persona stories that specify what your customers actually need
  • Create a list of metrics you can measure to ensure that the customer’s needs are delivered
  • Shift your mindset from the old way to the new way

From Organization-Centric to Customer-Centric

So please join me in giving a huge welcome back to Dana DiTomaso.

Dana DiTomaso
Good morning.
So this is what happens when you come back for the fourth time as I get you to open, so I don’t recommend this at all. Although I mean now, after this I can go have a drink, right?
Alright, so welcome. As Rob said, I’m from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, which is significantly snowier than it is here. Although I understand some of you who were from here are quite cold right now. This is t-shirt weather. Like I should have shorts. I should be walking around outside. Darren, also from Alberta, you know. You’ve been here for a couple of days, though.
All right. So what we’re going to talk about today is from organization-centric to customer-centric and what does that mean, you wonder. So let’s start with the whole idea of why we have jobs. This whole marketing thing.

What a Marketer’s Job Really Is About
Marketing is, you know, if you Google, “What is marketing?” You’ll get a nice featured snippet, which Rob is going to talk about after me. The idea of communicating the products and services that we have to sell and the value that we provide organizations. Great.
But here’s what actually happened when it came to marketing. The definition is super nice. But in reality management decides that something is important i.e. selling stuff. I went to a session and I heard that Facebook’s really important. We should have a Facebook page. Or heard on the radio that Facebook’s being a bunch of jerks, we should delete our Facebook page, for example. The poor people over it, you know SpaceX, for example. Like that was a lot of work and it’s just gone. Goodbye. And then what happens is that we all agree these things are important because we like having jobs.
So like yes, of course, you’re on it. It’s great to delete our Facebook page. No problem. And then you go drink like your desk could weep, right? And this is some of the things that we end up doing because management comes in and says, this is what we’re going to do and then we all say yes, that’s great. Thank you very much. Or we start our own agencies and then because we’re terrible employees, you know, we do other stuff.
But what ends up, what you end up with at the end of this are reports that include exciting metrics such as, how many email addresses do we harvest from users this month? How many white papers have people downloaded? So now we have thousands of email addresses that we can use to create custom audiences on Facebook, for example.
We decreased our bounce rate, for example. Yay! Doesn’t actually make any money but somebody cares about bounce rate. People care about bounce rate way too much in my opinion. Bounce rates are always my go-to as a crappy metric because it’s meaningless. It’s easy to manipulate.
In fact, we took over a website from another web design agency. This is my favorite. They had artificially fixed the bounce rate and by fixed, I mean fixed, by adding a interaction hit when people scrolled 10% of the way down the page. That’s not, that’s not how you fix bounce rate. Like our bounce rate got so much better, this web design agency is great but actually they’re lying to you right now. So all those data that you thought was great? It’s just, it’s crap. Just ignore that. It’s a fun conversation to have.
Or let’s increase time on site. Let’s make sure that people spend as much time as possible in our websites, right? Like people don’t talk about this anymore. But if you’re like sticky content, right? There was all the rage at every conference, people talking about how your content has to be sticky. People have to spend as much time as possible on your website.
But in reality, none of these metrics actually focus on helping our customers solve their problems as fast as possible. These are things that management gets obsessed with. It has nothing to do with the actual day-to-day people that we talk to on a regular basis. Sometimes it does. Sometimes magic happens and these align, but not often.
I mean, our customers aren’t like, oh, yes, I’m going to have a very good bounce rate today. Nobody cares about that. I’m really excited to spend more time on this website getting all these pop-ups to sign up for the newsletter when I literally got here from the newsletter, right? So the other problem is that sometimes we forget to ask our customers what their problems are in the first place. We just assume that we know our market so well and we just go ahead and do things. Like Google.
So this is a recent delightful example. I think I was at SMX when they just decided to do this because that’s when they do things is when we’re all at conferences so who knows what’ll happen today and tomorrow.
So Google decided that if you Google say time in insert city name here, it would just show you the time, and then more results. And like well clearly, this is what people are doing. Therefore, this is going to be, this is the solution. When in reality, then a week later, Danny, I mean Danny’s a lovely guy, bless his heart. But this was not a test. They just decided to do it and then they were like, oh wait. No. This was bad. People hated it because if I Google time in San Jose, maybe I’m planning on booking a meeting and I need to know what time zone it’s in. I just didn’t Google that. They didn’t think about what the customer intent was, that created the query in the first place. They just assume that everybody wanted what they wanted and therefore cut it off and now the test is over. So we’ll see what happens.
But this is a good example of just going ahead and doing stuff and not necessarily thinking about the customer, even a huge organization like Google who has billions billions of terabytes of data. Just to be able to grab that and say oh, yeah, we got this. This is a huge change for everybody in the platform, but it was a test as opposed to seeing it in just a small percentage of users.
Organizations put themselves first by their very nature, right? It’s why businesses survive for so long is because they’re number one and that’s how they that’s how they dealt with things for, you know hundreds of years the company has been around. But that is the old way of thinking and today I want to introduce you to the new way that I hope you will take of thinking.
I want you to be customer-centric. So customer-centric is, for example, on Twitter, the world asked Twitter, “Can we have an edit button?” Twitter says, “Look at this heartwarming video. How do people use Twitter?” And like how about the world says to Twitter, “Hey, can you deal with the Nazis?” and Twitter says, “You have 280 characters now!” None of these are solving customer problems and look what’s happening with Twitter, right? I mean, I think it’s benefiting at Facebook’s expense. Facebook’s got his own issues, but they’re still fundamental issues with the platform because they think that they know better than the customers do. And they don’t.

Shifting from Organization-Centric to Customer-Centric
We need to be customer-centric and this shift from organization-centric to customer-centric isn’t just desirable, you know. You’re here at this conference, this person gave this talk, somebody from Canada talked about snow and I want to go back to the office and do this stuff. But we need to make sure that we keep up with the changing ways our customers interact with us. Customers decide how they want to shop. Customers decide how they want to interact and if we don’t respond to those shifts, we’re going to get left behind because we’re not putting the customer at the center of the decisions that we make as an organization.
So the first thing, super easy part, we need to change how we measure success. You’d do this by tomorrow, right? Like piece of cake. Success is not measured in campaigns. None of these people said, “Oh, that Q1 2016 campaign that, you know, Spotify did was really great.” They don’t think about it in that way. They might think about a cool ad but they don’t think about it in terms of the campaign that they interacted with. Or that this one piece of blog content was really good. They don’t look at it and say, “Wow, that was a really well-written well-researched piece of content.” They think, “This is going to make me better at my job.” Right?
This is not the point of which they approach the things that you do. So we need to measure what our customers, what matters to them and what they actually need. And one of the things that people want is, can we solve their problems faster? This is one of the number one things. They’re not going to say, “Oh, yes, I would like to use the terrible search on Amazon to find,” Have you ever tried to find a picture frame on Amazon? Right? Like it’s impossible. Just put a box where I can put in the dimensions of the picture frame that I want. But no, they don’t do that and I bet if anyone hears from Amazon, please tell me, I bet their picture frame sales are probably a little bit lower than others because their search doesn’t make sense for that category. But they want you to keep searching around forever and spend lots of time and platform because it’s sticky as opposed to solving the customer problem.
Really and if you put yourself in the consumer box not in the marketer box, you want to go from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Whereas marketers are like, “Okay, so maybe you want to download this white paper and oh, we have a newsletter. Have you heard about our newsletter?”
Another great example is when you send out an email everybody always crams the “Follow us on Twitter”, “Like us on Facebook” icons. The call to action of an email is not “Like us on Facebook.” But why do we put those icons in there? Because we’re trying to cram as much as possible into this even though that’s not the engagement we want people to take.
Can you imagine if Google Maps took money from local tourism boards to drive you past exciting tourist destinations on your way to get to the store? Right? People would stop using it.
I mean, people would actually use Bing Maps or Apple Maps Premiere or whatever, some other maps product instead of Google. So that’s why Google doesn’t do that. They know better. I’m sure that they’ve talked about it. I’m pretty sure that at some point they all sat together like, “This is a great way to make money,” and they decided that it’d be a total disaster and didn’t do it. Thank you, Google.
But the temptation is probably there because we think we can just manipulate customers into doing what we want. But in a lot of cases, people just want to get from point A to point B. That’s all they want. I don’t need to drive past this cool tourist landmark. I just want to get to the grocery store.

The Old Way versus the New Way
So for example, I’m going to go through some examples now.
The old way would be measuring conversion rate on a form fill or a purchase. 8% conversion rate, let’s all go drink. Congratulations. The new way would be measuring how fast an order arrives from the point of somebody ordered it until the point that it actually arrived. And you can get this data at any size organization. Shipping companies have APIs, you can pull this data in, and you can see how fast stuff actually showed up.
The new way is looking at social media and seeing when your patient shared on social media that they can see after the Lasik procedure and they’re allowed to use their phone again and how excited they are that they don’t have to use glasses anymore. As a glasses wearer, I totally get that.
The new way is when the father says to their son, “I respect and I really like that new home care worker you sent out. Thank you for making that decision.” That’s a more difficult conversion to measure. But it can be measured in the idea of reviews and the idea of engaging with people and the idea of following up with the person who sent out the home care worker in the first place saying, “Great choice. Thanks so much. My dad is really happy.”
That’s something you can measure and that’s customer-centric measurements.
So let’s call these customer conversions and the word conversions isn’t totally right anymore when we’re thinking about this but baby steps, right? We’re going from, it’s a different kind of conversion. Let’s not throw away the word conversions yet because you have to convince other people that this is a good thing to measure. So let’s start with customer conversions.
And the other benefits of measuring things in this way is that your front line, sales, operations people are going to have a much better time, right? Instead of dealing with metrics that makes sense for the organization, they’re dealing with metrics that makes sense to the customers.
So think about it with frontline, for example. If you say to people, “Well one of our important metrics is to make sure to upsell,” so let’s say you work at a cell phone company and one of the things that you have to do when people come in is you have to try to sell accessories. What if they don’t need an accessory, right? But this is the metric that the organization has put in.
There was just a big scandal up in Canada, and Canadian scandals, right? They’re very polite and quiet. But this was a scandal where a lot of the big banks in Canada were horrifyingly trying to sell products to customers that they don’t need.
Goodness. Can you imagine a bank trying to sell people things that they don’t need? It’s horrible. It’s Canadian scandal. And people were really upset about it. But if the bank has decided that making more money off of say, interest rates, is their major metric, not helping people achieve financial freedom, whatever that means to that individual customer, then of course, that’s what they’re going to measure. Right? And how many times have you gotten out of an Uber and the driver says to you, “You’re gonna give me five stars, right?” I give you five stars. You give me five stars, like literally every Uber driver I have now says that. And in Edmonton we have Uber, we don’t have Lyft. Lyft is a little bit less aggressive about it. But the reason why is because if you don’t have a high rating, off you go off the platform without thinking about, is this actually the best way to decide if somebody’s a good driver or not, right?
So because you’re changing this not just for you as marketers, but for the entire organization, it’s going to be easier for these sales and operations people to have better goals. To do things that make sense. To have empathy for customers when they call in and say, “You know my kid decided to buy $1000 on Google Play for this game that they’re playing. Can you do something about that?” It’s not in our policy, as opposed to having empathy for that transaction and being able to reverse it. Right? Like how many times have you heard a story of a customer service scandal and really the difference is that the person isn’t allowed to have empathy, right? Or isn’t allowed to make those decisions on their own.
And one of my favorite stories along these lines is a Trader Joe’s which is my favorite American store because we don’t have it in Canada and it’s amazing. So every time I’m in the States I try to visit one and then bring back a whole bunch of stuff that’s allowed on a plane back to Canada. And one of the one of the stories that I love in this was shared on Reddit about nine years ago, and I saved it cause I thought I’m going to bring this up again and again.
There was a huge snowstorm. I think it was somewhere in Ohio and this woman who didn’t live in town with her dad anymore was trying to call around to find somewhere that would deliver because her dad was a veteran. He was disabled. He was unable to go out and get groceries. And she called all these grocery stores and they said, “No, we don’t deliver. No, we don’t deliver.” And Trader Joe’s said, “You know what we don’t deliver but it’s fine. I’ll take care of that for you. What’s his name? What does he, what kind of food does he like?”
Not only did they deliver it in this person’s personal car on their own time, but they paid for the order as well. And they did that because Trader Joe’s wasn’t thinking about necessarily profitability. If you look at their corporate culture and the kinds of things that they decide are important to them, that is not something that they decide is important to them.
For example, they’re not on social media. Why? Isn’t something that’s important to them. That isn’t a metric that’s important to them as an organization.
So as a Frontline worker, you feel enabled and empowered to be able to make this call because you know that the organization is going to have your back. And those are the kinds of organizations that succeed. Those are the kind of organizations that somebody is visiting from another country and goes to a grocery store because they want to get stuff that they can’t get in their home country, for example. Those are the kinds of brand loyalty experiences that are built from focusing on these kinds of metrics instead of stuff like bounce rate, right?

Measuring Customer Conversions
So, how do you define, how can you go back to your office and define your own customer conversions?
One of the first ways you can start with are what we call persona stories. And some of the other talks you’ve probably seen this formula come up before. I’m a blank who wants to do blank so I can blank. Are people familiar with this? Have you seen this before? To build content stories? A little bit of nodding. You guys are super tired already? Okay. It’s really early. Haven’t even had the party yet. Sorry, first person tomorrow.
So we have a client Rivers Home Care. Service is across the country, one of those examples that I gave of a metric is actually one of their metrics. And so I’m going to go through a few the persona stories that we built for them.
So the first one is, “I’m a wife who wants to find out if insurance will cover the cost of caregiving services so I can figure out if I can afford additional help.” Right?
This is a really clear persona story and you can start to think about, “Okay, so this is the kind of content this person’s going to want. These are the kind of things they’re going to search for, right? Crystal clear and you know that they can help them.
“I am a daughter who wants to learn about foot care so I can take better care of my mom.” Something that’s really important with senior care is foot care because a lot of diabetic issues for example come from not having a good feet care. It’s a huge category for this client.
“I am a son who wants to find a counselor to talk to so I can express my worries, fears and regrets to someone who isn’t a friend or family member.”
Their Facebook page is so busy because there’s all these people sharing their stories. But because it’s a Facebook page, a lot of people are sharing their stories in public. Sometimes you just want to talk to somebody in private. Sometimes the Facebook page is not the best venue to express the problems that you have with taking care of a parent whose early-stage Alzheimer’s but they’re refusing to go get help, for example. That’s one of the stories that they deal with.
“I’m a grandfather who wants to find out more about the after effects of a stroke so I can live longer and see my grandchildren again.”
You know, that’s a really specific story based on one of their real clients who said specifically to this home care worker, “I want to find out what I can do on my own so I can live longer because I love my grandkids and I want to spend more time with them. They’re a really heartwarming client to work with obviously, you know, be a little tug at your heartstrings right now.
But these stories are the foundation of your content plan. This is just for, out of, I’d say it was close to a hundred content stories that we have for this client based on their personas. We take the personas, we build all these different content stories that turns into the content plan, the social plan, all those other pieces. But what’s different from a typical marketing plan with this client is that their success metrics aren’t actually the number of leads that they come in. Yeah, they get leads and that’s great and they can send them home care workers and that’s super important that we measure it. But it is not the primary metric in how they define success. It’s actually like way down the list. It’s on the sixth page of the report. It is not their primary metric.
So here’s what they do actually measure.
The first thing they measure is the number of features snippets, which Rob was pretty excited about. We actually use, I’m going to plug my company for a second here. We do use stat search analytics to measure the number of featured snippets. It’s awesome. If you haven’t used it, I do recommend checking it out because we can see probably different search terms, what has a featured snippet, what doesn’t, what we think is going to have a featured snippet soon, you know.
And the reason why featured snippets is because you want to see if someone can answer their question, can find their answer quickly. They’re not searching around for a bunch of different stuff. Maybe they’re on a mobile device. They don’t want to click through because they now have learned that all mobile websites are terrible and take forever to load. They just want to look at featured snippets. Or maybe they’re in voice search and therefore featured snippets are also really important for that aspect of it.
One of the metrics that we look at as well is could someone go through a series of content stories because the content stories aren’t necessarily standalone, right? One story can lead to another story can lead to another story. Can they answer all these content stories and never actually come through to the client’s website? Could this potentially happen? And you think, well how are you going to measure that? Well, you need to know how many featured snippets there are, but then you can also go into Search Console and see how many times are those searches, how many times do we come up as impressions for those particular searches that we know generate a featured snippet for example.
And I mean, this is not this talk, but in Data Studio, you could pull in that information from Search Console. You could do a little bit of mash-up between those pieces of information. If you want to learn more about that, I can talk to you about this after the break because I don’t have time to cover Data Studio now, but these are really cool stuff you can do to mash up Google Search Console data with featured snippet data and then figure out how many times potentially you have impressions of your featured snippets coming up in search results.
The next thing is percentage of content consumed. So again, this is through Google tag manager. So one of the things that we’re looking at is if people read all the way to the end. So we can use for example the viewport trigger in using tag manager to be able to fire an event when people hit the bottom of the div that contains the content for example.
Did people spend long enough on that page actually read all the way to the end of the content or maybe they’re keeping the tab open for later. So you’re looking at number of sessions by the same user for example because that 30-minute time out happened and people just keep their tabs open forever now.
I mean, I’m not a tab hoarder. I’m a finish this tab and close it kind of person but I found that a lot of people like to have lots of tabs open. How many people are tab hoarders here? I mean, yeah, you people scare me. You probably have a lot of emails in your inbox too, right? Yeah, no, I am tab purist. If it’s not in use, I close it. So but my pocket is full of crap. I use the pocket up instead, that’s my tab hoarding.
But some people are tab hoarders and that’s fine. But we’re looking at the percentage of content consumed. So how far down do they get? Where did their attention drift off? Are people engaging with this? Are they answering their question the first half of it? And it’s okay that they can get all the way to the end. Maybe they don’t have to go all the way to the end. Are they using anchor links to be able to fly down to different pieces of content? What’s actually the engaging stuff here? And also, you know did they probably get there from a featured snippet which is something. You match those two metrics together.
And something else that they measure for example is Facebook conversation rate. Did this post spark a conversation on social media? Are people telling their stories? And we use a tool called Rival IQ. Are people here familiar with Rival IQ? Okay. Oh my God. Alright, I’m going to change your lives.
Rival IQ is amazing. What I like about Rival IQ is you can put in your clients’ information and all of their competitors and it creates this whole social landscape of what’s going on. But the most exciting part is I finally talked them into creating Community Connector for Data Studio. As you can tell, I love Data Studio and now you can export all of your Facebook likes and wows and hahas and sads and all that stuff into a Data Studio report and figure out what kind of conversations are happening on a post by post basis for this client.
So we can say you know this post about foot care got so much feedback, but it also got a lot of angries. So maybe we should take a look at this a little bit further to see why people are annoyed about foot care. Maybe they didn’t like the image. Maybe people don’t like seeing feet on Facebook, you know, which is and sometimes that’s what it is. Sometimes people are mad at the image, not the post. But if you don’t flag that and dig in a little bit further, you can’t see actually what the issue is.
So these metrics are about how they help customers and there’s more metrics in this. This is just a small sampling of the kind of stuff that they pull out on a regular basis. And it’s about how they help customers, not what they get from customers, as in money, attention, etc. And they do make money. I promise you this client is profitable, you know, they’re not, you know, all you know, fairies and happiness living up in Canada working with this organization. They’re a national organization across the whole country. And yes, they do make a profit even though leads is not their primary metric. So in case you go back and people are panicked about that, you’ll still make money I assure you.

What to Do Next
So now that I’ve talked to you about all this cool stuff. What are you going to do next?
So the first thing you’re going to do is develop persona stories. If you haven’t gone through this practice already, I do strongly recommend you do that. There’s a post I will tweet out on the Kick Point blog that walks you through from start to finish, how to develop a persona story and how to create advanced segments in Google Analytics to track those different personas. I’ll make sure to tweet that out with a hashtag later on.
And then you need to figure out how those stories relate to something that you can actually measure. So now that you have all these stories that’s nice and you sort of know the kinds of things you’re going to create based on that story to answer their question or help them with what they need. But then how are you going to relate that to a metric?
So let’s go back to this client’s persona stories. The wife who’s looking at the cost of insurance. Content consumption, of course, because we’ll have a list of different, I mean, this is Canadian clients’ insurance so it’s kind of a different discussion up there than it is down here from what I understand.
But this, insurance is still a huge problem here too. So you’re looking at if people are searching for, say, their province or their location or their insurance provider and then seeing if they cover certain things because a lot of insurance provider websites for example are really awful, and don’t necessarily contain the answer of, “Will this be covered? Yes? No?” or, “How do I find out that information? When I go on the Sun Life website, how do I find out if this is even covered? Where do I need to go to do that? Or what kind of questions should I ask my insurance provider? Or how do I ask my insurance provider without my insurance provider getting nervous?” So I’m going to charge them a whole bunch of money. For example, right?
So they have a post on how insurance can cover caregiving. It’s extremely popular. So we’ll look at what kind of featured snippets are coming up as a result of that post. Are they reading all the way through, etc., that kind of thing.
The daughter who wants to learn about foot care. So they have a whole Foot Care Resource area on their website. So again, we’re looking at things like that, content consumption, but we’re also looking at conversation rate on those posts on Facebook and seeing if people are like, “Oh wow, these are great tips,” or also, I tried this and their Facebook page is really interesting because they get tons of conversation and when you read through the Facebook comments you get like another years’ worth of content ideas as a result of the amount of conversation that happens on Facebook. So based on that, okay, so we’re going to write a follow-up post to also get the same kind of conversation rate, for example, you can think about alright, so we’re going to market this post. Anybody visit this page. It really helps you dial right down and figure out exactly what you’re going to write, how you’re going to market it based on these previous interactions that people have had with your content.
The son who’s looking for a counselor so he can talk to somebody who isn’t in his family about the stress that he has. So again a featured step is content consumption, but they also have a counselor finder. And so what they measure is if people search in the counselor finder. Not what they searched for because privacy regulations, but did they do a search? Did they find a result that they were happy with? Like how many of the individual counselor listings did they click on after they did the search? And then did they tap the phone number or the email address or the website of that counselor?
Literally none of that makes them any money, right? They’re sending traffic right off to the counselor, but that doesn’t matter because they want to see, “Is this resource providing help for these people?” Not just does it exist and how much inbound traffic does it get, but how much outbound traffic does it have? This is a really important metric for this counselor section on their website.
The grandfather who wants to find out more about the after-effects of the stroke. The whole post series about living with stroke. You know, all these metrics for measuring in here and there’s lots of other metrics for this particular because we’re thinking about, “Okay, so this grandfather, what kind of device is he using?” Maybe he has a hard time for example using an iPad or mobile device now because he’s had issues with using his hands after the stroke. So is he using a pointing device? Is he using some sort of assisted device? Can we detect that? Can we see how those devices are engaging with the post? Who’s reading this? Are the people who are using assistive devices reading this? Or are the people who are helping the people who’ve had the stroke reading this post?
So again looking much more deeply into the metrics to figure out not just how many people are reading it but what kind of technology is accessing this post as well, particularly for this post series.
And the result of measuring these personas stories against these metrics is that you’re able to see if you’re meeting your customer targets, you can still set targets. You can make decisions based on that consumer behavior and say, you know what we published that foot care post and there was really weird comments on Facebook, you know, maybe we need to back off and re-evaluate and see if this is something that’s right for us. Or you know, people aren’t using this counselor finder as much as we want them to. We see that people are searching but they’re not clicking any of the listings. What’s the problem here? Let’s take a look at that user behavior and see what we can do to make this better.
Why Make the Switch?
So why should you do this? At the end of all this, what’s the point of me being up here talking to you about all this nice shiny stuff that you’re like, “I’m going to go back to the office and I’m going to get left out of there because you know, we still need to make money.”
One of the biggest things that’s happening right now is that customer expectations are higher than your ability to deliver, my ability to deliver, any organization’s ability to deliver, right? I mean, there’s a reason why, particularly in the agency world, why people switch agencies. You started that honeymoon relationship and you’re all happy with each other and think about the grand things that are going to happen and then reality sets in and then eventually the customer gets the solution and they move on to a new agency. Really this happens a lot.
So customers can also, with the magic of the internet, communicate en masse about your organization. And so they’re setting that tone for your company before they even contact you. It does not take much for a customer to get pissed off at you. It’s really easy these days. And so those expectations are extremely high now, higher than they’ve ever been for an organization. Before, people are just happy if they went into the store and they got the thing they wanted. Now, they want to get the thing that they wanted, they want to feel nice about it, they also want to get some points maybe. You know, they don’t want to get sold too hard, but they wanna be able to find out about new products, right? There’s a lot of different stuff going on now that we didn’t have to deal with even 20 years ago. And customers are changing faster than organizations can keep up.
So here’s a fun question for everyone. How long does it take for your organization to change something on your website? Something technical side, for example, right? Like months probably. You know, how many people does it take more than six months to get something changed their website in a technical basis like main website. Okay, three months? You’re lying. Come on. I worked with companies who are taken a year to get stuff changed on the website like that stuff is over with by the time you get to a year. We’ve moved on to a brand new way of doing things in a year. Our industry changes too fast for it to take that long for an organization to try to change something on the website. How many levels of approval do you have to go through before content is published? How many different people have to approve a Facebook post and say oh, yes, that’s right and it’s just distilled down to something that doesn’t even make any sense anymore because it’s completely lost the original mission because we can’t move as fast as our customers move.
And customers are spoiled for choice, right? I mean the old way of doing things is how a lot of companies start out in the beginning but the companies who are doing well are the ones who think about the customer first.
So who here is a video gamer other than me, like big into gaming? Okay. So Steam? Valve, right? Valve has a really fantastic model. If you’re not familiar with Valve organization. They have a product called Steam which is on your computer and you can buy lots of different games and try out different games. And they have this workshop where people can just, like startups for gaming essentially. And you can try all sorts of different weird stuff. Like there’s a game called Goat Simulator because why not? It’s actually really hilarious.
The way that Valve approaches this is they say we’re just going to try stuff. We’re going to talk to customers and instead, he has a really good metaphor instead of Dancing in the Dark with oven mitts on, we’re able to actually see what people can do on a day-to-day basis with their products. What do they actually want? Because customers are very spoiled for choice in gaming and if you look at Valve as an organization, they’re profitable and they have happy customers unlike Electronic Arts, which is profitable sort of but boy people hate them.
I mean there was a big thing with the Star Wars game coming out and they were really mad about loot boxes and this big gamer drama. But what happened is that Electronic Arts approached it differently than Valve would have. And people are really mad at Electronic Arts. And now a new game comes out from EA, people are like, “Ugh, those guys.” Game comes out that’s going to be on the steam platform, “Excellent. I’m excited about this because it’s a better platform.”
Another example in the non-gaming world, Costco. Right? Costco is kind of like a staid boring company, it’s just you go to this warehouse and you buy stuff, but they take back everything. Doesn’t matter how long you’ve had it. You could have had that bed for three years, you take it back, and they’ll just take it back. It’s Costco.
And people love Costco because of this. They pay their employees well, they make a good profit. They have good benefits for their employees because they’ve made those choices to support the customers and what’s important to a customer when you’re going to a giant warehouse store and you see some random thing that you’ve never seen before and you’ve never researched? You want to have the confidence you can buy 80,000 straws and then take it back later when you’ve entered a state of reality and be like actually I’m not going to use as many straws in 16 lifetimes. So here, I’m going to take that back.
But that’s why Costco takes everything back because they want you to feel confident that you can buy that and try it and you can still take it back. That’s why Costco does so well for itself because they understand that that’s what the consumer wants. Not what they want.
If they were focused on making money, they wouldn’t let you return everything. You’d have the same 30-day return policies other organizations and Nordstrom’s for example, also a company with a very flexible return policy, also a company with a lot of customer loyalty because of that because they care about consumers first.
So think about your own organization and think about customers and what they want of your organization and how can you support that and maybe you know, I mean it’s easy for me to say. In the agency it’s easy for us to tell our clients what to do. Maybe you feel like you don’t have a lot of power in that organization, but take back some of these tools and really, you know, one of the best things to do is like scare the crap out of your boss and say look we are going to get replaced by this other company because they’re doing a better job of serving the customers than we are.
So what can you do when you go back to organization to say we need to think about customers first, organization section, and what can we do to make sure that these metrics matter to our customers? Thank you very much.

Man from audience:

Dana DiTomaso:

Man from audience:
Relate IQ is the same product that was purchased by Salesforce.

Dana DiTomaso:
Start that again, sorry?

Man from audience:
Relate IQ was purchased by Salesforce?

Dana DiTomaso:
Rival IQ. Nope.

Man from audience:
Oh, it’s Rival. Thank you for clarifying that.

Dana DiTomaso:
Yup, I’m sorry if you guys like Salesforce.

Man from audience:
No. No. Sorry.

Dana DiTomaso:
I’m just, I just really like Rival IQ and I want them to keep being awesome.

Man from audience:
No, it’s very… (Dana laughs)
In featured snippets, do you think that there’s a hard line on the amount of words that you, that won’t fluctuate in the next…

Dana DiTomaso:
Rob will be the best person to answer that question. Do you, do you know the answer to that question? Will you talk about that? Oh, your mic’s already on. Answer it.

I don’t know.

Dana DiTomaso:
So if somebody asked me that question, I would literally open an email to Rob and say, “Hey Rob.” So instead of opening an email, this is, yeah.

Man from audience:
Thank you. I haven’t found any over 97 words. So…

Dana DiTomaso:
That’s really interesting. Honestly, I think featured snippets, and I mean Rob’s going to do a whole talk about this. I feel like they’re sort of where Google right now, where they’re just trying a bunch of different stuff, and it’s really interesting and but I think from a customer perspective like customers really love it because websites are so cracked a load particularly on mobile. Right? Like we’ve been so crappy with our websites and how fast they load and we’re cramming all these ads on there.
And so why do people have ad blockers because we’re bad people and we put lots of ads on websites. Why do people like amp, even though a lot of marketers hate it? Because we were bad and we made bad websites and we should feel bad and now people load up the stuff. Why do we have featured snippets? Because we made crappy slow loading websites, right? And if we hadn’t done all the stuff, if we thought about the customer, what they wanted, then we wouldn’t have gotten ourselves in the situation. But here we are because we’re marketers and we just abuse things until we break them. The end.

Dana DiTomaso:
Man from audience:
Thank you.

Dana DiTomaso:
You’re welcome. That’s another talk entirely about how we abuse stuff until we break it. Any other questions?
Okay, I will tweet out the articles that I mentioned and the company cause some people didn’t catch it, Rival IQ. But I will also tweet them out too, they’re awesome. You should check them out. Seth, one of the co-founders, he’s awesome. You get a free trial, you’ll love it. I promise. Thank you.

Dana. Thank you very much.

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