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The Modern Customer Podcast

Go behind the scenes with customer experience leader Blake Morgan to explore the secrets of the world’s most customer-centric companies. Blake is one of the world’s top keynote speakers, authority on customer experience and the bestselling author of “The Customer Of The Future” The Modern Customer reaches thousands of people each week conveying a message of how we make people feel - in business and in life - matters. Her weekly show explores how businesses can make customers’ lives easier and better, featuring experts that provide simple, tangible advice you can immediately apply at your own organization. Today’s customers have the luxury of choice. The answer is simple; choose customer experience and customers will choose you. Learn how to put a stake in the ground on customer experience by tuning into The Modern Customer Podcast each week with Blake Morgan.
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Now displaying: April, 2021
Apr 27, 2021

In a sea of celebrity brands, how can a company stand out and attract customers? 

It comes down to being passionate, innovative and empathetic. 

Many celebrities are only involved with their brands as far as simply putting their name on a product, but Bruno Mars’ rum brand SelvaRey is different. He spent three years redesigning the SelvaRey packaging to create a stylish and eye-catching bottle and is passionate about the brand and its products. 

That passion and innovation extends to the entire team and is what attracted CMO Brielle Caruso to the brand. 

Caruso joined the company six months ago, making her the first female Asian American CMO in the U.S. wine and spirits industry. Caruso has helped build numerous brands and knows what it takes to stand out. 

Marketing is really about communicating and building relationships. Caruso believes communication means everything and that brilliant communicators must have strong observational awareness. It’s impossible to be a great marketer without being a great listener. At SelvaRey, that means listening to customers and understanding the context of what they are looking for. In her career, it means actively listening to her team members and building real connections.

Over the past six months, SelvaRey has launched four new products, some of which sold out in days. Part of Caruso’s job has been to educate customers about rum and break down stereotypes and showcase the wide range of products. Listening to customers led the brand to release products at different entry points.  

Marketers are often taught that it’s all about themselves—about sharing their message and pushing their products. But Caruso believes that people who step back and listen, not to respond but to understand and add empathy, become better leaders. 

With that empathy and listening comes humility. Caruso says it’s important to be grounded, which she does by writing down her goals and gratitudes. Especially after a difficult year, she believes it’s important to reach out to people and check in on them instead of assuming everyone is fine. Building those relationships and being humble helps marketers stay focused and grounded, which only adds to their success. In a world full of ego and self-promotion, truly caring about other people can help you stand out. 

Many women in male-dominated industries face the challenge of being the only woman in the room. But Caruso has learned that her unique assets are valuable and important and that she needs to speak up to represent female customers. Women drink alcohol, so companies can’t just have men creating the strategic goals and marketing. They need a woman’s insight and will listen to the women in the room, even if there’s only one. Caruso believes companies need to push for employees and marketers who are representative of the population who is using the product. 

Standing out in the marketing world isn’t always about being the flashiest. It comes down to being passionate, innovative and empathetic. The loudest campaigns may catch customers’ eyes, but lasting success comes to the companies and marketers that know how to build relationships and stay grounded. SelvaRey shows that strong communication can build a winning brand. 

*Sponsored by Pegasystems #PegaWorld 

It’s almost time for PegaWorld iNspire, the annual conference from Pegasystems. Join them online for free on May 4 from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time to learn how the world’s most impactful companies are driving digital transformation. They’ll have compelling keynotes, demos, and case studies in a highly interactive virtual format and a few surprises as well. Go to www.pegaworld.com to register for free and check out the full agenda. I’ve attended the last several PegaWorlds in person, and virtual, and I can’t recommend it enough, so go register today! That’s www.pegaworld.com.

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her new course here. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here.  

Apr 20, 2021

Saying 2020 was a rocky year may be the ultimate understatement. But after the turmoil and uncertainty, customers, brands and investors want to know what the economy looks like in 2021. 

According to Fox Business Network’s Charles Payne, there’s reason to be extremely optimistic. 

In 2021, consumer savings are near record highs. That, combined with government stimulus money, means that there is a lot of money and the ability to spend it once consumer confidence levels pick up.  

Part of the reason to expect economic growth in 2021 is the concept of revenge shopping or revenge travel as the pandemic starts to subside. After more than a year of shutdowns and quarantines, customers are eager to spend money, have experiences and travel. Payne predicts that customers will want to make up for lost time, which will be great for the economy. 

Although there has been tremendous job loss and countless businesses closing during the pandemic, new business applications have gone through the roof in recent months. The fact that people are confident enough to start businesses is a good sign for the economy, and consumers will likely give a special effort to support small businesses, at least initially. Small businesses are poised for success, and the economy needs them to thrive. But Payne points out that these businesses don’t exist in a vacuum, and uncertainty and actions taken towards big businesses could potentially hurt smaller businesses. For new small businesses to thrive, they need continued customer support.  

The growth of the economy is also tied to the growth of construction and real estate. Over the last year, we’ve seen a growing exodus from expensive cities to less expensive suburbs. Just a few years ago, consumers wanted to rent everything instead of owning, but in today’s world, customers want the control and confidence that comes from owning things, especially homeownership. To rebound after the pandemic exodus, Payne says cities will have to reinvent themselves and become experience hubs. That growth and change could foster new business growth as consumers look to make up for lost experiences. 

The economy is certainly changing in 2021, but overall, things are looking up. With consumers eager to spend, small businesses on the rise and a change and reinvention for cities and suburbs, this year will have a lasting impact on the economy—for the positive.

*Sponsored by Pegasystems #PegaWorld 

It’s almost time for PegaWorld iNspire, the annual conference from Pegasystems. Join them online for free on May 4 from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time to learn how the world’s most impactful companies are driving digital transformation. They’ll have compelling keynotes, demos, and case studies in a highly interactive virtual format and a few surprises as well. Go to www.pegaworld.com to register for free and check out the full agenda. I’ve attended the last several PegaWorlds in person, and virtual, and I can’t recommend it enough, so go register today! That’s www.pegaworld.com.

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her new course here. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here.  

 

Apr 13, 2021

Technology doesn’t stop during a pandemic. 

Because of that, VMware needs to stay connected to customers and showcase its multi-cloud technology. 

But in the B2B industry, which is traditionally driven by in-person events and marketing, building relationships and growing leads virtually poses a challenge.   

VMware CMO Carol Carpenter stepped into her role in the middle of the COVID pandemic and had to quickly move to virtual marketing. Although there have been challenges, she says B2B marketing during a pandemic has also had some positive impacts. 

The root of Carpenter’s marketing approach is communication and data. She aims to over-communicate, both to her team of more than 700 people and to customers and prospects. Her team also relies heavily on data—especially during the pandemic—to track its progress and tailor experiences and marketing campaigns that resonate with customers. Carpenter says being able to understand a customer’s needs, thoughts and values is crucial. 

As marketing shifted online, Carpenter’s team unleashed its creativity. Using communication and data as a foundation, it moved traditionally in-person events to virtual venues. VMware has hosted events like chocolate tastings, whisky tastings and concerts with famous musicians. As a bonus, customers and prospects are able to include their families, which adds to the relationship-building. 

Moving online has allowed B2B marketers to better engage their prospects and clients. In the physical world, a company can track who attended a dinner and event. But it can be difficult to know if the person was actually engaged or interested in the product. 

When things move online, however, companies can track who participated, what they looked at, who they talked to and what they talked about. It provides a much fuller picture of what each person did at the event and allows marketers to follow up with specific questions and comments. 

Although in-person events have paused, Carpenter says B2B marketers still have incredible opportunities to build relationships when they focus on communication, data and creativity. 

COVID has brought challenges for all industries, especially B2B, but marketers around the industry and at VMware are finding the positive, pivoting and keeping their companies moving forward.

*Sponsored by Pegasystems #PegaWorld 

It’s almost time for PegaWorld iNspire, the annual conference from Pegasystems. Join them online for free on May 4 from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time to learn how the world’s most impactful companies are driving digital transformation. They’ll have compelling keynotes, demos, and case studies in a highly interactive virtual format and a few surprises as well. Go to www.pegaworld.com to register for free and check out the full agenda. I’ve attended the last several PegaWorlds in person, and virtual, and I can’t recommend it enough, so go register today! That’s www.pegaworld.com.

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her new course here. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here.  

Apr 6, 2021

Loyalty programs are an important part of many brands’ customer engagement strategies, but yesterday’s loyalty programs won’t necessarily be successful today. 

According to Francis Hondal, President of Loyalty & Engagement at Mastercard, the recent growth of tech, digital commerce and data have redefined opportunities for brands to serve their customers in the way they expect to be served. Those opportunities have changed even more over the last year with the global COVID pandemic. 

One of the biggest trends coming out of COVID is the un-calendarized year, meaning that everything has shifted from when it normally occurs. Things like sports seasons, events and travel are now happening on a different schedule than years past. In response, Hondal says brands need to focus on providing flexibility to their customers. The best loyalty programs adapt to meet customers’ current needs and offer them flexibility and choices. 

Hondal gives the example of an airline that changed its rewards program to allow customers to use their airline loyalty points to buy groceries and support local businesses. With fewer people traveling, it was a way for the airline to stay connected to customers and for customers to meet their everyday spending needs with their existing points. 

Customers crave optionality. They don’t want to be boxed into using a loyalty program in one certain way. Customers are hesitant to be stuck with just one way of doing things now that they’ve seen just how much the world and their personal situation can change. When brands are flexible, it drives long-term engagement and continues to make the company relevant, even during uncertain and chaotic times. 

There are different ways of engaging with customers than typical rewards programs. Flexibility and newness are hot right now, and brands that can tap into those trends can build real connections with their customers. 

Hondal says creating an amazing loyalty program starts by understanding consumers, both new and existing. Companies need to use data and have a strong data management system in place so they can stay on top of changing customer demands and trends. She says one of the most important pieces of delivering a seamless customer experience is connecting the dots within the company so that customers have a consistent experience and don’t have to repeat themselves. 

In this COVID and post-COVID world of loyalty programs, brands need to focus on contextual connections with customers and connecting with people when it matters most. By truly understanding customers and knowing what they need and when they need it, brands can stay relevant and offer options and flexibility. 

Loyalty programs aren’t what they used to be, especially after COVID. By leveraging data and focusing on flexibility and optionality, brands can create and strengthen bonds with loyal customers for years to come.

*Sponsored by Pegasystems #PegaWorld 

It’s almost time for PegaWorld iNspire, the annual conference from Pegasystems. Join them online for free on May 4 from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time to learn how the world’s most impactful companies are driving digital transformation. They’ll have compelling keynotes, demos, and case studies in a highly interactive virtual format and a few surprises as well. Go to www.pegaworld.com to register for free and check out the full agenda. I’ve attended the last several PegaWorlds in person, and virtual, and I can’t recommend it enough, so go register today! That’s www.pegaworld.com.

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her new course here. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here.  

 

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