Conex: The Content Experience is one of my favorite events to attend to learn the latest in content marketing and experience best practices. The speakers and content are always top notch and I bring back so many great takeaways and action items to my marketing and editorial team.
This year’s theme put a spotlight on the content experience and how marketers must focus on the packaging and distribution of their content just as much as they focus on content creation. Check out my recap of the event here.
In addition, I had a chance to sit down with Randy Frisch, CMO of Uberflip, backstage at Conex to learn how the content experience will evolve, key challenges facing today’s marketing teams and some exciting new things coming from Uberflip this year.
Demand Gen Report: The content experience has been a key focus of Conex for the past few years. How are you seeing content experiences evolve in 2019 and beyond?
Randy Frisch: There are a couple of things that I think are changing there. One is the degree of personalization that’s expected from our buyers. We use Spotify day-to-day, where we open it up, and it says the words: “made for you.” It feels like they're truly picking songs for me. Spotify now has 108 million subscribers. So, 108 million people are getting a different playlist every day. And that's why they're winning over companies like Apple that only have 60 million subscribers. The idea of doing that at that scale didn't come to mind years ago, right? It’s the same thing with marketing.
Daniel Day of Snowflake is a really forward-thinking guy. And when he started kind of creating these personalized experiences two-plus years ago, the mindset was, “we're going to pick 10 accounts and we're going to do all these ads in a personalized way, to direct mail and email signatures. We're going to link out to curated streams of content [for those 10 accounts].” Now, last I spoke to him, he's doing it for 2,000 different accounts. So, 2,000 different accounts are getting handpicked content with custom messaging. And on any page that they land on, they feel like Snowflake understands them. That's where we are today.
The second trend I’m seeing is more AI. I don't think we're at the point of a pure-play AI age just yet. If you think about your Amazon suggestions, they are usually not dead on. Just because I bought this; I do not necessarily need that, right? So, we're not perfect there. And that's where I think the marketer still needs to drive a lot of this.
We announced a strategic partnership with 6sense. We also have a similar partnership with Bombora and have one launching soon with Demandbase. Those are three sources of really valuable insight that a marketer can use to help predict what content to serve that right.
DGR: Are there any new challenges facing marketers in their efforts to deliver great content experiences?
Frisch: One, I think is still ownership of this next stage of content marketing. So, if we say it's not content marketing, its content experience, who's going to own that? We have people here at this conference this week who now have a job title called “Content Experience,” which is really not a thing five years ago. But we don't all expect there's going to be content experience manager [at every company], so I think demand gen marketers and digital marketers kind of must step up a bit. That’s one challenge.
The other one that I would point to is privacy. It’s definitely something that marketers are just being careful about, for good reason. You know, everything that's happened with Facebook in recent years, I think marketers are being very careful. I often say with all this data comes great responsibility. We want to make sure that we’re adding value. We all trust Google, even though they're searching everything, and they know where we are in that moment. It's because I don't have to search “beer stores near me,” right? I just type “beer store” and they know I'm looking near me at this stage. I think that that's the same thing that marketers are having to do is we now have this accept button on every website for GDPR. I hope that evolves in some sort of meaningful way at some point. But right now, we're all just clicking “accept.” I think we're will start to click “decline,” or will go away from the website if the homepage isn’t catered to us. I think people have to find that balance.
DGR: The first day — the workshop day — of the event was heavily focused on video marketing and content. How, in your opinion, has video marketing evolved and what innovations in video are you currently seeing that will play a big role in content marketing in the future?
Frisch: I think it's that we can produce videos so quickly now. And the expectations of our audience are more about getting raw, true emotion. There's this area for marketers to play in there, as long as they can stay genuine. To me, that's the key: it sounds cheesy but keeping it real. Someone wrote to me a private message on LinkedIn saying they watched one of my videos, and it really didn't feel like me. It was a video where [one of our partners] asked me to read a script. We used to teleprompter and the audience saw through that. They saw that was not me. Even though I ad-libbed, we lost that real feeling. So, I think with our videos, the key that people are looking for is that that opportunity to have a conversation.
DGR: What’s next for Uberflip? Anything new coming down the pipe?
Frisch: We're always trying to innovate, but Conex is obviously a great opportunity for us to update what's been in the works. We've got two big projects. One is a complete upgrade to our whole analytics package. Being very honest, our analytics in the past were not the best. We very much directed people to use solutions like Google Analytics. We weren't really showcasing how content is performing on our side, we’d just pass the data into the marketing automation platform. We’ve really built that from the ground up. We partnered with Looker on this. It gives us a lot of flexibility in terms of reporting to see what is working, how personalization is affecting different attempts that we're looking to do. I'm really excited about that.
Then the second one that we hit on briefly before was the partnership with 6sense. That integration comes as part of a much larger group of integrations you'll continue to see in the coming months because we built an entire marketplace, which we started two and a half years ago. We’re rethinking Uberflip from an API-first mentality. We started to build our own product on the API. Take as an example our sales extension. Anyone else could have built that — we didn't have to build it. But we built it completely on our API. So, if someone wanted to build it themselves, they can build it using all our API endpoints. Now, you're going to see probably around 10 to 12 this week that will be announced. Then, we’re expecting probably around 100 in the first year.