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Top 10 Questions for Jay Baer and Jamie Beckland on Using Data to Delight Customers

By Gina Rau | Posted on August 12, 2013

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Last week we held a webinar with Jay Baer and Jamie Beckland on the topic of hyper-knowing your audience so that you can create truly relevant and useful content and experiences. During the registration process, we encouraged people to submit a question and said that if their’s was answered during the webinar, they would win one of ten free, autographed copies of Jay Baer’s book, Youtility.

We were pretty excited to receive a lot of really great questions which was an indication that this topic is relevant and something our own audience is very interested in. It also provided the data, or input, we needed in order to customize the webinar content for our attendees. So, thank you to everyone who submitted a question!

In case you missed it, here’s a link to the recorded webinar and you’ll find answers to the ten questions we selected below:

How do I get people who don’t have a relationship with my brand to log in to my site without fear of having their FB info abused?

Trust is critical, and especially in this situation. The first step is think about whether your website and online presence feels and looks trustworthy. If “people like me” visit and trust your site that is like a social endorsement for you so find ways to promote user-generated content, testimonials, reviews, etc.

Equally important is what we call the “give to get”. This is about the value exchange between what you give site visitors in order to get data. Are you offering a highly relevant and delightful experience, or high-value content if they register on your site?

The value of what you’re offering must be seen as worth giving you permission to access personal information.

my account

Marketing continues to try to sell as much as possible. If this is what people are going away from, why does marketing still exist?

Consumers aren’t going away from marketing, as in most relationships, they just want dinner and a movie first. Marketing without relevance and value is what people won’t tolerate. Marketing that sells indirectly still works. Marketing sideways – not head on.

Buying a car seat is an overwhelming, confusing process for new parents. People don’t know where to start in selecting one, but this is an important decision to get right since it determines the safety of your child in an accident. The Phoenix Children’s Hospital guides parents to the right choice using their mobile app. The Hospital doesn’t sell or license car seats, but this connects back to their mission to be helpful to parents and helping to keep kids safe.

car seat helper

This isn’t about the Hospital’s products or services or why you should consider them. It’s providing information related to their brand that is useful for their audience. This is marketing sideways.

Columbia Sportswear’s mobile app, What Knot To Do In The Greater Outdoors, is another perfect example of creating useful content that isn’t all about their brand, but is related and highly useful and relevant to their audience.

knot categories

Beyond delivering a more targeted offer to individuals, what are some real-world examples where companies are using personal data to truly personalize the experience?

Once you fully know your audience, there are many vehicles besides targeted advertising where you can reach out to them and provide relevant content.

In our Lady Gaga example, they have identified how strong of a fan individuals are so that they develop a rich profile on these people. With this information, they can segment the audience and deliver more targeted email communications based on loyalty. Super fans as identified by the fan’s actions and behaviors like number of YouTube videos watched, time on site or Facebook photos shared can then receive different messages, offers and announcements from new fans.

What is more important: giving useful information to your customers or to collect information about your customer’s behavior?

These hold equal importance. The information or content you provide allows you to collect more information, and the information you collect allows you to learn more about your audience in order to provide more useful information.

The more they share with you and you use it to create new content or experiences, the more they want to share with you because they see the value exchange. The more you use this information to improve relevancy, the stronger your relationship becomes.

How can you tell which stage of the buying cycle the customer is in using data sources?

The best indicator comes from your website analytics. If your content is structured in such a way that you’re leading visitors on a journey, you can look at what type of content they’re reading and downloading to better understand where they’re at as they move from Awareness to Research phases, etc.

How would you get your customer to trust that you are not going to share their information with a third party?

Be very transparent. In your terms of service agreement or privacy policy, disclose how the data will be used. If you’re only using the data collected for your own purposes and not selling it or passing to along to others, that’s a huge message to trumpet and build trust. Put that information right in the Sign Up form to build trust and encourage registration. See how our customer, Channel 4 in the UK, handles this with their Viewer’s Promise.

Apart from the dynamic display of content based on customer profile and behavior, could you talk about the slower process of analyzing the data sources to determine what useful content should be produced? What are the steps to this process?

Starts with analysis of your customer’s profile plus the content you already have, and map your touchpoints with available content. Look at interests, like movies, to create personas that can be utilized to evaluate whether content will be relevant and important to different personas.

Hopefully you have existing content to feed your personas. If not, the next step is to develop the content and test it against your audience. Producing “snackable” content allows you to test content and themes to see what’s resonating most with your audiences.

Should brands be concerned about appearing to know too much about their first-time users?

Don’t be a data creeper! Give your audience visibility into the data you’re collecting and the control to edit access permissions to their personal information. If you manage one brand that is part of a larger family of brands that shares information and users (our Dr Pepper Snapple Group customer comes to mind here with their various brands), provide context as to the relationship they may have with one brand and how that sharing of information improves their experience with other brands.

Always be transparent and work to build trust.

As a content marketer, my goal is to identify, create and publish content that delights customers at every point of the customer lifecycle. What are some “best practices” for identifying and delivering content to engage my target customers at the very beginning of the customer lifecycle — before they’re even aware of the pain or the need to look for a solution (that my product is built to deliver)?

For top-of-funnel content, you’ll be educating your audience to bring awareness to their unrealized problems. Consider conducting and publishing research that uncovers a common problem that is related to your solution.

Also, many tools exist to help you identify how people might search for a solution like yours. With this information, you can develop content for publishers and event organizers with the goal of educating the market.

How do you know the best vehicle to deliver content in? Is video now dominant over text or is there a balanced approach to maximize visibility?

Don’t put the cart before the horse: don’t decide you need a video before you identify your customer’s needs and look at the best way to fulfill that need. Reflecting back on the carseat app, the Hospital could have provided the information in a variety of ways from a website or blog, or at an event. They knew that their audience was likely to have a smartphone and that the information would be needed (and most useful) at the time of decision-making, which happens in the store.

Think about the problem you’re trying to solve and how your audience would use the content.

Thanks again to everyone who submitted a question. We hope you enjoyed the webinar! As we mentioned, we’ll try to answer more questions here in our blog so stay tuned for more.

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About the author

Gina Rau

Gina Rau

Marketing Communications Manager

With almost 20 years of marketing success, Gina is a brand engagement specialist who seeks out creative solutions for every marketing challenge. Her work has delivered results for leading brands like Whole Foods, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, JCPenney, Tillamook Creamery and more. At Janrain, she leads the charge to make sure our company, products and services shine through our messaging and content.

View all posts by Gina Rau