[PODCAST] Customer-Centric Marketing in the Age of Assistance

customer-centric marketing

JSB Talks Digital Podcast #117

JSB Talks Digital is a weekly digital marketing and social media podcast hosted by author, strategist, consultant, speaker and trainer Joanne Sweeney-Burke. Each Friday Joanne shares her digital marketing and social media insights from her work as CEO of Digital Training Institute. 

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In this episode #117, I’m discussing the Age of Assistance and why customer-centricity will help you in the digital battle ground.

* In social media news:

  •  Social media platforms will be forced to take terrorist content off their sites within an hour or face fines under new EU proposals
  •  LinkedIn is cracking down on fake profiles
  • YouTube to launch vertical video ads

* I interview Daniel Solomons, founder of Byte Behaviour and former head of the Google Digital Academy about his theory of The Alexacist and why marketing needs humans more than ever before

* Shoutouts: Three ways to delight your audiences with assistive marketing and I take a look at who’s doing it well

* Ask JSB

* In JSB’s column: Marketing magic: assistance is the way to a customer heart, mind and dollars

* And find out what assistive tool saved my working week


EU Commission moves on new legislation to force social networks to remove terrorist content immediately

Social media platforms will be forced to take terrorist content off their sites within an hour or face fines under new EU proposals.

The European Commission is proposing legislation to ensure all member states bring in sanctions against those who repeatedly fail to respond to the new removal orders within an hour of them being issued, with platforms facing penalties of up to 4% of their global revenue.

The Commission believes the legislation will come into statute across the EU in 2019.

Speaking to The Guardian, Julian King, the British security commissioner in Brussels said:

“Every attack over the last 18 months or two years has had an online dimension. Either inciting or in some cases instructing, providing instruction, or glorifying.”


LinkedIn is cracking down on fake profiles

LinkedIn is following in the social media footsteps of Facebook and Twitter by cracking down on fake profiles.

The problem is so bad according to LinkedIn, their processes recently blocked five million suspicious accounts from being created within a single day.

Writing in a blog post, the company announced they’ve detected a major issues with automated fake accounts.

Fake profiles are set up for a number of reasons including:

  • Scraping information and data
  • Spamming
  • Fraud
  • Phishing

“One of the ways we maintain a safe and trusted professional community on LinkedIn is by requiring that every LinkedIn profile must uniquely represent a real person. One of the ways we ensure that accounts are real is by building automated fake account detection systems at scale for detecting and taking action against fake accounts. These allow us to protect our members from bad activity by bad actors.”

LinkedIn’s outlined its detection process in a graphic.


YouTube to launch vertical video ads

YouTube is going vertical – well for its ads at least. Jumping on the back of vertical trends from Snapchat and Instagram, YouTube is the third social network to introduce immersive full screen video.

The move comes as video on mobile continues to outgrow desktop. The company says over 70% of YouTube watch time happens on mobile devices.

YouTube says:

“Vertical video ads provide a big, beautiful canvas to deliver your message on mobile and allow engagement with your customers in a way that fits their viewing preferences.

When it comes to vertical videos, YouTube advises advertisers to avoid core messaging in the top 10% and bottom 25% of the video. Those are the areas most frequently cropped.

According to industry sources, Hyundai is the first brand to try this format, and when combined with traditional horizontal formats it can yield up to 33% uplift in brand awareness and a 12% uptick in purchase consideration.



Customer-Centric MarketingIn this episode, I interview Daniel Solomons, founder of Byte Behaviour and former head of the Google Digital Academy.

Byte Behaviour is a corporate training company. Their mission is to help people and organisations learn to adapt and thrive in a disruptive, ever-changing digital world.

Daniel says education is core to all transformation. It’s key to driving the long term behaviour change needed to succeed in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business landscape.

Whether it’s people and skills, marketing strategy, or leading the changes in organisation and culture, Byte Behaviour works with senior leaders to diagnose, define, design and deliver the education programmes that help them recognise the digital transformation opportunity and lead the change needed to propel their teams and business forward.

Byte Behaviour is a corporate training company, created by Daniel Solomons, the former head of the Google Digital Academy. Using more than 20 years’ experience of advertising and marketing, Daniel led a team that designed and delivered ground-breaking, transformational education programmes and workshops for advertisers, agencies and Googlers across EMEA, including the award-winning Squared programme.

Whilst working at Google, Daniel developed an interest and passion for the cultural, behavioural and organisational aspects of digital transformation. He set up Byte Behaviour to focus on helping companies thrive in a digital age through leading the changes in people, culture and communications, especially at C-level and senior executive level.

In this interview we discuss a recent article he wrote titled The Alexacist which discusses the role of humans in marketing in a technological disruptive age.



In this part of the show I give shoutouts to brands, organisations or individuals whose work online is remarkable and worth talking about.

In this episode, I’m sharing three technologies that are shaping the age of assistance and three organisations leveraging them to be more assistive to their customers.

We are at an amazing time in the history of business and technology. Last year, Google shared that we are only 1% of the way to how technology will transform our lives and businesses, in their opinion of course.

But as the trailblazers in technology and the masters of observing consumer behaviour they are very well placed to be making assertions as big as that one.

These three technologies will continue to disrupt businesses and brands as we know them today.

1) Extra Storage Space provides a highly personalised mobile experience

Extra Space Storage® Inc., is the US’ second-largest operator of self-storage. The company believes that everyone is a potential customer and that the most valuable ones are increasingly on their mobile devices. In response to the on-the-go nature of its customers, the company focused on developing a great mobile experience. Extra Space Storage started by exploring who its customers are and then analysed how they interact with its mobile website.

Just five years ago, Extra Space Storage allocated the majority of its marketing budget to print, running ads in printed directories. Today, it’s a different story;

35% of its budget goes to mobile—an increase from single digits just 18 months earlier.

To better understand the nature of its varied customers, Extra Space Storage looked to data. Gathering background information from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Census, Google AdWords, and more, the company developed different customer profile types, ultimately recognizing what drives specific customers to make a purchase.

Using real-time data, the site was built to intuitively respond to particular types of customers, featuring different actions for different customers. For a “fast and logical” customer, for example, the “call now” action is made more prominent. For a “slow and emotional” customer, the pop-up chat box appears sooner.

The results speak for themselves:

  •  24% increase in total mobile conversions
  •  53% increase in conversions from mobile phone calls
  •  33% growth of paid search conversions from mobile

Read the full case study

2) Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is all about the experience. AR is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time.

AR is used particularly well by retailers to improve the shopping experience.

Chairish, a San Francisco-based online curated marketplace for vintage furniture and décor, made a great use of AR.

By running Instagram “Design Challenges” that use their app’s “Try Before You Buy” augmented reality feature they made buying a lot easier and interactive.

Co-founder Anna Brockway – “We invite our 130,000 design-loving followers to create a space using items from our 250,000+ inventory of world-class vintage and antique furniture, decor, and art. We provide a blank space (living rooms, entryways, and dining rooms) and in just a few quick swipes, our followers become interior designers by taking a screenshot of the blank space and dropping in their favorite chic and unique Chairish items.”

3) Voice


Did you know that 20% of mobile queries in the Google App are voice?

Customer-Centric Marketing





Voice is becoming the norm.

The Google Assistant is a virtual assistant powered by artificial intelligence that is primarily available on mobile and smart home devices.

Flash Briefings on the Amazon Alexa-powered speaker are audio recordings of up to 10 minutes.

Saying, “Alexa, what’s in the news?” or “Alexa, play my Flash Briefing” are just two of many ways you can invoke the Flash Briefing.

I’m currently setting up one for this podcast as promos for people to tune into the longer versions. In fact, 1-minute briefings are the most listened to.

Customer-Centric Marketing



Customer-Centric MarketingIn this week’s ASK JSB, Vikki wants to know how you can be more assistive to your customers needs on a low-cost budget.

If you have a digital marketing or social media question, don’t forget you will have it answered on the show by using the hashtag #AskJSB on Twitter or Instagram. You can also leave me a voicemail with your question at www.digitaltraininginstitute.ie/askjsb.

And you can also post a message on any of my social networks!



In today’s JSB’s column I discuss marketing magic: why assistance on mobile is the way to a customer’s heart, mind and dollars.

To offer truly effective mobile marketing content, you have to have an accurate idea of what’s going through the minds of your target consumers.  You need to understand their consumer behaviour.

This doesn’t just mean the latest trends, buying factors, and seasonal impacts. It also means being able to account for consumers’ predictable behaviour patterns. When it comes to mobile marketing, that means two key areas. Making the buyer’s journey convenient and accounting for consumers with multiple devices.

Consumer Behaviour – Can consumers go through the buyer’s journey from start to finish on a mobile device?

The buyer’s journey is a useful organisational tool.  It helps show how prospective customers go from consumers with a specific problem to buyers finalizing their purchases. The framework isn’t just for mobile marketing. It should affect all of your marketing decisions from inbound marketing to how you interact with recurring customers. The three main steps in the buyer’s journey are:

1. ? The awareness stage: Consumers know they have a problem. But they might not know what the precise problem is or how to start solving it.

2. ? The consideration stage: Consumers now know more about their problem and potential solutions. At this point, they’re researching specific vendors, comparing products, and looking for the best solution.

3. ? The decision stage: Consumers have a final list of options to select the right product or service. They make the purchase.

If your company is a trustworthy content provider during each of these stages, you are more likely to have a prominent place in the consumer’s list when they reach the decision stage. If you can help consumers spend as little time as possible in the buyer’s journey, your company is even more valuable.

The best way to help consumers from start to finish is to make sure they can go through all three stages on your mobile site.

More and more people are turning to search engines to solve immediate problems.

Whether they have a broken washing machine, a virus on their computer or want inspiration for dinner, they are going to look for the answer on their phones.

So we must provide awareness content, as well as articles and videos that offer assistance and simply just don’t sell.

Make sure your consumers can easily engage with your content or your product with as few clicks or taps as possible. If you serve them well in the earlier stages of the funnel, they will reward you with sales and loyalty.

If you want to discuss your digital marketing strategy then get in touch. Drop me an email to [email protected].


Social Media Tool of the Week

The social media tool that saved my working week this week is Google Home.

Google Home is a brand of smart speaker developed by Google.

Google Home allows users to give voice commands to interact with services through the Google Assistant.

The Google Assistant integrated into Google Home can engage in two-way conversations.

We used it throughout our mobile masterclass at Google’s Digital Academy last week to play music during our breaks. Also, to illustrate how the assistant can be used.

I love feedback!

Thank you for tuning into episode #117 of JSB Talks Digital. If you are a regular listener I would love a review!

As always, I have everything discussed on today’s show on my award-winning blog at digitaltraining.ie. My blog has now reached the shortlist for the 2018 Blog Awards.

Digital Training Institute entered in two categories – Best B2B Blog and Best Marketing & Communications Blog – so hopefully we will be finalists when announced in a few weeks!

Don’t forget we are now on Google Podcasts reaching more Android users. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Libsyn, Stitcher or Soundcloud.

If you are interested in becoming a digital marketing pro and work in the public sector, check out my new Diploma in Digital Communications for Public Sector at: https://publicsectormarketingpros.com/diploma/

I also have a dedicated monthly podcast, released on the first of each month for you guys!

The doors are open so you can join anytime.

Thank you for continuing to listen and don’t forget to get in touch you’re your questions. I love hearing from my listeners, don’t be a social media stranger!

Tweet me to @tweetsbyJSB; post a comment on our Facebook Page; Digital Training Institute. you can also snap me at jsbsnaps or why not send a boomerang to jsbgrams.

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