Content marketing: two words with a whole lot of baggage. At Intercom, John Collins has worked tirelessly to make editorial content impactful again.
An interview with John Collins, Director of Content at Intercom, the innovative customer messaging platform. In his role, Collins has overseen the transformation of the company’s content marketing initiatives, including the launch of actual hardcover books. How can we produce meaningful content when consumers are frankly suffering from content fatigue?
- Maria Almeida, Head of Editorial, Unbabel
- Rafaela Cortez, Editorial Manager, Unbabel
John Collins: The fact of the matter is no one really cares what marketers think. They want to, you know, if you’re reading an article about design, you don’t want to see it written by the, you know, the content marketing team. You want to see it written by a designer.
Maria Almeida: That’s John Collins, Director of Content at Intercom. We’ve been following his work for what feels like forever, and that’s because Intercom does content marketing a little bit differently. Think more newsroom, less marketing team. More quality content, less “0 to a million customers in just 3 simple steps”. His team is made of editors, not content marketing managers. They publish books. Actual hardcover books! And the best part — it works!
John Collins: There's huge amount of content out there that's produced and it doesn't get read, it doesn't get listened to, it doesn't get watched. And I think it's because people are afraid to have an opinion and when they start producing content and kind of goes back to the use of that term, they think they kind of have to play it safe and they don't want to, you know, they want to piss anyone off or annoy anyone. But like the reality is if you don't have an opinion, why is someone going to read it?
Maria Almeida: In the five years he’s been there, he’s grown the editorial team into a smooth operation of ten editors, who look after all of Intercom’s content — a constantly updated blog, several podcasts and books, all kinds of gated content, social media, and newsletters.
I’m Maria Almeida.
Rafaela Cortez: And I’m Rafaela Cortez.
Maria Almeida: And welcome to the Customer Centric Podcast, an original podcast from Unbabel where we’re bringing humanity back to the customer experience, one conversation at a time.
On this episode, what happens when you do content, and only then marketing.
John Collins: Well, this kind of job didn't exist when I was a kid. It just wasn't a thing. Eh, I just wanted to be, I wanted to be a journalist and, uh, I think I probably saw myself, uh, probably roaming around war zones or something. Um, but, you know, I think once I Uh, once I graduated and started working as a journalist, I actually just really, um, gravitated towards covering technology really, really, really early on. And it was the mid nineties. The internet was coming out. Um, you know, I remember dialing onto the internet like the, the early web in 95 and just like reading all this stuff about like techno music, which I was really into at the time, and like, been able to connect with people in Berlin. And then it was just like, this blew my mind.
Rafaela Cortez: You've been at Intercom for 5 years, right? Why did you join?
John Collins: Why did I join? Well, my background is I worked as a journalist and editor for almost 20 years. Um, and I suppose, you know, five, six years ago, I just really decided I wanted to get out of the media world. Uh, I think unfortunately, you know, journalism has never been more widely read, but like, the business model is, is terrible. Um. And you know, people are being forced to do way more, you know, produce way more content with much less resources.
And so I think that's why we're seeing some of the issues with quality journalism and, and trust in journalism, et cetera. So I really just decided I want to try and move on and look for a new challenge. Eh, I'd covered technology for most of my career. And so I kind of knew Intercom and knew that they'd just closed a series B round of funding.
So I thought, Hey, look, that's a really interesting, exciting company. I reached out to them and said, you know, maybe you're looking for a comms guy or something. And Owen, our CEO and co-founder said, no, we're, we're actually looking for someone to come and edit our blog. And I think he'd be really good for the job.
And I was like, why? Why would I edit the blog? I'd be bored after, you know, three months. And he said, now, let's meet and have a chat about it, and Des Traynor is one of his other co-founders, he's our chief strategy officer. They very much did have the vision though, for what content could do for Intercom. And they'd seen, you know, companies like HubSpot really, really successfully build that inbound model all around content. So, yeah. Signed on for that, and joined Intercom that was just over 60 people, I think when I joined, uh, we're over 600 now. I think we were like at about 2 million ARR at the time, and we're, we're significantly north of that now, at the moment.
Maria Almeida: Um, I mean, I have a similar experience, I have a background in journalism and I couldn't help but notice that in your Twitter bio, um, you have that you’re a “recovered journo.”. I'd like to ask you if your experience as a journalist scar you for life? Was it that bad?
John Collins: Uh, you know, particularly, I think that was probably a reference to a lot, a lot of former journalists on Twitter who would be very opinionated about the news and things like that. And I think also it kind of goes to the fact that journalism is, I think, uh, somewhat of a vocation. It's something you really want, want to do. And I always wanted to be a journalist from when I was a kid. Um, but I think that also hampers it somewhat as well, because at the end of the day, it is a business.
And I think that's the real problem at the moment. The business model is broken. And as I, as I say, I used to sort of, you know, write and edit things and produce content to sell newspapers and digital subscriptions. Now I write, edit and produce content to sell software. Um, and I think that, you know, there is a kind of this artificial distinction, and I think sometimes journalists can can, can rail at the whole, just the term content, which I don't love, I don't love the fact that we call it the creative stuff. We make content, but you know, unfortunately there's, there's not a better shorthand. Um, but I think journalists sometimes do look down their nose a better content marketing, even though I think it's, um, you know, when done well, it's, it's, it's, it's a really valid discipline and I think it's a really good, good use of people's skills.
Rafaela Cortez: Why don’t you like the term content?
John Collins: I think it kind of do means or devalues actually what you're producing. Uh, so we don't, we kind of moved away from a content marketing job titles. Even at Intercom, we kind of try and avoid using the term too much internally. So we have editors and producers on the team, not content marketing managers.
We talk about like we do books, we don't do eBooks, even though they are available electronically and obviously we do print versions of some of them as well. We talk about like articles rather than blogs. I just think a lot of that terminology really sort of, it really demeans like what you're producing and it's almost just like ticking a box or filling a cell in a spreadsheet. You're not really thinking about the quality of what you're producing and that is the problem with content marketing. There's just an awful lot of poor quality content out there that doesn't get read.
Rafaela Cortez: Burroughs said that “I think all writers write for an audience. There's no such thing as writing for yourself.” Do you think that's why you companies struggle with content marketing because they're writing for themselves and not their audience or what they think their audience wants to read.
John Collins: No, absolutely. I think that's, that's a huge problem. It's, it's basically inward looking and self-referential and like, why would, why would anyone want to read it? All of the strikes fear into my heart when people, um. Say their CEO is like, is got the veto on what they publish on their, on their blog. Because again, you know, the CEO's job is not to to be thinking about like, you know, opinionated, interesting content or, you know, the CEO's job is to keep the company on a, you know, an even keel and, and grow at, et cetera. And so they're not going to be wanting to take risks with the content or create like content that maybe you know, is opinionated and that is the kind of things that people want to read. They're going to create safe content and they're going to want to, why does it, why isn't it like they're obsessed with our company? Why isn't everyone else interested in that? Like, and unfortunately it's called earned media for a reason. You do need to earn people's attention and, and trust, uh, and hopefully build up the loyalty that results in them becoming a customer.
Maria Almeida: And how, how have you gotten to know your audience and the topics that interest them the most?
John Collins: Well, when I started, we actually didn't have a marketing team. We literally had just hired Matt Hodgins who became our VP of marketing. And so I sat on the customer success team reporting to Des Traynor, our co-founder, who had, you know, written himself the first 93 of 100 blog posts that were on Inside Intercom, and he had sort of like run the content program.
I had the vision for where it might go, and so it made sense for me to report to him. But that also meant that actually when it got busy, and I apologize to any Intercom customers from 2014, but when it got busy, I would be in the inbox answering customer's problems. I was like, seeing what kind of like queries are coming into the inbox through the messenger.
And so that really gave me a really good sense of like, you know, what, what, what, what a concern in these people, who are our customers. And the other thing, and you know, I'm here at web summit and, you know, sometimes it can be hard to justify actually getting out of the office and attending a conference, but I really found in the, in the early days actually just like being on a stand and like seeing people coming up to the stand and what are the questions they have about Intercom, like what's their perception of Intercom?
That was really, really, really helpful. And just, I think just generally, just making sure you kind of have those, those feedback loops. The other, the other thing that was of course, really, really powerful is we then did our own events and our own world tour in 2016 and 2017 where we actually invited customers, went to the different cities around Europe and the U S and even went to Sydney and Canada, et cetera. And just really like, you know, meeting large groups of customers and talking to them face to face is huge, huge value in that. I mean, Intercom, like our mission is to make web business personal, and I think that kind of, you know, very much speaks to that. Actually getting out and actually speaking to customers.
John Collins: I think it's, it's very much figuring out like what the challenges and the issues that I think the customer is facing and, and trying to try to address them and try to try and talk about them openly. And ideally it should be about, you know, at least at some level trying to try and have a conversation or start a conversation. Uh, it's, it's not, uh, it's definitely one of those things I think you can do early on. It's like the. Uh, Paul Graham thing of like do things that aren't scalable. It's definitely not scalable, but you just have to try and keep those lines of communication with customers open as much as possible.
Maria Almeida: Um, and how does your team work?
John Collins: Sure. So we have a team of 10 at the moment. We're split into sort of, uh, three, three pillars. We have like a, the audiences group who think about the audiences that we're serving and we're trying to sell to. So for Intercom, that’s customer support sales and marketing. Um, so that, that team, uh, they really, really try and get to know that space.
Like, what are the challenges that the people in that space are facing? Like, who are the interesting guests we might want to have on the podcast from the marketing world or the customer support world, et cetera. We then have an enablement team who makes sure that we're putting our content into the formats that like our sales team need are like, we're producing the kind of content that our sales team need, our, that our other partners in marketing need for campaigns and other, other, uh, other activities like that.
And then the the third piece is kind of our, our specialist channels, which are like our podcast and SEO, et cetera, which are kind of almost like functions that, you know, support everyone else. But they're, they're quite specialized, so they, they kind of need a, we have a dedicated podcast producer and a dedicated SEO person on the team, so it makes sense that they're providing kind of like almost services to the rest of the team.
Rafaela Cortez: Did you come up with the growth editor job title inside the editorial team?
John Collins: Yeah, so very much, uh, I think, you know, we had a lot of success early on, so, you know, back in 2014 when I started, I think the, the kind of very SEO driven model of content marketing was well established and like HubSpot were absolutely nailing it and, or continue to absolutely nail it. I think, eh, you know, many people have copied that model.
And even back then in 2014 it was like, well, how do we stand out from the crowd? And so we very much focused on like quality editorial content, having an opinion, you know, really just making sure that that like the articles, the podcasts we produce were going to be of a quality that people would want to listen to them. And if you're creating something that people want to listen to or read, it's much easier to market that and to distribute that.
Uh, but that gets you to a certain point. And obviously we've gone through a lot of growth, and so we needed to introduce a role to the team where we have someone who's actually thinking about growing the audience all the time and getting more eyeballs and more listeners onto our content.
Rafaela Cortez: Do you think the fact that those that Des, the co-founder was really close to the publication side of things help grow the editorial team so much in the past five years?
John Collins: Definitely, definitely helps. Both Des and Owen and even Ciaran, our CTO, like all the, all the senior people in the company when I joined, they like, they really, really didn't just say, Hey, let's do content. They were doing it. They were writing stuff. People in the company could see the value of it, like people wanted it to be published on the blog and still today, like people, even new joiners, they'll say that they joined because they heard a podcast or listen to the podcast, or they like read a blog post or something. And so there's just a real culture which came from the top of like, this is, this is valuable, this is not, it drives me crazy when people come in and say, can we talk to you about like how you do content marketing and we want to do something similar? And then it kind of turns out that they're like, you're not going to write articles in the evening, are they going to get an intern in to write articles? And you're just like, what other part of marketing or other part of your business do you kind of think that you can do in your spare time? You know you can't.
So like content marketing is hugely, hugely popular, but just like everything else, like you don't expect to get ads for free from Google. So you know, you have to invest in content marketing.
Rafaela Cortez: Yeah, I mean, everyone thinks writing's easy.
John Collins: Well, everyone can write, not everyone can write well.
Maria Almeida: Um, I have a question that's nothing related to what we were talking before, but I mean, you have a lot of different people, often different teams writing articles and also participating in what you do. How does it work? Do you go to them and ask them if they want to write, does the idea come from them?
John Collins: It really, really varies. So, um, I mean, I suppose where we're coming from with that in terms of like having so many different subject matter experts, uh, involved in producing content is that, you know, the, the fact of the matter is no one really cares what marketers think. They want to, you know, if you're reading an article about design, you don't want to see it written by the, you know, the content marketing team. You want to see it written by a designer.
Now, in terms of how we actually do that, eh, it varies massively. Obviously, we have some people at Intercom who are like fantastic writers, um, and they've been writing for the blog for five, six years. And you know, there's really just a standard editorial process that they go through and my team, like edit their, their copies, make sure it's like, you know, just check for any errors or spellchecking and that kind of stuff. But then you might have other people who are not, you know, good writers, but they actually really, really are deep thinkers about their, their art and what they do.
And so maybe it's a case of actually just getting into a room with them and white-boarding and the idea that they have for a talker or an article. And other times we'll literally just interview people and write it up for them. It really varies, varies massively, but I think that's like, that is the role of a content marketer in, in our kind of operation is. Getting the ideas and the knowledge that's in your organization and getting it out into the world. And, you know, marketers aren't communicators at the end of the day. And so that's, that's our skill. Um, but it's not necessarily our skill to be subject matter experts on our business.
Rafaela Cortez: Yeah. I think our role is editors is mainly just help people share their story or whatever their message is. I think if we can do that and keep their voice, which is sometimes really hard because if you're trying to, some takes, here are some fix there. It's really easy to kind of just completely change the tone of voice. I think preserving that is a really, really good challenge.
John Collins: Yeah, no, absolutely. And we look, just make sure we have different sort of channels that people can get involved with. You know, we've had people who are just fantastic at interviewing for like podcasts, but they just find it really hard, say to sit down and write like a 1200 word article. So, you know, just make sure you have those, those channels and give people the chance to share their knowledge.
Maria Almeida: But I also find it interesting that you have a lot of different categories. So it's not just writing about, you know, customer support and marketing and all those verticals that you're in, but you also write about product, you also write about design and your own internal knowledge. Um, is, is that still part of your strategy to get more customers, or is it just because you like it?
John Collins: There's a part of it where it very much speaks to the, I suppose that that the heritage of, of Intercom, I don't know, that seems funny for a software company, but very much to the, to the soul of what we do like we're, we're a product first company. We're a very product led company where like, you know, Des and Owen, we're, we're designers, so like we really pride ourselves on having a good or the best product design we can. And so I think, yes, there's part of it where it's like, we want to do this.
But actually it makes a lot of sense if you think about it in that, you know. Um, quite a big part of our customer base are startups. Um, and particularly in the early days, it was almost entirely startups with a few exceptions. Um. And so if we were sharing what we learned, uh, on our journey, you know, it really, that, that kind of content really, really resonated with them, I think, I think it was Reid Hoffman who said, eh, you know, starting a startup is like jumping off a cliff and you're building the plane as you fall. And I think. If you can help someone, you know, build the wing, if you can tell them like, Hey, here's what we learned about wing building and actually, you know, share that very openly with people. It resonates massively.
Like one of the massive, massive hits we had in the early days, and it's probably been read about a quarter of a million times at this stage, was a post by Paul Adams, our senior VP of product who, basically shared everything about how about how we build software. Like what does a week look like for the, for the product team in, in, in Intercom a high, do they draw a drop the road map? How do they prioritize what to build? And like really, really shared everything. Um, a lot of people are like, why you, why are you sharing that so openly? Like you're giving an advantage to your competitors. And, um, you know, the reality is information is not what's important. It's actually how you go about and implement that and how do you actually deliver on it. And so I think any sort of Uh, things that we shared with competitors were far outweighed by the benefit we got from that article, which is like, even today would still generate like hundreds of views a month.
Rafaela Cortez: I think transparency is a big policy for content. You were saying earlier that you feel like journalists are very opinionated. Do you think that transpires to the work you're doing now?
John Collins: I like to think so. I like to think so. I mean, uh, as I said, there's huge amount of content out there that's produced and it doesn't get read, it doesn't get listened to, it doesn't get watched. And I think it's because people are afraid to have an opinion and when they start producing content and kind of goes back to the use of that term, they think they kind of have to play it safe and they don't want to, you know, they want to piss anyone off or annoy anyone. But like the reality is if you don't have an opinion, why is someone going to read it? It's, it's, it's ad copy then or it's something else. But it's not certainly not what I would view as as content marketing. Having an opinion doesn't mean you have to be angry or contrarian all the time. But it does mean that you might like to suggest something that not everyone in your industry agrees with, or at least, you know, move on to thinking in your industry a little bit.
And I think that's, um, that's definitely something that journalists are skilled at. Journalists definitely happen and can bring to, to content marketing.
Rafaela Cortez: And have you pissed someone off?
John Collins: Yeah. I had a growth, wrote an article called growth hacking is bullshit. A few years ago. That certainly got a bit of few people riled on hacker news, but eh, you know, it's rare enough that we are, maybe are that direct and that sort of confrontational. But yeah. You know, people will disagree with our views. And I think that's important. Like in reality is not everyone's a good fit for your product. Like, we don't want everyone to be a customer because like we have, like our product has opinions about how to do customer support or how to do sales and marketing, and there are just certain companies that are not going to benefit from that.
So actually when you think about it, content marketing is as much about sort of repelling the wrong potential customers as it is about attracting the right ones, you know? And they should be that connection between like your marketing, all of your marketing, but particularly your content marketing and your products so that when people then sign up for the product, it's not like what's this totally different world I've just entered.
Rafaela Cortez: Actually, that makes me think of a like a couple of times where someone commented on our Facebook where we just share that article. They're like, Oh, I really disagree with that. And we were so happy because one that was just, people are reading, and two you're starting a conversation, you're gonna meet people don't exactly agree with your opinions.
John Collins: Yup. Absolutely. And I think that's, that's gold, you know, because actually when you do enter into that conversation, and I think sometimes, you know, it's maybe a little bit scary sometimes at the start where you're like, Oh my God, there's someone like giving out on our corporate Facebook page. But actually, as you say, when you then engage with them, you know, and have a reasoned discussion, it's really, really valuable.
Maria Almeida: In a recent article that I read, um, at Inside Intercom, I'm not calling it a blog, you wrote that the first law of content marketing is that publishing is an expensive business. No matter how hard you tried to circumvent it. The first level will always come back and bite you. So how can you ensure that you have the best return? Because this is obviously, you know, an expensive strategy. You have a whole team just producing, uh, articles and podcasts and books and so on. Um, and how do you break from the noise? Like how, how do you stand out?
John Collins: Well, I think in terms of the return investment piece, uh. For us, it was very much about making sure that we're measuring the right things at the right time. And so back when I joined the team in 2014 we would have very much just like, the whole goal of that point was to see like, could we bring in an editor and start to scale the production of these articles, which were very much written by the subject matter experts in the company. And like, could I bring that editorial discipline and process and actually say, go from producing one of these a week, which Des was usually writing to like, Oh, let's produce two, three.
Uh, so it was really like, for the first year, it was largely about the doing and seeing could we still maintain the quality. Obviously we were looking at things like social media mentions and the amount of shares and stuff we were getting and just maybe like overall traffic, but we certainly weren't thinking about things like leads or like MQL is even, or you know. What kind of leads you were getting. Whereas now we very much are. And I think that's, that's something about content marketing that as it evolves, eh, the function evolves for you. You have to start to measure different things. So now we very much, yes, we have a team of 10, but like we very much measure like, what are we delivering for the business?
I have a lead number that we carry every, every quarter, a traffic number that we carry every quarter. Um, and I think that's, that's how we think about the, the, the return on the investment.
Rafaela Cortez: Yeah. And you're working with all these formats, so books, not eBooks, and guides and the articles and the podcasts. Do you think these things out like in advance, or is it more an organic thing where you think, “Oh, there's a decent amount of engagement, but there's an article, maybe we should try to do some interviews to do a podcast on it on?
John Collins: Well, I suppose there's a couple of things there. I mean, certainly we would look at how do we always recycle and reuse content? So if something starts off as a blog post, maybe that turns into a conference talk for someone, and then if it's a conference talk, can we get a video out of it? And maybe, maybe it's a theme for a podcast. So I think we are, we are always looking at like, cause as I said, like the first rule of content marketing, it's expensive to produce this stuff. So how do you get the most, the most use out of that? I think that's, that's really, really, really important. Um, so, uh, in terms of the actual editorial calendar, we would actually sit down and plan as well as we can with the rest of marketing and like see what's coming down the product road map. And so, you know, if we're going to have a big customer support release perhaps in Q1, well like we'll start probably producing more customer support content in the run up to that. Uh, we might be talking about some of the issues or you know, some of the things that like, that product release is going to address so that like, people are primed for it, for that release.
But we would have, yeah, we, we'd have a calendar run for about a month in terms of what we're covering. And we always try and make sure we have that mix between the different use cases that people use Intercom for, so sales, marketing support, but also, you know, making sure that we have a good mix as well of those kind of like design and product posts that we do as well.
But we will literally have, like per quarter it would be like, we're going to do x amount of design posts, we're going to do the x amount support posts, et cetera, and, and just map it out like any publication really.
Maria Almeida: I find it interesting as well, because all these different formats that you've been, um, that you've been doing, um. especially the, the podcasts, like did it reach a point where you realized that, you know, some people don't have time to read that many articles and they actually prefer to listen to them?
John Collins: Yeah. So that was, that was kind of like when we launched in 2015. In May, 2015 actually, it was kind of interesting that, you know, at that point there wasn't that many, like not that many brands had podcasts, and now every, every brand has a podcast. And I kind of say to people, if I was doing it, like starting over again now, I might even, I might not even launch a blog. I'd actually probably maybe go straight to a podcast. Um, so it would certainly, it was like, that was our thesis. It was like, let's do 10 episodes. Uh, let's, we, we literally did not spend that much money in terms of equipment or anything. Did it as sort of low cost as we could. And let's just see, is there an audience for like the kinds of things that we were writing about on the blog? Is there an audience for that in audio.
And as you said, you said, you know, yes, there's actually people who want to consume it when they're commuting. People are wanting to consume it when they're at the gym and they don't necessarily always have time to sit down and read an article. So it's, um, it's, it's been one of the, the constant growth factors for us, the podcast. We literally just had our best month, uh, last month, continues to grow in 2018, it was our fastest growing channel. Um, and I think, yeah, there's just, people really just love that format.
And, um. I think you also have to think about like what you're producing on a podcast as well, though. I think it's, it's a great format, but it's not suitable for all types of topics or content. Uh, you know, cause you, it is stuff that people would want to consume when they, like they're their, their hands are tied up doing something else, but they're, their ears are free, so to speak. So like, you know, you're not going to do highly technical at educational content, for instance. Uh, but it is great for those kinds of like, conversations with people that we have and like, yeah. That's kind of the theme of the podcast as well, because Intercom is all about having you have conversations with your customers. So we just do one conversation with someone that we admire in the industry every episode.
Rafaela Cortez: So in a way, you think there's room for experimentation when it comes to editorial. So first let's. Just start looking for an audience. Let's see. Uh, let's build something and try to see if there's a fit for an audience out there.
John Collins: Absolutely. Yeah. I think you just have to figure out for your audience and who you're selling to. Like where are they and how do they like to consume content. Um, and I think, you know, Intercom's really, uh, pretty well known for using jobs to be done as a way to guide our product development. And we'd be like, we even wrote a book Intercom - Jobs to be done, but actually, um.
I've found, you know, personas are also really, really helpful for marketing. Because when you're thinking about like, who you're trying to, to launch your marketing with, you can then start to think about, well, where do those people consume content? Where are they currently hanging out? Like what kinds of things, you know, do, do they like message boards? Do they, you know, are they, is there a popular podcasts in this space? And that gives you a lot more sort of, uh, I think input to actually think about like, what the, what the formats might be.
Rafaela Cortez: Well, that's actually, there's actually a funny story where in one of our recent events, we're pretty much, our personas were there. I was just with a notebook and a pen asking people, what do you like to read? What do you like to listen to? Tell me the names of the podcast. Actually, people were. It was a lot easier for them to remember podcasts that they would listen to then, actually, articles or publications that they kept coming back to.
John Collins: There's a whole theory, We were talking about it internally at the moment, it's like, have we passed peak blog? In the sense of, you know, a couple of years ago, there will be like in this after kind of startup world there, every week there'd be our, every, at least every week there'd be an article ever going to be like, Oh my God, if you read that new Paul Graham article, or Oh my God, if you read this article, and that really doesn't happen as much anymore. I think like in terms of what people are reading, it's got much more fragmented. I see that happening a little bit with podcasts, like there are certain episodes of certain podcasts that people will discuss, but again, it's just like the growth in podcasts and number of podcasts are right there now. That's getting fragmented really, really quickly. And that's a challenge for marketers because it's like you've got all these channels. How do you, how do you prioritize which ones you're going to invest in?
John Collins: One of the lessons I've learned is that people want a silver bullet and expected It's going to work overnight and it's not, I mean, content I’d say, if you're setting up any kind of content program, it's going to take at least two quarters before it pays off. But the great thing about content is it's not like other forms of marketing. Like if you run a campaign on like LinkedIn ads or something like that, the minute you stop paying for those ads, the traffic drops off. The great thing about content is it continues to deliver long after you've published it. And particularly if you kind of go with this evergreen model, which we very much have, which is not trying to write about like current news or events or tie into like what we think people are gonna be searching for, you know, at a particular time of the year and whatever.
That kind of content will continue to generate traffic like months and years after you've published it, which is, which is fantastic. As I say, it's like, yeah, it's a, it's a, an oil tanker. It's not a speedboat.
Maria Almeida: This was another episode of Customer Centric, an original podcast from Unbabel where we're bringing humanity back to the customer experience, one conversation at a time. I’m your host, Maria Almeida.
Rafaela Cortez: And I’m Rafaela Cortez.
Maria Almeida: This episode was produced by Rafaela and myself, and it was scored and mixed by Bernardo Afonso.
You can listen to Customer Centric on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or any podcast app, and subscribe to get these episodes as soon as they come out.
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Rafaela Cortez: Coming up next episode,
Mara Figueiredo: Sometimes it's not just doing the right thing is being effective and efficient when things don't work well cause nobody's perfect. No business is perfect and these things happen. So it's, it's just being prepared for them.”
Rafaela Cortez: That’s Mara Figueiredo, Global Head of Customer Support at Pipedrive, a leading CRM software company. Working in customer service was never part of her plans but more than 20 years later she can’t really imagine herself doing anything else. At Pipedrive, Mara is responsible for customer operations while managing a team of 90 across four different countries.
We talked about how to truly become a customer centric business, the emotional rollercoaster that is being a customer support agent, and the role of automation in customer support.
Mara Figueiredo: And now it’s like we were testing the bots, uh, and, and people were coming to me and saying, don’t kill our baby, cause like, [inaudible] so helpful and he’s doing this and that and like bringing feedback into the conversation.”
Rafaela Cortez: That’s next, on Customer Centric. Thank you for listening, and see you soon!