Top 5 Tips to Getting Ahead of Evolving Customer Expectations

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This is a podcast episode titled, Top 5 Tips to Getting Ahead of Evolving Customer Expectations. The summary for this episode is: <p>As technology has continued to rapidly evolve and enable high-quality experiences, we’ve seen the demand for dynamic customer experiences grow. Still, many marketing teams find themselves using outdated technology and processes that are hindering them from providing more personalized experiences.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>In this Level Up episode, Jordan Kraus (Client Success Partner) and Joe Kaltenthaler (Senior Manager of Lev's Data/Identity Practice) as they outline five practical tips that can help you stay informed on evolving customer expectations and optimize your marketing operations to empower experiences that exceed these expectations. &nbsp;</p>
📈 Technological Advances Are Increasing the Expectation for Great Experiences
01:04 MIN
💭 Tip #1: Have Your Customer's Current Experience At Top of Mind
02:17 MIN
🔂 Customers Know When You Are Rinsing & Repeating Campaigns
00:40 MIN
🏃🏽‍♀️ Tip #2: Stay Ahead of Technology Capabilities to Personalize at Scale
00:46 MIN
🤖 + 🧒 Combining AI and a Human Touch Empowers You to Personalize at a High Level
01:00 MIN
🔒 Balancing Personalization and Privacy to Avoid Being Creepy
00:57 MIN
⛽ Tip #3: Use Great Experiences You've Had to Fuel Your Marketing Program Goals
01:18 MIN
🖨️ It's Okay to Emulate Other Great Experiences to Create Your Own
01:36 MIN
🐦 Wild Birds Unlimited: How They've Personalized Their Online Experience to Make It Just As Valuable As An In-Person Interaction
01:16 MIN
🤔 People Will Always Remember How You Made Them Feel
00:35 MIN
🎁 Tip #4: Reward Your Loyal Customer Through Building a Retention Strategy
01:14 MIN
👨‍👨‍👧‍👧Tip #5: Approach Marketing Capabilities and Strategy with an Inclusive Mindset
01:44 MIN
🦾 How AI Is Empowering More Accessible Experiences
01:08 MIN

Joe: Thank you for joining us for Level Up, the podcast for marketers, by marketers created by Lev that distills best practices and strategies focused on helping marketers increase their experience, 1-UP their strategy, and grow personally and professionally.

Jordan: Thanks, Joe. Well, as we were getting ready for this topic, for the top five tips to get ahead of evolving customer expectations, Joe and I were just having some conversations about how much technology has evolved since we grew up, especially being one of the last generations to grow up without computers and how fast technology has advanced since then. And for us specifically, technology represents some pretty fond memories of games and cool toys in the early nineties that were coming out as things were just being productized. And so as a part of our icebreaker today, getting into this episode, I just have to ask, what was your favorite technology or any fond technology that you remember as a kid?

Joe: Honestly, anything involving Nintendo and gaming. I know I had talked specifically about GameCube and doing a lot with my younger brother playing Super Smash Brothers, but I think back to even something more simple than that, we both got Game Boy colors for Christmas one year.

Jordan: Yes.

Joe: And I remember we weren't able to use them on a big family road trip unless we had that little squiggly flexible light that you could push over because the back light, the screen wasn't back lit.

Jordan: I know exactly what you mean. Yes.

Joe: I have these fond memories. I have these fond memories of us just in the back as my parents are driving us many hours across state lines playing Super Mario and having the little tiny glowy light over the screen, which is just so funny to think about that being an accessory that you would buy at that point, knowing what we have today.

Jordan: It made complete sense. I remember when I got the original PlayStation, how great we thought the graphics were. I remember specifically I had a skiing and snowboarding game where if you were to go down a mountain, the trees would reveal themselves to appear to be 2D. If you went by one of the trees, you could see how it just looked like a little slice of image. And at the time it was the most advanced technology we had for gaming. We thought it was the coolest thing.

Joe: And it's funny to see how just gaming graphics specifically have changed so much, but even just that technologies being used now in filming shows like The Mandalorian, which... Have you watched it? Do you watch that show?

Jordan: I've seen seen bits and pieces, but I've not watched all of The Mandalorian.

Joe: Okay, got you. Well, so this is your suggestion and maybe requirement for the next episode that we're filming together to watch that as homework. But they have such an awesome behind the scenes, almost like a mini- series that specifically talks about how different aspects of the show are made. So they will talk about how the soundtrack was developed and how they used different technology for that. But probably the coolest thing I think that I saw was how they use game engine technology. So how you were talking about trees rendering and looking just a little slice, game graphics are so insane now that now they're using game engine technology for the actual filming of shows like The Mandalorian where you can basically, I'm going to totally butcher this, so this is a suggestion to everybody to go check this out, to catch me on my mistakes here, but they're essentially able to render a digital background. So similar to how the tree was rendering in your example, they're able to have fully digitized and what would normally be a green screen, they're able to put that into the background of a set. They're able to film actors on a set with a giant LED wall behind them. And the fact that they have this game engine technology integrated with the cameras as they shift and move the camera, the perspective of the background changes. And so that's just... We've come a long way from our Game Boy color needing a plug- in light to now being able to do stuff like that. So I would just highly recommend it. It is fascinating. I think it's a 40 or 45 minute mini episode.

Joe: So similar to how we've seen the change in trend of things like gaming engine technology improving at a drastic and almost creepy and astounding rate, we've seen technology continue to change in our modern world. As a result, clients and customers have really high expectations about high qualities of experiences that are now becoming led by that technology change. So they have requirements and have a desire for things to be done right now. We think of Amazon next day delivery and delivery by drones same day. There continues to be this push for technology to create a instant gratification culture that I think we're all aware of. And so it's that need for users and customers to have their needs met right now, that is something that continues to be a expectation that we need to be aware of and get it in front.

Joe: And so with that, I think we can start to jump into our top five tips for today, which is around getting ahead of evolving customer expectations. So, I'm going to kick us off with our first tip and that is number one: To market with your customer's current experience being top of mind. So what does that mean today? When we had been in our earlier conversations about talking about content for the episode, I might get some eye rolls out here in podcast radioland, but it's obvious to state it, but I'm just going to say it. Being aware of the fact that right now the current macroeconomic conditions, a lot of things on LinkedIn you might see today are related to people being laid off or budgets being tighter. A lot of clients and conversations we've been having are related to, "Hey, our team's a little bit smaller, we're a little bit more strapped, or that bigger contract that we had discussed last year, it's actually looking like we have a little bit less budget than we were planning for this year." So, I think a big thing related to this tip is just the phrase of just being aware of the current reality. It's definitely not 2021, it's a tougher time. Hiring is slowing down across the board. So, this is just a reminder to everybody out there to just be aware of things that may not be specifically applying to maybe your company or your situation, but just understanding the entire industry or some larger trends as a whole. This allows you to essentially get ahead and be aware of if you're having a conversation with a client or a customer knowing that this is in the back of their mind subconsciously, that there is this tension that's specifically out there. This just creates a larger need for you to be able to be armed with data to back the personalization or the email campaigns that you're driving or the marketing efforts that you know were spearheading, especially as budgets continue to tighten down as we're in a maintenance mode or we're just in a season of, instead of expansion, we're in maintenance. So being aware of that is a way that allows you to meet your client or your customer where they're at, and provide them with better recommendations or recommendations that may not be in line with, Hey, here's what I was thinking about for huge expansions for phase two, but instead of, Hey, here's a quick win or here's a smaller incremental improvement that may be more palatable given the current time that we're in.

Jordan: I think that's really well said, and I like that you said meet them where they're at because we know from a personalization standpoint that our consumers can tell when they're receiving generic messaging, when they're getting some sort of marketing campaign that is meant to be for a large non- specific group. They can also tell when you are rinsing and repeating a campaign and it doesn't actually fit within the world that we're living in today. I think a really good example of this is when we first started getting into COVID, there was some advertisers who were at the forefront of saying, Hey, we know that things hurt different now, we know that reality has changed. And then by the end of 2020 it was like everybody had a campaign like that and it just felt really tone deaf. And so I think right now the reason why we're saying think about your customer's current experience is because things are tight now. And because, like Joe was talking about, it's a maintenance mode, and as marketers we have to be extra creative because we have limited resources and customers' expectations are higher than ever. So regardless of, this is actually a good segue into the next tip. Regardless of the state of the economy, something that's not going away is our client's needs for the ability to personalize to their customers. So, tip number two for how to stay ahead of those evolving customer expectations is to also stay ahead of technology capabilities to personalize at scale. So we know, again that our customers can tell when they're receiving a generic message. They also know that a lot of their data is being captured by us, whether voluntarily, maybe it's behavior that they're taking on the website, maybe they're volunteering that information through a form that they're filling out. But what's important is that we're using that information to then personalize a message to them.

Joe: Yeah. And I think another part of that is also it's not just the data you have or don't have. It's, and I'm approaching this from the delivery guy that implements things for clients and gives them more access to their data, but I'm also approaching this from the lens of sometimes the answer is a platform that gives you access to that data and allows you to more efficiently or more effectively roll that out across your campaign. So something like a CDP for example, where if you're struggling and you feel like you have to put in a request to IT every day to write that new sequel query to get that new audience into X platform or Y platform, something that's related to this conversation is also what is that platform, or what's that next thing? I know we just talked about in our first tip to be aware of the current macroeconomic conditions, but there may be clients or folks out there that next piece of technology to lower the barrier to entry for your data. That might be something related as well.

Jordan: And this also could be a place where we start to lean on AI. A topic that's taken over the marketing industry and many other technology conversations is DALL-E and GPT-4. And so in a moment where you're trying to figure out how do I personalize at scale and I have less resources, this could be a time where you're taking automation and AI and using it to make some decisions for you that maybe were easy decisions to make or more low hanging fruit. That said, what we do know about AI is that it can only replicate what it's trained on, it can only use things, historical data to make those decisions. So personalization done thoughtfully is transparent and it also combines data- driven insights with human owned strategy. There has to be some sort of human touch, but the goal is to automate those processes in the backend so that your team can strategize a personalization experience at a high level.

Joe: And I think another piece is we can and should automate whenever possible for the most part asterisk. I think a big part though that we need to be aware of is related to privacy because the more you automate, the more you hand off to AI to make a decision for you. Now we start to get into this territory of just because we have the data, should we always use it? And that's where I think it helps to have that oversight where we all, whenever we talk about data collection and personalization, there's always that conversation as it relates to, because we have the data, can and should we use it? And how does that come across? How do we steward this information to be what I'll call the right level of creepy? Because we all know when we've had a conversation and ordered something through Alexa or whatever, and then the next thing you know you're getting blasted on every social media app you have or you're starting to get incredibly creepy targeted ads about that one specific thing that you may have just mentioned in a conversation, you may not have even ordered it or prompted Alexa or Google or whatever. And then all of a sudden you're starting to get incredibly niche targeted ads for that one very specific thing that you had mentioned to your partner about, Hey, yeah, I think I want to get a grill at some point. And then that's all up in your feed.

Jordan: Yeah, it's the cat food experiment that I've heard about so many times. There was a test where somebody was trying to see if they were being listened into from their technology and so they didn't own a cat and then this person and their spouse were talking about cat food to see if they would receive cat food advertisements. But I think the other part of that too about talking about being served those semi creepy advertisements is that they might not be relevant. You might not even be in the market for that. And so you also, as a marketing, this is again why you need that human oversight because it might not be a great use of spend of your marketing budget. If somebody just bought a dining room table, they don't necessarily need unlimited recommendations on dining room tables. So maybe that's where some of the human strategy just can't be replaced just yet by AI and automation.

Joe: So I have to ask, I think I've heard of the cat food example or something similar to it. I have to ask, do you know, did they end up getting cat food advertisements?

Jordan: They did, yeah.

Joe: They did.

Jordan: They absolutely did.

Joe: Yeah.

Jordan: They didn't convert though. So again, yeah, they did get the advertisements, which probably broke their trust with that technology, but then they didn't converse. All of that marketing spend just went to waste.

Joe: Yikes. Well, I know I don't have a cat, but I imagine I will start to get cat food ads just because we've been talking about it and my phone is right next to me as we're having this conversation. So I'm going to speak into my phone. I look forward to receiving cat food ads in the future to whoever's listening. So yeah, as we've been talking about capturing data, filtering out noise, part of that conversation is just building a strong foundation. We're collecting the right data at the right time and that allows you to execute a stronger and more tailored campaign. This leads us into tip number three, which is to use great experiences that you've had to fuel your marketing program goals. So as we were talking about collecting the right data, being the right level of creepy, one thing that Jordan, you and I were discussing earlier was, what are some great best of breed experiences that you've had in a retailer, an e- commerce type of situation? Or if you think of the gold standard for checking out in a shopping cart or whatever, what are some things that come to mind? And I think there's nothing wrong and I would honestly suggest and recommend, and that's why it's a tip for all those out there. If you have a great experience or you visit a website or if you see someone that is doing something incredibly well, there is nothing wrong with trying to mimic and replicate that for your particular situation as well. And I think part of that is you have to know what's out there and you have to be aware and mindful of what other either competitors or sites or whatever else, whoever else is doing really well. So that means taking the extra time and care to make sure that you're being in aware consumer of other people's platforms or experiences or whatnot. I think to whenever I'm doing an implementation for Interaction Studio or Marketing Cloud Personalization on the web personalization side of things, a lot of times in a kickoff call a client will say, oh yeah, we really just want to get to the level of Amazon where you think about their amazing algorithm where you're in your shopping cart and you get the classic, you may also like. And we've all gone down the rabbit hole of clicking on one of those items and clicking on and then all of a sudden you wake up from a rabbit hole and you got 10 items in your cart when you're only looking for one thing. We've all been in that experience. And that's a great example of being able to leverage data and provide that incredibly personalized thing that people didn't even know they wanted. But it just speaks to that consumer brain of yeah, this is helpful. Yeah, this is nice. And it never feels creepy, I guess, just because it's usually related and anchored directly on the thing that you're viewing or based on previous views as well. So that's a big area I would suggest and just throw out there to folks is be mindful and be aware of businesses or websites that are doing something really well and ask yourself, how could we take a component of this and do it well?

Jordan: I think too, there's probably something to learn from the bad experiences that we have too.

Joe: Yeah.

Jordan: What kind of barriers do you create for your consumers and their ability to learn about your product or to convert and how do you remove those barriers so that it makes it more efficient for them to get what they want instantly, to get that instant gratification? One day there will be a podcast where I don't talk about Wild Birds Unlimited, but that day is not today. I think Wild Birds Unlimited did a really great job because they pride themselves on an in- store interaction. Very personalized interaction where somebody greets you, tries to get an understanding of the location that you're in. They can give you information about the birds in your area, the type of bird seed that gets fed to those birds based on the season, based on where you're located. And so when the pandemic happened, they were really focused on how do we create these experience for folks online because it is what makes our brand so special. And when a consumer thinks of Wild Birds, they think of that really personalized experience in store. And so that's why they invested in Interaction Studio and Marketing Cloud Personalization to try to make a better experience for folks online that felt more personalized. And so they started to create ways that you could buy online and pick up in store. They started to create info bars about local discounts. There's also advertising on each of their websites about grassroots information and marketing such as what kind of birds are popular in that season, in that region based on your local store. So they were really able to tie the gap to that online experience and try to replicate what they were doing in the stores. But again, it's like Disney, it's so experience focused. It's so focused on the feeling that folks have when they interact with your brand that that's where you really have to focus your marketing goals, is what is the experience of my consumer? Are there barriers that I'm putting in front of my consumer that maybe are getting them to bounce or leave from conversion? And maybe to your point, or is there something somebody else is doing that is making for a really easy experience? I know you mentioned Amazon. Another one I'm thinking of just top of mind right now is Starbucks. The way that you can order on your app and pick up in the store, receive your points, use points from your phone. And then on the flip side, Starbucks is collecting all of that information about what kind of purchases you often make, how often you're making them, what your average spend is, what customizations you like, which of their food products you like. And they can then use all of that data to make a recommendation that is again, more personalized. So it's like it is a two- way street where you are giving out your data, you're letting them know those things about your purchase history, but in turn they're serving an improved experience for you.

Joe: And I love the Wild Birds example because this morning actually I was doing a little research on how I could get the Northern flickers that have been attacking my house away from my house and wouldn't you know at a Wild Birds Unlimited article is exactly what I was perusing. So I think I'm going to be going to Home Depot to get some stuff today for some bird houses so I can keep these flickers in the houses and not off of my house. So very pertinent example. And yeah, on the Starbucks front, I love that idea of, again, removing barriers to entry and essentially knowing what your client or customer or user, essentially presenting them with things that they they've done in the past as a way to again, lower a barrier to entry for a conversion. So I think in that mindset, I think specifically of Chipotle, their mobile app is a great example of being able to do that really well. And I would say for the most part, table stakes nowadays for a fast food or some type of transactional, either be a food pickup or something else, anything that involves like a repeat transaction or a high likelihood of a repeat transaction, something that's table stakes now I would say in that game is previous order history, or a one or two button click to add something to your bag and then order it. Chipotle's app is great because you can open it up and it'll say, it'll tell you how quickly from now if you press the button to add to your bag and order, the food will be away. So it'll say 10 to 15 minutes, which me as a consumer if I'm hungry now, the reason I'm looking at the app now is because I'm probably hungry now. I'm not always the best at being preemptive, and I think we're all in the same boat of being strapped meeting to meeting on a typical workday. So usually I'm not thinking in three hours, Chipotle sounds pretty good, I'm thinking-

Jordan: Exactly.

Joe: ...I'm hungry now, Joe hungry, feed Joe now. So that's a great example of how Chipotle is getting ahead of that expectation knowing that if their clients or customers are looking at the app, they're probably hungry now. And another fun thing that I think about with the Chipotle app specifically, I believe I downloaded the app because you get some type of promotion like free queso or something like that. And that was one of the main reasons that I downloaded it. And as a result, after making my first purchase, it told me that I had a specific impact on the environment by ordering through the app, and it basically showed me how I was reducing my carbon footprint by using the Chipotle app and ordering burrito bowls. So as a millennial, that resonated very well with me of, I want to make an impact on the world and wow, I can save the world and I can save the planet with a burrito bowl. Sign me up.

Jordan: And it makes you feel good. It reminds me of that Maya Angelo quote where they say that folks will forget what you did, they'll forget what you said, but they'll always remember how you made them feel. I think that's what I think about when it comes to these experiences, is we're just trying to make people feel good. And if that means that we're telling them, Hey, your burrito bowl has been offset, the carbon footprint of your burrito bowl has been offset by Chipotle, and that makes you feel good, then that little dopamine trigger that's in your brain is now associated with Chipotle and they've got you.

Joe: Yeah.

Jordan: I think too though the impulse, like you were talking about, when you're hungry in the moment, if they're not able to get you food quickly, then they will have lost the sale because you will find something else that will fill you and you won't be hungry anymore. So they have to give you something that is very easy to receive. And not only do we want it to be easy to select, but the other thing that we're talking about as a part of experience is the supply chain expectations that we have now, especially because of Amazon, because you can order and receive something within the same day, within the next day, within two days, which is wild. So the idea of something coming to you online two weeks later, three weeks, four weeks later now suddenly feels like a terrible customer experience, something that used to be so normal. And so what we would recommend is there's ways that you can as a marketer be creative about supply chain problems. Of course, operationally, you can do an analysis of your supply chain and try to identify those issues ahead of time, especially if you have some reporting technology like a Tableau where you can use inventory management systems to help you predict when supply will be low, but also have a backup plan. If your SKUs are selling out, swap them out for SKUs that are available. Be preemptive and proactive about messaging delivery delays so that you can make sure that you're just savoring that experience for that user as much as they can so that when they're burrito bowl comes late, that they're not as upset and maybe you've offered them up a free queso or a complimentary item if something else is out of stock.

Joe: Not all heroes wear caps, but some order burrito bowls. That's what I'm taking away from this conversation.

Jordan: When we originally were talking about this podcast, I was going to order a burrito bowl at the top of the podcast and then hope for it to arrive in the middle of it.

Joe: Next Time. Next podcast.

Jordan: Customers also expect to be rewarded for their brand loyalty, and we all know it's more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one, but it's also how we reward our loyal customers that keeps them with our brand. Tip #4: Reward your loyal customer, build a retention strategy, incentivize the behavior that your customers are likely to perform, capitalize on a low barrier entry and look for incremental differences. So I think there's a really good example of this with Starbucks. Again, Starbucks has all of this great purchase history that they have on you. When they are trying to reward you, they will say, "Hey, we know that you purchased this sandwich. If you purchase it twice this week, we will give you some sort of reward." And so, they're really trying to find an incremental change in behavior based on something they know you already like. And so this is a really smart way to build loyalty with users instead of giving them very generic offers that maybe don't encourage conversion because they're not personalized.

Joe: Yep. I think also specifically of Kroger or out here in Colorado, King Soopers, I get probably at least once a month, we get dedicated mailers that have specific coupons that are tailored exactly to things that we've purchased quite a bit in the past. And again, if you're using data in this way like Kroger and you are incentivizing behavior that again, if I'm going to keep buying broccoli crowns, I'm going to keep getting broccoli crown coupons and I'm going to keep going back. And that's a specific coupon specifically for me that I love getting. And I was already going to go to the store anyway and maybe this time I wasn't going to get broccoli, but because I have it, yeah, I'm going to get it now. So I think that is a great example of, especially for something as habitual and necessary as the grocery store. They know that essentially I'm a captive audience. And so instead of me going to another grocery store chain, if they are able to leverage the data that I'm providing them by just literally living and eating, they have essentially a captive audience. On the flip side, my wife and I also get probably too often the large party size bag of M& Ms, and there are frequently times where we do not buy them because we know that we've gotten a coupon in the past and we'll hold off on getting them until we get a coupon. So that's another example of maybe an unintended consequence of for them on providing that kind of coupon, is that at a certain point and cadence, your customer may catch on to the game that's being played and may not convert in times that you are hoping that they will.

Jordan: There should be some marketing insights into why your customers are your customers, and maybe some of that is driven by the product, the historical purchasing data that you have. But I think that's what's so important is why are they in a relationship with your brand? Why do they keep coming back to you and how do you encourage them to make sure that they keep coming back to you? Because there's so many options. The market is saturated in several places, so it's really important to understand why they're there to begin with. And not to count on them coming back that it's really easy to rest on our laurels and get used to the subscriber base that we have, but why are they still subscribed? Why haven't they opted out of your newsletter? Are you continuing to provide value on a regular basis? And are you speaking to the loyal audience that has been with you for years? How are you making sure that they continue to stay with you? There's a lot of acquisition campaigns when it's really tough times and we're trying to find ways that we can scrape revenue into the door. So it's really important that you're looking at your loyal customer base and rewarding them for the interactions and relationships that you've had thus far.

Joe: Yeah, I really like that. And I think a lot of what you just said speaks to us just as marketers being aware of our audience, like you said, understanding why they are a customer, and why have they have not moved on? That all speaks to having the awareness of understanding what their preferences are, behaviors, demographics, and I think this dovetails really well into our last and final tip, which is approaching capabilities and marketing strategy with an inclusive mindset. So specifically being aware of our audience, customers, clients, and users. And part of that is understanding who are these people and what is their day-to-day and real life experience? And I think specifically in the arena of web technology and just websites, because that's a big part of what I do every day is implementing web personalization platforms. I think through just basic accessibility on a website. So if you think of an individual that's viewing the website with a visual impairment like colorblindness or just blindness in general, how are we as marketers building out the content on our website to handle and be aware of individuals with this kind of affliction? So specifically, I'll just give a couple examples, but if we think of what are the image descriptions, what's the alt text, how are we including color schemes that may align with our brand but still allow for inclusivity for those individuals that may have a visual impairment like colorblindness? I think of one specific example that I've continued to see pop up across websites, it's essentially a web plugin called accessiBe, I believe I'm pronouncing that correctly, but I've started to see it pop up more and more often now. But essentially it's a plugin on a website that allows you as a user to make selections to adjust the on page content based on either a particular affliction you may have or essentially selecting the correct accessibility profile based on how you would like to, and essentially need to interact with the content. So for individuals that are blind, there is a screen reader option, there's additional things that you can change around color contrast, there's all kinds of things around the visual layout of the page, how much content is shown, how little is shown. So I think there's still a lot of ground to be made up. I think there's a lot of opportunities for continued improvement, but this is one specific example of I think a fairly low bar of something that can and should be offered more.

Jordan: I love that we saved this topic for last specifically because I feel like there's a lot that's unexplored here that we could be doing better. And if you think about the first five tips that Joe and I laid out, they're all experience focused. Market with your customer's current experience in mind, personalization at scale, use great experiences to fuel your marketing programs, reward your loyal customer. And so I think they're actually pretty common. I don't think if you told any marketer that those were tips that you've heard that they would be super surprised, but we don't think enough about the experiences of everyone, and those are folks who have disabilities. Those are also folks who identify as some intersectional diversity, whether that's LGBTQ + community, whether that's their actual race background, maybe sexual orientation, their religion. We don't really talk about how important it is to have those experiences top of mind too. And we might not even fully understand them, because we might not necessarily have the right folks in the room who are having conversations about what those experiences are like, but just thinking about how much marketing is focused on driving experience, we have to think about being inclusive and we have to think about those other markets, not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it's also financially beneficial. There's a lot of money to be made in making an inclusive experience. These are untapped markets that have not been served well. And so I think that's why this topic is so exciting is because there's some technology that we now could be using to build more inclusive experiences, but also because it's a topic that hasn't evolved very much. And so I feel like marketing inclusivity is going to be this frontier of a lot of opportunity for us and understanding how we're segmenting. It reminds me of 20 years ago when we used to talk about demographics and then we realized, oh, we can also talk about psychographics and we can also talk about what does a household look like? What activities or hobbies does that household have? What are the individual personalities of the people in the household? And less about what their age, sex, job, income level was. And so it was a different way to think about how we go to market and try to reach these new audiences. I think the same thing with inclusivity. We have to start thinking just a step beyond what is your gender and what is your race? And we have to think about intersectionality. Do we have the representation in our marketing department to make decisions that actually reflect the experiences of our consumers? And then just like Joe was talking about disabilities, whether it's colorblindness, whether it's hard of hearing, there are tools in technology that exist today that maybe should be standardized across a lot of our marketing.

Joe: Yeah. And I think just back to your comment about how we work with folks and are aware of our audience that may be experiencing disabilities, specifically GPT- 4 has been releasing more and more information about essentially a Be My Eyes offering where for just a little background since 2012, a program called Be My Eyes has been essentially, I'll call it crowdsourcing support for individuals that experience visual impairments by basically connecting them with people that have their sight and are able to help them do things with a video call, run errands, find something around their home or on the shelf at a grocery store, or perform other activities where it just really help to have someone explaining visually what is in front of that person. So GPT-4, I would definitely recommend people check this out. GPT- 4 has a new offering that essentially allows for the user to take a picture of whatever's in front of them and prompt it by saying something like in the example video that they share, there's an individual that's at the gym and takes a picture of the gym and says, where are the treadmills? And GPT- 4 looks at the image, identifies the treadmills, and gives instructions back to that person that took the photo saying, Hey, go forward a couple steps and to the right and this is what it should feel like and this is what your experience with it should be. And then it also prompts that individual that if they require the help of getting connected to an individual with sight to basically finalize and get all the way to the treadmill, there's an option for that. So GPT- 4 is doing an awesome job in just enabling an amazing amount of flexibility now that was otherwise fully required a human from the very beginning of the process, but it's cutting down on that first needed interaction.

Jordan: A great tool. And again, it's not just because this is the right thing to do, but also because there's a lot of financial opportunity in creating these experiences. All right. Well, with that, I will close this out. Thank you for joining us on this episode of Level Up. Looking to continue to level up your knowledge on the latest news technology and marketing trends affecting marketers day to day? Stay tuned for future episodes of Level Up with new episodes coming out every other Thursday on Spotify and Apple Music. Until next time, thank you for leveling up your marketing knowledge with us.


As technology has continued to rapidly evolve and enable high-quality experiences, we’ve seen the demand for dynamic customer experiences grow. Still, many marketing teams find themselves using outdated technology and processes that are hindering them from providing more personalized experiences.   

In this Level Up episode, Jordan Kraus (Client Success Partner) and Joe Kaltenthaler (Senior Manager of Lev's Data/Identity Practice) as they outline five practical tips that can help you stay informed on evolving customer expectations and optimize your marketing operations to empower experiences that exceed these expectations.  

Today's Guests

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Jordan Kraus

|Client Success Partner
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Joe Kaltenthaler

|Senior Manager of Lev's Data/Identity Practice