Engage21 Day 4: Conference Recap

As day 4 of Engage21 comes to a close, we are slowly nearing the end of this year’s virtual conference. But not before we had another day full of great insights. Didn’t get the chance to join day four? Don’t worry! We got you covered.

Here are the top takeaways from the discussion between our special guest Brad Wilson (EVP, Growth & Revenue, HBO Max) and Vijay Chittoor (Co-Founder & CEO at Blueshift) on the topic of engaging customers with content.

Over the last few years, the format of content has expanded greatly from 2-hour full-length movies to 60-second TikTok videos. Moreover, content is created at a faster pace than ever before and access to content is incredibly easy. At a time like this, it has become important for marketers to understand how to build content that keeps customers engaged and how to use it to drive growth. We tried to find out all about that and a bit more from Brad Wilson.

The changing world of content consumption

Before diving into the complexity of the subject, they kicked off with a broader discussion of the world of content itself. Vijay invited Brad to share his view and experience with the continuously changing ecosystem of content consumption.

Brad started by sharing his respect for the competition and pointed out that everyone is producing really high-quality content. He went on to discuss how content and content consumption are changing and impacted by things like aging demographics, distribution, engagement, and the customer relationship. To get a bit more understanding of that, Vijay asked about the top growth axes Brad is looking at when thinking about the world of content.

“You have to engage consumers, and retention is very much the name of the game. We have over 250 signals right now, currently in our retention modeling. The way we think about it is certainly hours watched, but we also look at recency, metrics, frequency, connectivity. Are you connected to a bigger screen and connected to multiple devices? What are your viewing patterns? And are you authenticating through a different provider? So we look at recency, frequency, the breadth of content, the depth of content. […] All these go into what we want to put forth for you. Today we personalize 100% of our homepage, that is going to extend out into other customer touchpoints, hopefully even in paid media as we go. We’re just trying to do everything we can to put the right program and content in front of our customers.”

Brad Wilson, EVP, Growth & Revenue at HBO Max

Content Strategy versus Growth & Revenue Strategy

Going deeper, the discussion tried to put some light upon the relationship between content strategy and growth and revenue strategy.

Long story short? Brad shared the great impact of last year’s unique value proposition, Warner Brothers Premiere, that brought all 17 theatrical titles not only to theaters but HBOmax on the same day. He also stated the strategy will change next year and that there will be a lot of experimentation in terms of customer desire. There’s a lot of focus on personalization, but also on customer-centric messaging, net promoter score, customer satisfaction.

Brad: “So it’s the value prop in terms of what we stand for, but also the ecosystem and the technology we’re putting together to make sure that we can serve customers in a rapid fashion and sustainability.”

Inside the organization

Our curiosity was rising when talking about how things should work in an organization and we found out that Brad is less about the structure and more about the outcome.

Brad: “I’m not dogmatic about how a structure is fully formed, I am dogmatic about customer outcomes, and how we get to those outcomes. […] The starting point for me is always, what do we think the customer wants? What are the outcomes we’re trying to drive? And certainly, we want to put some functional aspects to what might be traditional rigor within the organization. But I do think it’s somewhat malleable.”

Storytelling and Data, a modern love story?

Let’s hear what Vijay had to say about that.

“A marketer is fundamentally a storyteller at heart. But what’s changing in today’s world is that you need to tell millions of personalized stories.”

Vijay Chittoor, Co-Founder & CEO at Blueshift

We couldn’t have said it better.

What are the capabilities you should look for in a martech stack?

Brad named the important aspects for him when talking about a martech stack. First, it’s essential to look at it from the lens of customer outcomes. Second, speed.

Brad: “Speed is the ultimate separator. Not just in sports. I believe it’s the ultimate separator in tech companies. And the speed of testing and your willingness to fail through those tests. It’s the number one marker for me.”

Evolution in the customer experience?

Brad says yes. He has seen a sizable acceleration and shift in the last years. In the past, it was said that the audience was first, but actually, it wasn’t really practiced. An argument for that, according to Brad, might be technology. But as things changed, the audience is more understood and used. That’s why ads become more relevant and work.

In the end, there’s always the customer first

Whether he talks about organizational vision or just gives advice for marketers, Brads put the customer first.

Brad: “Be in absolute servitude to the customer. And your people. Be a humble, servant leader. And if somebody is saying to you that they’ve figured it all out, run from that person. You should lean in and think about the way you want to invent the model of the future. Because it’s a constant journey for learning.”

We couldn’t agree more! And with this, we wrap the fourth day of Engage21.

We have one more day, and what a week it has been! Be sure to tune into our final session of Engage21. A few of our amazing technology partners; CriteoPathwireInkit, and Onesignal, will be joining us and you won’t want to miss it!

Miss any other Engage21 sessions or just need a recap? Be sure to check out our other posts:

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