The Importance of the Customer Journey with Emad Kazi
How do grow your customer base? How can you turn someone from a one time buyer to a repeat customer? Which data should you be focusing on to help grow your sales numbers?
If you want the answers to those questions, Emad Kazi has you covered. He has worked at Apple, eBay, Lyft and is now the Global Lifecycle Manager at Stubhub.
On this episode we focus on the importance of the customer journey, what the average buyer experiences and how to effectively track and utilize data.
David: He is a global lifecycle manager at stubhub. Ahmad Kasi joins me on the business of Social Emad. Thanks so much for the time, man.
Emad: Thank you for having me.
Emad: Hey, so I always kicked things off with a random question. You've worked at Apple, including on the beats by Dre team. If you could recommend one apple product that's not the iPhone that you have to have, what would it be and why?
Emad: Wow, that's a good question. Um, so personally I couldn't tell you what it isn't. Okay. For Myself, it's definitely not the Apple Watch for sure.
David: I'm a huge fan. It's got one that's sacrilegious. Who said that? I'm sorry. Let me hear. Why. Why is that?
Emad: So the reason is I really look at the Apple Watch for myself again, because every customer is different. Every customer has a different set of needs. I really look at it as a means to track health and fitness more than anything. Right? And then I feel like it has so much of an offering that that particular value prop of it is so buried in the experience. Whereas with a fitbit, like they've built their entire ecosystem around that one customer need. And that one pain point that I'm trying to looking. This also feels like a, it feels like the better fit for me as a product and it helps that, it's probably like a third of the price
David: for me. Honestly, the value is not having to pull my phone out of my pocket, just being on, don't look at a text message. I mean that literally you said it that way. I feel like the, the ability to quickly look and see if there's anything I need to respond to right away is better than the, the uh, the health part of it. But, um, but what is it, is there, is there anything that, is it, um, anything on the apple product line that you think is something that you really enjoy using day to day?
Emad: I think it's really the headphones, the beats headphones in particular because they've done a good job integrating with technology between their devices to make them care much more successfully and much more widely. Um, so oftentimes it's now a matter of just pulling out my beats headphones and all of a sudden the pairing happens springs continuously. Um, that I think has been particularly useful. They've just launched the power beats pro twos, the way the wireless,
David: that's a really cool campaign they did too.
Emad: Right, right. And I think those are really special because my issue with the airpods is, I dunno if my ear lobes are too big.
David: Me Too. Yup.
Emad: So those are great because they wrap around the ear, they stay secure, but like you still also get the make good on the actual offering of it being easy to carry portable and just not having to deal with wires with these. Right.
David: I mean wireless headphones changed the game for workouts for sure. All right, so let's get into you and stubhub. Can you give the listeners a quick 62nd elevator pitch on what you do at stubhub?
Emad: Yeah, so a lot of my job right now is focused around understanding amongst existing customers from the time they joined Stubhub, make a first purchase all the way to the time that they sort of realize their Max out their lifetime value, how you kind of nurture them and turn them into high value customers. Right. So I know typically in Dave, you can correct me if I'm wrong, I know you typically focus a lot on digital acquisition, social, things of that nature. Think about this as more of a focus on own channels, right? So things like email, push notifications, SMS oftentimes very, not necessarily investing ad dollars, but still trying to almost return. And always positive rollout as, because your marketing efforts are already quote unquote paid for.
David: I love that. Very cool. So I want to really dig in that cause I think the reason I wanted to talk with you specifically is to your point, a lot of the guests on this show more social, more over the top marketing, but getting into the granular aspects of the email to push, cause I think there's not a lot of people that put enough credence on your own platforms like Facebook and Instagram can always change their algorithm, but you always own your customers email. What are you going to do with that email and how can you use it to provide value to the consumer but also for a, for your return on investment as well. So what are those things that come to mind for you that you just think all marketers and all people that are, um, you know, in that global life cycle type of situation should be looking at?
Emad: So I think the way I kind of think about it is it's really important to be driven by this idea of delivering marketing, sort of almost agnostic of channel. Right? Um, the way I think about it for myself is I'm very driven by this idea of delivering marketing that I've come to define this tutor. Right? Okay. So this is a framework I came up with earlier this year that I often use to guide my own work and also helps serve as a sniff test of sorts to help ensure them thinking about the right things when it comes to the marketing job. Right? So tutors stands for contextual, useful, timely, engaging, and relevant. Right? And like I'll go quickly into each of those. So contextually,
David: I love this by the way.
Emad: Yeah, yeah. Thank you. Um, so it should make sense to your customer why they're seeing the marketing content that they are being add email, push notification, et Cetera. And there's enough value added content to provide that meaningful context. Right? So, although I feel it's true for marketing as a whole, thinking about own marketing channels like email or push getting this right is crucial. Right? So like,
David: cause I guess the, the, the risk of feeling like span is so, so close that line. Do you really have to tread?
Emad: Totally. And I'm sure you know this running a digital agency, right? But like if you walk that line and you're a little too aggressive with it, you can trigger spam traps, then all of a sudden that email or that customer you built up years nurturing and developing and boosting up their value, all of a sudden they're not marketable. Right. And you can't email them. Um, so it's really important to get that right. Um, useful. I feel like it's really not sufficient for marketing to simply drive value for the business, right? Like it has to drive value for the user as well and the customer as well. And I think otherwise it can potentially run the risk of being a little gimmicky. Right. And that could be inherent value in the context of how to use the product itself. Offering information on market dynamics. Like, for example, like a change in price and I spent some time, I lived prior to being a boomer and you have step up now and I think this really came to life for me a lot when I was focused on the driver marketing side where oftentimes when we're sending emails and campaigns are really geared around what are the best times to drive in the city, how do you really unlock a driver's potential and teach them how to lovers of platform, the most effective way for them.
David: Yeah cause you're not just marketing to the Lyft to user and consumer your lift, you're also marketing to the actual drivers and making sure they have a great experience so you can have more people out there driving Lyft.
Emad: That's right. That's right. And the same holds true for stuff up as well because you know the buyer seller dynamic and then like for really any marketplace stuff exists, um, kind of going down the list timely, right? This is something that's kind of related to that context piece, but it's important to show up at the right time for users. The mean, the rudimentary example here is that if I have a site wide sale, right, and I blast an email out to everybody two days after the sales over and it's obviously that look, no problem. Yeah. Yeah. But then I think there is another layer to this that, um, is more cultural in that like it's kind of important so long as it's done in a way that doesn't feel forced. Um, a great example of this is like think Kaepernick and Nike in the last year, right?
Emad: So like there's this timely component of it that's very tactical to the campaign effort, but there's also this dimension to it that's broader around how my brand fit into the timeliness of the moment and of the cultural site guys switch, I mean, Nike's kind of written the playbook on it, right? So we can find tons of case studies with them engaging and this is more of like around, um, in addition to everything else. It's obviously important for the campaigns themselves to be performing right? And they need to be mindful of what best practices are for a particular channels. So how do you optimize for open rates and email? How do you optimize for Click in paid social? Uh, and thinking about sort of, you know, whether that's video on social, I I heard on your last podcast testing portrait versus landscape rate following best practices to just ensure that things are up to snuff is a very critical component of this, right?
Emad: It's not just all abstract like there needs to be some material tactical guidance here. And I think relevant last one I'll Reese is just the idea that doesn't make sense for this user receiving it. Was it personalized enough to an extent where the user feels like yes, this is me. Right? And like Nordstrom and Amazon tend to do this pretty well with their like recommendations and emails that you get from them or like users, like you also bought this item or this item. Right. And I think that's the sort of missing ingredient that makes her really powerful marketing moments.
David: That's awesome man. I really like you broke that down. I want to talk about useful for a second because it's something that I talk about all the time. Maybe my listeners are getting sick of me beating this drum, but the useful part of the cuter m acronym that you just broke down making content and, and, and making sure it's useful to the consumer and the customer, not for the company, which I think is super important. But can you elaborate a little bit on that of why you feel that way and why it's important to kind of have that type of credence?
Emad: Yeah, totally. So, and I think I'll take a step back and say like I've gone through myself a bit of information about how I think about original content, right? From my vantage point, having been someone who's exclusively or more specifically focused around CRM and emails and push notifications, like there's the obvious surface level tactical value that comes with content, right? Like it's good for SEO, it's great for maintaining a social presidents, but ultimately it's an extension of your rent, right? And it comes down to what do you want your brand to be known for? Like, what is your brand identity? And if you just want to be known as, you know, a brand, just like any other, a run of the mill brand that has affected marketing, that can get people to get through your funnel, like that's great. I think what really takes that is the ability to also be known as a brand who drives value for the customer themselves.
Emad: And it's no, right? Um, and there's different ways to do this, right? Like you think about Apple's product marketing campaigns, right? We were just talking about them when they put an Eiffel not in front of you and they leaned into your value props around things like safety or battery life. They really through the visuals that bring to life exactly how that's meaningfully beneficial for you and, or how to use the thing. Right. Um, another example of that is, um, I Lyft specifically, a lot of times we have to almost show the customer how to use the platform through the marketing itself. And you do that through animation video. That's right. And I think that's really where it comes from.
David: From a brand standpoint. How would you describe what stub hub is all about? Because there's competitors, you have the live days since Ticketmaster's there's a lot of ticket reselling companies that really are able to help people find tickets to their favorite events and entertainment events. Um, but why is stubhub different and how do you guys differ, differentiate yourself against your competitors?
Emad: Great. Before diving into this, I want to just drop the disclaimer that I'm speaking as an individually, uh, just so I don't run sort of craps on my end. But, um, I think the answer to that from my personal point of view, I think we're different in that we as a brand focused on bringing the joy of live experiences, right? Like we're a company that's not necessarily just about the ticket, it's not about moving, right?
David: So you're unlocking the joy of the live experience.
Emad: Exactly. And I think we're in a great place to be able to do that relative to a lot of other competitors that have risen because we've been in this game for 20 plus years now. Right? And in that time you build up a large database that you can analyze and understand deeply about customer's needs, wants pain points, what exactly they consider value versus what they're doing and build experiences around those things. So I think that sets us up really well. And I'll see and I think in terms of ways that we differentiate, right? And this was going to be one of the case studies that I, I felt like it would have been helpful to mention like when you look specifically through like email campaigns you might get from like a stubhub versus any other competitor. I think oftentimes they all kind of blend and look the same.
Emad: They're all a bunch of events you might be interested in. Right? I think as a marketer it's really my job to figure out how do I kind of widen the gulf between us and our competitors from a value standpoint. Right. And one of the examples of that is a campaign that I launched a couple of years ago known as the price drop, right? So when you think about a live event, marketplace operates just like any other market place, there's buyers, there's sellers, sellers list their prices. And we have the opportunity to really differentiate ourselves by driving value for the customer, meeting them at their needs. So amongst customers who like show us interested in an event, uh, one of the campaigns I had longed for is retargeting them to say, hey, prices have dropped on this event if you're interested, come back. Right. And that voted really well for us in terms of like incrementality lift, et cetera.
Emad: And I think a lot of that is a testament to identifying a user meeting. We had to look into sort of why do people who, you know, start through the funnel end up not going in all the way. Like kind of taking a step back and understanding, okay, well maybe cold feet, price sensitivity, you know, they're part of a larger decision making process with other folks. What have you like happened to one of those insights and really build the use case around it. Right. And I think that's what allowed a person be successful. And today I haven't seen another competitor really be able to replicate that. Right. Cause otherwise the live event ticketing industry, at least the email aspect who is hyper competitive and that we can watch it tweak and optimization change where we changed CTA colors in an email or whatever. All of a sudden the next week another competitor's doing the same thing. Right. So like it's really important to solve for key based differentiators in such a hyper competitive industry and like ride share is no different. Right? Like it's really a duopoly and it's at times can feel like a different path. Yeah,
David: absolutely. Is there, and the answer may be no. Is there a way to provide value to your customers specifically other than a on locking the joy of the experience be, here's an amazing deal that can potentially put you in a seat of something that you really want to be at just as you kind of build that community of ticket buyers and live events. How, are there other ways that you've tried to provide value that people appreciate?
Emad: Yeah, I think so. And I think it's, one of the things that we're embarking down right now on our roadmap is we feel like our platform offers so much more than just events, right? In itself. Like not just buying events, but you can also sell events, right? So like being allowing, I mean the analog I'm going to use, I know you're a basketball fan, it's like kind of a two way player, right? So like you can, you can pray, you can buy and sell on the platform, right? It's not just about buying. I think that there's a great value in lock there. There's these high value behaviors that I think every business has that you can kind of take a step back, try to understand and nurture for to help really realize the value of the platform. And I think in addition to that, we're now kind of going into this space where we have more partnerships around different sports leagues where we can deliver on these truly unique experiences. Whether it's again, just hypothesizing myself here to like, whether it's like meat ingredients or like arena tours, what have you. I think those are things that are sort of, well we're woke was the goo.
David: Has there been any partnerships, um, and your time at stub hub that have really maybe exceeded expectations or worked really well? Um, just being able to partner with another brand or another influencer that's like really, uh, made a campaign special or, or, or go well?
Emad: Sure. Well, I think the one that comes to mind, there was one that I directly worked on a few years ago with the Philadelphia 76 years. Um, at the time, you know, we had been historically and exclusively known as a resell place, right? This was our first foray into doing what is truly like an end to end blended marketplace. And we chose the Philadelphia 76 years. We're right on the culmination of completing their process to actually build out the first ever blended marketplace where it actually operates very similar to the stock market. Right? Like it doesn't matter whether your tickets being bought firsthand or secondhand, everything's flowing through one place. Yeah. Everything's authentic and authorize and guarantee to be a valid ticket. And all of a sudden you're reacting as a consumer to prices that are dictated by the market as opposed to something that you know, like a pricing analyst might set or that like a seller might charge for. Right. It's a combination of those things and it operates very much like a free market in terms of listing, buying, reselling, and you could swap in hands.
David: So that was a direct campaign like 76, [inaudible] dot com slash tickets where you're able to, uh, through Stubhub, kind of use your engine and get that to fans.
Emad: Right. And I think the value was too full gray for us. It was that dive into the primary ticketing for the first time. Where were we were the only place where you could buy some institute's ticket, right? Like no other competitor had their listings available to them at all. [inaudible] game regulars, regular regular season playoffs. And I believe, don't quote me on this, but I believe that partnership is still in place today. Uh, so that's the value for us. I think for them it was the opportunity to really grow their brand and reach net new target audiences. Right. Like for us, we have the ability to upsell people who are in Philadelphia but haven't been in those six years games yet.
David: Database of this, you know, David went to 42 Phillies games the last three years but has not yet gone to a six or game. That's pretty cool. That's right in the in theory. Exactly that. Right. That's awesome. Talk to me about Instagram shopping man. Cause I'm sure this is something that your team has been working on and uh, the just the ability to uh, you know, just the user experience is so much easier now with some of these tweaks that these social networks are making. But uh, have you guys done some test case? Are you guys all laying on this as would love to get from a brand perspective, your thoughts on Instagram shopping?
Emad: Yeah. So, um, to be honest, I can't really offer it too much a value out of there just because I'm a little more removed from like social stuff in general as [inaudible]. I think it is something that we'll probably continue to test around and understand what the proper use cases for it. I think it looks only what it's going can come down to and it's trying to again feel like a scratch those marketing principles over any other channel is, I'm sure we'll find the right product market fit for it. It may not serve every need, every goose case perhaps it lends itself more to like that impulse buy use case more than let's say one
David: 24 hours before a concert type deal or whatever.
Emad: Right. Right. And so, and I think the opportunity to test different creatives and carousels what have you, is going to be really powerful there. Right. Um, again, I'm not the best person to speak to it cause that's not where my specialty lies, but I, I'm confident that we'll be able to unlock value against it.
David: Well, let's, uh, let's dig a little deeper, more granular into your specialty. I really want to kind of geek out over a little bit the the life cycle of a customer. It's something that we really haven't touched on that blatantly on this podcast yet, but let's get top level though. Start. What's your overall I guess, um, breakdown of how to approach life cycle marketing and be able to manage your community the right way?
Emad: Yeah, that's a great question. So I think what's really helpful is starting with the data, right? Like kind of go in a with a fresh set of eyes and really try to understand your database through various analyses, allow you to show basically 10 and seasonality of a customer, right? And then really mapping out all the differences within your customer base, right? So it's really like a three pillar approach. Like a like where are my customers in their life cycle? Like are they new, are they well retained? Are there folks that have churned rate or their posts that like haven't bought from us in the last year or two that like we might be interested in reactivating, um, are the like, and then double clicking windows, right? Like amongst my active buying population, um, who are my top buyers? Who are the ones that kind of show that they're a little pickle, right?
Emad: Uh, and then pairing that with what you know about them, right? Like do they have a propensity to buy in one category over another? Like in the context of ticketing, are they exclusively an NBA buyer? Do it exclusively only buy warriors tickets or Lakers tickets? Um, in the context of like rideshare, right? If their drivers, do they only drive on weekends, do they only drive on weekdays? Um, and the last one at least pairing that with an action of some sort that you want them to take. And it kind of goes back to those high value behaviors and mentioned earlier where like there are certain things that you might want a user to do on your platform that once you get them to take that action you got like they'll stick because it drives value for them. Right? So like an example of that for stuff.
Emad: Oh, but we have a feature called Chrysler, right? Where we essentially allow you to go to an event page, set a price of your choice and then we'll know, we'll notify you when a ticket hits that price. Awesome. Right? And then at that point with you've expressed the interest that like, yes, I will buy at price x. Right. And we're just making it easier for you to discover that ticket at that price and then go in and complete the purchase whenever it falls to the price of your liking. Um, so it's really the combination of those three things that then lend themselves well to understanding who your customers, where they are in your relation, in their relationship with your brand as those, what are the actions that you need them to take and how do you respond to actions they might've taken, uh, to be able to create the most powerful marketing experience such that they stick around for longer
David: at stub hub or at any of your previous stops. Is there something that comes to mind when I say, has there ever been a piece of data you've looked at, um, or you've analyzed something and it's blew your mind? Just like, I can't believe that's the case or kind of like re shifted your entire strategy based on, oh my God, 85% of the Lyft drivers actually only drive on the weekends or whatever that thing is. If something comes to mind when I use that,
Emad: one of the things I recently uncovered was that people really doubled down on what they like. Right? And that's what really unlocks the value. And that got me thinking like initially it was a little counterintuitive, but really that makes sense. Like I think oftentimes a lot of companies get caught up in trying to nurture behaviors where a customer isn't showing propensity to do a certain thing or take a certain action or bias
David: rather rather than tripling down on what they are doing. Yeah,
Emad: right. Like an example, like what if you were to take best buy as an example, right? Like we'll see that you buy cables from us a lot. How about we try to sell you on this fridge, right? Like let's try to broaden how we approach our relationship with you. And like, that's not to say that that's a bad strategy, but I think oftentimes that segue of broadening the relationship with the customer might be a little bit more organic and natural if we start doubling down on, well we noticed you buy cables on the occasions where they'd break, what if we could sell you cables that'll ease your life when you move into a larger house. Let's say if we can capture a signal on that, we can sell you longer cables. Yeah. Right. And like really like building out a specialty and a niche for a customer and then using that as your sort of launch path and broadening the other use is a thing as much more powerful than just selling anything and everything for them and hooking it all sticks. Yeah,
David: that's really smart. Um, to that, has there, I've asked this question quite a bit on the show, but has there ever been from a marketing standpoint or campaign on Ab tests that you did that again surprise you, um, about the results or kind of led you to a new belief going forward on that?
Emad: Yeah, I can do an example. And it's not mine directly. There's one that I was kind of a close observer of. Uh, it was at Lyft where we launched an experiment where we essentially just tried to make the product available to fit more of the customers, these cases, right? So when you think about a new customer, um, we could talk to them about sort of what they were doing in the moment. Like, let's say I came in on all the [inaudible], I gave a ride and he never hurt or I took a ride and you never heard from me ever again. Or like there were opportunities for us to target you beyond just Halloween, right? If there's a holiday, almost every month there's holidays. Um, there's a Friday night every week whenever you want to go out. And like, we can almost showcase to users like, hey, like you can do what you did on Halloween more than one time of year. Right? Like, lift is good for that. Yup. Right? And it's, it's very bare bones fundamental marketing. But we ran it as an ab test and like, we're surprised to show the incremental lift. We saw that, uh, we got without actually putting like a coupon to it. Right. And, um, I think that was a really
David: just so just a reminder or a nudge or just like, hey, by the way, we're still around type deal.
Emad: Right, exactly. And I think there was a real watershed moment for me because I think historically a lot of these high-growth Unicorn companies not just rights are really coupon their way into growth. And like that's why you end up hearing about all these companies that go IPO, but they're not really profitable. That's a huge chunk of it is they invest a lot of dollars in coupons to be able to get the same return without having the discount. Your product is huge. Right. So I think that was one example that was really telling for me,
David: um, to manage your customer. Is there a common mistake you see other brands making that you try to make sure you don't do that step up?
Emad: Yeah. Uh, I think, and I'm going to come back to it. I think it's really putting channels, specific tactics over the user journey. Right? And it's something that we're all guilty of as realization I've had like probably in the last year. So that's probably not the right way to go down. And I think what ends up happening is organizations are kind of vertically siloed within whatever their specialties are, right? So like you have the SCM pod, you have the email pod, the uh, onsite marketing pods social, and then what they're all working hard to kind of like pump out campaigns and experiments that are going to be good for the user. But there the realization that they're all hitting the same user isn't really evident. Right? So I think what we all have the opportunity to do as marketers is kind of take a step back and figure out holistically, how are all my channels working in harmony with one another such that, you know, I'm not wasting my Facebook dollars on someone who I can easily get to perform the same action through email without putting any ROI money next to it.
David: For you guys. Where of, where have you seen the most ROI from email marketing and the push notifications to people just stumbling across the website and, and continuing to be a returning customer. Um, how has that kind of break down for you and how do you choose where to spend your money or use your time?
Emad: Yeah, so for us, our focus is largely things that don't necessarily need a quote unquote like acquisition budget, right. Like beyond like occasional like couponing or whatever. But uh, beyond that, I think where I really seen growth pop is really around push. Huh, great. I mean, and again, it's about marrying the right use cases. That trend could eat easily be, uh, sort of like town or what it is today if we didn't have the right use cases for the right.
David: And that's through the app or through text or both
Emad: a through okay. For us right now. But, um, it's one of those things where if we tried to push very top of funnel things to you on a channel that's very intimate. Yeah. It's not a great fit. And like we've tested some of that before and it just doesn't,
David: so the algorithm based on, again, using the wars that example, you've bought seven warrior tickets in the last 12 months, you're only gonna push to them if there's something on warriors or something that has, you know, a constant that's playing at warrior stadium, things like that.
Emad: Yeah, that would be a great example of understanding who the user is as opposed to taking [inaudible] like, hey, it's a great day to go out and San Francisco or San Diego, here's everything that's happening in your area. Like really drilling down into what they know, what you know about them as well as sort of what they know they want.
David: That's a, I guess, how do you manage all that? Because I mean just looking at let's, let's use that lay for an example. You have the Dodgers, the angels, the Lakers, the clippers, the ducts, et cetera. I could go on forever, but if, let's say you have segments that have only bought tickets only to those sports teams individually, you almost have to have a campaign just for the dodger people. Just for the liker people just, I mean, and maybe I'm not thinking about it in a in a tech standpoint, but I mean at any given time Sir Stevo can be running thousands upon thousands direct candidates if not more than that.
Emad: Yeah, I mean you're absolutely right. There is a lot of data associated with each of those events. Right? And each of those events kind of have their own audiences and there can be overlap if someone does like the warriors, the giants and the A's and the niners. Right? Like at that point and like you do have to understand the sort of what is most relevant, how do you sort of synthesize all this into an experience where you're showcasing everything that they like and is that the right approach versus is that the right approaches? Double down on what we know they have the highest propensity for them. This is where like leaning into the tech aspect of a little bit, like there's opportunity to leverage things like personalization algorithms and really identifying okay for a given event and like who's the right population for this role for 10 the other about it.
David: That's awesome. Do you, can you also, but from a data perspective, see the type of the demo that went to a Chris rock concert and then base on, I guess from a data standpoint, can you then re target people that are most likely to want to see that same type of event based on historic events as well?
Emad: Yeah, absolutely. I think like that's one of the, like the luxuries of being a company that's been in this industry for like a couple of decades now. Right? It's like we have these profiles both out. We're like, we can serve customers what they'd like to see and what they want to see,
David: so getting super granular. If you found out at a Chris Rock Concert, there was 20,000 people there for some odd reasons, 7,000 of the people actually drove up from San Diego. You can almost get that, you know, targeted where the next Chris rock concert in La, you can target your San Diego base knowing that there was some weird reason why people chose to drove up type deal. Right?
Emad: Yeah. And I mean we'll do that around certain like tent pole moments, right? Where like we know there's an audience that we're travel. Great. So you think about markets like Fresno in California, right? Where like not much popping in Fresno. Like they might have a propensity to travel to either la or San Francisco based on what's happening around them. I'm like, exactly. Um, so those are the types of use cases we do look at.
David: What else are we missing in the life cycle management space? I mean, you talk about, uh, someone just figuring out about your product all the way to someone timing out of your product, I guess. And I liked, I, I would like to dig into that a little bit. How do you know when somebody has officially turned you off or is no longer interested?
Emad: So I think there's a couple of different dimensions to it, right? I think there's going to be moments where you just don't have the pocket product market fit for that user for that time period. Right. Like I think driving for ride share is a great example of that where it's largely seen as a job ready, like people do it for compensation earnings opportunities. If you go from being laid off to then driving for Lyft or Uber who have you, or getting door dash for a prolonged period of time to make ends meet. Yup. All of a sudden once you get that job or once you kind of get back on your own,
David: you don't need it anymore. Yeah.
Emad: You don't necessarily need it. Maybe. Maybe it's still ancillary and beneficial. Right. But at that point like we need to sort of capture signals to understand that that pivotal moment has happened in your life and we're going to like that.
David: It's a classic, take a hit, dude, it's over. Right, right.
Emad: And then like at that point that we can not be toned down and actually recognize that and approach the marketing tactics for that particular user in a way that's sensible for them. That fits within their life, right? Because ultimately that's the goal. It's not to meet a particular threshold around any particular business metrics week over week. It's really helped find a consistent place for any particular brand in that user's life. Right. Um, and if that goes from being, you know, multiple times a day to all of a sudden being, um, you know, once a quarter, that's fine. But so long as we're maximizing that share of time and share mental availability, I think that's the job to be done when it comes to the life cycle. Marketing
David: is a, is a customer ever truly dead? I mean, what did you, like you said, you mentioned that point somebody gets a full time gig after using Lyft for a while. Um, when is then the proper cadence if I'm, is it once a quarter, once a year? Like does do they ever fully drop off the remarketing cycle?
Emad: Right. That's a good question. I think it depends on who the customer is, right? And again, it kind of depends on what the use cases and there's ways to tap signals very tactically as part of like a life cycle.
David: What are some of those signals? I just don't open emails at all. Like
Emad: that's definitely one of them. And another thing that like I've seen become more popular over the past couple of years is like micro polling within the body of the email. Right? So like, and you might've seen this where you might get an email from Uber or Lyft saying, Hey, we noticed you haven't taken a ride with us for 90 days. Like do any of the following apply to you? And you're saying, we'll give you like a multiple choice pick where you can say, you know, like, oh, I bought a car. Um, I move, um, whatever the case is. And like all of a sudden like we store that as an attribute to say, okay, like maybe it's not right and maybe this customer is like dormant for now. Right. And then like if and when the time comes, like we want to be ready and available to greet them back as a brand.
David: I guess that's what my, my point is. How have you found, um, and your career thus far great ways to remarket or to, um, you know, to touch those people that are maybe not interested for a period of time?
Emad: Totally. That's a good question. I think the
Emad: straightforward ways typically what you see a lot of brands use promo or coupon, someone rarely come back today after 90 days we really miss you Dave, uh, come back and we'll give you 15% off of x, Y and z. [inaudible] I think the challenge for me is really finding ways to do that without having to resort to coupons and I'm of the belief that that can be done so long as like we're always optimizing for what is the right fit for that customer. Right. And like I don't have the clear cut answer to that today from a tactical standpoint, but I think that's the investment to be made, to really unlock whatever that might be.
David: How often throughout, I guess throughout your career and at, um, stubhub, how big is the leaving tickets in your cart remarketing? I mean that must be a huge part of what you guys do. And what have you seen, you don't have to give me like, like detailed numbers, but um, how big of a of a silo is that and what have you seen successful to reengage people after they haven't finished the whole process?
Emad: Yeah, that's a great question. So it's a pretty sizeable part of like the business we drive as like a customer engagement team. Right? And I think a lot of that is because like there is intent and there's affinity, right? We define affinity as like, Hey Yemen, you may not have necessarily shown intent or interest in a particular event, but based on your past behavior, based on other people who are like you, you might be interested in this or based on just you having a wiggle in San Francisco you might be interested in yes, interest is more, you've given a signal while that's you're abandoning a checkout then in the product stage or the advantage that hey look there's some degree of interest here. It's on us to like really dive into like, and this is when we work with our market researching, understand what hey, amongst people who are like abandoned cart.
Emad: Like can we get some like read on like why they're doing that? Like what's like, what is the barrier for them that they're seeing that's like preventing them from getting over the hump? Right? And like in our case, oftentimes it's price weight. Obviously salaries have prices and those prices may not drive well worth what a buyer is expecting to pay, but they still really want to go, right? So that's a, we're kind of trying to focus in that price drop. Uh, Campion American see you earlier is a great example of that where we identify the user need, they're price sensitive. Maybe you're not ready to buy at that price point, but maybe we can solve them on the idea that one price has dropped. We'll let you know you can come back and buy or we can guide you to set a price of it so that you define exactly what price you are. And then once it's available, we come back until you buy.
David: Um, I want to ask you, what's one thing you wish that was more prevalent or that was possible, like when it comes to online purchasing? Cause I know for me when I leave something in my cart, it's often because I'm, I'm pretty interested, but then I have to fill out 13 boxes of information and I gotta I to go find my wallet and pull my credit card out. And I think Amazon has figured that out right. With like the, the one click buying and things like that. But where do you think we're going and where do you want it to get to, to make sure that people aren't, you know, not buying something because of the Legwork or the laziness factor of getting up and filling out 14 fields of information?
Emad: Sure. That's a great point. Um, I expect a lot of what, where Amazon has kind of set the tone to become more and more ubiquitous over time. And I think you're seeing that those same problems being softened, different vantage points with things like apple pay, Google pay.
David: Yeah, I'm sure I'm a pace helped a lot with your industry because you're able to save that credit card on your imac or phone and just kind of auto auto-populates for sure that
Emad: that's right. And like you're seeing so many different sort of merchants or technology companies, those things, right? Like visa as visa checkout now paypal has been around. Um, so I think that's something I expect to see get more ubiquitous. I think in addition to that, it's also this notion of understanding sort of like what is the holdup, right? If prices to live a barrier like is financing and option, I don't just mean this in ticketing, right? Yeah. But like there's oftentimes where you have big ticket items that are in aggregate might be a very scary price point. But then now you have merchants or sort of technology platforms like a firm that offer financing on things like a GoPro camera or live event tickets and like to have that more readily.
David: It goes back to the old school layaway, uh, you know [inaudible] yeah, exactly.
Emad: By putting down a deposit and then paying it off or missing six months. I think it's a lot easier to sell someone on going into a Superbowl if, if you can tell them on there that all you have to do is pay $20 down today or buying a new TV is all you have to use case money dollars down today. Right. It's like you've seen it with smart phones and a cell carriers, right? Like they've really mastered that. Right?
David: Yeah. And that seems like last two to three years, I've noticed it used to be pay for the phone now, but now it's all built into that Buckley plan over two years. Yeah,
Emad: exactly. And you almost don't even notice it. Right? Like I'm doing my wife and my parents, like I've got a few smart phones on my mom. Like I'm just simultaneously paying for a few icons at the time. And yeah, like I think it's, again, the benefit of it is it really taps into that user need. It doesn't feel malicious. Now there's some for interest on top of it, but um, it really needs a user. Ne allows them to unlock whatever value they're seeking to unlock from your brand while still getting the,
David: yeah. And I think I've never done it at your level, but even working with a client recently, like we are taking people off social to a micro site and there was like five steps to, you know, confirmation. I'm just like, you know, you can't ask for me too, for people going from social, you just can't ask people to complete five steps. It's this way too much. So how can we get this down to three or two or one? Hopefully. Um, because I think it's so much money is lost. And so, um, but success is really not met based on just that simple fact of like the barrier of entry for an interested customer that has raised their hand and said, I'm interested, but now you're gonna make me do all this work so I'm going to bail out type deal.
Emad: That's right. Yeah, that's right.
David: Um, I wanna get to some rapid fires to Kinda rapid fire questions to close this out. Um, listen, you do a lot of analyzing a lot of data through everything you do it step up. Is there one tool that you use that you just could not live without?
Emad: That's a great question. Um, and it's gonna be a very archaic answer, but today it's probably XL.
David: Yeah. Google sheets maybe. Yeah,
Emad: Google sheets, the more modern version of it. But I think without those two things, like not having the data available to interpret as I need to would be [inaudible].
David: By the way, I feel like, I don't know if they've done this yet, but at the elementary school, in the middle school, high school level, I, if excel is not a required course at this point, I didn't. I mean, I just feel like it's so useful and, and can and do so many things. Um, but people still don't have a lot of knowledge on it. So I agree.
Emad: Great. And I also want to kind of use this as an opportunity to really dispel the notion that marketers might not be data-driven, right? Like, especially in today's Day and age. Like, Dave, you probably know this better than anybody. Like you run a digital agency, we're in the numbers day in and day out looking for the right optimization opportunities, understanding what the true incremental lift is on things like those are all part of the marketing's other. It's not just all Photoshop and creative branding now here.
David: Yep, absolutely. Um, I'm somewhat too that just like I hated math in school and everything like that. I just loved the creative and the marketing part of it. But now I find myself looking at close rates per day on our clients and you know, open rates and like you said, just constantly looking at data and being able to evolve a just tweak based on that data is really what marketing is I think in 2019. Um, you know, in our industry things move so quickly. Tech Algorithms, things like that. Is there any literature or any follows on, so, so anything that you keep a close tabs on to make sure you kind of keep your thumb on the ever changing landscape?
Emad: That's a great question. So I almost, and I think some people might consider it a little counterintuitive, but I think it's really important to try to continue to ascribe to those like tried and true marketing principles. Right? And I think the way I seek those out often is like Cliche, but Gary v is a great followup, right? Like I think he does a great job of preaching those things and really evangelizing a lot of those things that I mentioned today. Um, I think in terms of like greening out information, I think meetups are great for that. I'm personally a little weary of vendor hosted conferences. But like I think anytime you have the opportunity to go to a meetup where you have other like minded folks solving some real problems in their industries, it's a great amount because of the same principles that they apply can very equally apply to whatever your vertical is. Those are the main places where I think I kind of seek out knowledge and uh, literature, if you will.
David: I love it if there's companies out there, businesses, brands that really, and I think it's true, right? I mean, even for my company, the life cycle management really wasn't brought into a about four years into the company, we really started looking at it like who are, who are active clients, who are past clients, who are clients that have renewed and hello, we target these people differently. Um, if a brand is just getting into, let's look at our consumer and let's start to look at the lifecycle of our consumer. What are some of those key tenants that you leave them with on this podcast? And make sure they're looking at,
Emad: I would first and foremost, and we're going to start from the top, right? Like think about from the time you acquire a customer, where did you acquire them from? Right? Like a customer who comes in through paid search is very different from a customer that comes in through paid social, right? And then
David: organically to your website, that's a totally different game. Yeah,
Emad: absolutely. Or through like some sort of referral program or partnership you have with company. Yeah. Like those are all very different types of customer types and there should be different benchmarks and expectations associated with them. Right. But then you can, if you're not clear on what those are today, you can kind of track those across sort of your core business metrics across various times when those rights, like what do they look like at seven days post acquisition, what are they looking at? 14 days, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days. And over the time you could really build out a true profile of what to expect from your acquisition sources. If you know that you're going to pay let's say $10 for a customer on Facebook, um, and their lifetime value is going to be seven x over the next 12 months. Like that's, that's a very different perspective and view than their lifes, their lifetime value being $10 over the first 30 days and all of a sudden you kind of call it and just say, okay, well maybe Facebook wasn't worthwhile. Yeah.
David: Um, you know, one thing I learned that I'll, I'll share to the listeners as well as I was, we were pretty much running campaigns and produce, well you know this as well, but, uh, we are running campaigns the same way no matter who they were, whether it was a new customer, a current customer, an old customer. And finally we looked at the data like, what are we doing? Like our, you know, our, our return rate on customers is, you know, up there towards the highest in the industry. Why are we not cultivating these relationships more and focusing less on the cold outreach? Um, and it seems like a very simple thing and that kinda took a Aha moment, but just looking at the data showed us, wait a second, these 19 people are our bread and butter. Why are we marketing them the same way that we're marketing the other 300 or whatever. So, um, it's definitely something I recommend everybody Kinda dive into. Um, any advice for anybody that is looking to get more into enrollment? You've obviously had some amazing stops that apple and news talks about Lyft and um, you know, now stub hub. Any advice for anybody striving to get into a position where you're at?
Emad: Yeah, and it's actually, I'm an anecdote. I came across everybody, it's like you have to kind of seek out not just where, you know, you're, and I'm gonna use this word kind of, um, for lack of a better term, but you don't want to just go where you're tolerated and accepted. You want to go where you're celebrated. Right. And I think it's really the opportunity to like apply your knowledge to a place that's really right and is the right time and place to be able to apply what you, all that stuff you have cooking in your head, right? Like I think like, and it also depends so much on where you are in your career. If you're just starting out, it's really about going to a company where you'll have the opportunity to really impact and influence things. At least I was, the way I approached on pizza was just that for me. I joined beats when I was in my junior year of college as an [inaudible].
David: Are you wearing beats right now? Of course. There you go. Okay. I Have Apple Watch. Sorry. Amazing. Uh,
Emad: so I, I would say like, seek out those opportunities that are gonna kind of be like those rocket ship moments for you and then really give you the most learning and opportunity to maximize your learnings, but then go to a place where you'll have the opportunity to really leverage those learnings and apply that. So gift matter expertise.
David: Um, I did
Emad: Search tickets and Google and you guys are the first, uh, result here. I'm not going to click the link though, cause I know that might cost you about $7. So I, I consider you a friend now, but that shows you, you know, where you guys are at, um, anybody that you can recommend and your network that you think we provide some knowledge or value for, for the listeners. Um, if so, who would that person be and why? Yeah. Um, my mind goes back to a recent, a colleague of mine at Lyft, sue goes, I knew Alex Shaheen right. And he is, I think one of the most brilliant marketers I've ever met. And I say this because he has such a holistic understanding of the customers that he's serving, but although he operates largely in a core product marketing role, um, he's able to use that to inform product market fit, right. And I think the value he drives in terms of understanding what the customers wants and needs are, and then tying that back to a marketing strategy that meets those needs and also elevates the brand. I think it's, it's one of the best I've seen and I've been fortunate to be around a lot of great marketers that all the stops I've made.
David: Yeah. Very, very cool. Um, well thank you so much man. That was, that was amazing and really appreciate all the detail and all the knowledge that you dropped. Uh, once again, Emad Kazi the global lifecycle managers step up. Thanks so much for the time, man. I appreciate it.