feature

To help marketing, growth, and engagement teams see their work from a new perspective, Braze has partnered with Tom Fishburne, CEO and founder of Marketoonist, for a 10-part series of marketing-themed comics. This week, hear from Braze Cofounder and CEO Bill Magnuson on customer engagement’s missed connections.

To help marketing, growth, and engagement teams see their work from a new perspective, Braze has partnered with Tom Fishburne, CEO and founder of Marketoonist, for a 10-part series of marketing-themed comics.

Each week, we’ll share a Marketoon exploring a different aspect of the customer engagement landscape—and hear a thoughtful response from a Braze employee based on their own experiences and insights.

This week: Braze Cofounder and CEO Bill Magnuson on customer engagement’s missed connections.

When things go wrong at the human level, brand messaging can go sideways, fast. We’ve all been in this situation at one time or another. You land on time for a tight connection on the same carrier, but something dumb (and probably entirely preventable) is going on, keeping your plane from the gate as precious seconds tick by. You helplessly watch the notifications come in as your connecting flight is preparing to board, now boarding, final boarding call...and departed.

The airline had all the information—but they’re the ones who missed the connection.

The delta (no pun intended) between human experience and the canned brand communications people receive is growing—and becoming more painful as customer expectations rise. The number of digital touchpoints a customer has with a brand increases every year, while the number of human interactions keeps dropping. With more customers avoiding clunky, human-powered brand experiences, digital may be the only opportunity you have to make a positive impression.

Happily, the machines powering digital experiences are not subject to the same stressors as gate agents, flight attendants, store personnel, customer service representatives, and other human staff. But technology systems programmed with a set-and-forget mindset can lead people like our sleepless friend pictured above to yearn for the crabby desk clerk who at least would have known better than to knock on the door in the middle of the night.

The onus is on the brand to figure it out, listening attentively to data cues that reveal the context of each individual human experience. People are “telling” you an enormous amount of information throughout their customer journey with the data generated by their interactions with your brand. If you don’t keep each customer’s human context in mind as you manage and act on your audience’s first-party data in real time, your messaging runs the risk of being irrelevant or even actively contrary to the person’s needs and expectations in the moment—leaving your brand on the wrong foot...and you won’t even know it.

There’s no excuse anymore. Modern marketing technology can be purpose-built to experience the world as it happens, giving marketers the capability to automatically understand, with remarkable nuance, each individual’s contextual circumstances, and to shepherd each person into the brand experience that’s perfect for them in that moment: the next step in a flowing conversation the cements a positive relationship.

So wake up and smell the coffee. But not at 4:30 a.m.!

Bill Magnuson

Bill Magnuson is cofounder and CEO at Braze (formerly Appboy). Bill's love for technology began when he was a child where he often spent his recesses inside on the computer instead of playing frisbee outside (his other true passion). He previously served as CTO at Braze, overseeing the company's product and engineering divisions.