Pipeline Visionaries

Maintaining Human Connections in a Digital-First World with Dillon Nugent, CMO at Khoros

Episode Summary

This episode features an interview with Dillon Nugent, CMO at Khoros. Khoros connects every facet of customer engagement, including digital contact centers, messaging, chat, online brand communities, CX analytics, and social media management. Dillion is innovating the tech industry with both programmatic and account-based strategies. On this episode Dillon shares her insights into maintaining human connections in a digital-first world, the importance of speaking your customers language, and diversifying your portfolio to reduce market risks.

Episode Notes

This episode features an interview with  Dillon Nugent, CMO at Khoros. Khoros connects every facet of customer engagement, including digital contact centers, messaging, chat, online brand communities, CX analytics, and social media management. Dillion is innovating the tech industry with both programmatic and account-based strategies.

On this episode Dillon shares her insights into maintaining human connections in a digital-first world, the importance of speaking your customers language, and diversifying your portfolio to reduce market risks.


“We've gotten used to the ability to find human connection through digital, it has enabled how we're living and how were purchasing, how we're interacting with brands and also in our personal lives with each other.” - Dillon Nugent, CMO, Khoros


Episode Timestamps:

*(02:49) - Dillon’s role at Khoros

*(03:31) - Segment: Trust Tree

*(09:16) - Maintaining human connections in a digital-first world

*(10:35) - Segment: The Playbook

*(14:38) - Diversifying your portfolio to reduce market risks

*(19:39) - The importance of speaking your customers language 

*(26:32) - Segment: The Dust Up

*(29:12) - Segment: Quick Hits



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Episode Transcription

[00:01:36] Ian : Welcome to Demand Gen Visionaries. I'm Ian Faison. CEO of Caspian Studios, and today I am joined by a special guest. Dillon, how are you? I'm great. 

[00:01:51] Dillion : Thank you. Nice to meet you and be here today. 

[00:01:53] Ian : Yeah. Excited to have you on the show, chat about the company and all things marketing.

[00:01:58] Ian : So how did you get started in Demand Gen?

[00:02:00] Dillion : Unlike many of your guests, perhaps I did not build my career purely in tech marketing or in demand gen. I moved into demand gen. A little bit later in my career, I spent years and years in the advertising world and was really focused on B2C and really mask-marketed products, and then moved into tech, into marketing and landed my first demand gen job.

[00:02:28] Dillion : Specifically, I was hired to be an ABM specialist, so I was targeting our top 10 accounts at my company and doing very white-glove tactics and, and programs that helped expand the business with those accounts.

[00:02:42] Ian : And flash forward to today, tell us about your current role. 

[00:02:46] Dillion : My current role is I'm Chief Marketing Officer at Khoros.

[00:02:49] Dillion : I am a first time cmo and I have been in this role for only a few months, so I'm learning a lot of the rookie things you learn when you first step into this, to this position. I have been at Khoros for about four years, and I was running demand gen for the majority of my time here as well as marketing operations and events, and had the opportunity to move into this role and.

[00:03:14] Dillion : Um, really enjoying the broader view across marketing, but demand gen does really run deep in my blood, so that's where I am today. 

[00:03:23] Ian : Always good to see a demand gen person get promoted to cmo. That's what we like to see. Let's get to our first segment. It's called the trust tree.

[00:03:41] Ian This is where we go and feel honest and trusted, and you can share those deepest, darkest demand gen Secrets, what does Khoros  do?

[00:03:49] Dillion : Khoros is targeted at the enterprise market and we provide customer engagement. So essentially what that is, is providing the ability to give companies the ability to connect with customers in any channel digitally, but providing enough human connection because the company does really believe that human connection is very valuable to brand experiences.

[00:04:14] Dillion : However, we know companies are looking for efficiencies, and we know customers want to connect digitally. So our software helps marketers, contact centers, customer service. Community managers to harness that digital interaction and not only provide a human connection to that interaction, but also valuable data collection that helps provide a more consistent, seamless experience for our customer.

[00:04:39] Ian : Yeah, and tell me a little bit more about those customers. Where in the enterprise are they? What kinds of verticals and what does that look. 

[00:04:47] Dillion : Yeah, it's broad. Some b2b, mostly B2C companies, and it is across pretty much every vertical. Maybe not like manufacturing and things like that that don't have that B2C element, but travel, hospitality, retail, fin serve, high tech, telecom, any of the major industries or who we're talking to, and we are talking to an enterprise level company.

[00:05:11] Dillion : Our solutions are quite robust and they are built for scale. Built for highly customized solutions. So oftentimes if you're a small to medium size business that's building your social practice or your online customer engagements, you don't need as robust at a solution that Khoros provides. But it's often the brands that are already large or are growing into that and have out grown other solutions.

[00:05:39] Ian : And then, yeah. What does that buying committee look like at those big companies? How many people are involved in this? 

[00:05:44] Dillion : Yeah, the buying committee is really broad and that is one of, I think, our biggest challenges, and also one of the things we get to explore is that because we have a number of different solutions from branded online communities to social media management, to chat and messaging and customer service software, we are dealing with all of those different end users and really ultimately where the challenge lies.

[00:06:11] Dillion : Where does that budget for customer experience lie? It is often it will be across different organizations within a company. Sometimes it will be with a CMO, sometimes a CXO. So primarily it's a CMO in CXO who is the budget holder. But there are a lot of influencers across all those departments that I mentioned, as well as it looking at the overall tech stack and how it all works together and how to simplify and consolidate and get as much efficiency as possible.

[00:06:36] Ian : And how is your marketing org structured to acquire those account? So 

[00:06:40] Dillion : our marketing team is organized by, We have a marketing ops team. We have our brand team that's working real top of funnel with all of our awareness. We have our demand gen team. The demand gen team is organized essentially by pain point.

[00:06:54] Dillion : We're solution, and they're all targeting different personas. So it's a. By both solution and persona. And we have also a, an events team that sets under demand gen. And then we have international team that we give a lot of empowerment to really reflecting the needs of that region. So we all sit together, but essentially we give our international regions a little bit more leeway to market differently now.

[00:07:17] Dillion : And I forgot product marketing too. Product marketing. Pretty big product of the engine. Yes. Product marketing also sits on in my. . 

[00:07:23] Ian : And so how does like demand fit within your marketing strategy? Obviously you were running demand for a long time. Yes. So, so clearly this is your 

[00:07:32] Dillion : baby. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Chorus has had a, a really interesting history that I walked into.

[00:07:37] Dillion : Really at the inception, it was chorus, was the merger. Of a couple of big companies that came together that were boast in the customer engagement space and since then has also acquired other companies along the way. So it has been a work in progress. It has been a growth experience for the company. And when I walked in it was brand new.

[00:07:56] Dillion : We were relaunching the brand rebranding, taking the awareness that had been built from two different companies and harnessing that and leveraging it, but at the same time really trying to carve out the space for net new brand and, and new offer. So where demand fits in that whole picture is that. . While we were trying to do a lot of awareness, we were also trying to do a lot of legion at the same time.

[00:08:17] Dillion : The belief with bringing these companies together was that we were gonna have a much richer, broader offering. So how could we capitalize on that? I will say one thing with our demand function was we had to always think about that awareness piece. As much as we were trying to drive leads, people still were asking who we were.

[00:08:35] Dillion : Who is this brand? You would talk about the legacy brands they would remember so. In so much of what we do, it was are we driving the right kind of leads? But at the same time, are we also educating and driving awareness. It was a dual and we worked really closely with the brand team on that, but it was a dual focus there and it still is today.

[00:08:52] Dillion : It takes time. Yeah, 

[00:08:53] Ian : it really does. Especially getting. Everything from the story to the design to incorporating new companies and their piece into that. Like all of those things happening at once. Normally companies just kinda have to deal with one at a time, a big rebrand or you know, an acquisition or whatever it is.

[00:09:09] Ian : But kind of dealing with all of those at the same time creates, like you said, a kind of a, a longer, longer tail there. 

[00:09:16] Dillion : And at the same time we were going after the existing markets. We had been going after the separate brands. We were also looking to break into new markets, so it was a whole nother. Part of a buying center.

[00:09:29] Dillion : We were trying to, and we still are building familiarity with, and so that's been a challenge. It's also been made the job really interesting. I will say a big part of our demand gen strategy is like most B2B software companies, is content marketing. Mm-hmm. . That is a really big piece of how do we educate, how do we educate our buyers or perspective buyers on a space that is nascent to many and it's constantly changing and so dynamic.

[00:09:54] Dillion : Even for us who are certainly making sure we're adding the right feature and functionality to our software in order to keep up with trends, all of our customers and prospects are doing the same thing, trying to keep up with what's changing. Certainly the past two years of the pandemic only accelerated the digital, the need for digital engagement for brands when people weren't going into stores and leaving their.

[00:10:17] Dillion : And that behavior as we've all been following and observing, has stuck a lot as well. I mean, there has been some return obviously, but even when you look at how we're working remotely, digital software and how we've gotten used to the ability to find human connection through digital has enabled how we're living and how we're purchasing, how we're interacting with brands, and also in our personal lives with each other, how we're working.

[00:10:44] Ian : All right, let's get to our next segment, The playbook.

[00:10:55] Ian : This is where you open up that playbook and talk about the tactics that help you win. What three channels or tactics are your uncut budget items?

[00:11:06] Dillion : The first one's gonna be totally unoriginal, which I think is table stakes. But SEM and seo, I think are, again, if you believe that people are online doing their research, their education, their purchasing, then that's where they start. So if you're not showing up their, you're doing your brand a disservice and you're not cementing yourself as a solution or something for people to explore.

[00:11:28] Dillion : So SEO, sem, I don't think you can put enough emphasis. I would say events. I ironically looking at events through such a different lens in terms of how we define what an event is. Again, during the last two years, events became virtual. We learned everything about how to do a virtual event. I think everybody went overboard with webinars and then everybody got sick of webinars.

[00:11:49] Dillion : So it's constantly been changing that format. As we're going back to kind of normalcy, we're seeing events are coming back. People have this desire to be face to face and have more human connection. However, they're not coming. Exactly the same. And so we are experimenting a lot more with field strategy and road showing things and going to customers and prospects and having more intimate, highly targeted, smaller group gatherings instead of the big hosted conferences.

[00:12:17] Dillion : So I think that that's a big difference that we're seeing, but it doesn't take away from the fact that getting out in front of people and face to face provides a lot of value. So events would definitely be second thing. I would not cut and put up there. Other one would be content syndication. I know that's also a popular answer, but I do feel like it is a great engine for driving specificity in the types of leads you're looking for and getting in front of the audiences just like events can do, but getting in front of audiences that.

[00:12:46] Dillion : You normally struggle to get in front of who don't know, to look for you, don't know to recognize you and who what you're about. So content syndication offers that ability to put thought leadership, a meaningful point of view and education in front of people that you normally wouldn't be able to. And lastly, I would be to not mention partnerships.

[00:13:09] Dillion : I think this is a really untapped area for chorus that we are diving really deep into. And just like content syndication, it's looking at other strategic alliances that make sense for the audiences you're both going after and helping each other get in front of those audiences. 

[00:13:27] Ian : Zooming in on a couple things there, so content syndications actually kind of polarizing.

[00:13:32] Ian : We have some people who think it's great and other folks who would rather cut it. I'm curious, like what types of places do you look to do content syndication? You also create a bunch of original content as well, so just yeah, curious how you think about those two. 

[00:13:46] Dillion : Yeah, you're absolutely right because when I walked in the door here, it was as if content indications should never be looked at again or used, and it was good for nothing.

[00:13:55] Dillion : So we did abandon it for a couple of years. It was only during Covid that we picked it back up again. And honestly, a little bit out of desperation of what do we do right? Where are we gonna put our dollars? How are we gonna get 'em front of the right people? We feel paralyzed with a lot of things we can't do anymore.

[00:14:13] Dillion : It was a really good lesson. In never throwing the baby out with a bath water when it comes to channels or tactics, just because something doesn't work right now. It doesn't mean I can't work in the future. Yeah. Depending on what you're talking about, who you're talking to and the time that it is. So I think that was a really good lesson.

[00:14:31] Dillion : I always like to say everything old is new again. I think you constantly have to be changing your channels. I liken it to, uh, a diverse portfolio. The more eggs you put in one basket. The more you have risk, the law of diminishing returns really does crystallize. You can't overdo webinars, you can't overdo content marketing, You can't overdo events.

[00:14:51] Dillion : Once you start doing a certain amount, you're just not gonna get the return from it that you do at a more balanced level. So content syndication, I would say it has been very controversial, even internally. Do I trust these leads? Do they really know who we are, how we qualified them? Certainly, I think every sales team wants to know that these people came to our website and they clicked on us and we nurtured them and homegrown leads.

[00:15:14] Dillion : Essentially, I look at content syndication as kind of. Outsourcing and farming things out, like sometimes that's the best thing to do and to go to those sources that know how to really grow that well. So we've experimented a lot with how many touches, how we take those leads from content syndication providers, and then nurture them ourselves.

[00:15:33] Dillion : It's highly dependent on the content topic. Who we're targeting and we've really watched closely, like let's test and learn. Let's see how two Touch does and how Free Touch does. Let's hold these for a little longer, see if they convert higher. So we really experimented with, what's that right sweet spot.

[00:15:51] Dillion : I think there was a time during Covid when everybody was a little panicked and we passed a lot really quickly and we learned we passed it too quickly. That's just a waste of your marketing investment there. The leads get disqualified or recycled. So yeah, I think if there's definitely a controversy around it and trusting it because you have essentially outsourced something.

[00:16:11] Dillion : But I think if you find the right partners there and you trust qualification process. And we've experimented a lot with custom questions so that we only accept leads that answer these questions certain ways. So there's a lot of different ways that I feel like content syndication partners are providing that flexibility and creativity around how you customize the lead 

[00:16:32] Ian : you're looking for.

[00:16:33] Ian : Yeah. It's really interesting. My thoughts on this are, when I see it done poorly, is often a reflection of the media organization and how they position their content. Like for example, You write a piece that goes up for someone's website and it's just chalk full of ads. There's the like popups and banners and all sorts of crazy stuff, and you're like, Gosh, I can't even get through this thing.

[00:16:58] Ian : Versus maybe it just would've been worth it to just spend more time on running paid ads and driving back to our site. Uh, curious to your thoughts there? Yeah, 

[00:17:07] Dillion : I think there's so many variables. That's where you need to dig in deep with the partners you talk to. There's. No shortage of content syndication partners out there and those platforms and how your content is served.

[00:17:21] Dillion : Is very specific to what you need. Anything that's overcrowded and vying for attention, pulling in a reader's attention in a lot of ways is not gonna be a high quality interaction with your content, nor are they going to really remember that came from you. I think that's one of the hardest parts about content syndication is you are borrowing this equity and borrowing this audience.

[00:17:42] Dillion : You have to break through in a strong enough way to where what you've served up and who you are is memor. Because we're all bombarded with a lot of messages no matter what platform or website we go to. That leads me to a big part of my passion, which is finding messaging that is really clear and simple, and I hate sometimes people are thrown off by this word, but provocative.

[00:18:05] Dillion : Mm-hmm. in a way that represents your point of view. I mean, to me that's marketing 1 0 1 is how you understand to how you strike that balance. You speak their language, but you also open the door to something they hadn't thought about. 

[00:18:19] Ian : So when you're doing that type of syndication, are your teams making that stuff in house and then just spending the time to find the right partners to syndicate?

[00:18:27] Ian : Or how do you think about like the creation of that stuff? Because obviously someone's gotta be creating the provocative content. 

[00:18:33] Dillion : We are creating all the content here and we are not outsourcing that part of it. We are just outsourcing placement. Mm-hmm. and the way to target that audience with that content.

[00:18:44] Dillion : We've done a lot of test and learn around this piece of content does really well in these types of environments with this type of buyer, and we often will look at both what performs well on some of our ad placement that we are doing directly and see if we're getting the same result through content syndication.

[00:19:02] Dillion : We will often find a different result from our own website or our own email nurture will perform differently. So it's really paying attention to the environment. You're serving up that content. I 

[00:19:12] Ian : have to mention that, of course, you all have a podcast, CX Confessions, which is rad, which people can check out.

[00:19:18] Ian : Mm-hmm. on the website, and that's one of the types of resources. That you're creating. And so I'm curious about how you're thinking about the creation of not only just that type of content, but also the resources and some of the channel integrations that that you've been talking about as it relates to creating meaningful, powerful stuff.

[00:19:39] Dillion : Yeah. So to be slightly controversial, I'll say I definitely am fueled by looking at the B2B environment and seeing that there. A lot of me too messaging going on and a lot of the same language, A lot of jargon. Mm-hmm. . Yep. A lot of the acronyms we all love to use and. I think there is a certain part of that that is connecting with your audience.

[00:20:04] Dillion : Here's the language you use, here's how you speak. We get you, we get your world. But at the same time, I find it very much like a sea of sameness and that there is all that jargon feels very kind of cold and clinical. In some ways, we get very caught up in feature function. Yep. I take a little bit of the page I learned in more my B2C world, which was there's a motion and logic on every post purchase decision and how can we tap more of that in this space.

[00:20:31] Dillion : I think there's a lack of that, and I think there's also a lack of what your particular point of view is. I'm also really picky about it being authentic and not just saying again, what you think people want to buy in here, but why is that true for you and what your solution offers? Why is that true for.

[00:20:47] Dillion : Your company and the partnership you offer, how do you stand behind that? How do you actually illustrate that? So I think that's a really powerful place to, to focus. I think we all wanna be saying the same things, but it just really blends together. I think we miss like the, that human element, We're talking about tech, we're talking about software, we're talking about hardware and.

[00:21:07] Dillion : It's humans buying these things. It's humans using these things. We're enabling humans with these things, so it, we have to bring humanity into it. And I think that starts with not just getting lost in your own roadmap and your own features and functions and thinking that's the most important thing you talk about, but the most important thing you talk about is your customer and your audience and what problem they're trying to solve, because that is going to be a larger idea.

[00:21:37] Dillion : Than the feature function. 

[00:21:39] Ian : What about your most cuttable or something that maybe you're not investing in right this second? 

[00:21:44] Dillion : This lack of draw that big, huge events are getting, I think I hear day after day of outside of the big, huge industry leaders, There is less discretionary budget to actually travel to these things.

[00:21:59] Dillion : Everybody's TNA is a little bit more kept than it used to be. There's, I even just think less desire to be in these really big atmospheres with lots of people. I think people are coming back in a different way. We are not hosting huge venue events like we used to. We are doing it on a smaller scale more frequently, and I think the same goes for some of the other industry events.

[00:22:22] Dillion : We're skeptical. Really? Are we there yet again? Mm-hmm. . 

[00:22:27] Ian : I mean, I think we're not, I think it's like about the depth of the engagement at this point, right? It's like the people who are ready to be there are ready to do that and the people who aren't like, aren't. Cuz we had to change our whole lives around.

[00:22:39] Ian : So from marketing perspective, I think it's about. The depth of engagement and trying to figure out ways to connect with the folks that that do consume in that way, and focus on what do we have for the people who consume a totally different way, and that each of those are a deep engagement rather than sort of like surface level drone dollars and stuff.

[00:23:00] Dillion : I can agree more, I think. The meaningful factor in the engagements is grown. There's a higher bar. I think just like we look at the workplace and we say, We're not gonna go back to the office Monday through Friday, nine to five because I know I can do it this other way. However, I still wanna see people. I still need to have interactions.

[00:23:20] Dillion : I'm just gonna do it differently. I think the same thing is happening with how we interact, whether it's socially or for. And I'm sure you've heard, I hear from people it's getting better, but when we first started like opening back up, it was people would go out and they'd be exhausted. Yeah. Being around people and like talking to people like, Oh my God, I'm so outta practice.

[00:23:39] Dillion : But I think we have to admit like we're changed and. I think it's important to recognize that and know what have we learned from the past and how did the past change us, and how do we embrace that moving forward instead of trying to go back to what it was, right? How do we embrace that? And I think you constantly have to do that.

[00:23:55] Dillion : It doesn't take a pandemic to do that. I think whether it's economic conditions or other cultural milestones or just trends that are happening that we have to take a look at and understand. How is this changing how people are gonna interact with my messaging and mail reach? How do you view 

[00:24:13] Ian : your website?

[00:24:15] Dillion : The website is the home court advantage. It is absolutely the most powerful place. Once you get your audience there to convert them, it is inviting them into your home. I think one of the areas that we are striving more and more for, and I think is underutilized, is the ability to personalize that website experience.

[00:24:34] Dillion : So, , a whole slew of technology around how to do this in a way that looks at where someone's coming from, what they've read, any of the other data we can gather from their search. So I think providing that personalized web experience is something we're gonna see more and more of. I think the website is a place where we need to practice incredible discipline because we can do page after page and because no one's telling us there's a word limit.

[00:25:05] Dillion : Yeah. We need to hold ourselves back. . 

[00:25:08] Ian : I was talking to someone today, we're creating a podcast for a company and the host was saying how. It's so helpful to have our team because they can never stop themselves. Like once they start going and I was like, Yeah, it's called an editor. You know what I mean?

[00:25:27] Ian : Like there's a reason why you have producers and editors and all these things. There's a reason why every author has an editor and it's, that is where I feel like us as marketers so often, You know, you want to have that blend of the editor that can reel you in, but also the freedom to do the stuff that you want to do to go there, and you're trying 

[00:25:46] Dillion : to satisfy a lot of masters in this.

[00:25:48] Dillion : Everybody has a little skin in the game. Everybody loves to comment on. what image we have on that website or why is that person there, or why do they look like that? Or why do we use that word or why does this toggle, I mean, there's so many ways, obviously, to customize, and everybody has their own opinion.

[00:26:06] Dillion : You can't please everybody. I think it's user testing is also incredibly underappreciated and I appreciate. Probably something people don't do enough. Hey, we all drink the koolaid. You know, we all know this messaging. And if we still think sometimes it may sound confusing. Gosh, what do other people think?

[00:26:21] Dillion : So the more we can step outside and get that outside perspective from that editor, producer function, or a usable user, I think the better. Let's 

[00:26:31] Ian : go to our next segment. The dust up

[00:26:48] Ian :  We talk about healthy tension, whether that's with your board, your sales team, your competitors, or anyone else. Have you had a memorabl

[00:26:59] Dillion : Yes, this would be an interesting twist because one of my big passions is alignment with sales. And quite frankly, I don't want to work somewhere in marketing where marketing and sales are not on the same page.

[00:27:12] Dillion : It's just not as rewarding. It's not as powerful and it's really gets tired, , and exhausting and cliche, and nobody wants to live in that. So ironically, it's not a desktop with. It was when I was first hired to do ABM and I didn't know any better. I did my homework. I realized ABM was all about partnering with sales.

[00:27:36] Dillion : I embedded myself in sales in every way that I could, but interestingly, the desktop was with marketing. My marketing folks said, Hey, You're always about sales. What are you doing? Like, why are you always over there? Why are you always in their area? You know, you should be with marketing. And at that point I felt like, Hey, what I've accomplished by getting in the boat with these people is that we are working together.

[00:28:01] Dillion : And whether that's they come to your site or you go to their site, it doesn't really matter. But at the end of the day, there was such, there was so much more power in that, and it didn't have to be marketing versus sales. Like instead, The phrase is marketing and service of sales. It's, we're all in service of revenue.

[00:28:19] Dillion : Yeah. You know, we're all in the same. You know, and the minute we silo that into, Well, we do this and you do that, or we hit our numbers and we guys did, it's just, ugh, you're 

[00:28:30] Ian : broken. That's one of the things that's been so interesting about product led growth and just this whole like kind of growth marketing function, where then all of a sudden marketing is straight up owning a number, like actually owning it, and then it's like self-serve and all that sort of stuff, like who's in charge of self-serve and everything.

[00:28:46] Ian : You're like, If like self serve is a number, then you start to look at the revenue number as very jointly held thing. But marketing's like beholden to that kind of shifted the dynamic there. And you know, we've had a bunch of those type of CMOs on the show and we're running plg and it's like, yeah, it's a different world.

[00:29:04] Ian : Like it is a different conversation when you own that stuff. Okay, let's get to our next and final segment. Quick hits. These are quick questions and quick answers. Just like how quickly qualified helps companies generate pipeline faster. Tap into your greatest asset, your website to identify your most valuable visitors, and instantly start sales conversations.

[00:29:30] Ian : It's quick and easy. Just like these questions. Go to qualified.com to learn more. We love qualified with every little fabric of our hearts. Go to qualified.com to learn more Quick hits, Dillon. And are you ready? Number one, do you have a hidden talent or skill that's not on your resume? 

[00:29:46] Dillion : I do really good impressions of, I might be able to do you after this conversation.

[00:29:51] Dillion : Oh, there you go. . Of anybody? Of anybody. I will just start talking like, That. I mean I work with or I'm friends with and people are like, It's crazy how much you sound like that person. 

[00:30:02] Ian : That's great. You can host next episode, uh, favorite book, podcast, TV show that you've been checking out that you would recommend.

[00:30:09] Dillion : I  love anything from Adam Grant. I read his book, Think Again. I thought it was great. I'm. Really fascinated with psychology and the other book I am into, but not yet through it's very dense, interesting, is how minds change. And I find it fascinating how we don't even realize in our subconscious when we change our minds or what changes our minds 

[00:30:33] Ian : Favorite non-marketing hobby that maybe indirectly makes you a better?

[00:30:38] Dillion : I think directly makes me a better marketer. Being a curious consumer, I often will mystery shop. I will really explore why do I love the brands I love? 

[00:30:48] Ian : I love that. Love the mystery shopping. I know you've been a first time CMO just for a little bit already, but what's your advice to a fellow first time CMO trying to figure out their demand and marketing?

[00:31:03] Dillion : I would say so often everyone says, Look at the. By no means am I short changing that. I think the data is hugely important and can teach us a lot, but it doesn't teach you everything. So I would say bring the data and bring your insight, and if you're missing the insight, go back and find it. So trust the numbers and trust your gut because if you're just using one or the other, you're probably missing something.

[00:31:26] Ian : That's all we got for today. For our listeners, go to chorus.com to learn more. A lot of cool stuff that you're all doing. A lot of cool content, great podcast. Customer experience. I think every single marketer needs to learn more about customer experience because it is what we should be marketing and it's our business.

[00:31:43] Ian : Any final thoughts? Anything to plug?

[00:31:46] Dillion : Yeah, I would just say I agree with what you just said. That is one of the reasons I am here and love the space I'm in, is that we are all living it every day, especially as marketers, we're probably more attuned to it, but even when we're not a marketer, it's that experience with a brand.

[00:32:00] Dillion : You have numerous experiences throughout every day. The ones that surprise and delight you or meet you or. Even just meet your expectations are amazing and the power that brings to the loyalty you have, the trust you have on that brand. So if you can create something through an experience, you can make people go out of their way, make people pay more, and go to you even when it's not convenient.

[00:32:23] Ian : I couldn't agree more. I'd rather have something with a brilliant customer experience that I don't have to worry about all the other stuff. Thanks again for joining. We really appreciate it and we'll talk soon.

[00:32:36] Dillion : Thanks, Ian.