MarTech Interview with Steve Taylor, CEO, BlueRush

MarTech Interview with Steve Taylor, CEO, BlueRush
MarTech Interview with Steve Taylor, CEO, BlueRush

“Video is a superior tool to drive engagement, conversions and to help make the complex simple — personalized video, driven by deep customer insights, is an even more powerful format.”

Tell us about your role and journey to Customer Experience Management? What made you join BlueRush?

I started working in Customer Experience in the pioneer days of web development (the mid 90’s). I’ve always had a passion for creating unique digital experiences that help drive measurable business results.

When I saw the power of the Interactive and Personalized Video platform BlueRush had developed – IndiVideo – I was hooked right away and wanted to be part of driving the business forward.

What makes the current Customer Experience scene so exciting?

From the BlueRush perspective, the excitement exists at the intersection of Customer Experience, Customer Intelligence and dynamically rendered video.

Video is a superior tool to drive engagement, conversions and to help make the complex simple. Personalized video, driven by deep customer insights, is an even more powerful format. It is the apex predator on the Customer Experience scene.

As compared to B2C, how does a CEO’s role differ in the B2B tech industry?

My role encompasses product direction, sales, customer service, finance, investor relations, culture and talent. I have never run a B2C company but in making comparisons with colleagues it is pretty clear that the biggest difference is in the sales function. Selling to large and medium enterprises is a completely different game than selling B2C with its own unique set of challenges.

What is a 360-Degree Customer View for you? How does BlueRush deliver these insights to customers?

Every company we talk to is striving for a more complete (360-degree) view of the customer.  This desired view goes beyond the transaction itself. Interactive and personalized video provides a unique opportunity to extend the understanding of the customer.

We can track and report everything — who viewed the videos, for how long, on what device, where they were, when they view it, if they stopped viewing it, when they dropped off… etc. We feed these insights back to our customers using the PowerBI analytics tools from Microsoft, which we run on the Azure Cloud.

What goes into creating a frictionless experience for tech buyers through automation and data analytics?

We sell based on the KPIs we can drive for our customers (such as increased engagement and conversion rates) and on the data we provide back to them, which helps them gain a deeper understanding of their customers.

I would love to say that the whole thing is frictionless, but we are extremely careful and considerate about how we implement our software. Hooking up the platform so that if functions intelligently as a customer experience and analytics driver takes time. We sell to a lot of banks and if anyone has figured out how to make software integration in financial services frictionless then they should call me right away and tell me how they do it!  416 457 9391

What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?

We love the team at Senso.ai. They use AI to take raw customer lists and add insights such as propensity to churn or propensity to buy. We can take these insights and drive more precise personalized messaging in our videos. We are very excited about what Senso is going to yield for our customers.

What Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?

  • Our own personalized videos of course!
  • HubSpot (CRM and Marketing Automation)
  • Microsoft Teams for collaboration and file management
  • Zoom.us for video conferencing outside of our internal teams
  • Gong.io (We are experimenting with something called Gong, which records all of our calls [with permission] and uses native language processing to give us insight on time spent talking [are we talking too much?], topics covered, patience… so far this looks like a winner and something we will adopt)
  • Sales evaluations (We have a great connection with Prima Resources that helps us screen new candidates and also evaluate the current team [top to bottom]).

Could you tell us about an outstanding digital campaign?

IndiVideo drove a 40% increase in applications for mortgage pre-approval for one of our customers, a top 50 global bank.  This has led to a number of additional projects for this client.

We recently got results back from a pension fund customer in South America that are even more impressive. They have enjoyed an increase in conversions over 65%. After receiving a personalized pension IndiVideo, 65% more clients opened a new account or increased their contributions to an existing account.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?

  • Embrace it! AI is becoming more and more accessible. We are now applying AI to our own analytics strategy and we will be able to use these new insights to deliver better and better personalized videos.
  • As mentioned earlier, we are partnering with great companies in the AI space that can help us deliver better results for our customers.
  • There are no really good AI-based CEO technologies yet that I know of. So, for now, I think my job is made easier and more exciting and is not under any direct threat from AI.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

Bottom up and top down we drive a culture here that wants to embrace the best technologies available that will help us create the best solutions, operate as efficiently as possible, manage our projects and drive sales results.

One word that best describes how you work.

Collaboratively.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

  • HubSpot
  • Excel (sorry – but it lives on!)
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Outlook
  • Messenger
  • Waze
  • GreenP parking app!

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

Get up early and get a bunch done before the day starts.

What are you currently reading?

Biz – Just read “Blue Ocean,” “Sales Machine” and re-read “Crossing the Chasm” (never gets old).

Personal – Just finished Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher book (don’t judge by the movies people), “Multima Scheme” by Gary D. McGugan (met him at Chapters and bought his book on the spot), and blasted through a bunch of Neil Gaiman.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Be like a dog with a bone — said by my cousin, Helga.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

I motivate people very well.  I think it is because I genuinely believe in them, help when I am needed and otherwise try to stay out of their way.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read.

Mark Opauszky, CEO of PathFactory.

Mark was the CEO of Resolver, a company which I bought. We worked together for a while. He is super smart, engaging, and definitely like a dog with a bone!

Thank you, Steve! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

With over 25 years’ experience driving profitable growth in the Enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS), eCommerce and Digital Media industries, Steve Taylor works to accelerate BlueRush’s SaaS strategy, open up key new channels, and evaluate strategic acquisition opportunities. Steve assists BlueRush clients in their digital transformation journey, creating innovative ways to increase each brand’s digital engagement.

BlueRush Logo

BlueRush offers Software as a Service (“SaaS”) based content engagement platforms that enable organizations to achieve greater engagement and conversion metrics with existing customers and new prospects. BlueRush has a particular focus on the financial services industry in areas such as mortgage, loan and credit card origination, as well as supporting pension fund and insurance use cases. BlueRush develops and markets IndiVideo™, a disruptive interactive personalized video platform that drives return on investment (“ROI”) through customer interactions, from increased conversions to more engaging statements and customer care. IndiVideo enables BlueRush clients to capture knowledge and data from their customers’ video interaction, creating new and compelling data driven customer insights. IndiVideo can also be integrated with DigitalReach™, BlueRush’s SaaS-based content engagement platform, that delivers improved sales conversion metrics for more than 75,000 financial advisors at leading financial institutions. The combination of IndiVideo and DigitalReach is unique in the marketplace and provides BlueRush with a strong value proposition.

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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