TechBytes with Erin Jaeger, Director, Product Marketing, Yext

Erin Jaeger, Director of Product Marketing at Yext

Erin Jaeger
Director, Product Marketing, Yext

Most business, especially SMBs struggle to control the information available about them, online. Yext’s Digital Knowledge Management platform helps businesses to tackle this pressing need. We spoke to Erin Jaeger, Director, Product Marketing, Yext to understand how their platform enables businesses to generate better ROMI.

Tell us about your role at Yext and the team and technology you handle.

As the Director of Product Marketing, I run the product marketing team at Yext.

Our job is all about defining and articulating why a business should invest in Yext’s technology. I help manage the messaging and positioning of each of our offerings.

Over the past four years, it’s been exciting to see Yext not only grow in size (we have five times as many employees from when I started!) but to see Yext transform from a single product to a true Digital Knowledge Management platform.

How do you define Digital Knowledge Management? Why should businesses leverage DKM?

With an increase in AI-powered services (like social networks, maps, apps, voice-enabled devices, digital assistants, etc.), it becomes increasingly difficult for a business to keep track of all the information about them that these services use and display to consumers. For instance, does the company’s Yelp page reflect the right business hours? Does a restaurant’s seasonal menu show up in a Google search? Does a map reflect that a business opened a second location?

This is where Yext and Digital Knowledge Management (DKM) come in. DKM entails identifying, managing, and curating all of the information a business wants the public to know about it, such as name, address, phone numbers, doctor credentials, etc. When businesses don’t manage this data, they not only miss sales opportunities but could potentially be creating confusion if the information is not consistent across all of the different places consumers search.

Which technologies make up a DKM stack?

A DKM stack should consist of three main parts. First is a core central database that allows a business to manage and relate all the facts about their brand. Second, that database should plug into the brand’s own first-party experiences, like its website and mobile app, as well as other direct channels like email. Third, it should sync with third-party experiences that utilize this data, from search engines like Google and Bing, to voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Siri, to other AI-powered services like Snapchat. With a true DKM stack in place, a company should be able to update its holiday hours once and watch that information flow everywhere a consumer could access it.

What are your predictions on Digital Knowledge Management technologies for 2018-2020?

One of the earliest types of information businesses realized they needed to manage was data about their physical locations, like their stores, offices, or branches. This is because digital mapping services really arose alongside mobile. So what I think we’re going to see is that consumers are going to expect deeper, richer information, beyond just physical locations. For example, they’re no longer just going to expect that restaurant location information be available, but information on urgent cares with short wait times, insurers who offer the type of coverage they need, etc. be available. In a nutshell, it will become increasingly important for more types of businesses to manage more of their digital knowledge.

How does the Yext Knowledge Assistant benefit marketing and sales teams to better manage their operations?

The Knowledge Assistant is a conversational user interface for the Yext platform, and you don’t have to download an app to use it. It’s an easy way for a marketing or sales team to better manage their business’s information across the web. We really see the benefits of the Knowledge Assistant when it comes to speed and scale.

First, in terms of speed, if you’re a business owner who unexpectedly needs to close, you can update this information across the web quickly from your phone. For instance, if you’re in the middle of a power outage and need to update customers that your store isn’t open when it normally is, the last thing you want to do in the middle of the crisis is get to your back office, get on a computer, and try to update that information across platforms. With the Knowledge Assistant, you can do this by simply sending a text from your phone.

And then in terms of scale, this is especially important for large corporations who may have independently run franchises. Hours or special deals may vary from location to location. Instead of corporate trying to keep up with that information or a local owner needing to submit updates to corporate via email, the local owner can now update the information themselves from their phone. It’s really empowering to the franchisee and helps corporate better manage updated data. On a related note, this is really important for reviews as well. With Yext, corporate can better monitor what locations are receiving positive or negative reviews and can work to replicate those behaviors in other locations or correct them when needed. And, if corporate wants, the local franchisees can respond to customer reviews about their locations, which drives a much better experience than getting a canned response from corporate.

What are the core tenets of Yext for Events? What makes it different from other event management tools?

Yext for Events is a single platform to help you manage, publish, and promote an event.

Many brands, especially those with multiple locations, know that events are a way to drive more customer traffic. However, it’s often impossible for corporate to know all of the details of all of the events at its individual locations, because local stores are the ones planning and executing them. Now, Yext for Events connects all parties so corporate has insight into that information.

Updating your website is also really difficult and time-consuming when it comes to your events, especially if you do a lot of them in your local stores. With Yext for Events, you can spin up optimized web pages for each event you put on with the click of a button — you don’t have to bug IT if you don’t want to. Same goes for the calendar on your website as well. And, it’s incredibly easy to make sure that same event information is available across sites like Facebook and Eventbrite and can be updated in near real-time. Plus, Yext for Events can coexist with other event management tools – making the process  simpler and more streamlined.

How do you integrate with Google Maps for photo-sharing?

In our Summer ’18 Release, we’ve enhanced our integration with Google to allow our customers (i.e. stores, restaurants, etc.) to see all of the photos that users upload to Google Maps from their stores in one place. This is helpful to business owners who can now more easily understand the consumer experience in each of their stores from one dashboard.

How do you organize your analytics stack for Audience data, Customer Data and Intent Data? How are these streams different from each other?

Our analytics provide high-level data about clicks, website views, and other calls-to-action (like requests to get driving directions). For example, we can help a business see that a certain number of people viewed them on Google Maps and clicked to get directions, which is a leading indicator of store traffic. This can help business owners better understand their business. For instance, if they notice their website traffic is down but business appears to be doing fine, why is that?

How should businesses unlock the value of their First-party and Third-party website and cross-channel data? What makes Yext a go-to platform for such campaigns?

Yext can help businesses see data about how consumers interact with them broadly across all platforms, from their own websites to third-party sites like Facebook, Yelp, and Google. Having all of this information gives businesses a more a holistic view of their customers and can help them better serve their audience.

Yext is the go-to platform for this because it brings together data from previously disparate sources to give you a holistic view of how consumers are interacting with your brand across all channels.

Thanks for chatting with us, Erin.

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