Sarah talks with Jennifer Deutsch, CMO of Park Place Technologies, about the musts and must nots of marketing service.
Sarah Nicastro: Welcome to the Future of Field Service podcast. I’m your host, Sarah Nicastro. I’m super excited for today’s podcast, because we’re going to be tackling a topic that I think a lot of listeners can benefit from digging into, which is understanding a CMO’s view on how to master service marketing. As companies move more toward advanced services, outcomes based services, as some of our manufacturing listeners move towards Servitizing their businesses, it’s becoming more and more important to rethink marketing strategies, or in some cases, develop new marketing strategies to be effective at marketing those new service offerings. I’m excited to welcome to the podcast today, Jennifer Deutsch, who is the Chief Marketing Officer at Park Place Technologies. Jennifer, welcome to the podcast.
Jennifer Deutsch: Thanks so much, Sarah. It’s great to be here with you today.
Sarah Nicastro: We are excited to have you. Okay. To get started, Jennifer, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, your role, and just make sure you tell folks a little bit about Park Place.
Jennifer Deutsch: Sure. Just to kick things off, Park Place Technologies is the world’s largest TPM, third-party maintenance, provider for data centers, but we’re much more than that. We’ve been very acquisitive over the last three years. We’ve had 16 acquisitions, which has taken us way beyond TPM. We’re now in the software business. We have actually an entire portfolio of products that includes Entuity, which is network analytics, and ParkView, which includes discovery, hardware monitoring, and much more. I’m actually going to talk a little bit about that later.
Jennifer Deutsch: A bit about me, I have a long history of marketing. I’ve been in marketing for the last 38 years. I have marketed food, hotel brands like Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance Hotels and Resorts. I even did a stint on branding Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts. I worked for Nestle, where I launched Lean Cuisine globally. I worked on also Nestle ice cream. I ran an advertising agency for 10 years. That was also very interesting because I worked on businesses, anything from industrial vibrators, which was pretty fascinating, too GE light bulbs, Sherwin-Williams paint.
Jennifer Deutsch: I did work in the retail space, did an awful lot in the healthcare space where we focused on hospital systems. That gave me a really interesting background on lots of different categories. I’ve also had global experience. I’ve had a great opportunity to prepare for my role at Park Place Technologies.
Sarah Nicastro: Absolutely. That sounds like they’re very lucky to have you and have all of that experience. I think, Jennifer, some of what our listeners grapple a bit with is there’s companies that I would say are similar to Park Place in the sense of really expanding core offerings, the same way you said that you’ve acquired these different companies, and you’ve really expanded the capabilities of the organization, and therefore the services you provide to customers.
Sarah Nicastro: A lot of our listeners are in that process, whether that’s through acquisition or just through the exploration and addition of different services. Then as I mentioned at the beginning, the folks within our audience that are in the manufacturing sector, a lot of those are really focusing on moving away from the habit and the process and the skills that it takes to market products and learning how to better market services. I think your insights are going to be really helpful on both fronts. We’ll dig in by starting, if you had to summarize Park Place’s approach to marketing IT services, how would you describe that?
Jennifer Deutsch: I would say that we lead through innovation. I would say that we’re an organization and also a marketing department that’s fearless in our innovation. Through innovation, we’ve been able to change the dynamics of our brand, our products, but also the category. We work hard to position Park Place as a thought leader and an innovator, and we do that on lots of different fronts. We use lots of different marketing tactics to do that from analyst relations to public relations, to truly innovating new products, innovating claims, et cetera. I can talk a little bit about that later.
Jennifer Deutsch: Innovation helps differentiate your product from the competition, helping to set you apart. Because at the end of the day, customers want to know, what’s the difference? Why did I buy your product or service versus somebody else’s? If you can add features and benefits that go beyond price like innovation, that helps differentiate your product and brand. I think that’s key. I guess I can say that there are some recent examples of innovation in our category, which quite, frankly, has left our competitors flatfooted, and some of these things take a while.
Jennifer Deutsch: About two weeks ago, we introduced something called the First-Time Fix Guarantee. Because in our business, it’s all about uptime. Uptime is actually our brand promise. We promise to drive uptime. Because if you’re running a data center, it must be up. To offer the First-Time Fix Guarantee, we are really putting our money where our mouth is that the first time we are going to fix it. Guarantee means that if we don’t fix it, we’re actually going to service that piece of equipment for a month. There’s a penalty for us. That was such an innovation that is such an innovation for the category. It took three years for us to get it together to make sure that we could actually fix things truly.
Sarah Nicastro: Right, deliver on that claim.
Jennifer Deutsch: Exactly. It’s three years in the making. Another example is when we grew beyond pure play TPM and we were bringing to the market discovery products, marketing products, and products to help organizations optimize, we knew that we had to create and invent a new category, and we did that. We launched a category in December called DMSO, discover, monitor, support, and optimize. That was two-and-a-half years in the making. Quite frankly, these ideas come from listening to your customers, listening to their pain points, and hearing opportunities.
Jennifer Deutsch: Also, you must innovate. Because if you don’t innovate, you die, you lose your relevancy. Could we have continued and been an organization that’s simply focused on TPM? Absolutely. We have a dual brand promise, it’s not only uptime, it’s also future proofing our customers, so that we’re staying ahead of the customers, we’re staying ahead of the puck to bring innovation. I think it’s important for marketers to have a roadmap for innovation, not only new product development, but claims and features, all of that takes time.
Jennifer Deutsch: You’ve got to have essentially a portfolio of what you’re going to be bringing to the market. If you think about it, the First-Time Fix Guarantee took three-and-a-half years. DMSO took two-and-a-half years. There are lots of other pieces and parts, but you’ve got to have short tail, mid, and long tail tactics to keep your brand fresh. The other thing for us is to clearly communicate features and benefits simply. As Aristotle said, “The real genius is simplicity.”
Jennifer Deutsch: When you take a look at our tagline all about uptime, it’s a very simple tagline, which quite frankly, delivers a message, what we’re focusing on. We’re using one of the most impactful important words in our category, which is uptime. We drive uptime. It’s important that when you have new products or you have new features that it’s easy to understand, the messaging is simple, and that immediately, customers understand what it is that you’re launching.
Sarah Nicastro: Very good. I want to go back to a couple points. I, especially, like how you gave the example of the time that it took to bring the First-Time Fix Guarantee to life in terms of messaging. It was in the works for three years before you went public facing. I think a lot of our listeners have innovation in the works. I think that, generally speaking, there’s different degrees, I suppose, and different struggles along the way. I think many of them are working hard at innovating.
Sarah Nicastro: I think though that one of the things that’s lacking is the articulation of that new value proposition in a way that really resonates with the customers. I’ve had countless people say, we invested in an IoT solutions so that we could monitor our customers assets in real-time and none of them want to buy it. It’s because they’re selling on the innovation, not the value of that innovation. I think that’s one of the biggest struggles. It is, I think, important for our listeners to hear you say some of the things that you’re working on now.
Sarah Nicastro: I think for a lot of the folks within our audience that could be their remote service strategy or their migration toward predictive analytics and things like that, those things that you’re working on now you need to be thinking, now, what the message will be in a year or two years or three years when you bring that to fruition. The other thing I was hoping you could just expand on a bit is the advice you have on how to articulate that value in the language that is going to have the greatest impact for customers.
Jennifer Deutsch: Yeah. You bring up a really great point. I’ll also say it also works in the reverse. You may have product innovation, but from a marketer’s perspective, we might want to make a claim. For example, we did claim research where we threw a whole bunch of claims out things that we could put a stake in the ground and had customers respond and react. Three-and-a-half years ago, we tested the First-Time-Fix. We did not have a solution for it. What we then had to do is develop the technology, so we could actually launch the claim and make the guarantee.
Jennifer Deutsch: Sometimes it starts with the product. Sometimes it starts with the idea. We actually had a product, ParkView, that was in the works. Literally, we could make the guarantee once we had enough of our customers that had actually installed ParkView. The end of the day, you can start with an idea and then work backwards or you can have the product. The most important aspect is to take the proof points and explain to the customer what the benefits are, how will this help you.
Jennifer Deutsch: By the way, if a product sits on the shelf and isn’t really gaining traction, sometimes there are trends or things that happen in the environment that may actually help you to accelerate your product. I must say the pandemic helped us with ParkView, because remote monitoring became a necessity, during a pandemic, when people could go into their data centers. You have to be able to also very quickly respond. I’ve given some examples of things that took two-and-a-half years, three-and-a-half years, et cetera.
Jennifer Deutsch: You also must be able to respond to trends, respond immediately to needs and be very quick on your feet. At the end of the day, to be able to very simply explain the benefits to the customer is the real beauty in communicating and marketing very simply, very quickly. If you can do it in an arresting way, so you have a headline that catches somebody so that they proceed to read more and learn more, then you have a winner.
Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, that’s a really good point. I love what you said about it can start as an idea as well. I want to come back to talk about that a little bit more in a moment. Before we do that, there’s a couple things that I want to have you speak on. The first is something that you mentioned to me when we spoke before called a brand activator. You talked about the importance of a brand activator. Explain what that is and how it works, and any advice you have on developing brand activators.
Jennifer Deutsch: Sure. A brand activator is a tactic that brings the brand to life. When you think about a brand and the personality of the brand and you’ve gone through your branding exercise, at the end of the day, you need proof points, so that you can say, yes, that is my brand. I think a great example might be the Ritz-Carlton. The Ritz-Carlton is known as the ultimate and luxury. Their credo was ladies and gentlemen. The message there is the staff are ladies and gentlemen, they’re genteel folks who are serving connoisseurs of consumption, someone who stays at the Ritz-Carlton.
Jennifer Deutsch: A Room is a room is a room for $79 at the Red Roof Inn or $779 at the Ritz-Carlton. It’s four-walled, got a bed, what is the difference? The Ritz-Carlton brand is a brand that caters to connoisseurs of consumption, people who want to be recognized, people who want the best of the best. Brand activators, which are very easy to understand for a brand like Ritz-Carlton would be that in the brand guidelines, and by the way, I developed the brand guidelines for the Ritz-Carlton, there are no fake flowers at Ritz-Carlton. All flowers are real, and they’re fragrant.
Jennifer Deutsch: Because when someone walks into a Ritz-Carlton, they should be able to tell with all of their senses that they’re at the Ritz-Carlton. It’s what they see, what they smell, and what they touch. It’s fine silks for the furniture, fresh flowers, like a Stargazer, lily, et cetera. When they’re greeted by the staff, there’s a language guide. Very often, someone at the Ritz-Carlton will say, “My pleasure.” Staff is different at the Ritz-Carlton than it is at another Marriott brand, let’s say, Renaissance Hotels. People are screened for their service orientation.
Jennifer Deutsch: I think it’s easy to be able to identify and source brand activators for a brand like the Ritz-Carlton. Everything from their blue water glasses to dress code, et cetera. At a technology company like Park Place, a brand activator might be a little more difficult to define. I would say that we had to invent them. Some brand activators for us would actually include our client advisory board. We’ve got 36 customers. We’re on our advisory board, and we touch base with them. We provide them the opportunity to beta test new products. We listen to them.
Jennifer Deutsch: We understand what’s going on in their environment. We provide them with the opportunity to surface topics that they want to talk about, et cetera. We have a huge E-services initiative that Nicola has really been spearheading, and included in that is, is that we were the first to bring a mobile app to the marketplace. We have live chat on our portal. We conduct business in real-time in 170 different languages. We actually also have what we call PPT tracker. That’s like a pizza tracker. You can track your pizza from Pizza Hut.
Jennifer Deutsch: You can actually track your parts and your engineer from Park Place, so you know when the part will arrive and the engineer will arrive. The First-Time Fix Guarantee actually also is a brand activator. Other things that we do, we have an end of service library. It’s not just that we keep the information to ourselves, we push it out to all of our customers. Because if they have something in their infrastructure that will become end of service life, they should know and we can help them. Those are tactics that bring the brand to life for us as a brand that positions ourselves as all about uptime, that we’re driving uptime, and that we’re helping our customers to future proof.
Sarah Nicastro: Okay, I love those examples. I think that talking about the Ritz-Carlton example first helped, because like you said, it is very easy to visualize. You’re right that it’s a little more challenging for a marketer like yourself as you come into this world. I think that a long, long time ago now, we had Joe Pine on the podcast, who wrote the book the Experience Economy. I think that it’s similar to that thinking in terms of what are the things we can do big to small that differentiate the experience we can provide our customers from the experience our competitors are providing and thinking about how to bring that to life. That’s really good advice. Let’s talk … Go ahead.
Jennifer Deutsch: I just wanted to jump in, Sarah, and say that I think that if you really want to make an impact in the category, you should own the best customer experience. That’s something that drives us, something that Nicola is working on, we all work on it, that that is a core differentiator that our customer has the best experience given the competitive set. Everything again, from the cab to First-Time Fix, to all the E-services that we provide, from billing options, et cetera, but the entire experience should be the best.
Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, that makes sense. Okay, I want to talk next a little bit about taglines. You said yours is uptime all the time?
Jennifer Deutsch: All about uptime.
Sarah Nicastro: All about uptime, okay. Very intuitive to me in why that matters so much to your customer base, and I like it. What is your advice for listeners on developing a tagline that grabs the attention of customers?
Jennifer Deutsch: Well, I think first, when someone is thinking about a tagline, a new campaign, et cetera, you need to start by listening to your customers, understand their pain points, what are they struggling with, understand keywords, et cetera. What’s really important, aside from getting insights and input from customers, is creating a message that’s very short, very simple, very easy to understand, it’s arresting, the line should be evergreen, it should be able to last, it should be memorable, it should be short, and it should be easy to understand and easy to play back and ownable.
Jennifer Deutsch: If you think about “just do it” from Nike. Just do it from Nike means the freedom to perform. In those shoes, you can do anything, you can jump higher, you can run faster. With us, all about uptime, we do everything to make sure that your data center is up. It is more than just a data center now, it’s your infrastructure. We do network analytics to make sure that your VPN tunnels are open, that you know how to give your users, your customers, if you’re an IT, the best experience possible as the workforce is bifurcated.
Jennifer Deutsch: Some people in the office, a lot of people are at home right now, making sure the people have access to a VPN that they can use and is open, is extremely important. Getting back to the tagline, that’s a lot that I just said. It should be lasting, it should be memorable, it should be short. In other words, your tagline really should not be more than five words. It should be easy to understand so that somebody gets it. All about uptime is pretty easy to understand, just do it, quite frankly, makes you think of a lot of different things, and your performance, but it must be ownable. It must be easy to play back and easy to read. Those are a lot of the same criteria, quite frankly, that you evaluate as you’re looking at logos.
Sarah Nicastro: Okay, that makes sense. I think I love all about uptime. I mean, I think that’s great work and really, really well done, very relevant for the industry. I want to talk about a couple more things before we come back to I want to ask you a question around the customer advisory board. Let’s talk next, and you mentioned earlier, that the key to much of this is simplicity. Okay. I think that there can be this tendency, particularly in a company, not only, but particularly in a company evolving away from products to maybe be too detailed, too verbose, and thinking that the more we explain upfront, the greater our chances of getting the attention of our customers.
Sarah Nicastro: If you could, maybe just talk a little bit about why the opposite of that is actually more effective. If you have an example of how to take a more complex offering and summarize it down to something very simple, but how you can leverage that simplicity to capture enough attention to talk about some of the details.
Jennifer Deutsch: I think simplification is so important, because for a number of reasons, people have shorter attention spans than ever. Space is limited the way that we’re consuming messaging, whether it’s a social media post, et cetera. You can’t have a lot of words. Also, you need to work hard to find a few words that really communicate your message. When I first got to Park Place, one of the things that was very interesting to me is, is that our engineers have 15 years of OEM experience.
Jennifer Deutsch: Then we train them to be able to essentially fix all the different models that are out there, all the OEM product, et cetera. They can fix anything, but how do you say that in shorthand? We came up with a line, been there, fix that. That’s the headline. You read that headline, you have confidence that Park Place, with 22,000 customers and 154 countries, probably has seen it before, knows how to fix it. The headline is arresting and it draws you into the body copy, so that you can then receive and read the proof points so that you know that the headline is true.
Jennifer Deutsch: If you don’t have an arresting headline, you’re not getting the reader to read the rest. I think that briefer is better. As I said earlier, Aristotle said, the real genius is taking the complex and making it simple. I have another example, and that is, is that the entire infrastructure scenario is very complex. I’m a marketer that came from the food industry and the hotel industry, really, into the tech space. I needed to make things easy for me to understand. When environments are really cluttered and they’re complex, we have a product that simplifies things, what does that mean?
Jennifer Deutsch: We came up with the line, from chaos to order. We actually created an infographic that showed chaos, and then streamlined. That was the line that we use to introduce Entuity, network analytics. Because if you have the analytics, you can take your chaos and turn it into order.
Sarah Nicastro: One of the thoughts I just had, and certainly, I don’t want to speak out of turn or paint the picture that we don’t have any listeners that are doing a good job at marketing, I mean, you guys are doing a great job, which is why I asked you to come on. There are others as well, but I do think the point you just made about coming into this space having been marketing for food and beverage or hotels or different consumer things, it does make me want to pause and point out to our listeners that if you’re really looking to innovate around the way that you’re marketing, it may be worth looking to get some outside perspective.
Sarah Nicastro: I think there can be a real thing of being too close to what you’ve always done or too close to those details, and that need you had to simplify the messaging in a way that you could understand it coming from the outside in, I think, is what helps make it so catchy for all of your customers to understand it. If you think about the different personas within your customer base, of course, there are technical people that would understand all of this complex message. There’s also business leaders, business owners that don’t care about all of those specifics.
Sarah Nicastro: They want to know that they can come to Park Place for uptime. It’s the synopsis of what matters to them. I think that what you just said just made me think about the fact that for some of our listeners that are struggling with marketing in a new or different way, the benefit of some outside perspective might be worth considering.
Jennifer Deutsch: Yeah. I was also in banking for a while and marketing is marketing. If you learn the industry and you put some filters and lenses on them, it works. The other thing that I will share with you is, is that if you can draw somebody in with a short, concise, easy to understand headline, et cetera, then you have the ability to explain more to them. I’ll give you an example. When we debuted all about uptime, we did it at Gartner. We had a big booth. The banner up on top was all about uptime. People were streaming over to our booth. I said, “What drew you here?”
Jennifer Deutsch: They said the word uptime, because that’s what drives us. It’s not stumbling upon it because it really is research. There’s a lot of work. It takes a lot of work to make things simple. It’s much easier to describe a concept in 25 words than to describe it in five words.
Sarah Nicastro: Absolutely. Talk a little bit about with the different messages you’ve developed for the different services you provide, for the company tagline, all of those things. Talk about how you AB test some different options to find what’s going to resonate best.
Jennifer Deutsch: Long, long ago, you would AB test in controlled environments, and it was expensive. Today, with digital, it’s very easy to AB test. You just simply run two campaigns and see which one tests better and then change your variables in real-time. That’s what the digital environment has provided to us. You can analyze your data against very easy with digital. We’ve got some technology that we employ from Sigstr to Drift chatbot. We can change things immediately and see if there’s lift. Because for us, at the end of the day, it’s all about getting the lead. [inaudible 00:30:18] the lead, then we’re winning and we have a very high conversion rate. AB testing today is easier and more cost effective than it’s ever been because of the digital environment.
Sarah Nicastro: With all about uptime, what was an alternative that you tested out? I know I’m putting you on the spot.
Jennifer Deutsch: We actually have three campaigns. One of them was literally focused on the hardware, showing the hardware. When you develop an ad, when you develop creative, there are really two parts, there’s the design and the graphic and then there are the words. Sometimes you can change them around to make things better, to make it more impactful because the site of the visual and also the words need to be impactful. The truth of the matter is, is that all about uptime was so overwhelmingly positive, that concepts two and three didn’t make it.
Jennifer Deutsch: The other truth of the matter is, is that when you find other concepts that are actually strong, you keep them. Often, they swap out a tagline in four to five years, et cetera, or if it starts to get stale or if you get negative feedback. That hasn’t been the case with us. If you do come across something that is very positive, it lasts a very long time. You’re building equity in your tagline, in your logo for your brand. It all ladders up to be positive. Because in addition to driving leads, we were also, as marketers, very, very focused on driving brand awareness. If you don’t have brand awareness, you’re really challenged, and we’ve been able to drive Park Place brand awareness tremendously over the last three-and-a-half years.
Sarah Nicastro: Okay. How long have you been at Park Place? You may have said at the beginning and I didn’t catch if you did.
Jennifer Deutsch: I’m coming up on my fourth anniversary.
Sarah Nicastro: Okay. I want to talk a little bit about your customer advisory board. Because I think if there’s a general theme that I think is really important, in every answer you’ve given during our conversation so far, it’s really that you need to be speaking the language of your customers. You have to know what that uptime term is to them. You need to be developing around what is going to draw them over to your booth and droves and make them line up to want to see what the heck you’re talking about. Tell us a little bit about the customer advisory board.
Sarah Nicastro: You mentioned that you have it. I’m curious, what other functions within Park Place engage in that group? Do you have your own just for marketing? Is their involvement on the product side, et cetera? How frequently are you engaging with them? Because, again, not to make too many assumptions, but I think that that might be another missing connection point for some of the folks that are having challenges in this, is that while they may be gathering customer feedback in different ad hoc ways or not, I don’t know that there’s that sort of concerted effort to really dig deep, understand the challenges, understand their businesses enough to identify that language that’s going to have the biggest impact.
Jennifer Deutsch: I am an insights-driven, customer driven marketer, because I am a focus group of one. My opinion is one individual. I must talk to customers and have a very, very deep understanding of what they face, what their environment is like, and what they need. That’s the greatest inspiration for me, personally, as a marketer. Our customer advisory board is made up of, as I said, 36 customers who have varying titles from CIO to data center manager and everything in between. It’s great, because we get a diversity of thoughts and opinions.
Jennifer Deutsch: From our side, from the Park Place Technology side, the chief revenue officer participates. The COO participates in it. Our CIO participates. Our CSO participates and Nicola participates. In fact, she drives quite a bit of it, as does the SVP of ParkView and Entuity. It’s the senior leadership team, because we all need to be hearing the same thing from our customers. We might be hearing the same thing from our customers, but interpreting it differently, but also working on our end on how to improve the customer experience, how to evolve our roadmap, and then how to develop our messaging.
Jennifer Deutsch: I will tell you, and I hate to say this, but when we have our client advisory meetings, which is on a quarterly basis, our participants actually, I think, have the most fun with the marketing section, where they can be creative, they love it. They love when we ask them to evaluate creative. Separately, I send invitations out to our cab members to participate in focus groups, where we’ll be chatting about anything from what are your plans for the edge to, can you take a look at these wireframes from our new website.
Jennifer Deutsch: Just want to understand whether the organization is right and intuitive to you. We have a huge cross section from Park Place participating. We meet on a quarterly basis, but I do reach out probably once a quarter for focus groups. We have limited times, and by the way, our cab is global. We have people from the UK, from Ireland. We have our first member from Singapore who’s going to be joining us in June. All the cab meetings have been in-person until the pandemic. Now, they’ve been virtual for the last year.
Sarah Nicastro: I assume you’re looking forward to getting back to in-person.
Jennifer Deutsch: I am. In fact, we have the next cab meeting June 24th. I had a couple of cab members tell me that they’ve been fully vaccinated. They’re hoping that they can come to Cleveland, to Park Place, to have the cab session in-person, optional in-person or virtual.
Sarah Nicastro: That’s great. I think this is another super important point. I mean, the things that you’re talking about, how do you take the complex and make it simple, how do you create a tagline that resonate, to your point throughout your answers, it all starts with understanding the voice, the language, the needs of your customers. I think that having that regular communication, having that open dialogue is critical, and perhaps something that other folks aren’t doing enough of. I have to just guess that the First-Time Fix concept came from customers, right? I mean …
Jennifer Deutsch: Actually, it didn’t.
Sarah Nicastro: No?
Jennifer Deutsch: No. I’ll tell you the evolution. Claim generation is an art. I learned claim generation when I was working in the health and wellness sector, specifically for hospital systems. Because if you can make a claim about a condition, so if you can cure someone and you can claim it that your cure rate is higher, you win. If you say that you’re curing cancer every day, which was the line that we came up with for university hospitals in Cleveland, people are coming to you because you say you’re curing cancer, but you have to be able to justify the claim.
Jennifer Deutsch: When I first got to Park Place, I wanted to do some claim testing. We did ask customers, if we could make a claim, what type of claim would you want? We generated claims internally, and then presented all of those claims, let’s say about 15 of them, and the claim that bubbled up to the top was that we could fix it the first time and guarantee it. It was so strong, that when we spoke to customers who were not our customers, but they were prospects, they said that if we could make the First-Time Fix Guarantee, if we could support it, they would switch to Park Place.
Jennifer Deutsch: It then became a switcher strategy. Again, we had to be able to deliver it. When I was at Renaissance Hotels, we made an offer to guests that we could deliver fresh hot coffee with their wake up call. That’s before people were using their cell phone alarm. Obviously, dating myself, but even if you have a cell phone, I think people still ask for a wakeup call. To have the wakeup call timed to, I answer the phone, it’s 7:30 in the morning, thank you for calling me. You get up.
Jennifer Deutsch: You walk outside your door and there is a fresh pot of coffee just the way you want it with all of your condiments, et cetera, is pretty amazing. Okay. Now that’s marketing and operations connected at the hip. You make the claim, you’ll have coffee, at the very same time that you have your wakeup call, and it’s going to be hot, and it’s going to be perfect. We had to make sure that we could deliver. We had to make sure at Park Place that we could deliver the First-Time Fix Guarantee, that we’re fixing it first the very first time.
Jennifer Deutsch: What if you got your wakeup call, you went outside and your coffee was cold? That’s useless. You want hot coffee when you first wake up. You want it not only to be hot, but you want it to taste good. That was a real operational challenge. That’s why in my lifetime as a marketer, I have literally always been connected to operations very, very closely, and also if we say that we can do it, we must be able to deliver. It is a promise. If you can’t deliver on the promise, you’ve let your customers down.
Sarah Nicastro: You just gave me a really good idea for another podcast we could do together, which is talking about the alignment and the sync between marketing and operations. It’s a very good point. If you start making these claims and then don’t make good on them, you go from improving your brand awareness to ruining your brand perception pretty quickly. That’s a really good point. Okay. I know we’re running out of time. Two more questions for you, Jennifer. The first is, what would you say are the biggest lessons you’ve learned in marketing Park Place Technology services?
Jennifer Deutsch: I think that the first thing that I really synthesized and crystallized, for me, was really the value of customer service and to be the best in the category and that you need to keep innovating. Because I have to tell you something, we run so fast and we run so hard to come up with innovative thoughts and ideas. Our competitors sit back, watch, and then they emulate. I can tell you that we have the tools to see who was sitting on our website. Literally, seven minutes after we launched the First-Time Fix Guarantee, we had 15 people from our key competitors sitting on our website evaluating the claim.
Jennifer Deutsch: We see competitors sitting on our site. We know that they’re going to spend the next six months probably coming up with something to attack us on the First-Time Fix. We’ve got to be thinking ahead. The customer experience is paramount. The other thing which is not only learning from Park Place, but it’s a sign of the times, really, is the impact of video content, the reach of video content and quite frankly, supporting it with a little bit of social goes a long way, the number of views, et cetera, so serving up your video content to the right people hopefully at the right time goes a long way.
Jennifer Deutsch: Here’s something else, about two years ago, I read an article that said that by 2025, marketing teams will be sitting besides AI, next to artificial intelligence. I remember reading the article and telling my team that we’re ahead of the game. Because three years ago, we adopted AI through our chatbot who we named Parker, we personified him, we’ve turned him into not only a character, but a trademarked visual identity. We are working beside AI. I can tell you that Parker has a revenue stream. He converts people online. We are sitting beside AI.
Jennifer Deutsch: I consider Parker our Drift bot, which is about $1200 a month to be part of a team. We are so pushing our Drift bot that we’re on the advisory board for the organization, basically, for Drift. Because we are pushing it and pushing it so they can do more. To summarize, I know it’s a long-winded answer, the three biggest lessons, the value of customer service, the impact of video content, and quite frankly, boosting it, and then also the impact of working alongside artificial intelligence.
Sarah Nicastro: I love that, and Parker is another brand activator, right?
Jennifer Deutsch: Parker is another brand activator.
Sarah Nicastro: I love it. Good, good. Alright. Last question, Jennifer, for today is, as a marketer and just as a leader, what are your favorite resources for marketing knowledge, inspiration? How do you keep feeding your own continual education and keep your innovative hat on?
Jennifer Deutsch: I’ll break that into two parts, one is knowledge and the other is inspiration. From a knowledge perspective, I read the Wall Street Journal, and I read it because it comes as a business perspective that I spin in my brain into marketing. How can I take this knowledge? What does it mean for me, my business, our brand, and our category? I read the Wall Street Journal and I find it too … I think it’s inspirational, but it’s also stimulating. It really makes me think. The other …
Sarah Nicastro: Do you read paper or online?
Jennifer Deutsch: I read paper. I have it delivered to my house every day.
Sarah Nicastro: I like it.
Jennifer Deutsch: Yeah. I also think that analyst relations is extremely important. I can’t read everything. I can’t know everything. Having a conversation with an analyst is extremely important. I’ll say there are some analysts who can break it down and speak to me as a marketer, and vice versa. We have a relationship with a fellow by the name of Roy Illsley, who is from Omdia. He is the fifth most influential analyst in the tech space. Talking to him is like taking a rocket ship into the future. He explains things so simplistically that I feel that I’m really ahead of the curve.
Jennifer Deutsch: The guy who reads all the technical papers, talks to all the technologists, and he synthesizes it, and conserve it up to me in a way that makes it very easy to digest. Then that helps me to understand where we should be taking our roadmap, how we, in marketing, should be creating content and how we should be talking to our customers. From an inspirational perspective, I get inspiration from my team. For the size of our business, I have a fairly small team, I’ve got 11 people on my team, and I am the oldest on my team.
Jennifer Deutsch: We have people that range in age from, I’ll say, 23 to 58, on the team. From the young talent and the diversity, I learned an awful lot. A 25-year-old looks at social very differently than I look at social. I’ve got a 25-year-old who runs our social program, and I’ve got a content guy who used to write for Rolling Stone. I also have a guy on my team who was an agency veteran for 20 years, who was never in the tech space. He writes copy for us beautifully. The team inspires me.
Jennifer Deutsch: Again, I think that the diversity in age, interests, et cetera, really helps us to be a very well rounded team. The other thing that I do for my team, which I actually think is really helpful and beneficial, is we have a … First of all, we meet every day. Now, during the pandemic, its cameras on mandatory. Everybody has to be in the daily meeting with the camera on. Once a week, we do a deep dive into technology, into our own technology. Because if we don’t understand the technology, we can’t write about it. We can’t speak eloquently about it. We can’t explain it.
Jennifer Deutsch: We can’t develop pitches. We also work with HR. If HR can’t have a recruiting script that clearly communicates, we’re not going to have the right people on our team. Again, another long-winded answer, but I’m inspired by my team and by folks within the organization.
Sarah Nicastro: I think that’s really cool. Jennifer, thank you so much. I really, really appreciate you coming and sharing openly and giving such great examples and food for thought. I would say to our listeners, I approached Nicola who, who’s been on the podcast before to connect me with Jennifer. Because just through watching what you guys are doing on LinkedIn and the different messaging that you’re creating, I was impressed. I think that you probably don’t need any more companies coming and sitting on your website looking for inspiration, but I would actually urge everyone that listens to this to do just that.
Sarah Nicastro: Follow Park Place on social and check out what they’re doing, because it really is good. It’s something that I think a lot of folks could learn from. Good for you for setting the bar and doing such a great job. Thank you very much for coming and sharing. I’d love to have you back sometime.
Jennifer Deutsch: Well, thank you. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you. If any of your listeners would like to have a conversation, I’m very open to it. I would love for you to check out our website. I would also love for you to be our customer and join our client advisory board. Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you.
Sarah Nicastro: Thank you, Jennifer. You can check out more of our content by visiting us at futureoffieldservice.com. You can also find us on LinkedIn, as well as Twitter at the future of FS. The Future of Field Service podcast is published in partnership with IFS. You can learn more about IFS service management by visiting www.ifs.com. As always, thank you for listening.