Data-Driven Marketing, Strategy, and the Future of Customer Experience with Jay Baer


Jay Baer started his career as a political campaign consultant, before switching gears and turning to digital marketing. His first “traditional” marketing role was as a spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections. So how did he go from there to becoming one of the most sought-after keynote speakers in the field of marketing and customer experience?

Jay is a New York Times Bestseller, and founder of Convince & Convert Consulting, a digital marketing and customer experience advisory firm that helps companies like Cisco, Hilton Hotels, 3M, Bentley, Nike, Caterpillar, and more gain and keep customers.

He tells our podcast host, Jason Dorsey, how he has succeeded by using data to hone his services and to deliver data-driven strategy advice that works!

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Convincing Companies on the Benefits of Data-Driven marketing

Jay explains how he started Convince & Convert as a Conversion Rate Optimization firm, which was firmly rooted in data. He describes it as A/B testing on steroids, where the recommendations were 100% data-driven.

In the early days of the business, Jay was writing blog posts about Conversion Rate Optimization but found that no one was reading them. When he switched to writing about social media – suddenly the data told him that this is what people were interested in, and things took off.


Hug Your Data. Data-driven online customer service

When Jay was researching and writing his book, Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers, his initial premise was that speed was the most important factor in providing great online customer service.

Yet, the data that Jay got back from his extensive research, actually showed him that speed was not the most important factor. The data gave a completely different picture. It wasn’t just speed, but answering your customers every single time that was the key to customer satisfaction. That discovery caused him to rewrite the entire book.


Predicting the Future of Data in Marketing?

Jay and the Convince & Convert team spend a lot of time thinking about how data will be used via AI and machine learning. He believes that all the traditional methods of improving your marketing are now already done automatically or will be done by machine learning.

So, things like optimizing your email headline or crafting a great blog post will be transformed by AI.

“My belief is this – that the future of data is that strategy will become even more important than it is today because when everybody has access to incredible data and has access to artificially intelligent robots that are making decisions based on that data, the tactics from company to company essentially become a tie.”

For Jay’s clients, how can they stand out amongst the competition if everyone has access to the same amount of data?

“In the world of infinite data, the strategist becomes king.”

When Jay analyzes a company’s performance, often there are multiple recommendations and insights. However, he believes that his company’s strength lies in its ability to find out what actions are going to make the biggest difference based on the data.

“Our clients are already smart enough to know what they could do. What they hire us to do is narrow that down and say you should only do these things.”


What Is the Most Important Factor in Being an Effective Leader?

Jay is conscious that data can be used to support just about any position, and that’s why he believes that leaders have a responsibility to not manipulate that data.

Jay also believes it’s important to be flexible as a leader. That may mean changing the way you operate to changing your marketing tactics.


Is Marketing Data Showing Any New Trends?

The death knell on email has been rung so many times, but the data says otherwise, says Jay. Do not believe what you hear. Email is still incredibly vital for enterprises.

However, what has changed is our understanding of what makes an email successful and the data shows that timing, personalization, and relevancy are key to email marketing success.

Video is also the stand-out content form that is used even by C-Suite executives at all stages of the consideration funnel.


How Will Data Shape the Future of Customer Service?

Jay believes that using data to provide “predictive service” will transform how companies operate. Right now, most companies have a generic and all-encompassing refund “policy.” But with big data, suddenly you can treat each customer individually, and you no longer need a “policy.”

You can now interact with an individual customer based on their needs, their lifetime value, and their circumstances. Couple that with speed, says Jay, and you will see far better customer satisfaction scores.

“Ironically, how we get there is not by treating them the same but treating them manifestly different.”

In the field of marketing and customer experience, where there is constant flux, how does Jay keep on an even keel? He looks at a quote that he has framed on his wall from his mom that says;

“Remember, some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue.”

Well, we know he’s a statue in the world of marketing. If you want to find out more from Jay, visit where you can find blog posts, podcasts, and more, or find him on social media under the handle @JayBaer.