Growth Decoded: Delivering Marketing Best Practices to Improve the Customer Experience

Growth Decoded Blog 2021 Recap

This article is a recap of “Growth Decoded” — a show that investigates the relationship between the customer experience and business growth — one topic at a time. Register here and conquer the customer experience!

The only show you’ll need about the customer experience

“We know that the customer experience is critical if you want to have a successful business. But how do you actually improve it? What are the things you can do? What are the things that nobody tells you?”

These questions kept coming up in meetings with ActiveCampaign’s multimedia content creators. Beyond this, how could ActiveCampaign provide answers to these questions in an engaging, and consistent way?

What about a show? Not quite a podcast or a webinar, but a show. With guests and segments and picture-in-picture.  What would that look like?

Enter: Growth Decoded — a show that helps you grow your business by figuring out the customer experience, one piece at a time.

Each episode would focus on a single topic, or aspect of the customer experience. Throughout the course of an episode, the show would answer questions that the viewers actually want the answers to.

Questions like:

  • What is the topic?
  • Why is it important?
  • How do you apply it to your business?
  • Is there any advice for just getting started with the topic?
  • What are some common mistakes or misconceptions around the topic?
  • What are some best practices?

The team would investigate and provide knowledge, but also talk to real customers and experts who had real-life experience with each episode topic.

The vision: a serial video show that offers tactical advice, useful information, and an honest conversation about the customer experience that wasn’t full of acronyms and buzzwords.

The team chose a list of 10 topics to focus on and got to work on learning how to produce a live, internet video show. We took courses, read articles, watched tutorials, and did a whole lot of thinking about the show.

In April of 2021, the show went live — literally and figuratively. 

Broadcasting live from the auditorium stage in the ActiveCampaign Chicago Hub, Growth Decoded was simulcast through a tool called WireCast, over the internet and onto ActiveCampaign’s LinkedIn profile and YouTube channel at the exact same time.

A few weeks later it aired again, adding Facebook into the list of channels on the simulcast.

The show used multiple cameras, segments from customer interviews, features of ActiveCampaign team members, and even a teleprompter!

With each successive episode the show’s production evolved. Processes were created, implemented, iterated, adapted, and improved — or scrapped altogether.

In 2021, Growth Decoded aired 20 episodes over 1.6 seasons:

  • 16 episodes on specific customer experience topics
  • 2 reruns of highly requested episodes
  • 1 episode recapping the key insights from season 1
  • 1 episode highlighting the “Top Moments of 2021”

Some pieces of the show haven’t changed from the first episode until today, but many have.

The evolution of Growth Decoded

One of ActiveCampaign’s core values is “Iterate everything, always” — and that value is certainly alive and well on the set of Growth Decoded. From the first “dress rehearsal” of the first episode — everything has been on the table and subject to change.

Some of the larger changes include:

  • Transforming from a live show featuring pre-recorded segments into a completely pre-recorded show with live interaction and engagement
  • Interviews that once aired in their entirety as a continuous segment are now edited into segments and woven throughout a narrative that switches between different formats
  • The ethos of the show evolving from quirky and confused to educational and helpful
  • The distribution of the show starting as a live broadcast on social media platforms, now premiering on a digital events platform with live chat, polls, and shared resources to compliment the show’s content
  • Shortening the show from over an hour per episode to just over 30 minutes

These changes result in a higher-quality show that gives viewers more value, insights, and a more cohesive viewing experience.

What hasn’t changed is the goal — to help viewers conquer the customer experience by investigating and understanding the various aspects that contribute to it.

Growth Decoded boasts an impressive list of past guests who have shared an incredible amount of knowledge and insight over the lifespan of the show.

Guests include ActiveCampaign customers:

  • Sven Alwerud, Senior Director of Digital and eCommerce at Koia
  • Leah Neaderthal, Founder of Smart Gets Paid
  • Dr. Ada Barlatt, Founder and Data Scientist at OperationsAlly
  • Melissa Love, Founder of The Design Space
  • Johnathan Young, eCommerce Manager at J!NX
  • Dawn Manske, Founder of Made for Freedom
  • Sven Braam, Co-Founder and CEO at Sneleentaxi
  • Jovana & Milena Vujnic, Marketing Consultants at BumperLeads
  • Brandon Kirkland, Founder at EpicShops
  • Elan Zusman, Founder at ZigiMedia

ActiveCampaign Partners:

  • Peter Coffee, VP for Strategic Research at Salesforce
  • Neha Varshnaya, Director of Platform Marketing at Thinkific
  • Brianna Haag, Director of Demand Generation at Hopin
  • Ashley Levesque, VP Marketing at Banzai

Industry experts and thought leaders:

  • Mark W. Schaefer
  • Chase Dimond
  • Ann Handley
  • Joel Klettke
  • Amanda Robinson
  • Mike Donnelly
  • Zontee Hou
  • Michael Barber
  • Jay Baer
  • John Jantsch
  • Lee Odden
  • Carla Johnson
  • Rachel Mann
  • Scott Frothingham
  • Melanie Deziel
  • Joe Pulizzi

Topics range in scope from “Marketing Automation” to “Email Subject Lines” — from “Sales CRM” to “Site Tracking” and from “Landing Pages” to “Abandoned Cart”.

Each episode investigates a topic, features a guest who is an expert in that topic, and finds out how that topic fits into the Customer Experience puzzle.

Key learnings

Throughout the show and the investigations of how different topics contribute to (or detract from) the customer experience — we’ve learned a lot. However, 2 themes reveal themselves in every episode, without fail.

These 2 themes are part and parcel of each and every customer interaction, and can make or break your customer experiences. When you do them well, you win. Your customers have a positive experience, and remain your customers.

The themes are:

  1. Know your customer
  2. Manage your customer’s expectations

These two themes help to inform business owners or contributors about every aspect of the customer experience. They don’t only tell you what to say, but where, how, and when to say it.

These themes help you decide what tools you need, what words to use, and what content to create. These two themes focus on the factor that is the most important to the success of your business: the customer.

Growth Decoded’s Growth: Decoded

Growth Decoded is focused on delivering useful information about relevant topics on a consistent basis. You don’t have to be an ActiveCampaign customer to get something out of the show — just have an interest in the customer experience, and what it takes to improve it.

From the beginning, we have made it a priority to make the customer, the viewer, the audience — the hero of the show. The show is a way to help us all learn more about the customer experience, and ultimately to improve the experiences that businesses deliver to their customers.

This mission has helped to grow the show’s reach to over 8000 subscribers, with tens of thousands of views on various platforms. The show has always been about learning and sharing what we’ve learned with ActiveCampaign customers, and anyone who wants to learn!

ActiveCampaign uses Growth Decoded as a way to deliver customer value, and to create new customer experiences for our audience as well. We’re able to help our customers solve problems with our solution, save time, and better understand the ins and outs of the customer experience.

Through Growth Decoded, we’re able to help drive better results for our customers through marketing best practices and knowledge!

And Growth Decoded uses ActiveCampaign to communicate with our audience about:

  • Upcoming episodes
  • Exclusive content
  • Giveaways
  • Upcoming topics
  • Feedback
  • Suggestions for future episodes and guests
  • Where to watch existing episodes

Subscribers and attendees of the show are tagged in ActiveCampaign and added to automations that aim to nurture and develop them.

Members of The Grow Team (Growth Decoded subscribers) are sent helpful articles, event invitations, and more information about how they can use ActiveCampaign to solve their problems and make their lives easier.

We live in an incredible time where it’s possible for everyone to be a television network, if they choose to. We’re able to connect, collaborate, and create community with people from all across the world in real-time.

Growth Decoded lets us share our knowledge about marketing, sales, and the customer experience with humans from anywhere — from everywhere. And we do!

As we move into 2022, Growth Decoded is finishing up the final episodes of Season 2, and regrouping with 10 new topics for 10 new episodes of Season 3!

Join the Grow Team today!

This article is a recap of “Growth Decoded” — a show that investigates the relationship between the customer experience and business growth — one topic at a time. Register here and conquer the customer experience!