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417: How to Improve Customer Engagement and Rethink Your Channel Mix with Spencer Burke, SVP of Growth at Braze

Spencer Burke is a girl dad to two young daughters, an experience that has helped him hone the patience and listening skills he needs as the senior vice president of growth at Braze. Spencer got his master’s degree in information systems from the London School of Economics and started his career at PwC as a management consultant before joining Braze in 2011. Back then, it was still a small company in the early days of the mobile ecosystem. Over the past 12 and a half years, Spencer has held many different roles across the company, and today he is leading their data team in consulting with customers and managing their go-to-market strategy.

Braze is a customer engagement platform that helps its clients communicate with customers through push notifications, email, SMS, WhatsApp, and more, as well as in product messaging channels like surveys. Braze powers cross-channel marketing for the world’s largest enterprise and digital-first brands in 40 countries across six continents. They are at the center of all cross-channel orchestration for companies like Bombas, Wendys, Nestle, and Papa John’s, helping them with cutting-edge marketing strategies and empowering them to use technology to harness their creativity. 

On the show today, Alan and Spencer talk about customer engagement and experience best practices and common pitfalls by highlighting some of the recent findings from their 2024 global customer engagement review. Spencer also gives us some actionable items that marketers can be doing right now as many of us are reentering the workplace after the pandemic, and he outlines how brands should think about moving into new channels like messaging apps or push notifications. Of course, we also talk about how marketers are using AI technology based on survey results and how to experiment with the technology effectively and efficiently.

In this episode, you’ll learn about:

  • Key takeaways from Braze’s 2024 Customer Engagement Report 
  • Common challenges marketers face in achieving great customer experience and action items all marketers should implement to overcome them
  • How Braze is helping brands optimize their channel mix
  • How to best experiment with AI 

Key Highlights:

  • [01:50] Learning patience and listening skills as a #GirlDad 
  • [05:05] Spencer’s path to Braze and his current role
  • [06:50] What Braze does and who they serve 
  • [07:45] Common challenges in achieving great customer experience 
  • [10:20] Key takeaways from their 2024 Customer Engagement Report 
  • [12:30] What do marketers need to focus on? 
  • [16:00] How to get started on returning to the basics 
  • [17:30] How Braze is helping brands optimize their channel mix
  • [19:30] A case study with WhatsApp 
  • [21:30] How to be effective AND save money 
  • [23:50] How are the 99% experiment with AI
  • [27:15] How the debate team shaped his life
  • [29:50] Advice to his younger self 
  • [31:05] What is Spencer trying to learn more about 
  • [33:10] Trends to take notice of 
  • [36:20] Let’s get better at storytelling

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