Scott Wilder of HubSpot: Community Engagement is Playing a Tremendous Role in Digital Transformation Efforts

I’ve known Scott Wilder for fifteen years or so. And at that time (and even earlier) he led community building efforts at major tech brands like Adobe, Apple, Google, Intuit, and Marketo. He is now spearheading HubSpot’s engagement and community building efforts.

Earlier this week, I and Scott had a live chat on LinkedIn about how community building has evolved over the years, a role in digital transformation efforts, and how it needs to be done in the post-pandemic world in order to stay in touch with the rapidly evolving customer needs and expectations. .

Below is an edited transcript of part of our conversation. Click the built-in SoundCloud player to hear the full conversation.

Small business trends: What have been the biggest and most significant changes in building societies over the years?

Scott Wilder: I think a lot of the basic principles are the same. What has changed now in this moment because of the pandemic, and due to the creative economy, societies are more and more in the spotlight. They aren’t on the level C table yet, but they definitely do have a solid voice. Then I think the second thing that has changed is that more and more people are leaning towards analytics and ROI. Second, I think people tend to think of society roughly as a product, and how it is integrated and integrated into the entire customer experience.

Then I think the last thing is that a lot of companies are thinking of becoming a media company, and we can talk more about that later. So what role does society play in it? By the end of the day, the principles are the same, trust the customer, give them a seat at the table when you co-create, sharing is important but counting on the community to respond, and user generated content. The sound, The audio is new as well, but some would argue that Discords was a little out there, so the audio was there.

Small business trends: What role does society and community development play in digital transformation and has the epidemic changed the definition or has it changed the role society plays in digital transformation?

Scott Wilder: So the community plays a huge role because it’s a great opportunity to get customer feedback. It’s a great opportunity to get involved in the creation, how often … I am a corporate man. I know you are in a different place, but how many times in the corporate world have we sat at the table, sat at the board, and made the customer journey, but there are no clients in the room. right?

Small business trends: Yeah.

Scott Wilder: I was telling someone earlier that in business team meetings, we used to first put an empty seat at the table for a customer, and then just invite clients. But there are a few times you draw it, so how can you do this digital transformation without clients. And a great way to get to the wisdom of the crowd in an ancient term, a great way to get to it is through the community.

So I think that’s kind of two basic things. Then the epidemic, it’s interesting because the epidemic has accelerated a lot of things, hypothetical events, etc., etc., and so forth, but we’re also seeing kind of rebalancing now. What I’m saying is what I mean is Clubhouse has seen a slight drop in engagement, right? So people turned a lot because they had to, and they really wanted to reach people, society, and events online. It’s cool to do, but now in terms of digital transformation, it’s like we’re kind of taking a step back and re-evaluating this thing called offline as well because that can play a role in this kind of cutting edge experience.

Small business trends: Are you starting to see that companies switch to the subscription model, focusing more on the community to help them in difficult situations?

Scott Wilder: I think it’s a matter of pigging, but also of increasing those dollars from the company or from the customer as well. right? I’ll call it above the line. So above the line is to maximize the yield achieved. Thus, the community can introduce people to your other services and other products. Our product portfolio is growing very quickly. And then it is clear that there is something below the line that everyone is talking about in terms of support and deviation. We’re clearly looking at churn. Hence, when entering your view of churning, you might say that we are going to look at the turmoil in terms of -. Our relationship clients who fumble into the community, or we’ll look at clients who are potentially able to change and see what they’re doing outside of society. And then we can also say that if someone comes into the community and uses them for example our own marketing center, but they kind of talk to other customers about the support center or the service center, then this is an opportunity for cross selling.

Small business trends: Many companies start communities with specific ulterior motives in an effort to push the community to do the specific things the company wants rather than building a space for the community to share ideas and concerns that naturally interest them. So how does the seller continue to ensure that he is dealing with the community in the center rather than what the company wants to obtain from the community?

Scott Wilder: This is a great question. I think it starts at the top and community leaders should work with a level C to say, if you give clients room to talk about what’s important to them and get them to help each other, everyone will benefit from it. So you need a strong leader who understands that you need to be a customer first. And this is not easy. During my journey, some companies have done a better job. There’s one company I’ve worked with in the past where I have to be transparent, and one of the reasons I move on is because all of a sudden they wanted to start selling to the community. right? So this wasn’t really about bringing people together, like-minded people and getting them to interact with each other and help each other grow.

Small business trends: There are many different ways to get people’s attention. Is it harder today to build a community and keep people engaged now than it was in today 10, 12, 15 years?

Scott Wilder: So in the past it was difficult to get resources for the community, right? Now you get the resources, but depending on your point of view, there is definitely more noise, right? Abroad. And then you have to think carefully, are you going to take some kind of hubs and talk about a model of trying to get involved in those other communities or other social networks and bring people to that site. You need to think about your strategy for this, but there is definitely a lot of noise. Hence the question is, what is the added value? And so in the case of HubSpot, we have the academy, and we’re thinking hard about how to incorporate educational content. I know there is only a comment about education there. So, think about education content, and think about other types of media you could bring to the table as well.

It’s definitely a lot of noise. You just have to say that this will be a place where you can interact with people who deal with the same kind of problems in a safe environment. That’s the other thing too, right? Ultimately, people still go to Facebook, but there are definitely doubts about how safe my information is. Also in this industry trend, I think it’s a trend, do these like-minded people want to congregate in smaller groups, right? Instead of having this huge discussion on Facebook, there is actually a trend celebrated perhaps due to the pandemic of smaller groups, perhaps 100 or 200 people gathering together in these spaces. So a lot of these community platforms are really improving that, for that.

Small business trends: So I talked about how much you like, I don’t like the term social phoneme, I actually love how Clubhouse calls it Drop-in.

Scott Wilder: Drop in.

Small business trends: So it looks like you like it. How about the video? How about broadcasting? Where does this fit into the tool mix?

Scott Wilder: It’s a great point because I feel like we always forget the video. There are a lot of SEO workers that I work with and all of them are from Google and Google and Google, and then you like, “Well, what about YouTube?” right? So I think the video, yeah. It is a great point. I guess the video isn’t getting enough focus. And I’m not sure exactly why. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but people have turned to texts, but this is clearly a whole generation that there are a lot of videos and videos on their phones, etc, things like that. So I think, yeah, you’re right in the video, big opportunity. I mean, it’s great to see this on LinkedIn and maybe Facebook. I expect a huge wave of people making videos on LinkedIn. It’s kind of like all of a sudden, LinkedIn should have spotlighted survey jobs, so now everyone is taking surveys. So I would like to see people learn more with the video. I think it’s a big opportunity.

Small business trends: I guess it’s like … not just like what we’re doing here, but even Tik Tok, I mean growing Tik Tok with the videos. Hear people in the AARP crowd working for organizations talk about, How can we figure out how to incorporate Tik Tok into our engagement strategies? Twitch.

Scott Wilder: Yeah.

Small business trends: I mean, it’s pretty amazing what’s going on. A lot of that depends on the video. Although I think you are right, it seems like the focus on the business side is on that streaming sound, which I think is easier to do. And you can do a lot of it, you will only have a phone while you talk to it. But there seems to be a lot more consistent post from the video and not just a live broadcast, it could be the short videos that come out. I mean, even as far as the things I do, a two-minute clip can get over 20 hours of total minutes viewed on some of these things on a business social network versus what’s happening on YouTube and Tik Tok and things like that, not to mention.

Scott Wilder: Yes, no, exactly. We had some success with this when I worked at Marketo creating user-generated videos on the branded community. But if I go to all these branded communities and feel so immersed in mind I go every night to ten and look at what is happening there. A very small percentage is video. So I’m thinking about how to do that, especially at A., I work in the software business, I grew up on Highway 101 in Silicon Valley while working with tech companies. Lots of instructions and demos can be done with video. right? Instead, we have people knock on keyboards, right? In these long explanations. So it could be just the way people cross [inaudible 00:12:49] The information, we hope it will or will change over time. This scientist comes younger and is more comfortable making videos.

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This is part of a series of one-on-one interviews with thought leaders. Text has been edited for publication. If it’s an audio or video interview, tap the player included above, subscribe via iTunes or via Stitcher.

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