Digital roundtable: marketing leaders from Salesforce, The Zebra, and SAP Customer Experience on the power of proprietary data

Can you really call it thought leadership if your idea has been rehashed across several blogs, publications, and reports already? Probably not. That’s why in the age of peak content, escaping the echo chamber is more critical than ever. Today’s audiences are neck-deep in consumable media—and the brands that are winning their time and attention are the ones using proprietary data and insights to tell stories nobody else can.

In this roundtable, Sean Tyson, CEO of Quietly, talks with global content marketing leaders about how brands can stand out by producing better content, not more. Listen to our conversation with Heike Young, Director of Content Strategy at Salesforce; Nicole Beck, Director of Public Relations and Communications at The Zebra; and Jack Dyson, Global Head of Content Strategy at SAP Customer Experience to learn about their distinct approaches to solving this challenge.

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Show notes

0:54 – Introduction to Sean Tyson and Quietly

1:37 – Why talk about original research and data, and why now?

2:20 – Meet the three panelists

3:27 – How today’s webcast will work

3:50 – Heike Young takes the stage

4:20 – Content in the large Salesforce ecosystem

6:30 – Original research as a differentiator for Salesforce

9:43 – Where original research fits in the lifecycle

11:50 – Choosing a topic for your next big study

15:07 – Research that can be perennially refreshed

15:48 – Find your dream stats, then find the data

17:57 – The time it takes to produce a large-scale report

18:44 – Add smaller, more snackable studies to the mix

20:54 – Digital and interactive formats for displaying your data

22:44 – Best practices for presenting your original research

24:27 – 20% content creation, 80% marketing and distribution

25:40 – Nicole Beck takes the stage

26:30 – The value of original studies for The Zebra

27:08 – Finding and framing a research topic

29:12 – How The Zebra dominates its space

30:07 – Bringing a large report to life with limited resources

30:40 – The annual “State of Auto Insurance” report

32:28 – Positioning real authority, providing real value

35:37 – The B2B benefits of authoritative research

37:47 – The challenge of attribution for brands

39:07 – The Zebra’s secret to data visualization

41:02 – Turning the report into smaller assets

42:12 – Trends in long-form reports, now and in the future

43:24 – Jack Dyson takes the stage

43:54 – Standing out in the age of peak content

45:20 – Applying a qualitative lens to tell customer stories

47:34 – Asking the critical, journalistic questions

48:47 – Framing objective numbers in subjective terms

51:40 – Multiple datasets and sources, more nuance

53:04 – Building off public datasets with proprietary surveys

56:00 – A hack for journalistic hooks

58:47 – Identifying the stories that have maximum impact

1:01:15 – Estimating whether a report is worth the time and effort

1:04:21 – Roundtable Q&A



About the panelists
Heike Young, Director of Content Strategy at Salesforce, is the prolific editor and podcaster responsible for masterminding the “State of Marketing” and “State of Sales” reports, two of the most important content programs at Salesforce. These marquee studies are referenced across sectors and industries on a perennial basis, tracking ever-evolving trends that matter to every B2B and B2C business.

Nicole Beck, Director of Public Relations and Communications at The Zebra, spearheads “The State of Auto Insurance” report, a fresh approach to content marketing that’s designed to attract as much media coverage as possible. In doing so, she role models best practices for not only producing novel and newsworthy content, but spreading the word with maximum impact.

Jack Dyson, Global Head of Content Strategy at SAP Customer Experience, has amassed an enviable CV of research and writing credentials, having worked for publications such as GQ and Wired before bringing his toolkit to large enterprises—where he oversees the “SAP Customer Experience Gold Guide” and other reports. In this webinar, he contributes his astute insights on how brands can tell engaging and data-driven stories, elevating themselves above an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Image credit: Sata Production/Shutterstock

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