Podcast Ep. 32 – Mastering AI, metaverse, and modern content dynamics w/ Brian Piper

In this OmnichannelX podcast episode, host Noz Urbina sits down with Brian Piper, Director of Content Strategy and Assessment at the University of Rochester.

They explore the evolution of digital marketing, the impactful role of AI, and the fascinating world of the metaverse. Brian shares valuable insights from his work at the University of Rochester, discussing the intricacies of user journeys, content optimisation, and the future of AR/VR in education.

By the end of the episode, you’ll learn:

  • The evolution and future of digital marketing and content strategy
  • Insights into the application and impact of AI and the metaverse in various fields
  • Strategies for optimizing content performance and user engagement
  • The role of analytics in understanding and improving user journeys
  • The potential of AR/VR in educational and professional settings.

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Brian Piper
Brian Piper
University of Rochester

 

Brian Piper is the Director of Content Strategy and Assessment at the University of Rochester. He is also an author, keynote speaker, and consultant. Brian has been doing SEO and web content optimization since 1996.

He has created online training programs for hundreds of companies including Xerox, L3Harris, IBM, and Volvo. He has spent the last eight years focusing on data analytics, digital marketing, and content strategy. In the last two years, he has been diving into Web3, AI, and community building.

He recently co-authored the second edition of Epic Content Marketing, and is a contributing author and editor for The Most Amazing Marketing Book Ever. When he’s not creating data visualizations, he teaches wingsuit skydiving and spends time with his wife and six children.

Full session transcript

THIS IS AN AUTOMATED TRANSCRIPT

Noz Urbina  

Hello, everybody. I’m here with Brian Piper, an author, international keynote speaker and consultant. Brian and I have been bouncing around the same world for quite a while. And this is the first time we’ve actually sat down on the podcast. So I’m happy to tell you about him. He has been a in digital contents in 1996 working with companies including Xerox, L three Harris, IBM and Volvo he spent the last eight years focusing on data analytics, digital marketing and content strategy. And since 2021, he has been diving into AI web three community community building, and the metaverse so you can probably tell why I am so excited to talk to him. He’s also co authored the second edition of Epic Content Marketing with Joe Pulizzi. And he’s a contributing author and CO editor of the most amazing marketing book ever with Mark Schaefer. So, Brian, welcome to show.

Brian Piper (he/him)  15:46

Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Noz Urbina  15:48

I am really excited about this because we have a lot of overlaps and our interest areas. You know I am, you know, as an omni channel guy, I’m not specifically a content marketing person, but it’s very near and dear to my heart and we have lots of overlap in many, many areas. So I think that every kind of content person can learn a little bit from content marketing and content marketing content, marketers can always learn more from the other related disciplines that surround what they feel is a core element. So I want to kick off by talking about what you do. So tell us a little bit about your background what you’re what you’re working on. These days.

Brian Piper (he/him)  16:30

So for the last six years, I’ve been the Director of Content Strategy and assessment at the University of Rochester. So it’s my full time job. And I do consulting with other higher ed institutions as well, primarily higher ed institutions and really focus on helping them look at their data and really examine what content is working on what channels what audiences they’re reaching, where their gaps are, where their strengths are, and then figuring out how to really optimize their content performance to get the most out of all the time they’re spending creating all this content.

Noz Urbina  17:06

Excellent. Yes. Okay. Well, that’s, that’s what we’re all trying to do here over at omnichannel X. Figure out what should we be investing in? How’s it going? What is what is the next thing we should be putting our attention on? Because the problem with omnichannel is it’s a million trillion decisions. To be made by many, many interacting and overlapping stakeholders. So one of the things that I find to be we keep coming back to for example, in our consulting work, is the idea of journeys. So mapping out where where people are in terms of achieving our objectives. I, as a consultant kind of have come up with my own model, which is like the journey is the questions over time that a user asks to, in order to achieve their objective like they don’t they don’t know all their answers. They don’t they don’t even know all their questions, the beginning. So how do we know what questions we want to answer? And how to tell where our users are on that journey? You know, how, how are they making progress? How do we monitor and measure that and I think you’re a perfect person to ask a little bit about some of the techniques you use to tell well where people are. And how would you measure something as complex as a user journey?

Brian Piper (he/him)  18:23

Yeah, absolutely. That’s a great question, a great topic to dive into. So whenever we start looking at user journey, so at higher ed institutions, you have lots of different users, lots of target audiences. Yep. potential students, current students, potential faculty, staff, you know, all these you know, government officials, you got all these different audiences you’re trying to reach with different content. So whenever I’m doing consulting or whenever we have a new project that comes up I always start off with what’s your goal? what’s your what’s your key strategic goal? Where do you want to go? What objectives are you trying to reach?

Noz Urbina  19:01

Who’s, who’s you? So are the

Brian Piper (he/him)  19:04

it could be the university, it could be a specific department or school that we’re working with. So we want to know their individual goals for whatever project, whatever, you know, if they’re looking for a website redesign, what are you trying to do with this website? What are you trying to accomplish? So we start there, and then if it is a school or a department then we also have to take into consideration the institution’s goals or you know if it’s a department the school’s goals, so you’ve got to know all the goals that ladder up to that, you know, the highest level, right all the way up to the top. So that’s where we start and then we look at, okay, who’s your target audience now you really have to figure out who specifically you’re talking to. And when I first started working at the university, the content officers would come to the editorial team and say, Here’s, you know, new research that we just came up with, we got to write a new story about it. Yes, it’s great story, who’s the audience and they would say, Everybody know, everybody is not an audience. You have to pick the one audience that can have the biggest impact on helping you reach your goals. And that is your target audience for that piece of content. Now, different content can have different target audiences, but every piece of content should have one target audience so that now you know who you’re trying to reach and what you’re trying to get them to do. Now you can start really looking into the data so what pages are currently reaching those audiences? What questions are those audiences asking? You can start creating your user personas, you can really start diving into mapping out their journey through your content. And we all know that content journeys are not linear, right? It used to be like you go to this page and then we guide them to this page. So now you have to give them options. You have to realize they can come in from anywhere they can come in from search from social from, you know, coming in on your homepage. So at each stage of the journey, you have to give them content that will guide them to the next stage, knowing that they may be at different stages of the journey when they come in. There may be different audiences coming in and looking at your content. So it’s really looking at the data to figure out where the flow is working. Whether you’re guiding people to the next step, and if you’re not what can you change? What can you do to optimize that maybe you’re missing a piece of content, maybe there’s a gap in there, there’s a question you’re not answering. Or maybe there’s a question you could answer that will get them to flow down into that next step. But it’s all it all goes back to measuring all the way to that final conversion to you know, the request for more information or they get to campus to or whatever goal you’re trying to get them to hit.

Noz Urbina  21:41

Right. So there’s an implication there. So you’re, you’re watching next actions. So if I’ve targeted my audience with a particular piece of content, I put it out there with this intent. And I’ve given them exit rows, exit roads, sorry. So the which path do they take out helps me understand where in the journey of AR, if I’ve intentionally set up those exit, exits properly?

Brian Piper (he/him)  22:08

Exactly. And it’s figuring out those calls to action and doing a lot of AV testing to figure out what verbiage works the best with which audiences what next piece of content is the most desired by those different audiences. And constantly going back and looking at the data every quarter we will go back and look through you know, the changes that we made the optimizations that we’ve we’ve done to figure out are there new questions now is this page ranking for different questions that people are asking that we don’t have on that page? Is that going to guide them to where we want them to go? Then we better go back and add that content.

Noz Urbina  22:46

So how does that just it’s funny I asked, you mentioned when you’re talking about this, because I just saw something posted by Joe Pulizzi. He just he just redid his website, and he followed the the old adage of one call to action, per URL which is always been for me in corporate situations a little little hard to actually manage something like that. So be and so in what we were just talking about, I think we’re both of the of the mind that you may come in from anywhere with, you know, your intention, your background. is and where you go next is a user choice. So how do you feel about that kind of idea of just having like the one button, one exit row out of a page?

Brian Piper (he/him)  23:33

Yeah, I think it depends on how targeted you are with that content. So sometimes within the journey, you know, now if someone is going to visit this page, more than likely they are a prospective undergraduate student coming in. Yeah, they’re the ones we’re targeting. We know the page is about our chemistry, you know, research that we’ve just done. The one call to action on that page is going to be go to check out our chemistry department. That’s that’s a pretty rare situation. Usually, you know, there are going to be multiple audiences on the page. You want to give them options. A lot of times we won’t make it a blatant button, go check out our chemistry department, but we’ll incorporate links lot of internal links within the content with subtle calls to action with, you know, leading them to the next piece, if that’s what they’re looking for on their particular journey. So sometimes one call to action, but most of the time, we’re gonna have multiple options for multiple audiences.

Noz Urbina  24:32

Yeah, yeah, I think it’s it really depends. And I think that we can get a little bit we can get a little bit hyped up in our industry like if something works in a certain context we can declare that a rule and I often find that that depends it it depends comes back again and again. Yeah, it depends on depends on the business depends on the kind of content depends on where they are. If you can do one, great, but that’s not always, you know, that’s not always the reality.

Brian Piper (he/him)  25:02

Right? And on content entrepreneurs who tend to be very niche focused and very audience targeted. Yeah, dealing with large corporate clients with lots of different audiences.

Noz Urbina  25:12

Yeah, no, that’s not so it totally works for court. Like I think it totally makes sense for Joe, of what he’s trying to accomplish and who he’s targeting. But I think I’m thinking of some of our some of our clients where there is just really a lot of diversity in the people who are gonna hit that page, and that content might be good for them, but the next step might be very different.

Brian Piper (he/him)  25:35

Right? And you have to find ways to appeal and capture all of those audiences that you can.

Noz Urbina  25:41

Yeah. Okay, so, um, that brings me to the idea of silos. And so we’re omnichannel x we’re often thinking about, so this is the idea we want to map this journey. We want to measure how people are moving through it. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience, handling the different perspectives, budget holders, stakeholders, etc. who are who are actually touching this journey. So if point A is owned by department a, and point B is owned by department B, a little bit how you build a measurement and collaboration strategy around the data.

Brian Piper (he/him)  26:17

So historically, higher ed tends to be very siloed you know, the structure just the way the institutions were built, school focused with each school with its own departments, and everyone kind of runs their own kind, runs their own measurement runs their own analytics. So when I came in, in central communications, I started looking around for opportunities just to connect and start those conversations. We started out with just an SEO project on our own content, and we were able to double our organic traffic in the first six months. So now we had a case study. Now we could go out to other schools and other departments and take them that and show them we can help you increase your traffic help you increase your conversions. Just offering that as a service was able to break down a lot of those barriers and they were they were able to say okay, yeah, come in. Here’s access to our analytics and you know, we will value any input you can give us that will help us drive more traffic. So those little projects and offering to help without trying to come in and tell them you should be doing SEO, say I will do SEO for you. So that was been very helpful. And then, you know recently in the last two years with the migration to Google Analytics, four, we’ve been able to combine all of the analytics accounts from across the institution into one overall institutional account. So now they all still have their own individual accounts, but we have one account to rule them. All. Where now we can go and we can track from the medical center, you know, someone that comes in to their website, all the way through to maybe filling out an application at our music school. So then we can really start showing them traffic from other places so they can start seeing the value of cross promoting of working with other groups across the institution to help create better content or to realize that maybe this is a situation where this content should point towards the School of Nursing instead of towards the music school because it just fits better. So always looking for those ideas to create those, you know, pillar content areas and also to cross link back and forth and track the traffic that goes throughout all the different domains and subdomains.

Noz Urbina  28:44

So you mentioned Google Analytics for I don’t know if it’s my own personal interest or whether I’m actually representing the the OmnichannelX audience here, but can you talk a little bit about that what like is there’s been a lot of noise about it. I haven’t looked into it at all. What is there? Is there something that that the the omnichannel folks should know about? That’s really different that they need to get into with Google followed by Google Analytics for some features that are like really interesting that they need to take advantage of?

Brian Piper (he/him)  29:13

Yeah, I’d say that, you know, the way that I mean, Universal Analytics is no longer tracking websites. So everybody needs to be on Google Analytics for if that’s their platform. There are other analytics platforms you can use. But the thing I love about Google Analytics four is that it’s all event based, so everything is an event. Whereas in Universal Analytics, you would have to wait for the user to go to the next page before Google would pass all the information from the previous page to your analytics. So it made for some really messy, not very accurate metrics that you would get and report on them. Now in Google Analytics for every time the user scrolls every time they interact with something that is sent as a trigger as an event. So it immediately updates the metrics. So the analytics are much more accurate. They’re much more usable. The interface itself is less user friendly than the previous version. It doesn’t have a lot of the built in report

Noz Urbina  30:13

version gave me nightmares. Well, that

Brian Piper (he/him)  30:17

will definitely create some problems because you have to go in and know what metrics and dimensions you want to look for. It won’t just give you a list and say, here’s all your you know, organic traffic for the last year you have to go in and build that report for you to use. So a lot of our schools and departments, we will just build a dashboard for them so that they can go in and they don’t have to learn the whole tool. So that’s been very helpful. It’s easier for us, we don’t have to teach them how to use all the intricacies of Google Analytics, but the metrics are much more reliable. And much more accurate. And you can get to a much more granular level of detail. So it’s very helpful.

Noz Urbina  31:00

Awesome. All right. Because I saw you posted about in your blog, so I thought the person asked, right, so the tip right there is go get somebody to build your dashboards for you. What Absolutely. When you figure out what you want to know. Yes, yes. Okay. All right. So the next thing I want to ask you about is the metaverse so I’m so happy to see somebody who has a metaverse in their bio because I am big in the metaverse. I’m very excited about it. I was presenting about it a lot. And then AI came and just like knock the ice cream out of my hand. I’m happy to talk about AI. And well I’m sure we will talk a little bit more about AI in a bit. But I want to talk about the metaphors first. What do you see as applications which you think will actually be things where we need to that will go mainstream you know, as content people, what are some experiences that you think that we should be thinking about? Even if they’re not here yet in we don’t have moments from adoption? What is a little bit I have some feelings about this. So I might jump in here. The transition what what does the road from here to full metaverse look like?

Brian Piper (he/him)  32:07

Yeah, so I mean, metaverse. Adoption is very, very slow right now because the technology is still catching up to where we’re going to get into mass adoption. And we’ve still got a ways to go with the speed of the processors and the latency issues. But the the advances that are already being made in augmented reality, I think are going to be the transition that moves us into virtual reality. And the idea of not having to always have our phones or always be sitting in front of our monitors at our desk, when we can just put on our glasses and our our monitors will appear in front of us and we can manipulate data, you know, verbally or manually, much more interactively. I think we’re a few years away from that. Maybe. And that is going to change the way that we communicate the way we market the way that we interact with each other massively. And I think you know what we’re seeing right now with with AI and the hype around AI once the technology for augmented reality and virtual reality get to that same point where chat GBT was when it launched, which is still, you know, it’s the worst AI we’re ever going to use, you know, at that stage and look where it’s already come. Once we get to that point with, you know, augmented and virtual reality. It’s, it’s going to change the game even more, because we’re not going to be sitting down and looking through our search. We’re going to be talking to AI within this augmented virtual metaverse that we’re going to exist in and it’s going to be much more conversational. So then we’re going to have to learn how to get our content discovered in that new environment and how to create these really immersive experiences instead of just trying to market with banner ads. Right.

Noz Urbina  34:07

So there’s a few things that I think are implied by that move from what you just said. There’s, the discovery is really becomes really interesting. Because Are you going to like is there going to be a page to search results and metaverse like you have? Once you’ve broken free of the page of the web format, then, you know, you’re you’re really down to the top hits. How do you make sure that you’re the top hits and if it’s a spoken result, you know, it’s position zero or nothing? You know, like when I ask Alexa, anything, and she digs up some website, it’s not that’s the website that’s the website that got chosen every other of the trillion sites on the world pages in the world we’re not and so it’s it definitely makes us up our game that sense. In terms of like actual use cases, like I’m interested, I can see a lot in manufacturing and medicine, things where we’re have complex physical actions to do. I’m interested in from a university perspective. For example, here’s your perspective. Is there something when we’re doing what we consider to be normal computing today? What do you think is probably going to what could we actually be doing with this stuff?

Brian Piper (he/him)  35:29

Yeah, well, I think from a learning perspective, the immersion capability I mean, instead of sitting in an astronomy class and looking at pictures or slides of the university to be out in the middle of the universe, and you know, actually manually manipulating, you know, different asteroids, and I think those types of experiences lend themselves very well to educational environments. I think, you know, the ability to track certifications on the blockchain and include different learning capabilities and milestones within this storage medium, are incredible. And then, even like, there’s virtual labs that you can go and create real experiments that function with real physics and you know, gravity and chemistry, and you can be in a lab using very expensive equipment that you don’t actually have access to in the physical world. You can be working with scientists from around the world and get diverse points of view and very different, you know, thoughts around how to come up with solutions to problems. I think it creates incredible opportunities for communities global communities that can form up to solve, like the most pressing problems that we have, whether it’s environmental or you know, any of the really pressing problems that are so difficult to face in the small constructs that we’ve built with our businesses and our institutions. Where we could create these, you know, global categories of people who are just focused on fixing this one particular area.

Noz Urbina  37:20

I, I you’ve triggered me in a good way. Because I remember thinking back now, and my first you know, we’re of an age where you probably have maybe you had the same experience where most of my first contact with the applications that I now use in my day to day life, we’re all in school. And I think people you know, if you’re under 40, under 35, computers were already everywhere. And so, a lot of people I think, don’t haven’t lived through the introduction of a new category of device. They haven’t seen, they weren’t there to watch computers become a big notice. And so it’s kind of a little bit unimaginable. And I think that what happened is when when Google first tried to do Google Glass, they tried to take the direct smartphone route. Right? They said, Okay, everyone has a smartphone. Everyone should buy one of these headsets. And like that’s they’re doing it. Big styles there, Google. I actually preferred what Microsoft did, which was pull up Microsoft, which was talked about manufacturers and big old staunch, you know, companies, people in suits, and try to roll out their their their augmented reality stuff there. But you’ve given me a third idea, which is the school you know, if you learn I remember going to the computer lab, because all the computers in school were in one room. And so that like that, you can have the VR lab and like you can teach a class there. You know, you one suit, one teacher only gets one hour a week in there, whatever. But that means that hundreds and 1000s of students are having VR experiences where they’re actually doing something. And so I think that if education could be like it was regular computing, a huge driver here because it was that and I remember my mother saying, you know, I’m learning computers at the school. Gotta get one for the house. So I can keep doing this learning stuff. And there’s that that I it’s I know, I’ve been talking about the metaverse for like 18 months I that that pathway never really occurred to me in the same way. Yeah, that could be huge. Do you know if any institutions are actually setting that kind

Brian Piper (he/him)  39:32

of environment up? We actually have one at the University of Rochester we have Studio x which is part of our library program, and AV AR VR all sorts of goggles that you can check out and you can bring the Oculus Home and and have it for three days, six days, however long you want to check it out. And they have all sorts of different you know, every month they’ll get together and have a meet up and talk about what they have created in the augmented reality environment and what things the students are working on. And they’re working with other students in virtual environments from across, you know, the institutional landscape across the world. So it’s a fascinating way and it’s, it’s different with kids today. I mean, my wife and I have six kids between the two of us from 16 to 24. And so they’re a lot of them are in college now or getting ready to go to college or just out of college. And they don’t think twice about coming down and throwing on the you know, the PlayStation VR goggles and spending two hours in, you know, whatever VR game they’re playing. And that’s the same attitude that they have when they go to school. It’s not like it’s a different thing. It’s just a different environment that they’re putting themselves into. And I think that mindset, whereas, you know, I’ll bring one of my friends over and it’s like, Oh, it’s this weird, different, you know, completely unique thing. That kind of doesn’t really feel right. But the next generation is, is all in on this and it’s just a different consumption method.

Noz Urbina  41:13

I love it. I love it. Yeah, I think that for especially as an omni channel guy every time a new channel or consumption method comes out people think it’s this new thing. It’s just like, because it’s, you know, you said a desktop and now we’ve got a phone in my hand. We’re going to rethink everything. You can Yeah, you know, we need to think about how this thing is different. But you know, we have web pages on phones. We have my desktops and we will have content from the internet in the metaverse. I described the metaverse as the immersive web, like that’s in two words. That’s what I would call it. It’s it’s the internet you can stick your head inside or your whole body actually. So I’m I’m super pumped. I’m actually you’re you’re it’s rare that that a topic gets me almost too giddy. I’m speechless here. So ya know, I’m super pumped about that. And in high schools. Do you know of any high schools that are going there as well?

Brian Piper (he/him)  42:10

I don’t, I’m not aware of any high schools with like AR VR programs set up. I know some some high schools do have like clubs where the kids will get together and you know, and with a faculty but I don’t know that they’re actually doing any sort of development or you know, or consumption in augmented or virtual spaces.

Noz Urbina  42:37

Right. I’m going to look into that after the show. Yeah, right. Yeah. So that I think that’s going to be huge, because if the educational environment is there, and even if you do, like as I said, we had typing class or whatever we had, like the computer hour, even if it’s one hour a week. That’s going to change everything because it’s for me with the metaverse. I was kind of I was waiting for AR I was literally waiting for AR I was like, VR whenever I thought VR was a joke, until I tried it once. Yeah, and I was an instant convert. i The minute I put the thing on and actually got in there I went, Oh, that’s the future.

Brian Piper (he/him)  43:13

Yes, yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I love what Apple’s doing with their AR VR goggles, so you could be walking along in the real world and it can be guiding you to your destination and showing you interesting things along the way and talking in your ear and being your tour guide. And then when you get there, you can sit down and now you can go to wherever you want in the world in a virtual environment. So yeah, very excited about what that is all going to bring to us.

Noz Urbina  43:43

And I people, the complaints I got are like oh it’s too big. It’s too heavy. And I’m like did use it again. You weren’t there for cell phones. You want to talk big and heavy. We’re big and heavy. Yeah, huge, huge, like like back pain causing the heavy and, and in and then expensive. It’s like, Oh, it’s $800 or $2,000 My Computer. My family banded together to buy this. What now would be a joke. black and green screen. Like I could fit like my my hand is bigger than the screen thing. It was $7,000 and that was then the 7000 then so you’re talking like this like buying a car? Yeah. But we just felt like that didn’t hold computers back. Because if there is a useful application if there’s something that people can go there and be more productive, socialized in a new way have a better experience. It’s gonna go it’s gonna take off.

Brian Piper (he/him)  44:49

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, the advances that they’re making, I mean, what we’re seeing with the advancement of AI, and that, you know, at the at the university, we’re doing a lot of research with quantum computers. Those sorts of technologies are going to so exponentially change the way that we operate and function in the world. And, you know, AR and VR are just a part of that.

Noz Urbina  45:15

Yeah, they’re just yeah, they’re they’re, you know, one of the touch points on the whole omni channel experience. I, I, I am very excited about when you take AI and VR and AR, it simply became being able to speak reliably to our devices. I find that for example, when I turn on Chet GPT and I speak to it and I give it like a two paragraph prompt. It’s just so much more reliable and accurate than any of the other previous things. Like speech text was really bad. It’s really bad in a lot of places, but the new large language models are are the thing that we needed to unlock that actually working like I can’t believe that GPT is out been out for a year or two. PT for internship at the big explosive, right. Killer App check up T has been out for a year and I still speak to Alexa and it’s it’s like pulling teeth. Yeah,

Brian Piper (he/him)  46:21

absolutely well and I like I enjoy playing around in pi.ai and character.ai. And you can have really good conversations. I listened to a 15 minute podcast the other day, where it was just the podcast host interviewing. Ay ay ay. And it was a great conversation and they were asking questions it was asking, you know, would prefer that I do it this way or that I do it this way. How would you like me to explain this to you? Like, why is it asking for my preferences? You know, that’s the way that these tools are trained to be empathetic. They have no feelings. They have no empathy, but they are trained to pretend that they do. Yeah, and it makes it very interesting listening and interacting experience and they’re already talking about, you know, using these in senior living facilities where now you can have a companion for someone in the voice of their family member that they’re comfortable with that can talk to them all day long and have a staff member in there monitoring them all the time. So it’s yeah,

Noz Urbina  47:26

it’s both beautiful and painful. It’s because like, I think it’s it’s kind of creepy as hell, but at the same time, I and I totally get it like as a as someone who you know, was with their parent as they were in that stage. They just need to repeat the same story. Maybe 60 times a day, and having someone who was there to listen to it every time as if it was fresh will be what I’ve been comforting to them. Very,

Brian Piper (he/him)  47:51

absolutely. Absolutely. And like my daughter was having some problems with with her math class at college and I was like, we’ll go over to the Learning Resource Center and she’s like, well, it’s raining, I don’t want to walk over there. I gotta gotta make an appointment. We’ll jump on chat GPT and ask it to help you and it will talk back and forth with you and help you solve your problems. And it did.

Noz Urbina  48:10

Yeah, awesome. See? And so for me, connecting it back to AR VR. When you have your hands free and you’re doing things with your hands voice is your input output. You know the phone. I know it’s that leaning over bent over, neck hurt kind of thing that we have to do the phones which is the for me the worst thing about them and sitting there, you know, you do all the studies on how bad it is for us to live like this stuck to a desk. If we could do that. To be free of those constraints. fantastic, but that just leaves voice Well, theoretically the hand typing

Brian Piper (he/him)  48:53

Yeah, I mean, the Apple glasses have, I don’t know, like six, six inward facing cameras and 11 outward or something like that. So we can track your hands so you can manipulate your screens very like Minority Report ish. Yeah. But yeah, being able to free ourselves from our screens would be huge.

Noz Urbina  49:11

Yeah. So no, you’re right. So I should separate because there’s, there’s navigation this point, click this. I want to open that. I want to look at that. I want to scroll that. Super easy. I’m talking about real text, like entry of conflict when I’m creating content when I’m writing a document writing a document in VR, right? Now is still a bit of an awkward beast. But being able to do a tweet or you know a page or you know, a review or feedback on feedback on some other piece of content that it if you had voice real accurate voice then then a bring the AI stuff, which which includes the voice modality and VR together that I think is going to be another game changer.

Brian Piper (he/him)  49:54

Yeah, absolutely. It’s very exciting.

Noz Urbina  49:57

Awesome. All right. Okay, so we’re coming close to time. Okay, so with all this, we’ve talked about all all the channels we’ve talked about we haven’t talked about social so much, but we talked about various types of channels. You’re an AI N and data guy. key metrics. I talk a lot about mapping analytics to real business metrics. What changing from okay, I’ve got clicks and views, or likes and shares to turning that into something that actually maps to my business. So I’m interested in your opinion, I’m big fan of, for example, customer effort score, and you know, looking at looking at lead close times looking at the total customer churn, are there some metrics which you think are good universal ones that more content people need to be looking at that are that are being kind of a eclipsed by our usual I’d say, lazy habit of just going okay, well, I got lots of I got lots of clicks on my page. So I’m doing my job.

Brian Piper (he/him)  51:02

Yeah, I think moving away from those, you know, the vanity metrics are really understanding if they are actually a good indicator that of success. Yeah, and I think that

Noz Urbina  51:12

sorry, and if there’s one we do talk about, if you’ve had experience, when you’re aggregating that data across multiple channels, so not just the web so I can, where it’s very easy for me to refer to the clicks and, and, and the views, but in social, you have other metrics. And when we’re talking about the metaverse, and newsletters and chatbots we’re gonna have more and more so what are some kind of universal ways to look at this will be another way?

Brian Piper (he/him)  51:39

And I think it goes back to figuring out your goal and figuring out what your strategy are, what are you trying to accomplish? And if you can measure that that is being accomplished. So we do a lot with conversions, what are the conversions that you’re trying to measure? What are you trying to get your user to do? That’s the, you know, kind of the golden nugget. That’s the end goal that you’re trying to get, you know, so kind of number of conversions is the key converter there but sometimes, like if we’re just trying to do a conversion is

Noz Urbina  52:09

not always a sale. Correct or let’s, because some people hear conversion and they think, oh, yeah, I bought the t shirt.

Brian Piper (he/him)  52:15

Right? Sometimes conversion is just going to the next piece of content. Yeah, sometimes that might be the conversion. So if we’re just trying to build brand awareness, then it comes down to a variety of things are you getting you know the reach you want with your content are you hitting your right audience? So you’re getting engagement? So a lot of times, what we’ll do is we will combine all those different metrics and say, you know, here’s our baseline, here’s where we’re functioning on average. Is this piece of content exceeding that or is it not? Is it you know, not? Is it not a winning piece of content currently, and we’ll come up with kind of an overall score, or different channels, and then we’ll aggregate those all together. So we’ll say you know, overall, this month social was 74 out of 100. And it takes in, like shares, clicks, and we weight those based on how much we see those as indicating that the user is really engaged. They’re really consuming this content is not just reach, reach is important. It’s a factor, but it’s not weighted. The highest engagement or shares are usually weighted the highest for her social. So different channels will have different weights for different metrics, and then we’ll aggregate those into overall scores. So then we can say to leadership, our communications department score this month was an 82. Here’s the things that didn’t work. Well, here’s what we’re going to do to try to improve those. So it’s really kind of figuring out what metrics are going to indicate that you’re trying that you’re reaching your goal. And if you’re not reaching your goal, if those metrics are not showing success, what do you need to do to change those and how can you make sure that you monitor the changes to make sure that those are having the desired impact? Because we’ll go back and look at the last quarter and say, all those changes we made what worked what didn’t,

Noz Urbina  54:10

right. Do you have an example of like a before and after that you can talk about doesn’t have to name any names, but like a team who was measuring in let’s see a more traditional way. And then what did they move to measure?

Brian Piper (he/him)  54:23

So what we were looking at when our team was doing website redesigns we would look at overall. Like pageviews was the big metric how many page views did we get if the page view count went up? Because we’re happy to do website is working better? If time on page went up? That’s great. But is it? Are you are you trying to get the user to go to this page and consume all the content? Or how about let’s figure out how many times they had to click to how many pages to actually get a conversion to actually schedule an appointment to come in and see you because if that’s the goal you’re looking for, you want to actually reduce the number of pages as much as you can. want to get them to convert as quickly as possible because you’re going to lose people at each step of your journey. We feel like our admissions process for international students was very difficult for them to find all the information they needed. It was in very, you know, in different places. The language wasn’t really what good they were spending a lot of time on pages. So then we were able to combine a lot of that information onto one page and a much easier to consume, you know, sort of text for non native English speakers. So we were able to reduce the total number of pages that were viewed, we were able to reduce the click count, but we were able to increase conversions. So just not looking at that vanity metric of pageviews equals success, and really figuring out how do you get to your end goal, the quickest

Noz Urbina  55:57

so sorry, excuse me. recording stopped. Ready? You bet. Yeah. Sorry. Landline call. When does that happen? It didn’t even occur to me to unplug the modem. Yeah, it was I probably probably they said they were calling from my phone company. But that’s usually bullshit. Right? Alright, so where were we we were on? Oh, yes. Okay, I was an hour. Okay. recording in progress. So it comes back to this idea of defining and chaining calls to action. So, alright, so we’re, we are, you’re we’re on the same page here. So I think that’s I’m a customer journey obsessed. I think people on the podcast are sick and sick of hearing me talk about it. And that’s for me the part that’s often missing in customer journey mapping. What we when we do it our way. It you’re not done the journey map unless you figured out the call to action, what and what are the data you’re going to use in order to make the experience be what you want it to be at that stage and what data you’re going to capture? How do you know that you’re moving on to the next stage? Absolutely. Yeah. And that’s kind of that gives the you know, you take the what the users wants to know and what they’re trying to do. And you map it to that and then you can tell is our content, moving people along this journey? Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, we’re on time. I’ve had a great time. I don’t know why it took us so long. Neither. Yeah, but we’ll definitely definitely make sure to talk to you and coming in in a year and see how, see how we can get you back involved. Thank you again, Brian, for joining us. And thank you all our listeners for tuning in as always

Brian Piper (he/him)  58:18

awesome, good conversation

Noz Urbina  58:20

recording stopped. Yeah, the blast. I know she’ll let it go. Yeah, yeah, no, it was good was good. I’m so glad that we got to meet and chat and happy that we just jumped on there and did it. So yeah, it was good. Good session. I’m going to just quickly record an intro. So you don’t have to hang out for that. I think it’s because we’re at the top of the hour now. Okay, yeah, I don’t have a hard stop. But yeah, you probably have a place to go. So thank you so much. We’ll let you know when it’s live. So we’ll we’ll tag your course in the LinkedIn post and you can you can repost that. That’d be great. And yeah, any any questions or any thoughts for me?

Brian Piper (he/him)  59:01

Now? This was great, and I appreciate it. Good luck. With all your all your next set of travels and and events.

Noz Urbina  59:10

Ditto. Thank you very much.

Brian Piper (he/him)  59:13

Thank you guys have a good one.

Noz Urbina  59:14

I look forward to the next one. Cheers. Cheers. recording in progress. Hello, everybody. This is your host Noz Urbina as the recording stopped recording in progress. Hi, everybody. This is your host Noz Urbina of the omnichannel X podcast and omnichannel strategist for Urbina Consulting. I am here today with Bryan Piper. We talked about a lot of things. I think you’re gonna enjoy this episode. If we talked about AI, of course, specifically, how AI may be the opener to take us into from in the metaverse. Brian’s got a lot of background and data in diverse fields. You know, we’re birds of Ryan and I, we have a really good chat. Talking about his experience with with customer journeys, how to map data, the customer journeys, how to measure customer journeys, a little bit how to work on silos to get people working together on your customer journeys. And as I said, a lot of fun AI and metaverse stuff as well. So without any further ado, enjoy the episode. recording stopped