Blog Home

Episode #119: How to Create Value For Your Customers, with Joshua Nafman

Grad Conn

April 21, 2021  •  37 min read

As marketers, we’re torn between… let’s call it the brain and the body. The brain is all the data, knowledge, and information we have access to. The body is the action — actually doing something with this data that improves the customer experience. Joshua Nafman, global director of digital & media at Diageo, joins me for a look at how to shift our actions so we truly put the customer first.

Joshua Nafman is fluent in digital, media, data, ecomm, and brand, knocking down organizational silos to transform marketing organizations. You can find him here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jnafman/

See all CXM Experience podcasts
The CXM Experience on Apple Podcasts
The CXM Experience LinkedIn Group


PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Grad 
We’re back. It’s the CXM Experience. And as always, I am Grad Conn, CXO Chief Experience Officer at Sprinklr. And today I actually am really, really super jazzed today, because I’m talking with Josh Nafman. He’s the Global Director of Media and Digital at Diageo. Josh and I actually got to meet about two months ago, he actually presented at our Annual Sales Kickoff, which we call ASCO at Sprinklr and Josh did an amazing job and was incredibly inspiring to our whole sales team and told a bunch of stories about how Sprinklr had transformed the way things work at Diageo. We’re not going to get into that today, because Josh and I want to talk about digital transformation and customer experience and a bunch of other things. But Josh was fantastic and I got a chance to spend some time with him back then. And he’s back on the CXM Experience. So, we’ll see what happens after today. See if we talk again. But Josh, welcome.

Joshua Nafman 
Thanks so much for having me, Grad. Really appreciate it.

Grad 
And you’re a native New Yorker. Bred and born?

Joshua Nafman 
Right. bred and born, been here for my entire life with exception of about two years when I made my way out to the west coast, Los Angeles.

Grad 
So, I’ve got to ask you a few questions then – favorite bagel?

Joshua Nafman 
New York bagel. Definitely Tal Bagel down the block from me.

Grad 
Okay, I am a Tal Bagel fan as well. Okay, very good. Let’s see, do you have a favorite restaurant?

Joshua Nafman 
Favorite restaurants? Too many to choose from but …?

Joshua Nafman 
Have you been to Bistro Vendôme?

Joshua Nafman 
I have not. I pass it all the time. I would say I’m a master of takeout rather than restaurants these days? So, I might go …

Grad 
It’s an amazing takeout, actually a Dover sole takeout from Bistro Vendôme. But Bistro Vendôme was where I went on my first, sort of, real date with my fiancée. And it’s just on 58th. And it’s a fantastic restaurant; It’s a more authentic French restaurant than you’d suspect. But if you ever get a chance, you know, maybe we can meet there for drinks. We don’t live that far apart. All right, good. Well, welcome. So, you know, I thought it would be kind of fun, just to kind of get your thoughts on where things are going in marketing today. I had a really interesting conversation with a CMO the other day, and we were just chatting about what are the kind of main pitfalls that may sort of stand in the way of marketers and his comment was fascinating. And what he said was, he thinks one of the biggest challenges before marketers today is that there’s so much to do, and so much presented to us to do that it’s easy to get lost in all of it. And it’s easy to lose focus. And he actually said that he thinks that there’s a struggle between classic marketing – get out the message, reach, frequency, you know, all leads, all that kind of stuff and then what he calls experience. I’m a bit of an exception as a CXO but most companies don’t have Chief Experience Officers; most companies don’t have anyone, quotation marks, in charge of experience. And often, it’s falling now to the marketing team, who are not fully equipped, they don’t control the product, they don’t control customer care. There are many components of customer experience. And I actually had a terrible one a few minutes ago, which I’ll tell you about. But there are many components of customer experiences that marketers don’t control, but often it essentially rolls up to them. So, I’d love your perspective on this. So, this is, kind of, my new favorite leadoff question. How are you thinking about experience? How do you think about this? Do you think it’s a conflict or not? And then, as a marketer, how do you see experience falling under your bailiwick on a long-term basis?

Joshua Nafman 
Yeah, to the first piece of the other CMO’S quote is, I like to think marketers are overwhelmed by opportunity these days; there’s so many things that you can do. It’s just a matter of how are you being choiceful and how are you doing that? I would say a lot of marketers are currently trying to hold the tension between the brutal efficiency and effectiveness that their business is demanding them in comparison to putting the consumer actually at the center of things where unfortunately, I’d say for a lot of marketers, that conversation is around what’s in it for, let’s say, your company, rather than what’s the value that consumers are getting out of that because they internally for some, and I’m seeing this, specifically in the data area where it goes, everybody wants to capture all of this data in order to provide better experiences. But what happens if we flipped it and said, ‘Why don’t we actually just focus on delivering amazing experiences to consumers?’. And if there’s data that comes out of that and makes that experience better, that’s great.

Grad 
I like that. It’s a nice Copernican shift. And I just say, turn it on its’ head. So, what would that look like if someone did that? So I hear you, it’s almost like you can get trapped in this sort of ongoing data project, right? Like a lot of people creating data lakes, I don’t know if that’s something that you’ve seen evolve in your experiences. But these data lakes become projects onto their own, which is connecting everything with this sort of sense that one day when we have it all, something special is going to happen. But what you’re saying is, worry about making something special happen now and then the data will come out? How do you do that? How do you make that flip happen?

Joshua Nafman 
So, I think, first of all, from an ongoing data project, a lot of companies are pursuing it that way. So, they collect it all, and then we’ll figure it out. And in reality, I think that the way you move forward with that right now is, you really invest the time and the energy into your employees into all the different consumer touch points that you have, to make sure that it is actually benefiting the consumer. And using whatever data you have on hand, you don’t need a ton of it, it’s basically just looking for signals from a couple of seed signals from people, whether it’s in digital, or it’s in physical, just be like, ‘Hey, I found that when a bartender talks to a possible customer, and something like that and says, ‘Hey, I really recommend the following drink’, they tend to actually go for the recommendation, something as simple as that, versus bombarding with an ad saying you should buy something. And so, I would say, the opportunity is there for businesses to focus more on the consumers rather, and actually action on doing so rather than just collecting information about what consumers may want. Because the activation part is something that they don’t always think through, they don’t have the people, process, or technology to go about doing it.

Grad 
Right, there’s this concept of the brain and the body that I’m seeing more and more, which is the brain being the information, the data, the understanding, the listening, that kind of goes into it, but the body being taking action on it. And I would almost say that a lot of customer experience initiatives I’m seeing today are very brain focused, without a whole lot of body attached to it. And I would say that, generally, customers probably prefer more body than brain, like they prefer, if there’s some issue or opportunity that they have, they want someone to take action on it and solve their problem or help them out versus just record the fact that they had a query or an experience or a problem?

Joshua Nafman 
I would say it’s definitely a good articulation of the tension between the two companies are definitely focused on the brain aspect of it, rather than the body aspect of it. I mean, just going back to the data acquisition piece of it, we are all incredibly rich, I would say incredibly rich in data overall. What we’re poor in is action on that data, insights on that data. And it’s because we’re not investing in the piece that we actually need the most help with, the technology is not going to solve all the problems. As an organization, you actually need to change how you think about things. I mean, I’ve even gone as far as saying, okay, rather than just collecting data, whether it’s performance, or consumer data, etc., why don’t we go into the native platforms, or go into the various technologies that we have? and look for something surprising? pick out one thing that you found surprising and share it with another human being within the company and say, ‘Cool, now, what are we actually going to do with it?’ and go do that. That’s going to have a hell of a lot more impact than another report, another dashboard that people are not going to necessarily use. I’d much rather have people actually discussing data and questioning things and moving things forward rather than just collecting because the collection … Nobody’s ever said, ‘Oh my god, I have billions and billions of these profiles, but they just sit there’.

Grad 
Oh, man, that’s super profound, you know, I mean, not enough people are saying that right now. I’ll give you my bad customer experience example from today. So, I don’t know if you’ve listened to the podcast, but I’m a Purple fanatic; I’m a huge fan of Purple mattresses, Purple pillows, all things Purple. The grid, I think, is a brilliant piece of technology. What I  mean is, it’s this incredible piece of chemical technology that invented that grid. And, and so I have been buying Purple before they were really even advertising. I’ve been with the brand from Day One. And I had the weirdest experience today. And as such, it’s so interesting. I’m always sort of analyzing my own reactions to these things. So, I’ve given Purple thousands and thousands of dollars, right? Maybe tens of. Every place I own has got Purple mattresses and I have Purple pillows everywhere. I’ve got Purple pads everywhere. I tell everybody I know to buy Purple. So, who knows how much business I’ve generated for them. So, my Mom, for some reason, my Mom and I connect on a pretty frequent basis. And somehow, I have not sent her one of the new Purple pillows, I don’t understand how that could have happened because I’m pretty on stuff like that. And, and she has some neck issues. And so, you know, I always try to kind of think about the latest things that would be great. And this new Purple pillow is extraordinary. The Purple Hex pillow, it’s mind blowing how good it is, is like not even a pillow, it’s like, some kind of alien technology from Area 51. And somehow, they gave it to Purple. And, and so I say to my Mom, I’m like, the new Purple pillows are so great. And I said, you know, do you like yours? And she’s like, ‘I don’t have one’. And I’m, like, ‘I’m the worst son in the world,’ right? And so, I go on the Purple site today, I’m going to get her a pillow right away, get it sent to her, and you know, kind of make it sort of part of her Mother’s Day present. And I go to purple.com. and the chat comes up and then says, ‘Can I help you?’ I said, ‘Yeah, do you ship to Canada?’ She lives in St. Catharines, Ontario. ‘Do you ship to Canada?’.

Grad 
And they said, our partner in Canada is Sleep Country, call one 800 blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That was the answer to my question.

Joshua Nafman 
Why didn’t they do it for you?

Grad 
I said, so I don’t normally do this. But I said, so the answer is, ‘No. Is that your way of telling me? No. We don’t ship to Canada’. And I said, Why don’t I have to call a phone number. And they said, “Oh, our Canadian site is purple.com/ca. I think okay, well, there’s a Canadian site. It’s always a little bit weird doing that. But I do that with Amazon all the time. And I’ve gotten used to it. So I think okay, so I go to the Purple Canadian site, right? They don’t sell that pillow in Canada. ‘Cause I guess the Canadians don’t deserve to have healthy necks. Or maybe they’re just too tough already. Why wouldn’t they sell it? It’s not available in Canada, right. So anyway, net, net, the pillow is being shipped to me, and I’m going to ship it to my Mom. But it was a very dissatisfying experience overall, because what was interesting to me is, what went wrong there? Right? What went wrong was, they didn’t seek to understand the underlying reason why I wanted to know if they ship to Canada.

Joshua Nafman  
Yeah, I mean, right? What an opportunity …

Grad 
Why did they not ask me that? Why do you want to ship to Canada? Why is that important? Well, I live in the US, my Mom lives in Canada, I’m a big Purple fan, you see how that could have changed the conversation? Or, you know, then think about how they could have helped or start taking that signal and sending it to management saying there’s a lot of Americans or former Canadians living in America and sending stuff back to their families, it’d be nice if we could expedite that for them versus, you know, me having to bring it here. I don’t know if it’s going to get to her in time for Mother’s Day, maybe, I’ve got a 50-50 chance. But you know, it’s not 100% anymore, it just would have been so much better. And what I think about I see this stuff is that I know that there’s a marketer, somewhere in Purple, right now, silently screaming, because that person knows that this kind of stuff is going on, but they don’t have any way of intersecting it. Because the Customer Care team, which is who I guess I was dealing with on the website chat is not connected to the Marketing team. So, let’s talk for a second about silos and companies and how they’re affecting experience and how do marketers help bridge that and what have you seen work with your peers and in your experiences? What have you seen work in terms of trying to bring those silos together so you don’t have that separate experience that’s so frustrating? And someone spent millions of dollars nurturing me over the years, and I’m just sitting here on the air, pissing all over them, like it’s a terrible outcome. And they’re like, ‘oh’. How could they have avoided that? I’d love to hear your perspective on that.

Joshua Nafman 
Yeah, well, first of all, all large organizations have silos. For some, it’s, I like to think of things as it’s incredible what you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit, and I feel like a lot of organizations are very focused on a Marketing Department, a Sales Department, Econ etcetera, getting credit, because credit is viewed as a way forward for that person’s career or for that person’s business. And that all comes from the: “How are we setting goals?” To be honest, I haven’t necessarily cracked it yet. I would say the places where I’ve had the best success is democratizing the information I have in terms of, if I’m noticing something, telling a lot of people about it, and it’s not for the purpose of getting credit; the purpose of it is very much like, I’d say, taking a systems’ approach to things rather than a silos’ approach. And not enough marketers are viewing it as a system, not enough salespeople, not enough eCommerce view it as a system. I would say eCommerce overall, especially in consumer experiences and customer experiences, is the closest to a true system, because it forces you, in order to be successful to actually share information amongst them, one side needs to talk to the other. And it doesn’t have to be something formal. It’s more of a “How do you bring people along?” Like I said, I haven’t cracked it, it’s something that I’m trying to figure out. And the best thing that I’ve gotten to so far is just talking to people because I find that if you talk to somebody and you share what you’re doing, most of the time, they go, “Cool, well, I’m doing something similar”, or “I’m doing this”, and this is how you connect, and you start making the connections.

Grad 
I really like that systems approach. How do you implement that?

Joshua Nafman 
First of all, I think that goal setting is kind of screwing up how businesses operate. And the reason why I say that is because if you set a goal, there’s a lot of people that are going to go as hard as they can in order to achieve that a specific goal, rather than kind of taking a more holistic view on how am I improving the business holistically, it’s about what am I doing to contribute? And the holistic aspect of it just seems to be lost. There’s not really necessarily a … some of the bigger companies, I would say … the community sense the sharing sense of it. And so, the way that you do it is to, number one, create a culture where hoarding of information is not beneficial. And I would say, number two is make it so that it’s not viewed as wasted time if you’re communicating or working cross departmentally. And I feel like there’s a lot of times where the wasted time aspect of it, it goes, Oh, well, you know, you need buy in, you need stakeholders and stuff like that. And it’s like, there should be some kind of mechanism in order for what I’m doing in media or digital to then connect over to a department that it might not necessarily right on the face of it make a ton of sense to but it could influence. And honestly, that’s the reason why I love digital because I view it as the ribbon that connects everything because there is no digital or non-digital experiences these days, digital is marketing, digital is kind of what we’re all doing. And they either start or end in some kind of thing attached to technology. And so, it being the ribbon that connects things, that’s ultimately how I’m viewing it, have I implemented or scaled it? Absolutely not, it’s really difficult to do, because cultures are formed over years, rather than just when somebody like myself starts working at a company.

Grad 
Yeah, that’s really neat. You’ve got some really profound stuff here. I’m going to give you a quick story from Microsoft, which I think you might enjoy and tie to what you just said. But I also want to get a little bit of like how you got here. I want to get a little bit of your backstory as well. People love to malign Microsoft, I’m a huge fan, I worked there for a dozen years, and I loved every minute of it. And you know, I miss it all the time. And I would say that one of the things that I thought was brilliant, it was just as Satya came in, was they made a change in the, Satya was confronted with maybe a slightly more siloed company than he would have preferred and he worked really hard to break that down. And you can see the outcome from what he did there. And his book is brilliant. It’s a brilliant book about how he changed the culture and broke down all the silos in the company. And one of the things was this HR change. And the HR transformation was your rating. And your review was based now on three things. And your manager would literally sort of complete each area. And so essentially, score you on each of these three areas. And then your cumulative score was how you got evaluated.

Grad 
So, area number one is how you performed against your goals. Makes sense, right? That’s your net printable number two, it was how you helped someone else achieve their goals, examples of where you would help someone else achieve their goals. Like, that was a head snap. Like a third of your evaluation was based on how you would help someone else achieve their goals. Right? And the third category was my favorite one, which is what you had stolen from someone else to help get your job done. Not stolen, not in a bad way, but what things did you borrow from others? What did you learn from other teams that helped you get your job done? That was a 30-year review.

Joshua Nafman 
Well, first of all, that’s going to force some of the selfish psychopaths to be considered as leadership just because they produce results ruthlessly, but I mean, that definitely brings people together because that’s a question; before we’re just, you know, how do you systematize it, that’s how you do it. I can see. I always say, follow the money, but another way to do it is follow the review, I guess. It’s stuff that the modern processes have to go towards something like that rather than it just being something that is, I would say, kind of outside of a review or a reward standpoint, because I like to think of the goodness of humans and the reason why we’re so successful as a species is because of being able to work together. And we seem to have lost that to a certain degree.

Grad 
Yeah, well, I think enlightened self-interest has clearly won the day versus the doing everything for each other. But I hear you, I mean, I always want that too. But anyway, listen, mate, it was an amazing moment. I’m a big believer in marketing, and HR being very tightly tied together, I did a really great podcast that Diane Adams, who’s our chief culture and talent officer at Sprinklr, and Diane and I have been really, really, really close partners from the beginning. And I actually think that many marketers miss the HR piece, and the HR connection and how, first of all, I think the marketing department can help HR achieve a lot of its internal goals about transforming culture, communicating with employees, and all that kind of stuff. It’s just natural partners there. But I actually think that a lot of the HR systems can do a lot to actually help marketing influence what’s going on in these other departments. And help change the reward system, so you don’t have the experience I had with Purple today. So anyway, let’s talk about you for a second. So, I assume you wanted to be a marketer, since you were a young kid. David Ogilvy in the crib,

Joshua Nafman 
Definitely not, I went into college wanting to be either a veterinarian or a meteorologist and chasing tornadoes or helping animals.

Grad 
Which is kind of like marketing really, when you think about it?

Joshua Nafman 
Well, maybe the meteorology side, I guess I appreciated being able to be wrong and still get paid. But, but uh, but overall, yeah, I went into college thinking that I was going to be in meteorology, or veterinary medicine or something like that and I found myself wanting to take a journalism approach to that. And so, journalism as a minor with those as majors and stuff like that eventually became English and Journalism and Communication. So still no business classes in any way, shape, or form. And I came out of college as a copywriter. And I would say I quickly found out being at a big agency that I don’t really like being told to be creative by gunpoint. So, I quickly made my way into what I thought was going to be a more gratifying site because I still wanted to be in the creative industry. And I went to Account Management, Account Planning, kind of made my way through various parts of the Ad Agency world – project management, all the way down into innovation and packaging and design management.

Grad 
Oh, okay. What agencies were you at?

Joshua Nafman 
I was at TWA Media Arts lab, a company called Concept Farm at one point, I bounced around a bit, it was pretty much like every year or two, as a millennial, I was like, I deserve to be promoted so I’m going  to promote myself by moving companies. And then eventually I got brought in house, I was doing design, design work, actually, for a company called Arnel around the PepsiCo redesign of Tropicana, and all those different when and that major logo issue. And then from there just went client side, I was at Pepsi for about five years on the digital and media team, went to Kind Snacks, went to a place called the Halo Products, a great natural toothpaste brand. And then I find myself at Diageo and throughout  there, I’ve been really good at riding the wave of, Hey, you know, I like technology, I’m pretty good at, I’d say, getting up to speed on things. And so, it went from, Okay, I’m, yeah, I’m in Digital. And then I’m in Social and then I’m in Content, and then, I’m in, now Programmatic and data and Technology. And so just overall, I’m just kind of going with it. Because I like technology. I believe great marketing is technology based now and I guess that’s kind of how my career is built over time from science and meteorology and veterinary medicine to using science technology etc. for the purpose of getting people to buy more booze, compliantly of course.

Grad 
Well, it’s you know, you’re still doing society great service actually, especially the last year. That’s a really neat background, though, I think the creative angle super interesting, actually because the I think there is a bit of soullessness in some marketing now and I think having people come from the creative side, I think is really important. Do you have any give any big copywriting heroes like John Caples, or … Do you have any touchstones in that space?

Joshua Nafman 
I wouldn’t necessarily have any specific touchstones, it’s more of a, just, rather than people more of the work in which I believe that I think … in my core is that people don’t hate advertising; people hate shitty advertising. Yeah, I think people love advertising. I love advertising. And, and it’s a matter of, I’d say, certain parts of the business can beat the creative creativity out of those things or dissect it enough where it’s doesn’t have room to breathe to actually be able to drive the business. And so, I mean, candidly, I got exhausted from having the creative conversations around, you know, what does this content mean? What does this brand mean, and stuff like that? And I started being like, Listen, I need more firepower in these discussions. And that’s why I started going more into the data side, the technology side of being like, let me look for what consumers are actually saying, My favorite thing to do these days is looking at the results that I’m seeing on, let’s say, a Facebook from a performance standpoint, and going back to a going back to my marketers, and basically saying, like, Hey, listen, I’m seeing the following the following things. It’s suggesting that the Facebook algorithm really doesn’t like your creative, and you probably need to swap it out for something else, because it’s not resonating with the audience. And they’re like, Oh, yeah, you know, definitely, which previously, I would have just been like, Listen, you’re advertising in a way that’s just not relevant to that consumer. And sometimes you lose that in either your audience targeting or in the message that you’re putting out there. And so, it’s just another way to have that discussion – burning bridges.

Grad 
No, you’re right. It is it is an interesting way to have a more rational discussion about something that used to be very heated emotional discussion. I remember arguing for a month about 30 frames, no 15 frames, 15 frames of a Downy commercial – whether we should have more bubble landing on blanket or more mom hugging child, it was amazing how many would have been … so great just to test it. But we had no way of doing that. Right. So, you never knew. You know, I don’t know if you read this, but Jane Moss, you know, Jane Moss, I Love New York and a lot of famous campaigns. She died recently. But she wrote a book called Mad Women. And she wrote it in response, she was watching the show and there was a number of inconsistencies in the show with history. Like one thing she points out in her book is that one of the ways that in the 1960s that women in agencies would differentiate themselves is that once they got promoted to management, they always wore hats, yeah, always

Grad 
Like the day you got into management, you wore a hat constantly, like you wouldn’t take it off all day long. And so, she said that people who were in the secretarial pool didn’t wear hats and the management wore hats. And that’s how they told each other apart. I was like, I never even thought of that before; we’ve come a long way, right. But her book, Mad Women, I think, may be one of the best books written on advertising, period. And it’s so good. She worked for Leona Helmsley and she did a couple of memoirs. And in one of her memoirs, she talked about Leona Helmsley as being kind of tough, but fair, you know, kind of like that sort of assessment. And in Mad Women, she’s like, Leona Helmsley is dead now and I’m 82. This is how it really went down. You’ve got to read it.

Grad 
It’s like, it’s like, oh, boy, you know, there’s some, some broken, there’s some broken pieces inside there that need to be put back together. But anyway, she was she’s one of my favorites. Okay, let’s come back to this for a second. Let’s just finish up with digital transformation. So one of the other things like you know, we’ve talked a little bit about cross silo stuff today, right and, and how marketing kind of gets hauled into these cross silo discussions may be able to do a better job by, you know, working with HR and working in different departments and thinking about customer experience, thinking about things from a system standpoint, digital transformation is something that everyone’s kind of had on our board deck for the last five to ten years. Something that’s, you know, it’s been a word that’s been around for a while, but no one really took it super seriously until last year. And everyone’s quoted this, but you know, Satya Nadella famously said, kind of midway through the pandemic, that in the last two months, we’ve seen two years of digital transformation progress. So, you know, customers have just giddied up and way more rapid movement. I’m seeing it every single day customers that I work with at Sprinklr are in the midst of these massive change management processes, massive digital transformations, all these different industries that we work with, all changing overnight. It’s actually kind of amazing how far behind some still were even though they could have gotten there, but they just had not had the incentive. So, what’s your experience on this? Like? Where do you see the pain that people have? And what’s the incentive to drive digital transformation? And when you see it working well, what do you think the factors behind success are?

Joshua Nafman 
So, I mean, I was struck by struggle very much with change management around digital transformation. And the reason why is because digital and transformation are such a loaded words. Some organizations are taking it forward as, when you say, digital, okay, are you talking about what’s happening behind the scenes? Are you talking about marketing? Are you talking about inherited committee communicating to consumers? Is it all of the above, that kind of feels like trying to boil the ocean in organizations that just don’t know how to define what actually the outcome of a digital transformation is? So I say the number one issue that I think most companies have with digital transformation is they don’t really know why they’re doing it, they know that they need to do it, which is kind of this weird thing where they’re like, yeah, you know, I absolutely need to, I need to start using data, I need to start using technology, I need to automate things. And it gets them into this, very much, I would say, just enthusiasm for change. And that’s great to have the enthusiasm. It’s great to kind of think those things through. But a core part of digital transformation is actually what digital gives us. It gives us the agility to test to learn and scale. And that is the part that all organizations or the vast majority of organizations are getting fairly wrong, because most of them are set up as cruise ships and digital is built off of idea of being a speedboat, you say that you can actually move from, I would say, pick up speed, have a direction where you’re going and get after it. And I would say, in my own experience, and I’ve been across, I would say, two or three digital transformations, whether it’s building a department from scratch, or going into a major organization has kind of, I’d say, the pieces are there, but it’s not really working together, is to just to first, settling yourself down, understanding what are the pieces of digital transformation you want to get out of? How do you not make it so that it’s not just buzzword, or shiny object focused, and just getting out and starting to do things rather than thinking too much about the major investments that tech shifts, etc, that are there, just start doing things. And then if a technology helps in order for you to do things easier, better, faster, then bring that technology on. I’ll give you an example – my current company Diageo. We bought it. When I started, we bought a DMP, it was a shiny object, and this is going to fundamentally change how we communicate with consumers. I equated it to – we bought a Ferrari and nobody knew how to drive a stick –  it only in segmentations. And thinking about the audience wasn’t necessarily built into the way of working and eventually got rid of the DMP. I’m hearing across many companies right now CDP is the same thing. That’s the next thing. Everybody needs to purchase the CDP because third party data is going away and all this other fun stuff. And it just goes, “What are you going to do with it? How is it going to help your business?” And if you don’t know, why don’t you first try the basics of those things that don’t necessarily require as much technology as you think. And that’s what I think actual transformation is; it’s changing the mindset around it. And it sounds like bullshit. But in reality, it’s more of a, like, we’ve created this institution of transformation, when in reality, it’s just, how many employees can you get to buy into doing something slightly differently, because I’m a big believer in that make tiny changes, they build it to really big changes.

Grad 
I love the very practical nature of the way you approach things. I really appreciate that, because that is the way to get things done in large organizations. If you go in saying, “All right, everybody, we’re changing everything”, that typically doesn’t work very well, right. So always good just to start, you know, just a little stream of water and just let that thing open up the door a bit and see what happens. And I’ve done that a bunch of times and I can see your sort of cut from the same cloth. So, I really respect that. And I think that’s, that’s a really great sign for your future. Well, you know, you’ve been super generous with your time today. And this has been a really, really fun and very insightful interview. I do want to ask you one more New Yorker question if you don’t mind then I’m going to close with maybe asking for some advice for us. You get to give me advice for Sprinklr or give advice to marketers, advice to the industry, what kind of closing thought there, but here’s my New Yorker question.

Grad 
Favorite pizza.

Joshua Nafman 
Best Pizza on First. It’s around the block from me. I’m incredibly loyal. It is delicious. Ask for it well done, light sauce. It’s delicious.

Grad
Really, a particular type of pizza is what kind if toppings …

Joshua Nafman 
I usually get, oh, pepperoni, extra large, pepperoni. Well done, light sauce. That is my go to. it is crispy. The cheese is amazing. Everything is absolutely perfect about it.

Grad 
I hit on something there. Okay, great. I have not tried this. So I’m going to go and that’ll be on my list when I get back to New York. All right, so let’s close with some advice. So what advice would you want to give either to me, to Sprinklr, to marketers? Like what’s kind of on your mind these days of what you think somebody should be thinking about?

Joshua Nafman 
Um, I would say the conversation that’s been helping my life right now is, as you kind of heard throughout the podcast so far is around consumer data and all the privacy concerns and stuff like that. My advice is, as a consumer, really think about how much you are comfortable with or want to be tracked and how pissed off you would be. If the organization that you go, “Oh, I trust this brand. I trust this company or whatever”, is actively trying to circumvent something that directly benefits you. I don’t think as marketers we put ourselves into the consumer or customer shoes enough. And I’d say most companies or my company in particular is, what is the ethics and morals around just tracking the hell out of everybody. Nobody likes it. But marketers are just like, “Yeah, it’s a necessary evil”. Let’s try not to do the evil thing. Let’s figure out what is an equitable way to go about it. It’s complicated as hell, but at least have the conversation. It’ll make you feel better.

Grad 
Love it, don’t be evil. So just as a codicil on this conversation here, so I’m just about to sign off, right? And an email comes in. And I saw it come, I saw the toast on it. And it’s from Purple. Said Jaden from Purple. Purple: You recently had a chat with Jaden. How satisfied are you with the service you received from Jaden today?

Joshua Nafman 
I don’t think she did very well.

Grad 
Talk about timing, right. And it’s from poor to excellent. And so, I’m about to think, well, what do I say here, because they have like, sort of an memoji of Jaden. And then it says she loves curling up on the couch and reading, spending time with my family, and going on adventures to my backyard and anywhere else. And I feel like really terrible. I feel like I can’t say something bad about Jaden. Because I’m going to, like, that’s not going to be … so now I’m in a really weird situation where I really want to tell Purple they’ve got a problem with their systems. But I’m not really sure it’s necessarily Jaden’s fault, right? This is getting worse for me. Now, I’m feeling guilty. Not only do I have to mail this thing myself. Now I’m also feeling guilty about the experience. And this is terrible. What is going on?

Joshua Nafman 
I think you got to respond to like, like, Listen, this isn’t about it’s given neutral one. Right, the comments back, listen, this isn’t about Jaden. This is actually about what’s going on here and explain. It’s like, listen, I’m not asking you to do everything for me. But like, seriously, you’re missing out. I’m a huge evangelist with regards to this stuff. And respond like, you could ask a couple more questions. Here’s some advice, I’m in marketing, have a great day, or you can go further and just connect with the Purple CMO on LinkedIn. Yeah, I guarantee they’ll accept and you’ll have a nice conversation with them about how to improve it, and they’ll become a client, if they aren’t already,

Grad 
I’m going to do that. Actually, know what I’m going to do?  Bring the Purple CMO on this show. I am, and I’m going to do a whole show on this and I need the CCO too, their chief customer officer on. Maybe I’ll connect the two of them finally and get them to work on this. This can be super fun. Anyway, so this all happened live while we’re doing this. Thanks, Josh. So, Josh, I’m going to sign off now. I want to thank you. Thank you for your time. Fantastic insights. Looking forward to seeing you in person. I’ll ping you when I get back to New York and we’ll go grab maybe a slice of Best Pizza. Or a bagel at Tal. Or maybe I’ll take you out to Bistro Vendôme for some Dover Sole, whatever you feel like would be super fun. Thank you so much for the time. So, everybody, I want to thank Josh Nafman. He’s the Global Director of Media and Digital at Diageo. And he was our guest today on the CXM Experience, and for the CXM Experience, I’m Grad Conn, CXO at Sprinklr and I’ll talk to you…next time.

Unified-CXM Experience
Share this Article

Article Author

Grad Conn

Chief Experience Officer, Sprinklr

Learn more

Related Articles

Episode #164: Back to Basics — What is CXM, Really?
Unified-CXM Experience
Episode #164: Back to Basics — What is CXM, Really?

In an effort to achieve total CXM harmony, we’re going back to basics.

Grad Conn
October 12, 2021  •  1 min read

Read Article
Episode #154: The New Customer Experience, with Danny Wright
Unified-CXM Experience
Episode #154: The New Customer Experience, with Danny Wright

It’s an exciting time to be in marketing. Organizations are finally waking up to the fact that their brand isn’t what they say it is. Their brand is a reflection of the experiences they land with their customers. In this Adweek webinar, Danny Wright and …

Grad Conn
August 9, 2021  •  1 min read

Read Article
Episode #153: How the World’s Greatest Brands do Mass 1:1 Marketing
Unified-CXM Experience
Episode #153: How the World’s Greatest Brands do Mass 1:1 Marketing

I’ve said this before (and I’ll probably say it again), but there has never been a better time to be a marketer. In this MarketingProfs webinar, Valerie Witt and I explore the merging of mass reach with 1:1 engagement — a sea change that gives brands unp…

Grad Conn
August 6, 2021  •  1 min read

Read Article

Products

Modern CareModern ResearchModern Marketing & AdvertisingModern Sales & EngagementCXM PlatformEducation ExperienceCitizen ExperienceSprinklr AI Sprinklr SandboxDeveloper Portal

Services

Our ServicesTrainingPartnersAgencyDeveloper Portal
English (US)
English (GB)
Español
Português
Français
日本語
Deutsch
PrivacyCookie PreferencesModern Slavery StatementIndex EgalitéTerms