Carlota Pico recently had the opportunity to speak with Amy Kelly, EMEA marketing director for the US-based company UserTesting, an online customer experience testing and improvement platform. Amy is a part of its first Europe-based team, which opened in Edinburgh last year. She shared how UserTesting is helping companies across the globe to improve relationships with their customers, why genuine brand leadership and values are critical, and what campaigns have impressed her most amid the coronavirus crisis.

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on our YouTube channel, listen to the podcast on Apple and Spotify, and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • Companies and customers don’t always see eye-to-eye; one example is the disparity in the perceived level of empathy between them. UserTesting helps to bridge this “empathy gap” by enabling companies to understand their customers.
  • The empathy gap is largely due to the increase in digital interactions and rarity of face-to-face contact, which has made it harder for brands to understand customers’ feelings and reactions to their products.
  • UserTesting pays people to test products in real time, helping companies to ensure their products are user-friendly and functioning optimally—and demonstrating their commitment to improving customer satisfaction on a deeper level.
  • It’s crucial for startups to define their brands right away and manage expectations. You need to make sure that your brand resonates with your audience and that you’re delivering not only when it comes to products, but also authenticity.
  • Success grows from the seeds planted by top-level management. If company leaders live by their brand values, so will the rest of the team—and they’ll be proud of their work. At UserTesting, those values are “get better” and “customers first.”
  • As a marketer sometimes you forget how important customer experience really is, but in fact it’s vital—and when you realize this, it’s a game changer.
  • Always strive to get better. You never want to get to a point and say, “I’m done.” You want to always have that ambition and motivation to get to the next level.

The best marketing campaigns are the ones that trigger emotion—and that doesn’t have to be sadness. It can be joy or laughter or anything that makes a person remember you because you made them feel something.

Rapid-fire recs

What’s your favorite app at the moment?

I think for personal use right now it’s TikTok. I don’t upload content; I just watch it, because I’m fascinated by people and what they come up with on the app. It’s filled with videos from incredibly talented artists, singers, dancers, comedians and more, and it’s just a great snappy way of getting content.

Also check out: Top 10 apps for content and marketing professionals

A resource or influencer that inspires you?

I’d have to say Mark Ritson, even though I don’t agree with everything he says. However, I do appreciate the fact that he isn’t afraid to get real with his audiences.

Also check out: 8 inspiring content and marketing influencers to follow

A book, publication or event that you’d recommend?

MAD//Fest recently held an awesome event called the 99 Club, a digital trade show where everyone had 99 seconds to present their big idea.

A publication I’d recommend is Marketing Week. It’s a good way to keep up with what people are talking about and learn about specific projects.

A book I tell everyone to read is “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. It’s not necessarily a marketing book, but it can help make a huge difference in your life in every aspect.

Also read Amy’s recent blog post: 3 big ideas on modern-day innovation

Connect with Amy and Carlota on LinkedIn.

This post was edited by Mary Kresge, a freelance content creator based in Madrid.

For more insights from EMEA Marketing Directors, check out:

Improving workplace harmony – Inken Kuhlmann-Rhinow, EMEA marketing director at HubSpot

Go-to-market strategy 101 – Amanda Holmes, EMEA & APAC marketing director

The art of demand generation – Ertan Benzes, EMEA and India digital marketing director