Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with Anna Oom, global content marketing manager for Qmatic, on customer journey management:

Shaheen Samavati 0:05
Hi everyone, I’m Shaheen from The Content Mix and I’m excited to be here with Anna Oom, based in Sweden, who is the global content marketing manager at Qmatic, which is a global leader in customer journey management software. Thanks so much for joining us, Anna.

Anna Oom 0:19
Thanks for having me.

Shaheen Samavati 0:20
So can you just start out by telling us a bit about your background?

Anna Oom 0:25
Yeah, sure. So, I might not have a traditional marketing background. I started out with a Master of Science in chemical engineering, because I was really interested in chemistry, food chemistry and life science. I worked within that field for about seven, eight years or something but I felt that research is really interesting. But, it tended to become too research oriented and not so much focused on what the customers would like and what they wanted to hear about. So I started thinking, how can we convey this message about all this great research to our customers and make them more interested in the product. So that made me move more and more towards sales then also to marketing. Then a position within that company became vacant for marketing so I asked if I could have it. Since I had the experience of the company and the products and the sales, they figured I could work it out. So I just complemented with some courses and created a suite and the CMS that we were working in and stuff like that.

Shaheen Samavati 1:42
Okay. So that’s quite a transition from engineering to marketing. How do you think your background as an engineer has influenced your approach to marketing?

Anna Oom 1:54
I think I have more of an analytical mindset than a general marketeer. But I also enjoy the creative part because I was missing that before. So it’s a great mix of analyzing, building up plans, taking them through execution and being creative when you create the content. So it’s a good mix.

Shaheen Samavati 2:22
Absolutely. So now you’re working at home. Can you tell us a bit about your role and what’s the typical day at work like for you?

Anna Oom 2:32
Yeah, so I’m the content marketing manager and I’m responsible for demand generation, which means that I’m responsible for creating demand throughout the entire channel from awareness phase to closed phase, which means, we focus most of our efforts on online demand generation through inbound marketing, but I also need to make sure that sales have the assets they need to continue to drive the buyers throughout the buyer’s journey.

Shaheen Samavati 3:07
Okay, so could you tell us a bit more for those who don’t know what customer journey management software is? I guess this is something that is relevant to your role as well, do you use your own tool in your work?

Anna Oom 3:21
Not really. So customer journey management is kind of a fancy term. So it’s about queue management and appointment management. Let’s say you are a customer and you’re visiting a place physically—you have to go there physically. Like yeah, it’s sort of difficult to think about these days when the situation is different. But a good example, could be vaccinations now. You need to get that appointment and once you arrive, you shouldn’t all be waiting in a big crowd. So you get these virtual tickets, for example, so that you can stay somewhere else and wait. You get notifications so that you know it’s your turn and so on. This goes for like if you’re in the retail sector and you have customers coming. They shouldn’t have to wait too long if you don’t have the capacity to serve everyone at the same time. So it’s about getting your buyers through the journey to get what they want. And there is also feedback apps, for example, so that you can improve and you can analyze how many customers you’ve had, how has it been, what staff was on that day. Were customers more happier or less happy and so on. So it’s about creating that flow.

Shaheen Samavati 4:43
So it’s like managing the entire customer experience, not customer journey in terms of marketing and the touch points and so forth, but like more holistic?

Anna Oom 4:52

Shaheen Samavati 4:53
Okay. Excellent. Well going back to your responsibilities in content marketing. Could you tell us a bit about about Qmatic’s target audience and your channels for reaching that audience?

Anna Oom 5:08
Yeah. So our audience is mainly senior management and mid-level management within companies in the retail sector, like shopping malls, for example. And then the public sector, those managing city halls and other government offices. Then within the healthcare sector as well, making sure that people get access to medical treatments. So that would be patient experience managers, customer experience managers, IT managers, digital transformation managers, those kind of titles. So it’s a very well educated audience. So you have to know what you’re talking about when reaching out to them.

Shaheen Samavati 6:06
Yeah, definitely. So what kind of content are they interested in and how do you connect with your audience through content?

Anna Oom 6:14
So in many cases they need guidance on what tools there are at hand. So they have a problem but they don’t really know how to solve it. So we have too many people coming in at the same time. Or we’ve realized that our services are not good and we don’t really know what to do about it. So a lot of the content that I try to create is around guiding them to what they need to improve and not talk about the products themselves—that comes at a later stage. So making them understand the problem and what the possible solution could be.

Shaheen Samavati 6:52
Okay, do you have an example of a piece of content that worked really well for you or that was especially creative?

Anna Oom 7:00
Yes. So now, during the pandemic, we had to think in new ways with our marketing and the way we present our products because the context became completely different. Now, people still had to go for certain events, to city halls, to hospitals, and so on, but we needed to put our products in a different context. The more, let’s say, virtual products became more interesting, like virtual tickets. So you get a mobile ticket in your phone instead of going and getting a physical ticket, which means that you can wait somewhere else. So we wrote a guide on virtual queuing and that has been really popular. We launched it in April or March or something and we still get loads and loads of downloads of that one.

Shaheen Samavati 7:56
Very cool, and how did you come up with the idea in the first place? What was the process?

Anna Oom 8:02
So I have a colleague who is really great with keyword research. So we figured what terms we needed to look at and we already knew from working with product managers that this was the kind of apps and tools that would be the most interesting looking at what kind of flows that customers would go through. So we had this product that we wanted to talk about made that keyword research and then like, yeah, so what are the challenges? And how can we help and put together the guide based on that?

Shaheen Samavati 8:37
Okay, what do you think is unique or important to keep in mind when it comes to content marketing in your industry?

Anna Oom 8:44
I think, for any industry, buyers these days are very well informed. Maybe customers or business-to-business buyers as well. So you shouldn’t underestimate your audience. You need to provide content with knowledge and value in it.

Shaheen Samavati 9:08
Absolutely, yeah. Do you have any tips on how to do that and how to get the right people writing the content?

Anna Oom 9:17
Well, that’s a tricky one because you need to have, well internally you need to have good cooperation with product management, or R&D, or whatever product specialists that you might have. Make sure that you…I mean, maybe you can’t ask them to write up the content because it’s a different thing to do, but to set up interviews, for example is a good thing. Ask questions and if you’re asking the wrong questions—they have to you what questions to ask so that you get out the information that you need to write that content.

Shaheen Samavati 9:53
Yeah. Cool. So source expertise from within the team from other departments, no? Who are the ones who really know the subject the best, right?

Anna Oom 10:04

Shaheen Samavati 10:07
I was curious about your tone of voice? What’s been your approach to tone of voice?

Anna Oom 10:12
Yes. So first of all, we have a relaxed but correct tone of voice. But then the other important thing is that we don’t see ourselves as thought leaders, we see ourselves as do leaders, which means that we don’t talk about what we think and what might happen in the future. We talk about what we know, here and now, and what we can promise and provide to our customers here and now.

Shaheen Samavati 10:41
Okay, that’s a super interesting approach. What was the idea behind that? Why did you take that approach?

Anna Oom 10:48
I think there are several. But one important thing is that our clients need something that works here and now. You don’t want to have any downtime and there are many players in this field and we are the oldest one with very stable products. That’s our way of differentiating in the market, to be that trustworthy source.

Shaheen Samavati 11:15
Absolutely. Very cool. What do you think in general some companies get wrong when it comes to content marketing?

Anna Oom 11:25
Well, it’s coming back to that, that it couldn’t just be any piece of content just because it is a video or it is a guide, or whatever, there has to be some value in it. So making it valuable to the one who downloads it or watches it. So you’re not just thinking from the inside and making that glossy surface of your company. Always put yourself in the shoes of the reader or buyer on the other side.

Shaheen Samavati 11:57
Absolutely, very good point. I was curious —so you’re responsible for marketing worldwide, do you work in multiple languages? How do you make your content resonate in the different geographies you work in?

Anna Oom 12:12
Yeah, that’s a tricky one. So we start off in English on the global website. Most of the times we launch it on the English site, first, give it like a week or something, at least, just to see if there are any hiccups on something, and then we send it for translation. So it’s iSEO, so it should be optimized for search engine optimization in other other languages as well. So that’s on an external agency. I talk on a weekly basis with sales managers across all our territories, and see if they have an input, maybe something doesn’t resonate really well in their region, due to some specific restrictions in the public sector or health care looks really different, then we have to tweak that and make something different for that market.

Shaheen Samavati 13:11
I see. So it’s really collaborating with your sales teams in the market and adjusting.

Anna Oom 13:18

Shaheen Samavati 13:19
Okay. Excellent. So I was curious, going to your career advice, what do you think are the most important skills for marketers today?

Anna Oom 13:33
Yeah, I think you really have to be able to analyze, because there’s so much data and you have all these business intelligence tools, like in your CMS, or your marketing automation software, or Google Analytics. Management will definitely ask you for that, being able to report back on the progress of whatever you’re doing. So not just looking at the numbers, but actually seeing what can I do differently to improve the results. Then the other bit of course, stay creative. It’s not always that you have much at hand—there is not much of that content, but you have to be able to repurpose and reinvent whatever you’re doing.

Shaheen Samavati 14:23
Do you have any tips for staying creative?

Anna Oom 14:29
I think it’s good to mix and do other things as well. Just going out for a walk can be great for letting your mind digest everything and maybe something pops out when you would least expect it.

Shaheen Samavati 14:47
Yeah, definitely. So giving yourself some time for reflection, which is difficult to do when you’re on the computer all the time and you have all these distractions and demands. So what advice would you give to someone just starting out in content marketing today?

Anna Oom 15:07
Be curious and try out as many things as possible. There are so many apps and softwares and so on. So it’s good to be curious and say, “Hey, can I try that?” and try out different things because also you don’t know what you like until you’ve tried it.

Shaheen Samavati 15:29
With your decision to transition into marketing, are you happy with that decision?

Anna Oom 15:34
Yeah, I’m very happy with that. I get that great mix of creativity, fast pace, and then some kind of base in the technology since now I’m in the IT business. I still get that input of the more engineering stuff as well. Yeah, this combination of being analytical and creative at the same time, not having to choose one of them. That’s the best bit I think.

Shaheen Samavati 16:06
Absolutely. Totally agree. So going to some of your recommendations. How do you stay up to date on marketing trends?

Anna Oom 16:15
So I try at least every now and then to run the HubSpot inbound marketing certifications, I think they’re really good. I learn a lot of new things but also, it’s a great reminder of things that I might have forgotten or not paid too much attention to lately. So that’s good, especially in the mindset of how you think. There are so many new things all the time, like new algorithms for Google and those kind of things to keep up to date with. Then I follow some, blogs as well to hear about news in the marketing field.

Shaheen Samavati 17:00
Any blogs in particular?

Anna Oom 17:03
Yeah, so I had one blog here in Sweden, but it’s in English. It’s called the The Onlinification blog and it’s about how you transform your marketing more and more into digital and inbound marketing. But also there’s news about apps and the tools you can use in content marketing, that you might want to try out at some point.

Shaheen Samavati 17:32
Very cool. Definitely check it out. We’ll include links to everything in the blog posts for people. So do you have a favorite marketing or business book?

Anna Oom 17:44
Yes. So this book, the name is Inbound Marketing by the founders of HubSpot. That was the first book I read in the company I was working at back then, when we went into inbound marketing and content marketing. I think it really was an eye opener, in the sense of how you think, because it’s not just a matter of how you do things, it’s a way of how you think about it, how you think about your customers and where you put the perspective on your company, so that you’re not looking from the inside but more from from the outside. Get that pull instead of pushing things to the audience. So that has really transformed my way of thinking.

Shaheen Samavati 18:36
Yeah, definitely. That’s definitely a classic one, I haven’t read it myself, so I’ll have to. I’ve definitely read tons of resources from HubSpot, but I haven’t read the books. That’s a good reminder to put it back on my list. So do you have any productivity hacks to share?

Anna Oom 18:56
Yeah. So we work in two weeks sprints. It works for me in many good ways because sometimes you enter this project and feel like, oh gosh, I don’t know where to start. But we take it chunk by chunk. So what can we do within these two weeks and then we have deliverables within those two weeks, so that you can actually check off your list and see that you’re progressing. That also gives you the chance to try that out online, for example, then while you’re doing other things you can track how that’s performing. Instead of building up all this great content, we have this landing page, we have that email and you know, da da da, and it takes you three or six months before you launch it. Instead of doing that, iterating and adding a few things at a time and improving what you’ve already put out there.

Shaheen Samavati 20:00
Very cool, breaking it into smaller pieces so that you can act on it.

Anna Oom 20:04
Yeah, the backside of it though, is that you have to keep your eyes up every now and then to make sure that you’re not losing track of the direction that you want to go. So if you can keep that balance, I think it’s a good way of working.

Shaheen Samavati 20:21
Yeah, absolutely. Makes a lot of sense. Do you have any favorite software tool or app right now?

Anna Oom 20:29
No. In my work, it’s definitely HubSpot. I’m coming back to that all the time but that’s what we use on a daily basis, both for marketing automation and CMS. On the personal side, it’s the Health app in my iPhone, I want to make sure that I take enough steps every day because working from home is tough. You need to make sure to go out and get some fresh air every now and then.

Shaheen Samavati 21:04
Yeah, definitely. So do you normally work from home or only since the pandemic started?

Anna Oom 21:12
I’ve been working from home now since March last year. So it’s been a while.

Shaheen Samavati 21:17
Yeah, like most of us, totally relate to that. So I also just want to ask you your professional role model or a source of inspiration?

Anna Oom 21:28
Yeah, that must be a previous boss of mine when I started in marketing. He also has an engineering background, moved into sales, more and more just like I did, then into marketing. He managed to stay curious, even though he had all this knowledge in his backpack, that luggage with him, he was curious. When we went into inbound marketing, we were all open eyes, not saying like, “I don’t think this will work” and staying curious and open to new things. So that was a great role model.

Shaheen Samavati 22:10
Yeah, awesome. So we’re reaching the end of the interview. So I just wanted to finish off by asking if you have any parting advice for other marketers in Europe?

Anna Oom 22:20
Yeah, staying up to date. It’s a fast changing world, both in general and in marketing. Also, don’t wait for that huge piece of content or launch that will change everything. Try to continuously improve, tweak and iterate and you will get more and more into the direction that you want.

Shaheen Samavati 22:47
That’s a great point to end on. So thank you so much, Anna, for sharing your insights with us today.

Anna Oom 22:52
Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Shaheen Samavati 22:55
Thanks everyone for listening in. For more perspectives on content marketing in Europe, check out and keep tuning into the podcast for more interviews with content experts. See you next time. Bye.

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