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This week, Travis and Stewart continue their Web Summit series of interviews with the fascinating Katia Beauchamp of Birchbox, the original box subscription service. We find out how the company has signed more than one million subscribers, and four million customers, in such a short time. We also hear how mobile has changed everything, and why it is so important now.

In the news segment, we reveal a new breed of marketing tool powered by AI and machine learning and find out why that technology is going to be transformative in 2017. If that wasn’t enough, we attempt some really bad Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions.


By listening to this episode of the VB Engage podcast, you will hear:

  • Welcome to Episode 35 of VB Engage! [00:04]
  • Stewart Rogers is the Denzel Washington of marketing technology [00:50]
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger took over for Trump on Celebrity Apprentice [01:45]
  • Stewart and Travis do their best Arnold impressions [02:05]
  • Stewart wants enough money to have Morgan Freeman narrate his life [03:40]
  • In Episode 37, Joseph Gordon-Levitt joins us on VB Engage [04:45]
  • At least tune in for the little sing-song we had with JGL, as we now call him [06:05]
  • In 2017, we are going to augment VB Engage with more AI conversations [06:50]
  • FollowAnalytics launches its AI-powered mobile optimization suite [07:15]
  • Travis has some CRO skills [07:30]
  • Let’s remake The Crow, call it CRO and star Talia Wolf, from Episode 008 [07:45]
  • The problem with split-testing [08:00]
  • Generalization is the enemy of the marketer [08:35]
  • FollowAnalytics uses artificial intelligence to segment all of your audiences [08:50]
  • Split-testing with content changes to each segment: Winning! [09:05]
  • Digital natives want a personalized experience [09:35]
  • AI and machine learning will force marketers to uplevel their skills [10:20]
  • The holy grail for marketers: self-driving campaigns [11:10]
  • Marketers will worry less about the technology and more about the creativity [12:05]
  • Stewart’s off-topic PR pitches [12:35]
  • Trends that will reshape marketing in 2017 [14:05]
  • Chatbots and AI will be increasingly important this year [14:10]
  • Nordstrom came out with a chatbot on Kik, right demographic? [14:45]
  • Mall of America released a chatbot as a mobile concierge, E.L.F. [15:25]
  • Video is going to make up 82% of all internet traffic by 2020 [16:15]
  • Personalized video & video advertising are also coming [16:30]
  • A startup called that adds a layer of information on in-video products [17:35]
  • CEOs and CFOs need to wake up and smell the coffee on 2017 marketing [19:10]
  • This week’s guest is Katia Beauchamp, CEO of Birchbox [21:10]
  • Stewart gives Katia advice for dealing with jetlag [21:40]
  • How did Birchbox gets started and grow to over 1 million subscribers? [22:25]
  • Tremendous opportunity to take the beauty industry online [22:45]
  • They took what was working great with the internet and used it to their advantage [23:20]
  • Birchbox curates great products, personalizes them for its customers, and delivers them at a cadence that is delightful [23:50]
  • They use the “Try. Learn. Buy.” model [24:00]
  • Birchbox hit its five-year revenue goals in seven months [25:05]
  • The beauty industry was extremely inefficient, and they pounced [26:10]
  • Love where you’re deploying your capital. Eliminate waste of money, wherever possible [26:15]
  • Use that money for customer acquisition [26:55]
  • Targeted trials are an essential part of the process [27:30]
  • Different model than the advertising model traditionally used by the beauty industry [27:55]
  • The massive scale at which Birchbox trials its products provides important data and allows for personalized products. [28:40]
  • Over 70% of Birchbox’s traffic from customers is via mobile [29:05]
  • Birchbox delivered a mobile experience a year late [29:30]
  • The new mobile web experience for Birchbox is their best user experience [30:10]
  • A recent report shows apps are a favorite place for engagement: 4X that of the mobile web [31:55]
  • An app could be a playground for people who know you best, your brand loyalty program [32:15]
  • At first, Birchbox only served women; now it has the best men’s beauty product catalog in the world [33:50]
  • Men were ignored in the beauty products space [34:45]
  • Birchbox personalize the products for each person [35:30]
  • If someone has an attribution model that you like, send it to Katia [35:45]
  • If you focus on last click, you will always get the wrong answer [36:25]
  • You need to concentrate on the intent, where it began, where it built, and how much money you spent at that stage [37:45]

This episode was fascinating — how do we know that? Because Travis said “fascinating” at least 12 times in this episode. That’s what happens when we record this podcast at 2 a.m. CST.

Thanks again for tuning in this week. We are just getting started with this year’s content! Season 2, Episode 2. S02E02, which is better known as episode 35.

Next week, we talk with Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork, which is the result of the Odesk and Elance acquisition. We chat about working in the 21st century and how Upwork uses mobile to engage its over 12 million freelancers. That’s a great interview from our continuing Web Summit Series. You’ll want to join us for that one!

robertscobleIf you missed the first episode of 2017 with the one and only Robert Scoble, you can listen to it right here.

And to start 2017 off right, you should subscribe to VB Engage below and give our podcast a big five-star rating like you give out tips at a five-star restaurant. Boom!



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