Connecting With Customers in the Age of Acceleration
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No organization has escaped the pandemic’s impact, but for many companies, the experience has allowed them to learn more about their own customers. In many ways, it’s been an instant exercise in building empathy for them.
For Eventbrite, the global ticketing and event technology platform, the growing recognition of customer needs occurred as the company focused on helping event creators and attendees adapt to rapid change. I recently spoke with Eventbrite’s chief marketing officer, Tamara Mendelsohn, about how deepening customer connections has reshaped her team’s marketing efforts throughout the pandemic and what opportunities might lie ahead when it comes to changing customer attitudes and behavior.
The following is an edited and condensed version of our conversation.
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MIT Sloan Management Review: The pandemic meant that many companies and industries went virtual overnight. How did your team pivot when it came to your customers who use the Eventbrite platform to bring people together for live events?
Tamara Mendelsohn: The fact that we were experiencing something so similar to what our customers were going through was a very important bond between us and our customers, because it gave us a North Star — something to focus on in a moment that was very chaotic.
In a time when no one knew what was going to happen next or how long lockdowns were going to last, it was clarifying to have our customers at the forefront of our decision-making. We knew if we could help our customers succeed, we could succeed. So, for us, the measure of success became how well we could help our customers redefine what gathering meant in this new normal. To do this, we aligned with the goal of helping our customers navigate uncertainty, we lobbied for our creator customers, we worked with Congress to secure relief for them, and we quickly shifted our product road map to make sure that we could support the move to virtual events.
We found that we actually increased our connection to our customers in these early months, as we wanted to make sure we were getting their feedback in as close to real time as possible.
In a time when no one knew what was going to happen next or how long lockdowns were going to last, it was clarifying to have our customers at the forefront of our decision-making.