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My 2019 Medallia Experience Takeaways


I was head-nodding like a champ no less than 20 times on the red-eye home from San Diego after attending Medallia’s Experience conference. And after one fierce nod, I was awake for the rest of the flight to O’Hare reflecting on the previous week and the stellar event our Marketing team put on to host clients, prospects, and partners.

The theme was clear: Customers build the best products, employees the best companies, and together they build the best brands.

This year’s conference was just amazing on every level, and there were three common themes I wanted to share as the opportunity arose to spend time with a number of clients, partners, and prospective customers.

1. Our customers rule, and it’s not even close.

Whether it was TD Bank talking about being recognized as number one by JD Power & Associates again, or Petco and Ulta Beauty taking big risks because they have a strong belief in something that will matter to their customers, or any of the countless other stories shared that week, it was clear to me again that our customers are a huge part of what makes Medallia a great company.

In a time where other conferences in this space are dwindling in attendance and usable content, we are lucky enough to be in a position to not have to rely on excessive flash to drive attendance. We actually cannot all the customers who want to tell their story because we simply don’t have enough time in the week. We wouldn’t be anywhere without our great customers, so Thank You.

2. Our legacy has sustained the test of time.

Amy Pressman, one of our founders, told the story of starting Medallia with Borge Hald. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t in the garage because of a supposed spider problem; it was in a spare bedroom.) I was reminded of how we have stayed the same course since our founding. Our mission has never swayed. We have always been about brand love.

I hear you thinking already. What about surveys? That’s just one way to get to brand love. It’s always, always been about how surveys, and now newer technology like AI are enabling a brand to drive love. Yes, we can help increase NPS or any other metric. Yes, we can help you get better response rates and samples. Yes, we can help you with thought leadership and expertise, but what we’re after is a method to drive a culture which drives transformation. This is the magic.

3. Momentum is everything.

When I first joined Medallia, I remember my recruiter saying that when someone says to you, “Hey we’re getting on a rocket ship, you don’t ask about your seat, you just get on.” Maybe it was a bit of hyperbole, but it resonated with me deeply. And lucky for me I had no idea the rocket ship I was about to get on almost four years ago was going to accelerate at this rate and speed.

With two new acquisitions announced in the span of just one week, multiple new (deepening) partnerships with the SaaS leaders of the world — Salesforce, ServiceNow, and Adobe — and all the exciting new features on our roadmap, we are that same rocketship. We’re just going plaid mode (skip to 1:10 for 0-60 in under 2 seconds).

And what’s great about all of this? That energy and enthusiasm is shared by the clients that attended. One of them said to me, “This conference has exceeded every expectation.” And as I scrolled through the rest of the surveys from our customers, that sentiment was shared broadly.

Thanks to everyone who put on this event, and a special thanks to one of my customers that got to tell their story on the stage — you know who you are.

At one point during the conference there was an illustration made between dipping your toes in the water, or cannonballing in. I loved the idea and visual it represented for me — maybe it was the memories that came flooding back from being a day-camp counselor for so many years!

Being a cannonball means being dedicated to changing the culture of a company by putting the customer first. By committing to an idea and not turning back.

I say it is time for all of us to be a cannonball. And now I ask — What stood out to you this year that was maybe surprising or compelling?