Q&A with Randy Frisch, CMO at Uberflip

Q&A with Randy Frisch
Randy Frisch, CMO and Co-Founder at Uberflip has led the content experience movement, prompting marketers to think beyond content creation and focus on the experience. 

Randy also co-hosts the Conex Show, a weekly podcast featuring top marketers and their strategies and secrets to success. His talks empower marketers with the strategies they need to capture their audiences, prove their worth, and align their vision.

MEDIA 7: If I were to say to a bunch of people who know you, ‘Give me three adjectives that best describe you’, what would I hear?
RANDY FRISCH:
Determined, passionate, caring.

M7: From Flipbooks to the world’s first content experience platform in just 6 years. What are some of the top reasons that helped drive Uberflip to where it is now?
RF: 
We started as a solution that would allow marketers to share content to readers whenever they wanted and on whichever devices. People still want to consume content whenever they want. Think of the way in which we consume video content on Netflix or music content on Spotify. We’ve been successful in large part because we’ve been able to create a product that marketers need, that make it easier for their buyers to become customers. But that hasn’t been enough.
The differentiator for us is culture—the values we strive for as an organization (not just the work environment). I’ll share my 3 favourites here:

● H.U.S.T.L.E.: this one stands for Heart, Unique, Skill, Tech, Lean, Entrepreneurial. My co-founder, Yoav Schwartz, and I actually screen new hires for these traits.
● Valuable, Relevant & Consistent: this one comes from the initial definition of Content Marketing (“creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content”) by Robert Rose and Joe Pullizzi at the Content Marketing Institute. It only makes sense that our teams and employees should expect to be valuable, relevant, and consistent.
● Give Back: It’s important for us to give back to our communities and while we do this in numerous ways led by people across our team, one of my favourites is an annual charity ping pong tournament we host called Startupong which brought together startups in Toronto to raise $50,000 for Sick Kids hospital this year.
We’ve been successful mostly because we’ve been able to create a brand around engaging our team, our customers, and even our partners around these values.


"As marketers, we need to take our buyers on a journey using content. We need to be able to get a buyer from one piece of content to the next—think of a nice hiking trail through the woods."

M7: How can modern marketers leverage the personalized content recommendations given by Uberflip AI?
RF:
 It all comes down to the journey we take our buyers through. We recently produced a report with Heinz Marketing in which we found that only “1 in 3 B2B marketing leaders [of 283 interviewed] believe their current website encourages people to engage with their content at a high volume”. Essentially, we are leading buyers to a piece of content and leaving them to fend for themselves among your content. A visual I like to use is that of walking someone into a dark forest with no pathway and leaving them there. Not a good experience at all. As marketers, we need to take our buyers on a journey using content. We need to be able to get a buyer from one piece of content to the next—think of a nice hiking trail through the woods.

Uberflip AI serves up recommendations on our platform personalized to our buyers after they’ve consumed a piece of content. This allows them to stay and engage with more content while they’re in a content experience. Uberflip AI gives marketers the ability to predict what topic or piece of content their buyer might be interested in based on their behavior on a website, benchmark them against other users, and deliver content that they might be interested in, in order to extend their journey.


"Buyers want personalized content and they want it when they’re ready to buy. And it has to be a great experience."

M7: How does user-generated content help in scaling ABM campaigns at Uberflip?
RF:
I believe the best UGC for ABM (acronym overload!) is the reviews from customers. The best way to learn is from our peers. We often copy our competitors or look for best practices. There are many ways we can relate to a target account by showing them what their peers are saying. It could be finding a tweet from someone they respect speaking about the value of your platform. Think of it this way. If Roger Federer tweeted that a certain shoe was key to his play you'd likely win over other aspiring tennis players. In the world of B2B marketing, we can sometimes find more professional review sites like G2 or TrustRadius where highlighting a review from someone in a related industry can help win over the next target account.

M7: There is a lot of buzz around your book “F#ck Content Marketing”. What inspired you to preach this influential gospel?
RF:
 I was off to Dreamforce in 2017 and I came across a SiriusDecisions stat that 60-70% of all marketing content goes unused. It brought to light that even I contributed to this problem by driving my team to create more and more content. I had a revelation.

Thanks to Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi at the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing was supposed to be about creating and distributing content “with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” But somewhere along the line, it became too much about creation and not enough about distribution and driving customer action (converting). And when marketers were distributing content, we weren’t distributing it in ways that led to profitable customer action—think of all those generic emails we sent people, loaded with links to videos and blog posts spread across the internet. We were sending people into dark scary forests full of content (sometimes that of our competitors). And we never got them back.

It all hit me. So I said “f#ck content marketing”, or rather, f#ck what it had become. My mission over the last two years has become to teach marketers how to create great personalized online experiences that we can send our buyers to, that actually take them on a journey leading to a conversion.


"Marketing is now becoming creating and distributing content to drive profitable customer action."

M7: What is the idea behind ‘The Conex’ (podcast show) hosted by you every week, which is already a big hit among the viewers?
RF:
 After 3 years and 227 episodes, we’ve decided to end the Content Experience Show and start fresh with a new show, The Marketer’s Journey, launching October. We had a great base of listeners and guests, but we wanted to spend more time focusing on the concept of the journey—both, the journey that our buyers go through, and the journey we go through as marketers. I’ll be speaking in-depth with marketing leaders about what their journey has looked like as marketers and what they strive for in creating great experiences for their buyers and customers.

M7: How do you see content marketing evolving over time?
RF:
 We’re not just seeing the evolution of content marketing, we’re seeing the evolution of marketing as a whole. Marketing is now becoming creating and distributing content to drive profitable customer action.
Let’s take a look for a moment at the way in which we consume video and music media. We went from syndicated TV shows and weekly programming on set channels (cable) to having bingeable content ready for us on demand (Netflix, Hulu, etc). We went from listening for our favourite song to be played on the radio, to downloading songs on iTunes, to now getting recommended curated playlists and artists based on my listening history on Spotify. We can search for content we want on demand and binge it for as long as we want. And we can do it whenever we want on multiple different devices around us.

Our buyers want personalized content and they want it when they’re ready to buy. And it has to be a great experience. Marketers are starting to catch on. We’re starting to spend time and money on analyzing the data, having great salespeople, and even on distribution. The difference-maker is that marketers are spending more time and money on personalized content experiences and using a content experience platform like Uberflip to accelerate the buyer journey.

ABOUT UBERFLIP

Uberflip is the world’s #1 Content Experience Platform (CEP). With tools to aggregate all your marketing content, they empower B2B marketing and sales teams to create personalized content experiences to engage accounts, nurture prospects, and convert leads, without the help of IT. It’s their mission to put control back in the hands of marketing teams to deliver high-converting experiences, that put the customer front and center.

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Today, Vector Solutions provides skills and safety training to over 2,000 industry customers, who use that training to ensure their workforce has the necessary skills to perform their jobs effectively. Together with PATHWAYos career-connected learning software, Vector Solutions will be able to offer CTE courses, industry-recognized credentials, and safety training content to K-12 students, districts, intermediaries, state agencies, and colleges. In the future, Vector Solutions plans to use the PATHWAYos platform to connect its industry customers with trained talent, supporting customers in addressing skills gaps and labor shortages by providing a direct 'skills-based' talent pipeline. Our acquisition of PATHWAYos reaffirms our commitment to helping students excel on their chosen career paths, said Jonathan Cherins, Chief Executive Officer of Vector Solutions. The combined power of our offerings will serve to bridge the skills gap between students seeking more training and work-based learning opportunities and industry customers looking to build a skilled workforce. PATHWAYos was established in 2017 with a mission to unlock work-based learning opportunities for all. Its mission is to change how students view their options, how educators see their workload, and how the industry considers its growing talent pool. Work-based learning (WBL) prepares students for the job market and helps build a pipeline of skilled workers, all while lowering recruitment and training costs for employers, and expanding economic development in local communities. The company's WBL programs have impacted over 800,000 students across 2,000 schools in 30 states, leading to more than three million work-based learning hours logged. "Joining forces with Vector Solutions catapults us to an ambitious new era, where we can serve as an unrivaled catalyst for Career and Technical Education," said Cecilia Retelle Zywicki, CEO of PATHWAYos. "Our aim is nothing short of empowering students at scale by unlocking paths towards the future they want, and granting access to economic mobility that often is reserved for an exclusive subset of students. Together, we aspire to impact countless students, breaking barriers between education and the workforce, and reshaping the landscape." Vector Solutions serves over 24,000 customers and thirty-one million end users across the Education, Commercial, and Public Sector markets. With an increased focus on CTE, Vector Solutions will accelerate its presence in this critical market. The company will support students no matter what path they choose to take into the workforce and enable industry customers to access a pipeline of skilled talent. Post acquisition, PATHWAYos will be a product under a new business unit within Vector focused on CTE. The combined expertise and resources will strengthen Vector Solutions' CTE offerings and solidify its position as a leader in the industry. About Vector Solutions Vector Solutions is the leading provider of impactful technology solutions dedicated to driving safer, smarter, better decision-making in the world's most critical industries. Embedded into daily workflows to drive improvements in compliance, safety, performance, and preparedness, our software includes training management, industry-focused online course libraries, EHS management, workforce scheduling, risk communication, operational readiness, and more. Vector's unique combination of information and technology - delivered when and where it is needed - is integral to our more than 34 thousand clients looking to achieve better outcomes and safeguard lives. Vector is committed to providing resources to support those who need them most and launched a collection of free courses on critical mental health and safety topics through Vector Cares. For more information, visit http://www.vectorsolutions.com. For access to free Vector Cares courses visit https://www.vectorsolutions.com/about-us/vector-cares/. About Vector Solutions for K-12 Education Vector Solutions for K-12 Education is a leading provider of training, software and professional development solutions committed to creating safer, smarter and better school environments. Trusted by more than 5,000 K-12 districts in the United States, Vector's award-winning suite of products save administrators time, improve compliance, and streamline administrative processes. Vector trainings on imperative topics like safety and compliance; inclusive instruction; mental health and well-being; diversity, equity and inclusion; and cybersecurity enable students and teachers alike to make schools safer, more inclusive, and more effective places to work and learn. For more information about Vector Solutions for K-12 Education, visit http://www.vectorsolutions.com/k12. About PATHWAYos PATHWAYos® is the innovative software at the center of all career-connected learning. School districts, states, and career centers can now collaborate with businesses to expand work-based learning programs. The software streamlines processes while allowing partners to provide numerous opportunities that enhance the development of skills required by the workforce of the future. The world-class platform is quickly becoming a household requirement for innovative school districts.

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Education Technology, Talent Development, Online Education

Bridge2Rwanda Extends Partnership with IXL to Support Students Developing English Language Skills

PR Newswire | January 30, 2024

IXL, the personalized learning platform used by 15 million students worldwide, has announced an extension of its partnership with Bridge2Rwanda (B2R), a nonprofit dedicated to creating global education opportunities for high-achieving African students. B2R educators will continue leveraging IXL's award-winning platform to deliver targeted English language arts (ELA) instruction, helping learners build and master literacy skills essential for securing university scholarships. In total, B2R has used IXL to support 500 students across eight different training programs since the partnership began. Despite encouraging improvements in literacy rates, limited access to resources and a nascent reading culture pose significant challenges to educational achievement in Rwanda. Recognizing the pivotal role education plays in enhancing socioeconomic outcomes, Bridge2Rwanda was established in 2007 to empower Rwandan high school students with high-quality reading and writing opportunities. B2R's ultimate goal is to build a thriving community of well-educated African leaders who will accelerate their nations' growth and improve the lives of others. B2R began using IXL Language Arts in 2019 to support the English language development of 30 high-achieving scholars from Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Burundi. In 2020, the nonprofit relied on IXL's all-inclusive platform to ensure that its English language learners (ELLs) developed essential ELA skills during distance learning. After two years of an impactful partnership, B2R made IXL an integral component of its new intensive English training and college preparatory program, Isomo Academy. The inaugural class of 120 Isomo Academy scholars quickly embraced IXL's tailored support, built-in instructional resources, and engaging learning opportunities. During the first week of Isomo Academy's eight-week training program, educators use IXL's adaptive assessment, the Real-Time Diagnostic, to pinpoint each student's English proficiency level, helping them understand individual strengths and areas for improvement. Based on these insights, the diagnostic then generates personalized skill recommendations to challenge and support learners at the right level. Additionally, B2R educators use the diagnostic to track student growth each week to ensure that students are progressing and mastering essential ELA concepts. Bridge2Rwanda educators also rely on IXL's comprehensive curriculum to help students build the skills that they need to become strong communicators. Each day at Isomo Academy, students take writing and reading classes that are paired with intensive language and communication seminars. Additionally, students work on IXL skills that align with their classroom lessons. The combined approach allows educators to engage students at their individual levels, assign homework, and differentiate learning beyond the school day. "IXL bursts bottlenecks for Bridge2Rwanda scholars by eliminating language barriers," said Luke Dreiling, Lead English Teacher, Bridge2Rwanda. "This enables them to excel in their studies, advance their careers, and contribute significantly to the growth of African communities." "Bridge2Rwanda's dedication to expanding educational opportunities for young African students is commendable. We are excited to continue equipping even more bright and ambitious learners with the tools they need to confidently pursue their dreams on a global scale," said Paul Mishkin, CEO of IXL Learning. "At IXL, we are committed to leveraging education as an instrument of empowerment to break down language barriers and ensure all students have the opportunity to thrive." IXL's impact on English language learners IXL Language Arts gives teachers a systematic way to troubleshoot each student's unique reading and writing roadblocks, and put them on the path to success: Among schools with a high percentage of ELLs, research demonstrates that those using IXL outperformed non-IXL schools on Smarter Balanced Assessments in ELA by as much as seven percentile points. IXL's comprehensive curriculum provides more than 2,400 adaptive skills that span early literacy, reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, and advanced concepts, such as persuasive writing. Each IXL skill is adaptive, ensuring that ELLs feel confident that they are perfectly challenged and supported at the right level when developing fluency. IXL's adaptive assessment, the Real-Time Diagnostic, pinpoints students' grade-level proficiency in key ELA strands, and generates targeted next steps to help students grow from where they are. As English language learners progress, these personalized recommendations stay up-to-date, ensuring that they always have a clear path toward mastering ELA concepts. As students learn and practice, IXL provides in-the-moment support and resources for self-remediation. For example, video tutorials guide learners through the building blocks of reading, writing, and grammar to provide additional support during learning and independent practice. If a student answers a problem incorrectly, IXL provides a step-by-step explanation of the right answer so that students can learn from their mistake and solidify their knowledge of that skill. Educators also rely on insights from IXL Analytics to track student progress, monitor readiness for exams, and differentiate instruction to fill knowledge gaps. Up-to-date reports help teachers uncover areas of challenge for each student and identify patterns in mistakes in order to provide targeted reteaching.

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Education Technology, Online Education, Continuing Education

2U Partners with University of Surrey to Launch 15 Online Master's Degrees

PR Newswire | February 01, 2024

2U, Inc, the company behind global online learning platform edX, today announced a new partnership with the University of Surrey to launch and support the delivery of online master's degrees and online professional certificate programs. An initial five online degree programs will welcome students in 2024, with a portfolio of at least 15 master's degrees and at least 15 professional certificate programs being delivered by 2026. This will expand access to this highly ranked UK university for students worldwide. Surrey's partnership with 2U will deliver Surrey Online Learning: an acceleration and transformation of the university's provision of online learning. 2U's expertise will help Surrey establish a scalable model and quickly expand its digital capabilities to worldwide audiences. The collaboration aligns with the university's mission to expand access to life-changing education and personal and professional success. "We're partnering with 2U and their edX platform to accelerate Surrey Online Learning provision," said Professor Tim Dunne, Provost and Senior Vice-President at the University of Surrey. "The University of Surrey has global strength in innovation and research, and is renowned for being one of the best universities in the UK for delivering excellence in teaching and employability. Through Surrey Online Learning, we will offer flexible and affordable educational pathways that are compatible with and relevant to modern careers, combining accessibility with strong student outcomes." Surrey's suite of online degrees will build on the success of its on-campus programs, with the online curriculum developed in partnership with LearningMate. The first five degrees expected to launch in 2024 will be in the areas of artificial intelligence, business, psychology, marketing, and sustainability. The professional certificate programs, which will focus on technology, healthcare, business, communications technologies, and sustainability, will provide learners with an opportunity to build and enhance critical professional skills on their way to determining if a full degree in a corresponding subject is part of their educational journey. "2U prides itself in being a digital transformation partner that can support strategic long-term thinking, accelerate innovation, and help drive positive student outcomes across new formats and modalities," said Andrew Hermalyn, President of the Degree Program Segment at 2U. "The University of Surrey has major ambitions to expand its online learning capabilities, and we are honored to be their partner to help build their online presence from the ground up." "LearningMate is honored to partner with the University of Surrey on its transformative online learning initiative in collaboration with 2U. We're excited to contribute to the development of cutting-edge online master's degrees and professional certificate programs that align with Surrey's commitment to excellence," said Prasad Mohare, Senior Vice President at LearningMate. "Our focus on innovation and accessibility will be showcased in the initial offerings. LearningMate is dedicated to supporting Surrey in expanding access to impactful, career-relevant learning opportunities in the evolving landscape of online education." Today's announcement builds on the continued demand for 2U's flexible degree partnership model, which gives universities the choice of selecting different bundles of services according to their needs.

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