When your content features Serena Williams, Martin Scorsese, Dr. Jane Goodall, Natalie Portman, or Gordon Ramsey, it sells itself—or at least that’s what you’d expect, right? Well, it’s true to some degree, but that doesn’t mean the marketing team at Masterclass doesn’t have some challenges to overcome.
As part of our own Retention Masterclass series, John Koetsier and I talked to Head of Performance Lifecycle Marketing at MasterClass, Thomas Hopkins. The goal of MasterClass, says Thomas, is to unlock human potential. “And as people have a little bit more time because they’re not commuting, more at home, you know it allows people to have a little bit more time to kind of look at how they want to be spending that time,” says Thomas. Now, with people isolated at home by a global pandemic, screen time is increasing, and many people are turning to MasterClass.
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Generally, for Thomas and his team, the issue is not finding people interested in their product, but connecting the right people with the right content. But right now, as companies everywhere do what they can to help users through COVID-19, MasterClass has asked itself the same question. Part of the answer is MC Live, where users can engage with instructors live and ask questions.
PALM: Performance and lifecycle marketing
MasterClass is also allowing members to gift free subscriptions to a “plus one.” But Thomas’ job is to think about the lifecycle. While getting users through the door is easy right now, Thomas also has to think about keeping those users around for the long haul.
“So, the biggest thing that we’re doing right now is in this time where people are consuming more content—we’ve opened up our breadth of instructors that we’re advertising and that we’re showing,” says Thomas. “We find that the engagement has really increased. So, before this period we had people watching a certain percentage of our trailers and now we’re seeing that amount of watch time increase. So people are engaging more and more and longer with our trailers.”
He adds, “So on our channels like Facebook, Google, and then as well as additional channels like TV and podcasts, we’ve actually increased the breadth of categories and instructors to really show all of them and allow everybody that might have an interest in education to see all of our trailers.”
Like many marketers, Thomas is finding that now is not the time to shrink your efforts—it pays to be bold and bring your product to the people who are looking for it.
Thomas calls this combination of performance and lifecycle marketing PALM. Part of nurturing the customer lifecycle, is encouraging the mindset of lifelong learners. “The other thing that we’re doing is making sure all of our content is available within our product, to allow people to move around in the product and look at things that are maybe a little bit different than a category that they thought they would be interested in, and because there’s actually a lot you can learn when you have this mindset of ‘I’m a lifelong learner.’”
By encouraging membership—rather than one-off purchases of a particular class—MasterClass allows users to explore different kinds of content and go down the rabbit hole of learning. With this model, tuning into a new class is risk free, and opens users’ minds to new instructors and subjects.
To learn more about how Thomas and the MasterClass team approach retention, listen to the entire interview here.
Peggy Anne Salz: And my name is Peggy Anne Salz, and we’re your co-hosts for the show.
John Koetsier: We have the very distinct pleasure today to go super-meta. We’re hosting one of the key marketing experts at the MasterClass, probably the best known training and education site on everything.
Peggy Anne Salz: Absolutely. I mean, I would go for super-meta, maybe even freakishly awesome, John. Absolutely, and it’s a great opportunity to learn from people at MasterClass because I can say for me, one of the reasons, full disclosure, I thought about this on our show, is because it’s making a match. I mean, Facebook, it’s showing up, it’s showing up at the right time. It’s appropriate, right? It’s not spamming me.
Also thinking of some great instructors I’d actually really be interested in hearing from, and full disclosure, I may actually even sign up for it. So with all that as background, you know they have to be doing a good job at performance marketing, also at retention because it is a subscription company. We’re going to be looking at MasterClass and our guest today is head of performance lifecycle marketing, Thomas Hopkins, welcome to Retention Masterclass! Great to have you.
Thomas Hopkins: Thank you for having me.
John Koetsier: Thomas, we’re super excited to have you and we’re starting all of our conversations right now with the biggest fact in our lives, right? There’s coronavirus COVID-19. Where are you? How are you holding up? What’s your life like personally and professionally right now?
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, thanks for asking. It’s definitely been a little tough. I have an 18-month old at home, and as a result I’ve actually removed myself from the house and I’m working out of my trailer right now in my front driveway. So it’s a unique experience, but it allows me to separate myself from the home where if I were in the house my son would hear me and he wants to hang out, so … actually it’s the one time I would say my entire company is jealous that they don’t have a trailer.
John Koetsier: I love it, awesome.
Peggy Anne Salz: I think it could start a trend, yeah? I think we’ll move our studios to a trailer as well, John. I mean we talked about challenging and it must also be a bit of a, I wouldn’t say an opportunity, but certainly a bit of a challenge for you because it’s about education at a time when people are taking education really seriously. You know, you have to think about how am I going to stay relevant? How am I going to stay fresh? What are you seeing in these times? Is it that we’re maybe not rushing to MasterClass, but certainly increased interest I would imagine.
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, I mean the goal of MasterClass is, and our CMO came in last year and really helped us kind of put together that mission together with the CEO and founder. So the goal of MasterClass is to unlock human potential and inspire that learning lifestyle in everyone. And as people have a little bit more time because they’re not commuting, more at home, you know it allows people to have a little bit more time to kind of look at how they want to be spending that time. And it’s not a surprise that screen time is increased, and the fact that we are a place to consume content, and learn, and grow, it makes it a great thing to spend your time. And a lot of times people might feel guilty about how much time they’re spending on screen and watching Netflix or Hulu, and so ours is a great alternative to spend that time in a positive way.
John Koetsier: Super interesting. I’ll just put us back on screen here. Super interesting, but it’s also got to be changing your marketing I’m assuming. I recently surveyed 250 CMOs on what they’re doing, what’s changing, and to a person, everybody is rejigging what they’re doing. Some of their plans just don’t fit, they have to throw them out the window. What have you had to change and what are you doing now to market MasterClass?
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, that’s a great question. So the biggest thing that we’ve done is we looked at the situation, we said, ‘What can we do to help, right now … for our current customers and our current members as well as potential members?’ And what we came up with was a few different initiatives to help with that. So one of them was MC Live. So MC Live is actually MasterClass Live. What we’ve been doing is every week we actually have one of our instructors come on and it’s in front of the paywall, so anybody that wants to can actually have a one hour Q&A session with one of our instructors. To date we’ve done Chris Voss, Dominique Ansel, and I think we’re doing Bobbi Brown. But we’re going to be doing one every single week to try and make it so that it’s more accessible.
The other thing that we did was a ‘plus one,’ so all of our members, we said, ‘We know that you’re spending more time at home, let’s give you guys the opportunity, to our members to gift a free membership to anybody that they’d like.’ So, for example, if I’m a member I can gift one to my parents and say, ‘You know what? Hey, I know you’re spending a lot more time at home. Here’s a MasterClass subscription for a year for you to use.’ And then the last piece is we added a ‘buy one, share one’ offer, so anybody that actually is purchasing now can go and share MasterClass with somebody. And so, it’s a spin on BOGO but it fits well with what’s going on right now.
John Koetsier: Nice, nice.
Peggy Anne Salz: I mean those are nice gestures and that helps a lot to show you care. And we know also, John, from some of your research, but also other webinars, what you do now matters for your brand. You know you have to do something that says, ‘I understand, I empathize, I’m trustworthy. This is real, this is genuine.’ That’s important as well and you’re doing that really well, Thomas, I have to say, and thanks for sharing that. But also I’d like to hear a little bit more about how you’re also approaching what is probably the goal here as a subscription app, as a subscription service rather, you have an app and a website, so you’re engaging me to get me interested. You’re letting me have these live interactions with your instructors. What is it that you’re doing to actually sort of clinch that deal?
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, and in order to keep people around, or more to engage people to try and get them to become a member?
Peggy Anne Salz: Really to be a member, because that is really what’s going to impact your bottom line.
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah. So the biggest thing that we’re doing right now is in this time where people are consuming more content, is we’ve opened up our breadth of instructors that we’re advertising and that we’re showing. We find that the engagement has really increased. So, before this period we had people watching a certain percentage of our trailers and now we’re seeing that amount of watch time increase. So people are engaging more and more and longer with our trailers. And so what we’ve basically said is, ‘You know what, if people are enjoying watching these trailers, let’s actually get all of our trailers out there.’ So on our channels like Facebook, Google, and then as well as additional channels like TV and podcasts, we’ve actually increased the breadth of categories and instructors to really show all of them and allow everybody that might have an interest in education to see all of our trailers.
John Koetsier: Now you’re lifecycle marketing as well as performance marketing and we talked about that in the prep for this show. You called it PALM, right? Performance And Lifecycle Marketing. Love that. Talk to us a little bit about, okay you’ve got a customer, great. You don’t want that customer for one show, you don’t want that customer for one month or one year, you want that customer for five years, ten years, maybe perpetuity, right? What are you doing to make that happen?
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, that’s a great question. It’s kind of the question everybody’s asking these days in marketing, is how do you keep and retain and keep people’s perception of the brand very high? And so the way that we think about it is that our goal is to treat it as a membership. And what does a membership mean? It means early access. It means additional opportunities that being a nonmember you wouldn’t have. So we’re looking at all the different things we can do there and then the other thing that we’re doing is making sure that we’re making all of our content available to allow people to, within our product, to allow people to move around in the product and look at things that are maybe a little bit different than a category that they thought they would be interested in, and because there’s actually a lot you can learn when you have this mindset of ‘I’m a lifelong learner.’
There’s a lot you can learn from people that are best in class for their specific profession. And I didn’t realize I could learn so much from somebody like Gordon Ramsey. It has nothing to do with cooking, and just his drive and the way he approaches things. And our instructors actually get very personal in their classes and it’s very inspiring, so it’s something that we try to get people to see that, hey, you know what? You can actually learn from these other instructors even though you might not be interested in chess, or you might not be interested in acting, there’s a lot that you can actually learn from these people.
John Koetsier: That is super interesting. I mean, I was going to ask that question as well, right? Like why do you, why is it a site-wide scenario where you purchase access to MasterClass and you get everything and you’ve kind of answered part of that. I’d love you to go in a little bit more detail. I mean, I’m wondering if I’d, you mentioned, Peggy, that you wanted to learn from Gordon Ramsey. I mean I’m sure I could learn how to scream from him.
Thomas Hopkins: He does not have a lesson on that, yet. But I agree, he could probably do some good work there.
Peggy Anne Salz: Assertiveness training is what it would be, right?
John Koetsier: Ooh, that’s the right way to say it.
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah. So I would say that it’s only something now that we’re starting to see, and the reason is that if you look at our product we’ve got about 80, I think it’s 82 instructors now, and we’re continuing to add instructors. And we’ve reached that point where we have so much to offer across different categories, and whereas before if you only had like one instructor in a category, it made it kind of hard to say, ‘Hey, maybe you should check out this category. Maybe you can learn from these instructors.’ Whereas we’re getting to the point now where we’re seeing more and more people that just really want to look around and explore within the product. And so we’re just trying to see if we can lean into that. We don’t know where that’s going to go to be honest, but we see it’s increasing the amount of time people are consuming content. So we’re continuing to lean into that.
Peggy Anne Salz: I just love that concept because a long time ago, John, you don’t even know this about me, but I used to write about mobile search. I wrote the first ever mobile search report in the industry and the whole idea was wouldn’t it be great if we could have serendipity, because we thought the algorithms were going to take over and we wouldn’t just be able to do something just by ourselves. And you’re talking about exploring the longtail, serendipity. I remember people saying, “Wouldn’t it be great if we just had like an ‘I’m bored’ button that you could push on a search engine?
John Koetsier: It’s called TikTok.
Peggy Anne Salz: It is now, it wasn’t a decade ago. It was like, what are we going to do? We’re going to search and we’re going to find everything so effectively we won’t actually be able to expand our horizons. And this is what’s happening here, so that’s the good part of it. But also in a sense, Thomas, if you think about it, you have all these instructors, all these great courses, it’s almost like having nearly 80 segments in a way. I mean, how do you handle that segmentation, because I might be looking at something and say, ‘Okay, Natalie Portman teaching acting. I can imagine Gordon Ramsey with cooking or assertiveness training for that matter,’ but it’s so many different people, so many personalities, so many campaigns you would have to run, isn’t it?
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, it is. It’s a balance and I’ll approach it from a retention standpoint here after somebody already becomes a member, and then I can go into the acquisition side or the marketing side as well. But the way we approach it from a membership side is, obviously there is some level of dynamic classes being served, or lessons being served, based on what interests you’ve shown. It’s something that we’re continuing to lean into and get better at. And we also apply that to the lifecycle marketing layer, which is their email and push, and soon to be in-app messaging and badging. You know, you want to be able to serve people the right type of video content and video that they can stream at the right time based on what they’re looking at. And it’s not easy, but we’re trying to improve upon it, and one of the things that we’ve done to really help in it is on a weekly basis we have our head of lifecycle marketing, who’s on my team, basically started doing a weekly newsletter which is great. So every Sunday it’s like this long list of things that are going on in MasterClass, this long list of opportunities to get involved with in terms of different classes and different lessons that you might not have seen. So that’s how we’re approaching it.
Peggy Anne Salz: So some content marketing as well there, that makes sense. You know, you’re talking about the different journeys that you are creating, these different personas, whatever you want to call them, that allow you to micro target but at the same time there’s always sort of Facebook and Google doing this for you, which is great, but then there’s also the danger of maybe that being siloed or limited in some way. I mean, how do you approach that? What are the difficulties that you see and how do you, yeah, I wouldn’t say overcome them, but how do you cope with them? How do you deal with them, Thomas?
Thomas Hopkins: That’s the million dollar question there.
Peggy Anne Salz: Because I asked it … just kidding.
Thomas Hopkins: So we have a technique we think helps, but until I work at ten other companies and get to see the exact same thing, I would say I don’t know the exact answer here. But what we basically see is that we try to serve the right instructors based on contextual relevance, and the way that we do that is we lean into the programmatic channels to learn what those instructors, who those instructors are. So we actually see that some instructors’ trailers are getting way more impressions during certain times of the year and it leads to, for example, let’s say Aaron Franklin, amazing class. He does some amazing work on Texas-style BBQ and people are searching, I mean, you talked about SEO, people are searching for Texas-style BBQ or barbecuing during the summer. And so we actually see that regardless of what we do we’ll start to see his ads start to show more, and we’re just fortunate enough to be in a world where Facebook and YouTube will do that for us. And then we just tried to get behind it and say like, ‘Okay, how do we amplify this?’ So we have a system set up to make sure that we can catch trends like that and then lean into them further, manually. Kind of help the machine learn.
John Koetsier: That’s super interesting because of course you’ve got an actor who comes out with a big movie, you’ve got a sports star, Serena Williams who wins a big championship or something like that, or somebody gets in a big controversy, who knows what happens, right? They hit and boom, their class takes off.
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, and it’s a full-time job for our PR and communications team because like you said, every single one of our instructors if they say something weird or something happens in the news, which we’re fortunate enough that hasn’t happened much. We have an amazing group of teachers and instructors, but whenever something happens, it’s like, ‘Okay, hey, should we pause these ads? Do we think about, do we need to make a statement?’ etc. etc. So our PR team has their hands full, but they do an amazing job.
John Koetsier: Just imagine if you were here in this position ten years ago, and today, you started 10 or 15 years ago and today you had an Art of the Deal course by Donald Trump. I mean…
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, that would probably be something that we would have to think about what we would do with that class. You know, maybe if you bought it…
Peggy Anne Salz: If you bought it I won’t tell you now.
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, maybe if you bought it you could still see it, but if you hadn’t bought it yet then it probably would be on before the paywall maybe, I don’t know.
John Koetsier: Yup. So part of your title, and we can’t fit it here so we didn’t put it all on, but part of the title and we talked about it, is lifecycle marketing. Can you talk to us about lifecycle marketing, maybe a little bit on the general side but then specifically as it relates to you and what you’re doing for MasterClass?
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, of course. So lifecycle marketing basically has three pillars, it’s the way we look at it. So there’s conversion, engagement, and retention. And each one of them play a different role depending on the time of the product’s life cycle. So you can imagine that for a very young company, a very new company, you’re spending a lot of time on conversion and getting somebody’s email address, and giving them something for free for a while, and seeing if you can then get them to stay close to the product and to the company until they’re like, ‘Oh wow, they have this instructor? Oh wow, they have this product now or this feature? Great, I’m going to purchase, I’m going to become a member. I’m going to become a customer.’ And then the next layer is then you’re keeping them engaged, you’re keeping them in the product and coming back as frequent as you can, based on what your system’s set up for or your product’s set up for.
And then the last piece is retaining them and making sure that you can keep them. So those are basically the three different things that our lifecycle team does. In terms of metrics, how we think about those specific things, so conversion rate, we’re specifically looking at the number of emails we send, to the ratio between that to the amount of people that actually convert. So we want to be as efficient as possible because we don’t want to spam people, that’s never what we want to do. So we’re trying to serve up extremely relevant content. The next step after that is the engagement piece, so we’re specifically looking at click and opens. So first you’ve got to open your email or your push, then you’ve got to click on it to be taken to the content and to whatever we’re serving. And then the last piece, and so we’re looking at that ratio, and then the last piece is retention which is tough because right now we’re a one-year subscription, so retention’s essentially do they retain at the end of the year? So that becomes things like making sure that we’re trying to keep them engaged and seeing what we can do around engagement towards the last part of the year.
Peggy Anne Salz: So you spoke about it a little bit there, about how you keep people engaged in what you’re doing. But you know, it’s always this series of nudges and reminders and being appropriate, and it’s a question of channels, not just how do you use it within your app but you have your website as well. So could you give me an idea about the tradeoff there, Thomas, between the nudges and the reminders and the, ‘Hey, how’s it going? You haven’t been back in a while,’ and what works best?
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah. We tend to actually lean towards only sharing content or only sharing emails when it’s relevant to, like it’s contextually relevant, or it’s our Sunday newsletter. And so, that’s for like what we would call our ‘blast system.’ For our trigger-based system we do have things that are set up along the lines of, ‘Hey, we haven’t seen you in a while,’ or ‘Hey Anne, and by the way, since the last time you were here we have these three new instructors,’ or ‘Here’s the top trending class right now that you might be interested in.’ So we have kind of two systems. It’s the bulk-send system based on segments you’re in, and then there’s the trigger-based, based on your interaction and usage with the app as well as the website. So it’s a balance of those two.
John Koetsier: One of the softer questions that we wanted to throw to you because we’re interested in the people who do this work. You work for MasterClass, there are amazing stars, like global stars who produce content for MasterClass and you get to market what they do. What has made you most proud about the work that you do at MasterClass?
Thomas Hopkins: What has made me the most, what?
John Koetsier: Most proud.
Thomas Hopkins: That’s an easy one. Our community team. Every single month we’ll feature somebody internally, where they tell the story of what we’ve done for them. And if you look around the room and during our all-hands when they share that, I’m definitely one of the people that gets a few tears in my eyes, because we’re really changing people’s lives. One of the things MasterClass does is it really inspires people to take action. When you see somebody that’s your hero telling you, ‘You can do it, just get started,’ which is kind of the underlying theme that a lot of these instructors will talk about, it really kind of sends chills through your body and makes you feel like, yeah, I can do it. And so the one that really hit home for me, was an author that wasn’t an author, he was just a marketer actually, and he wrote a book. And he started writing children’s stories and became the bestseller in his country for children books and it’s because he got started with MasterClass. And it’s like, until that class, I just didn’t know how to get started, I didn’t know how to just do it. And he’s a bestseller on Amazon right now and was for like the first two months after he wrote his book. So it feels so good to see that.
John Koetsier: Wow, impressive! Good … go ahead Peggy.
Peggy Anne Salz: Well, I was going to ask along those lines, you know we talked about what makes you most proud. That of course it’s also a question of giving back at this point in time. I mentioned before, all the brands that in our webinar series that John’s talking to, I’m talking to, are saying this is the time that you make your mark and what you do now you’ll be judged for, you will be remembered for. Is there something that you’re doing differently now because of Coronavirus that you wouldn’t have maybe done before, even turned up the volume a little bit on, maybe in as you said, engaging with your users, your customers, life-changing stories, maybe even just amplifying them. What is it, Thomas, what’s changed?
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, I mentioned it earlier, that the main thing we’re doing was that ‘plus one’ for our members and then the ‘buy one, share one’ so any new member has the opportunity to share that experience with their friends and family. And then the last one is that I would say we’re also doing now is we’re giving for every thousand memberships that we sell, we’re giving away a thousand memberships to people in need. So we work with organizations across the world. Last year we gave away I think it was 100,000 memberships to organizations, and this year we’re looking to try and do more like 200,000. So it’s something that we added based on what’s going on right now. We just know people need help and this is something that helps them. So…
John Koetsier: Wow, wow. That’s impressive.
Peggy Anne Salz: That’s great!
John Koetsier: In addition to the offers, I think also what we’re interested in is, has your messaging changed?
Thomas Hopkins: Sorry, work from home issues. My wife apparently decided to…
John Koetsier: It’s okay if it’s a kid or a pet, bring them on, it’s all good.
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah she decided she’s going to come over and just throw my dog in the trailer, so I’m hoping he doesn’t start barking, but…
John Koetsier: We’re soloing on you then and you pick up the dog and let it run.
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, let me see. Cool, c’mere.
Peggy Anne Salz: This is going to be one of those Facebook moments, there we go!
Thomas Hopkins: There he is.
John Koetsier: Awesome.
Thomas Hopkins: In the trailer. So he’s afraid of flies, so every once in a while he might be like, huh huh huh, because there’s a fly in here, but anyway, trailer life. Tough, you know, dealing with the times right now. Fortunate enough that I still have work and things are moving along, but I’m definitely dealing with things like a dog in the trailer. So…
John Koetsier: We’re there too, no worries.
Thomas Hopkins: Sorry, what was the question?
John Koetsier: The question was, so we heard some of the tactics that you’re taking, some of the offers that you’re making. Has your messaging changed as well?
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, so, not entirely. So the only real thing that changed in our messaging was just the focus on learning and the word ‘learn’ in terms of copy. And then the other piece was around big screenings and streaming. So we know that people are spending more time watching, and so letting everybody know that we’re on Roku, we’re on Fire TV, we’re on Apple TV, is all something we’ve added that as well. So streaming and learning are the two main things that we’ve really added, but in terms of like overall copy for the actual ads and the actual trailers that we’re using that we show on Facebook and YouTube and other channels, those haven’t really changed.
As you probably can tell, there’s a lot of thought and effort that goes into those trailers. Our team is amazing at making trailers, it makes my job easy, because our creative team just makes these amazing trailers. I’m sitting there, I’m like, some of those trailers you watch and you’re like wow, I need to be a better person, or wow, that was inspiring! And it’s like, okay, if you can do that with a trailer, it makes my job easier rather than maybe some other ads.
John Koetsier: Yes.
Thomas Hopkins: So I would say that we haven’t changed the trailers much because it takes too long to actually create the quality that MasterClass team creates.
John Koetsier: Well, that’s amazing. And I know Peggy has a last question for you, but what that brings home is you’re not selling sugar water. You’re not selling some random thing that is kind of nice to have. You’re selling something that changes lives. So that’s probably also easy, in a sense, not always, but in a sense.
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, it is. It’s so fun, it’s so fun to market. I would say it’s a place that I really look forward to coming to work every day, and I just get so excited when I get to wake up and be like, wow, I get to market these amazing people that are making changes and making a difference in people’s lives. It just feels so good.
John Koetsier: Awesome.
Thomas Hopkins: I’m so fortunate.
Peggy Anne Salz: Absolutely, and Thomas, I’ve known you for a while, so I’ve known you back at casino games and the like, so this must be a complete, you know, it’s not just a difference, it’s just a new chapter even for you.
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah. It’s so funny. I distinctly remember this, it was like three and a half years ago, my mom was like, ‘What did I do wrong?!’ My brother was working in the weed industry. I was working with the casino industry, and both of my parents are teachers. Yeah and luckily my younger sister was a teacher, so they’re still like, ‘Okay, at least by the third kid, we got it right.’ But now, I’m in education.
John Koetsier: Pot, casinos?
Thomas Hopkins: Yeah, it just took us a while. You know I just turned 36, I’m finally in education. My brother is working for a sustainability company, and my sister is a teacher, so my parents are like, ‘Okay, fine…’
John Koetsier: It all worked out.
Thomas Hopkins: It took them all til they’re above thirty to find their way, but at least they all made it, so…
Peggy Anne Salz: Out of the casino games and into education for the better of us all. Yes, that’s great Thomas. I am just wanting to wrap with a question. I’m going to be asking more marketers this because I just think it’s the time when we have to talk about ourselves as well. And I’m wondering how you as a marketer, or what you’re seeing with other marketers, this is the big pause. This is the big reset, you know, what are you doing? Are you using it to refresh, regroup, rethink, what are you using this time for?
Thomas Hopkins: I’m going to take this in a different direction…
Peggy Anne Salz: In the trailer obviously.
Thomas Hopkins: The biggest thing that I’m focused on right now, is making sure that my team and everybody that we work with cross-functionally, enjoys their time right now, because we’re all under a lot of stress. So being at home, dealing with the stress of not knowing if you’re safe when you step outside, and taking care of your family and all being home together. There’s a lot of stress involved. And so what I focused on is, and this was actually something that I’ve got to hand it to our exec staff here at MasterClass, they got out way out in front of it. We were working from home I think before everybody. And I was like, wow! And they did an amazing job of basically saying, ‘We need to actually make sure everyone is safe and we need to make sure everyone isn’t working too much.’ So the biggest thing I’ve been focusing on is saying ‘no’ to most things and just saying, ‘How do we be relevant to our customer right now,’ but not do too much from an advertising perspective because as everyone knows, advertising always feels last-minute. It always feels like you’re running around with your hair on fire because there’s always something that you can do.
John Koetsier: Yes.
Thomas Hopkins: And so we’re trying to basically say, ‘Hey, how do we do less right now to make sure that we can keep our work time to 40 hour weeks and be taking a full lunch, so that we can stay healthy, and when this is all over, come back to work and still want to work with each other.’
John Koetsier: Thomas, that’s absolutely huge, and I’m quite amazed to hear that. I mean the marketers that I’ve been talking to have just had huge issues because they’re redoing everything. They’re figuring out everything, all over again. They’re having to do all this stuff again and again and again, and new messaging, new campaigns, throw out last year’s plan, restart. So that’s really wonderful to see. Thomas, we want to thank you for joining us on Retention Masterclass. It’s been a real pleasure and an honor to have you here and thank you so much.
Thomas Hopkins: Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure. I look forward to seeing where you guys take this podcast and really appreciate being a part of it.
John Koetsier: Wonderful and we love seeing your dog.
Thomas Hopkins: And the trailer…
John Koetsier: And the trailer, the dog and the trailer, working from home. This is life. Awesome. Well, for everybody else who’s been joining us, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. Please like, subscribe, share, comment, or all of the above. If you love this podcast, please rate it, review it. That’d be a massive help. Until next time, keep well, keep safe. My name is John Koetsier. And Peggy, can you chime in? Is it possible?
Peggy Anne Salz: Absolutely. I think I’m here.
John Koetsier: You are there, and you’re not echoing.
Peggy Anne Salz: I am here. I’m not echoing, it’s just me in mono here. So great to have you, Thomas. I will chime in now that I have my voice. Lovely to have you. Thanks for sharing these stories. Great to be here again. I love what this show is turning into and evolving into. So until next time, keep well, stay safe. This is Peggy Anne Salz with Retention Masterclass.