Unexpected Musical Fun: "Outside In" The Song Rocks Day Two Of Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum

I’m still digging out from all the things that I put off until after last week’s Customer Experience Forum in New York. Even so, I didn’t want to let too much time pass before sharing some unexpected fun we had on Wednesday morning.

It actually started on Tuesday afternoon when I received an email from the co-author of our upcoming book, Kerry Bodine, which said:

“Have you seen this??? Amazing!

http://blog.neolane.com/events-2012/forresters-book-eve-6-treatment-song/

Lyrics below the video.”

The short note included a link to a blog post with a song. The blogger, Ed Hadley, a senior marketing manager at Neolane, had written new lyrics to the Eve 6 song “Inside Out,” turning it into “Outside In.” I was skeptical, but I trust Kerry’s judgment, so I played the song and loved it.

After some quick back-and-forth between our event producer (Katie Petroff), Neolane’s vice president of marketing (Kristin Hambelton), and one of our backstage producers (the unflappably cool Dave), we had the song ready to play as part of my Wednesday morning opening remarks. As it played, Dave scrolled the lyrics karaoke-style. The audience clearly thought it was fun — lots of laughter and a big round of applause at the end.

I reached out to Ed Hadley afterwards because I was fascinated by how he went from having the idea to getting this live so quickly. What follows is his story. To understand the timeline, you should know that the forum schedule went like this: Monday consisted of a bunch of pre-event meetings with members of our leadership boards — that’s also when vendors set up their booths in our solutions showcase. On Tuesday and Wednesday the actual event occurred, with Moira Dorsey as the moderator on Tuesday and me as moderator on Wednesday.

And now, here’s Ed:

 “On Monday afternoon, I was monitoring the #outsidein Twitter hashtag for the Forrester Customer Experience Forum. There was a steady stream of vendors tweeting ‘We’re at booth xyz. Come check us out.’ I thought to myself, ‘There has to be a better way to rise above the noise.’ I’m currently reading David Meerman Scott’s book ‘Real-Time Marketing & PR,’ so it occurred to me that if we could create some compelling real-time content, we could insert ourselves into the conversation in a meaningful way and raise our visibility — both digitally and physically at the show.

“I latched onto the ‘Outside In’ concept from your new book and decided to write a parody song. Given the inversion of the title, Eve 6’s ‘Inside Out’ was the obvious choice. I quickly sketched out the lyrics and emailed them to our VP of Marketing Kristin Hambelton, who replied, ‘Let’s make it happen.’”

In short order, Ed recorded the guitar and percussion tracks on his MacBook and sent those off to a friend who laid down the vocals. After some back and forth, the song was in its final form. The next morning a colleague published it on YouTube, then Ed published a blog post with the song embedded in it.

Ed’s efforts illustrate one of the many ways that marketing and customer experience intersect: The best customer experiences don’t just meet customer needs, and they don’t just make it easy to do business. They’re also enjoyable. By coming up with something that was enjoyable for a very specific set of customers — our Forum attendees — he helped us improve the event experience and managed to grab a considerable amount of extra attention for Neolane, which provides "conversational marketing technology."

So thanks, Ed, and thanks to all of our attendees. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting more about the event, including video of the keynote speakers. Post your comments or tweet to tell us how you like it — we love hearing your feedback, musical or otherwise!