Talking with Scott Morris, VP of Marketing at Zendesk

Kendall Pennington


Zendesk is a de facto leader in providing customer support software to enterprises.

As the lead over integrated marketing, Scott Morris has learned how to create an experience along every stage of the journey. In this episode, he sits down with Joe to dive deeper into customer experience marketing and discuss what he’s learned about how to nurture a team.


How Scott Got Here

Scott is currently VP of integrated marketing at Zendesk, where he’s been for about three years. 

Zendesk is a customer service software based in San Francisco, with a focus also on sales automation and customer engagement solutions. “We’re basically in the business of helping our customers create great experiences for their customers.”

His particular role at Zendesk is responsible for life or integrated marketing, handling “the campaigns that take prospective customers from awareness to consideration to purchase and beyond at the global scale.” In addition, he manages the regional marketing teams in North and South America and the global events and engagement marketing teams.

Prior to Zendesk, Scott spent quite a few years at Adobe in roles ranging from integrated marketing to product marketing and even launching the creative cloud. One of the favorite times of his career at Adobe was when he had the opportunity to live in Tokyo.

Scott felt that the transition from Adobe, a product that prides itself on making an experience, to Zendesk, a company on the front lines of customer experience and support made a lot of sense. 


The DNA of an Experience

With people defining customer experience so differently, the concept can become a bit cluttered. Scott likes to think of it as a journey. 

Customer Experience = Customer Journey 

So what is the role of marketing?

Scott thinks about it in terms of the full funnel. “You need to drive awareness, bring your prospects through, and just try to deliver as relevant and delightful of an experience as possible.

This isn’t always easy, and Scott says Zendesk is on its own internal journey through this, but by keeping the focus on segmentation and personalization, the team is confident in their ability to form a strong emotional connection and deliver an experience that’s aligned with what they genuinely care about. 

Another often-overlooked aspect of the marketing cycle is a customer’s post-purchase experience. Marketers tend to focus much more on acquisition because that’s where the KPIs are, but not allocating as much effort on longer-term customer success can have seriously negative effects on customers’ experience and the company’s bottom line.

One of the best things a company can do to ensure a positive post-purchase experience to focus on proactive engagement. Reactive support is standard, “but anticipating your customer’s issues and addressing them before they even need to reach out to you will create a truly standout experience.”


Visuals and Customer Satisfaction

“Certainly every marketer knows how powerful video can be.”

While many remote workers are likely experiencing Zoom fatigue, asynchronous video still very much resonates. “Asynchronous video is the future of how businesses can connect with their customers.” 

B2B companies have only just begun to scratch the surface of how they can better utilize videos to enhance the customer experience.

Nurturing a Team in Uncertain Times

When asked about how he’s adjusted to managing a team in a pandemic, Scott said “I don’t think I’ve ever learned as much about how to lead or how to nurture a team as I have in the past six months.”

Many business leaders likely feel the same. 

Seeing his employees within the context of their own homes and unique frame of reference really allowed for a whole new level of empathy in terms of his management style. Having no way to separate one’s work from one’s personal life can be a monumental detractor to a healthy work-life balance. So, being able to understand someone’s situation and reset expectations is going to be better for your employees and therefore better for your customer’s experience.


Where We Go From Here

“Once we’re post-pandemic, marketers are going to need to basically know how to reach and engage prospects and customers digitally all the time for now and forever.”

From here on out, companies should pretty much never assume that they’ll be able to reach a potential customer in a physical space. What has taken place regarding virtual experiences has been a legitimate paradigm shift. 

The companies that will win in the end will be the ones that truly differentiate their digital experiences from the playing field.


Listen to the episode here.

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