Ed Bussey talks ecommerce, content and AI potential in Reevoo’s ‘People Tell Richard Stuff’ podcast
Quill Founder and CEO Ed Bussey recently made a guest appearance on Reevoo’s ‘People Tell Richard Stuff’ podcast, in a wide-ranging discussion with Reevoo Founder Richard Anson that touched on entrepreneurship, company culture, the content marketing landscape – and even polar bears.
With a mutual background in the ecommerce space – Richard is the founder of Reevoo while Ed was a member of the founding team of Figleaves.com before starting Quill – the conversation naturally gravitated around the key issues facing today’s online retailers, from optimising the purchase journey to generating genuine ROI through content marketing and building authentic brand experiences for consumers.
Watch the video interview below, or read on for our favourite soundbites from the conversation.
On his military background:
“Building really motivated teams and leading them, sometimes in very high-pressure situations, was by far the most useful skill I took out of my time in the forces and within the Foreign Office – as well as a real, fundamental belief in the importance of culture. That’s been incredibly helpful in a business context.”
On the complex content marketing landscape:
“The way we look at the content landscape is through the prism of the purchase funnel – so consumer-first, starting with consumers moving from Awareness, into Consideration and finally Conversion.”
“99% of the time, when people talk about content, they’re talking about the Awareness or ‘hero’ layer of content, which is very well served by some amazing creative and ad agencies. In our experience, this layer gets all of the airtime – that’s where you get the awards at Cannes and so on.”
“But we believe, coming out of ecommerce, that – whilst Awareness content is not unimportant – it’s not the critical layer of content. The critical layer, from an ecommerce perspective, is the layer of content that sits exactly before the customer puts their credit card details in. On a retail site, for example, it will be the product description, the category description or the buying guide. On a travel site, it might be hotel review or the destination guide.”
“We call this layer ‘Primary Content’ – driving conversions by moving along browsers who are looking for products and helping them to make a purchase decision.”
On why he built Quill:
“What became apparent from my Figleaves journey and other companies I’ve worked with along the way in the ecommerce space, is that what consumers are missing online is the equivalent of the shop assistant – to help them make an informed decision, from what sometimes is an overwhelming choice of products. That can only be done online through effective content – and that’s why we built Quill.”
On the impact of ‘getting the content basics right’:
“Our view is that, if you’re an ecommerce business, you have to fix your Primary Content first and then work up the funnel. Because if you’re investing at the top of the funnel (Awareness) first, and you’re driving consumers through to a product or category page that’s not optimal, you’re then losing the value of all the investment you’ve made across the board in marketing terms further up the funnel.”
“If you get Primary Content right, the ROI value is enormous. For example, by moving product page conversion rates from a sub-standard half a percent to an industry standard of two or three percent, you’re talking potentially tens of millions of pounds of incremental revenue by fixing maybe 500 to 1,000 pages.”
On how Quill uses technology:
“Fundamentally we are a technology company. Our approach to technology for the last few years has been to look at the content creation process and identify the points where friction can be eliminated. For example, in the editing process to deliver 100% accuracy, or in the allocation of work, through automated workflows. The Quill Cloud platform sits at the core of the business and it’s what enables us to produce content at speed and scale.”
On the future of AI and content:
“We’re definitely keeping an eye on AI, and as we go through this year we’re going to be increasingly looking at how our processes could use AI or machine learning, to effectively self-learn as we see patterns in content emerging – with potential applications around brand tone of voice and other areas.”