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How to build a cross-functional content ecosystem

Lynn Pine
Lead Content Producer

An ecosystem is a self-sustaining, self-supporting environment. Your content should also be an ecosystem.

In this episode, Justin Gonzalez , Global Head of Customer Empowerment at Square , joins the show to talk about marketing/CX alignment and creating a content ecosystem that supports the entire business.

Join us as we discuss:

  • Eliminating tension between the marketing and CX functions
  • Redefining content as an ecosystem
  • The abiding importance of consistency
  • When friction can create a better experience

Ready to create that organic alignment? Let’s dive in.

Listen to the interview with Justin Gonzalez

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The marriage of customer experience and marketing

"Create these programs and these systems that are transparent and accessible, but most importantly, create a space where every voice can be heard equally."

Justin Gonzalez
Global Head of Customer Empowerment

When Justin thinks about the best synergy he’s ever had with a brand, Nike immediately comes to mind. As an avid half-marathoner, he’s been consistently utilizing their training apps to break personal records for years.

That’s an entire journey over several product lifecycles and through a global pandemic — and it was Nike’s inspiring and personalized interactive content that kept him hungry for more.

A former drama student and grad of San Francisco State University, Justin’s vibrant gift for storytelling launched his career into the stratosphere. His unconventional experience in both customer service and creative brand-building lends him a very unique edge as a CX leader.

A healthy tension

Justin believes that ultimately, “awareness, acquisition, retention, and growth are every person within the company's responsibility and within their charter.” Profitability is in everyone’s interest.

While your sales, marketing, and customer success teams all perform different tasks, they can amplify the impact of each other through tighter collaboration and closer interconnectedness.

Alignment is a hot buzzword today, but teams that lean in for cross-functional support will create the concierge experience that your customers crave.

If that chemistry isn’t there, it affects far more than your bottom line. Consumers are fiercely loyal to the brands they trust, and if you break it or take the wrong tactic, you’ll feel the churn.

Collaboration over competition

"When we think about content as an ecosystem, the idea there is about creating something where each part of the business is fueling and supporting the other."

Justin Gonzalez
Global Head of Customer Empowerment

Within a large organization, you have a surprising number of people creating content, from social media marketers to white papers, customer service, and tech support. You’ll get much heavier engagement throughout the funnel by reinforcing benefits instead of competing.

You can generate awareness while increasing your ROI by sharing and accessing this vital content ecosystem at every verticality. This strategy enables your audience to gain knowledge and deliver invaluable feedback. 

Every part of the business is fueling growth, conversions, and a consistent brand experience. This will also help you bridge that gap between CX and marketing.

Repeatable results

As Justin points out, Square’s users aren’t landing on their main public page just to notice how clever the marketing blog is. They’re appreciating a memorable, holistic experience.

People don’t like unpleasant surprises when dealing with brands. They’re also not differentiating between your support center or your TikTok. It’s all one to them. To provide them with a seamless journey every time, you need to have replicable, scalable processes.

It doesn’t matter who creates the mandate, but it has to be all-encompassing.

A beneficial ecosystem

"It's that consistency in the messaging, it's that consistency in the experience, it's creating repeatable actions that lead to expected results for your customers."

Justin Gonzalez
Global Head of Customer Empowerment

Thanks to the digital revolution, there are so many ways your team can share knowledge in real-time that will position your organization for success as a legendary brand.

Justin shares a case study that highlights how each of your business functions has its own skills and strengths — but they are massively more effective together as an organic ecosystem. One that generates an analytically gorgeous amount of useful customer data , smoothing the CX path even further.

Start the conversation

How do we get there? Justin states, “People who experienced that growth in their trajectory are the ones who look for the cracks in the foundation of their organization.” Be curious. Find the problem that no one is currently solving.

If you’re a marketing, CX, sales, or demand gen leader who wants to boost revenue without sacrificing quality, now is the perfect time to reach across the aisle and start building relationships.

Anyone who shares priorities can find an opportunity to collaborate.


Square is a hypergrowth company with a heavy culture. An important element of that is transparency. Justin says that every strategic move, every decision, is shared in living and breathing documents accessible by all.

This accessibility creates an unshakeable framework of support, reduces redundancy, and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. Every voice is given equal weight.

Meaningful friction

Another way to reach alignment is by introducing a small amount of “positive friction.” Nothing is more frustrating than getting stuck in a customer service loop. It’s crucial to time those gaps in the net perfectly so you can get your user to the right problem solver.

Self-service, chatbots, and automated assistants can help you make the most of your human capital and ensure your customers keep coming back.

Interviews with customer service leaders

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