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Gamification—Bring Your Product to Life

Kerry Guard • Tuesday, July 19, 2022 • 52 minutes to listen

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Siena Dixon

Siena Dixon is the Head of Strategy & Commercial at Zebrar. She is a relentlessly curious senior marketing executive focused on innovation where storytelling meets new and immersive technology. Exploring and refining technologies like AR, VR, AI and gamification for brands.



Hello, I’m Kerry Guard, and welcome to Tea Time with Tech Marketing Leaders.

Welcome back to season 12.

I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Luke Richardson. If you haven't had a chance to listen to my conversation, definitely jump back to it when you get a chance. Great conversation around building a demand generation team with an SEO lens. Super cool!

In this episode, I chat with Siena Dixon, where we discuss the power of gamification and how to introduce your customers to your product in a fun, creative experience. Whoever said B2B could be fun. We're all people, after all, and how we experience consumer brands can be done with B2B at least, according to Siena.

Siena Dixon is head of the strategy and commercial at Zebrar. She is a relentlessly curious Senior Marketing Executive focused on innovation where storytelling meets new and immersive technology, exploring and refining technologies such as AR, VR, AI, and brand gamification. Such a fun conversation. It’s so good to connect with Siena.

Let's take a listen.


Kerry Guard: Hello, Siena. Thank you for joining me on Tea Time.

Siena Dixon: Hi, Kerry. It’s great to be here. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

Kerry Guard: I'm excited to have you and for our conversation today. But before we get there, why don't you tell us your story for our listeners? What do you do? And how did you get there?

Siena Dixon: Yeah, absolutely. I don't have a linear path. It's gone all over the shop, but sometimes that keeps it interesting. I guess it keeps people guessing. So I'm currently the head of the strategy and commercial for a company called Zebra, a creative technology studio, which I can get into later. I started my career back home in Australia, focusing on sports and entertainment in public relations. So that was my grounding on how to tell an interesting story, which I guess has followed me throughout my career and has been very helpful as an underlying skill, I suppose. And then I moved to London for about five years and started working for a sports technology and media company called Deltatre. I developed an interest in cutting-edge technologies, so we were responsible for some of the first big sports websites and mobile apps. Ultimately, things like television, graphics, and that type of thing. And then went into a more traditional digital media role at Edelman in Toronto before moving over to New York, where I've gone into the startup world. So first, we're to immersive technology companies when we found you focused on sports and eSports. And then ultimately, with Zebrar, our company now works with generally large global brands such as Microsoft, IBM, and Salesforce, and then we're on the B2C side. Coca-Cola and Mcdonald's, across industries, focused on immersive technologies, things as augmented virtual reality and gamification.

Kerry Guard: You're not in New York anymore, though.

Siena Dixon: I'm not. Thank you. So just wrapped up my story, which is not linear, and ultimately ended up in London because my husband's work brought us over here about five months ago. I'm still with Zebrar and still focused on US-based clients. As you can imagine, my timetable is a little over the shop. But yes, we're now in South London, which I love, and I also found myself loving. I’m very happy here.

Kerry Guard: I love the full circle I've done. I've had a similar journey in terms of moving away and going back and moving away and returning somewhere that's familiar but also new, like it feels new again, which is fine.

Siena Dixon: You do feel that it's been the easiest landing pad for sure. Because you had those relationships when you were younger, and your way around the town is even silly, such as how public transport works in a particular city just makes it feel a little bit more at home and comfortable. It's been great.

Kerry Guard: Let's sit here for a second because I think this will become less unusual. I feel like we're a bit on the cutting edge Siena, where moving around for us is no big deal. We've been remote for a long time, but I think this will become pretty standard for people who will pick up their lives and move around knowing they don't need to stay.

Siena Dixon: Absolutely. I've been working remotely for the last five years since I got to New York. And the first couple of years, when you're one of the few people doing it, I found it quite hard and somewhat isolating. In the last couple of years where it's almost felt that almost everyone who's had the privilege of being able to work remotely. It's made things easier for me because you work under the same parameters. But particularly as a working mum, working parent, I should say apart from all the horrendous associated with COVID. From that point of view, it's been a blessing for my husband. He's been a lot more involved in bringing up our son and even me. Removing the traveling to and from work gives us an extra hour each day on either side with him. So that's been wonderful. And it's great to see that now this hybrid working environment seems to be sticking around. Because you get more flexibility in some circumstances. It's great to see it's been such a shift, and it'll be interesting to see if this is really for a long time or not.

Kerry Guard: I agree. I work crazy hours too. What is your timetable normally on a typical day at the office?

Siena Dixon: It's a bit crazy. A lot of my colleagues are based in Sydney, Australia. I am Australian to probably picked up at this point. I touch base with them first thing in the morning when I get up, just to ensure nothing's crashing and burning. My son will get up from seven, and I'll make breakfast, take him to childcare for eight and jump back on the phone with my colleagues in Australia. I have this beautiful period in the middle of the day from around 12 till 2 pm when my colleagues and my clients in the US are asleep, and it hasn't clocked on. So that's my time to sometimes time to myself all the time. It's just time to get work done, I suppose. And then my East Coast clients start waking up at two, and my West Coast clients don't end up going to sleep until 2 am, but I usually clock off around 11 pm. It's a juggle.

Kerry Guard: I thought I was crazy, but with Australia and us, wow, that's a whole new challenge for sure. I usually take that I'm so lucky to have you in my time zone. That's so unusual for me. Normally I take the mornings off, then I don't jump on 12 to five and then take a break with my kids and family until they go to bed, and then I do eight to 10. I appreciate the long haul.

Siena Dixon: Sorry to take your morning away.

Kerry Guard: I love this. No, there is one day when I don't work. I gave myself a break one day a week to not work at night because it's hard to do every day, so I do Tuesdays and Fridays. I do a normal nine to five.

Siena Dixon: Oh great. I tried to do that on Thursdays and Fridays as well. So I hear you didn't need a break.

Kerry Guard: Okay, till I go to bed, it's like…

Siena Dixon: The hardest part for me is if I have an 11 pm call and then ideally go to bed straight after the call. I'm not very good at switching off my brain straight away, so it's like 2 am, and I'm still thinking about the core. I know five hours I have to get up to bow wakes up anyway. It's great having the flexibility with my son being able to drop him off and be with him in the morning and then pick him up because I'll take off between five and seven to pick him up, cook dinner, and put him to bed. That's magic time I might not otherwise get if I had your traditional nine to five corporate job. There's a benefit.

Kerry Guard: I love it. I'm sorry for the tangent, everyone, but I thought it was a unique situation. I'm sure many of you are thinking about your future in this new world of remote work. And this option is to go wherever you want to be and still have your job. It's a whole new world.

Siena Dixon: It is a whole new world. Positive and challenges to ensure you set up for sure.

Kerry Guard: That leads me perfectly into my next question for you, Siena, which is, and it doesn't have to be in reliant in lines with remote working, it can be really in whatever capacity of your job, but what's one challenge you're currently facing?

Siena Dixon: It is essentially the balancing mom life and working life, particularly with these bizarre hours. I'm gradually getting better at it. He's only two, and I still consider myself pretty new at this. It's been three years, but it's just been the wildest two years because he was born two months before the pandemic hit. And we've moved country now three times because of that. It's taken me a while to adjust and figure out how to fit everything in and compartmentalize when I'm with him. And when I'm at work, I'm not having the guilt trip mom thing hanging over me, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I'd say that's probably, from a personal standpoint, the biggest challenge that I face daily.

Kerry Guard: It's so true.

Siena Dixon: When you have twins, that's a different level.

Kerry Guard: I agree with you, especially five to seven, five to eight, where we're cooking dinner and trying to be with our family, but our whole team is online. They have questions, and they're trying to get a hold of us. They know that they have to wait. I know they're there. My inbox is filling up, so to like, leave my phone.

Siena Dixon: Exactly. It's something that I'm trying to be quite strict and weird. I just can't look at my phone because if I see something, I can't let it go. I just have to put it in the drawer and wait for two hours. In my line of work, the world is not crashing and burning. People's lives are usually not at stake because of it. I have to put things in perspective a little bit and know that his only bows will only be this age once, and I don't want to miss it. It's really hard.

Kerry Guard: In terms of what you do now, it's so much fun.

Siena Dixon: We have a niche, but it's a lot of fun.

Kerry Guard: Well, it's new.

Siena Dixon: It is. Yes!

Kerry Guard: It's new in the sense of picking up

Siena Dixon: We're more focused on gamification in this chat. It's something that's been around for a long time and as many different things and periods.

In the early 2000s, that was a very sexy topic. Now, it's coming back into fashion using different ways. Particularly as even things such as the metaverse and stuff is coming is a very hot topic. It's all very intertwined. But we saw a real increase and interest in it since COVID because people are trying to look for new and interesting ways to engage with people who were, you know, either virtual or at least in a hybrid environment. It's been really interesting seeing this shift.

Kerry Guard: I just read an article. As you said, we're not going to talk while it's all intertwined, so we're going to go wherever the conversation takes us. But I have to say that I read an article yesterday in our newsletter about the metaverse and was shocked by the numbers in terms of engagement. It's big.

Siena Dixon: It's such an ethereal topic at the moment because some people believe it exists. If meta is the owner of it, and we're talking about horizons, which is essentially what they're establishing their metaverse to be as one metaverse least. The numbers are quite staggering. I think it was 300,000 people who were actively involved in it the last time I checked, which is a lot for something that most people think doesn't even exist. I don't want to go off-topic and down a rabbit hole because this whole metaverse topic is just something in and of itself. It's cool. I could talk about it for three hours straight and get very boring quickly. But on the flip side, you believe the metaverse to be a decentralized environment that isn't owned by anyone and that maybe there are multiple worlds. It's hard to say what the engagement is at this point, even if it exists in and of itself. It is interesting but huge in terms of people's engagement with metaverse, or metaverse such as environments, VR, and AR. The engagement is crazy. It's only becoming more highly engaged with particularly the younger generations. I love this digital persona and creating a life you can't otherwise have in real life. It's super interesting to me. I just find it fascinating.

Kerry Guard: As you said, a couple of interesting things. One is that the younger generation is gravitating towards it, which is why maybe some of us feel it's not real because it's not for us. Older people are bucketing.

Siena Dixon: Totally. No, I mean that bucket for sure.

Kerry Guard: I think that's interesting. As you said, the pandemic probably helped this thing explode, given that trying to find other ways of connection and engagement.

Siena Dixon: Definitely. It accelerated its momentum for sure.

Kerry Guard: Do you think it will stick around? Or do you think it's a post-panoramic happy reaction at all?

Siena Dixon: Our whole business is involved, so I believe in it. We were talking about this in an ethereal, theoretical way because I don't think the metaverse exists right now in its purest form, in the form that people are talking about the men. There are isolated but isolated digital environments, such as virtual reality environments or augmented reality environments, where people are involved in isolated areas that could be through attending a concert in a video game, which is something that becomes a real, and crazy engagement with those types of experiences. I just find them fascinating. Even a virtual reality training environment.

What makes the metaverse and the way that people were talking about it, theoretically, is when those little mini worlds or universes start communicating with one another. And there's some framework that allows communication to happen. And I think that is on the cards. I don't think it will be the next five years, but I think it's maybe 10. Things grow pretty exponentially, usually, so that will ultimately happen.

One way that Zuckerberg describes it that I think has legs is that he calls it an embodied internet. We experienced the internet through an interface, but ultimately, the metaverse allows you to be part of that. You're just doing the same thing that you might do. You're doing the same types of things that you would do on the internet, such as communicating with people or researching or purchasing things. But you're involved and experiencing that as a world, and that's a pretty interesting and cool concept. I don't think it's going anywhere, especially for the older generation. I'm not a gamer, and social media freaks me out. I'm very nervous about how my son will grow up because of social media and the complexities that are involved with that. We already have almost the world, especially young people. They have a digital self and a real self. So I don't see a huge stretch between becoming unified, which will ultimately happen in the metaverse. You can be yourself in the metaverse or a fantastical, mythical creature and express yourself in ways that aren't otherwise possible. But there's also a huge dark side to that, which I think we must be wary of going in, particularly as content creators for a world like this. Sorry, I went on a big tangent there.

Kerry Guard: I think that's so helpful because as marketers, we're going to need to figure out how to engage with the new generation, whether we want to or not, and there's been a lot of friction with how to do that. As we think about even as B2B marketers, how we're going to connect with this new generation to bring them in as new marketers, how we're going to engage with them as buyers for B2B products, about events and traveling, we are going to have to be hybrid because we're going to have to cross generations.

One generation will be okay with traveling and want to meet in person. They want to have that tactile feeling because it's what we know versus the younger generation who grew up inside of a pandemic and aren't used to being around so many people all the time who want more control over their world. They're going to potentially want to be virtual. And so we're going to have to think about what events, what connection looks moving forward as we create this bridge, we're going to have to create this bridge, it's gonna have to happen.

Siena Dixon: Yeah, absolutely. I believe the younger generation, like Generation Z, will call them. They have this whole new threshold of morality, understanding of social implications, and even a vocabulary I certainly didn't have when I was their age. I have a lot of faith in their morality and how they think about social, political, and environmental aspects. I hope, and I have faith, that they'll be able to create a framework that makes sense and is good for society. You're quite right there, and we're going to have to figure out a way of being able to come up. I don't know if it's coming to a happy medium, but at least we can establish a path where we can connect and make communication available for people at different levels.

Kerry Guard: I agree. There will be people who want to dip their toe in and like, “see it? Cool! I saw it. I'm good with never going back there.” And that’s all they want to do. There will be a spectrum of it, and we need to think as marketers. I remember when social media started, with Facebook ads and groups that were so new and marketers trying to figure this out. And I remember sitting in the room, and we were coming up with a campaign for Yoplay. They do those breast cancer awareness campaigns, and they're talking about building this whole social campaign and raising money for engagement. And I was like, “Well, how are you going to activate the audience, which is probably more so of those who aren't going to engage but are going to be watching?” And so it completely flipped how we needed to create the awareness, in the end, using that audience as activation. It will be similar where we'll have to think about a complaint play in the short term. In the short term, there's going to be fewer people who are going to be involved, or could it be those watchers or toe dippers. How are we going to create an image?

Siena Dixon: Do you get involved? Social media is a perfect example of how I imagined evolution, and I think it is an evolution. It’s not like with the metaverse, in particular. The same can be said with social media because it's about interacting with others. Social media cannot exist within one person, it's all about communities, and the metaverse isn't the same thing. It is going to be an evolution. And so yes, there are brands that are all on this. Even some B2B brands are very gung ho on this as well. Evolution is an interesting part that will piece to the puzzle because it's not like it exists one day. It doesn't exist one day, and then it does the next. It will evolve, and the important thing for brands is to establish their place in this and what they are bringing to the table. Don't just be in the metaverse because that's where you're meant to be. What are you bringing value and benefit? And I think maybe that's where the metaverse will be quite pivotal. You have to have a point to be there. You can't just have some static content living in this virtual existence. There's got to be a point for someone to engage because the user has to be actively involved. They're choosing to engage with the content in this world or not. As a brand, you've got to think about, “How do I make this beneficial for them to actively engage with me and my narrative?”

Kerry Guard: Just got to be incredibly intentional. I also feel that you're the expert here. I'm the toe Dipper. I haven't even put the headset on yet. But I also think this isn't going to be a blip either. You said that this is going to be the long haul. In terms of that intentionality, how do you take something like this and make it sustainable where you can't just show up and disappear?

Siena Dixon: Exactly. The broad advice that we give to clients is that if you're involved in any kind of mixed reality, whether that's where they are or social AR or virtual reality at the more extreme level, there are not many companies hugely involved in that arena. No one feels bad if they're not. But, even social media to a point, particularly things like Snapchat and Instagram, where you are in if you are involved with things like filters that is social augmented reality. You are dipping your toe in the water. You're familiar with these underlying technologies that are ultimately used to create the metaverse. You're probably not as far behind as you think because if you use Snapchat, Instagram, or even Facebook, you're comfortable with the technologies that ultimately create it. And we certainly don't encourage brands to go completely and invest everything you have into what your Metaverse experience will be like, because I completely agree it's not necessarily sustainable.

We don't know how fast this thing is going to grow. But if you're creating small immersive experiences, whether that's like an interactive website, or as I said, because social filter or even you're hosting a virtual event, these are almost mini experiments that you're developing and creating these virtual worlds in your virtual identity, which is really what you need to figure out what that is. And to be involved in the metaverse, you're experimenting, getting involved, getting comfortable, and seeing what works and what doesn't. And the second piece is, is also experimenting with virtual communities that already exist, and you're seeing if your brand has a place with them. So whether that is engaging with people on Twitch, any social media platform, video games, or any kinds of existing virtual communities. It's all about testing and learning at this stage. Anything with marketing, particularly digital marketing, you're setting up a hypothesis and testing it to see if it works. And then you can go a little bit deeper the next time investment a little bit more. So that's the broad general advice we give our clients on how to get involved. That's helpful.

Kerry Guard: I feel how most of these things start. You mentioned Twitch and a lot of gaming platforms. People are getting involved with the metaverse, probably first engagement. There is probably in some line of playing a game with minded individuals in terms of that. Game gamification has been around forever. It's been around forever because it's so powerful. It is sort of that place where it creates an introduction to something new. What is it about gamification? Why is it a powerful word?

Siena Dixon: It's powerful. They're looking for a definition of gamification because it can mean different things to different people. This applies game mechanics, such as challenges, competitions, and creativity, to non-game environments. It's used a lot in education and training, but it's being used more and more in marketing, absolute sales, and marketing. Almost as an extra leg to contact content marketing. I think it's powerful if it's done right because good games don't start with the game mechanics. Game mechanics, like leaderboards, levels, or badges, are very important tactics. They don't start with the game mechanics; they start with the core drivers. Gamification is all about tapping into intrinsic and sometimes extrinsic motivators in people. But if you're tapping into the intrinsic in particular, then it tends to be particularly powerful. So we're dealing with things like creativity and feedback or social influence, or even things like loss aversion, or even creating meaning are larger to a journey or adventure. There's a whole framework of eight different core drivers that I can go into, but I don't know how deep you want to go. Power is involved in its psychology.

Kerry Guard: It sounds like a story.

Siena Dixon: Yeah. The story is hugely involved in it. You're trying to tap into what motivates people essentially. And the story is in the framework that I'm referring to. It’s one of those eight pillars, so to speak, where you're trying to create meaning around something in particular.

In immersive technology, gamification is everything we do. It is all about the narrative, the story, and taking the audience and giving them an active role in the story. Instead of receiving information, you're choosing to engage in becoming part of that storytelling and information, if that makes sense.

Kerry Guard: I watched the games my husband plays, and they're incredibly scary because they're so open world, and there are so many decisions that you can make as a player that you create your journey that it's so big.

Siena Dixon: Video games are a whole world that is quite amazing. Isn't it? It's the story. Video games are almost infinite, which is why they can become quite addictive, and why we need to be a bit careful, particularly when speaking about their role in marketing. It's important to have what they call a finite game. There has to be an endpoint when we're evolving in marketing; otherwise, it can cross that line into addictive territory. It is fascinating.

Kerry Guard: Beginning and an end. I'm good with that.

Siena Dixon: You don't want people particularly. When dealing with children, you need an endpoint. This is where I think social media can be: they employ gamification tactics. And potentially, this is where gamification can get a bad name because things like the endless scroll or simple things around game mechanics are infinite. They haven't had an endpoint, and things like consumption thresholds, particularly with children, are important for adults as well. Those things need to be employed a lot more than they are.

Kerry Guard: One thing we talked about in our original conversation prior to recording was in terms of gamification. There were two roads, so to speak, that converged. One is testing a scientific theory, which you mentioned earlier about the advice you give clients regarding testing and learning. And the second is applying the values and having those things come together.

In terms of gamification, knowing those are two big pillars, testing, and learning, is a good place to start. Where does your apotheosis from?

Siena Dixon: As you said, the story is really important. There are almost two pieces to it. The environment is one of the stories. You need to understand what that looks like, and then there's the interaction. So what do you want the audience to do? From a tactical standpoint, depending on what kind of core driver you're tapping into, there are different tactics that you might use. But things involving status, competition, and reputation where things like leaderboards come into play. As silly as it sounds, point scores are a feedback mechanism, and even if it's not attached to an extrinsic prize as a word, it's still giving you that positive feedback loop, which is inherent in all of this. Rewards tend to be something. They can be as simple as a coffee voucher or something far more elaborate than that. But you receive and feel positive about it, and that feeling positive part is the key ingredient. And then there are other tactics like loss aversion, so, for example, people strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains, which is an interesting concept. You are giving people points to begin with, and the potential by not engaging with it is that they lose them. Or you are doing it reverse where they're trying to build up point scores and top the leaderboard.

Kerry Guard: It's an important piece to your point of gamification and the mechanics of it. One of the things you mentioned that is interesting in all of this is the testing and learning piece of it and the data piece. My gut tells me the most important piece of data from this is everything you're saying regarding its engagement. When looking at this thing's success, it comes down to rpm, so some are using it.

Siena Dixon: The types of metrics that we look at tend to be things like engagement rates, dwell time, or even number of users or time spent on an app or a website or those kinds of things. In terms of what we see in terms of outcome, people tend to get excited by gamification, particularly in marketing. In marketing, we're trying to tell our story in a new way that will be meaningful to the audience and create a lasting impression. And that's where gamification is such a cool and powerful tactic. Statistics show that that information is remembered 3.5 times better when reinforced through a game. Our statistics certainly mirror that. They're offered, so our clients will often use engagement as a metric, but even we're seeing conversion as a metric or more these days. And now, data shows an increase from 15% to over 700% of increasing conversion, depending on the conversion. In metrics, it's astounding to see how powerful even simple liberal and gamification tactics can be.

Kerry Guard: And it's got to be rooted. I think everything you've been saying has got to make sense for your business. Any business probably can pick this up, depending on what kind of content they're trying to create. But something you've always been very clear about, too, is whether you're talking about the metaverse or gamification. Even in our talks before this got to be rooted in your values and the story you're trying to tell. It got to align with your outcomes, and then sort of begin?

Siena Dixon: We’re not just like any marketing strategy. You're not just throwing tactics out there.The first step is to understand this point, how it is being used, and what the story is being told. It's an interesting way as it relates to B2B as well. When people hear gamification, they often presume that it is a solid B2C space.

These days, more and more of our clients in the B2B space are coming to us because there are two reasons they'll often come to us. One, they're trying to increase engagement with audiences, particularly hybrid and virtual, since COVID. And often, with B2B, they have complex subject matters. They're trying to simplify that underlying message in a way that is going to be meaningful and memorable. So will often create a much more simplified narrative as the underlying game narrative. And then, within the game, create smaller experiences that gradually explain and show the benefits of what that B2B product or service might be. So over time, their audiences engage in something fun, innovative, and new. It taps into those intrinsic motivators and makes them memorable, but they're also learning things in piecemeal ways. And especially when you're dealing with complex subject matters, as you often are in the debate, it's being done in such a different way that it makes it fun and a lot more able to digest.

Kerry Guard: Let's bring this full circle for everyone. As our last moment here, Siena, before I get into my people's first rapid-fire questions. What is this thing? We've been talking about the metaphors, which we've clarified in terms of this virtual reality. But in terms of gamification and how this thing could live. Can it live basically on any piece of content? Does it have to be a certain kind of piece of content? How do you bring nothing to life?

Siena Dixon: Good question. We'll be talking about gamification more. It can be that you're employing gamification tactics within existing content. You're probably engaging with gamification daily. When you go onto LinkedIn, it says you have completed your profile 50%, or essentially all the social media platforms employ gamification tactics. Duolingo is a perfect example. They're phenomenal at employing gamification tactics. They use leaderboards and badges, leveling up and comparing against related people. It can be employing those types of things within things like content marketing. We do a lot of standalone mobile games, and that’s something that we specialize in. So that's where I'm leaning. We also do a lot of physical gamified experiences as well. It can almost live anywhere, and it could be any form of content marketing, physical, digital, or hybrid. As you say, it's all about establishing that narrative and purpose is the most important first step.

Kerry Guard: From a B2B standpoint, the easiest intro to applying gamification to what we're doing regularly is just thinking about how to give visual feedback.

Siena Dixon: Yeah, that is a great first step. How do you involve your audience in your story? How do you get them to actively make decisions and determine how far they want to go into your narrative? How do you encourage them to go deeper through positive feedback loops once they're in it?

Kerry Guard: You could almost even just apply this through the architecture of your website in that way. I think decisions are totally for the next piece of content. They want to keep them engaged and involved based on what I'm currently reading in the intent of what they're trying to accomplish. It seems, no doubt. That's what we do, but also a positive loop.

Siena Dixon: I completely agree. Make sure there's a very clear next path on your website. Stripping it back to their bones. Gamification is almost a form of interactive UX. I think that's a perfect example.

Kerry Guard: Oh my gosh, Siena, I learned much today. I wrote so many words.

Siena Dixon: I went down a lot of rabbit holes.

Kerry Guard: Social media first world like virtual identity and virtual communities. It's got its own language, which is interesting and helps. Once you have the language for something, it makes it much…

Siena Dixon: Clearer. I don't want to go down another rabbit hole. But I think that's where the metaverse is more confusing for people because they put this label on something that exists. Metaverse is almost being used interchangeably, and some people are confused that they don't understand what it is. And for other people, it's just creating a name for something that already exists.

Language is so important. It's so important. It's almost like something exists without a name, without being able to talk about it. But anyway, that's a whole theoretica discussion.

Kerry Guard: I'm just so grateful for this conversation and for having a new language around what all this means. It started to take shape for me where it lived out there that I couldn't quite grasp. It's starting to make sense. I'm so grateful. Thank you for joining me. Before we close out, you're more than a marketer like you said, and you would have a two-year-old, making you more than a marketer. Curtain back and just understand you a bit more as a person. I have three questions for you. Ready?

Siena Dixon: Okay. Let's do it.

Kerry Guard: Alright, the first question is, have you picked up any new hobbies in these last two years, given the pandemic?

Siena Dixon: Oh, gosh. No. Figuring out how we chimney things, keeping my sanity, and teaching us to eat new foods. It’s sad.

Kerry Guard: It’s not sad. It's an undertaking, and in the middle of a pandemic, no lasses. It doesn't add a whole other complexity to it. Children are absolutely happy. Next question for you. If you could be with your team in Australia or meet your clients in the states if you could be with them in person, what song would you want playing overhead sort of set the vibe of the engagement?

Siena Dixon: Oh my gosh, that's a great question. My instant reaction was some form of Mariah Carey's song because she is my sacred obsession in terms of music. I'm obsessed with The Ballads. She's so cringy, lady, but I love that. Maybe let's go with Hero.

Kerry Guard: Let's do this. Throwback Thursday. We're going to play Hero.

Siena Dixon: My music case has not evolved since my teens. So there you go.

Kerry Guard: I love the 90s. It's so exotic. Last question for you, Siena. You are not afraid of travel, having moved three times in the last few years. But if you could travel to somewhere that wasn't moving, and anywhere in the world without anything your way, whether that's testing or vaccinations or germs in general, if you could go anywhere, where would it be and why?

Siena Dixon: It's another great question. I think Morocco is top. It is top of the list. Their culture is so interesting and beautiful, and I don't know much about it. One of the best ways to learn about your culture is by experiencing it. It's probably tougher with a small one. Hopefully, it will be doable in the next few years.

Kerry Guard: Amazing. I'll have to connect on your Instagram. Follow your pictures live by Kerry. Exactly. It was so good to talk to you. Thank you so much for joining me, and I learned so much. I'm so grateful. Thank you so much.

Siena Dixon: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. It’s an interesting conversation. You made me think very deeply about things. It was wonderful. Thank you


That was my conversation with Siena Dixon. If you'd like to connect with Siena, you can find her LinkedIn profile in the show notes. You can shoot a message at

If you love spearheading the intersection of tech and content, she'd love to chat about new concepts, brainstorm how to bring new ideas to life, or discuss what it's like to work in immersive technology, hit up Siena.

Siena, thank you for joining me. It's so awesome to meet you and to have this conversation.

In the next episode, I chat with Sekou White, who just joined me on the Live Roundtable where we discussed what it means to be an audience first. Based on this conversation, I asked him to join me, and you'll see why so stay on, and autoplay will take you there.

This episode is brought to you by MKG Marketing the digital marketing agency that helps complex tech companies like cybersecurity, grow their businesses and fuel their mission through SEO, digital ads, and analytics.

Hosted by Kerry Guard, CEO co-founder MKG Marketing. Music Mix and mastering done by Austin Ellis.

If you'd like to be a guest please visit to apply.

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