Ask Wildman Live 3/17

Email Marketing, Artificial Intelligence, and Clubhouse Under Fire

Transcript

Miles: [00:00:00] Good morning, happy Wednesday. My name is Miles Bassett, and this is Ask Wildman.

Hello everyone, like I said, my name is Miles Bassett. I’m the CEO and founder here at Wildman Web Solutions. We host this open Q and A live every Wednesday, live streaming to our Facebook, YouTube, and now Twitch channel. Hopefully doing some other social channels moving forward. But like I said, this is an open Q and A, so we’re here to answer your questions. Anything you want to ask us about business technology, marketing, advertising or if you just wanna jump in and ask us how our day is, we will do our best to answer that. So please, if you have any questions throughout the entirety of the segment throw your questions in the comments below.

If you’re catching this later, you’re not watching us live. You can still get in on that action. And ask us some questions by emailing us your questions at askwildman@wildmanweb.com I do have that address scrolling below me here in that crawler.

Okay. So, we’re going to get going today by bringing in Mike Hannah, Mike, you ready? You better be. Cause I’m adding you.

Mike: [00:04:02] I’ve never been more ready for anything in my life. Good, sir. Happy St. Patrick’s Day and a good morning to you. How in the heck are you doing on this fine morning, Miles?

Miles: [00:04:12] I’m good. I’m good. Turning the season’s always fun with the seasonal allergies and everything, but I do love St. Patrick’s Day. If you can’t tell by the slight red in the beard, there’s definitely some heritage there. We’re gonna be celebrating over here at the back of the household.

Mike: [00:04:26] Where’s your green at?

Miles: [00:04:30] Ooh, that is a sin. That is a sin right there. I totally forgot about that whole thing. I was just excited about the drinking part later.
Mike: [00:04:38] At least you said later. Yeah. We’re going to have to do something about that Miles, or you will get the crap beat out of you for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day that’s at least my experience.

I’ve tried that once before, I’m a little bit of a contrarian and yeah, it didn’t end up too well for me, but yeah, in my family everyday’s St. Patrick’s Day. So, I’ve forgotten to wear green as well.

Miles: [00:05:04] Yeah. I guess benefit of COVID times is there’s no one here, so at least I get a little benefit there, but if you want to come over and give it a try, you’re more than welcome fightin Irish here.

So, we got a comment coming in here already. Chelsea looks like having some audio issues. I’ve got to test it over here and I think we’re live and we have good audio. So, check on your end here. But if anyone else can’t hear us, please let me know. Or if you can hear me, let me know. Okay.

Mike: [00:05:28] Yeah, Chelsea, let us know if it’s one of us specifically that may be having the issue, but yeah, definitely want to get that dialed in before we go any farther. Cause we got some good stuff to talk about today.

Miles: [00:05:40] I guess that’s probably a good time to lead into the fact that we are putting this out in an audio version. We’re going to be publishing out all of the Ask Wildmans, at least the audio part of it as a podcast here very shortly. If we haven’t already, we haven’t actually done that yet. Right?

Mike: [00:05:55] That’s a good question. That’s a question for our…

Miles: [00:05:57] You’re supposed to be in charge of this.

Mike: [00:05:57] I’m really just casually overseeing the operation. Our queen of content, Anna is the executive chief and operator of that entire task force. So, I will message her on the back channels and see if we can get an estimated ETA on that. But I do know it is coming very, very soon and bless her heart because what she’s doing right now, she’s going back through the entire year.

Cause we’ve been doing this show for a year now, Miles. She’s going back through the entire 50 plus episodes and logging them and creating the podcast. So, we start from episode one and then we’ll be dropping all 50 plus at once here. So, once it happens, my goodness. Are you guys going to have a lot of Wildman audio to listen to?

Miles: [00:06:41] I’m really interested actually, to listen to that backlog and hear how we’ve changed over time, because I know at least for me, I know you’ve had some experience on air your days in radio. But this was a very new thing to me putting myself on video, putting myself out, especially live. And I, at least, I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better at it, a lot more comfortable with it.

I’m really interested to hear how that goes. And I guess I’ll use that opportunity to throw in our first tip of the day for Ask Wildman and that is if you’re not uncomfortable doing something give it a shot. Anyway, it might grow on you. Especially if it’s something as valuable as putting out content like this we’ve talked before about how the algorithms really favor live video.

If that’s not something you’re doing, because maybe it’s not your favorite thing in the world to be on camera, maybe give it a shot. And see if you get any better at it.

Mike: [00:07:30] Yeah, that’s a great point Miles. Yeah, I think that’s really good advice, not only for content creation, but for business in general, if you feel uncomfortable, if it’s scary, if you have a little bit of fear which of course stands for false evidence appearing real, that probably means you’re about to do something really good and that you’re on the right path.

And nothing great was ever done before a little bit of fear happened before it actually was achieved. And so, it’s actually a really good sign and it’s something that we should embrace and not do the opposite of what fear stands for. And that is F everything and run.

We have to understand that it’s false evidence appearing real and and then move forward and test things because the great thing about just doing, and I was actually in a conversation the other day with somebody and they asked, well, what’s the difference between a wantrepreneur and an entrepreneur?

And I said, well, a wantrepreneur debates, and an entrepreneur does. And there’s obviously more differences than that, but when you really just boil down to that, it’s the people that want to do things and want to build things and want to, do X, Y, and Z.

They’ll sit around and they’ll debate, and they’ll hedge. And they’ll say, well, let’s wait for a sunny day because we couldn’t do it on a cloudy day, and the opposite are people who just go out and just do it. And sometimes they fail and that’s okay. That’s actually great. And failure is awesome.

And we need to learn to love failure because it just makes us better. And it teaches us, and it learns. And, I really believe strongly that, regret, which is something that is maybe the most poison thing in the world is really, the kind of regret that really creates that poison is based around when we don’t do something, rather than when we do do something.

Because when we do do something and it fails, we may have a little bit, brief moment of regret and, our ego gets a little bruised or whatever, but if we can learn something from that and take that and apply it in the future, then we actually, we just did ourselves a favor. And so, we shouldn’t regret those things that we do, but when we don’t do something, then later on, we always have that.

What if feeling? Or God like. Did I miss a huge opportunity and that’s the stuff that just eats away at you over time? And whether we’re talking about anything in life, really, but especially content creation. Yeah. You guys got to put the fears aside and you just got to go and do it, and you have to understand that if it feels uncomfortable, that’s actually a good thing and a strength.

And that’s how we grow, nobody goes to the gym and just lifts feather weights and expects to get bigger. It’s no pain, no gain is the same. And that’s exactly true and everything that we do so great point there Miles. How’s our audio Chelsea, by the way, are we doing okay before we go?

Miles: [00:10:21] It looks like we got confirmation on the audio. So, I think we’re good. And this is all not to say that you should just go out and do the first thing that pops into your mind at all times, and that’s going to lead you to success. So, I’ll just throw in one, one word of caution in here and that is that planning is still good. Thinking about it is still good. Doing some tests and measuring things, of course is still good. We’re definitely not advocating that you just go out and try stuff willy nilly. You think about it and have that little debate with yourself. But if you’re at that place where you’re starting to think, am I ready?

You’ve started to ask that question. It’s probably time to make that leap because you’re never going to feel completely right. I think Mike, you and I were talking a few days ago and you made the analogy of, it’s like having kids. At some point, you just got to jump into it because you’re never going to feel a hundred percent ready to make that leap into that next stage of your life.

That decision is always going to feel a little bit premature, but at some point, you just got to go. You just got to trust yourself and go.

Mike: [00:11:19] Yeah, that’s a hundred percent Miles and we agree, but I think maybe we have a little bit of degree of also, differentiation on this point. And that may…

Miles: [00:11:32] Uh-oh, I think we lost him there. That’s what you get for disagreeing with me, Mike. All right. Let’s see if I can’t get him back on here. What the hell just happened?
Well, I’ll use this time while he’s gone to throw in the point that it’s important to have a good business partner, one that you can disagree with, and that brings you other valuable insights and ones that you come at it from a different angle. Speaking of contrarian partners. I think I got them back here. Yes. There we go.

Mike: [00:12:14] I don’t know what happened there. I got a whoops sorry message and I figured I wasn’t on the air anymore, but yeah, I just heard your last point there about partners is that that’s actually an ideal situation. You always want a healthy amount of disagreement I think in a partnership. If everybody is like too on the same page, then you’re going to get blinded easily and it’s just becomes like a yes man or a yes woman scenario where you’re just getting confirmation bias over and over again. And then obviously if you’re two total polar opposites, that is just not going to work.

I think just our personalities, I’m a little bit more risk taker. You’re a little bit more of a planner and so that actually balances out quite well. Because I almost would tell people, just because this is the way I do it, I’m not saying that this is right.

It’s probably not. It’s just the way that I’m wired is I would rather have 15 plates spinning at once and drop 10 of them and then have five that are like really spinning, then have three plates spinning and like just endlessly planning out to get, how do I get to the other two plates? But people work different ways and what works for me is not going to work for other people, but that’s just the way I am. And I’m totally okay with losses. Like I’m not trying to ever have an undefeated season. I want some L’s because like Miles, this is probably going to go a little bit sports guy nerd on you for a little bit here, but everybody’s filling out their brackets right now. Okay. And everybody’s picking Gonzaga to win. Most of the experts are because they’re undefeated. If they do, it’s going to be the first time since 1974 or 76 or something like that, that there’s been an undefeated team in the NCAA. I’m willing to bet money right now. If anybody wants to jump in the contents, the Gonzaga’s knock and win the NCAA tournament, just because they’re undefeated and they haven’t been tested in months because they play in a week conference. And so, I’m putting my money on teams like the Big 10. I always pick KU to win no matter what in my bracket. But in terms of individually betting on games I’m going to pick teams that have losses but have been tested.

We’re going down a rabbit hole here, but do we have some questions?

Miles: [00:14:24] Not how I planned on starting off the show here, but I think it was some valuable information there.

Mike: [00:14:28] I’m not trying to have an undefeated season. That was the point.

Miles: [00:14:32] All right. I’ll just tie this back to the beginning here. This is an open Q and A, so anyone who wants to jump in with some questions, you’ve had some business troubles or you’re trying out something new. Ask us something about marketing, technology, business in general and we’ll hit you here, but we do have a couple of issues that have come up over the last week.

A couple of things have come in through the emails. And so, I wanted to dedicate a certain amount of this time this week to talk about a subject where I know you and I have disagreed in the past. So, this will be a little bit interesting and see how things go and that is AI or artificial intelligence.

So quick caveat out there as I am the tech side of the house. So, I want to put this out there for any of my tech friends that may be listening. Yes. We’re not talking about true artificial intelligence. This is not nothing that’s even touching the Turing test. Or no Ex-Machina style stuff here.

This is really more machine learning, big data processing, stuff like that, where we can use technology to look at a massive amount of data and make intelligent decisions based on that input. This is a massive amount of data that no human could really look at in any sort of realistic timeline and make any decisions.

Whereas some of the big data processing units or some of the, you know, what was being referred to in the digital marketing world is AI can look at these systems for these large piles of data and instantly process all of it and make an intelligent decision based on all of this information. So that’s what we’re going to be talking about here, but what I want to hit on for people is where in the context of small business, digital advertising, Is AI useful?

Where should you be leveraging it or at least be considering it and where should you maybe stay away from it? Because it’s being marketed all over the place. The number of times I see an AI powered; this AI powered that. And so, I wanted to get some information out there to you guys about where you should actually be considering using this and where maybe it’s not quite ready or maybe it’s never going to be there.

I know I lean a little bit heavier on the tech side and leveraging these things a little bit more. Whereas Mike, I think that you’ve disagreed with me on a couple of things as to where AI can actually be used.

Mike: [00:16:40] Humanity first.

Miles: [00:16:41] Yeah. See I’m on the side of the Terminator here. So, I want to go through a couple of points here where I think it can be used.

And then also point out a couple of places where, maybe you shouldn’t and also get your feedback on it. So, the first point I had here was in PPC advertising. This is pay-per-click advertising. Biggest player here is obviously in Google, Google ads, search engine as SEM. I think that it can be incredibly useful in large scale PPC campaigns.

So, if you’re doing something smaller, you’re doing something hyper-targeted, and you have the ability to create very specialized, very personalized content for your audience yourself. Then that’s obviously a better play, but if you’re looking at higher volume, you’re looking at these huge scale PPC marketing campaigns, then I think AI can be a huge help to just analyze all of that information.

Utilizing these machine learning algorithms can really help you to optimize everything from your layout to your copywriting, your targeting bidding in certain Types of PPC marketing you’re bidding for ad space. And these machine learning systems can make decisions, good decisions, much faster than you’re going to be able to, and actually see much greater returns because of that.

I think the biggest win here is in search marketing because search engines are themselves the same kind of system. It has this machine learning algorithms built into the search engine. Those search algorithms are built on the same premises. So, if you can optimize your search engine marketing campaigns, utilizing the same systems that actually build search engines themselves, you’re going to be working with them rather than against them.

And I think the data shows that you’re going to see much higher returns in the long run than if you are really trying to take it all on yourself, take it all in house and do it by hand or do it with humans? Now do you have any input on that? Just AI in PPC advertising in general.

Mike: [00:18:36] Yeah, I think you bring up a good point there Miles actually two good points. I think that you’re right, that, AI helps tremendously with pulling the data and putting it into something that we can as humans analyze and utilize for strategic purposes.

But I don’t think it’s the end all be all I think where we maybe disagree is that, not necessarily that one of these should be a complete extreme one way or the other, but maybe you would let the machines do more of the work. And I would let the humans do more of the collaborating with the machines.

And maybe there’s just a varying degree of difference between our two points here. But I still think that the humans are the ones who have to take that data and they have to apply it then strategically to, okay, then what do we do next? And not just default to letting the AI make that next decision, if that makes sense.

And so, I think there has to be a point where the human step in and take over the decision-making process and use that AI is just a way to filter the data faster, not necessarily better. The place though that I really pushed back on the programmatic digital AI side is on the creative but Miles, and I’ve actually been testing this a little bit with some of our client campaigns, as a matter of fact on Facebook, I’m starting to come back off of this position a little bit because their product with dynamic creative, which basically lets AI create different sequences of creative to be shown to different people, depending on who they are, has advanced to the point where it is getting pretty gosh, darn good. Now it’s still up to us, the humans and the creators to feed them the appropriate amount of context of, excuse me, the appropriate amount of contextualized content. Like we still have to feed the machine appropriately, but that machine is getting really, really good at serving the right ads to the right people. Where 12, 18 months ago, it was not in this, we were having a different conversation. I am starting to bend a little bit more on that. And then on your point about search, I do think that that is an astute point that, the AI is talking to AI in that scenario.

And so maybe I am in this instance becoming a little bit more open to your argument here, but I still really want the humans in the catbird seat of all the decision-making processes and in the creative decision-making process, especially because you know what we found and we’ve even been playing with some AI creative tools on the backend here at Wildman, Miles. And one of the things that I think that the AI still has challenges with are the two, a bad pun here, the human elements, the feelings, the emotional poise, and that they are really good at the technical side of things at the data side of things, the scientific side of things, but they don’t have that human intuition, that human emotion, and so much of selling so much of marketing so much a buying processed is actually paced on emotion.

A lot of people get that confused. I think it’s a lot, right? And it’s not, most people they buy on emotion and then they rationalize it later with logic. You really have to be involved and in tune with that process. And that’s really where I think that the AI falls short.

But its conversation is evolving and changing in their favor all the time. So, I guess that’s my reaction to that from an advertising standpoint.

Miles: [00:22:10] Yeah. And I think throughout this entire conversation, we can lay the groundwork of at no point are either of us arguing for a completely one-sided solution here, probably there’s going to be some balance in between.

I don’t think in any of these situations, a computer can just take it run. But there are places where these tools can be leveraged more than People necessarily understand that they can. That’s the point that I’m making here and also, and this kind of ties back into a conversation I think we were having two weeks ago, maybe on this show that is the tactic versus the strategy where you have to keep in mind that there is an overarching strategy. You still have a marketing plan, a marketing strategy, and then underneath that you have these tools that you’re using. So, these AI or machine learning, or big data algorithm style things I think are really effective tools, but at no point, should they replace a truly custom built and human created marketing strategy, but you tied into the next point I wanted to make here.

So, I’m just gonna move on to highly personalized website experience. You talked about creating a personalized experience utilizing these AI tools. And that’s one thing I’ve seen. It’s really interesting and upfront when they first started introducing this technology, I was very critical of it because it wasn’t very good, but it’s gotten a lot better.

And so, I’m really interested in seeing where this goes. Two ways that I’ve seen this used successfully is just on a website experience where basically you can plug in this bot and by analyzing hundreds of data points about a single user, basically all of the third-party data that we’ve been talking about information where they are, their location is location, demographics what device they’re using past interactions with your website or with your social media or with, I don’t know, your email campaigns or whatever.

It can use all that information to tailor the website, display to them so that they are having a highly personalized experience of your website as a whole. So, when they land on your website, they’re not just seeing the same thing that everyone else is seeing. It’s actually displaying something different in text content and imagery, and even in overall layout, depending on who you are.

Where you’re looking at the site from how you’ve utilized this brand before, how you’ve interacted with this brand before is this your first time seeing this brand or is it the hundred thousand? Are you a long-time loyal customer in that case? You’re going to see something very different. Like I said, up front, when this first came out, I really didn’t like it because mostly it was used for like multi location businesses where they would show a different website for the location in Denver versus their location in Chicago.

And search engines really didn’t like it, they saw it as a template type of thing. And it was almost like you were misleading clients to make it seem like you were a local business when you weren’t. And as I say on the show all the time, I think the key to all of this is authenticity.

So, if you were at any point trying to Display yourself or position yourself as something that you’re not, I think that there’s a problem there, but like I said, it’s really gotten a whole lot better and is tying into some of the amazing, the power of third-party information that we’ve been able to access on other aspects of digital marketing and pushing that into the website experience.

So, leveraged properly, I think that could actually be a really cool way to leverage AI. And another one before I toss it over to you is actually on the mobile side of things getting popups and push notifications and those kinds of More interrupting style content, where you can, based on how someone’s been using your stuff, or someone’s been interacting with your brand, you can send specific push notifications.

So, we were talking with a potential client a few weeks ago about using a geo-fence for marketing and for push notifications. It’s a natural extension of that, where you are pushing a specific piece of content directly into the hands of a user based on their interactions with your brand, their demographic, their geographic location, and all the other data that we can get on them. But overall, just personalizing the online experience of your audience to your brand.

Mike: [00:26:28] Yeah. That’s a great point there, Miles, I think I’m on board fully with all of those things. Actually. I’m not giving it a push back much on that stuff. I was a little hesitant, as you said maybe a year or two ago about the AI technology with the websites and showing people, different images, different copy, different texts.

Like I said, with the Facebook dynamic creative, I think that technology has come quite a bit of a long ways in the last like I said, maybe I forget time is I don’t know, last 12 months then like last 12 years, but I think it’s been, really within the last year and a half, I would say that technology is really coming to the forefront and you know what that does now, just to put it in some sort of a real world context is maybe in the past where we’d have to create different landing pages for, a different service and send traffic to these different landing pages based on what ads they were clicking. Now we can basically send them to one place and off, off of the ad and based off of what they’re clicking, show them a different a different piece of copy, a different image, a different call to action, and really just make it a unique website for each individual person that comes there. Which if it’s done right, can be completely in the favor of the business. So, I think that I had much pushback for you on those things.

Miles: [00:27:45] Okay. We can hit into one of the broader topics that I think that you’ve touched on a couple of times, and that is just content creation in general.

Because that is, that’s a huge thing that’s a huge subject there. It covers a lot more than just your weekly Facebook posts or whatever it is. So, I think there are a couple of places where AI can really be used in content creation and a couple of places where it’s not there yet at least. Though I think that it’s probably getting there, especially on the text side of things is natural language generation on the tech side is getting just leaps and bounds better by the, I was going to say by the year, but held by the month by the week. Where, looking at it now, if you just segment off the top, we’re talking about big, huge business, fortune 500 style businesses.

Something like 20% of their content is being said internally and externally in their company is completely 100% generated by machines. By robots. So, there’s probably some stuff that you’re in there that you interact with on a daily basis that was written by a machine and you have no idea. So, there are some places basically where something can be structured.

And again, just talking on the tech side of things here where that text can be very structured reports I’m seeing here on this list, a P and L summaries core business reports stock insights. Then there’s a couple of places that are there’s, they’re structured as well, but you don’t think of it in the same list.

I was talking about internal reporting or even reporting to clients about stuff. Machines can be very good at that kind of thing, but there are other very structured things that you don’t really think about. Like, sports recaps, half the articles on ESPN are written by a robot, because all it has to say is here’s what happened in the game.

And you can actually listen, watch the game and pretty much tell you what happened with some very minimal editing. So, there’s a lot of places where structured text can be taken out of human hands and generated completely on a hundred percent by a machine. And then there’s the other side of things where it’s more just an augmentation, which I think is more what you’ve been playing with.

For content creation we’re talking about emails or social media posts or website content, blog, content, where, you know, having a machine completely write a book for you or write even a blog post is probably not the best way to go. Or at least I don’t think either of us would recommend that.

It can start you off. It can give you a bunch of ideas based on a theme. If you input this theme, it can spit out 10 different ideas and you can riff on one or more of those. It can give you a general outline for a larger blog post. So, there’s a lot of ways where it can help augment the creativity and the output of a good content writer, if not totally replace it.

Mike: [00:30:35] Yeah, there’s a lot of incredible tools how terrible housing and they’re getting better all the time. I think that this one knows the one word that I will give you the biggest pushback on even though becoming more open to it. I’m an open-minded guy, but it goes back to what I was saying a little bit before is that there’s so much stuff that AI cannot quite figure out yet.

And it has to do with the human experience, the human emotion and really human psychology. And this really depends on what we’re asking it to do, because if we’re just asking it to do an informational article, it can do that. You made the great point about the ESPN article.

It can certainly handle it. It can read a box score and put that into paragraph form and spit that stuff out all day long. Okay. But is that good marketing. It is not, a lot of people do marketing like that. They just inform people. They’re like, Hey, we exist. And here’s what we do did we mention we exist? and unfortunately that is a lot of marketing, but it’s not good. It doesn’t work. And so, can AI persuade and that’s where I think it, it fails at this point. And you still need to have a human hand heavily in the process in the creative process of messaging when we’re talking about marketing and advertising, but here comes the big button.

AI can play a huge role in helping us do more, do it better and scale, our writing or our copywriting, so to speak. And so, what, and what’s happening right now with agencies all across the country is that they’re using this technology to do the background research, to write first drafts.

And, when things that a lot of times that they were farming out to people in India or Bangladesh or wherever, to do this kind of stuff cheap because it takes, that’s the stuff that takes a lot of work and you have to have a lot of data and you have to have a lot of information first, but then it takes somebody with a higher level of skillset to take all that information, that data, and actually turn it into a persuasive piece of writing that is going to sell something.

But first I have to have all that and I have to have all that information, and so for people like us, that we deal with a wide range of business categories, right? We do every business category almost under the sun or we’ll do, but when we go into a space, if it’s a space that I haven’t worked with, and luckily, I’ve worked with almost all of them out there at this point, we have to do a whole lot of research manually, with our brains and our fingers and our hands and our eyes in order to even start to speak to that client, let alone for that client.

And so that’s an area where I think that AI can really accelerate that learning process and bring people up to speed. So, to speak on that, for example, like I can’t even begin to talk about a car dealership until I know what an up is until I know what force squaring is until I know that they make the most of their money from the finance and their repair department than actually selling cars.

Like these are all the things that I need to know and much more before I could ever intelligently speak on behalf of a car dealership. And so, what AI tools could do is they could give me all that information within a few strokes of my fingertips and then, but I still need to synthesize that information.

And then more importantly, reverse engineer that information. That’s something that the customer ends up caring about and communicate with them through that way. And that’s something that I. Maybe in 18 months we’ll have a totally different discussion about this, but that’s something that I still think that AI is not there yet.

And I don’t see it getting there within 18 months. Because it’s something that even most human beings aren’t there yet, this is something that is a lifelong skill to acquire through lots of pain and suffering and tears of being a sales copywriter. I’ll write a book about it someday now.

So, you have to understand human psychology and that’s really what, we’re, what we’re getting into an area of discussion that we find ourselves getting into a lot of miles. Oh, because it has so much to do with marketing and sales. I just don’t think the AI can quite do even what the average human is able to do right at this point. And yeah, that’s my 2 cents on it. We may have a different discussion, like I said, in 18-24 months, but I’d like to see humans get to the point where they’re writing more persuasive ad copy than just inform that copy. And there may be a day where AI accelerates past most of us, but I don’t think that they’ll ever get to the tippy tippy top of what humans have been able to accomplish in that realm.

Miles: [00:35:17] Yeah. This technology is changing all the time and what it can and can’t do is changing. And at least for me, it’s surprising me every time. It takes a huge leap forward we’ll stay on top of it. That’s why we’re playing with some of these tools. Not necessarily because we advocate for all of them.

So, with them. Some of them do suck. But because it’s just so that we know what is working, what is not working and where inappropriate place to use. Some of these things are, especially for smaller businesses. I think that it can be a huge win for them. If you don’t have an in-house copywriter, if you don’t have an in-house marketing team and maybe you can’t afford to fully hire out an agency like us little tools like this can serve to augment what you do have and made should make you a lot more effective, which leads me into, I think probably the last one I want to bring up here because I do want to hit some other stuff today.

And that is something that I know you’ve been going on for awhile and something where we definitely agree. AI can be used here if utilized properly. And that is chatbots chat bots are, have been growing immensely over the last let’s say year. Two years when they started off, it was just this annoying thing that popped up and tried to sell you something.

Or it was really just a complicated pop-up. It was really annoying for most people, but it’s developed into a very powerful tool that can be utilized in a number of ways. It can be used to qualify leads as they’re coming in, so that you’re not just getting a bunch of tire kickers coming through your website.

It can serve as a filtering tool. So, it’s getting your customers to the right place faster. They’re answering some base answering some basic questions for you. If you’re getting the same questions all the time you can program those in and save you or your call center, your front desk, or whatever, a bunch of time by getting those questions answered in a chat bot. Or like I said, filtering them through so that they’re talking to the right department, the right people that can answer those questions faster rather than sitting on hold and being transferred five times to the wrong department. And even now there are some tools that are allowing them to make sales directly through the chat bot, so it can integrate with your e-commerce tool and ask them about things.

Before the show, I was actually looking for a good example of this and found one on one of your favorite sites, the content marketing Institute. It was actually a brand that I’m not that familiar with. And I don’t think that you are either in that Sephora, the makeup company, obviously not one of us, are really…

Mike: [00:37:41] Not in the market.

Miles: [00:37:42] No, but we have people in our life that are anyway, so I was checking that out. And if you go to their website, their chat bot is actually really cool. And it starts off by giving you a little quiz to figure out where you are in their marketing segment. Cause, as anyone who understands makeup at all understands, like that’s a very personalized thing.

Yep. And so, they use this as that filtering tool to figure it out what your preferences are, what categories you fall in, what you’re really going to be looking for. And it uses this to just deliver that quiz in a very personalized and conversational way that people actually appreciate. And it’s not, it doesn’t feel as intrusive because it is so personalized

And because it is delivered in that conversational way, it’s not just a pop-up that says, take our quiz. It’s delivered to you as if it were a person like you’re walking in the, into the store and a salesperson comes up to you and starts asking you some questions to figure out what it is you’re looking for.

It’s a very natural interaction, which I think should be the goal throughout all this. I think both of us would agree. Whenever utilizing some tools like this, whenever getting into machine learning or AI or whatever you want to call this you have to make sure that your interactions are at least seeming very natural because it can get very robotic very quickly. So, I think that should always be a goal, but chatbots, Mike, what do you think?

Mike: [00:39:06] Very bullish on chatbots Miles. Yes. Yes. Buy buy buy buy. I think that they’re awesome tools for many of the reasons that you just stated, so I won’t regurgitate them, but that’s something else that’s getting better all the time, but I think that may be, let me think for a second.

It may be the most underutilized tool right now for small businesses, meaning that’s something that I think every small business should integrate, and I’d say the majority of them haven’t. And so, it’s really a great way, especially if you’re doing leads, it’s a great way to qualify your leads.

You just touched on the e-commerce aspects of it. It can literally run your e-commerce store for you, but I also think one of the most important things, and another thing that you touched on is being able to be that bridge to quickly connect somebody with a human, and you may think isn’t it a step away from the human and not necessarily because humans are obviously it’s a limited resource.

And so, you can’t have, touchpoints with humans, with all of your customers. Once you get to a certain volume of customers, that are coming to your website or your social media page or visiting even your store. And so, you have to leverage an automation through a bot in order to have that initial touch point, figure out how you can best serve them and then get them to the appropriate person who’s best suited to handle that need or that want that they’re searching for.

And so that’s something that yeah, I think, everybody needs to take a hard look and a hard audit their business and see how they can leverage chat bots to communicate better with their customers, get more information from their customers and connect quicker and deeper with their customers. But lots of things that you can do.

And just from an advertising standpoint, too, if you’re running a a leader, a sale, campaign on Facebook, and you’re not at least testing the chatbots in that campaign, I think you’re leaving money on the table. That it’s that effective at raising your conversion rate? That it’s, you just have to have a damn good reason why you’re not doing that in my mind.
Otherwise, you’d just leave money on the table Miles.

Miles: [00:41:17] So yeah, things are getting better all the time and integrating with more things. I know we talked about chatbots integrating with e-commerce solutions. They’re also starting to integrate with emailing solutions and text message, marketing solutions and other methods of communication.

So, you can really build this sort of omni-channel marketing campaign all based around the AI that powers your chat bot. So, I think that’s a really cool place to start and to integrate with, again, your overall marketing strategy, which is built by a real human person.

Mike: [00:41:48] And Miles if I could just have one, add one more thing onto this, that’s a little bit of deviation, just speaking of automation and this isn’t technically a chat bot, but like I said, same wheelhouse. And again, maybe next week Miles, we need to do our episode dedicated to voice and everything about voice, but Alexa skills and automations through voice are the next frontier. It’s here. That I think small businesses should be looking at, to use internally, meaning that there’s a lot of things that you can automate in terms of your internal communication organization through voice.

And then also externally in terms of how you’re advertising to your customers and how those customers are given the ability to find you through voice search. So, I just wanted to add that briefly as a tack onto the end of discussion Miles.

Miles: [00:42:36] Yeah, and like I said, I want to I want to move on and hit a couple of other points today. I don’t want to spend the entire show on this, but hopefully you guys have found this interesting. We do have a question in the comments that ties into a point I almost thought about including in this list. So, I think we’ll probably hit it here. But I want to use this opportunity to just circle back and say, this is an open Q and A so please don’t make this isn’t a lecture.

This is supposed to be an us to you knowledge transfer things. So, if you have any input on any of this, you have any experience on any of this, or you have any questions regarding anything we’re talking about or anything wildly different. You can throw that in the comments below or email us your questions to askwildman@wildmanweb.com.

We’ll also have lots of information on all of this on our website while men web.com. You can check that out for some more resources. If you like what we’re doing here, you think this information is valuable. Please give us a follow @wildmanweb on all social channels. You can also subscribe to our email list.

We actually just sent one out this morning with some really interesting content. I think we may be posting some of those in blog form to the website later, but if you’re on our email list, you get that stuff first before anyone else. I think there’s even a Rodney Dangerfield quote in there on one of those.

So, make sure to subscribe to our email list on our website for all of that premium content question, though, from one of our favorite regular viewers, Mr. Jeff Frye, any tips on how to best use a large mailing list. So, I actually, I almost included. Email marketing in my list of things to use an email use AI on for a couple of reasons here.

And that is a prime candidate for content creation, curation and personalization, which I think is probably how we’re going to tie all of this up. If you are using as a tool on any of these mediums or in any of these strategies, you should be utilizing it as of right now, not as your content creator, not as your primary marketing person, because it can’t do it.

At least it won’t be able to do it well, but you can use it for content curation and content personalization. So, on emails, I think that’s one of the biggest wins there. The all of the data shows that the highest converting emails are those that are personalized. You can do that in a couple of different ways by creating marketing segments.

And AI can help you to do that by analyzing users’ actions, how they behave again with your brand online, how they interact with your website, how they’ve interacted with your emails that have been sent out before or anything else that we can measure out there and segment out that audience into separate little buckets that you interact with in slightly different ways.

And it can personalize your email content based on that segmentation and any other data that it can get its hands on. Like I said earlier, demographic, geographic location to age, whatever any kind of metadata they can pull on about that person, and it can personalize your email. So, you’ve written 95% of that email, that content came from you, but there’s a couple of little points, a couple of little elements in there that they can tweak to really make it feel like a personalized email sent out to a hundred, a thousand, a million people.

And so, I think that’s where you can really utilize the tools that we were talking about today. Utilize artificial intelligence, machine learning algorithms to maximize your conversion rate on even the largest of mailing lists.

Mike: [00:46:08] Yeah. Great points there, Miles and a good question for sure. AI and even things like just testing headlines. And, or excuse me, subject lines can be really big and there’s tools out there to do it, or you can just do it manually. That’s something that if I had a really big list and we got to define, really big lists, thousands and thousands I would certainly be doing a lot of testing.

And the other thing I would be doing, segmenting which Miles mentioned a little bit there and then contextualizing the content which he touched on as well, to that, so you could segment it in many different ways. You could segment it in terms of, Hey, these are people who are interested in certain products or services.

These are people at different stages of the buying funnel. You can segment it by demographic, whatever you think is most relevant to your business and your audience and the messaging. That’s going to connect the two. But certainly if you have a huge list, the message that you’re going to send out to everybody is not going to be the most effective one, and so you need to segment out that list, contextualize it a little bit and even go a little bit further into what miles was talking about in terms of actually personalizing it, and there’s ways that you could do that, where you can actually, you don’t put each individual person’s name in the subject line, which of course will dramatically increase that open rate.

And so, there are some AI tools out there. His mouse was alluding to that can do that kind of stuff for you. The real big thing, beyond that, just big picture wise, Jeff is being consistent with it, putting out a schedule, so to speak and you stick to that of what you’re going to deliver. And then always remember the jab jab, jab, right hook going back to the very helpful book by Gary V you always want to be delivering at least three to one value. Based content compared to what you’re going to ask. So always be over-delivering on content. And again, content is something that are, excuse me, on valuable content.

We define value as something that is informative, educational or entertaining and educational being the most important one that is going to matter to your end user, to your audience. And then of course, the other thing that you can do beyond just an email list Jeff is you can use that list itself across pretty much any advertising platform out there.

And you can create what’s called a custom audience. So, for example, on Facebook, we could take that list and we can upload it into Facebook and create a custom audience based out of people that are on that list. And then only send ads to people who are on that list. So, in that instance, you can really start to contextualize your ad content.

Excuse me. And really, of course, that, of course brings in more attention, which brings in more engagement, which brings in more results. The other thing you can do from that is then create, what’s called a lookalike audience. So, Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever platform you’re using, they’ll take that list that made your custom audience.

And they’ll basically say, okay, this is the demographics of everybody in this list. We’re now going to create a look alike audience based on people who don’t engage with you, but who fit those same demographics, who are like the people who you’re trying to target. And that can be a great way to reach new audience and convert.

It’s still, a cold audience. They don’t know you, but it’s warm in the sense that they’re just like the people who. Are your core hot audience. So that can be a great hack when you’re doing paid advertising if you have a list, always, always, always utilize a custom audience and a lookalike audience and use that data to your advantage.

And as we moved forward, with the the end of third-party data, which is rapidly happening this is going to be even more important. So, everybody’s goal should be to have a large list. So, you can have this this question that Jeff has asked because that’s the first step is get that list built up. It’s incredibly important to have zero first party data right now, moving forward.

Miles: [00:50:01] Yeah. And that’s one thing I think that AI could play a role in some of these tools could play a role in the shifting of the usage and provision of third-party data. In that, maybe Apple isn’t sharing third-party data with marketing tools anymore.

Maybe Google will stop sharing third-party data with marketing tools, but if you are leveraging these AI tools and collecting data yourself about user’s interactions and their metadata and how they’re interacting with your website and with your brand, then. Hypothetically, if you had a large enough audience and you were collecting enough data, then you could start crafting these types of campaigns and leveraging that data in a similar way to how we’re currently leveraging Google’s third-party data and Apple’s third-party data and all of this information that we’re getting from different sources.

So, I think that the tools we’re talking about now for collecting information for curating content and for personalizing content, for a specified org audience segmentation I think is going to be key moving forward as these third-party data rules and restrictions modify themselves as they adapt and as the, as they change into the future.

I think we’ve probably hit on on this subject enough where we’re coming up on an hour on it here. Mike, did you have anything on your side that you wanted to hit? And in the meantime, if you guys have any questions, please throw those in the comments and we will hit those as well before before signing off for the day.

Mike: [00:51:29] I think I just have a couple of quick things to add in here. First of all, I want to add another point quickly to Jeff’s question and that is Jeff. If or for anybody out there, if on your list, you have a phone numbers take a hard look at how you can use a text messaging platform effectively and leverage that.

There’s a lot of opportunity out there right now with text messaging platform. You just have to be smart and strategic about it. And don’t jump into it without a plan. Going back to our first discussion in me giving a little bit of a I have a nod to Melissa’s point there, but you definitely that’s something to be looking at too with your list and you’re in your first party as your third-party data.

Okay. Yeah, a couple of quick things I had yeah, the newsletter we put out a newsletter today, make sure you open that. Had some good stuff in there about messaging and Anna put in some important information about your Instagram reach and a way to avoid that being curtailed. And yeah Miles, we don’t just have a Rodney Dangerfield quote in the newsletter. We actually have a Rodney Dangerfield. Quote, Rodney Dangerfield, YouTube video, and a Steven Wright YouTube video. So, some fun entertainment as also some great secrets to unlock in that article about marketing messaging and how you should be using that to get attention, which of course is the name of the game from your audience.

So, make sure you check that out and then Miles. You know me, I can’t get away without at least mentioning clubhouse once okay on the show, but this actually dives into my only, this is my only news update for the week. Okay. It was a light news week. So, I didn’t have a good powerhouse new segment for you this week, but I don’t want to leave you empty handed.
And this news update just happens to deal with my favorite subject so, you know, I couldn’t resist and that is clubhouse has come under some fire for some regulators and France who have opened up an investigation based on a complaint from a German regulator into are they protecting user data enough?

And so, this is interesting on multiple levels, mainly just because I’m obsessed with clubhouse, which is an audio only emerging platform that you all should check out. You all should follow at my Cana at miles Bassett and join her club, Kansas City entrepreneurs. But it’s really interesting because we’ve talked about this these last few weeks, how clubhouse is using a new type of a business model where they say that they’re not collecting any user data.

They’re not going to sell that data. They’re not going to repurpose that data and they’re not going to use a traditional advertising type of a platform to monetize the app. And so, it’s gonna be really interesting what exactly these charges are and what they find and how it measures up with what a clubhouse has been saying, because they’ve been very adamant about this point. The founders have consistently, so I’m really interested to see their response. This news just came out this morning just saw it hit the trades this morning. So, I don’t even know if they’ve had a chance to respond to that, but just really interesting. And it’s also interesting on the topic that we talked about months ago.

With how regular regulatory structures and regulatory agencies, which are going to be coming more and more involved with this space here in America will how that will affect emerging platforms and will emerging platforms be able to take the regulatory blow, so to speak, or will they essentially get wiped out and therefore big tech gets bigger.

And so that’s going to be an interesting kind of storyline to watch play out as this unfolds because clubhouse is getting big, their billion-dollar valuation at this point, but there’s still a really small player in the overall scheme of things compared to the rest of the big tech and Silicon Valley.

So, there’s your news update for ya Miles. That’s all I have happy St. Patrick’s Day to everybody out there. And I’m gonna, I’m gonna let you go Miles. I gotta get back to work. Everybody has a safe, prosperous week. We’ll see you next time.

Miles: [00:55:16] All right. See you later, Mike. All right. That is, it from us at the at Wildman Web Solutions today.

Check back in next week for another segment of Ask Wildman. If you are catching this later, you can still send us your questions at askwildman@wildmanweb.com. We will be back next week next Wednesday at 11 live streaming to Facebook, YouTube, and now our new Twitch channels. So, pick your poison there and follow us. If you like what we’re doing here, if you think the information that we’re providing is useful, please give this video a, like a share, just comment that helps us break through those algorithms and reach more people, answer some more questions and hopefully be more of a resource to everyone. So again, if you like what we’re doing here, give us a like, share follow, you know, how social media works. With that, I will see you next Wednesday at 11.

 

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