Month: January 2022

TalkCommerce Kate Bradley

Artificial Intelligence tools from Putting the real into AI with Kate Bradley

Our guest today is Kate Bradley, CEO of Lately.Ai, a social media marketing tool.

Lately uses artificial intelligence to help companies manage their social media accounts. In this episode, she talked about how to use artificial intelligence to manage your social media accounts and create content that resonates with your audience.

Plus, there are a lot more useful insights to learn from her so stay tuned!

Artificial intelligence is amazing and is progressing leaps and bounds week after week. We interview Kate Bradley, Co-Founder, and CEO of, and learn how the Artificial Intelligence tools help social media managers produce and distribute social media efficiently while saving hundreds of hours.

Brent Peterson and Kate Bradley discuss the importance of social media marketing tools in the industry, especially Lately.Ai.

As Lately’s CEO, Bradley shared how wonderful this tool is and how it can help social media managers in their work. Enjoy this episode and gain insights into social media marketing straight from the pro!

Lately’s A.I. learns which words will get you the most engagement and turns video, audio, and text into dozens of social posts. Unlock which words will get you the most engagement with artificial intelligence that studies what your audience wants to read, hear or watch. Lately’s A.I. content-generator will then atomize any interview, webinar, conference panel, podcast, blog, PDF, word document, or newsletter into lead-generating social posts that get next-level results. Because that’s the power of artificial intelligence.

In addition to her success with the Artificial Intelligence tools from, Kate’s appeared as a guest speaker on hundreds of sales, marketing, and entrepreneurial podcasts and has led presentations for Walmart, National Disability Institute, IRS, United Way Worldwide, SaaStr, SXSW, Content Marketing Institute, Harvard University, Columbia University, NYU, and others.

Stay tuned and enjoy this Talk Commerce episode.

A notable quote from this podcast:

“What rules certainly shouldn’t be broken? Because so we can evolve and do better. But like, how can you find enough sanity in that one confined space so that the chaos, which is mostly good chaos can continue to reign? And that you don’t lose your mind at the same time?”

Key Takeaways

[1:49] – Guest Introduction

[8:57] – What do entrepreneurs think about AI?

[15:56] – The AI Power of Lately

[18:26] – Your Brand Voice Despite AI

[24:42] – Finding the Right Channel

[32:12] – Leveraging Engagement

[33:51] – The Role of AI in Sales Conversion

[44:38] – AI Does Not Equate to Cheating

[54:04] – The Role of Google

Ideas/Quotes by Kate Bradley

  1. I’ve raised $3.4 million, but I haven’t actually raised over seven years, so I have actually raised a full-price round where all that money comes in at once. It’s been a trickle, trickle of income, which means it’s really hard to really do anything meaningful, because you’re constantly cash-constrained, right. And this is part of the plight of any entrepreneur and certainly, female founders, we’ve harder time than men raising, which is BS, but it is what it is. So we had, you know, kind of come to Jesus with ourselves.
  2. And what’s amazing to me, Brent, is how, how many different kinds of patterns can appear like you think you see one, but then you just tilt your head a little bit, and there’s a whole new slice there. And that’s the thing that’s so important is like, once you know that trick to constantly as well, like a kaleidoscope spinning your head around. So you’re making sure you see all the different ways that those patterns can be evolving or appearing. Because that’s, I mean, that’s the puzzle, right? Because it always will change like you think you solve one problem. It’s the, they say welcome all, which is cliche, but it’s so true.
  3. When if it’s creative writing or something like that, you know, you’re suddenly making yourself less creative because you don’t have the space. And maybe, I don’t know, maybe some people are more creative in that aspect.
  4. Right, right. And we create a writing model based on the words and key phrases and sentence structures in those posts that have the most engagement. And then, so this is part one. And this is really important because AI can’t work by itself. It has to learn from something so in part one, it learns from you. And then you feed it long-form content, like this video, or any audio or a blog text or something like that. Again, it has a second learning arena. And this is so important because it’s a child. So it pulls from that content. And it’s looking with the writing model as its basis to try to find the same quotes, right to assemble and pull into social posts and clipping up the video that goes with the quotes and all those kinds of things

Resources/Social Media

Social Media








Brent: Welcome to the show today. I have Kate Bradley. She is the CEO and founder of Lately. And that doesn’t mean just Lately. She is the founder of Lately. Not Lately. Kate, go ahead and introduce yourself. Tell us what you do. Day-to-day and maybe one of your passions in life. 

Kate: Hey there, brent, kudos to you for like totally not outing me on not knowing which state that was, but my idea I’m just 

Brent: such a silly, I think you said New Jersey.

Brent: I said, no, it’s Delaware. 

Kate: I’ve got a, like 40 states before. I didn’t even get there, but you’re so kind and patient with me. So yes, it’s true. I’m the CEO of Lately, which, my team does call me Kately, Brent. I don’t know if you’ve heard them do that before. It’s pretty funny. I’ve got investors who are like, yeah, just call me Peter Lee.

Brent: My, one of my nicknames was Brentley and I do have think I’m also a, I’m a domain name junkie 

Kate: oh, really? My uncle Chris was the first domain king. He was the first guy to buy up a whole bunch of domains and make his money that way, which is, that’s some foresight right there.

Kate: don’t know if that trickled down to me, but so before Lately I used to be a rock and roll DJ broadcasting to 20 million listeners a day for XM satellite radio. And somewhere in between there, I also owned a little marketing agency and our first client was Walmart. You guys know them.

Kate: And I got Walmart 130% ROI year over year for three years. Amazingly what I learned from both of those experiences. And we’ll dive into this later, I’m sure. Help fuel the bedrock for how Lately is artificial intelligence works, which surprises me, right? I’m 47, Brent. So I’ve lived enough life where the S the zigzags are now making a straight line to at least in my mind, which you hope will be the case.

Kate: You want all the dots to connect 

Brent: minor circles even better. Yeah. And they don’t connect. That’s the odd part. 

Kate: More like a spring, 

Brent: a spiral. Yeah. Yeah. It’s weird. 

Kate: Ladies and gentlemen, Brent Peterson. So good. 

Brent: What, tell us what do you like what are you doing right now day to day and what is something you’re super passionate about?

Kate: Honestly, Christmas at the moment, it’s in the way, I’m trying to just do what a lot of people are doing, which is licking stamps and getting things out the door. And I’m always too late about it and planning a menu and just all that kind of stuff. But, With Lately, we just launched three new products.

Kate: And when people say that you’re always like, oh, that sounds nice. Or whatever. I don’t know what people really think, but for us, we’re doing something crazy. Brent, we’re actually turning, I shouldn’t tell you this maybe, but we’re turning the company inside out. Because we’ve been learning and listening and learning to you and so many others what you like, what you don’t like, and what’s in our capacity to change, right?

Kate: We’re a small company, I’ve raised $3.4 million over seven years. But I haven’t actually raised a full price round where all that money comes in at once. So it’s been a trickle of income, which means it’s really hard to really do anything meaningful because you’re constantly cash constrained.

Kate: And this is part of the plight of the, any entrepreneur and certainly female founders. We’ve had a harder time than men raising which is BS, but it is what it is. So we had a come to Jesus with ourselves. This summer, a confluence of like really crummy events happened and I’ll just touch on what that means for people.

Kate: Like number one, I discovered a $240,000 accounting error, which, Eight months ago. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to say that, but I’ve met so many founders. Who’ve had worst things happen to them since that, like now I know it’s just par for the course. Those kinds of hurdles, I can’t even say, I can call it a hurdle now it’s obviously cataclysmic.

Kate: That gets you to look closer. And see what’s really wrong. And so we did, we zoomed in, and some of the things that we thought were wrong were, but they were bigger than we thought. And so we banged our heads against the wall and I certainly cried a bunch. 

Kate: And then, had the wherewithal to put myself in, into a couple of situations that I knew would change the channel, right? How do we get out of growth? How do we get into growth mindset and move from scrape mindset? And so that’s what we’re doing now is taking all this information, just totally flipping things on its head and changing the channel.

Kate: And so that’s, what’s on my mind, like I’m constantly thinking, am I doing the right thing? Is this gonna work? Oh God, Jesus, please let it work. Do I have the right team to do that? Pretty sure I do. My team is amazing. Do I have enough runway? There’s three months right now for a couple of us, don’t take a paycheck.

Kate: But that’s always the case. And then I think to myself, are you crazy? Oh, good. You still are. Okay. Then keep on. Yeah, 

Brent: I think we all, as entrepreneurs, you have to have a little bit of craziness in it. I guess there is the accountant entrepreneur, who just goes.

Brent: It goes by the numbers and does it, because the numbers say they can do it. But then there’s the other, the flip side of, and I’m, I guess I would be at the flip side where you just run headlong into it and hope that it’s a wall, but it’s going to be a soft wall and you’re going to crash through it.

Brent: And it’s not going to be a hardened steel wall that you’re going to bounce off of. And then there’s the middle ground and probably you enter the middle ground after you’ve been at it a little bit. You decide, oh, I probably should start tracking some of these things and I should measure some of these things and I should define success.

Brent: And especially if you have investors that you’ll have to define some success and some objectivity in that. 

Kate: It’s true. Yeah. As you’re speaking, you reminded me something, one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve ever gotten and, people give you lots of free advice and there’s a reason it’s free because most of it ain’t very good.

Kate: But one good one was to look at all the data you have and always searched for the patterns in the data. And then, what to double down on or obviously double down off. And what’s amazing to me, Brent is how. How many different kinds of patterns can appear. Like you think you see one, but then you just tilt your head a little bit and there’s a whole new slice there.

Kate: And that’s the thing that’s so important is once that trick to constantly as like a kaleidoscope spin your head around. So you’re making sure you see all the different ways that those patterns can be evolving or appearing. Cause that’s, that’s the puzzle, right? Cause it always will change.

Kate: Like you think you solve one problem. It’s the, they say whack-a-mole, which is cliche, but it’s so true, and then like on a personal note, just to answer that question a little more I’m really thinking about I’m not old, but I’m older and I’m thinking about my sanity and like, how do I maintain this level of stamina?

Kate: It’s already waning. To be honest with you, like the equation of self care to like work has definitely, there’s more self care needed every day, to keep going. And I don’t know about you or, your listeners, but for me, that can come in so many ways, like massages and acupuncture and working out and all that kind of stuff.

Kate: And then, meditation, or even just diet and vacations as we were touching on earlier. And then I also think about who am I surrounding myself with? Do I have people around me, either my team or my friends or my family who (a) make you smile? Cause you can’t do any of this

Kate: if you’re not laughing at yourself, cause it’s painful, you gotta be able to crack some jokes along the way. But then are they people who will force me to tilt my head and get that other perspective? 

Brent: Yeah, no, that’s a great point. And I I agree that you have to be constantly reevaluating, but I think you also have to have a point in which you can move forward and have some space to be able to move forward in and feel comfortable in that space without constraints or without it feeling like it’s the end of the world, or this is the biggest disaster that has ever happened.

Brent: And let’s go into firefighting mode. I’ve found those to be not very productive, especially when you can’t do some strategizing and be creative. I think you lose a lot of that creativity when you put that pressure on and you have to either deliver something or solve something it’s ironic that we often wait till the end of our term to deliver a term paper.

Brent: When, if it’s creative writing or something like that, you’re suddenly making yourself less creative because you don’t have the space. And maybe, I don’t know, maybe some people are more creative in that aspect. Yeah. 

Kate: I agree with you. You just reminded me when so I was taking some poetry courses.

Kate: Don’t roll your eyes people. Cause I was a fiction writing major and so I love words and the sound of words, but what I actually did a shoot like poopoo poetry for a long time until I realized. What was interesting to me is there’s rules, very set rules and a lot of poetry and that they too can be broken.

Kate: And so I was interested in breaking them. And I remember one professor actually assigning me the task of cause I was really going so lawless out there and he was like, okay, you’re going too far. So I want to sign, you, make up your own rules, make it be more rules but keep within your own rules, if you don’t want to conform to the rules or set preset rules, and it was a great task because it gave me the understanding of how much work one would take just to actually stay within the confines of those rules.

Kate: And so I had a lot more respect for poetry as a genre than I had before. I think about that with. Certainly Lately, or even I’m onboarding a new CRO right now and poor Nick, like he’s coming into our, you call it a I call it a fire hose, but like he’s coming in. We’re just waterboarding that poor guy, like all day long.

Kate: You know how it is, right? There’s so many things wrong, of course, that this is part of startup life. There’s a million things wrong, but you have to decide I’m going to drag out the fire metaphor and spin it around a little bit. So there’s 50 houses on fire, which one gets water. And even the one you decide that gets water, you’re not going to put it out.

Kate: You’re just going hit, hit the first floor a little bit. And I’m watching him struggle and I feel all the guilt of being a terrible onboarder. But then it’s the way it has to be because he’s going to have to figure out kinda what rules are rules, what rules are meant to be broken, what rules certainly should be broken cause so we can evolve and do better, but like, how can you find enough sanity in that one confined space so that the chaos, which is mostly good chaos can continue to reign and that you don’t lose your mind at the same time.

Kate: Yeah, no, 


Brent: a metaphor. Is there? Yeah, no, it’s good. Yeah. Which leads us into our next discussion about AI. How do you keep all that together? I, full transparency. We we were an early adopter of Lately. We were early as opposed to late. He’s killing me.

Brent: Sorry about that. Yeah, it was called early when we first started. And I’m a believer in it. But I’ve also, I’ve continued to embrace this whole idea of AI and I’ve recently. Also signed up for a writing tool that helps you write. I won’t tell you which one I did, 

Kate: but I want to know so that you can compare notes and tell me, 

Brent: is this one of your new products?

Kate: We have the AI, our AI actually does write for you. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So 

Brent: You’ve heard of Jarvis, right? It’s not Jarvis, but it’s similar to Jarvis. And it, what I’m finding is that if you have a very factual based article that you would like to write, do not depend on any AI right now, because it’ll give you a whole bunch of, oh, you know what?

Brent: I’m excited about this. Cause I’m going to put in a bleep, it’ll give you a whole bunch of bullshit. I’m going to bleep this out later, but it’s so it gives you, breaks down into sections and then writes it for you. And I had one that was. Five sections of this article and none of it was right.

Brent: It was like, it was so wrong and it sounded so real. It, went on to say, Mike was an early founder or co-founder of this new product and blah-blah-blah, and it was nothing to do with it. So AI can be completely wrong and it can lead you down the wrong path. And in that case, it actually didn’t help at all.

Brent: It made it worse because suddenly you have this thing in your head that, oh, this is the way I should go. And you got to pivot and go somewhere else. 

Kate: Yeah you’re right. On the scale of AI, would I like to think of it is, if AI was a human, we’re looking at a three-month old, it’s a baby a wee sweet baby, and it needs a lots of guidance and it needs to be fed and it can’t even walk yet or hold up its head really. And no, I’m not surprised if that’s the case like with, and I can define Lately, not as a commercial, but just so that people understand.

Kate: So Lately uses artificial intelligence to first learn your brand voice. It studies all your social content and it’s looking at what gets you the highest engagement. And we create a writing model based on the words and key phrases and sentence structures in those posts that have the most engagement.

Kate: So this is part one, and this is really important. AI can’t work by itself. It has to learn from something. So part one, it learned from you and then you feed it long form content like this video or any audio or a blog text or something like that. And again, it has a second learning arena and this is so important because it’s a child.

Kate: So it pulls from that content. And it’s looking with the writing model as a basis to try to find the same quotes, to assemble and pull into social posts and clipping up the video that go with the quotes and all those kinds of things. So the reason I wanted to say all that is in our world, we made a really important stance to insist that AI and humans must co-exist right.

Kate: Cause we could see that the AI would run off the rails and it’s only a robot, and humans are slow, right? So let’s put the two together and make them work out. So one of the things that’s been interesting to learn is like how little humans care, so we insist that you come in and tell the AI what’s wrong or right.

Kate: Cause this is how it learns, but a lot of people don’t even want to do that. And so then it’s often its own. We can see, like I select the T’s Alex is one of our customers. Like I can see Alex just pushing the button and letting the AI go. And I’ll be like, Alex, you gotta like step in here. But what’s been interesting.

Kate: Brent is to learn. So here’s the secret, which is we have a second level of AI, which we’ll introduce in about two weeks that can read any content and summarize it on its own and use your isms in the summary. So it’s not just quoting anymore is writing and it’s pretty incredible. Like it needs a lot.

Kate: It has to have at least 10,000 pieces of content to learn from. So that’s a lot. Cause it’s really trying to get it right. And instead of swearing I do swear like a sailor in real life, but I try not to. And so I come up with other ways, so I might say jumping Jehosaphat or holy hot pickled jalapeno pepper, stuff like that.

Kate: And so the test of the AI on my voice does that, for example. And it gets some stuff wrong. Like I can see it hashtag weird things in the middle. Cause it’s trying to guess what you would like, that’s the thing that we have to all remember is that A, the human has to be involved for the AI to get it right.

Kate: But B even no matter how far we take the AI. It doesn’t matter, whether it’s his driving cars or writing copy, is that humans just like you and I are do here. Like humans provide that vision to say qua Brent, that AI can never replicate. And it shouldn’t like, so even if we managed to get it, as far as it can, like right around 99%, I say would be the dream.

Kate: Except for this one little factor. And the factor is the thing that, I really want to have a beer with you or a cup of coffee. You’re cracking me up over here. You’re and I can see I’m detecting the looks in your face. I can see the smirk on your slow, dry sense of humor. Like all that is reaching through the screen on me.

Kate: And a robot can’t replicate that. 

Brent: Yeah, hopefully 

Kate: no way. 

Brent: When we first started with Lately about three years ago, the main tool we still use is we it’ll pick apart our blog posts and put it in a nice social media snippets, which is a fantastic tool.

Brent: And more recently you’ve come out with it’ll actually Go through a podcast and come up with a snippets and as well as video. So I think those are two really valuable things that people can use. And so I think that this whole idea of writing something, I what I haven’t seen is from the content AI, tools is that idea of when it does give you a wrong answer to infatically, just say, Hey, don’t ever give me this again. This is so wrong. I think what you’re, it sounds and I haven’t used your new or your newer tools yet. But one thing that I haven’t seen anyone do so far is that learning model where even if it doesn’t know your voice, if it just writes something to write it for the sake of writing a blog post, let’s say, and it comes up with 800 words that are completely wrong.

Brent: Like it doesn’t do anybody any good. And if you don’t have as the user, the ability to go back and say, here’s what I’ve meant. Okay, if you breaks it down into your three main headings, of a blog post in the intro and a conclusion you want your three main headings, right?

Brent: And then if it gets all three of those wrong, great to go back and say, Hey, here’s what you got wrong. Here’s what I meant. Like then the human takes some time to say, here’s what I was going to give you. Please look and learn about this. Yeah. That’s 

Kate: I think that’s probably the hardest part it is. And it’s the part nobody wants to do.

Kate: We’re all lazy, which is so interesting. But you think about it, like with Spotify or Pandora, like you thumbs down the channel, when, if it’s playing your song, you I’m like, so there’s this idea of the human, interfering in a good way. I like to make the couple of metaphors, like one is, it’s like an electric toothbrush Brent, right?

Kate: It’s still going to hold the damn thing up to my teeth. But perhaps more interestingly is there’s a great Betty crocker story where, you know, Betty crocker made cake mix. And at the time it was all powder. Even the eggs were powdered eggs and the Housewives, which who was buying marketing to at the time they didn’t feel as though they had made a cake because so much was already in there.

Kate: So they took the powdered eggs out and they made it so that you, the human had to add eggs. And that was the thing that worked. So now they actually felt that there was a human roll here. See? 

Brent: Interesting. Yeah. Oh, that’s good. Yeah. I’ve never thought of it that way. 

Kate: Yeah. And that’s the thing.

Brent: Oh, sorry. Yeah no I think you’re, you’re exactly right there. The idea that I think right now, AI is still in its early stages and people think it should do everything. 

Kate: Yeah. It’s amazing what we expect. I remember demoing somebody a long time ago and they’re really like, oh, that’s all.

Kate: And I was like, do you know how hard this is? It’s amazing. I think I went to, I was in radio for a long time. When in small town radio. And then when I was at XM, suddenly I could get tickets to much larger shows. Like I’d never been to see ACDC or the rolling stones or anything like that.

Kate: And I managed to get tickets to the rolling stones and which is another great story for us to have over coffee. And I took my husband and the show was amazing. And then right afterwards, he’s can we get Paul McCartney tickets? And I was like, Jesus, we just

Kate: give you a second, man. Don’t tell him I told you that. But yeah, the other thing I wanted to touch on here too is get to getting back to that. The, je ne sais quoi part, the magical, human part which I want to further emphasize, because this translates to sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, like all the things, right?

Kate: So that special indescribable component that only you bring to the table, right? Whatever you’re working on. So one of the things I learned in radio Brent was how the neuroscience of music works when you’re processing music in your brain when you’re listening to it.

Kate: So when you hear a new song, Brent, every other song you’ve ever heard instantly gets pulled forward by the memory of your brain. And it’s trying to index this new song in the library of the memory of songs in your brain. And it’s looking for familiar touch points. So it knows where to put that song, right?

Kate: And so by pulling that library forth, it triggers emotion and memory. And the stallion, this is why music is so powerful right now, those three characters all must exist for trust to happen. And trust is why we buy anything. It has to be there. And when your voice acts similarly, right?

Kate: So when you write text, whether it’s, you’re texting your wife to pick up cash at the bank, or if you’re slacking your employee to fill out the form, or you’re emailing a sales target, People read that text and they hear your voice in their heads. This is the theater of the mind a little bit here. Right?

Kate: And when they hear your voice is like a musical note. There’s a frequency to it. It’s a note, write it. It does happy frequency. So that same idea happens. It’s your job as the author to help guide the reader and fill in those blanks with the nostalgia and emotion and memory, like putting those familiar touch points.

Kate: So a trust is triggered, right? Same idea here. You do it by putting the shape of your state behind you. I’m doing it with some Pac-Man here. We’ve did it right away. And we were connecting and laughing about how we met each other. And I forgot. And we were touching on all of these familiar touch points now because the listener

Kate: it’s multifaceted. And I’m trying to give them many avenues. You’re trying to guide me into doing the same thing here, right? Because we want people to not only listen, this is the thing I really want to emphasize with people. It’s not just listening here. You want people to evangelize. I’m assuming you do.

Kate: I do. Because listeners who become fans are infinitely more powerful than just a listener, same way a customer is an evangelist, and the only way to do that is by optimizing the humanness of the thing, right? This mystery character, this third party, the theater of the mind, 

Kate: all that.

Brent: Yeah. I want to just dig into that humanist of the thing, because I can say from my experience so I’m I’m on Twitter and I like to I like to send out different, jokes and stuff. And I found that people know, I guess you can see on Twitter where it’s, where it generated from.

Brent: I used to, pre-load like a quarter’s worth of a joke a day or something like that or whatever it is. And then it would just go out. And I think, honestly, Lately is a great thing for this, but there is a, there’s a bit of humanist and I and I think this is where you ha you can’t a hundred percent rely on AI.

Brent: Like the engagement part of it, people know. When it’s a BOT and when it’s not, and even early on, I think it was or something like that was like a tool that came out five years ago. That was just automated scheduler and you could register Amy. Oh yeah. Amy and Alex or something like that.

Brent: Amy in Ingram and Alex 

Brent: idioms of the bots. Yeah. 

Brent: And it’s one of my clients figured it out. Like I sent this out and I probably made 50 appointments and 49 successfully. And one of my clients like was just screwing around a pain, it’s just like back and forth 

Kate: the poor robot. Nah, 

Brent: I feel bad.

Brent: Yeah. So I think what, w what I’m learning as an AI human wait, am I artificial intelligence 

Kate: now? We’re second guessing. 

Brent: I think a lot of people would say that, you can, I guess you are artificial, if you’re depending on a tool to send your tweets and never engaging in real life, right?

Brent: Yeah. Symbiotic. The point is that you can’t a hundred percent depend on AI, and like you said, 99%, if it’s effective, but what you still need is that real, like we’re here to, for a reason, and we’re marketing for a reason. And at the end of the day you end up talking to a bot on your chat and it’s just give me a representative for you.

Brent: Like you’re on the phone. What you like? Yeah. Zero, zero. No. Like calling the cable company. Oh my gosh. I didn’t hear you. Did you say you want to disconnect your cable? No. You would like to go to the, oh, you’ve been upgraded the 10 gigabit. Your new bill is $12,000 a month.

Brent: Thank you very much. But that, that interaction and then that humanist is such an important factor. And maybe you could talk about how you’re doing, how are you doing that with Lately? Like with your own. Business and making it better. How are you constantly improving that?

Brent: And do you have the thought in the back of your mind when you’re adding features and developing your own platform? 

Kate: Yeah, we do. I’m so glad you asked this question because I think it’s a fun one to answer. So first just to put some proof in the pudding for anybody questioning it.

Kate: So we only use Lately to market Lately. We don’t do any cold calls and no cold emails and no paid ads. So only organic and only with the AI. And we have a 98% sales conversion. And I’ll just say that again, 98% sales conversion. So in case anybody wonders, if it works or not, this works. Now there’s a little more into that process.

Kate: And so you asked about that and I’ll tell you here’s the secret? So first, because I wrote hundreds of commercials, thousands of commercials, and I was a fiction writing major. I’m good at writing. And so I write all the social posts from my own channels are by me by hand. They’re not Lately, it’s all me.

Kate: I write them when I think of them daily. And then Lately studies me first as a best practice. And from my social posts, I created about two dozen writing rules that I passed on to my team. So we’ll auto-generate content from Lately. The AI will give us a bunch of social posts. My team takes the rules that I gave them that are based on how I write and applies the rules to augment what the AI gave them and help it learn, help it get better and better.

Kate: And then we publish all of that on our brand channels and also on our employee channels, right? So the more the merrier and then the AI learns from there, it’s studying our brand channels and employee channels for best practices as a second layer. And then the next layer is, of course what you bring to the table and in your custom voice, it creates from you now, then collectively, it’s got all of our employees, our customers, and it’s looking at that data as a whole best practice as a whole.

Kate: So there’s four different layers there for it to, get smart on. And the goal is for us to be able to assemble this data. And then for you Brent, to be like, okay, Lately new Lately V two V3, whatever it is, I want to have a sense of humor. And I want to be able to use all the keywords that are going to appeal most to mortgage industry companies smaller than 100 in Minnesota, for example, 

Brent: yeah, that 

Kate: sounds fun. I think it’s pretty fun. It’s a little wacky. But it’s interesting because the problem we’re talking about is people writing is hard it’s not only knowing what to say, but knowing what to say, that’ll get a reaction, but the reaction is what we want.

Kate: What we all want. You want someone to do something for you? Every communication has this as its baseline, right? And there’s no shame in that. It’s very clear. Take out the garbage, water the plant, sell the damn thing, whatever it is, right? Exchange my robe that I don’t like customer service. So when you know, that’s the case, then you can really work backwards and thinking about, okay, and this is what the writing rules are about.

Kate: Like very practically speaking. I hate it when people are. Be more engaging and you’re like, duh how is the thing? And so what I thought a lot about is what’s the psychology that goes into how to get people to react with what you write, right? 

Brent: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Brent: I know that Grammarly is another tool that is used to at least, check your spelling get rid of the red squiggles. And Grammarly does break it down into the type of voice you’re using. Are you going that far as to and I just saw a report. That’s what it reminded me of.

Brent: It says, you have an optimistic conversation or you’re confident. Mine always says feeble. That means? Do you incorporate that many, that, that part of it to try to match that style and then, for me, and I’m sure I’m not unique, but like do you have Spotify?

Brent: I do. Yeah. Spotify gives you the end of the year, most listened to songs for the year. You know what, my number one song was for last year, it was it was Neil diamond and it was sweet Caroline. And it’s come on, are you kidding me? Yeah. And there’s a reason why, but it wasn’t because I love the song.

Brent: It’s just because it was like a number one their thing. If you do it, it just plays the same star 

Kate: algorithm. 

Brent: And then number two was Cake. I love it. The band Cake right there. Aren’t even related. I think if Lila Down, she’s a Mexican singer.

Brent: Like these are my three top artists. That’s fascinating. So then how do you fix, how do you fit that in? Yeah. Like how do you call it? How do you say. How do you have a voice? I definitely have a different voice when I wake up and I’m going to have some coffee.

Brent: Like when I was in Hawaii for the last six weeks I started work at 5:00 AM and I literally rolled out of bed. I had the coffee maker going, so I could get into meetings right away. And I, try to be awake. You have a different aspect of life then as you do later in the day when I’m half asleep.

Brent: That’s true. 

Kate: So yeah so it’s called tone of voice is the term that we hear and use. And Watson has API for that. And I don’t know if that’s what we’ve tapped into. I can’t remember. Cause we do integrate with IBM Watson and a bunch of other things, but in the new product, there is a tone of voice.

Kate: I just saw it actually yesterday. I forgot that they were doing that by they, I mean my tech team and I was like, oh yeah. Cause other people ask about that center sentiment, is the other thing. So we’re just dabbling with that right now. And, with the music thing, what’s interesting to me is, so the format that I was in Brent is called AAA or adult album alternative, which is a rare format.

Kate: It’s all the bands you described by the way. So new music and old music, and usually deeper cuts stuff, that’s in your actual album collection. And it runs the gamut from folk to rock, to blues, to, to world and everything in between. And like the music you might hear on, I hate to say this on NPR, if I’m, I don’t want to alienate anybody.

Kate: And in cooler, like he’d be Dave Grohl or Weezer, that kind of stuff, too. But what I love about that format is that it thinks about humans in a way that’s not one dimensional, whereas most of radio, so here’s the here’s, boom, we pull back the black curtain for people. So radio operates on, let’s play the same song over and over and over and over and over again.

Kate: And it relies now on charts for research, as opposed to asking people what they like. So Lee Abrams, who invented XM, he in the seventies, he used to stand outside. This is his idea. I’m going to stand outside the concert and ask them what their favorite song was. So human did this, right? So we would know what song to play off the record.

Kate: Now everybody reads charts and the DJs don’t even actually listen to the songs themselves. So there’s no tastemaking involved. They’re just like, oh, they’re telling me to play in a play this, which is asinine. But in. Format. We were on live. We were actually on the radio live. Oh my God, this never happens anymore.

Kate: So the human could make the judgment and a human could take you on a journey. Cause this is part of what you do every day right here as you hold the mic, Brent. But if you’re doing your job, you’re making the listener feel as though they’ve got a voice with you, right? This is that je ne sais quoi thing we’re talking about here.

Kate: And so with adult album alternative, because it’s looking for multiple ways to turn you on. It’s actually creating the evangelist. We talk about this is that long tail. This is why I believe in long tail. I’m going to give you guys just another example here. So the marketing forever used to say consistency, and that’s not wrong, but it has evolved.

Kate: So you can’t really say have a Coke and a smile to everyone anymore, because it’s not, what’s going to turn them on our friend, David Alison is proving this. He’s a consultant to the United nations to prove him. Whereas a series of statistics that they’ve referred to now as value graphics versus demographics.

Kate: And the idea is that Brent and I can be in different countries. We could have a different ages, different colors or races. We could have all kinds of different backgrounds, but we care about the same things. And so if you market to people based on what they care about versus how old they are, what color hair they have, the likelihood of you having an understanding of their predictive behaviors and turning them into evangelists goes up exponentially, right?

Kate: So it’s the same idea here with I’m talking like a crazy person, but back to Lately. So the reason Lately doesn’t give you one message instead gives you dozens is because we know this, we know that your customers are going to engage with multiple different kinds of messages and the likelihood of them

Kate: sharing, which is you want to click or share. But sharing is a little bit more powerful because sharing goes farther and people take credit for what you wrote. It’s all about the ego. They want to look cool and be the person who’s the taste-maker and just like music. And so that’s how you get that proof, social proof and the trust.

Kate: See how this all, so again, I wouldn’t say this against the people can hear this. The hard way is the way this is what we do. And we have a 98% sales conversion because of it, right? 

Brent: I think too, that, like you had said earlier that you write all your own content, which I applaud you for that and getting into that habit is.

Brent: For me is a, it’s very difficult to do that, especially if I think, Hey, I’m going to be creative for an hour in the morning, and I want to try to use that creativity for the rest of the week. And then I’ll schedule those out. I suppose it’s a little bit still writing your own content, isn’t it?

Brent: But then scheduling it is, I don’t know if that’s cheating or not. 

Kate: I don’t know. I don’t think it’s cheating. I think it’s being resourceful. The only reason that I it’s funny when I was a marketing consultant, I would do that for other people. Exactly what you said scheduled spend an hour, schedule it out from a week and be done with it.

Kate: But because I’m flying by the seat of my pants, like I’m just trying to think. I don’t think I’ve brushed my teeth yet today. It’s 2:52 PM here and it’s not because they’re not fuzzy. 

Brent: I didn’t want to say anything now that you brought it up. I can barely get it together to put my yoga pants on here.

Brent: I’ve got the, I’ve got the smello-o-mic and he’s coming through breathing through the mic on you.

Kate: Yeah. And, the other thing I want to say here is as we’re talking, like I’m thinking of all, this is my nature. I’m thinking all the things I could be doing better. I’m thinking of what quotes can I give the AI to you right now? What am I one-liners I’m thinking of all the crutches I have.

Kate: How many times if I said right to end a sentence with you? 

Brent: Yeah. Yeah. I use another tool called Descript and I know lightly does this too, but I use it to do my, I use it to just, to give me my transcripts. And I just like I did, I just said we’ll pull those out for you, which is really nice.

Brent: And often I listen. I watch some news shows and I’m very intentful and listening to the announcers and they are very good at not ever saying But if they have guests on or, I think if they have other people on it, doesn’t, there’s not a, it’s not a set pattern, but it seems like the, and I suppose they’re reading off a teleprompter and that’s really where they’re winning, right?

Brent: The ones that are doing it off the cuff, or putting in some of those ums and soes and right. And and it’s like this and blah-blah-blah, and 

Kate: it’s more powerful. So I listened, I just did it again. I’ve been listening to Smartlist. I love that podcast and I love that the advertisers are giving Sean and Jason and Will Arnett, Bateman, and Hayes the.

Kate: Pat, they’re empowering them to read to ad-lib for the commercials. This is a novel idea. And the result is I, listen, I stay through the commercials, I’m dying to know how they’re going to do it. It’s hysterical. And I, in like McDonald’s is having the wherewithal to do this, that whoever is running that show way to embrace, technology and evolving with a new mindset.

Kate: That’s 

Brent: pretty incredible. Maybe I should do some live commercials for Lately on this show. I would love that. We’ll see how it goes. In a past life. I had a computer retail store and I had a radio host sponsor and his name was Jesse Ventura. Oh. And then Jesse had to quit because he ran for governor, we paid for one minute spots and he would go on and on about, he would bill for number one, he’d come down to the store and he’d interview talk to people and he would learn about us.

Brent: And then he would do these spots and he would go on about these guys with a Coke bottle class. I’d come fix my computer. He’d gone for five minutes and we had more business from his one minute spots than I can imagine any prerecorded spot. It was fantastic. He did such a great job.

Kate: Yeah. I’m going to use that because people still don’t believe that a sprint. They, you conveyed to them. Use your vernacular be casual try to loosen the stiffness, loosen the tie or whatever it is. Take off the clip-on earrings here, people and be yourselves and the people are still so nervous about they’re still so afraid.

Kate: And they think how can I do that if I own a bank or, and I’m like, listen your customers are still just people just like you, they still just want you to talk to them. Yeah. 

Brent: A couple of a powder milk biscuit. And there you go. Are people going to just put my, I just put myself into a demographics just going 

Kate: to say, like right here, did we just,

Kate: it’s amazing. So yeah, the good news is not everyone will have caught onto that. And so then we’ll continue to shine because. That’s what stands out. So it’s I want to teach the world to sing, but I don’t at all because

Brent: I think we can still teach them to sing okay, maybe not in key, but at least they’ll sign. And if you get enough people singing, it doesn’t matter if they’re in or out of key. That’s true from my experience because I’m a Lutheran and where we have a choir. So you know how that works anyways. Now 

Brent: we’re at way off target here. So coming back to AI I’m excited about that. The tools that you’re developing and we’re using where do you think it’s going? Like where do you think content creation is going? And I see often now I publish a blog post and there’s a tool that says, make this blog post into a podcast.

Brent: And I think myself, are they seriously going to have some robot read through this podcast or read through a a blog transcript and make it into a podcast. For me, it’s the other way around is so much easier. But do you think that’s where we’re going? Do you think there’s going to be some, Happy voice.

Brent: And I guess, I just switched to the Irish version of Siri and it’s, it works, it only goes until 10 and then it’s the pub,

Brent: even if you knew that one was coming to kill it. But, and actually see obviously Siri does a pretty good job at that. There’s still those weird things. If you’re in Germany or you’re in like in Hawaii and there’s all these funny, long names it’s going to get most of them wrong.

Brent: And then that’s where people really figure out that it’s a robot reading it instead of a real person. And yeah. Coming full circle into what you said. You have to have a real person there to moderate it, or at least to help it along to make it real. Yeah.

Kate: The w what is the phrase go to air is to be human, right? And that’s the magic. It’s always going to be the magic. I think your question of where it’s going is interesting, because there always be like the sharper image of AI tools, right? So the stuff that seems like, the electronic juicer that first, you have to tip a domino for, it’s going to go hit the squirt gun and then dump the can of oil onto the squirrel.

Kate: Who’s going to jump over and crack a nut. And then, whatever, I call this crazy stuff. Because people, self included were lazy. People are lazy, and they’re always looking to avoid the work. And writing is so hard. It really is a hard thing. And so many stages, right? But you know where the mindset is what’s shifting to is to understand that if you don’t have AI in your toolkit, you’re going to be a dinosaur pretty quickly.

Kate: It’s evolved now, at least in marketing, from analytics and automation to this content piece, because we saw this early on, but it doesn’t matter how good your social media management platforms are or your analytics. If what you’re putting out there, you can’t put lipstick on a pig, as they say you have to have some, something of quality to measure and analyze.

Kate: My goal is to move from getting people 75% of the way there. That’s where we’ve been to now 90%. And I thought it was going to take about five years to do that. And it looks like we’ll be doing it while we’re doing it right now. It w it went live to nobody on Friday. And we’re going to work the kinks out and people will start seeing it live.

Kate: I think December 28th is our goal. And again, it’ll take us a little while to, to learn and not have people go. Huh. I’m really curious about how we are going to get better and getting the human to be involved. That’s gonna be. The next hurdle for me. And that’s the solve?

Kate: That’s the end all solve. All right. It’s like, how do I get you to be willing to do something that’s hard to do and get excited about it, to feel rewarded about it? This is the thing. Going back to the first question you asked me, this is what keeps me up at night, Brent, because I don’t have that answer.

Kate: And I’m experimenting. 

Brent: Yeah. And I, we don’t have much time left, but I think, and we’re going to have to do another session because we have so much more to 

Kate: talk about. I’d love to, and I have to laugh more. 

Brent: Google sees content as king and the more, I hate to say it, but the more content you can have, the more possibilities that people are going to see you and see your site.

Brent: And I think so I think one mistake people make from the AI tool is like I thought earlier, a I’m just used as tool to write articles. And if I’m writing an article and I’m letting the tool to everything, and you’ve writing a bunch of bogus content, you are hurting yourself more than you’re helping.

Brent: So that’s the bad side, but the curated side, I think where you’re going or where your, what we’ve been talking about is we’re using it to help supplement some of that grunt work or some of that harder work or, in my case, I think it’s really helpful to have some of those stimulus in terms of what should the headers of my three main parts of my posts be, what are some good topic headers within my main title?

Brent: And if your AI tool can get you that far, maybe that’s a good step. The point is that all of this content we’re creating helps users and especially marketers, because you can create more of it. The key is making good content instead of just create crappy content. 

Kate: Yeah. Unfortunately there will always be noise out there, because people just think more is better and it’s not the case. That’s why I always tell people. You do have to be everywhere all the time you do, but it’s impossible. So just pick one thing, just pick one thing and be really good at it, and then figure out the next thing.

Kate: That’s such a good, that’s like my life, my husband will be exploding about all the dues we have to do for getting ready to do on a trip or something that, and I’m like, dude, your only job is just to get out the door I’ll pack the bags, man. Okay. 

Brent: Yeah. That’s such a great point.

Brent: And I think, in the entrepreneurial world, there’s this concept of the shiny object, whereas an entrepreneur you think oh, I’ve been wildly successful as a marketing person. I am going to go open up a restaurant and I’m going to sell bagels. And I don’t know the first thing about it, but I saw somebody doing it on TV and I can be great at it and suddenly

Brent: you’re doing two things and maybe not so great at either one of them. 

Kate: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Not everyone’s a drummer. They can do it. All right. 

Brent: Yeah. The other one that I just recently heard is in the term of triathletes, if you’re a triathlete at all, why not do three things, mediocre when you can, instead of doing one thing really well, that’s the flip side, do it right.

Brent: If you can swim and run and bike, just okay. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know where I was going with that anyways. Was that 

Kate: 10,000 hours guy. So every, I dunno if that’s totally true, but now that what you’re getting to, I think a little bit is that we like to science things to death, all of us do.

Kate: And when you do that you remove the human element to it, by the way. So not everything is going to check all the boxes and not maybe it shouldn’t, but end it shouldn’t right. We have to allow the room again. We’re seeing the same thing over and over again, but the room for the human to get in there and either make the mistakes or, the best advice I ever got in from my radio mentors was to make mistakes, to leave silence, like silence on the air.

Kate: You think deadly, but guess what? Brent.

Kate: People turn it up,

Brent: who is going to blink first? Yeah, no, I agree. Yeah, trying to fill in, I’ll put in one more comment, but then we have to try to close up here. We, we do these meetings called level 10 meetings, and there’s a certain format where you have a finished in an hour and blah, blah, blah, have all these different things to do in the meeting.

Brent: And it they’re really, they’re very effective from a business standpoint, but one of our, I was in a developer meeting and one of the guys said because everybody’s not engaging. And he said some people talk and other people are not going to be other people don’t feel comfortable and they need to be asked and then they’ll give you some of that, that they don’t feel like if somebody is dominating the conversation, they don’t feel like they’re going to jump in and do that.

Brent: So I think part of that is, is very important to know the types of things we have and the types of people and this all goes back to AI and how it’s going to learn. And I don’t even know where I’m going anymore. So we should 

Kate: probably I’m with you. All right. I think where you’re going is everybody needs permission.

Kate: And when you give people permission to be a part of the conversation in any way, like w one way is when you wield the mic, as we said before, and you make people feel as though they have a voice, even though they’re just listening, like that is permission to participate, and to lean forward, giving their participant permission to lean forward or permission to DoubleClick or permission to reshare.

Kate: And that’s what call to actions are all about, right? So the best call to actions actually do that. They’re not learn more. Check out. Those are vapid call to action. So don’t make me feel anything. And so by laying that groundwork, and it all comes back to trust, making evangelists do you want customers who buy you and throw you away?

Kate: Or do you want customers who work with you for free? I want that second kind. 

Brent: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. The ones that are going to talk about it and talk about you and that’s, I think that’s where influencers come in and there’s so many other places we can go down the road here. All so we have a negative five minutes left.

Brent: What parting advice can you give our listeners today? Or what did, what are you excited about? What what do you think is new? 

Kate: I think what’s new is what’s always old, which is to You know this sentence, so boring, but stick to the basics. And so my basic is air checks.

Kate: I’m always telling my team and myself to listen to what you’ve done, go back and listen to it. It’s always there. You can always learn from yourself, especially if you’re being embarrassed by rewatching a demo or listening to a podcast, you were just a host of, and I’m interested in the sound of words, you know this right?

Kate: So one of the easiest things to do in addition to going back and listening is just to read what you’re writing out loud. Get getting to that oral space. When you do that, Brent, it’s the immediate autometer of bad and good, because if you’re tripping over it, if you feel in any way awkward coming out of your mouth, it’s awkward for your listener and when it’s awkward for them or your reader, the tank’s trust.

Kate: So just try it like, this is why, like I have resting bitch face in writing. I like to say, so I have to use lots of emojis and smileys and italics and bold and different ways to really make sure that what I’m saying is clearly communicated as people read it. And that’s when you make that extra effort, the hard way is the way, right?

Kate: Just that extra effort gets people to do what I want them to do. 

Brent: Excellent. Really good. Yeah. And we need that sarcasm tool as well. Yes. Sometimes people don’t understand the sarcasm bit. All so as we close out, I give everybody an opportunity to do a shameless plug.

Brent: Is there anything you’d like to plug today? 

Kate: Of course, come on and visit us at Lately. DubDubDub that And ask for Lauren, she’s the best as you probably know, Brent we are humans and we like to talk to you and meet you. And we love to hear, where you heard about us.

Kate: And so I guess that’s the most shameless thing, but I’ll say one more, which is there’s a little band I love. And they’re called the dam Wells dam and w E L S. My husband is a guitar player and they were our favorite record at XM, which is how I met him. Job hazard,

Brent: Nice. Excellent. And I will give my small shameless plug. We are doing a conference, an unconference in Florida on January 21st. It is a unscripted UnConference, no speakers. So if you do email and ask me about what kind of topic can I speak about and are you taking call for papers? No, it’s an unconference anyways.

Brent: Kately from Lately, I appreciate the time today. It’s been fun and we’re going to have a second conversation as a follow-up to do the rest of our thoughts. And yeah, I think I would like to plug Lately because it’s been such a great tool for us.

Brent: And it is such a great tool to organize there’s and I’m glad we didn’t do a sales presentation because people get turned off by that, but, analytics, and it does that all for you. It’s a great tool and I highly recommend it Lately that AI Kately from Lately Kate Bradley, the CEO and founder of Lately.

Brent: Thank you so much for being here today. I love ya. 

Kate: Thank you.

TalkCommerce Guido Jansen

The psychology of cognitive customer behavior with Guido Jansen

There is a new sheriff in town, leading the charge to Spryker. Guido Jansen tells us about his new role with Spryker. Most interesting is that we learn a little about customer behavior and his role as a community builder and Cognitive Psychologist. Guido is a community engagement specialist using strategic insight and empathy to understand, inform, and strategically engage both a worldwide ecosystem and the internal stakeholders who serve them. He has done hundreds of presentations, workshops, seminars, and conferences in over 25 countries about several topics around E-commerce and Psychology.


Brent: Welcome to this new year today, I have Guido Jansen and he is with Spriker and I’m very excited to talk to him, Guido. You are the global business and technology. Evangelists for Spriker and which in the blue room or the green room, we talked about that you’re the Ben marks of Spriker or the Ben marks of shop where, or the benchmarks of Magento or whatever.

Brent: However you want to say that. Why don’t you do a better introduction than I just did. And maybe tell us what you’re doing day to day and, one of your passions in life. 

Guido: Oh, I have many passions brands. One of wishes now a Spriker indeed. Yeah, my background’s in the. I guess to try to compromise a bit that I have a background in psychology and what a usability part of of psychology optimizing a web shop off the debts.

Guido: The study itself at university I’m done. I don’t feel that old, but at university that didn’t have a lot of online things going on. In terms of examples. So that was mainly about the usability. I could think of thing machine or a way, finding an airports how that works. But I always applied this to align to e-commerce and in, started out with things like mumbo and.

Guido: Wait maybe I am old mama Joomla and a, and I switched gears to to e-commerce and Magento in 2008. That time when we were all playing around with cameras and virtual mark, and those kinds of things that Magento came around, which was this magical thing that was way ahead of its time. And we all add a great fun, I think playing around with that and did that for, 13 years.

Guido: And I think that’s also like 20 10, 20 11 that I met you. I think we met at a. It was the Moscone center in San 

Brent: Francisco. Could be, yeah. Yeah. The fabric comm X dot commerce. 

Guido: This will all be beeped 

Brent: out with the knee, right? Yeah. In fact, I was just going through all my supplies. I was going through my old video just getting stuff, getting my mat cleaned up and I found of a video of the, in the intro or the, welcome from the.

Brent: PayPal slash Magento slash whatever eBay people. Yeah. And it was us coming out of the conference center and they all, there’s huge. Just all the employees lined up welcoming, everybody to the event. So it was definitely a well thought out event and it was fun how could you go wrong?

Brent: I don’t know if if the outcome was what they had expected, but it was fun. And then. A fun event, 2011, definitely. 

Guido: Yeah. Events were a fun ride. Remember those events were fun. Now we had a lot of fun with that with Magento organized, a lot of stuff. For Magento we had the Mimi, Japan and Netherlands kickstart this whole global movement of Magento events.

Guido: And I’ve been lucky enough to to attend many of those those firsts, which are the best I think, to go through like those first events in a country where. People have heard each other’s names online on slack or on the forums, but never met in person. So all those awkward first meetings, or those are great to to, attend to.

Guido: And yeah, I and it’s also a, the Magento ecosystem is also where I met Boris the founder of Spriker and currently co CEO of Spriker. I think we met sills. 20 11 20 12 had a Magento agency. And some six, seven years ago when you started with we kept in contact and yeah, I would have lost a year.

Guido: I was working at a Magento merchants actually. And he approached me and said, Hey, we’re growing like crazy at Spriker and we need someone like you doing community stuff. Spriker we need something like that. So to support that. I don’t think you actually build this, build a community.

Guido: I The community is there and does its own thing. That’s what we see, which has the rights. But we need someone from Spriker to facilitate what’s happening out. There are very similar indeed to what’s. What bandage. And before that, around though, we’re doing a Magento. So yeah, that’s the, 

Brent: yeah.

Brent: And I, I did I’ve interviewed my Miquel Turk for both Spriker and it’s an interesting and fun platform and one of the. I had made early on was about the who 15 and how we’re working on getting sub one second times. And he laughed at me and he said, yes, Spriker, we’re working on sub 400 millisecond times or something like that.

Brent: It is an interesting platform and I’d love to dive into it a little more, but first let’s I know that you have been involved with. In conversion rate optimization, I think from an e-commerce standpoint, that is one thing that is often overlooked, especially. A lot of clients will come to a technology partner and they’ll say, Hey, I want to build a fantastic website.

Brent: Then they leave those either the technology partner doesn’t focus on that or the client doesn’t see value in that. So can we maybe just have a brief conversation around, what does it mean for conversion rate and why is that? And so why is that even more important than the platform you’re on or the store build that you’re doing or any of those.

Guido: I think the conversion rate optimization traditionally it’s in the name. It’s, a bit limiting. It’s the oldest Christian in the Ciroc community. Let’s first define what it is. So Euro it’s about a practice of semi or semi-truck. Practice or figuring out what works for your online store which usually involves doing user research talking to users, doing surveys, translating those into a hypothesis on what could work and what’s, where you expect to be a better for, your store.

Guido: And then validating that through experiments. Usually that’s, an AB test. That’s, very short description of of, Shiro these days. And I think one of the things that was holding back Shiro, it depends a bit on the depends a lot on the area you’re in the business you’re in, but for many companies it’s, relatively easy to say what the ROI is for buying more ads, buying Edwards.

Guido: This is what I put in. This is what I put out. That’s, very straightforward and that’s something that then people try to apply to Shiro and that doesn’t really work zeroes more. Often long-term strategy, trying to figure out what worked for your customer. And it’s really hard to say at the end of the day, at the end of the year what came out of that?

Guido: Exactly. Which is also a bit counter-intuitive because we’re doing an AB test. So we can exactly say, this is what version a is doing. This is what version B is doing, but. The course of the year, like if you do three aunts or a thousand experiments what’s your contribution? I don’t know. And that’s that’s, sometimes hard for managers to get into and also it can also mean that you’re not even growing, but it can also mean that you’re not going down.

Guido: So your conversion rate stays the same. Your number stays the same if you’re in a declining business like a couple of last years with, if you’re in a, in a. Selling holiday houses, like It’s going to be really hard to increase refresher rates or to, or avenue. But you really need a team like this to understand.

Guido: Okay, what are people still buying? What are the, changing consumer behavior to last year’s? And companies that do CRO well those are the ones that can survive this. And if you just keep buying more assets, that’s going to be a very difficult thing to, 

Brent: to maintain that. Yeah. I think with the Google mistake or the Google ad mistake or the paid ad mistake has always been, Hey, let’s just throw money at it.

Brent: And money will also always get it there. And sure. It’s true. You can plow enough money into anything to make anything work, but there was a diminish diminishing return on that investment. And I think one thing we learned, I was part of the PayPal mobile optimization program for a year. And we did learn that number one, measuring and doing those tests matters.

Brent: Getting the merchant to get involved and see what’s happening. And then I think what you said is you are either not propping up, but finding what works best for you. And then even doubling down on that to make sure that you’re putting that investment where it’s really paying off, but learning things that are counter-intuitive.

Brent: And I think one of the things that we learned in the mobile optimization. Some of the things that you would think would perform better, perform worse when you think they should perform better. And I think from a from a psychological standpoint or any, type of human behavior standpoint, for me, that’s always very interesting to learn.

Brent: Why and why would something you would think performed better perform worse? And I think for the mobile one, I think was all about we’re going from this desktop. People have a perception of desktop and then people have a perception of mobile. And I’ll just say in the Western world, I’ll generalize.

Brent: Most of the time, we’re still on our desktop computer buying something it’s going more mobile it’s compared to the emerging markets where it’s, maybe they don’t even have a desktop and they’re buying everything online. Yeah. 

Guido: Yeah and that’s counter-intuitive parts saying, okay.

Guido: We think this is going to work with. But it didn’t, that’s also a big part of why CRO can sometimes be a difficult conversation. Because w with management often, Ciro’s also an initially used just to prove whatever management wants it to prove. And that doesn’t always work. For example with, booking that I just mentioned that it’s

Guido: It’s you can book hotel rooms there. It’s a big company worldwide. It’s based in the Netherlands originally. So that’s why I use it as an example. There are the example of running experiment. But they, publicly said it. Okay. One in 10 experiments is success. So that even for that company, that’s the pinnacle of AB testing and running experiments.

Guido: They’re really good at this. And even they well fail nine out of 10 times fill as in doesn’t go up doesn’t increase your conversion rates or revenue or whatever you’re optimizing. So you can imagine if, you don’t have your processes in place or you’re not as good as booking yet, that number is not as good as one in 10, but might be wanting 21 in 50 or whatever.

Guido: And that’s, also I think Bartel for whites white can be really hard to start For companies doing this because you really need to be dedicated. It’s not just running a three tests a year and then the hope for the best. That’s probably not going to work for you. So that’s makes it a bit harder than just buy more Google ads.

Guido: But yeah, you need to realize that. The traffic to your website, that’s part one, part two is getting the people on those websites to convert to whatever you want them to buy. And it’s still a very important blocking factor if that’s not, good. And if you’re double the amount of people converting on your websites, that’s probably going to stay there.

Guido: Even if you stop optimizing today, if you double that and you’re stopped today, it’s not going to be we worse tomorrow. Less like things with ads. If you still buy ads today, you’re not going to have any traffic any more tomorrow. So that’s going to be I think Sierra is going to be in the end.

Guido: There’s going to be a better investment, but yeah, 

Brent: I think that looking at at what people are doing there, the op the, alternative is not doing. And then you don’t even know, then you’re really just sailing into a black hole without any knowledge or, thought about what you’re doing. So measuring it.

Brent: And I think I’ve heard is that it’s hypothesized, so you can come up with some experiments, you observe those, you measure them and then adjust after. So even, like you said, one in 10 or, one in 20. Those numbers mean that at least you’ve, found success in that little piece. And normally not normally, but let’s just say in the business world if you get a one and 10 on a stock pick and that stock picked does a thousand.

Brent: The increase in your business or your, return? That one in 10 usually pays for the nine. And I think if, as we dig in to CRO and we work in on those specific things with, clients and learn what is doing better, those that one in 10 is going to give a payback. And I’m guessing does it because it gives them a payback.

Brent: And of course they know their customer. 

Guido: Yeah. Yeah. And I think if you’re interested, you’re all, if you’re, like I said you’re in an agency you want to sell these things to clients. I think it helps to frame it in a totally different way. Don’t, sell it as optimization senators, risk managers.

Guido: And a way to prioritize your backlog. If you run the experiments and you say indeed nine out of 10 would not have works. That may, that means that you save money on implementing those nine things that wouldn’t would not have worked anyway. So you don’t have to implement them. Just implement the one that does work.

Guido: And, you can also say to the strands that’s maybe you think you’re not experimenting, but you’re changing a little things on your websites today and tomorrow under the author, you still, basically, you’re still experimenting. You just don’t have any idea what the outcome mess of the experiments.

Guido: The overall sum, you know what happens at the end of the month when you’re looking through your books okay, this is what we solve, but you have no ID which. Which of those experiments that you’re, I don’t know that your content team and what your design team, whatever they or development team, whatever they deployed, you have no idea what those individual experiments contributed to the whole.

Guido: So you’re not learning anything. Exactly. It’s something 

Brent: you can build upon. All right, so let’s tie this into Spriker. We, Came on to talk more about Spriker than CRO, but how how we 

Guido: can do multiple episodes of breath is found. Good. 

Brent: Good good So how well let’s, frame it around Spriker and, your role.

Brent: So some of your role is, going to be helping clients and some of your roles building a community. 

Guido: It’s a bit of a it might, feel like a bit of a career switch, so I’m not, I won’t be. So for the last 10 years I’ve been running those experiments, running hero programs and actually building teams that do this.

Guido: So I won’t be doing that. That Spriker at least not, initially. It’s, more about the community part. The thing I’ve also been doing with. With Magento on the side for, 13 years. That’s what I’m going to focus on doing doing for Spriker, but it still feels a bit it still feels a bit similar, so I’m not running AB tests anymore, but I’m still trying to.

Guido: To get the best possible feedback out of that community and use that to make Spriker better. And it can be Spriker the product can be Spriker the services that we offer. So in that sense, it’s not that far from what I’ve been doing is Bombi. It won’t result in an AB test, only commercial websites.

Guido: But I still plan on running some experiments with the community to see what’s working and what isn’t, and then collecting that feedback we are building or expanding, facilitating the community that we have. That’s a, that’s the main goal. Some of the things. That we have. So we have a couple of subgroups within that community.

Guido: We already have a partner advisory board for both the solution partners in the technology part. That’s already running. I’m not involved with that. I’m currently working on seating, a customer advisory boards. So that’s existing customers getting them to get our coupler, like 15 customers, getting them to get R and R on a regular basis.

Guido: And I get feedback from them on how they use system and help them communicate with Spriker in a better. So that’s one thing I’m doing. The second one is regular user groups. So we already had to use a group sets Spriker before the pandemic, those are now being continued on our remote basis.

Guido: So we had our first one last month, which was really fun. Doing that and that’s, more aimed necessarily at at the strategy level. There’s more day-to-day users that are doing that. The, like most user groups are and a third one is that’s working on I’m not sure about the name yet, but like a developer attraction and adoption group.

Guido: So there will be people from, clients, from solution partners and from Spriker itself to she. Okay. What can we do to get, to attract more developers basically to Spriker. We’ve seen that with, Magento that has, can be quite the bottleneck if you don’t have enough developers out in the world.

Guido: So we have a great academy team. That’s a surprise. We’ve got some great courses to onboard people, both for people working in the back ends for developers itself or for people selling selling Spriker those courses that it’s something we have. So also I think learning from I’m not the only one from magenta and the spikers and the LA people with Magento background.

Guido: So Carol making sure that Spriker has really good documentation. So that’s a, this has been thinking. But the academy, of course only works if people know about Spriker itself, you need to get those developers on board first. And so that’s going to be part of that’s that third group that I’m working on to figure out, okay, what can we do to onboard more people more developers and get them enthusiastic about the platform.

Brent: It reminds me of the tech stack on spreads. The, what is that? The platform’s on, tech beach BHP. Perfect. Yes. So a Magento developer could, he could transition a Spriker or fairly, easy. Yup. Yup. And 

Guido: multiple have 

Brent: gone sour yeah. It seems to be. I think we’ve always said this with Magento.

Brent: It seemed like Magento had run the course with eBay and then mark Lavelle and the team came in and, really reinvigorated the community. It seems like red, another tipping point now did an amazing job at that. Absolutely. We’re at an another tipping point. So it sounds like some of your role is to listen to what the community is saying and maybe.

Brent: Not adjust commercial aspects of it, put at least adjust communication aspects. Would that be a good realization of, part of your role of how the community is reacting, not reacting, but forming strategy and forward-looking planning in to involve the community. 

Guido: Yeah. And of course that’s something I experienced in the last 15 years with Magento myself being an active community member, but multiple working on the I’d never worked on the Magento site itself.

Guido: So I’ve seen something that Magento did really well. I’ve seen some things I think Magento could have done better. And that’s, definitely the part. And one of the first things I said two boars, whatever I’m going to do I won’t have sales targets. That’s an important one. For this job to work people need to trust you, right?

Guido: That, they need to be able to come with you with open feedback, open open criticism about whatever they think is important for them to continue their journey with with the products and that shouldn’t result in a call from the sales department next day, saying. Yeah. 

talk-commerce-guido-2022-1-10__22-55-15: Why 

Brent: did you do that?

Brent: Why did you say that? I’ve definitely I’ve unfortunately, or fortunately had those calls. It does get you. And unfortunately those calls do change a little bit of your direction as a, maybe even as an agency head or as a, or a community organizer in order to get money from. The not from the community, but from that entity and Magento was very good at saying, we’re never going to give you money for anything.

Brent: So that was easier. But in in order to get people, let’s just say, get people involved. There was a aspect of, we, you need to tow the line. And I agree there has to be some kind of line that has to be towed in terms of don’t don’t bash us on stage and at a meet Magento event, which actually happened.

Brent: And it should happen when it’s something that’s egregious. But there are I think there always has to be a commercial aspect to things. And again, so just help educate me. Is there a community version of spark or is it completely commercial? 

Guido: It’s completely commercial. It’s the sources.

Guido: But it’s not an open source license. So it the full code is on the, is available and get up for everyone to see and to try and as a and if you’re like me too lazy to install it. So there’s there are demos available for the different markets that we serve. So we have B to B, to C we have we have marketplace solutions so that’s all there for people to see.

Guido: But if you want to use the product, then it becomes a commercial license and that’s fully based on either the items sold order. So it depends a bit on the business model and I guess on what’s our sales team agrees with 

Brent: the clients. Okay. So it’s negotiable somewhat. 

Guido: Now yeah so, they have it’s not necessarily negotiable, but there are levels that you can get to.

Guido: And then of course the better the price becomes lower. Yep. 

Brent: Got it. Yeah. Marketplaces is certainly a, big topic right now. Everybody’s trying to do a marketplace. I think Magento has made the way Magento is, engineered. Isn’t great for marketplace applications. So tell us a little bit about how the marketplace would help a merchant.

Guido: Yeah, and I think w what makes breaker great is that it’s, it really focuses on the non standards business models, protocols, the sophisticated business model. And usually with specifically, I think with, marketplace with B to C it’s, usually straightforward and there are a lot of platforms supporting that.

Guido: And then you go to B2B or to marketplace usually. And like you said, with Magento You often get into the area of a lot of customizations. And then you need a platform that supports that the business models get more and more diverse, more and more when you go to B2B and marketplace and you need a platform to support that.

Guido: So I think that’s one of the, strength of 

Brent: biker a Spriker started in Germany. And it’s branching out to the rest of the world. So what are. What are your plans now for the U S market? I’m assuming that’s the next big market to tackle. 

Guido: Yup. So we got our first clients in in the U S and this is definitely, yeah.

Guido: Western Europe and the U S or for many platforms to go to markets, especially if that’s one of those countries, your, if you use your own country, U S is a big focus. We have already started there this year. Or 2021 last year and this year 2022 will be a big focus here and we will have we already had an exciting events.

Guido: There are last year, I think we’ll have one or two excite events. There are next year for context excites is the spike of fruition of of Magento. Imagine if if that’s, if that helps you with with context So that’s another, we are definitely focusing on that, but for me personally like I said, the one aspect that I find important is to grow.

Guido: That’s a developer base. And specifically for that, I think it’s even more important to be a presence. What is feasible in countries that are not Western Europe and the U S because there are a lot of development communities in south America and Africa in Asia, Indonesia, India. And that those are typical markets where marketing or sales is not active or not active yet, or not as active in, in as in Western Europe and in the U S so that’s going to be a fun challenge for, me and my team to, see outcome are we are, we can visit get visibility specifically in those markets, but in terms of sales we’re growing really fast in in the U S right now, I think this Fastest growth rates.

Guido: Yeah. So it’s going to be definitely a big one for 2020 

Brent: type of merchant. That would be a good fit for Spriker. 

Guido: Yeah. That, that will be the, customer like I said, that has a sophisticated business model and that is a tricky term, I think, because I’ve met a lot of, I’ve also worked agency side and every customer thinks they have a sufficient.

Guido: Business model. So that’s, always a up for discussion but a typical I think the best suit it’s like we just said with B2B and market. Those are definitely the customers that would be a better fit force. Private, I think B2C, although we do have some beets see clients that have more sophisticated mall.

Guido: Sorry if there’s, if it requires more customization then then your standard shop, that’s definitely a good one. Maybe, a good dimension for context that’s Spriker is a password. Oh man. It was on-prem before that we had on-prem we still have some on-prem customers but we only sell the past solution right now.

Guido: So platform as a service and which means we also everything, but there’s still a lot of customization that you can still do that you can either have an agency for, we have a lightness partner now. Our orders. You can do in-house if you have a development team in that. 

Brent: Oh as I think that past solution and just to educate our audience, the past means that it is a single installation, but it is all, it was hosted by the vendor.

Brent: So you’re hosting the platform, you’re supporting the base code. But it’s the single issue, but it’s not shared, it’s not an instance that shared like a SAS solution. It’s not shared with thousands of people. How do you, then 

Guido: you anchor customize it. You can build on top of that compared to with a SAS solution where you can customize some things through settings, but if it’s not in the setting, Then you’re done.

Guido: Yeah. 

Brent: And it’s a big difference there. It’s the only way to customize that is to build an application that’s sitting outside of the application that would con connect via an API. You can’t build it directly into the software. 

Guido: And a nice addition to that is that’s we’re going to release. I think there’s going to be a Q2.

Guido: I think that was announced. I hope I think Q2, we will release our SDK and AOP. That’s the. The application that the platform basically that we will have so then we’re going to have our own marketplace, our own app store for things to connect with. Spriker. So then we can have a shared database of whatever you want to connect.

Guido: If you want to connect your your email, your CRM, your ERP to Spriker. You can do that. And I think that’s especially interesting because a lot of things in Spriker are interchangeable. So w what the gardener calls package business capability. BBC’s which basically means that everything in Spriker it’s a collection of those package business capabilities.

Guido: And that’s, talk to each other through an API. So if you want to, for example remove that or use your own. You can remove practice checkouts and use a third-party checkout or your own checkouts. And that’s different elements in Spriker have. We have I don’t know the accounts, but we have several PVCs that consists of several undoes of modules.

Guido: You can just swap them out and especially with the AOP, that will be really interesting because then you can Israel can be relatively well, even more easy to do. 

Brent: So coming back to the past model one of the complaints with the Magento version of pass is that it, doesn’t necessarily save the client any money on, maintenance because you basically, you’re hosting it on Magento, but they’ll help support your core, but they won’t do anything else then.

Brent: Answer support tickets. So is Spriker taking any different approach to that? Do they, are they doing some of the core updates on the code itself? 

Guido: That’s a good question. And I don’t really, I haven’t worked with a Magental spouse version, so I don’t really know how to compare it to to that. But yeah, the this Riker core is maintained and it’s a it’s the same for everyone.

Guido: And you can then choose to update it for you. Yes or no. For all the different models. There are hundreds, I think we’re currently over a thousand modules of Spriker itself. They’re all versions. You can choose to update. Those were never Whatever works for you. You can you can, of course, ideally update them all when they come out.

Guido: And then that’s all on a rolling basis. I think on average, I heard someone say that on average, we have 10 releases a day. That’s something I’m definitely that’s, being maintained and that you can benefit 

Brent: from. So the I, know that speaking to Mike McKell earlier in the year, he talked a lot about the BDB version and then the scalability and the robustness of the platform.

Brent: Maybe tell it, talk to us a little bit about the type of client that would look at B2B and skew counts and things like that. 

Guido: Oh, yeah. In terms of we have those extreme examples, and last year at at the, excite conference we had one they have over 550 million sq use in their Spriker store, which I find mind boggling.

Guido: That’s that’s, very impressive. And yes, people order dare on a regular basis. It’s not just sitting there but they they sell electronic parts it’s and the case study is actually on my website. If you’re interested, it’s a sociability and this is the name of the. That’s the platform.

Guido: And yeah, I think In terms of, and that’s, why I think Spriker is very interesting to me personally. I was funded and that there’s already, there’s something I found with, Magento. I funded the B2B sites, that those those clients always way more interesting PTC sites because of those those tricky business models and the tricky Details that you need to get right in, B2B.

Guido: B2C can be hard with a lot of customers. Just the sheer volume of, customers. If you have a lot of shopping that those customers of customer behavior change can change fast, but with B2B also have this and the detail that you need to get, right? All those specific things for your business.

Guido: I was Working with a company that did prince and they printed basically on that. And that means that if you print on everything, it’s really hard to get templates for, printing. I know, yeah. Umbrella umbrellas, that’s a different cars. You can mugs pens, everything, all the merchant you can think of that they would print it.

Guido: And which, meant that it was basically almost all manual. For, the depends that some, automation but basically everything else was done manually, which is mind blowing, but then you need to keep in mind when, someone orders it they had their, our local supply was in the.

Guido: But if, you didn’t need a speed delivery, so if you needed a speed delivery, they would do that in a, in the Netherlands. And then you’d have an extra fee for that. But if If you would want to deliver, like in one and a half, two weeks, they would actually ship all the stock that was in the Netherlands.

Guido: Put it on a on a truck, drove it to Poland, and then there are people would unpack everything print it, put it back in a truck, drive it back to the Netherlands and. Because it was so labor intensive, that was actually cheaper to do that than just to print it in the Netherlands, which again is mind blowing, but then you need a system, a backend that supports crazy shit like that.

Guido: And, that’s what I find interesting. Those, clients of debt, those are the things that are holding. Or, things your system is holding you back on? I think that’s those are great cases for Spriker. 

Brent: Yeah, same example that we worked with the eyeglass company that had the same idea where they, want part of the eyeglasses would get done in a factory, in one part of the city.

Brent: And then it would get shipped across town to put the lenses in the frames or whatever. Then they get shipped to the retail store, get shipped back, and then. Then get shipped to the client directly. If that’s that’s the if that’s the model that they had. And that was I know that for Magento, that turned out to be very complicated.

Brent: But, yeah. So I can see how that would from a standpoint of complexity and from a platform where you that’s, where you, the necessity of having a platform that you can modify and make your own. Essentially, 

Guido: if you want to do a. What we call unified commerce. So your terminals in your stores, your physical stores, where people can can order stuff or clients can order stuff locally.

Guido: And that’s connected into your system complexity rises quickly. And also things like in the beginning with, Magento Magento was fixed right now, but in Magento in the beginning it was all already really hard to have multiple warehouses. There’s also, it was also another thing.

Guido: And luckily Spriker fixed that from beginning. That’s, something. We have a lot of clients that’s a doer multiple millions of revenue. That’s the things they want to fix and expect from from a platform to. Yeah, it’s F as a default. 

Brent: There’s a whole bunch of buzzwords floating around in the community on monoliths and microservices and micro blah-blah-blah PWA.

Brent: Where is Spriker sitting in on that. And I guess from a technology standpoint, is it easier for a customer to get into it and not worry so much about the technology? Or are they going to have to. Not worry there’s going to be a certain amount of development needed to get things running.

Guido: It’s a past platform so, there will always be some some development needed to get at the Oregon. Although we do have a. We do have for there’s a front end that you can use if that’s what you want, but you can also add your own phone tents. It will need to be connected to, the data that you have or data that you have needs to be important.

Guido: So those are always things that, that needs. And yeah, there are a lot of buzzwords and it can be complex can get complex really fast. I’m still struggling with it myself. And honestly, the first time I heard the term monolith was with the open letter the Magento Ruthie last summer, they started complaining about how things were going and partially rightfully and that’s where I I formed encountered the term monolith before, but just disregarded it and then, but that, wasn’t the first point. I thought I need to look into this and then, oh, this is what they mean, but yeah for, a Spriker I think Spriker is more something that’s often listed in the.

Guido: Corner of things, a mock standing for a microservices, API, firsts cloud something and a cloud native and and, the headless. So those are also for. Yeah. 

Brent: Excellent. 

Guido: But that’s, like a, term that people use often. We, were not fully onboard with the microservices part of that that equation Spriker believes more.

Guido: And that’s what I just mentioned with, the package business capabilities. Microservices first will mean that everything is a microservice. That that leads to a lot of overheads very quickly. And that’s, not needed for most companies. And there are always exceptions. But it’s not something that you’d benefit from.

Guido: And then on the other end of the spectrum is the, monolith like a magenta was at the. Mainly and then Spriker sits, in the middle, which we find very comfortable and most lines seem to be for most lines. It seemed to be a nice balance between the flexibility that you would get with a, with API first and microservices.

Guido: But to have those package in things that make sense for the business package business capabilities. It’s not a developer term. It’s, business. It’s a business term. Alexa, you’re you to have a package business capability for you can have a CRM or an ERP or your checkouts or your phone tense.

Guido: Those can be different, capabilities of your system. And for, clients that just makes more sense. That language makes more sense and the way at least Spriker has built a, it also prevents the overhead that, you would get with only using microservice. 

Brent: Yeah. I like that term, a package business capabilities.

Brent: Yeah, it gives the I think it, the idea of behind that is. You don’t there. There’s going to be a lot of solutions that would apply, but you don’t necessarily have to do the customization, but if you need to, you still can. So clients or merchants can feel better about. Making their solution work at a lower cost or at least a lower initial investment to get them up and running.

Brent: Yeah. 

Guido: And the Spriker is also not. It’s targeting the local bakery rights. That’d be fair. It’s we’re, targeting a larger enterprise businesses mainly and those usually. Either an agency or their own development team that, can handle this. And that’s also where I think Spriker shines.

Guido: A lot of developers love working with Spriker because it’s so maintainable for them, they only need to focus on those extra things that are the, exceptions basically for their business and not necessarily maintaining the system behind us. That’s also not something I’m not a developer, but a.

Guido: Recurring daily tasks, not something necessarily that you’re looking forward to for doing for most people, at least I’m generalizing here, but most people the new things, that those are the challenging things. That’s what you want to do with most developers want to do. And that’s, what we enable.

Guido: And, along those package, business capabilities, one thing I I think you need to mention that’s not something that’s probably grant funded or something it’s a term developed by by Gardner Spriker was also they recognized Spriker as a, as efficient, airy in their magic quadrants last year.

Guido: And it’s only the second year that we, that the sparkle was even listed. And the magic quadrants. And we’re already we were spoken was the platform. We moved the most distance in a positive direction within that. Within the quite uncertain, there was really nice, but also if you look at this quadrant the market changed so much compared to when we started with Magento.

Guido: Like I said, with Magento, we had commerce where we had virtual mark and there was Magento And we had a couple of like Intershop or those kinds of more commercial packages. But right now the magic quadrants, the market is so different than Demetric wardens already contains like 16, 16, 17 systems.

Guido: And that’s like the creme de LA creme from, what gardeners selectors are the F right now are the hundreds of solutions that you as a company can pick. That’s a huge challenge, I think for both developers, both an agencies and clients to say, what on earth do I need to a, big year? A lot of we saw all of you included agencies that’s select a platform, right?

Guido: And you need to stick to dads and that’s what you invest in. And that’s what you then hope sticks when for, long enough. But also in, in debt, I think. And of course I am definitely biased in this in-depth. Spriker is positioned really well because it’s so open with the API, with those package B business capabilities there’s relatively easy to adopt for you as an agency or develop our work lines that fits really well with with whatever you have, right.

Guido: With the adjacent tools for e-commerce that you need to connect with debts because it’s focuses only on the, on you bringing development through the table for, everything that’s specific to your business and enabling that. I think that positions us 

Brent: really well.

Brent: Five 10 minutes left here. What are you excited now for 2022? What do you see coming on the e-commerce horizon on the technology horizon? Do you think? I think one thing you mentioned is that there’s so many more technology players in that magic quadrant and it’s, you would think that we’d be seeing some more consolidation, but it’s almost as though we’re splitting it between SAS pass and on-prem, and then everybody.

Brent: There’s more of them. So what, do you see happening in 2022? What’s exciting. More and more. Yeah, 

Guido: this is very exciting. I, do think and, actually I had the same thing with magenta. I never looked at other platforms and look the oldest competition that we need to fight. Those other platforms.

Guido: Apparently. The e-commerce market is huge and we all get to play a part in that. And there’s this place for almost all of us or these, a lot of us there is place for, Magento and there’s place for, a shop where there are a lot of business cases, that’s fifth with those, and we don’t necessarily need.

Guido: Bethel each other. And in a ring and the bolt flying everywhere that this was really needed. I think we can all focus on that’s the thing that we really good at. And looking at how fast Spriker is going in terms of clients and employees I’m not worried about that.

Guido: That’s a very exciting thing to be at. I’m actually for the past forever, every ever since I’ve. The works basically. I had this dream once working for like a SAS company, like Dropbox or Evernote that those were the companies I thought 15 years ago, that will be really cool to work at. So I have a, single piece of software and you can optimize debts and both from a usability perspective, but also you have this endless nearly endless world markets and form of your, that you got, that you can conquer that there will be really exciting.

Guido: And that’s, this is what I am excited about. This is my first time working on the platform sites and, doing this and Applying my, my experience with, community building for the first time in actually a professional way. I They actually paying me for this now, especially my dream job that had been doing on the side for, 13 years now.

Guido: So I’m very, excited about that. And it’s a great spot to be in with, Spriker it’s it’s very they’re, remote first. I’ve been working remote first for, but at least pre Corona, but four or five years. But it’s, so natural to the company. It’s everyone is remote first have with limited holidays.

Guido: That’s always nice to have I’m working work from Netherlands. I don’t have to complain and we already. Twenty-five holidays by default. So nothing to complain there, but it’s still nice to have, especially we have to, to kids like I do sometimes you need, you just need some extra because they’re the home again.

Guido: And And, building that community. And like I said, w what I really enjoyed with the Magento community, bringing people together, especially for the first time, I does have a lot of community first next year. And the awkward moments, the recognition. That’s exciting starting point at five that you see where people first meet the immediate charter and then build businesses based on that.

Guido: I clearly remember the first meeting magenta are organized in the Netherlands. To developers came to get our metadata for the first time. And now they have this huge Magento business that they sold a couple of years ago. And, that’s happened multiple times and that’s really exciting to me to see that’s happening and then to be at the start of that.

Brent: Yeah, I agree. So I like the idea of having an MMA. MMA cage match, but you’d call it Magento, meet Magento association, cage match, and we’d get Spriker and shop wire in there. And we’d just get some we just have a Throwdown and see who wins. That’s that’s one way to look at it. 

Guido: That’s one way to look at it.

Guido: Like I said, I don’t necessarily need a cage measure. I think we’re, I think we can all we’re all in e-commerce. So that’s, a really good choice to begin with. And I think if we play at rise, we will all win big. What would be 

Brent: a buydown instead of a Throwdown? I think. So we as, we close out, I always give people an opportunity to do a shameless plug.

Brent: What w shameless plug is just, you can promote anything you’d even a local school or charity or whatever it is that you’re, thinking about the. 

Guido: I feel like I’ve been shamelessly plugging Spriker for us lost at least 20 minutes already. Yeah, but if you want me to continue with that, we have we have for looking for a lot of people.

Guido: As, everyone in the in the e-commerce sphere is, so if you’re interested in in dance and now working for a great European employer have a look at the Sprocket. Hiring people work white likes. That’s where we are remote first and work from anywhere. So a take your pick if you’re interested, definitely take a look there.

Guido: And on a personal note, we started out with a CRO. I have my podcast on the, on CRO still. It’s a weekly podcast interviewing experts in the field and that’s the last hero. So I have looked there and you probably already into podcasts anyway, since you’re listening to this, so might as well subscribe.

Brent: Absolutely. Yeah. We all need to share our subscribers and get people to listen more and learn more. I think that the, at first first this should be education. This should be learning about other platforms is not about Magento or whatever. The place where we can learn about what other platforms are doing.

Brent: And from my personal for 2022, I’m super interested in CRO and I have seen sodas seen the light and, why that’s so important for clients. So I applaud you for what you’ve done over the years. And just as a plug. You did organize the first meat Magento, right way back in 2009, 

Guido: January 27th, 2009. 

Brent: Wow.

Brent: Yeah, that’s amazing. And it’s, been such a fantastic journey for both the community building, which has been the most important part for me. Because that’s when I got introduced to right about that same time, that’s when I got introduced to Magento. And I think that community is what has driven the Magento to where it is.

Brent: And you have to give a lot of a lot of kudos, so to speak to the community for helping move that along. And right now there’s a lot of A lot of communication that isn’t and is happening in the Magento community. 

Guido: Yeah. Yeah, I do think community a, is a huge asset for, you as a company, whatever you’re doing as a as a company community is one of those things that is the hardest to copy.

Guido: It’s all of us can copy your product. They can copy your servers, your pricing model, your business model. But it’s really hard to copy a, community. And I think that’s also the, one of the big reasons magenta was still so big, even with all those comp the competition that’s out there in, in that 14, 15 year that Magento was existing.

Guido: Something better probably has come along. And, maybe it has For that specific business model. But transitioning all those agencies away from, you or the developers to learn something new or clients to switch platforms. Clients don’t switch platforms every year. There’s, a time delay in that and, it gives them that gives you the opportunity to, improve your product again, because you have that community commitment from people through you in the company.

Guido: And that’s Yeah, I think I mean with Adobe taking over Magento right now, they’re well, they’re not investing in the name Magento anymore. That’s I think that’s abundantly clear with removing the name from the website. The logo was and now redirecting to to the Adobe website.

Guido: But, even for, the product It’s. Yeah, it’s hard to see a little of investment from, Adobe. What we hoped would happen when they took over. But still everyone’s using Magento. And it’s really hard. You, as a business owner, you or the Magento agency, it’s really hard to have everyone trained on a different, platform.

Guido: That’s not necessarily something you’re looking 

Brent: forward to. Yeah. That’s so true. 

Guido: Yeah. And so communities is a huge assets for four years of community. And then for user, as a business and that’s community, then in a broad sense, a sense of the word can be individuals, developers, the companies that, are attached to you and committed to 

Brent: I think I get your name right there, ghetto Yonson.

Brent: Thank you so much for being here today. Ghetto is the global business and technology evangelist for Spriker. I look forward to seeing you in 2022 in person, somewhere in the world. Hopefully in the U S or in Europe maybe even at a race, we can do a race together. We did, we got through this whole episode without talking about running.

Brent: Next time we’ll do more of that. I appreciate you being here today. Thank you. 

Guido: Thanks for having me. 

Brent: Thank you.

NRF Big Show Wrap-Up: 2022 the Year That was(n’t)?

This year, the NRF Big Show focused on five themes: digital transformation, peak retail, e-commerce in omnichannel, shopping and the millennial consumer, and the Future of Retail. Digital transformation is all about meeting the customer where they are. Retailers are transforming their stores into increasingly digital spaces with digital displays, …

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TalkCommerce GraphQL Interview

Protected: Interview with Rebecca Hauck from BigCommerce on GraphQL

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Talk Commerce - Cody Wittick

Influencer marketing with Cody Wittick

Have you thought about an influencer for your brand? What does it mean to have an influencer and how do you pay them? (If anything?) Cody Wittick helps us understand how influencers can help you in your business and how important they are to build your brand. Learn how you can find and retain influencers in 2022!

  • Cody notes that they work with D2c brands.
  • Cody mentions that the mission is to educate brands on the right way to do influencer marketing.
  • Cody says there are influencers that have zero social following and their job is to get influencers to rally around their brand. Cody talks about how influencers are choosing to represent you as much as you are trying to represent them. Cody mentions that there’s a long-term consistent vision and mission for that relationship.
  • Cody and Brent overview whether social media platforms have changed. Cody talks about how there’s more access into their lives through social media. Brent notes that the market has grown for influencers by the fact that you can become an influencer by going to your iPhone and embracing a brand, taking pictures, and pushing that.
  • Cody talks about how the ability to create content consistently has made it easier for influencers to become influencers. Cody notes that people end up buying fake followers or trying to speed up the process. Brent says the goal as an influencer would be to influence a idea to promote it. Cody notes that there’s always at least one influencer in your space.
  • Brent mentions that if a business is looking for help from influencers, they could be an influencer. Cody says they want to get the product into those influencers hands. Brent notes that they follow hoka and see reviews for shoes online.
  • Cody says if the influencer is not thinking of them, they would be outreaching them, dm-ing them, or emailing them to get ahold of them. Cody mentions that if they are a runner, a consistent runner, and they’re putting out captivating content, they will attract running brands. Cody notes that the best way to scale is just the more people that have your product, the more relationships that are going to be able to build.
  • Cody says working with genuine advocates is the best way to scale. Brent notes that they find something defective or not great about the product. Brent says they should think about the customer experience with their influencer marketing.
  • Cody notes that they want a longterm community of influencers that are talking to their audiences consistently. Cody talks about how the time is transactional one-off posts with influencers. Brent notes that brands constantly are trying to hit this, like one-off drug.
  • Cody says if brands are investing in tech talk, that’s something they need to be doing. Brent talks about how it’s easy to create content for multiple channels.
  • Cody notes that they identify 500 influencers on a month to month basis, get them the product they search after they get them, and see their organic performance. Cody says they run facebook and instagram ad accounts. Cody notes that their role is to keep growing the business as co ceo.
  • Cody says they want to be judged on sales. Cody mentions that a lot of the leverage of influencer marketing is starting. Cody says they’re measuring the amount of content. Cody mentions that the metta dashboard on facebook is giving you all the metrics. Cody talks about how you’re not going to see direct, this came from this influencer.
  • Brent mentions that it’s an invite type of thing where you’re identifying people that are generating certain amount of content or influence in that industry. Cody notes that most merchants and brand owners that come to them are looking for a lot of ugc or creative, and therefore leveraging that content within facebook. Cody says they’re producing a pool of people that have proven to post free of cost without us even asking.
  • Brent and Cody say that the best influencers are people that the product and brand fits into what they’re already doing and talking about. Cody notes that most of the time, what they catch them off guard with is that we’re not asking for anything in return.
  • Cody mentions that when they get the product, they feel obligated to return something to the brand. Brent says they see more and more influencers saying they purchased the product. Cody mentions that stats show it doesn’t make a difference.
  • Cody says apple has made it harder for facebook to track checkouts, add to carts, and the reporting. Cody notes that the roas is down 50%. Cody mentions that ios 15 has been with email updates. Cody notes that certain effects on email marketing will be in display through apple.
  • Brent asks what would they overview to a brand if they would like to get started on influencer marketing. Cody says they’re ready for influence marketing because it’s the same thing you want that first impression, second impression, and third impression to be awesome. Cody notes that they’ve worked with startups all the way from the m and m’s of the world.
  • Cody mentions that their sweet spot is top line revenue of two to 30 million, and they’ve worked with b2b brands before. Brent inquires if there is any difference between promoting their product and sending a physical item to influencers. Cody notes that they have an influencer marketing course called influencer blueprint.
  • Cody says they give away all of their templates and communication flow and worksheets budget, calculators, and everything in between. Cody notes that they’re active on twitter at cody widdick and instagram at cody widdick. Brent says they are an influencer marketing consultancy agency.
Dick Polipnick

Is the Future V-Commerce? with Dick Polipnick

Imagine 10 years ago, you are standing in your kitchen and you say “Alexa order more dried lima beans”. I know what you are saying. Who eats lima beans? Would you have imagined then that this is a reality? Brent and Dick overview where the future of commerce is going. And it’s V but not virtual, that’s V for Voice Commerce. Will Siri get a commission on every dollar that gets sold? Join us for a great episode on marketing and where we are going in the future.


  • Dick Polipnick is the founder and CEO of Online Growth Systems, and competes competitively in parkour. He believes that the next iteration of commerce is V-Commerce or voice commerce.
  • Based on his research, Siri is going to integrate with commerce and speculates that they’re going to get a commission on every dollar that gets sold through Siri. Voice commerce is going to be big and, most importantly, a lot of Ecommerce companies have already seen traction in those areas. His suggestion? Optimize your current Ecommerce site to be integrated with voice buyers, This, combined with virtual and augmented reality, is going to be the future of commerce.
  • Brent mentions how coaching and business coaching can be done virtually and that the next thing coming from voice reality is voice commerce. Merchants worry about Alexa looking at the amazon store first and subsequently, all the rest of the list. The best way to optimize for SEO is to write it in a way that people would speak as well as ranking your keywords that are written the way people speak.
  • Dick recommends that Ecommerce companies consider subscriptions. Everybody is familiar with dollar shave club, and that’s a company that’s competing for a commodity, it’s disposable, and your lifetime value is greater. Dick mentions that you can put a unique spin on this and make an e-commerce brand or Ecommerce company with a monthly subscription. Part of the value is that you know what you’re going to get every month.
  • The Future of Commerce is Voice