Today’s guest is Josh Barkin of Janis.AI and when I think A.I experts in chat marketing - Josh is the go to person in the community. We chat about his story and how he’s managed to create a great mix of combining a highly technical subject, with marketers that don’t know how to code and do development.
I love his ethos, how he teaches people and how he’s making this space so much more accessible, and this space is already huge - but it’s going to be growing so if you want to understand your customers better while automating some of the process, you’re going to get a lot of value out of this episode.
26 Josh Barkin 00:00:02 Unknown : Welcome to the chat, marketing podcast, your number one place to learn actionablestrategies and tips that help you have more profitable conversations with yourcustomers. This podcast is here to help you grow your business by betterunderstanding your customers, speak to them on another level, and grasp the opportunities that lie inthe marketing industry. And now let's get chatting with your host, livefrom melbourne, australia, successful chat marketer andentrepreneur dan pinny. Hello folks, and welcome to episode 25 of the chatmarketing podcast. Now when I think of artificial intelligence and chat bots,it, after makes me think of clunky, awkward bots that make those conversationsgo around and around and around in circles. But when I startedlearning more from today's guests, i realised the possibilities of whatcan be done when you integrate a.i. Into your chat marketing properly. Today'sguest is Josh Barkin of Janis. And when I think of a.i. Experts in chat marketing, josh is the go to person in the community.We chat about his story and how he's managed to create a great mix of combining a highly technical subject with marketersdon't know how to code and do development like myself. I love hisethos, how he teaches people, and how he's making this space so muchmore accessible. And this space is already huge, but it's going to be growing. So if youwant to understand your customers better while automating some of theprocess, you're going to get a lot of value out of thisepisode. So without further ado, here's our interview withJosh bacon of jannis a.i. . Hi Josh, welcome to the chat marketingpodcast. Hi, how are you doing? Thanks for having me. pleasure. I'm lookingforward to delving into your background and your brain a little bit in your mind. And he sort ofcreated some of these solutions because you've been creating chat or conversationalmarketing and chat bots. I guess for 20 years now and for some, a lot of people that probably listen tothis podcast have sort of jumped on it recently. Maybe twenty six, twenty seventeen for the what we call theearly adopters. And then you come along and have been doing live chat solutionson websites. So we'll all jump into that. But like can you tell us a little bit about your background and Iguess how you've got to to now infante jenice? Yeah it's, it's been quite ajourney for sure. You know, I've, I've been around, as they say, I'vebeen in and out of tech startups for a number of years. That's thesort of the sweet spot of a tech company that I love is in theidea conceptual early product design, get a minimum viable product tomarket. validate the market, starts generating some metrics and validatingassumptions. So that's always been my thing and, and least where Ifeel i add the most value to a tech startup. But yeah,I mean, I think early on, you mentioned like 20 years ago.So about about that time I was brought on as a cto for a startup thatwanted to bring live chat to websites. And, and we really, there wasn't, that wasn'ta thing back then. There was, you know, now everyone has a lot of chatwebsite on a website. It's become a whole thing. It doesn't, you know, there's vendors that do it with just livechat. Some do just automation. I'm doing both facebook's in there what everybody'sdoing that. But at the time, we were really kind of imagining whatthat experience would look like. And the technology that we have access to today wasobviously not there. So it was, it was a learning experience of howto somebody hits a website, they need help. They press a button,rings a bell for the business, and they answer it like a phone, but then they start typing. And I thinkthe most compelling piece of that, that software at the time was the fact thatyou could create these saved responses . So you're able to boostsome productivity as a live chat operator and instead oftyping every time a user would send a message through awebsite, you can access a response library and just push theresponse to the user. They get immediate response, it was still manual, right? Like the, the live chat operator was still doingsomething. It wasn't triggered with any kind of automation, but just having, having that library that response libraryi thought was really cool. And then and it certainly certainly we did pretty wellwith it back then. That was many years ago nowadays. You talk about automation.And where I got into jannis was my co-founder of Janis and I both ranmobile app studios. So we were building a social mobile apps for iPhone andandroid. Social gaming was big gamification on the iPhone was pretty easyto monetize at the time. And then once the iPhone, just and building mobileapps became a saturated market, and there was like a million apps. Therewas a lot of talk about the next, the next thing being conversationalautomation. And I just felt like something I wanted to dive back into.So many years later and see what we could do. And this was really back intwenty sixteen. So my co-founder and I had, we just collaborated in slack and a workspace.And we said, what can we do there? We didn't really know what kindof bot we wanted to build, but this is when facebook was just launchingits messenger platform version one. And all we know is that at the time when wewere building bots that we just didn't have a lot of the things that we needed tosucceed. There wasn't analytic tools and reporting. I don't even think many that hadlaunched at the time. I think they were, they were a very, they weren't even on Facebook yet. Theyare just just starting out. So it was really just the right time in the marketto sort of dive into something and see where we could go. But knowingthat we still, there were a bunch of things that we felt we needed.And so we started building these tools internally before we decided the actualcustomer experience was we're going to build a real estate board e-commerce. We didn'treally know. We needed to know what we needed to know was thatevery time somebody sent a message that we needed andthe bot couldn't understand, we needed to get notified because themost important thing for us was being able to retain a customer that retention was key like wedidn't want to put all of our eggs in the automation basket. We wanted to be ableto use the automation to answer our frequently asked questions. And that's when we, we stumbled into dialog flow, which was, which was before it was owned by Google.So we became friends with the founder of a creator of that technology andstarted just experimenting, building some tools that we thought wereuseful in slack. And then one day we said we noticed that there's communitiesthat were growing on Facebook, many chat and chat people. Some peoplewere complaining like what happens when users don't click my buttons? And I said to myco-founder said, you know, I think these people can benefit from ourtools. And so we just packaged up at what became our internal tools became janis. And we just packaged it up and said here, go ahead and use our tools. And that endedup being, the bot that we built was a bot that helped others, you know,monitor their, their bots and, and now what it's become is a bot that helps businesses manageintegration of automation. So that's the story. Could have been shorter,but nice. Now that's great, I love to love to hear the background.This might be a really stupid question, but where did the name come from? So Janis was really justlike at the time that we, we were trying to come up with a brandfor our tools. We knew that we wanted a name, a real name, and itwas kind of a scramble for a domain. And we know that we wantedsomething short license or janis's five letters. So something short, something dotti my co-founderand I are both musicians and, and we're like, classic rock musicians.So I was like, what about janis joplin? Right. And so I was wondering ifthat was, and it was a geeky thing, or if it was something like that,janis joplin, i love it. There's a story behind that, which is funny because we do get peoplejoining our community that think this is a janis joplin. fan fan community and They just join the community and then they,they're like, what is going on here? That is great. I love that. Andthe thing I love about janis and what it does is that it'sbought I and conversational, automated conversational marketing to anaccessible market because we were chatting product recording here. And then when Ifirst got into it, I was like it's, it's a lot to sort of get your headaround, but now, you know, and you've developed so much sincethen that it used to be when you think, I think that you need a specific skill set in that space and youneed to be incredibly smart to be able to build that in. But it's so accessible. The market is at that now. And Janis sort of created that bridge betweenwhere it was previously and, and to the businesses out there. Howimportant was that to be able to make it accessible for people out there?Well, that's our mission, right? Like you nailed that,accessibility is, is, is, is quarter to the mission of the business, which is we looked at themarket and we said, ok, here's this really great technology,natural language processing, mlp. It's dialogflow. At one point, they were competing in the same spaceas some of these other conversational platforms. But then googlebought the technology and, and google's market is not themarketing audience. It's not, they target developers and largeenterprise. And so they, you know, they, they basically saidwe're their businesses, we're going to ignore 90 percent of thepeople that might be able to benefit from this technology. And that's wherewe said ok, well, they provided a whole developer platform, google cloud to be able to use that technology.Let's take that technology and try and translate that into an experiencethat is easier to digest. Where more than this, a developer or someonewith like, you know, a data scientist or someone with deepsophistication might be able to benefit of the technology. It is really aboutbringing ai to everyone. And that, that mission is accessibility is core andit continues to evolve. I mean, there's, there's, there technology continues to evolve ourunderstanding of where our users struggle or how we can make something that is a sophisticated concept. And how can wecan distill it down into something that's easier to understand or easierto digest or dialogflow, which is the leading conversation. It wasbuilt by developers for other developers . Yeah, so yeah, I think it's been, we'relearning A lot from our users and I, and I think that's what, what, what keeps me awake at night andup early every morning is like, how can we help people benefitfrom this technology? Because as a company, we use our product, the same way our customers shouldbe using our product. I mean, we use jannis. We've automatedone hundred percent of our, of our customer onboarding. We've automatedclose to 80 percent or more of our customer support. So we're living the,you know, the business life that I think a lot of marketers would like to lead, because we use our own product and haveinvested in an understanding and really taking that and bringing it to everyone.Yeah. Can before we start jumping to some examples and have seenmaybe, can you just give us a quick lay of the land and we've mentioneddialogflow. And before we probably get too far down the rabbit hole, howdoes each of these things work together? If say someone is listening to this andthere aren't many user and they might use some of the basic keywords, can you give us that context asto how they all work together? Yeah, and I think that's exactly the way we lookat it in terms of working together. And a lot of there's, thereseems to be you know, this, this misconception in the sort ofmarketing world that, you know, well, why doesn't, why don't I have this from many chat or whydoesn't many chat provide me with this? Or here's a feature i want many shot, and it's so far and beyond the scopeof what many chat provides that we are our understanding of the space isthat there's companies that do things really, really well. market as a marketing tool in the conversationalspace. Many chasidic, right? But to answer questions youneed conversational i, right? Because every conversation begins witha question, when it, when it's with a business, right, whether it's a leador whether it's customer support, it's always a question. And yes, you can use keywords or there's likejannis has an inbox, for example, for conversations is notthe best inbox. We know, we don't do inbox very well.So we look at these things as a stack and you stack systems togetherand, and it's in, in a similar way to like a zap here, but more deeply focused on conversationalmarketing and conversational experiences . You connect the best toolstogether so you might send a message. There are many chat bot becausethat's what you used to deploy to instagram or facebook or wherever yourcustomers are. customers sends a question, it can get relayed through many chat, to dialogflow dialogflow being googlization.It doesn't have to be dialogflow . It could be, you know,watson which is ibm's a.i. Or, or lewis, which is microsoft's.So there is different, we'll call them brain brains and reallynobody's going to do it better than those companies. Just like many charts greatat marketing. google's not great conversation marketing isthat they're the vias, so you plug them all indigenous and you canbenefit from the best of what's on the market. Same with analytics, right? Like you'll get some basic analyticsfrom, you know, from, from, from many chat or even dialogue.Has its own analytics, but there's companiesout there like doszpot, and that's what they've done. They focusdeeply on solving conversational analytics . So if that's your solution, there are jannis integrationpartner and you just drop in a key with jannis and you know, all ofyour analytics are, are there. So, yeah, and I love how you've made all the systemswork together. If people haven't played around jannis before, it's now an app on the menu chat still andobviously available in all the different platforms out there. But even just theonboarding process and how you do make it simple for people to be able togo, go and get this, copy that, and then bring it over here and sit hereand then this is what we do next. And so we'll manage within slack, which is I think making these thingsin programs that people use day in day out is one of those things it is, is just so underrated in this space and, and focusing particularly on that. Onething, like you said, it's conversational, i well, you know, one of thethings that you mentioned, you mentioned slocum there and, andone of the things we learned about a year ago is that not everybody lovesslok. And that's ok. Excuse me, like we are. workflow is slok like my team.We collaborate and have been doing it for years. And I think when youtalk about integrating a.i. Into a customer experience, it does need to be something that isthat fits into your workflow. So for us, when we built our tools, becausewe wanted to build a bot, and our internal tools were built inslack. And so when we extended them, we send them to other people. ideallythat were. Or at least if you all had a general understandingof its value proposition, even if you didn't actively use it, you would fairly quickly be able to benefitfrom but some people and that would and using our product and managing an integrationwould become part of your existing workflow, but we dohave a number of users, they just don't love. So one of the thingswe're doing now is we're working to create, you know, take the thingsthat we, that we think we're slok, helped our product, you know, as a go to market sort of platform tolaunch for being able to collaborate and workflow and bring some of those to theweb and that's kind of the next step is create a version of Janis that lives outside ofbox that you don't have the benefit from it, but it is still your workflow and you likeour slok integration. You can work from there too, and it's all sort of interconnectedtogether. multiple experiences for training and a.i. And managing a pathto automation. Yeah, well, before recording and we were talkingabout last episode where we chatted to tomohiko from but I don't want to pre-emptanything. I think by the time this episode that you'll have released that thedialogflow. But chait's integration and you have scerbanenco found helpingthat and, and that goes back, I guess that he's created the,the ability for people to use a database that doesn't want tohave to build a database. And using a product that is native to them andpasting all these elements together and I think you're right when it comes back topeople expect systems on many chat just to offer everything. But that's just nottoday's world. We need to be able to piece together the different systems out thereand as small and medium businesses anyway . That don't have the budgets for fullenterprise solutions need to make the most and businesses like yours are offeringthat opportunity. One. One of the systems, i'm sorry, the example is rather i'm fascinated withI remember writing about in particular it's been, it's beeninteresting 12 months for the, for the world out there and, and you manage to integrate with the localgovernment rodding of to be able to provide a solution for daycare centers and create a dialogflow solutionin there. Can you talk a little bit about that and and becausewhen I think advanced iii solutions, i don't think government yeah. gives a background in that. Soit's, yeah, it's really, that's been an interestingproject. So the, the government, which can tend to be slower to adopt new, innovative solutions. Certainly this isvery forward thinking what we're all in the whole, you know, conversationalautomation space is, is quite new. They put an outreach tocanadian businesses that could help solve problems with covid and, and a bunch of companies applied or respondedto the government's request for proposal for, for everything from testing,vaccinations, whatever you like, just just how do we fight this thing? And our, obviously, ourthing was, well, we can, we can help the businesses out there andthe government just be able to answer questions which, which everyonehas. Right. So yeah, just give them a sample of what questions people mighthave for the government relating to lockdown, relating to vaccination, testing,all that. And then the businesses, which are also struggling to get assistancefrom the government to get through it. And there's a very wide range of use cases that wouldwhere we thought we could add value. And yeah, and they ended up picking i thinkover eight hundred companies applied to this or responded to this request forproposal. And I think 20 were picked and we were one of them.So it was a yeah, it's a four. On one hand we presented, we found a daycare organizer. They have sort of a network of daycares locally where weare in Canada. And we presented that use case which we knew the government wouldbe able to sort of connect with, like helping teachers,educators, children, and families. It's like that effect.Perfect. Right. It wasn't somebody selling like something with shopify.It was, it was like a real good fit. And yeah, and that's just been I would say that thesix months of my life have really been focused on that. Nowthat's phase one for us, right. So assuming we're still it's thatis in progress. It seems to be going fairly well, but for us, the long term goal is to todeploy this government wide for all a number of different agencies. And the Ispoke to my contacts at google when we first jumped in because I waslike, you know, the government, there are microsoft shop. They run entirelyon microsoft. And I'm pitching google's a.i. To them. And so it's become a real pilot for the government to evaluatehow do they use google products versus being exclusively microsoft. So it'skind of a, it's kind of a big deal, I guess. And, and, and we just because of the way jannisis set up, we were able to get a whole bunch of systems plugged in together.And we were able to train dialogflow agent for them. We use bought boughtsheets in this case as well because again, that product and why I co-founded thatwith Michael is because it speaks to the, to the audience in the same way. Youdon't know anything about databases, but you're already working atgoogle sheets. So know the time, the value or the learning curve reallyquick. Just here's a Google sheet template, punshon, some data connectorconnect here and you've got a data center. So we were able to usethat and give that to the daycare's and they're able to manage theirresponses, like, you know, they had an outbreak at oneof their locations. They have a shut down. This is one of the Google, she changed the change the response.So I think that that accessibility is definitely something that resonates withme across anything I do in the space. And you know, certainly we're seeingthat sort of play out in a real life crisis. Well, there'sno better use case brought to say, to test the viability and to see how itgoes than in a pandemic. And to prove that, that this can work. And I just thinkI saw it and I was like, you know, recently for instance, in, in melbourne, australia we've had an outbreak and thevaccine rollout has not been as fast as it probably should have people wanting to bookin for vaccinations. People wanting to check also Contact sites as well and thegovernment help on each day and the journal seismicity of websites crashedagain or the phone numbers are blocked, brought and these people that are wantingthese solutions and can't contact the government to, to getsomething back from them, and I'm sitting there just so frustratedfor these people out there that are hurting and being like if only theylooked at something like this. previously that's on twenty four, seven and it could at least get to thepoint that maybe it gives them that information or at least alerts a teamas to who's next in line. You know, and one of the biggest challenges withthis product, though, sorry, with that, that implementation is the government wasvery clear that they want to avoid the collection of personal informationbecause it's, you know, that's, that's one of their mandates. And theyhave to be here and for the daycares that are trying to survive andthrive in a pandemic. You know, being able to answer questions about covidand managing your covered response is core of their marketingstrategy. So yeah, you know, if you're thinking of sendingyour child somewhere, the first questions youhave are not about when is, what time do I pick them up or is there a dress code or all this other stuffthat you would typically look at? It's like, are your stock tested? Howhas there been an outbreak lately? So all of these questions are thingsthey need to answer immediately for a customer to make an informeddecision and getting them in touch, connecting the Human with them since thebot can't store personal information is paramount. So yeah, that's an interestingscenario. Yeah. Can imagine is a lot of different moving parts and alot of different people involved in a different animal that have a lot of different interpretationsof what should happen. Yes, yes, yes. And that's kind of in the middlemanaging all of the relationships but so far it seems to be everyone saying we'retrying to make everybody happy. And we let Janis do a lot of that and it seems to be seemsto be we're moving forward. So we're in phase two now and, and I think what comes out of this phasetwo with that project is going to benefit the larger many chat marketingworld. It's not just, we're not just You know, we're not just conversational marketinghere and we're not an enterprise. We're, our goal is still to be self-serviceas much as possible. And so a lot of what we've been developingover the last six months, we're going to start to roll out that we'vebeen able to trial with the government through this phase. So we have acase study from that and we'll have a whole bunch of new toolsfor, for our user base, is going to create some amazing insightsto be able to deliver and for people to learn from. And speaking of sort oflearning and starting on this process, can you give us a coupleof points of lockart? This sounds amazing. How can I, I want to take my conversation to thatnext step. What are some tips for people that want to get started in this environmentand Learning and starting to connect, but a little bit more with people out thereand interpreting conversations better? Yeah, I mean I find that, I mean atleast the best path that I've seen is, is when you start with a toollike many chat or chat fuel, which is another one of our integrationpartners. Yeah. But for talking about many chope because I really like their executionof this concept, which is, you know, they've made it so easy inthe sense that you connect a couple of boxes together. You understandconversation automation immediately. So,, you know, you take somethinglike conversational a.i., it is next level to some extent in thatit's, there is, I mean, if you want really, I like there's variations of a.i. Outthere. But if you want, like the best a.i. That's going to help youachieve your marketing goals, you want google ii or microsoftlike really good. There is a bit of a learning curve, you know, coursestemplates all that stuff, they help, but you're still, you know,it's all about, you know, you've got to have an understanding. I wouldthink of the basics and core value of what conversation automation means to a business. And I think I would startwith many chac get to a point where you, you say, oh, well, this isgood, but how do I do this? Which is really for us, ah, that's our customer activation moment. Ourlight bulb moment where someone says, oh my users aren't clickingbuttons or, you know, instagram only has quick replies andpeople are clicking them or because the natural behavior in that experienceis to type, it's to send a message. And in the future,it's going to be using a voice, and people are already doing that.Like, I have a smart TV, you know, it's like put on the, put on the basketballgame. It's like, you know, it's, that's, it's all voice driven and there's no buttonsso to do that's the future. And so you need to benefit from those likes to makethose experiences work. Know, commerce, which I think is going to be huge oninstagram e-commerce. Every every purchase begins with a question. Have thisindustries do you, do you have this? Right? I'm looking for this. Yourecommend a gift, right? And keywords are going to get you only sofar they work. But where it can quickly derail is, you know, I want to buy shoes. Ok. That's user onesays I want to buy shoes. user too, says if I buy shoes today,will I get them for Christmas? All right, the intent of the user is different. Eventhough both messages contain the word by and shoes. It's once youunderstand what the I can do, which is understand that the differencebetween those two messages and ignores the key, the fact that there's keywords andyou can respond more intelligent. I mean, you can do it without the a.i. . You can get really crafty and there's a lot of like kind of work arounds andstuff like that, but you don't know what a user's going to do and you really haveto be prepared for it. And when you think about the money that the businessesthat marketers are investing, whether it's for themselves or as an agencyon behalf of a client, right. I don't, I don't know what the cost per acquisitionis. I would think for instagram, it's probably pretty high, but I guessit depends on the niche, but, you know, take something like financial Services,right. Where, where, where, where, or law, right? Where I know and Google google adwordsright there. They're paying literally in the hundreds of dollars per clickright. Your goal is not just to get into a conversation. Your goal is to convertthat conversation to business. And if you're relying purely on keyword automationand things go wrong and you lose that customer, then you'rewasting money on marketing, you might as well get thatpart down. It leads to a point where you feel comfortable,you've had enough people in a cohort where you can say OK, we're able to answer 70 percent of ourquestions. And it took us six months to do that. But you know what? I feel comfortable now spending that moneyon marketing and getting people into the conversation because I'mconfident that you know, my age is going to do its thing and thatI've invested the time that and if I doesn't do that, it's going to fallback. And I can use keywords to search a Google sheet and deliver,we're using bachi, a set of possible responses toan answer, so behaves more like a search engine. It's not sorry,I don't understand. It's like, here are some things I think you mightunderstand because the key word was in the message. Yeah, I think it remindspeople that was sort of a big. It was a light bulb moment for me, understand the intent and going beyond thecaywood responses in there. And I think that, that one of the things that you said youcan't predict what people are going to say and going to ask, and a lot of the businesses out there as soonas I say the book go wrong. And I don't provide a great customer experience, then that's when the bot falls down. It'salmost to them. ironically is almost as worse is losing a sale. They alwaysstart off wanting to create a customer, a good customer experience first beforethey're even looking at getting that sale, which is is relatively new to peopleunderstanding that these conversations actually help you convert. And I thinkonce people sort of get their head around that, so could you maybe like explain how the ioacan help convert someone like get them to the point where they're ready to convertand some things that it can do to say, alright, he's this, he's that, you know, one of the reasons I actually did thisdialogflow course, which was like, one of my main motivations was I lookedat all of the courses out there, including the ones from google. Andnone of them spoke to marketers, right? They spoke to developers and theyfocused on technical concepts, not marketing concepts focused like on, on those types of things on how doyou use this technology to funnel a user into an order or, or do some kind of loyalty programming oranything that had a marketing spin on it, it didn't really none of themaddress and, and they did a course from google would never explainthe value of how I and many chat work together. And what isthe value in that Well, the value in it. And thereason I wanted to do a course on it is because the biggestvalue in dialogflow is not necessarily just understanding the intent of the user.It's that you can automatically extract values out of messages. And many chat usersand marketers understand that because it's all about the custom user field inmany chat and met. So many chat provides a database provides a customer profile. And all you want to dois fill that customer profile with data . But how do you get that data into thecustomer profile so that you can follow up so that you can trigger a flowand respond intelligently? Will you need values to work with?So how do you get those values? Well, with many chat on its own, youmight use a step where you ask them a question and you have tosave it to user input, right? Or you, they click a button and if they do that you can saveit to user input. But statistically, according to at least doszpot, which isthe leader in conversational analytics, 70 percent of people don't even clickbuttons. They're going to send a message and so with dialogue fordoes. And if you train dialogflow, if you follow sort of a follow up aplan of how to use that technology, it's about being able to automatically getvalues out of those messages without, without prompting the user toenter a value. So the user sends a message if you can get a value and Janis takes that valueand automatically stores it in a custom user field and many chat. Thenyou can create more intelligent response. The more data points you have froma users message to work with, the more specific the responses and wheremany chat comes in is that they make. You can create all these cool responses,whether it's using just the, the tools natively and with, with, withgalleries or video or gifts and you know, and, and structuring it in a logical way,where you can send them down a funnel or a path, get them closer toyour marketing goal, right? But, but to get those values, you really need to be able toautomatically extract it. And that's the, the light bulb moment. That's the delighti would say. That's what makes the delightful conversation,when a user sends a message, you use one technology to getthe values you need. jannis, stores them in many chat for youautomatically. And then you have a bunch of conditions that says, youknow, if this, if this value is this, do this and, and the whole thingjust kind of flows naturally. Yeah, it does. And I think it's morenatural. Yes, exactly. I think that's, that's the thing when you're trying toexplain it to people and you say right now, like you said, you use a button experienceright now you've got to click this. And, or do you want this, this or this? And then be three options and morebutton options and people it, this is a lot like feel like I'm handing over my, my unborn child as far as the informationthat you need to be able to get way, way you need to go. But just asking thatone question get it back, like you said, is a light bulb moment. Yeah,it's like a user is going to send a message naturally like I need a Tshirt and an extra large you do, you have to have that and it needsto be blocked. All of those things t shirt. That's a possiblevalue for products, right? Large, that's a value for possiblesizes. You know, block is a value for possible color, right? So the user sends a message, naturally. The technology whenyou factor in the what the a.i. Does and what Janis does in bridging thosesystems just gets those values for you and then you can just give the user. Oh,here's a, here's some black t-shirts and a large that you might like. Right? So it just, it gets you closer to your marketing goalwithout it feeling like an automation experience, even though you're usingthe automation to help. And even, even though it is an automationexpense, it feels less, it feels less like It gets, i guess, I guess it's less steps. You get thedata, you need to get the user closer, which is less for the user, whichis more better conversion, that feels more personable, itfeels more reliable. You can, you don't need as many steps, which meansthat people don't get the as much of a feeling that this bot is kind of a dumb bot and needs to be nades needsme to give the information so I can be smarter. It's delightful. And I'd say a common misconceptionthough that marketers have, is that all these things need to be reallyengaging. I want to be able to have my customers to have a whole conversation where the they'regoing to ask about the weather or there's a whole bunch of value add in. That's justa general misconception about what does a is good at doing really a couple of things. It's good atit's good at just completing tasks, helping the user get closer to completinga task, whether it's buying something, getting an answer to a customer support question. Youdon't want the experience to go on a tangent where this thing is having aconversation, because then it can go, you know, it's just not hollywood, right? Even if, even if you takesome of the best a.i. That consumers have access to now,which is siri right on your phone, on your iphone. If you aska question and see or ask, give siri command. And siri can't answerthe question or complete the task that you ask it to. Then it'sjust going to say, well, here's some things that I found on the webthat help. So it's something doesn't try and do everything. And you can't. If youtry and don't have a whole conversation, it's just feels weird. Somy one piece of advice for a conversational designer using ai tohelp get closer to the goal is that when users, the end user gets away fromthe goal that you, as a business, want to achieve, refocus them on the goalis your goal is to close that sale right, or lead capture leaking information, whatever that marketing goal is and whateverthe customer was there in the first place to do, just say, you know, I think you need help. Here are somethings I can help you with immediately and just give them a couple ofoptions here. It's, you know, it's like saying look like our covidexperiment with the government. It's like, it doesn't, you know, like, people goon all these crazy tangents like when a restaurant's going to open again. Well, the day care doesn't know the answerto that. So it's like, here's, here's a bunch of resources werecommend, you know, relating to covid that I think you'llbenefit from. And here are some things that we can do to help youimmediately. boom, boom, boom. It's all about managing theexpectations and the goals. Yeah, well, you spoke about people getting there andgetting started with dialogflow and you mentioned you created the course whichI'm starting to take as well. And I'm working my way through it. And the thingI love about the content is that you do have real world examples that isrelatable. Can you talk about the course a little bit in who it's forand where people we are, where they might be when I enter the courseand where you hope them to be by the time they finish your course. Yeah, it's a great question. So there are let's justtalk about the general core structure so, so school, you know, well I mighthave been able to put together a course on this. I decided that they wouldbe the best partner for it because they really understand how to put this package,this whole thing together. So that was a really good learning experience forme working with them. And then I said, you know, I want you to be activelyinvolved in the force to like, I don't want to just be the dialogflowguy. I want you to help agencies benefit from this technology as well.And so I think that there's a lot of pieces in that coursemodules, if you want to call it that, that speak to an agency and help themnot just being able to pitch it and demonstrate what the value is and helpbusinesses see the future. But really in one of my favorite modules is one thatI did, which is how do you develop a workflow once you get peopleor business to buy in to a, this idea that they're going to launch anenhanced conversational experience. How do you work with them to get from noautomation to some level of satisfactory or delightful customer experience? And there's a whole process oflike, you know, you've got to get, just like when you're building a websitefor a client, you've got to get some, some information and they'vegot to provide it to you in a certain way. So there's thoseprocesses in terms of agencies, managing relationships with clients andhelping them I think are useful. That's one audience, which I think is great. Andthat is also a core audience for, for jannis. But you don't need to be a jannis user to benefit from the course.We include jenness because it adds value and helps people. It actually helps withthe course. In other words, there's a module, let's put your dialogflow agent towork well if you use dialogue flows own facebook integration, you know, thatwould be a course on itself. So it's a lot so. So Janis, it was like ok, i'm just like ok boomboom. A couple of sudden a couple of messages. Janis gets it connectedin one click. We can at least is the thing working. So I was, I did want itto be very much a school of course not a Janis course, but we do include where janis does helpwith the course we do. I do include that and people are not. But that'svery important to disclose, is that you don't need to be a janis'sor if you're using dialogflow, if you're an agency and you'reusing some other dialogue, flow integration or whatever. You're stillgoing to benefit from this course. And I, and one of the things I thought whenwe talk about audience is, it's not a developer audience. We take these conceptsthat are sophisticated or complex. And we try and break it down into a way that's just easy to understand.Like the dialogflow entities, right? It's kind of a scary thing and it's technical. It soundsvery technical. But you know, when you, when we take this concept of an entityand we explain that it's like, you know, it's like a shopping list, right? You have an entity called theshopping list and you have a bunch of things on your shoppinglist. These are possible values, and you're going to refer to yourshopping list in your, your, your phrase. You start to conceptual.You start to say, oh yeah, this becomes something that's relatableor in the case of the overall content and we do provide a free dialogflow template. It may notbe what your business is focused on, which is restaurants and this idea ofordering food or making reservations, or asking questions aboutwhere are you located? But those are, that's a scenario that I feel that everyone relatesto because everyone eats and so. So everyone go, everyone has some level of interactionwith the restaurant. So I felt that that from a content perspective, the restaurant scene and that being usedto sort of illustrate the core concepts of dialogue, flow is just veryit relatable to everyone, not just agencies to just like ok, i understand that. And thenit's also restaurants are also a great example one becauseof the current stance and a lot of the world is in and to peoplenaturally also interact with and ask restaurants questions. i.e. Guysopen. Can I make a booking? All of those different things that we'reused to our day in day out life doing one of the other things I like about the courseis that after each module you've got a little something you get a little quiz, you can go through and kind of itdoes it force me like I found myself? I think I was on the train on the way homeand I was just sort of watching it on my phone and sort of listening and was kindof half distracted and stuff like that. And then I got to the end and itgot to the quiz and I was like, I need to go back and watch that partagain. It's actually get it into your head. So at the end of the day that was the goalof those quizzes was just to make sure you were listening. I mean, I put little things in there and you cancome back to it. And so what is the benefit of the quizzes and sort of like,what do you get out of this whole thing? Well, they call it a school ofthey call it a dialogue course, but I like to think of it asa dial, as a, sorry, an a.i. Marketing tool kit. You've got the courseright. You've got the quizzes and they kind of make it more like a course.But there's also, you know, throughout the course we'rebuilding a template, right, a dialogue vote template that we using therestaurant example. Will you get that template? And we actually, we sellthat template to restaurants, but I think if somebody signs up for thatprogram, they get that template for free, so they can see how it's built. Or ifyou're an agency. And I've, I included a statement of work which is keyto any in client engagement. But it's specifically, it's not like forbuilding a website, it's for building, and I conversational experience atemplate for that for working with a client. So I provide that as well.So I really think of it more like a tool kit. And the finalthing I'm going to say, which we haven't released forthat course for that tool kit, is the people that get to the end of it.We're releasing the jannis network. So our goal through jannis is we don'ttypically take on the service work ourselves like we don't want tocompete with our users, right? Like, I would think that government thing is moreof an exception versus the norm. Usually we just people are like, josh, can yourecommend a dialogflow expert? I'm in an e-commercebusiness and I have like a list of go to people and I'll be like, I'll speak to this person speakto this person. But now we're, we're training jannis to connect thosepeople together. So I need help with dialogue. Ok, well you can use our self-servicehelp sections or tutorials. Here's a course connect with an expert and thenthere's a and then there's a network of, of experts that will introduce youthrough email. So, well, I think that's, that's a great point. And I think a lot of the different programs out thereand when people sort of get to the point and that can maybe the ideaof telling and they get to a certain point that maybe they didn'texpect to be able to emphasize it. And I think that's, that network is only going to beable to grow and bring conversation automation to more businessesout there, which is only a good thing for theexpectations from customers, how they interact with and fromconsumers. I would say if you're, if you're an agency and you'relooking to provide dialogue, flow as part of your agency services.Take the course because if you take the course and data and you want to getintroduced to you want leads will send you free leads. We got people askingus all the time, can you help us? And I'm like, no, we can't. Ok, hereare some people that can yeah, yeah, that's fascinating. Well, it's a greatcause we're speaking, of course, where can people go to findout more and unregister? Yeah, so it's right on theschool of bot's website, which is school of bots.All one word dot com slash dialogflow. So they can discover it theredirectly or if they're on the website, which is Janis dorte. And we have a section about how to accelerate yourtime to value from the technology and our product. Excuse me, in addition to templatesthat are pre trained, we also have a link to the coursework. Yeah.Yeah. Well, it's like I said, it's a really valuable course and I think it's, it does help people that are lookingfor the service or looking at learning dialogflow. And for marketers perspectivethat don't know how to code and don't know how to do a lot of the advanced developer side ofthings and spend hours on YouTube up until two or three a.m. Like I was lastnight trying to work through a few different issues I was going to tellyou one thing about the about dial is, is that it is such a deep product andit is so overwhelming. And there are a lot of concepts that don't speak tomarketers and that's ok. I really focus on just the core concepts that will benefitmarketers, many chat users, you know, like how do you, what is the minimum that you need to beable to take advantage of that technology in a meaningful way? Yeah, yeah. I mean, can you likelook at where you've come from, but also the, the industryand the conversational way? Can you predict if you could, overthe next 12 to 20 full months, is to have the adoption in this spaceis going to go and what sort of next, what are you focusing on next? Well, I know what we're focusing on.Specifically, as you know, as a business, we have Our goals just to make our goals, to take the underlying technology. I'lljust speak very quickly about us and then I'll speak more broadly.But you know, our goal as a business is to take what we're learningfrom our users and just keep making it easier and easier. And I think Janis isgoing to have in addition to some users being able to train learning how to traindialogflow directly in the dialogflow console. We have our own training toolsthat we're going to extend, you know, where you'll understand what users say, and then you'll be able to respond.You know, just by selecting from a list of many chat flows. Google wouldnever do that. You can't do that in the dialogflow console, but that's how we work. We. We have manychat over here. We have dialogflow over here, and then we have Janis ok. How do we makethese two systems work better together and make that easier interms of the industry as a whole in sort the moregenerally speaking i'm really, I am really excited about instagram, much like everybody else's.Mostly though, for like if, if you were to specificallyfocus on, on ecommerce as a use case there. I mean thatplatform is The instagram as a marketing platform, wasbuilt for e-commerce, right? Like that's the best. If youput photos in front of people, it's like I want that. And if you, ifthey make, if instagram and I haven't, I haven't spent too much time with ityet. But if they make it easy to get into a conversation from the point of discoveryof those photos, then I think it's a big win for e-commerce,a huge win. I mean, the ability to do that natively withoutleaving the instagram experience, you know, so you're not taking this on the websiteand you have to include the link to the website in your profile. I think removing a lot of the friction.There is huge. I do, I really think that I think with voice andpeople talk about voice being the future and I think I think it will beless in your face if you want to call it that it'll be lessabout. It'll be less operates, it'll be less about who voices the future, and it'll sort of start to seamlessly orquietly weave its way into your everyday lives, into the things that you already use andjust enhance that experience. Like the smart TV is an example right? Or, you know, car systems and you're like,you know, you might be like, ok, google, find me a parking spot and youknow, what kinds of things like, like it just value-add integrated intoyour existing life. Not creating new behaviors, but just enhancing existingones. And that kind of, you know, those companies like Googleand Microsoft and ibm. Right? They are there and amazon, even there is amassive ehi war between those companies, right? Whoever wins and that space is going to wintechnology for the next hundred years. Nobody wants to lose that race. So there, those companies are continuingto invest big time and a.i. . And hopefully they continue to make, get more the technology accessible topeople like us to be able to extend it to people outside of their core demographic, which is developers oflarge enterprises. Yeah, I was going to mention when you were, when you're talking aboutthe voice side of things, when I sort of started to explain howthis works. I use that example from was one of google's conferences a couple of years ago was 20 years ago orso when the guy hopped up on stage and he got the voice to book a hairdresser's appointment. Andit was all done via i. It's like a youtube video that sort of went viralwhere I rang the hairdressers and it was speaking to a real person.And then I had the, their voice assistant asking questionsand then when it know when the customer service person said, oh, we don't have any bookings onthat day. What about on this day? And then it went back and it was like, give me one second and like that I thinkthat sort of example seemed like 50 years away. And it was just so unachievablefor regular marketers out there. And it was also to use that as being, we'renot going to try and do this, but we will sort of Be inbetween where we can do it in a text format to start with and still providea pretty good customer service. Yeah, for sure. I mean, there is extremes and sort of idealizedof where we want to be or where, where we see it coming. And is thissomething we can experience now there being sort of like a, you know,a desire for like, oh, I need this now. I need this now and thenthey're being more realistic scenarios, but there's little thingsthat I think that we're a.i. And it's not just about the chat bot.It's not just about the voice experience, but just in doing what it's meantto do, which is understand a message received in one wayand being able to then make use of that, whether it's and those are technologiesthat we're already experimenting with and will probably roll into janise as well.So going beyond dialogue for itself or going going beyond some of our existingimplementations, but saying ok, many chat users want to chat has an emailplatform or marketers are still emailing well. What if I could take that? The last message, a user sent toinstagram and automatically have a draft up an email to, to followup with the users. You know, that kind of stuff is allpossible. Yeah, yeah. It's just a matter of having it put together in a way that people can experience thatfascinating. It's been obviously, as you mentioned, rather it's beena long journey to use a cliche, a couple of decades, looking back on going through the variousstart ups now into jannis and creating course and nasa that being delayed or Ithink in conversation I experience in industry how much of that success comesdown to hard work and how much comes down to just pure luck and just being inthe right place at the right time? Well, you know, it's a good question. I think Idefinitely think there was some, some luck involved,but some of it timing, i mean we were early adoptersin this space and we come from a technical background. Not necessarilya marketing background. You know, I'm a product guy, that's my thing. So I'm able to get productto market. I know to build products. I have to know how to manage teams that knowhow to build products. So part of it was execution on some ideas very quickly andcost effectively. You can build these things fairly quickly. A combination oftiming with technologies from google becoming accessible, the right time. Seeingother, other competition in the market, like many chod and shot fuel and youknow, mobile monkey or whatever, taking a different approachand saying, ok, let's, let's make chabert super easyand accessible for everybody, but not diving into the side of it. Theykind of ignored it. So there was some luck in there, I guess. And obviously, thosecompanies making smart decisions, right? Like mekele the who i'vespoken to for many, it's like you don't have to be everythingto everybody. You do something really well, but build a platform that, that taps into your existing into theperipheral developer community and just be at the center of it. And so they've done a good job with that. Theybuilt the platform. We have a couple of many chat apps whereif you're a meningie user, you get many chat there at the centerof it and you have a whole, you know, these aren't, they may be third parties, but many chinese made it feel like they arepart of this mini chat universe. Yeah, it feels native, i mean you're setting actions. Thoseactions are built by other developers, but it's still a money check.product experience. Yeah. And, and at the end of the day,you're getting more from a lot of smart people in the world fasterthan many chot can do it. So everybody kind of wins in that scenario. Yeah, yeah,it's a great point. Look, it's been a really interesting chat. Is thereanything that I haven't asked you that you think would be of value to the audienceout there that you want to touch on? No, I'm like I said, I think it just whenit comes to like I am dialogflow, which is the one that'smost compatible with with a many chat which is the platform thatspeaks most or best to marketers out there. It is a great combination and if you do feeloverwhelmed or challenged by it, like, feel free to reach out to me orjoin our community. And there's a lot of helpful people. And, you know, hopefully hopefully we can help you getvalue out of those products. Because when they work together it's,it can be magical, right? But sometimes we understand that templatesand courses and tutorials and community are mechanisms that are going to help youget there and don't be afraid to dive in . It's really like, don't be afraid. Becauseif you can get an understanding of it, you're going to be future ready, right? That the technology things are movingquickly and you want to be on the leading edge. So hopefully, andas do we as a business, so as much as we want to be on the leadingedge to will help you get there as well . Great, magical, i think that's,that's a key. We're creating magic, which is what you have marketers do outthere. That's it. So you just a magician, the david copperfield of conversationalsmart card tricks. That's it. I love it. lastly, just where can people find you? You mentioned, of course, earlier if theywant to write another other platforms, where can people get in touch? You know, the best way is I'm active inall of these communities. So that was, that was my way of reaching you. So knowyou just mentioned me in the medical community, it's, you know, I'm josh barkin or the school of artscommunity. If you found it there, the dialogue community is I manage thatas well. The actual, you know, there is a lot more or the jannis community, any of those places just mentioned me andI'm happy to to jump in there and get them. Yeah, amazing. You've been.So a lot of conversations, that's what I love about yourself and myhead on last week is that you are there to help nurture those communities and helpprovide solutions and then and learn from them as well, which is a creditto yourself. And you know, the time that you give up for the communityand the time that you've given up for me today. And I really appreciate what youdo and everything you've done and can't wait to see what's on the horizonfor you and to help, you know, mocha's myself and other businesses andall the listeners out there. It just exit access. This technologythat is like you said, the future is going to improve theirbusinesses so much so I really appreciate your time. Josh, thanks so much. My pleasure, gentlemen. Thank you so much for havingme. So good to chat. Yeah, awesome, thanks my. All right, I hope you enjoy that chat with Josh barkinof genocide for all the resources you mentioned. And there were a few whichwas great, just head to the show, and I've put all thelinks in there for you, or you can head to the website at marketingpodcast. chat for session twenty five, that's marketing podcasts dot chat forwardslash session to 5:00. And don't forget, you can get a free trial of many chat and to tell ushow i've got two special guests. My niece and nephew madian kopa say hi guys,halli. Now what is a promo code to get a free trial chat marketing podcastand how long is a free trial? 30 days I had too many chat dotcom andclimate chat due next week. So bye guys. Bye bye.
The Chat Marketing podcast, is the #1 podcast to learn actionable strategies and tips that help you have more profitable conversations with your customers.
The podcast interviews the best chat marketers from around the world to get the best tips, strategies and examples of what’s working in the chat marketing industry.
Dan started this podcast to help businesses better grasp the opportunities and possibilities that lie in the chat marketing industry. By bringing insights and tips from the world's best chat marketing professionals, it is THE place to get the inside on word on how to have better conversations with your customers.
Dan has a background in digital marketing, focusing on the chat marketing space and founded marketing agency Organik Digital in 2015.