Today’s interview is with David Cancel, serial entrepreneur and co-founder & CEO, Drift. He’s also the author of a new book called: Conversational Marketing: How the World’s Fastest Growing Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365 (and How You Can Too). David joins me today to talk about Drift, the book, why marketing and sales are broken, what conversational marketing and what companies should be doing differently.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – What’s stopping you from doing the best work of your life? – Interview with Aaron Dignan – and is number 297 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
Here’s the highlights of my chat with David:
- The world has changed and is a place where the customer is in control.
- David recently published a book called Conversational Marketing: How the World’s Fastest Growing Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365 (and How You Can Too).
- David and his colleagues at Drift created the category that is now named conversational marketing.
- The book is about the need to go back to basics and how we can use technology to help. That means making it the job of the company to serve the customer and to do that we need to first have a conversation with them on their terms.
- It’s extraordinary nowadays that when we want to engage with a company we still have to fill out all sorts of forms and wait in line only for a company never to get back to us.
- This is particularly true for the B2B world.
- Drift did a response survey and found that, of the 433 companies they contacted, 55 percent of them took more than 5 days to respond and many of them didn’t even respond at all. In fact, the majority of those 55% didn’t even respond.
- How hard is it to give a company money?
- Only 32 out of the 433 responded.
- 7 percent responded within 5 minutes and almost 100 percent of those responses were canned automated e-mails.
- They found that there’s a 10 x decrease in odds of making contact with the buyer after the first 5 minutes because many of them will have lost interest by then.
- If a business responds in 10 minutes versus 5 minutes there’s a 400 x decrease in the odds of you selling something to that person.
- This is staggering.
- Can you imagine walking into a store saying that you want to buy something and then the staff ignore you?
- Service and experience are the only differentiators.
- Gartner has predicted that conversational marketing will become a recognized thing or a channel of its own by 2020.
- Conversational marketing flips things and rather than trying to sell someone something, they start by helping the customer on their buying journey.
- The book feels like a detailed manual for helping readers to think through and adopt this type of approach. Like a Haynes Manual for conversational marketing. It’s very tactical in nature.
- In the beginning, they thought this approach would fit Saas companies best but they soon realised that it’s right for any business that has long lasting relationships with their customers.
- Zuora uses Drift. Prior to using Drift, Zuora’s website was just a catalogue. Now, they can have conversations with customers on their website, they can answer their questions and even arrange times to meet sales people or trainers all inside the Drift application.
- It’s not just for large companies with large customer bases.
- They even work with smaller companies, like gyms, where they use Drift to book appointments for their personal trainers.
- This all works well because it’s a conversation. You can say “Hey, I’d like to set up a time for training and, by the way, I’d like to work on an injury that I have on my right leg from running’ etc.
- It saves the customer from having to play phone tag or having to go back and forth to get the service that they really want.
- Sales and marketing play a huge role in making great first impressions (or not).
- Following this sort of approach has resulted in increased loyalty and higher value customer relationships because they get the first impression right.
- In today’s world the only thing that business has is the experience it delivers.
- Customers are willing to pay a huge price premium for amazing experiences.
- What conversational marketing is advocating is that you start with the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.
- To figure out where you are at with that, start with a very simple audit of your own business and then pretend to be a customer. Look at all of the things that you have to go through, the hurdles you have to jump. Take a look at your business with a pair of fresh eyes.
- Do that and most businesses will be shocked to see the experience that they’re inflicting on their customers.
David is the co-founder and CEO of Drift, where he helps everyone know, grow, and amaze their customers. He previously founded Compete, Lookery, Ghostery, and Performable. Most recently, following the acquisition of Performable by HubSpot, David served as the Chief Product Officer at HubSpot responsible for re-architecting the engineering team and HubSpot products.
He is active in the Boston tech community and invests in and advises organizations like Charles River Ventures, Spark Capital, NextView Ventures, DormRoom Fund, EverTrue, Visible Measures, Yottaa, and HelpScout. David is passionate about building amazing teams and helping develop products to serve the needs of Marketers.
Check out Drift, grab a copy of the book: Conversational Marketing: How the World’s Fastest Growing Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365 (and How You Can Too), say Hi to David and the folks at Drift of Twitter @dcancel and @Drift and, finally, do connect with David at LinkedIn here.
Thanks to Pixabay for the image.