Hi Max, welcome to our MarTech Interview Series. Please tell us about your current role and responsibilities at Spectrm.
I’m co-founder and CEO at Spectrm. My role has changed a lot over the last few years as the company has continued to grow. Being a founder at a tech startup comes down to vision and execution. When you’re just starting out, you need to be directly involved in execution and the day to day. As you grow, you can step back and let great people you bring in push things beyond what you can do yourself. Delegation and trust becomes essential to scaling. Spectrm just grew to more than 50 employees across multiple countries, so my responsibilities are shifting. My focus is first and foremost on revenue growth, go to market alignment across our teams, supporting our product vision, and ensuring that everyone at Spectrm remains focused entirely on the customer. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do here at Spectrm. Of course, I also do all the typical CEO things like fundraising, executive management, board meetings, interviews, and all that fun stuff.
What is Spectrm and how does it fit into a CMO’s modern Marketing Technology stack?
What is the marketing technology stack for? It’s about capturing data to segment your audience. Personalization – it’s about personalizing the buyer journey with a one-to-one chat experience. Reaching your audience at the right time with automated marketing chatbots to influence purchase decisions. Understanding their preferences and acting on them – answer their questions, send them personalized offer based on their preferences, accelerate consideration phases and encourage prospects to make purchasing decisions.
Be where your customers are. Messaging apps. Messaging apps is where your customers are. They have become the go-to way for customers to get in touch with brands. Customers prefer messaging because it’s a fast and convenient way of communicating. They don’t have to wait too much on the phone. They don’t have to wait days for a response like with email. Customers enjoy messaging because it’s like talking to family and friends. Brands that are not connecting with consumers through messaging apps will leave a lot of sales and opportunities on the table. Spectrm enables brands to meet their customers on messaging channels and provide them with human-like chatbot experiences.
Find a story that can hit on all these key points:
- Open new channels – brands can explore messaging channels as new marketing channels with Spectrm
- Zero party data – chatbots are the best way to collect zero party data. This is the data customers voluntarily give in private conversations. It’s the most valuable data after the constant rolling out of privacy updates. Companies need to invest in zero party data to be able to keep tracking their prospects.
- Replacing broken web funnels and tracking – after the death of the third-party cookies, marketing teams need to find new ways to track prospets. Instead of third-party cookies, they need to rely on zero party cookies. Chatbot conversations enable better tracking. Why? Because the conversations are the goldmine of valuable data. These insights can be used for better targeting and tracking.
- 1:1 retargeting – messaging offers a direct channel for retargeting. You can build deeper relationships with customers. Talk to them. Ask questions and learn more about their preferences. You can use this information to personalize your outreach and retarget them later with a relevant offer.
- Enrich systems of record and pull from them – valuable customer insights from the conversion can be used to better understand audiences.
- Data at the heart of the modern martech stack – no data is more valuable than data shared directly between customers and brands.
Could you share details on a recent case study from a customer that used Spectrm’s technology? (Please include any tangible data/metrics)
- Meta case studies https://developers.facebook.com/success-stories/deichmann/
- Public AdLingo cases
- Shout out Sheryl Sandberg mentioning Deichmann on earnings call and share Deichmann numbers – Sherly Sandberg mentioned a success story with Deichmann using a virtual shoe assistant on Messenger built with Spectrm.
Deichmann earned the following results:
- 85% click-through rate for the Messenger experience
- 30% more incremental purchases than business-as-usual campaign of link ads
- 23% decrease in cost-per-additional conversion for campaign that included ads that click to Messenger
Why should CMOs invest in a conversational marketing automation platform for managing online conversations?
Zero party data
With the rolling out of GDPR, CCPA, browser cookie updates, and Apple’s privacy updates, digital marketers lost the majority of user data almost overnight as users eagerly opted out of tracking. That’s why brands cannot rely on third-party data anymore. Chatbots built with a conversational marketing platform are the best to collect zero party data.
New prospecting and direct retargeting channel
There are countless online and offline entry points that can be used to drive new customers into a chat experience on messaging channels. Just to mention a few: click to chat advertisements, instagram stories, post comments, and even qr codes can be used as an entry point to direct prospects into a chat experience. The best part is that once you start talking to a customer you establish a retartgeting channel with them. Brands can, for example, leverage Meta’s new feature, recurring notifications, to send regular updates to opted in customers about the topics they’re interested in.
Replace channels breaking as a result of privacy changes
Customers don’t like to be followed across channels and they are concerned about their data being used. The main benefit of messaging channels is that the data is not collected through a third party, it’s volunteered directly from customers in private chat conversations. It creates more trust and transparency as customers know their data was shared by them and not collected from a third party through monitoring.
Turn social attention into social commerce
Become truly customer first
Customers crave deeper connections with brands. Messaging apps offer experiences that other channels can’t. Messaging offers all of the benefits of in-person shopping from the comfort of a smartphone. Messaging is also privacy-first. It’s a private, one-to-one conversation where customers are more eager to share their data because they know it remains between them and the brand.
AI has seen a lot of hype in recent years. What’s your take on AI? How can CMOs separate buzzwords from true AI use cases?
- AI isn’t valuable unless it drives bottom line impact.
- Attack AI like landing page optimization and personalization, A/B testing, keyword match responses.
- Highlight domain specific nlp via analogy
Many brands make the mistake of using basic chatbots. These can guide customers through decision-trees but often don’t increase ROI because they result in poor experiences when customers diverge from the scripted path. They don’t collect declared data about your customer preferences and intents that can be used to improve your chatbot. In the end, this means they don’t delight customers with personalized experiences that drive conversions.
Marketing chatbots should be driven by machine learning and natural language processing.
NLP-powered chatbots help identify the most important things your customers are saying. They enable you to match the intent in those messages with product catalogues and content feeds to recommend things in real-time. Or provide the most relevant information to customers when they need it most.
Tell us more about your recently released “State of B2C Conversational Marketing” report. What are the top findings in your report that showcase the monetization of chatbots and personalization tools for online conversations?
The report confirms that conversational marketing is becoming a major focus in marketers’ marketing efforts. It also demonstrates that the majority of marketers consider their conversational marketing program efficient.
72% find their conversational marketing effective. Top contributors to effectiveness include engaging with customers via messaging, using AI to automate customer conversations, using data collected to personalize customer interactions, and driving paid traffic to conversations.
59% say their tactics are less effective because of privacy regulations.
41% said collecting zero-party data has never been more important.
For our respondents, social media marketing is the channel they’re seeing decline the most as it’s becoming more difficult to get users’ attention and stand out amongst the high volume of posts. Other channels that are declining the most include influencer marketing, email marketing, and SMS marketing.
The top challenge to marketers today is acquiring new customers. They’re also facing other challenges that include retaining existing customers and generating more sales from them, increased competition in their market, and shifting consumer expectations.
Priorities for 2022 include creating more humanlike interactions in their conversational marketing channels, driving paid traffic to their conversations, and improving connections to their tech stack.
The channels that are proving very effective include Instagram Messaging (44%), WhatsApp Business (42%), Facebook Messenger (40%), Google’s Business Messages (39%), and a chatbot on their own website (37%).
What do you believe is the future of conversational marketing?
I believe messaging will become one of the top four marketing channels for customer acquisition and retention. This will be due to the increasing adoption of these channels by both consumers and brands because of the opportunities messaging offers: one-to-one personalized conversations, messaging’s privacy-first way of interacting, its ability to collect declared data, and its higher conversion rates.
- Omnichannel messaging – connecting customer journey across all channels
The first movers in the chatbot space who develop brand-specific conversational AI will create competitive moats for themselves. First movers will offer better experiences that attract audiences, who will supply zero- and first-party data that will improve their conversational AI, which will attract a larger audience, and so on.
- Predictive and assistive commerce experiences
Social media channels shouldn’t be only used for customers service. I believe that more and ore companies will adopt a proactive approach and will proactively interact with their customers on messaging channels. The best is if we combine the two: marketing chatbots can engage prospects and increase revenue while offering support when a live agent is needed. This can improve the overall experience and build brand loyalty.
Messaging via chatbots could become the dominant way customers will choose to engage with brands online. Our “State of Social Conversational Commerce” report found that messaging is already the primary way customers want to engage with a brand. This is driven by consumer demand for convenience and the increase of entry points to chat from search, social, and display channels.
- Total integration into the tech stack – CRM, ad platforms, data lakes
Integration into CRM, CDP, and ad platforms, data lakes and so on will unify the customer journey. As a result, the value of building a directly reachable audience across messaging channels will significantly grow. Platforms that build layers of intelligence between systems of records, like CRMs, and systems of engagement, like messaging channels, will add the most value.
Spectrm is the no-code conversational marketing automation platform for brands to convert customers on search, social and display. Spectrm chatbot analytics, marketing automation solutions and conversational AI make it easy to personalize customer experiences at scale.
Max is cofounder and CEO of the Berlin based startup Spectrm and has a background in law and politics.