Episode 44: AI & Marketing Maven Mark Fidelman

Heather Newman:  Hello everyone. Here we are again for another episode of the Mavens Do It Better podcast where we interview extraordinary experts that bring a light to our world. I'm very excited to have a friend and colleague on today, Mark Fidelman from uh, coming to us, I believe here in California. Is that right?

Mark Fidelman:  Santa Monica, California, right next to you actually.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Not Too far away. So virtually, so I've known Mark, gosh, a long time and uh, we've played in the, the Chief Marketing Officers space and talking about social media and a lot of just seeing each other in the world at, at different events. And he and I caught up, actually at a Dodgers game recently, which was really cool. Thank you to our friend Jeff Willinger for that. I got to say thank you there. So, Mark, say hi to everybody. You kind of already did but say hi again. Why not?

Mark Fidelman:  Alright. Hi everybody. And uh, so happy to be on here with you, Heather.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Awesome. So, gosh, I think, you know, I know you back from guys, CMO Club and other technology, you know, going to events and so everyone Mark who was a regular contributor on Forbes and he wrote this awesome book Socialized back in what, 2012 I think it was.

Mark Fidelman:  Yeah, it's been awhile.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. So much has happened in social media since then.

Mark Fidelman:  It really has. Although the, I think the strategies that I laid out the book are still relevant. Definitely social media has changed.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I think, I think you're right, strategy is similar but you know, just more of everything, more noise, more, more.

Mark Fidelman:  Well, it switched to paid more. It's a lot more paid where you can go viral pretty, I wouldn't say easily, but a lot more easily organically back then. You really can't know.

Heather Newman:  Right. Yeah. And I know you, you know, you contributed and still contribute to Forbes for a really long time. How did that get started for you?

Mark Fidelman:  Yeah, so first of all, I left Forbes about a year ago. Occasionally I'll write something, but just to let you know. So I got started, I got started back in college, believe it or not. Do you want to hear the full story?

Heather Newman:  Yeah, yeah. Lay It on us.

Mark Fidelman:  So, I got into college, I went to University of San Francisco. They basically said, hey, we let you in, but you got to take remedial writing. And I'm like, What? Yeah, you got to take remedial writing because you know, you can't string two sentences together. And I'm like, well, how did I pass all the, you know, English classes in high school? They're like, well, we don't know. But If you're going to remain at our school, you're going to have to be able to write better and at least string a couple sentences, coherent sentences together. So I was so embarrassed by that. Of course, I took remedial writing and I started to focus more and more on communication through writing. And I'd say ever since then I've been on a mission to improve my writing as much as possible. And so the first thing I did was start a blog. And this is in the late nineties, I believe? Late nineties, maybe early two thousands. Started a blog, I was pretty religious about it, I was pretty disciplined about it, getting it out at least once a week, and then a blog that had multiple authors reached out to me, Cloud Avenue and they said, hey, you know, we like your stuff. Would you write for us? I said, sure, I'll write for you. I started writing for them. Next, about a year later, Business Insider reached out to me and said, well, we like what you're doing. Would you mind writing for us? I said, sure, I'll write for you. And then a couple years down the road, I'd built up a good quantity of content that was out there. My writing had improved and Forbes reached out to me and said, hey, why don't you come write for us? This is literally how it happened. And I said, fantastic, love to, it's been a dream of mine. So, I spent four years writing articles, almost weekly for them. That's how it worked.

Heather Newman:  That's cool. Wow. It's so interesting. I mean, everybody's high school experience is different, right? Depending on where you go and what kind of teachers you have. And then levels of, you know, what is expected, I guess out of college for sure. You know, that's, that's cool though that they, you know, were willing to say, hey, we want to help you do better. You know what I mean? Instead of sort of letting it, letting maybe letting that go where they could have, you know. I mean that's, that's kind of a that's the show of a good college, in a way, I think.

Mark Fidelman:  Yeah. I'm sure there are thinking, you know, for the next couple of years we've got to read this guy's exertions or what have you and it's not going to make sense. It's going to be embarrassing. We can't, we can't graduate somebody that, you know, can't write a paragraph

Heather Newman:  completely. Yeah. And then you are the Chief Marketing Officer of Fanatics Media and will you talk a little bit about that, that a piece of your life there as well?

Mark Fidelman:  Yeah. So, you know, Fanatics Media is focused on Marketing strategy, uh, things like AI solutions, chat bots and Alexa skills, as well as influencer Marketing. So that those are kind of three main pillars of the organization. And you know, our job is to, to help companies grow their business. It's, it's more about growth than anything else. It's not so much about the tools, but we know that the tools and influencer Marketing, and chatbots and funnels, and all that are really moving the needle for companies, especially now today when it's just so noisy out there.

Heather Newman:  Right. Yeah. And I know that, you know, your focus has shifted a bit. Like you were saying AI, I guess, what are you, what are you seeing out there that's the, you know, will you expand on what's exciting you and what you're seeing in the Market?

Mark Fidelman:  Well, absolutely. I mean, you all know that sales people and customer support people they can work 24 hours, seven days a week, but you need multiple shifts. And what we found both for sales, customer support, and even in a Marketing context is that about, depending on the industry, about 60% to 70% of the questions are repeated by everybody. So if they're going to be repeated, why are you paying people to just repeat what you know, everyone else has already said a hundred times? Why don't you create a single chat bot? I'll use as an example, uh, that can handle thousands of conversations all at once by the way. And answer is 60% to 70% of those. And then if you need to move it to a senior salesperson or if you needed to move it to somebody in customer support, the chatbot is smart enough to redirect it and that chatbot's working 24, seven.

Heather Newman:  Right? Yeah, that's super cool. Yeah, I was at Microsoft Build earlier this year and I was really taken with some of the stuff that, they had a whole Starbucks area there where you could go in and see how they're using AI to like monitor, you know, the espresso machines and monitor their stock and all of that. And I, I really liked the experiential sort of way of displaying that, you know? Like where it's not just, cause some people understand AI and what it is, but then to really see it, you know, like the example you just used, that's very visual and visceral. You're like, I understand that. And, and are you seeing more sort of experiential and how people talk about AI so people can actually get that visual? Are you seeing that at events as well?

Mark Fidelman:  Yeah, I mean, I don't see enough of it. Which is why I started a podcast about it, but I am seeing it. It's very early days. You know, I kind of make it, I kind of look at it as the early days of email. Email first started as, there's this whole debate about should we email or should we use direct mail? No we all know who won that debate. It's not been close. I still think, I think chatbots and email will, I mean, at least in the sales and Marketing context, will have a fight and I'm, but I'm 99% positive the chatbots will win that one.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. And I think the other piece of sort of Marketing that I continue to hear and see, you know, video little short bite sized videos, have been sort of the, you know, thing of the day. And I feel like there's more and more of that. Do you, how do you feel about, you know, advising people on how they break through the noise, you know for Marketing their products and services?

Mark Fidelman:  You know, Heather, I think about this every single day you know. Not only is it noisy, but you know, Marketers are getting really good because they listen to podcasts, they watch videos, you know, they're up to date on everything that's going on cause they're forced to be. And so, you know, how do you rise above the noise? It's really having a great story, number one. And then number two is getting not just the company to tell that story. It's getting influencers, it's getting your customers to tell that story and live that story. So, if you've got a, you know, a fashion line for example, you know there's something unique about that fashion line, you've got to tell that story, you're got to keep repeating it. You got to make sure that everybody that's in, you know, your organization's repeating it and then you subtly kind of infuse your customers with it. So if they're telling that story and when they talk to friends, they're saying, hey, you know, every time I buy a pair of Tom's shoes, I know this is an overused example, but you know, they, they donate another pair. And then when you get influencers on board, and influencers start talking about it, that's what really moves the needle. And you know, what we've been excited about for, for the last five or six years.

Heather Newman:  Right. Yeah. And I'm going to jump back a little bit. So we talked about, you know, college and you know, like I, I started out as a theater major, you know?

Mark Fidelman:  I can tell by your runway performance. I don't know if you've seen it, if you haven't, you should post it Heather, but your RuPaul runway performance, in front of Ru Paul was pretty amazing actually.

Heather Newman:  Thank you. Yeah, I posted it and I did write about it. So yes, the RuPaul show, slay of the day was very fun. So yes. Thank you. So yeah, I guess I'm always curious about all of our humble beginnings, if you will. And what that maybe spark was, I mean, I, I don't know if people sort of get out of bed in high school and they're like, I'm going to be a Marketer, you know? There's usually some steps that lead to that path. And can you pinpoint maybe a spark or a, you know, a path that you've had that sort of led you to where you are, right in this very moment that you can share with us?

Mark Fidelman:  Yeah, I wish I could. I really, I started out in sales because I just had a knack for convincing people to do things. So I figured, okay, I should just get into sales. So I started at a Best Buy competitor, and then a real estate mortgage company, and this is going from high school to college and working my way through college. And uh, I learned how to become a pretty good sales person and that I don't, I can't think Heather of a certain spark, I can't think of a certain time that it hit me, but I just know that it, I was led to it by the offers I was getting from employers. That was it.

Heather Newman:  That's a path. I mean I think that figuring out that you're good at sales and good at talking to people, right, is a huge thing because that's, there's, there's some of that that's learned, but I definitely think that's a talent, you know, of being able to, you know, sell something or persuade and all of that sort of thing. Right? So, that makes sense. I say sometimes there's that one moment and then other times it seems like there's like things along the way that leads you, you know, along to where that is and that makes sense. That makes sense for me, for about you, for sure. Do you, is there anybody in particular that, that kind of inspired you along way on that, on that journey, sort of in that journey, a boss or a manager or someone that you were like, Ooh, that person, I really like how they do what they do.

Mark Fidelman:  Yeah, it took a while, but you know, when I started working at Autodesk for three or four years and from, from Autodesk, I was recruited into a small startup, really the first SaaS company and they were doing project management on the web, very early version of Asana that looked like, and it was for the construction and building industry, but it looked like an outlook interface. And that was revolutionary back then because it was all on the Internet. But, the sales, I remember the sales VP took me into his office cause they were recruiting me out of Autodesk to come work for them. And I told them how much I made. He said, you are significantly underpaid. The first thing he said. And I'm like, I might, as a sales person, I'm like, okay, what do you mean significantly? I'm at a big company.

Mark Fidelman:  And he said, I'm prepared today to offer you double what you're making Autodesk. Anyone asks you, you know, who tells you, Hey, I'm going to pay you double. You know, you sit up and listen. Right. And he just went on and completely sold me on the organization and I was left speechless. And here I'd been in sales for five or six years at the time. And uh, you know, I'm like, I got to learn his talent. Yoda, teach me because you convinced a salesperson to come join you. Yes, he offered me double what it was more than that. It was the opportunity and the outlook and everything about that organization. So that's the first person that comes to mind. There's been others that have helped me along the way, certainly. But a, he's probably the first.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Well, it's interesting about when someone reminds you of your worth and your potential worth, you know? That's really exciting cause not everybody does that. You know, there's a lot of people that are just willing to keep you kind of where you are and burn you out. And then not take you forward. And hey, do you have a name for the podcast yet?

Mark Fidelman:  Yes, it's going to be called AI Marketing. In fact, we're going to, I just got the first episode out of editing I'm uploading it as we speak. We're shooting 10 before we release it. But, and Heather, I was going to ask you this, how long does it take to get approved in iTunes? I might just start the process now knowing it's going to take some time.

Heather Newman:  yeah, it'll take a little time. So yeah, it, it can take a couple of weeks. Sometimes it can take days depending, and there's some things I can send you some stuff on what you need to have kind of in, behind it. They are like a blog post as well. And a couple of other things so I can give you a little list of what you can make sure to do. Yeah, that's exciting. So, and as far as the podcast goes, is it going to be interviews with other people or are you going to highlight technology or all of the above?

Mark Fidelman:  Yeah, great question. So, it is only focused on artificial intelligence in Marketing and sales, more on the Marketing side. So, these are interviews, this is my own experience, this is how you bring AI into your Marketing and sales process in order to increase your leads, sales, engagement, what have you.

Heather Newman:  Oh, I love that. Okay. Yeah, I think that's, that's great. That's like a, you know, an open field.

Mark Fidelman:  Nobody's doing it. That's what I saw. I was looking, it's a lot of podcasts on AI, but nothing focused on sales Marketing performance.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, no, definitely. And I think it's something that, you know, for example, I use HubSpot, right? For my Marketing automation and you know, it's not cheap. It's cheaper than some of the other larger, I would call, you know, larger enterprise plays out there. But I think that's something like interesting for the small and maybe medium business to where can you look at leveraging AI, not in lieu of a Marketing automation tool, but I don't know, but maybe, I don't know, like what are your thoughts on that? You know, is it, does AI give an entry point to smaller businesses without giant Marketing budgets? I guess, you know?

Mark Fidelman:  I mean, that's exactly why they should use it because it's so much less expensive. Than, you know, hiring a sales team or hiring more people in Marketing. Literally, you know, if you were to hire us at the low end, you could pay $1,500 set up and then there's a small monthly maintenance fee, and that Bot could handle 70% to 80% of your questions and traffic and help you close deals. I mean it's a no brainer, every small business should have one. Or two.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cause I don't think because I see more and more people using, you know, WordPress is still the standard, right. For, for websites, for the most part. And then you've got like the Wix's, the Squarespaces and those as well. And I don't think, to my knowledge, I mean there's, there's chatbots you can put on through your Marketing automation tools, but I don't if all of them have that kind of that functionality built into a website that you can just turn it on, you know, as part of your template. Right?

Mark Fidelman:  No, I don't think so. You can plug one in, it's pretty easy on WordPress to plug a chatbot.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. And with those chatbots, do you feel like the chatbots themselves drive any sort of Google analytics or is, or are those trackable in that? I'm sure they're trackable with analytics on the back end, but I wonder if that drives anything there, you know?

Mark Fidelman:  Yeah. It really depends on how you set it up. Think of it as an open book. Literally there's been like hundreds of millions of books written and they're all different. The same thing for chatbots. I mean, you could literally do almost anything with it. So if your goal is to drive more page views on your website, you could certainly create one that, that'll do that. And, and you're right, on the backend, it's even a lot better than email. You could see it every step of that chatbot, what the engagement is, what the conversion is, which choice they made. You could, you know, it's like a chatbot CRM system.

Heather Newman:  Right. Wow, that's super cool. Yeah, I definitely, I leverage some of that stuff. And you know, the one thing that I find is that with the one I have that's more on the sales side of things that, you know, it's, uh, it's a, it's more of a live chat than a chat bot. But what happens sometimes is that, you know, say I'm traveling and, and it comes to me and one other person and it's like, you know, people are like, Hey, are you there? And I'm like, uh, no, we're not. Or, or it's a time zone issue. Right? So I think having a chatbot that does that work for you, like that's exciting to me, you know, being someone who, you know, my business, you know, is pretty, you know, small as far as the number of people. But I think it's large in the people that I want to reach and the, you know, the client base that I'm trying to reach out to. So, you know, for someone, you know, in a, you know, small or medium business or consultants or that kind of thing, I think chatbots are really interesting for that. So that would be very cool. Hmm. That's interesting.

Mark Fidelman:  Well there's many use cases for chatbots. I mean, it will pay itself off very, very quickly. So I want to reiterate to your audience that if you don't have one, you should, especially given the price point.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. So I know you're a busy guy and I always like to ask how you do that balancing act that we all have. You know, like,

Mark Fidelman:  I don't think I'm the right person to ask for that. I don't think I am very balanced Heather. I don't have a, I mean, one day I'll work 14 hours and then another day I'll work five or six because there's a bunch of things I'm going to handle. So I'm, I'm constantly struggling with that and what is balance anymore? I didn't even know what that is and so I kind of listen to myself and I, you know, ask myself am I feeling tired, am I feeling motivated? Am I feeling, what am I feeling? And why. And if it's like I'm feeling burnt out, then I will schedule in, and I hate to say the word schedule, but I'll schedule in some time just some downtime just to hang out with friends and family.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. No, I mean, I think, I mean, don't you think that if it's not in our calendars, we don't do it?

Mark Fidelman:  That's me.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I mean, that's, that's me as well. And if it doesn't get on a to do list, you know, I just find that there's so much going on all the time and that if I don't write things down, if I don't leverage some sort of to do list or project management tool that I, I forget things, you know?

Mark Fidelman:  I'm glad I'm not alone. Cause that's the number one complaint of my friends, I'm constantly forgetting things. We got to get it on the calendar, or at least in some kind of a task lists or, we use a Asana a lot. Yeah. It's even worse because there's so much coming at me in terms of social media. I'm looking at my chrome browser right now. I probably have 62 tabs open and I'm not exaggerating, it's 62. I probably have 62 tabs open.

Heather Newman:  Seriously. Yeah.

Mark Fidelman:  And, you know, I'm being pinged constantly and so yeah, I feel like I'm overwhelmed and it's, there's too much going on and, and the only way to organize that is through a calendar, a task system. Unfortunately, not everything gets on it.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Yeah. Agreed. Yeah, I've started leveraging, you know, I'm a Microsoft Geek and an MVP, so I tend to play in that space mostly, but I've been using Microsoft To-Do, and I've just set up Siri to, don't, don't, okay. I always forget that when I say the names of those, my Google one and then my phone, and I say them on a podcast and then they pipe up, but I'm like, no, no!

Mark Fidelman:  It goes off. Don't say anything!

Heather Newman:  I know. Totally. I finally started sort of, I use it a larger one too, but like for that one, for just when I'm anywhere where I can just start, even if it's, uh, like one word, that's been helping me do what I do. Not saying her name out loud, but the Google assistant, you mentioned that as well. Will you talk about what you're doing around that and you can say her name and hopefully she won't pipe up. But, um, yeah, with Miss Alexa.

Mark Fidelman:  Yes. If I say , Alexa! Now how many of you had her turn on when I said that? Alexa, buy 1400 candy bars. I, uh, so it's something called Alexa skills and it's been around for a couple of years, but you can literally program an Alexa skill to do just about anything that the, you know, that is within the realm of possibility. So for example, you know, if you want it to get the weather or the score of a baseball game or there's so many different things that you, you could ask for and create a skill for that. And that you could monetize them because you could charge people to install it. Or You could charge advertisers that want to advertise on it. You know, for example, if you say, what's the score of today's baseball game? And then, you know, somebody comes on with a, a pitch to buy the local, it can be localized, local jersey of the top, you know, baseball player. That can all be done within an Alexa skill. So, very interesting, you know, going into that much harder to put up then a chatbot. But still you know think about the possibilities if you have some kind of service or some kind of product that could be easily added to, to something that you could command. So there's a lot of products within Amazon that you could say, hey, Alexa buy the tide detergent and you know, sure enough, it'll be put into your shopping cart. So, if you got a product like that that's easy when it's easy to talk about or discuss. But you can do that and you can even program it to quiz you as to, you know, here are five questions and based on the five questions here is what we recommend that you do. I mean, there's, there's infinite possibilities again, just a little bit more difficult to put together then a chatbot.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. And just so you know, I turned her way down to the lowest setting, but I now have Tide on my shopping list. So thank you so much because I needed some laundry detergent.

Mark Fidelman:  Well, have fun with the 1400 yeah, the laundry detergent at the 1400 candy bars. I don't know what you're going to do with that.

Heather Newman:  I know, I'm like, I'm going to go ahead and cancel that out after this, but that's hilarious. But, but it is interesting. I, you know, it's also like doing a podcast like this, it's uh, you know, I always set these up and I'd said to Mark, I said anything that jingles or clicks or whatever, right. You know, and trying to like keep the sound really good. And that's another thing trying to figure out on your machine where to turn off every sound that happens is absolutely ridiculous and you know, turning off any sort of assistance you have and all of that stuff. I mean, just our lives are full of noise,

Mark Fidelman:  Full of noise and full of was it a serotonin that hits you once you see on a little red dot appear next to your Facebook app? On your iPhone. I mean, I literally have my phone on permanent silence because of all the notifications and then I've gone through most of the notifications and turned all those off to try and reduce the noise. But inevitably, you know, I'm still checking those same apps where I know I'm being reached out to and contacted. I try to put down when I'm around my kids and family and friends. Because I've been called out numerous times. I'm sure I'm not alone here. I just don't want to be that family that is looking at their phones at the dining table or you know, you're out to dinner and everyone's on their phone. You see it. We've all seen that. I don't want to be that family.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, no, I agree with you. I'm trying to be very mindful of that myself. I've also been called out for it and you know, I think sometimes when you work for yourself and all of that or if you work, you know, or I've seen it with people who are like, I'm very, very important and busy. It's like the excuse of either any of those things. Right. Takes you out of the moment of being in the moment. Right. And

Mark Fidelman:  It's just rude. I think it's rude for people to do that on a consistent basis. We all know if we're going to get texts from our kids or it's an important phone call, we got to take it. But you know, there's those people and you know them, Heather that are constantly on their phone. Like Facebook is more important than the two people or three people that are in front of you. I just find that inexcusable. But I'm guilty of it. I've done it. I am mindful of it. And I do my best to kind of put the phone down.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I do experiment sometimes where, you know, I'm with a bunch of people and my phone is down and I was at an event and I was talking to somebody and I was like, I'm not going to touch my phone cause I'm talking to this person. And some other people were over in another area. And finally a guy walked up and he was like, hey. And I was like, what? And he was like, did you see my snapchat? And I was like, uh, no. And I was like, what was it? And it was literally a picture of me sitting there talking to somebody else and I was like, really? You know, come on, you know, which is kind of funny. So, um,

Mark Fidelman:  I have to say though, how strong is that pull from the phone though? I mean, are you just itching to grab it or are you like, can you shut it out of your mind?

Heather Newman:  I can shut it. I can shut it out in my mind. It sort of depends. It depends on the time of day. You know, where I am, you know, like, you know, it sort of, it depends. But I've made a point, I've been writing about that a little bit too about, you know, what it is to, you know, disconnect from your phone and disconnect from social media and, you know, and that's hard for me to talk about being a Marketer who wants everybody to like watch everything and read and see everything I do and what I do for my clients. Right. So it's that funny push pull of how do you tell people to, you know, work on mindfulness and meditation and, you know, being present and then, you know, understand my story so you can buy more of my stuff or a client's stuff, you know, like what's that balance? Yeah. I don't know the answers to that, but I'm working on it all the time. Um, you were talking about, you know, all this things and uh, I guess keeping up, are there, like aside from like the tasks and that kind of stuff we were talking about, do you find the like what you use to I guess be informed about AI and like who are you reading and you know, like do you use something to kind of pull all that stuff together someplace or do you tend to sort of go all over to get it and what leads you sort of down a path there. Is there someplace that you're like, oh this is an authority on x that I really like that inspires you about that particular subject about AI?

Mark Fidelman:  Great question. So, I'm, I'm becoming a bigger fan of LinkedIn. I've essentially left Twitter, although it pains me to say so cause I had so many followers out there. Super high engagement. I just find a lot of people are leaving it for Instagram or LinkedIn or even Facebook of course. So there's two ways I learn about subjects that I'm really passionate about. One is writing about it. Two is doing some kind of, uh, uh, search on Hashtags, whether it's Twitter or LinkedIn. I guess there's a third, you know, I'm starting a podcast, I've got a video channel on YouTube with 22,000 subscribers on Marketing strategy. So for me it's, it's a matter of going out and finding experts, interviewing them and learning about best practices that way. And then secondly, it's following hashtags on the subject, on LinkedIn. It used to be Twitter but I find LinkedIn's got quite a few hashtags that are related to AI and chatbots and everything to related to my field.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, I agree. I feel like I still,

New Speaker:   How do you do it?

New Speaker:   I, yeah, I'm similar. I find that I, I use Twitter for hashtags and sort of a quick hit in news. You know, I, you know, I wish I could say I went to CNN or MSNBC or something like that in the morning, but I can get a smattering of the things that are, I guess important to me from, you know, from Twitter. And, and I do, I'm using LinkedIn more and more, for, you know, posting articles and reaching out to people. I do, you know, I, I'm pretty good about, I, I don't share my connections, but I do pretty much, you know, I connect with a lot of people that, even folks that I haven't met, a lot of the time. But I also find that I, I just, I get so much LinkedIn sort of cold Marketing emails like all the time, you know, and I guess the thing about that is I'm just amazed at the amount of companies that are doing little teeny, nichey things. You know, there's, and there's so many right now that want to help you, you know, get more leads and, and you know, help you with your SEO or build this or build that. And it's just, I mean, I, it's probably 25 to 50 emails through LinkedIn messages a day that I get about people, somebody wanting to show me something.

Mark Fidelman:  I get the same, and I'm wondering, you know, how are they successful with this? Because it's the same old, it's almost like they all copy the same template. It's the same old pitch. I don't know about you, but I just hit delete and most of the time I just hit unfollow. Because it's not specific to me. It's just a random message that they send out to anybody that will connect with them. And it's pretty sad. I wish there was a spam button for that. So that LinkedIn can be notified. I guess you can report it, but there should be like a quick spam button that says, okay, this guy's a spammer unfollow.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. And LinkedIn's not a dating app. Let's be clear. Everyone.

Mark Fidelman:  I do know lots of women. Nobody ever comes to me in and wants to date me. That's probably a dude thing. But I hear that a lot from women that, you know, guys are using it as a dating service.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. It's, it's, yeah, it's, you could kind of see it a mile away, but then you're that, you know, it, it starts off, you know, can I connect with you and then it's like, hey girl, or how you do or whatever and you're like, oh my goodness. Really? So, yeah. Um, it's kind of funny that way.

Mark Fidelman:  So, can you swipe, and you swipe left on them?

New Speaker:   No. LinkedIn new feature. I guess, but yeah. And hey, I have a question. It's sort of talking about emails and Marketing and that stuff. How do you feel about the traditional nurture Marketing email sequence?

Mark Fidelman:  Yeah. So, just had a podcast on this actually where we debated the chatbots versus email. I think, you know, email's great for telling a story that's a fixed story. And if you know your audience really, really well and you've experimented and you know that you've got to send a drip every two days or some people do it every hour, it seems, and it's effective for you, then that's fantastic. I think that can be effective even though the open rates are steadily plummeting. Whereas when I look at chatbots with their 80% open rates and you know, CTA's 25 to 35% range, and that's click through actions, by the way. The story is clear for me. People want to be able to engage with something really quickly and get the information they need and not have to wait seven days until all the drips have gone through. So my, my focus in terms of nurturing is moving it to a bot that you can interact with at any point in time, 24, seven. Not having to listen to somebody tell you a story over seven days and it may or may not be relevant to what you want. So that's my position. I'm not saying emails, funnels are dead, they're certainly not, but they will be replaced. I believe most email will be replaced by just interacting with a very powerful and smart chatbot.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, I mean I think, I mean, don't you feel that people like to, people like to shop, you know? And, and it could be for that great pair of, you know, patent leather, Mary Jane shoes or it could be, you know, for the things that they bring into their business. And I think being able to self-service and that leads to the chatbot, right? So like, and maybe I don't always get interrupted. Like I go to your website and you know, it pops up or you know, and I can interact with it or not, but then I know it's there. Right? If I'm thinking about, I want to go a little deeper and understand more about your business, I can go back to the chatbot and I can ask the questions I have and all of that sort of thing. And that's an interesting way of just letting people, instead of having to click through like five pages down in a website, right. You're interacting with the chatbot. So yeah, that makes sense to me. Huh. I'm excited to hear your first podcast. So you're going to do 10 in the can, I did that too. I think I told you that, that, you know, I put a bunch together first and then I launched. I like doing that a little bit better. So you have a nice chunk

Mark Fidelman:  I think I got the idea from you and, and my final question is, do you have a certain day that you release these or do you have, is it just kind of one a week, two a week, do you the formula for that?

Heather Newman:  I do weekly, and I drop them every Thursday. And that that was kind of, you know, what, most people in sort of doing research and looking Wednesdays and Thursdays seem to be kind of when podcasts come out, but I mean, they come out every day, but that, that was just for production and you know, so like for example, like with this, what I'll do is, you know, I'll grab the recording and post it up and, my producer, you know, will take it and do all the, you know, adds to it. And then I write up the show notes and usually we get it, we have a good rhythm and usually I have a couple, like two or three in the can anyway, so it's, you know, I'm not scrambling, but a couple of weeks ago I was traveling so much that I didn't, I just, I didn't have one happen. And so I ended up doing one myself, you know, just sort of talking about what was going on with me and the experience of doing the podcast and that, but sort of that cadence of dropping on Thursday and then sort of producing the rest of the next week. You know, on maybe one or two or three out seems to be the right motion for us. So, yeah.

Mark Fidelman:  And how do you find your guests? Do you, do you always find them at Dodgers games or are there other places you find them?

Heather Newman:  You know, I, I think, you know, you, and I've been in our fields a while, you know, and I just sort of look around and being in my forties and I'm like, gosh, I'm surrounded with really beautiful, interesting people that happen to be my friends, you know, or that I'm, or that I've, you know, been with at an event or that I see speak or that are people that I admire and find interesting. And so it's a lot of the times it's just me asking folks, you know, see if they listen and if not, hey, give a listen, see what you think. And if you want to be on it, I mean, maven means expert, right? So to me, it's people who have been doing what they do and have become experts at what they do and how they got there. And I really like focusing on people's stories, where they come from, what they're doing. And so it's a lot of times it's, you know, most of the people on my podcast are people that I know in some way that I've probably broken bread with, you know, that have been in my house or you know, that it's not, it's, it's not just, you know, folks that I sort of randomly know. But, I don't know, like the Flamenco Guitar Guy I had on, Juan Carlos, I walked into his restaurant and he all of a sudden started playing and figured out that he is like one of the best Flamenco guitarists in the world and hung out with Salvador Dali and, you know, played in the White House. And I keep, I, like I told you, I have my podcaster on me all the time ready at the, at the, you know, whatever I can pull it out. So that's kind of how I find people. Um, yeah. I don't know.

Mark Fidelman:  That's interesting, and do you find you get a lot of value from reconnecting with people you already know? Is that why you're doing it or do you, have you ever thought about reaching outside your network to try to bring in interesting people that you see out on LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook into your world to, to meet them?

Heather Newman:  I find, I definitely find value in it. I find that, you know, a lot of people have helped me, in my career and I think having a platform where you can share somebody's story and help them promote what they're doing is a nice way to give back as well. And so that's part of it. Funnily enough, you know, I'll be, this is, this'll probably be like number 45 in the podcast series ish. And, I'm now doing more of that, reaching out outside of my network. I met a woman at the post office the other day who happens to be an Olympian and we got to talking and I was like, oh my God, I'd love to have you on my podcast or, or if there's a product that I really like, a brand that I love. I've been seeking out CEOs and makers of those things to reach out to them. So I am going outside a little bit of, of my network as well. So yes is the answer to that for sure. So, I'll have Gina Belafonte will be on this week. Well it'll be on after, before we air. But, so, you know, Harry Belafonte's daughter and activist and artist in her own right that I met doing a project a couple of years ago. So, you know, it's also going back and going, who's in my life that's doing amazing things and bringing light to our world. That's who I want on, you know, so that's how I find them.

Mark Fidelman:  That's wonderful. Yeah. I mean, I use it as a tool to reach out to new people as well. I mean I start with my network. But then I want to reach out and you know, get people like, ah, I'm going to shoot for Elon Musk, we'll see if that happens. But I actually know a lot of people around him. But, people that are in the industry that are doing interesting things and you know, once they see a podcast is launched and it's consistent and you know, the host has a little bit of intelligence. Then perhaps they'll come on it because they want to get their message out. And I've got a pretty good understanding of how to get a message out there, especially when it comes to social media. That's why I'm using it. I've gone a little dormant for about a year. Just kind of been refocusing and retooling and trying to figure out what I'm going to do, it's a welcome break and I'm ready to get back in and start going at it again.

Heather Newman:  Totally. Well, I'm so glad we caught up at the Dodgers game. That was so, it's so fun when you, you know, the, I, our world is so small, you know, like truly, you know, whether it be technology or sometimes I'm in my theater world or whatever and I turn around and I'm like, wait a minute, it's you, you know?

Mark Fidelman:  It was so random having you there, Jeff doesn't do a very good job of communicating obviously, who's going to be there, who's not to be there and especially what time to be there. I'll tell you a story. We have a mutual friend who might, might have been on the podcast already, I don't know Heather, but he told like four people that, hey, we're going to go on the, you know, the Dodgers have invited us out to the field before the game starts. And there's like four of us or maybe five of us that get out there on the field and we're taking pictures and videos. And I got in a little bit of trouble for stepping on the holy grass there, but the, later the rest of the social media club of LA shows up and they're like upset because you know, Jeff had told them about the fact that we could get on the field, although I did some research actually, and Jeff did send out an email to everybody saying, hey, get there early. And you can get on, you know, he did. So I think those complaints weren't justified, although there were a lot of them.

Heather Newman:  I think maybe he needs a chatbot

Mark Fidelman:  A chatbot could have reminded people, automatically reminded people, that's a good plug for them that they could go on the field, they just got to leave early. And they could have connected to like a navigation system, say, hey, you know, if you're going to go to Dodgers stadium, like for me it's literally like 17 miles, but an hour and a half. You got to leave now. And, that, I relied on Waze for that, which is part artificial intelligence in terms of the, when to leave and when you're going to arrive.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I love Waze. It's such a good product. Yeah, no, he did send out an email cause I was one of the last people to jump on for the ticket and I was there on time and I knew where all that. So, um, but yeah, that's so funny. Well cool. Well Mark, I could probably talk to you for another four hours about Marketing and chatbots and AI and all of that, but I'm going to bring us to a close and just say thank you and how fun it is to, I love your brain. So interesting to talk to another Marketer about all of these things and, and you're so prolific in the world and I'm so excited to see to hear your podcast and to see all the new things you're doing after some retooling. Like you said, it's really exciting.

Mark Fidelman:  Well, thank you Heather. And I've never done a podcast before. At least my own podcast. I'm pretty excited about it and I hope I can continue to learn from you. And, I hope it's a success and if you want to tune-in it's called AI Marketing. Should be, hopefully by the time we do this on iTunes, Google Play and the 15 other places, I need to put it on. Turns out.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. Awesome. Well, thank you again, Mark. That's great. So yeah, everybody, you'll have to tune into AI Marketing, and we'll make sure when it gets set, we'll put all that stuff out through our social media channels on Mavens DO It Better. So folks that's been another episode of Mavens Do It Better. And kind of like Mark was saying, you can find us on iTunes, you can find us on Spotify, you can find us on Google Play and Stitcher. And here is to another big beautiful day on this blue spinning sphere. Thanks.

 

Heather Newman

Heather Newman is an award-winning marketing maven, technology entrepreneur and an epic connector that brings many worlds together. She has extensive experience marketing products and services for Enterprise businesses, startups and emerging markets. Heather builds plans and processes that are nimble, human and different. She is an adept storyteller and is passionate about growth for both employees and the corporate bottom-line. Heather hails from the arts and the bulk of her career has been working with the largest technology companies in the world (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, NetApp, Hewlett Packard, and Dell). Her nineteen years of experience working at technology companies and building global high-tech marketing strategy has driven millions of dollars of revenue and multiple award-winning campaigns. She has led global marketing teams for many technology companies including AvePoint, IT Unity & KnowledgeLake. Heather was a part of the original Microsoft SharePoint Marketing team. During her tenure, she helped launch multiple versions of the product, build the SharePoint Partner Ecosystem and conceived of and produced the first three Microsoft SharePoint Conferences. Creative Maven has produced thousands of global marketing campaigns and events. Currently CM is focusing on go to market strategies for Microsoft and its partners as well as a new site sister site launching in 2015 called Marketingfixer.com. Heather also serves as Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Content Panda, an innovative technology startup looking to actively disrupt how content is delivered inside software.