584: Voice Technology: Why B2B Brands Should Be Excited w/ Ryan MacInnis

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Ryan MacInnis, Director of Marketing at Voysis.

There's a ton of noise out there. So how do you get decision makers to pay attention to your brand? Start a podcast and invite your ideal clients to be guests on your show. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with Ryan mckinnis. He is the director of marketing at voices. Ryan, how are you doing today? Man, come well, James, how are you? I am fantastic. So, Ryan, we're going to be talking about voice today. This is obviously a space that I'm very passionate about with, you know, US being in the business that we're in producing podcasts and and I ran across a video that you are...

...in with with Dave Gearhardt over adrift. Reached out. So what you guys are doing, Love, love what you guys are doing. Tell our listeners a little bit about voices and what you guys are doing over there. Yeah, sure, so thanks again for having me, super said to be here. But Voice, this is a voice Ai Platform. Think of Alexa or Google. But we make it really easy for companies to spin up their own native voice experiences for their brand very quickly and not have to rely on a third party like, you know, really expensive integration like nuance or Watson or something that's kind of a high level assistant that they can integrate with today, which the alexair Google home. We give them a really easy way from them to own that experience on their own digital properties so they have the ability to much deeper have a deeper connection with their customers. So they already do about it. So to kind of back up a bit, I want to get started with the why. Why you think voice is so fundamental for how things...

...are going to be. You mentioned, if we were talking about offline, just the importance of leveraging voice to deep in customer relationships. Can you elaborate on that a bit? Yeah, sure. So I think that we wouldn't be here talking about the impacted voice if it wasn't, in my opinion, for Amazon. I think Amazon did an amazing job. Note, Sirie was great before that, but Amazon really enabled us to see a world in which we would speak to something physical, something that we would say hey, so and so, or we would have that intimate conversation with a device or an AI. So the reason why I'm super bullish on voice is because of the ways that it can improve your life and give you a ton of time back in terms of productivity and efficiency, but also help you file you're looking for a lot faster, to get the answers you need to basically carry on living your life in a much more sicked way. And so the what we believe at voice this is that this is going to be just as impactful as the...

...introduction of the smartphone. Wow, you're introducing in a totally new way of interacting with content and it's going to have, in my opinion, the same the same impact is that? And so I so what does that mean from a when we think about relationships, for that customers, if we want to have a deeper relationship with our customers, but we're having them chat to or talk to a bought? What are your what are your thoughts on that? Yeah, so I think that we've actually found we wanted to company. We thought the the folks that would focus mostly on voice technology would be in the technical space, where we're actually surprised to learn that a lot people driving voice decisions in these big companies are actually those in marketing or digital roles, and the reason for that is because they believe that voice is just as important as a form of brand identity as having a mobile APP or some sort of Omni channel presence. And so, in terms of being where your customers are, I think as markers, as we strive for right we want to find where...

...the attention is, if that's in a brick and more store or people are going to shop, or if it's on an elected device. You've always seen people kind of gravitate towards where is everybody consuming content today, and I think that voice gives a lot of brands today's specifically because of the fact that not many companies are doing it gives them the upper hand to establish one more mode of interaction with customers, to have them stand out, because there are numbers that are are out there today where the next generation of shoppers, called the Gen Z, whatever you whatever you have that being referred to as, are the most wouldn't say wishywashy, but they tend to not be as loyal two brands if they don't have what they're looking for. The experience, whether browsing or just interact you with somebody and a store, isn't as great as they hoped. So voice gives those marketers in those companies in additional way to stand out and really help enhance that relationship to make sure that they have longer lasting impacts on those books. I love it. I love it. So our...

...want to you know, we've got a couple different types of folks listening Ryan. We've got the BB marketers that are listening to this, that are VBS and marketing CMOS, but then we've got some some agency folks as well, agency CEOS, some agency marketers thinking about how they can leverage technology to serve their clients and all of their clients in the B Toc Space. I want to talk about some be to be, some specific be to be use cases and how you see voice really shaping be to be interactions. But then I also want to hear some be Toc use cases that the agency folks listening to this can hear and go man, I can really start to advise. Is Our BBC clients with getting them thinking about ideas like this. So let's start with some really practical bb use cases and then transition over into the btfin ones. Sure. So. I think one of the hottest bb use cases is customer sport. I think that if you look at where a lot of voice technologies are solving for today, that tends to be the lower of the hanging...

...fruit. It's very expensive to have people man the phones and really keep up with live chat and while people have kind of used ai in a way to be smarter about how they interact with somebody when they have a question, I think that voice will be will have the biggest impact on bb software in that sense, or those companies through those interactions got. As you start to kind of go much more broadly, you talk about marketing and sales tools and, as we were talking about earlier, being able to go to sales force after you've had, you know, salesports, potentially record a phone conversation you've had and then you'd be able to ask with your voice for notes about hey, like, what was the last time I talked to this prospect or, or what kind of stage in the buying cycle where they add or any notes I should be aware of before I go to this call, or even who's working this deal, because I have some information that I want to I want to share with them. It's surfacing that information, so to be tob sex as a marketer. That's what gets me really excited is kind of understanding our fun...

...a little bit better and asking relevant questions as it relates to how people are using the product. But then as you go much more broadly with BBC, that's where I think the fun part happens, because the Beata beat Toc space is where I used to be a sports journalist, so it's where just where the stories are, where you really get to see somebody who comes to the Nike site go and say I'm looking for men's running shoes in size twelve under two hundred dollars and be able to have that sort of very conversational, you know, intimate conversation with with Nike ar or apparel brand to have them found the looking for a lot faster. But then start to say I have basketball tryouts on Monday and my mom's buying me a pair of shoes, but she says I can't spend more than a hundred and fifty dollars, like what do you recommend for youth boys in size and nine, things like that. So, as a marketer, what gets me fired up about is that you get to have one more layer of intimacy with the customer. We actually get to know a lot more about them on the back end. You get to understand kind of what sorts of things are asking for, who they are, and...

...that's all tied to like a user idea or a profile, and you get to start to build up those personas in a very different way than you do today. But I think obviously the biggest use case, as we mentioned Amazon earlier, is retail, any commerce, but we've started to see a lot of interest from, obviously, music streaming services those kinds of companies, because asking for your you know, scrolling through an APP to change the song while you're mid run is really ideal. And obviously, when you start to think about news and publishing, for companies that produce hundreds of articles a month and all this content and you really only care about a particular author or writer who writes particular thing or, you know, on the tech news or whatnot, how do you quickly navigate through those those lands? I think that's what you're going to see in terms of the evolution of of those different spaces. I love it, Ryan. This is this has been incredibly eye opening for me. What are what are some of that? You know, as you guys are talking to your talking to customers, you're advocating for voice. What are...

...some of the common questions that you're hearing from people? You know, maybe it's skepticism, maybe it's just excitement about about opportunity, but what are some of the things that you're hearing as you're talking to customers and potential customers? Yeah, totally. I think everybody is excited about voice, but voice is like that dish that one of your family members makes that it's like their first time making it and you know they have really good intentions and you know it will probably be good, but no one's tried it before. Yeah, that's how I compare voice today. Because of the fact that no one in the market, aside from Amazon, has really embedded in natively into their digital properties. Everyone's kind of either going with the speaker or, you know, somewhere to comcasting, with the x one experity of remote and kind of billion more of the hardware set of things so I think a lot of people have the hesidency of saying, well, is this going to be like the Apple Watch, where if I build an APP on top of this, you know people won't buy it or the in action won't be there. So a lot of...

...it is actually education and it's talking about you know why this mode of interaction so important and how it's three times faster than texting and why over fifty percent of retailers you're actually investing in it today, as that was up from about one percent earlier this year. So I see you can see this. This huge explosion of interest has been predominantly driven by Amazon, but also, specifically in retailing, the commerce brands realizing that they need a different avenue. If you don't want to partner with Amazon or one of these, you know, big three companies who are leading the voice assistant space right now, you need a voice yourself. Yeah, and so a lot of what we're coming up against is the is the educational layer of things. But as a marker, that's the fun part. You get to basically introduce someone to that desert dish that you're you've created for them, but at the same time be able to help guide them through what their digital strategy is. Ultimately, because, I think, and any any point, when you're selling BBS software or if you're...

...trying to get somebody to believe in your vision, it's important for you to put their perspective first and their interest first, to say, who are you as a brand? What are your goals? How does voice fit in? Rather than saying you need to do voice, we're going to shove this new technology down your throat, it's very much a collaborative thing we're seeing so far. So that's where we're spending a lot of time trying to better understand. They're out of it. So so do you see like riting this, maybe this may be an ignorant question, but do you see brands using using voice through their mobile APPS, through their mobile websites? Where does that interaction live? I would imagine it would feel kind of weird being in a desktop environment, but I could be wrong there. What's that look like? Yes, usually, with the way we believe it is, it would accompany a multimodal experience. So somewhere with the screen. Okay. So so the reason why, you know, the devices are really good for which the weather. I'm looking to like order you know, rapid fire groceries. That have been what I've had historically had ordered to the past. That's all great, but when...

...you're trying to really browse something or do multitask of a bunch of different things, you need that companied screen. So we think that a lot of brands today will use this engagement on mobile web and Mobile APPs. And the reason why mobile is so important for voice is because searching for something on a mobile device today is one of the most, you know, strenuous processes that you could you could go through. It's very hard for you to go to an apparel site or even, you know, find something via customer support on such a small screen with really poor filtering options. You know the load times as they are for each step along the way and you have but voice one way for you to rattle off all of the things that you're most interested in and for that to be taken care of the back end for you. And so that's why we think that impluencing it on mobile has the biggest impact, because there hasn't really been a sweeping way for mobile experiences to be improved until now. Gotta, I love it, Ryan. Well, this has been again...

...very, very informative for me. I think our listeners are going to get a ton of value out of this. I want to close with one last question to really help our listeners just get to know you better on another level. What would you say, Ryan, is the legacy that you want to leave yeah, so it's funny when you would is really ask me, I was like, Oh, yeah, this is this is going to be a great way for me to get all the things I want to get out of this life on one podcast. But I think what it comes down to at the end of the day is, like most people, I want to make make an impact. So the legacy that I want to leave behind is much more than you know, working at a company that gives the world a new way to interact with things and for us to feel that this was the first of many that you know, we were basically the the iphone for voice and kind of set the precedent of how people would known in active things in the future. But I think much more broadly than that. I think I have a deep sense of community. I'm from a city just north of Boston and I feel really passionately about going back to that community in the future and being...

...able to take everything that I've learned and kind of facilitate an environment where everybody has the opportunity to be exposed to companies like voices and work in worlds that have equal impacts on our on our lives, and I think that that is the legacy I want to lead behind, to be able to have the ability to have been successful in this but then ultimately be a person who's contributed to kind of the welfare of that expansion. Kind of love for word. I love it awesome. Right, if somebody listening to this, they want to stay connected with you, they want to learn more about voices, what's the best way for them to go about doing that? Sure, so you can. I'm on twitter. It's a at our K MAC and worked at twitter for at while, so I got the benefit of the shorter handle. Nice. It's our KMAC, and then Linkedin, you can find me. I'm Av you. I'm hope, happy to connect with anybody and continue the conversation there and then you can go to voices Poy siscom to learn more about what...

...were you love it awesome. Ryan, thank you so much for your time today, man, I really appreciate it. Yeah, thanks you. Thanks for having me to ensure that you never miss an episode of the B Tob Growth Show. Subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. This guarantees that every episode will get delivered directly to your device. If you'd like to connect with Bob Executives from all over the world, make sure to join our private facebook community. There are some incredible conversations happening inside this group. To Join, visit be toob growth showcom FB. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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