07 Oct 7 Questions with Larry Kim – A Search Sessions Special Edition
How to Incorporate ChatBots into Your Marketing Strategy and Why You Should Chase Unicorns
At Boostability, we started Search Sessions as a way to help businesses through the pandemic and beyond. We interview fascinating people, discuss critical ideas, review marketing strategies and provide businesses advice. I recently got the chance to interview living digital marketing legend Larry Kim as part of our Search Sessions series “7 Questions”. We talked about how to incorporate ChatBots into your marketing strategy and why you should chase unicorns opposed to taking the safe route if you want to achieve monumental results.
Larry Kim is known for chasing unicorns. In fact his first venture, Wordstream – the leading provider of AdWords, Facebook and keyword tools, was acquired by Gannett (parent company of USA Today) for $150 million in July 2018.
Following Wordstream, Kim started and currently serves as Founder and CEO at MobileMonkey, the industry leader in chatbot marketing on platforms like Facebook Messenger, Web Chat, and SMS. 1.3 billion people around the world use technology powered by MobileMonkey, and they make it easy to build chatbots and automate messaging without any coding.
Kim has been named Search Marketer of the Year in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017 from companies like PPC Hero, Search Engine Land, and the US Search Awards. The United States Congress also recognized Kim’s work creating jobs in the Boston economy.
As Covid-19 brought on the fastest digital acceleration in modern history, we asked Kim about Chatbots and how they became increasingly prevalent and important in today’s digital society. People want to learn information on their time. And that might not always mean over the phone during regular business hours. Chatbots allow businesses to constantly stay connected to their customer base. And it’s surprisingly easy to set it up for your business.
Kim brings great insights, not just for chatbots, but strategies and ideas you can implement in your business to take it to the next level – unicorn status, that is.
Enjoy! – Kristine Pratt, Director of Content at Boostability
1. I saw your talk at Hubspot’s Inbound conference in 2019 about ‘The 3 Growth Marketing Principles You Need to Create Your Unicorn’. And to start, I have to ask, what’s up with the unicorns?
Your marketing has to stand out and be different from the rest of the pack if you really want to attain the level of success that justifies your investment. If you’re just pouring your budget on run-in-the-mill content and not on potential unicorns, you just don’t get the returns that help your business grow.
Identifying unicorns is about offering something different from everyone else, whether it’s more of what customers want or something extra that is complimentary. A unicorn doesn’t just have surface-level changes, but a fundamental value that makes it better than the competition.
2. The pandemic accelerated the need for SMBs to conduct business online. How have you seen the chatbot industry change during coronavirus?
I learned throughout this year is that there’s a silver lining on every dark cloud. Within the first few weeks of the pandemic, nearly a quarter of MobileMonkey customers had to cancel due to having to halt their business operations.
However, while stores closed, there was more demand for e-commerce. With that, new installs of MobileMonkey more than doubled. While physical stores closed nationwide, their web traffic was up by more than 150%. That meant there was a greater need for chat and messaging to help with sales, marketing, and customer service.
While we did lose plenty of customers due to the coronavirus, we also gained more customers than ever who were willing to shift to online operations. I see that as an opportunity for growth, even in this trying time.
3. Chatbots feel so futuristic. Do you think businesses fear the chatbot? Or is it a matter of not knowing where to start so it can benefit the customer experience?
Somehow, many people think custom chatbots are exclusive to big corporations and enterprise businesses. They’re intimidated by AI technology, which they think is outside their capabilities.
That’s far from the truth. Chatbots have evolved to the point where they can be built in as quickly as a few minutes with nothing more than a drag-and-drop interface and entering a few words. No coding or technical expertise required.
That’s what we work hard for with MobileMonkey. We strive to make chatbots accessible to just about anyone who wants to grow their business.
4. How can B2B companies use chatbots? Or is it mainly a B2C platform?
Chatbots are definitely not just for B2C businesses. B2B brands can find opportunities that can be maximized with a chatbot as well. They’re great for B2B marketing as it can go directly to the customer instead of relying on the news feed to get their attention. Inquiries are responded to quickly, content is delivered automatically, and contact information is collected for campaigns.
5. At Mobile Monkey, you have something called Omnichat. What is it and how can businesses use it to nurture leads and sell products?
Omnichat is our multi-channel chat technology that gives you an inbox for all your chat channels. No longer do you have to look at different apps to check and reply to your customers as Omnichat lets you do everything in one place. This makes chat marketing, sales, and customer service much easier to manage.
x6. How can SMBs use chatbots? Are they even necessary because of the nature of SMBs? Plumbers, lawyers, restaurants, etc. might not think they need it, but could it benefit them?
Chatbots can definitely benefit SMBs. In fact, it evens the playing field for them as they can do on their own what whole marketing and support teams are hired to do in bigger companies. Whether it’s customer support inquiries, drip campaigns, or even taking orders, a chatbot can handle all of that and more.
And the best part is that a chatbot never has to sleep. It’s right there 24/7, ready to respond to anyone who messages your business.
7. For businesses or people in search of how to create their unicorn, and not just a well-dressed donkey… What advice would you give to set themselves up for growth in 2021 and beyond after such a transitional and bizarre year?
I’ve always said that to create your own unicorn, you need to be somewhat delusional and go wild when you find your unicorn growth hack. When you aim for the stars, you’ll be able to find solutions to problems that most other people would never come up with.
When you come upon that unicorn solution, you have to be willing to squeeze every last bit of juice out of it while you still can. Especially in 2021, after such a year like 2020, everyone is going to be like a bullet shot out of a gun.
Bonus: Do you have any resources that could help people looking for more information about the chatbot industry or getting started?
Just go to MobileMonkey.com to get started with a chatbot you can build in as little as 5 minutes with no coding at all. The best way to get into it is to use it for your business. MobileMonkey provides a chatbot builder that lets you set it up for exactly what your brand needs.
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