Practical AI

Accidentally Building SOTA AI, with Daniel Whitenack and Chris Benson of Practical AI Podcast - Featuring Lately CEO Kate Bradley Chernis

Watch the Video ›

Speaker 1: (00:12)

Welcome to another episode of Practical ai. This is Daniel White Neck. I'm a data scientist and founder at Prediction Guard, and I'm joined as always by my co-host Chris Benson, who is a tech strategist at Lockheed Martin. How you doing, Chris?

Speaker 2: (00:28)

I'm doing fine. It's, uh, another exciting day in the AI world of, uh, in 2023, probably the most exciting year in AI ever.

Speaker 1: (00:37)

Yes. And our, our episode today is very timely. It's not lately, although we are going to talk about lately . Oh

Speaker 2: (00:47)

God, you actually

Speaker 3: (00:48)

Said that. Ah, that's the best one yet. Honestly. I've, I've heard a lot of them.

Speaker 1: (00:54)

Okay, good. Well, we have with us, uh, Kate Bradley Cherniss, who's How are you doing, Kate?

Speaker 3: (01:02)

I am now tickled, so well done. And , I'm impressed with you. We can be friends. Okay,

Speaker 1: (01:07)

Great. I'm, I'm very happy about that because yeah, you've done done some amazing things. You're doing some amazing things at Lately and can't wait to hear more about them. Before we jump into more specifics about what you're working in specifically, I'm, I'm curious because you have had experience for a number of years working in this sort of generative AI space and a, especially on social media and content generation. I'm wondering what your feeling is about kind of this general moment that we're in with AI and like how it's shaping. Has it reshaped some of your thinking around ai? Has it proven things true that you've always thought about AI or what, what's on your mind right now?

Speaker 3: (01:51)

Yeah, I mean, it's so funny because we actually didn't even know that we had built AI back when we had started building it. A mentor had to kind of give us the clue and then they got us a grant with IBM Watson. This is in 2018. So, you know, my perspective on it has certainly changed over the years in so many ways. I mean, it was so hard for us to explain what we did for so long, and suddenly everybody thinks they know what we do now, . So they're coming to us with this like whole different perspective that we still have to educate. But what's exciting to me is there's been, there's three waves we've seen already happen, and there's another one that I believe is about to happen. The first one is like holy [inaudible] ai, everybody, right? Wow. You know, this is amazing.

Speaker 3: (02:33)

Everyone just had a freak out. And then the second wave has been all around the legalities, a pullback, you know, copyright issues, um, you know, what are those kind of court liabilities that are gonna be up and coming? And then the third wave is around the voicings, right? Like, okay, well now that everybody has cliff notes, essentially, like, how do you make it your own? And then the fourth wave is, and it's already here, really, we're seeing employees, um, like in employee job descriptions, the need for prompt, uh, experience and expertise. So, and lately, by the way, has been ahead of the curve on all of these, like since the beginning. We were nine years old at this point. So it's funny. And we are to be in the position of spending years trying to communicate to people what we were doing, why it mattered, what the value was, and then suddenly be riding at the top of this wave where we've already built the future, right? And now everybody's just conning onto it. .

Speaker 1: (03:31)

And you mentioned like having, so I'm reminded of primer. I don't know if you've ever seen that movie where they like build a time machine in their garage. I don't think they're like totally intending to do what they're intending to do. So you build AI without realizing what you were doing. So what was your original intention or like where was your motivations when you stepped into doing what eventually turned into what is

Speaker 3: (03:57)

Well, some of it is very boring, but I'll start with the exciting part, , which is that, um, so I used to be a rock and roll dj, nice

Speaker 3: (04:06)

. My last gig was broadcasting to 20 million listeners a day for XM Satellite Radio. And my Uber Power is turning listeners into fans or customers into evangelists, right? And I would leave stations. And then I'll never forget my program director calling me six months later and saying, Hey, the Arbon book came out and you were number one. How did that happen? Because it was shocking. I was in a format called aaa. We're always like, 20 or 21, rock and pop are number one and evenings, you know, it was like totally unheard of. And I, I said, I, I threw your playlist out the window, , which was the truth. But I also was the production director, so I was in charge of all the sound in between the songs. And so it was like the me show for, you know, four hours a night. And I started thinking about, I had written thousands of commercials. Um, I was a fiction writing major and I really was excited about the Theater of the Mind. I'm gonna vomit on you guys here a little bit.

Speaker 1: (05:04)

This is the place to do it away.

Speaker 3: (05:06)

Cool. Okay, , you're, you're doing a great job going with me. Um, so the theater of the Mind is when your imagination has to play a role in the act of the storytelling, right? So when you are reading, it happens. When you are listening, it happens when you're watching, it doesn't happen because all the pieces are there in front of you. So there's nothing for you to fill in the blanks, right? So that parallel is really interesting to me. And one of the things I, I read that book, you know, this is your brain on music where it dissects the neuroscience of music listening. So when your brain, Chris listens to a new song, it must instantly access every other song you've ever heard before in that moment. All right? And so what he's trying to do is to find familiar touchpoint so it knows where to index that new song in the library of the memory of your brain.

Speaker 3: (05:50)

And it's tugging on nostalgia and obviously memory and emotion, all the things that build trust. Trust is why we buy now. Similarly, Daniel, if you're writing me an email or a Slack message or a text message, I'm gonna hear your voice in my head. And your voice has that same idea, right? Like there's this sound component to it. And so if you're doing a great job, you're gonna try to figure out how to write in a way that's tugging on nostalgia and memory in emotion and trust. So I took these ideas outta radio and there's another story for when we're having a beer in the middle here. But suddenly I had a, a marketing agency, , and my first client was a little company, you know, called Walmart. This is the boring part. So I built Walmart one hell of a spreadsheet system that took these ideas and translated them into writing. And I got them 130% r o ROI year over year for three years. When we built, lately, lately was designed to replicate the spreadsheet system I had built for Walmart. And at that time, the industry where we're in was called marketing resource management. How

Speaker 1: (06:53)

Exciting. Yeah,

Speaker 3: (06:54)

I mean really like the name of our clump company was cloud, m r m. And so we were building an organizational system for marketing, is what it was, right? That's like about as boring as you can get. .

Speaker 2: (07:04)

I love that. I spent a decade in the marketing industry and I'm so with you on this. I, I loved it. So,

Speaker 3: (07:09)

Oh really? So you know, spreadsheet hell you were there, a waving high. Um, so almost wrapping up this very long story. Um, so we had built marketing resource management. We had built a feature for every spreadsheet that I had built, Walmart, and there's this one feature that everybody was using more than the rest. And the idea was you pasted in a URL of a blog, you click the button and we would instantly atomize it into dozens of social posts, right? That was the foray of the AI we had built. Um, now we do much more, which we can talk about later, but that's how we got at least to the beginning of the nine year trip.

Speaker 1: (07:46)

It's super interesting that you say that because I think maybe people kind of think that like they can easily reuse content on all of these different platforms. And over time, as I've found out mostly through failing, um, if I'm, if I'm honest, like the same content that you produce, like for your blog, like it's not a trivial task to just take that and like create a really compelling LinkedIn post or a really compelling tweet or like whate, it just doesn't work the same way. And also like of course the algorithms are all changing all the time and, and that sort of thing. So is that part of, part of the education that, or or do you feel that maybe marketers probably feel this pain most and that's who you're talking to? So like your audience, are they mostly wondering like, how does a computer do this for us because they know the problem and they see it as a really tough problem? Or are they mostly like, oh, you know, I, I could do this if I really sat down and wanted to do it, but you know, why? So why do I need a computer? Which direction kind of do you find people in most of the time?

Speaker 3: (08:53)

Yeah, there's so many good thoughts in there. So the first one is like, it's like math, right? You, there's a reason you go to school and you learn algebra because when you're using a calculator , you need to be able to know if you've pressed the wrong button because sometimes you do and you get the wrong answers. You need to have the background in your mind so that you can use the technology to do the hard work for you, right? Um, so, so similar with us, we found that, you know, if you're a complete idiot, I can't change that , right? You have to have some .

Speaker 1: (09:23)

Unfortunately that AI does not exist yet. Yeah,

Speaker 3: (09:26)

, right? Right. True AI does not exist yet. Magic doesn't exist. I hate to burst a bubble there. Um, cuz you know, I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. In fact, I saw a car at the Target the other day and his, I assume it was a man, but the license was um, a vodka cadabra . I was like literally telling everybody to go f themselves like all day all the time. This guy , you know? Wow. Old. Um, I know it was pretty bold. So with lately, let me, let me explain what we do and then answer your question. Sure. So lately is able to learn your unique voice, Daniel or Chris or the unique voice of your brand. And you can customize that voice by region, say for example, or any kind of subset. It also is able to tell you exactly what words, ideas, phrases, even the sentence structures that make up the highest possible performing social media messages for you, specifically customized for your target audience on any specific channel.

Speaker 3: (10:24)

Now we are able to build that model in about a couple of seconds for you. And then once you have the model, you have to train it and you train it with long form content. So we just mentioned a URL of a blog, so it could be any kind of text, like a newsletter or anything from a Word document. It could also be any kind of audio, like a podcast. Uh, it could also be any kind of video. So an interview with a ceo, it could be a webinar, a zoom call, whatever you want. In the case of audio and video, we will also give you dozens of audio sound bites and miniature video clips that go with the text version of the social post. And then we teach you, and you can do this automatically, how to drip feed that content over time because the long tail has payoffs that are exponential as opposed to, you know, the one-off.

Speaker 3: (11:14)

So we're also working with marketers to educate them as you were asking about on post mo versus promo, right? So promo is great, but it's really hard to get butts and seats live. But the after the fact is much easier and you get exponential eyeballs, you know, and it becomes pretty much everything is evergreen content nowadays. And if you think about that, which I'm sure you guys already have like before you went into this interview, yes, it's timely, but generative AI is gonna be around for a long time here, right? And these ideas, once they're living online will the SEO will be, you know, over the roof, over the moon, so to speak. So the, who was your question at first we thought our target person was me, uh, small agencies like, you know, I was charging Walmart 140 grand to do four months of work.

Speaker 3: (11:59)

And the idea was let's give you 140 bucks in your one person, you know, so we were, we were trying to service SMBs, but the mistake we made was we had built this massive robust platform that was very much an enterprise platform. You know, we didn't know that yet. And again, we met another kind of mentor. We were working with SAP and they were like, um, hey , we think you don't understand the power of what you built here, let us help you out. And I'll pause the story there. There's more. But um, does that answer your question, ? Yes. It was a good story.

Speaker 4: (12:30)

I was, I was all in it. You like cut it off right there in the middle.

Speaker 3: (12:33)

I was like, what's she doing? Well we'll get the rest. I mean like the, you know, it's funny because trends change, markets change obviously, and you wanna be, you don't wanna be, you know, Lucy goosey, but you also wanna be flexible and you wanna be able to foresee those things and then turn on the dime when you need to. And with us, because we had built marketing resource management, that window of sexiness was pretty small actually. There was a company called Percolate that was dominating the enterprise space. And here we are, this little company trying to be the SMB version of something that no SMB could really understand honestly. And we were trying to sell to marketers specifically like CMOs. And we discovered after a lot of pain actually that they were very much threatened by being replaced, you know, which is kind of reasonable. And so we had to learn to reposition the product, we learned to automate it and create self-service. We learned to pitch to CROs. We built in a feature it lately where you can actually syndicate the content. One button can push out months worth of social posts across every employee's channel that they have connected that you can imagine, right? So you can like literally do all the influencer marketing for your entire business in like an hour.

Speaker 1: (13:46)

So you mentioned voice quite a few times, which is definitely a loaded term within like the AI space. So right, there's one part of voice which is like we've had Josh Meyer from Koki on the show talking about like voice cloning and like, you know, style transfer of voices or using your voice in, in another language, that sort of thing. So certainly there's that element of that is relevant to content, right? But I, if I am understanding right, from a very non-marketing person's perspective, what you're referring to as voice is somewhat inclusive of that, but is much more, could you kind of help those maybe without as much of a marketing background understand what, what do you mean when you say voice and what do you mean when like an AI system learns your voice? What is learnt I guess in in that process?

Speaker 3: (14:39)

I like it. So because we're able to surface you literally a word cloud of the words that make up the messaging that gets you the highest engagement, the most clicks and likes and and comments and shares, we can see how you write and we can see how when you're writing, well what's the DNA that makes up those messages? And we can learn how you write for your brand or for yourself. Like even when I, when I write social posts on LinkedIn, I get 86,000 views because I'm really good at writing and I use a very specific quote, voice style of writing. For example, in real life, I swear like a sailor, I'm just so foul and online I try to do that less . So, um, I'll make up hyperbole like holy hot pickled jalapeno peppers for example. Now when lately is trying to write in my voice, it will insert things like that because it knows me well enough to do that.

Speaker 1: (15:39)

So part of me kind of coming into this conversation, like I see so many of these people that are making posts that are very formulaic, right? Like, I don't know how many times a day on Twitter I see some tweet that says, what a week in ai, here's seven things that you shouldn't miss tweet thread and like, oh my gosh, how do I like I should be able to get through these. But they're not

Speaker 2: (16:04)

Using lately ai, I can tell you,

Speaker 3: (16:07)

Right? They are not. Yeah. ,

Speaker 1: (16:10)

Could you speak a little bit towards like generative content and how that could be or maybe is in certain cases formulaic and how this sort of approach can go beyond that to maybe be more creative, certainly more personalized. I think you're talking kind of about this personalized voice. I assume we're not just talking about like generate the listicle for or the tweet thread for Twitter type of thing, right?

Speaker 3: (16:41)

Yeah. So what's interesting about your point is, I mean this is why humans are always relevant because you quickly can see that there is a formula there and it begins to wash over you. It's not tantalizing anymore. And the instinct that you have is not the instinct of the people who are still publishing those. They're still sticking with the old thing because they haven't taken a a moment to research really. But even just use their instincts of like what's working, you know, you have to experiment. You, you have to just same way in radio like, I mean I spoke to a a black room of no one for 12 years. ,

Speaker 1: (17:14)

I know how you feel. Yeah,

Speaker 3: (17:15)

You know how I feel, right? and you're sp what they advise you. What my mentors advised me back then was you imagine the listener in your mind, whoever it is, right? Who imagine who the audience is now online, I generally just try to entertain myself, , you know, and so let me back up. So that was sort of one thing is like humans are relevant and we'll, we'll get into that little more why and they will remain relevant always in sales and marketing that will never go away. Um, here, I'll tell you why real quick. When we were talking about the theater of the mind, what happens there if you are are a good author or you're good on the microphone, you're actually letting someone in. So I'm gonna make you Daniel feel as though you're part of this story. Now I've written it this way so that you have to fill in the, I know you have to fill in the blank, I have to allow for a third character that is you.

Speaker 3: (18:05)

That's your imagination in your brain. That's why when you read a really great book, it's so powerful. And then you see the movie and you're so off, right? Um, they're taking that ownership away from you. So it's the difference between a one-way street and a two-way street. And this is how you build fans. That mysterious thing is the human element in marketing. Marketing is often unexplainable. It is like people are always trying to science it to death and you cannot, this is what makes it magical, you know, which is why human training is something that we actually worked into our algorithm from the beginning. That

Speaker 2: (18:37)

Was a fascinating point. There is that kind of that unknowable aspect, a little bit of what tickles a psyche and that evolves and people get used to the thing that was the past thing a moment ago. And whatever you're doing now will change in another moment, you know, as we accommodate that in our brains and start ignoring it. And so, you know, you've spent these years working on your algorithms to try to hone in on that and you know, using your method and try to get to voice of what the messaging is in the different mediums. So now in the last year all this technology change has been thrown at you and your company, generative AI and large language models and all this, all this stuff, all these cool tools. How has that changed how you're approaching the problem of kind of finding that magical nugget of voice in there? Because you have a whole new set of tools available to you now that you're presumably integrating in to all this stuff that has to like have turned your world upside down a little bit just because of the vast amount of capability you now have in addition to what you had before.

Speaker 3: (19:45)

A couple of things. Number one, there's more than one kind of generative ai. Now the world is really only familiar with one, which is chat j p t. We were in the closed beta four years ago of chat j p t two. So we're OGs with them. But I built an engine that's mine, it's proprietarily mine. So we like to think of lately as um, a fully loaded ice cream sundae. There's a banana and hot fudge and a bunch of different flavors of ice cream and whipped cream. And I made this sundae all myself on the top, there's a couple of tiny, tiny chocolate sprinkles. I like chocolate, they could be rainbow. And that's IBM Watson and Google Pegasus and meaning cloud and chat j p t. Now around the data sets, what's been exciting is, you know, there's this huge wave of oh my god, public data, copyright infringement, you know, all that.

Speaker 3: (20:33)

And we only use a private dataset at lately your data and we don't share it. And so we've been getting green lit by legal. And so that kind of explosion of information is obviously really helping us a lot because a lot of companies are now banning generative AI company-wide because people are cheating at work and they're, they're worried about data being put out into the Google's public, you know, database for example. But the other thing too is so, so generative AI, as we all know it, not me, but the world is type in a few things, get a big long thing out, right? That's the deal lately works the opposite way. You have to give us a very long thing first, like a video or a blog or an audio file. And then we're gonna take that unique model we built from you and clip it up into dozens and dozens of very small social posts and the way we're able to capture your voice, which chat g p t can't do because they don't have, and we're not competitors with them in any way, but they don't have a data loop.

Speaker 3: (21:34)

But I do you connect your social channels too lately. I can read your analytics, I can see what's performing best and I'm learning all day long, every day long, whether you're publishing through lately or something else. And then every change you make to anything you publish, if you edit it, if you add a picture, if you delete it, if you don't publish it, I'm learning, right? So it's a tight loop. The other thing here is, you know, now that there's been this explosion of words, the problem still remains. How do you cut through the noise? This is the problem always of all social marketing and all sales enablement, you know, whatever. Guess what the answer is? It's the same answer. Be more human right? Be more human. So when you build that into your algorithm, so I'll give you an example. We worked with Phillips Electric, which is they've rebranded to signify and we got them on average 124% more engagement on LinkedIn. We saved them 84% of their time and I think it was 82% of their budget. And it's not just on creating content, but it's on creating content that works, right? This is the thing. Now you can ask generative AI to create social media posts for you, but they'll have no way to know if it's the right ones to create because there's no information to check that data.

Speaker 2: (22:52)

Let me follow up on something you said there. I'm gonna ask the dumbest question you've ever heard. You just said be more human. What does that mean when you say that? So when you're saying that's the thing to do, I hear you and I think I know what that means, kind of like, but I probably don't cuz I think it means something very specific to you in the context. What, can you share that a little bit what that means to you?

Speaker 3: (23:15)

Yeah, thanks for asking. No one has ever asked that they really should, right?

Speaker 2: (23:19)

I'm very good at dumb questions. I'm I sell with them

Speaker 3: (23:22)

, . No, no, no, not dumb. Very smart questions. So the, it's using that instinct, right? The, because you can't science everything to death. It's predictive and it's a little bit indescribable. So you have to know whether that joke is gonna land, right? Like a comedian, that's the deal. Sometimes the atmosphere is ready and sometimes not yet ready. You can make a joke about that just yet, right? That ability to read the room, which is again something I did in the dark for years is a, I don't think that can be taught to be honest to you. Um, however, it does come from making mistakes, right? So the more mistakes you make, the more you learn from them. Um, being human on social can be, it's funny you see people experimenting on LinkedIn a lot right now doing like more personal things.

Speaker 2: (24:13)

I do incredibly personal things on LinkedIn and people are like what you do, yes, they're usually having to do with animals. So yes, uh, great.

Speaker 3: (24:21)

It is it working? You're getting engagement from it

Speaker 2: (24:24)

Actually, uh, you know, I, the truth is I'm not measuring it. Um, but it definitely is different from what everyone else is doing cuz I'm uh, just for anyone out there cuz people hit me up, I'm really bored with everyone's self-promoting on LinkedIn all the time. And so like when people hit me up with those messages or they're in my feed, I just turn off everything. So yes, there you

Speaker 3: (24:45)

Go. Yeah. So you're experimenting.

Speaker 2: (24:46)

Yeah, anything that's not the usual may capture my interest. If it's the same old stuff, I'm asleep as my eyes glaze over your your post. So I

Speaker 3: (24:55)

Love that. And that's a key thing too. Think about, so say if I wanna promote something that I'm doing, sometimes I'm lazy of course, but there's only two objectives on social media. Click and share. That's it, right? So if you back into it knowing that that's the deal, I need to write copy that's either shareable or clickable. It's very hard to get to the clickable point because that's a lot of trust you're asking from people and time and all that. But sharing is easy because sharing is all about the ego. And if I give you content that's worth sharing, you look good, right? Kinda like if someone in college brings you the latest record from whoever and then you play it for a friend, now you're the taste maker. Same idea. So shareable content like Gary V is created at it. You can just spread joy with positive messaging. Um, I find that any content that includes God does really well, certainly negative stuff like I've posted, you know, in tears getting a no from an investor. Um, I mean I was experimenting with all these things. I'm doing it on purpose, you know, I'm trying these things out. I often were will do things like I'll say if there's an interview coming up with Chris, Daniel and wa like, I'll refer to myself as WA because I like Ms. Piggy and like you might not know that about me, but I

Speaker 2: (26:07)

Didn't. But I have a raccoon name, Ms. Piggy, for real. So

Speaker 3: (26:10)

There you go. Right? And it's not an obvious reference, but I'm looking for those nostalgic touchpoints we thought about before, right? This is the, and this backs up a little more to one of the questions that I didn't answer Daniel earlier, is that lately when it's lifting out, it's trying to lift out teasers that will get you just enough interested to click without giving you the full kitchen sink, right? Or it's trying to give you a shareable, like those same things. That's what's behind the AI's brain, what it's thinking of. So it's the same idea. Um, and let me give you some proof in the pudding just around, around this idea whether you're using lately or not to do it. So at lately, as you guys know, we dog food our own product. So I'm gonna ask you for the file of the show. We're gonna run it through our own ai, our AI model is gonna run through, lift out all the quotes that you, Daniel or Chris or me say that match up with my model and my target audience.

Speaker 3: (27:01)

It's gonna attach the video clips. It's probably gonna give me 40 or so my um, social media manager will run through them and make sure that lately isn't off the rails and kind of help it out if it needs to be helped out by making the edits, you know. And then we will publish those posts not only on our brand channels but all of our employee channels as well because the more the merrier, right? We're all in this together now we do this and nothing else for marketing, this is all we do. I'm on a podcast once a week, sometimes I write a guest blog or host a webinar or something and we have a 98% sales conversion. Wow,

Speaker 1: (27:38)

That's crazy

Speaker 3: (27:38)

Because that's how good the AI is. Learn it knows what you guys will share or click, right? My audience you had said before we recorded silence is sometimes the best practice. And one of the things that my radio mentor Steve Zinn taught me was to leave silence on the air as a tactic. This is that mistake. This is that humanness. And so what happens when they're silence

Speaker 1: (28:19)

Thinking anticipation,

Speaker 3: (28:21)

Thinking, anticipation. That's right. People turn up the radio is what they do also, you know, and thinking about how we're writing and you've seen this tactic on LinkedIn as well, is like people like leaving different space, you know, putting in enter, enter, enter whatever. There's something about then it goes to your point, Chris, of doing the unexpected. You know what I learned about making fans which are more valuable than just listeners or customers versus evangelists. And by the way, let me put the proof in the pudding there not a day has passed in four years where someone hasn't spontaneously written on social media about lately, not one day. You don't wanna be the megaphone, you wanna be the magnet. And when you are the magnet, in order to truly be that kind of magnet, you let other people be the light. You show them how to be the megaphone, you show them how to you put them on the pedestal. Can

Speaker 2: (29:13)

You define a little bit about what those are? When you talk about the megaphone versus the magnet and the light in there, can you kind of clarify what that means?

Speaker 3: (29:20)

Yeah, like I'm obviously an A personality, so I could walk into a room and dominate that room in a second. I can get on the stage and like be, hey look at me. Hey look at me. I could do that or I can lift you up and make you feel like everybody wants to listen to you. Everybody wants to talk to you, right? When you are able to do that, people walk away and they remember that you made them feel this way. It's like I was listening to the smart list the other day and um, will was saying how a few years ago they were at an snl like after party and Steven Spielberg, who we did not know, just walked over to him and said, Hey Will, I'm Steven Spielberg, I just saw your director's cut of X, Y, Z and, and I wanted to tell you it was really impressive.

Speaker 3: (30:00)

And then he walked away. Now holy [inaudible] right? Like that's how you do it. This is the God, first of all, the best thing he did was he introduced himself, right? He didn't assume that everybody knew he was Steven Spielberg. I mean that's pretty mega for a megastar. Yeah. Like that. Also, he left before the guys had a moment to be like, oh my god, we love you, blah blah blah. Like he was just in and out. It was just that drop of, you know, pixie dust kind of thing. So the way you can do that on social is really easy. Here, I'll give you a tip, thank you. Is the best we call it thank you. Marketing. The more you thank somebody, the more they . It's like husbands, you know, like the more, um, work in the yard, David does, the better. I tell him how great it looks, right?

Speaker 3: (30:42)

Because I want him to do it more. , , you know, and thank you can come in the form of thank you. We, that's one of our biggest hashtags that lately is hashtag all caps. Thank you because it's people re-share that content. Like, so with you guys when I'm gonna get your content, I'm gonna drive all the traffic back to where to you, wherever this full version, this is the ultimate and thank you, right? And I'm gonna tag you and I'm gonna drip feed it out probably slowly over the time so that like every time you see it, you're inspired to re-share it and you're not like overwhelmed by my over tagging you, for example. But also, I don't need to drive the traffic back to me because I'm not looking for that. I'm looking for the reach, I'm looking for the shares we ride on word of mouth at lately. Like that's what we ride on.

Speaker 2: (31:28)

I have a left field question for you. Um, and it's a selfish question. Um, great. And it may be a very simple answer of no, there's no difference. But just in case there is, is there any difference in how you would approach from like a non-profit standpoint versus a for-profit commercial standpoint? Because you're, you're trying to get to a different type of outcome, you know, versus selling a product or service versus that. And as, uh, in my, I have a day job, but I also have a, an unpaid, uh, job and a nonprofit. And so I'm, I'm very curious if there's any difference in that or if it's all the same thing.

Speaker 3: (32:03)

It's depends. I mean, cuz I've worked for a lot of non-profits as well, including United World Way Worldwide and National Disability Institute and the Walmart Foundation. So like I said, there's only two objectives on social, and this doesn't matter if you're a non-profit or for-profit or government, it's click or share. Like that's it. Okay. Where you click to or what you're sharing, you know, that depends. Um, ice bucket challenge. Hello, right? Everybody there, there's like, how human was that? , you know, they did a great job, but they raised money at the same time. Now you and I both know that they have a grant to spend this money. And oftentimes for a nonprofit, while sale isn't the objective, a lot of times it's just, um, make some noise to be honest with you, because the people giving them the grant wanna see that visibility online, you know, a little more.

Speaker 3: (32:47)

But everyone has an objective. It's just a matter of breaking it down. Like when I was working with the Walmart project, it was fueled by the nonprofit foundation, and this was so boring. I mean I had a great time, but it was, there was the irs, Walmart, national Disability Institute, bank of America and at and t and United Way Worldwide, and they were working together. There was a free tax prep website that United Way Worldwide had built in tandem with Walmart. It was the first free tax prep online available. And we were trying to help lift the poor out of poverty through income tax credits and financial education. These people maybe make $20,000 a year. So a $2,000 E I T C credit is actually life changing right now. That's the boring partner here of, and there's acronyms galore. But we got the project with my method 130% ROI year over year for three years. And their ROI was taxes filed, right? That was their objective. So we still want people to click and share, but once they click, you know, start to file the taxes. So that was the whole, and by the way, one of the things we learned was how to take a national message and this is what I was working on them with or one of the many things. And to localize it. And the localization came through, um, local hashtags, right? The cities, the college campuses, wherever we were. You know,

Speaker 1: (34:09)

I get this like feeling inside sometimes that like we're starting to generate so much content using automated methods, using ai. And despite all of that, having it sort of like having a voice or personalization, I'm wondering like a lot of the creative things that I see online, I don't think yet. I don't think they're generated by AI yet. So how do you see, like going into the future as we see more generative AI content driving social posts, how do you see things shifting in terms of like the creative trends that, that we'll see online and maybe the opportunities within marketing, like how do those opportunities change and how would someone balance, like, oh, I could do this at scale with AI versus hey, I want to do something completely new that no one's done yet that might, you know, break some trends or something like that. How do you see that balance going forward? And do you have any recommendations for people out there that are maybe in the midst of trying to generate content with ai, whether that be, you know, text or audio, video, whatever.

Speaker 3: (35:25)

Yeah, I mean, I think my first advice would be, just calm down everybody, , hold on. So think about humans. We're the only mammals that when we come out of the womb, we're completely helpless. We can't feed ourselves, can't defend ourselves, can't stand up, can't even hold our heads up. You know, nothing. If AI was a human, it would be about three months old. So I think that's just one important thing to remember is that human guidance is required. You know, certainly as we talked about at the top was the prompting expertise is gonna be something that people are looking for as well. Because in order to get the robot to do what you want, it has to be asked just the exact right questions. You know, what are those questions with technology, as you guys already know, I mean, technology happens, it'll continue to happen and it'll continue to improve lives and replace jobs and jobs will evolve.

Speaker 3: (36:16)

And we're in the same boat here. This strategy piece is where humans are still really absolutely necessary. I mean, you know, so AI is not sentient. Like unfortunately, Hollywood really has given us a grave misunderstanding of what the definition means. I think it was maybe, maybe it was Paul Rotr from um, marketing AI Institute, but they said AI still lacks emotional intelligence , which is also true, you know? Um, and then another quote, and I don't know who said this, but it's, if you're not using ai, you're gonna be falling behind. But the people who are using AI in tandem with the work they're doing, just like that calculator we talked about before, right? They're the ones that are gonna be getting ahead of the game. So you have to figure out a way to, to obviously embrace it. And I think it's so funny that companies are banning generative ai because remember when, like remember when everybody banned Facebook ? Yeah, right? Or I think there's still government agencies that can't use Google Docs and you're like, are you kidding me? Like, get with the program.

Speaker 1: (37:15)

I think that's a really good, uh, way to set a good foundation as we kind of draw close to here for people to remember that. And we probably need to be reminded about that every week these days. Yeah. , as we close out here, um, maybe just take a moment and share what are you excited by specifically as you look forward over the, the coming months in terms of either thi new things that will be possible or where things are headed with lately, that sort of thing. It take an opportunity to kind of share some of those things that, uh, that you're excited about.

Speaker 3: (37:52)

Thank you. Um, I'm excited to close the fundraising round that I'm in the middle of doing. Yeah,

Speaker 1: (37:57)

I hope so. . Yeah, that's awesome. Congratulations.

Speaker 3: (38:00)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, um, if anyone's interested, feel free to reach out to me, Kate, at, you know, that will be, that'll help us kind of continue the plans we have. The voice learning that we talked about earlier is something that we are focused on at the company on, um, singing our teeth into this year and figuring out other ways. Like, this is so boring, but, you know, if lately spits out a piece of content that starts with, and like, how can we start recognizing those non-sequitur that happen and we can remove them, you know, for you before you even get to it. Or once we have the transcripts in the background, instead of you having to control F and clean the ums out, like, how can we do this stuff more automatically? Because obviously it's harder to train video and audio than it is text, because with text you work on it for so long. So it's coming to me pretty much ready. Um, we're also working on sentiment, so the ability to push a button and say, make this post funny or make this post, I don't know, stern , that kind of idea. Um, the biggest request we get from our customers is how to take lately and apply it to paid ads. So that's a big one we're working on.

Speaker 1: (39:07)

Cool. Well keep up the good work. This is awesome. Thank you. Thank you so much for taking time to join us. I'm, I'm very excited to dig into, uh, this topic a little bit more. And yeah, we'll look forward to seeing all of the tags that I'll get, uh, over your drip campaign in the coming weeks. So great conversation today.

Speaker 3: (39:27)

Thanks. Love you guys. We'll talk soon. All right.

99% of Posts on Social Get ZERO Engagement. Don’t let that be you.