Analytics India Magazine

Conversation with Lately.AI’s DJ Turned Marketing Guru, Kate Bradley Chernis, with Sri Krishna of Analytics India Magazine - Featuring the Lately CEO

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Speaker 1: (00:00)

Want to sell a cup or a pen or a sock marketing has become the core of selling any product and increasingly technology and AI have played a big role in it. Today. Brands look for new ways to create authentic connections with consumers and pan alike. AI is being used to write better content to generate blogs, email copies, and even social media posts. So do you want to publish content regularly without adding more work to your plate or more employees to your team? And what about it? Why

Speaker 2: (00:31)

Nine plus 10 is I have 10, uh, now nine, 10. Did you go to school? I live in Vietnam, you know, farm

Speaker 1: (00:40)

That can attract more eyeballs to your product. Is there a way you can do away with the content calendar? Completely lately content has become a necessity, right? But creating it regularly can be a headache and tie some job meet lately. AI, this AI social media management tool can help you turn your content into excellent social media post and save a good deal of money. You could be working on blogs, videos, podcast, or articles lately can help syndicate the content you create. It is being used extensively by small and medium businesses from different markets and industries to enhance their brand communication in an exclusive interview with a co-founder and CEO, Kate Bradley Chos takes us through how you can use AI in your marketing, creating a better social media presence, all with a special social media content too.

Speaker 3: (01:43)

We start with me. So because I'm good at writing lately studies, what I write personally, first as it's baseline, and I've obviously produced tens of thousands of social posts from what I write, I created a series of rules and I teach the rules to my staff. And so when we push content through lately, whatever comes out, my staff augments that content based on my rules. So that's layer two layer three is we hold free live classes weekly, and we teach all of our customers the same rules. Mm-hmm . And so the customers learn to augment their own AI, whatever comes that from, from us, um, with, with those roles. So that's a third layer that they AI itself has to grab data and best practices from mm-hmm . Now technically how it works is, um, in, in addition to that, when you create an account that lately you authorize lately to have access to your social channels, whichever ones you like, and as many as you like, let's say Twitter, for example.

Speaker 3: (02:53)

So once you do that, lately, AI goes and studies, everything you've published over the last. So we study the messaging that gets you the highest engagement. And we break that down into keywords, phrases, ideas, and send structures. Now we have a writing model for you. It's custom to your brand voice specifically, right now, again, this writing model first is accessing you and all that information. And then it has those three other layers of best practices to mix in, right? So when you feed the AI long form content, it takes this writing model and it reads the long form content and it pulls out what it knows is gonna get you the highest click shares and comments. It already knows this right now. Every single thing you do it learns from. So everything you trash, everything you publish, every edit you make, every hashtag you adjust or add.

Speaker 3: (03:48)

Every app mentioned, um, it's remembering all these things mm-hmm and you can even guide it very specifically. You can say lately, find more things that contain these ideas, find less things that contain these ideas. Right. Um, so, um, what do I wanna say? So in the case of video, sorry, um, it'll tr automatically transcribe a video just like this it's reading the text. The text is always the foundation quotes. The one liners that it knows are gonna get you the most response. And then in the case of video matches up the video clips of you saying that mm-hmm right. So now you have dozens of miniature movie trailers designed as lead gen mm-hmm to drive traffic back to the full length.

Speaker 3: (04:45)

So I, my co-founder Steve actually came from this world. He came from the tech world software as a service. He had a venture back company and had several, um, exits, both, both good and bad. So he lived and breathed this world and kept asking to see my spreadsheets, cuz after the Walmart project I had other clients and I was using the same kind of concept. And he kept saying to me, Hey, let's just get $25,000 together. We can automate your spreadsheets and build wire frames. And to your point, I, I didn't know what those things meant. I'd never heard those words before, right? What? This is crazy. Don't touch my spreadsheets. They're awesome. you know, $25,000. I don't have that kind of money. I work in radio, I eat ramen and two buck Chuck, you know? So he ended up pulling the money out of his own pocket and hiring Jason.

Speaker 3: (05:39)

Who's another one of my co-founders to, they came to my house on a Sunday night, um, at Christmas. So it was vacation for me. And I already had, had like two glasses of wine. It was like eight o'clock at night. And I was off that they were there and they showed me the wire frames. They made them themselves. And um, I was like, oh, I get it. so, but as we went on, we started out lately as the spreadsheet system, the feature for each of the spreadsheets that I had built, that there was this one feature that S used the most and it was the AI. We didn't even know it was AI then at all. Um, only about three years ago, did we kind of figure that out and start really doubling down, um, on what we were making.

Speaker 3: (06:34)

So one of the things we saw our customers love to push that button. They wanna push the generate button and see what happens, cuz it's fun and it takes just a few seconds really. Um, so you know, the more content you put in the more lately spits out, um, it is garbage in garbage out by the way. So we've found, you know, with written content, people spend hours, they labor over writing a blog or newsletter for hours. So it's very easy for lately to find high quality sentences to, to pull out. And it's not just sparsing it into sentences to be really clear. It it's which sentences that it knows right. To put to highlight. Um, but with we've seen customers reverse engineer it. So they'll go to, um, the analytics section of lately where we surface word clouds that show you the ideas and words and phrases that are actually literally resonating with your target audience. And they'll say, okay, well here's the words that lately says are important to our, our targets. Let's write the blog based on this, you know, or let's do our paid ads based on, you know, what's here, let's do the interview based on these ideas, which was kind of interesting to us. Um, um, what was the question? I, I forgot.

Speaker 3: (07:54)

Yeah. Uh, it's all connected here too. Right? So, so, um, let me, let me give you some social proof. So at lately we don't do any paid advertising at all. Right. And we don't do any cold calls or cold emails. So we only do organic social media as all of our lead gen mm-hmm . So I do interviews like this or write a blog for somebody every single day. So one a day. And then I ask for the file, like I'll ask for the video file, if we're doing a podcast, for example, and then we run it through our own AI, the AI looks through finds all the great snippets and then we augment it and publish that on both our employee channels and our brand channels mm-hmm . And then we watch to see who likes in comments and shares. Cause those are warm leads, right. They're not cold anymore. And then we're able to qualify it as well, them and push them into, um, the, so by the time we get them there, that trial, the sale conversion rate is 98%.

Speaker 3: (09:04)

Wow. Okay. Yeah. Wow. Right. And it's because the AI is so good at knowing what our, um, target customers will want to read watcher here, you know, cause we you've trained it, you know, it learns. Right. So, um, we're doing an experiment where kind of like a, um, how do I say this? Like a weight, a weight loss app. Um, we're trying to figure out what is the KPI for you. Right. So I have KPIs that I know I need my customers to achieve in order to retain them. Um, and the KPI, but it's different for, for, for you actually. So like for us, that's published at least 2020, um, posts per month. That's what our KPI is for you it's feel some value. Are you feeling like you got time saved? Are you feeling like, um, the AI created something that you wouldn't create on your own?

Speaker 3: (10:01)

And so what we decided to do is measure, um, based on quantity. So we're doing this experiment. So for example, you enter in, okay, I want lately to help me create, um, 20 posts a week on Twitter. That's what I want. So you are able to push that number in and then we're able to then Mon monitor that. So we can constantly get back to you and be like, heys, you've only done six posts to Twitter this month, come on, you know, you have to do a little more and then once you hit your goals, you get rewarded. Um, so, oh, okay. You know? Right. That whole kind of idea. Um, so that's what we're experimenting with at the moment is to figure out like, are we able to close the loop?

Speaker 3: (10:47)

And what's the most, what's the value? Is it time saved? Is it quantity of posts? Um, it's, it can't be ROI because we honestly don't have access to what people do a lot with the post afterwards. We can't really measure. Right. Um, you know, the engagement that means because you can publish to, to HubSpot, so then they know what you've done, not me. Right. Um, like, um, so, so it's kind of, um, it's an ongoing experiment at this point. Right? The other thing that we are seeing too though, is, um, so we build an employee advocacy piece three where one, um, manager can autogenerate content and then publish it out to any connected channel like on LinkedIn or Twitter from employees. Right. So if the employees are like, just do it for me, I don't wanna think about what to say. You can, you have that capability through lately.

Speaker 3: (11:49)

Um, and and you, what their goals are, are different. And so we're trying to figure out like, what's the, what's the close, the loop there, like what's the game gamify there? Um, one of the things we did was we built a, a post success oter it's like a, like a speedometer. Right, right. And so every time lately shares you post it creates, it's encouraging you to edit it. Right. And to do things that we know are gonna help you add a hashtag, add a mention, um, take out the nonsequitor add in your voice and everything you do. It goes up and up and up so far, everybody loves this thing. so interesting. Right. And there's little tips that we've created that actually match the context itself. So, um, from my rules, for example, the, we can see things like, um, if you use positive verbs, positive calls to action, they're less effective than the, the opposite.

Speaker 3: (12:54)

For example, remember to go by my book versus don't forget to go by my book. Right? So our tips can say to you, Hey, try the negative inverse of that same comment, stuff like this. Um, so that's really popular as well because there's marketing education three, but it's at a very macro micro level. Right. Right. Which is what's missing. So everybody knows B be more compelling, be more interesting, but nobody tells you how like, so I'll tell you something else we did a long time ago, we created in our analytics. Um, we made it so that you can look at your website so you can attach Google analytics and all of your social channels. And you could upload data from let's say, MailChimp or something or WordPress even. And you can see the graph together. Now, if let's say all of your might is going into your newsletter, then the newsletter peaks and valleys should match up with your website, peaks and valleys.

Speaker 3: (13:54)

Right. Mm-hmm or same with Facebook. And so at lately, not only can you see that? So it's at glance. You don't have to understand what these numbers mean, but you can also click a spike and see what caused the spike that day. Literally like the social media message that caused that spike. So that's another kind of no brainer thing that people wanna understand. Like it's not only, it's not just, you don't have to guess anymore. Like people I was, I know that, um, like a Agora PT released this huge thing at social media world about how their analytics are showing you like numbers that matter. We're like the numbers don't matter. the, the words matter, the word matter, you know, it's not designed to replace you. It's designed to augment and optimize and enhance what we're doing already, you know? Um, and when you think about that, like I said, it's, I know people say this and, and, and we throw it away as cliche.

Speaker 3: (15:01)

This is actually one plus one equals three. Right? They have to be together now for us three. This is the challenge. Cuz people are like, well, why can't I just push a button? And lately will like make my bed and make me front too, too much as taller. And look 10 years younger. And I'm like, well, magic doesn't exist as much as I would like it to you know, like AI requires human health. I mean, it just does, you know, but we, in, when we were talking about the music thing, this is why there's this, there's this magical thing that you and I, I don't even know you, but we're smiling here. Me and you. Right. I feel like we could go have a beer and it would be fun. Right. Cause this is, this is the thing that we are doing. The thing that can't be replaced right now, you're smiling.

Speaker 3: (15:49)

You know, I'm smiling. Maybe I'm blushing I don't know. right. Um, anyway, so once you, I think once you understand that it like the, what we've found is the lazy compulsion is huge. Right? So for example, and it's just with marketing specifically, if you buy QuickBooks and you sit down to do your accounting, you're gonna sit down to do work with a piece of software that will help you do that work faster. Right. But you know, there's work involved and you were expecting to do it for some reason, with marketing people sit down and they just like wanted to, they wanted do zero. And you're like, well, man, like

Speaker 4: (16:33)

Blame a of people because AI for a long time has been marketed in that it has a bad reputation. This is gonna replace you eventually. Right. Okay. And, and you're right of us, even when we look at AI platforms, no matter like a lot, there are a lot of capable AI platforms, but the moment we look at it, like even for me as a journalist, when I look at it like, oh, AI, how much of it is actual AI? Like what it's supposed to mean and how much is just like machine learning and you know, really, uh, forms of, uh, data analytics and all that. It, I mean, like there's a lot of things between what we think of AI and what the reality is actually offering.

Speaker 3: (17:19)

Yeah. I like to think of it as you know, so RT R two D two, right. Is like a dog. Right. They designed it that way, but it's not because he's like a dog it's because the human, we humans put that on him, our imagination. Right. Right. So it's, it's the same idea. Right? You have to have this. I, I, I like to think of it as, um, this is a great metaphor. So have you ever made cake in a box before from like dunking Heinz or something like that? No. Your mom maybe made you cake in a box, right? You, you buy it at this store. So when, when Duncan, HES, or I think it was Betty crocker first released cake in a box, they made it. So all you had to do was add water. Mm-hmm no eggs. Okay. And the Housewives, cuz this is who was making these cakes, didn't buy it because it didn't feel like they made anything. So Betty crocker took the powdered eggs out of the box and made it. So you had to add, add eggs mm-hmm and it sold like hotcakes because now the human has a role. Right? That's a, there's a human touch. How important that is. Yeah.

Speaker 3: (18:29)

The word clouds that we surface are. I mean, they're all you it's it's so this is the opportunity for the human to come in and guide it and say, um, I'll give you an example. In, in, um, in the Walmart project, there's an acronym called Vita and it's like virtual income tax assistant is the, is the acronym. Now there's a vegetable mixer called the Vita mixer. That was very popular at that time. Right. Um, and we were learning that the hashtag Vita meant meant something very different to the rest of the world mm-hmm than us. So that's one of those things that lately catches and gives you the opportunity to, to, we do it with words, with hashtags and that mentions actually. So you can come in and be like, oh, oops, that's a weird thing lately. Like do not pay attention to that.

Speaker 3: (19:22)

Um, or, you know, this is something that we do want you to double down on and look for more. We're finding that, um, in hashtag land, specifically street, you know, the old way is to, um, use them as indexers. Right. And try to glom on to someone else's trend or wave, but that's old and it looks lazy as well. People can see it and smell it. So what lately services is the hashtags that are actually relevant to your audience? I'll give you an example. My personal highest trending hashtag is hashtag peeing my pants. Cause that's what Gary Vanerchuck when, when he tweeted about me, that's what I said, right. Yeah. Okay. So, um, now like I can, I'm I tell lately to look for more of that stuff for me, because the voice I have, the, the context, the personality comes through in those ways and it gets more engagement for me.

Speaker 3: (20:25)

Right, right. But it's because I'm taking the time to, to tell it what to do. Mm-hmm so if I don't tell it what to do, it can go off the rails to your point. Right now, if somebody came in and was like, Alex Jones, that bag, um, radio guy, you know, you know that guy, like, you know, all of his is gonna surface with race racist mm-hmm stuff because that's his audience. And there's nothing we can do about that. You know, if we, if we saw someone using our technology to be an, like I don't have any problem just saying goodbye, you know, I don't, I don't need the money for that. Um, but we haven't seen anyone do that yet. And you know, honestly, Cree, why is like, we practice what we preach at lately. So the way I'm talking to you, the way our AI, we call it the world's most human AI.

Speaker 3: (21:19)

And my staff is like super human and friendly, right. The way we treat our customers, the way we present ourselves online, you're, you know, you're talking to me, I'm very casual, right? Just my nature. My nature is making fans. That's what I know how to do. Right. And so we attract customers like that. I mean, um, for example, in the last three years, not, not one day has passed where someone, somewhere on social has, um, said something nice about us, like just spontaneous. Right. And we find this, even with our customers who left us, they're like lately isn't for me, but we love those guys. So we're just gonna always talk about them nicely. And, and so I, I know this sounds corny and cheesy, but like we believe in the golden rule do unto others. Right. And that in this world, for me, you know, as a female entrepreneur, you know, how much harder it is for me to succeed than a man.

Speaker 3: (22:12)

Um, and just in case anybody doesn't know, only 2% of all female owned companies hit the million dollar mark. I'm almost there myself. It's very hard to do. So I rely on you. I rely on those above me. You know, men gen mostly white men to lift, to lift me up and, and I have, I've used this, right? Like, so I, because that's how we go about it as a company. And because our AI, um, is the mirror of what we do. Right. You know, um, we're able to walk that line super well. And I, it, it makes me feel so good. Like, I mean, I told you how my first experience in radio was not my first experience, but my experience in radio was pretty. Mm-hmm , you know, of course I was sexually harassed too. It was, it was a whole ball of a nightmare there.

Speaker 3: (23:12)

And having lived in corporate culture, the cultural that I designed here at lately is nothing like that. Mm-hmm right. I hired wild horses like myself. I let everybody run on their own. And it's, it's a crazy way. I mean, not a lot of people can, can be autonomous, but that's how we roll. So like, when COVID happened, there was no change for us. We already operate like this. Right. You know, it's a flat organization. People run their own shows, you know? And the other thing too, is like, I think a lot about, you know, I'm on the cover of the magazine here, right. Straight on my own magazine, but I try to put my team on the cover as much as possible because number one, the more the merrier. I mean, we get lead gen out of that. Right. Um, but number two, it's again like the humans together, you know, it's all over. Um, so Keith Richards, you know, him from the rolling stones, he says famously, um, without the role, it's just a March.

Speaker 3: (24:25)

We worked with Anhe Anheuser Bush and Bev AB and Bev mm-hmm , um, a couple years ago. And we wanted to do an experiment with them where we took, um, I think it was 10,000 pieces of content. Now the content came in the form of social media, radio scripts, press releases, any kind of text space. We could get our hands on. And it was from one of their brand voices. They've got like 40 brands. So we picked one brand let's, let's feed that voice into the, into the AI, our AI and see if we can get lately to not only learn the voice, but then recreate it from scratch. And it did. So we took this model if this is V two, and we did another experiment where we took my voice, cuz I, you have to have a minimum of 10,000. So I've got like 30 pieces of con 30,000 pieces fed it to lately.

Speaker 3: (25:15)

And it's now producing hashtags that I say like peeing my pants. I might say like, holy hot pickled jalapeno peppers are, it's starting to, um, recreate sentences, but with a, a twist of something that I might say to it, right. So I had to park it the last couple years because I didn't raise, I didn't raise, we survived on almost no money as a company for a couple of years. Um, but I'm now reinvesting in that. And so we'll be launching V2 soon. Um, so like right now our goal is to get you 75% of the way there to like start you at third base, which is pretty big deal. The new AI will actually start you rounding short. sure. Uh, rounding home, like you're almost at home base. Um, so like 90% of the way there, I should say. Um, so that's really exciting, um, for us and to figure out like, you know, how do we, how do we take what we've built and make it so that one, an individual can pass it around really easily. Like that's what we're focused on at the moment.

Speaker 3: (26:24)

Um, so lately works in multiple languages, three mm-hmm . So if you give me Portuguese video, I'll give you Portuguese social post mm-hmm , for example, it works with any language that works left to right. Mm-hmm and that has punctuation. So, and it's not that it couldn't work with Chinese, for example. Um, we just haven't built it that way yet. Um, so, and we have customers in India, by the way, we have customers globally now, um, which surprises us. Like we see them as soon as we, we always had customers in Europe, Australia, and India, but as soon as we launched the self-service products, we saw a lot more Asian come in. Um, and then, um, the Baltic countries, our Indian population really doubled. So, um, just interesting to us, we're just watching, you know, to see who's coming.

Speaker 4: (27:18)

Who do you say that was? I mean like any,

Speaker 3: (27:21)

I think price, price point, probably. I think the price point was the biggest one. Right? So instead of starting at $250 a month, we now start at $15 a month

Speaker 4: (27:30)

Mm-hmm but even then from an Asian, like, okay. From an Indian perspective, $15 is still quite

Speaker 3: (27:38)

A lot

Speaker 4: (27:39)

A sign time investment, right?

Speaker 3: (27:41)

Yeah. Yeah. Um, well, you know, we can do a free product, which we, we used to have one and we're just right now we're testing, you know? So the, the rule with, um, self-service and product leg growth is first activation flow, then retention, then monetization, uh, marketing, and then monetization in that order. So we've got our activation flow down. We we've only been 90 days. Self-service not very much long. Um, so now we're working on the, that retention piece and we see the numbers going up really rapidly every day. You know, every we're watching every, every little part of the funnel, you know, and, you know, that's how we learned that we have to put publishing back in cuz we're like Jesus Christ. , you know, all right. I have, I'm raising money now because I, I can see that I have to double down on the investment of my, on my engineering size.

Speaker 3: (28:37)

Um, so, you know, I need to release a freemium product. I haven't yet because I wanna make sure that that retention component is dialed right in, right. Because why would I dump all my marketing into the, into a funnel let's not a hundred percent yet. Right. Um, I imagine we'll have quite a bigger uptake, obviously when we do, what's interesting to us, two, three is, um, so we had divided the products up from, um, um, download only. So you can create content out of text, download it, you can't publish it at all. Then the next component was okay, you can publish it at Hootsuite or HubSpot. And then the next one was okay, now you get to do video as well and then enterprise, but what we, so we thought that was that that the ability to publish and text versus video is what divided and moved people around.

Speaker 3: (29:29)

It's not that , which is amazing to us. So video has to be in every piece, right? Mm-hmm um, so how do I put video in a, in a freemium product because video costs us. So I, I don't know yet. Okay. May I have an idea, but uh, so I need to rearrange the plans so that now they include each one includes video and each one includes publishing and what divides them now is actually seats. Um, and in collaboration, which is amazingly standard, SAS marketing, but, but those things, weren't what moved the needle for us previously. Like, you know, so this is a Testament to us, by the way, we're able to change cuz demand is changing. You know, COVID, COVID did this by the way. COVID is what moved this needle particularly. Um, and so, you know, as the team, we're constantly obviously iterating and listening to what you guys want, but at the same time I'm I'm having my job is to not have a gut reaction, a knee jerk reaction, right. To, to really think about what other proof points what's the market demand. Um, and is there a way to do this next thing without, without feeling like we're on a yoyo .

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