Neon Noise Podcast

E32: Exploring the use of AI, Robots, and IoT with Magnus Unemyr

     

Exploring AI and Robots with Magnus Unemyr on the Neon Noise podcastAs advancements in technology continue to accelerate faster than ever, the question of when technology turns on us and the robots take over seems more likely than when Skynet was first presented to us in 1984.

In the meantime, we had Magnus Unemyr on the Neon Noise podcast to share with us how marketers are using artificial intelligence and robots to automate processes giving small and medium sized businesses the ability to compete on a global scale.

Magnus is an inbound marketing and automation specialist, non-fiction author, and speaker. Over the past couple years, his focus has been creating state-of-the-art marketing strategies using some of the world's most advanced automation tools.

Some of the things we cover include:

  • The biggest opportunity in the marketing funnel being missed by most businesses
  • How Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are already being used in marketing
  • Why you need to pay special atttention to and integrate these items into your marketing now
  • How your bathroom scale is going to give you feedback
  • What predictive leads scoring is and how it can help
  • Particular marketing software he uses and how it can help you

Please enjoy our conversation with Magnus Unemyr.

 
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Thanks for Listening!

Resources

Website for Professional Services: Unemyr.com

Website for Solopreneurs: MonetizeKnowledge.com

Free Book: Mastering Online Marketing

Content Curation Software: Paper.li

Social Media Posting Software: MeetEdgar.com

Marketing Automation Software: HubSpot.com

Transcript

00:00 Speaker 1: Welcome to the Neon Noise Podcast, your home for learning ways to attract more traffic to your website, generate more leads, convert more leads into customers, and build stronger relationships with your customers. And now your hosts, Justin Johnson and Ken Franzen.

00:16 Justin Johnson: Hey, hey, hey, Neon Noise nation. Welcome to the Neon Noise podcast where we decode marketing and sales topics to help you grow your business. I am Justin and with me, as always, I have my co-host, Ken. Mr. Ken, how are things up in Ohio today?

00:33 Ken Franzen: Things in Ohio are great, little cloudy, little rainy, but hey, the sun will come back soon, right?

00:41 Justin Johnson: The sun will come back. It will, I promise. Good deal. Hey, I am excited to chat with our featured guest today. He is coming to us all the way from Sweden. Magnus Unemyr is an inbound marketing and marketing automation specialist, non-fiction author, and speaker. He is based in Sweden but works internationally and has given talks around the world on software development and digital marketing. He built his first website in the early 1990s and has since followed the developments and trends in online business strategies. Over the past few years, he has focused on creating state-of-the-art marketing strategies using some of the world's most advanced automation tools. These software robots dramatically increase the capacity of small and mid-size businesses to help reach their global audience. Magnus has a passion for creating well-oiled marketing machines to generate valuable leads, strengthen each step of the sales funnel, and make companies the go-to choice in their industry. He is the author of "Mastering Online Marketing" which provides a comprehensive overview on how to build an integrated marketing platform. With all that, Magnus, welcome to Neon Noise.

02:00 Magnus Unemyr: Thank you very much. I'm excited to be on the show.

02:03 Justin Johnson: Excellent, we are super excited to have you here. Do me a favor and just fill in the blanks on anything I may have missed. Just share a little bit about your background for us.

02:12 Magnus Unemyr: Yes, so I actually started with internet marketing about 25 years ago. My parents had a small local business and I built my first website to help marketing of that family business. We created a fairly large website, which at the time were hardcoded in plain HTML using a ASCII text editor like Notepad. A couple of years later, at the end of the 1990s, I created what probably was one of the first web shops in Sweden. And at that point in time, I think credit card payments were unheard of, so we actually created a web shop purely based on forms where we customers could fill out whatever we wanted to buy in a form that ended up as an email in our email client. So that was about 25 years ago. I have since played a little bit with dynamic web pages, PHP, for example, on the server side or JavaScript on the client side, moving over to content management systems like Joomla or later Wordpress once those systems came into existence.

03:23 Magnus Unemyr: In the last few years, I have focused quite a lot on marketing automation systems. I am really interested in what software automation can do for marketing and help scale up the effects of internet marketing for companies. And I have been fortunate enough to play a little bit with artificial intelligence and machine learning, which is coming now strongly into marketing, and I predict that the next big thing in marketing after the AI stuff is IoT, internet of things, where basically everything will be internet-connected, and with a lot of IoT devices out in the world we will get billions of devices that monitor how we use things and the user data gathered by all those billion of devices will be a fantastic source to harvest for business insights on how to market to your customer base.

04:26 Ken Franzen: Fantastic. So let's start at the beginning, because there's a progression of things I think we'll talk about here, very exciting, cutting-edge things in the marketing world. And while marketing automation's been around for a little bit I still think it's a fresh topic and there's still a ton of opportunity, a lot of businesses not integrated, maybe some type of automation but not advanced automation. So let's start with marketing automation. Can you share with us a little bit about what you're doing with marketing automation? Specifically any type of particular strategies or platforms that you like or applications that you see it fitting well with.

05:22 Magnus Unemyr: Yes. So first of all, I would like to take a overview look, and I think we all have seen the marketing funnel. It's very wide at the top where you have strangers and you want to convert some of these strangers into visitors to your website, and you do that with traffic generation strategies or marketing strategies that make some of those strangers come to your website. At your website, these guys end up as anonymous visitors, and you want to convert those into leads, people who you have the contact information to. And out of the leads you have, you want to nurture them and make them into customers. Now, in my experience, most people focus on the top of a funnel, converting strangers into anonymous visitors with traffic generation strategies. You can buy traffic via Google AdWords, or Facebook ads, or SEO, or any number of strategies, and most of the marketing agencies focus on that side of things.

06:27 Magnus Unemyr: I would like to claim that the business value is created further down in the funnel. The business value is actually created in the leads conversion stage and the leads nurture stage, where you convert anonymous visitors into identified leads or into paying customers. And most people actually spend all their efforts on the traffic generation side, but you can get a lot more leads and paying customers from your existing website traffic if you just optimize the conversion ratio of the traffic you already have. That is something that can be done quite easily with a good marketing automation system. And to do that one can design a sales funnel, which is an optimized ideal journey for your anonymous website visitors to travel over your sites over a couple of touchpoints on their way to becoming a paying customer. And the marketing automation system is the vehicle to implement the sales funnel and take those anonymous visitors and nurture them into paying customers.

07:37 Ken Franzen: Okay. Now, let's back up a quick second, because you made a really interesting point that Justin and I have touched on a couple different times in different podcasts, but the amount of visitors... Let me rephrase this real quickly. Most businesses and marketing individuals are focusing on that top of funnel, generating that traffic to come to the website, and you're stating that the opportunity there that's being missed is not so much, let's try to get more people, more busloads of people to drop off to your front door but do a better job while they're inside your store shopping around to make them customers.

08:18 Magnus Unemyr: Yes. There is nothing wrong in getting more traffic of course, this is something we want as well. But also, we vouch, getting more traffic to your website can 2x or 5x the number of leads you get from your website and hopefully then turn those into paying customers as well. So by implementing a few leads conversion strategies and some leads nurturing strategies we can get a lot or more business efficiency out of your existing website without actually getting more traffic to your website. Having said that, you, of course, also want to have more traffic if you can.

08:53 Ken Franzen: Absolutely. So for the listener that we have who is not implementing any type of marketing automation, they don't have any top of funnel, capturing, any offers, any lead capturing functionality in place, and they're like most websites out there, they do a really good job with the bottom of funnel offers of, contact us now, schedule your appointment, things along those lines. What percentage of traffic would you say that... If they had 10,000 visitors to their website, what would you say the percentage is, generally speaking, that they're missing out on, that people are leaving because they're not quite ready to buy just yet?

09:45 Magnus Unemyr: Assuming that the people who come to the website have a proper interest in the product or service you're offering, so they are reasonably relevant traffic, I think that in a somewhat poorly designed website you can easily 2x or 5x the number of leads you get from that traffic by being a little bit more aggressive on the leads capturing side of things. So you would create a couple of valuable lead magnets, so you offer something for free that entice website visitors to register their contact information in return for the valuable lead magnet, so typically a PDF, like a checklist or a cheat sheet or something like that.

10:26 Ken Franzen: Awesome.

10:28 Magnus Unemyr: And you add a number of call attraction buttons or banner ads pretty much everywhere on your site that advertise the lead magnet, the call attractions, drive traffic to the landing page, the registration form. Once someone submits a registration form, you email them the free lead magnet or the free PDF they so desired, and you have their email address in your leads database and you can start to nurture them with emails and other strategies over weeks and months to come. Those emails you send to them over time obviously should drive traffic back to the website, for example your blog articles or to other resources that contains educational or trust-building content.

11:13 Ken Franzen: With the lead magnets, do you find... You made mention of checklists and... You can fill in the blank my mind's blanking out on. But basically, I wanted to ask you, what are some examples of lead magnets and do you find some work better than others or do certain industries have certain lead magnets that seem to be more fitting than others?

11:38 Magnus Unemyr: I think it is quite industry-specific, but some type of lead magnets that are quite common is checklists, cheat sheets, white papers, e-books, and in this case, normally quite short e-books, like 10 pages or something like that, or proper e-books that can be 250 pages if you like, but normally quite short PDFs. It can be document templates, it can be calculation sheets, Microsoft Excel templates, for example, in each libraries. It can even be a software service, some kind of calculation service that calculates your monthly cost of something, for example. So anything that fits and it should be something that appears to have a good value and it should also provide a good value, but it should not be a massive piece of document that is daunting to consume.

12:41 Ken Franzen: So it's a nugget of info, it's a nugget of value. It's not the manifest.

12:46 Magnus Unemyr: Yes, it should provide a lot of value, but it should only provide value for a small corner of the problem. To solve the full problem they need to buy your product.

12:56 Ken Franzen: I see. So you bring up an interesting point, because the problem... So the lead magnet does focus specifically on a problem that...

13:07 Magnus Unemyr: Yeah, the lead magnets should, of course, relate to the product or service you offer. It should fit the customer journey. So you should have a lead magnet that fits people who, for example, look to find a solution to a problem, but you can have a different lead magnet that is a better fit for people who just investigate what product they want to buy. So the lead magnet should be designed to be enticing to the potential customers at different stages of the customer journey.

13:43 Ken Franzen: Excellent. Now, as far as software goes, there's lots of options out there for marketing automation software, correct?

13:50 Magnus Unemyr: Yes. I heard that there are over 2,300 different marketing automation product software to purchase. All of them are obviously not large marketing automation systems like HubSpot, Marketo, Act-On, or Infusionsoft. The majority of them are really small, very specialized tools that do a very, very specific little thing. But there are apparently well over 2,000 different products out that can help automate your marketing in different ways.

14:20 Ken Franzen: That's amazing and a little overwhelming. I understand, and I think a lot of our listeners have heard of HubSpot, Infusionsoft, Marketo, but you mentioned there's some very specific niche marketing software tools. So these are more in alignment with particular industries and functions of that industry?

14:46 Magnus Unemyr: They are related to marketing but different parts of marketing. So for example, I use a software tool to automate some of the postings I make on various social media, so I have a software robot called Meet Edgar that I use to post frequently to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. I have a different robot that scans Twitter for certain keywords and retweets automatically certain keywords that match some keywords that make me appear quite active on Twitter when I'm in fact doing completely different things.

[chuckle]

15:26 Ken Franzen: Automating you.

15:28 Magnus Unemyr: Yes, exactly. I also have tested a robot that auto-layouts and auto-publishes a newspaper daily. It's called Paper.li and you can configure it to listen to certain blogs, so RSS feeds, and/or certain hashtags on Twitter, and it pulls in blog posts from around the internet from those sources and auto-layouts and auto-generates the newsletter magazine daily with articles on that topic. So you can get a daily newspaper auto-generated for yourself by curating content from your industry.

16:12 Ken Franzen: Interesting.

16:13 Magnus Unemyr: So these are just a couple of examples of very specialized robots that do very specialized things that you may want to use to beef up your activities on the internet without spending too much money or work.

16:26 Ken Franzen: Absolutely, and we'll include links to some of these that you mentioned in our show notes for all the listeners that you can reference these and access these robots and try them out for yourself. So the very specialized robots, like Meet Edgar or some of these other very specific content curation tools are perfect for singular, focused functions and then you have more robust marketing automation tools that do more multiple, complex things as well.

17:13 Magnus Unemyr: Yes, so if you take HubSpot, or Marketo, or Act-On, or Infusionsoft, for example, they are the heart of all your marketing automation efforts, basically, and then you can extend that with also smaller specialized tools that do a little bit more as well. But you probably want to have a big integrated marketing automation system as the heart of your efforts.

17:37 Ken Franzen: And you bring in a good point, because it's pretty challenging to really implement any automation. No one really loves to go out and start shopping for software. It's one of those things where you start looking, what's this added, and it's usually something that, if it's a business, is not currently invested in. It's something that there might not be budgeted for, and so you look at... Some of these softwares are very inexpensive, I think Meet Edgar's $49 a month, super affordable robot to put to work and do some really powerful things. Then you get into some of these other more robust automation systems and they're a lot more expensive. And so for a business owner who doesn't currently employ a marketing automation strategy, they look at it and see, "Wow, this is a potentially large investment I don't have budgeted for." What would you say to that person to ease their mind about that shift, that mentality? Because I get that a lot when we're talking to those, they're like, "Woah, woah, woah."

18:54 Magnus Unemyr: It is a cost, for sure, and the cost scales quite quickly with the number of leads in the lead database, so a product that appears to be relatively cheap or inexpensive can become quite expensive when we have tens of thousands of leads in the database. But these tools scale incredibly well. If you have 10 leads a day or 10,000 leads a day, there's no extra effort for you. Once you have configured it and set it up these tools can nurture 10,000 leads daily equally well as just 10 leads a day. So if your business is expanding, it's a very cost-efficient way to handle a lot more traffic, a lot more leads, and a lot more potential customers, because you can... Essentially, these tools will massage your leads into becoming ready to buy, so you can get a lot more leads sales-ready automatically by doing a nurturing sequence with highly personalized email sequences for example. So you can save on the cost of having sales guys for example to nurture those manually. Another way of seeing this, of course, is that so far most companies do not use advanced marketing automation. This will change in the next couple of years, I will say, and if you don't, your competitors will, and I think they will then make it quite difficult for you.

20:25 Ken Franzen: You bring in two really interesting points there that I like. One obviously is the competitive, because you're right, there is this opportunity where most aren't adopting these strategies just yet. And then the other is, you mentioned the salespeople and what it would cost them to get the lead to the point where they're now entering and what the marketing automation is doing. The software cost is a drop in the bucket compared to what it would cost for humans to perform all these same tasks.

21:01 Magnus Unemyr: Yes, and these systems also do something called lead scoring. So not only do they nurture your leads with highly-personalized email sequences, they also assess how likely someone is to buy from you. And therefore you can use these tools to filter which leads you hand over to the sales guys for manual follow-up. For example, HubSpot, that I have been using, can be used to send very specialized email nurturing sequences based on different trigger events. For example, if someone visits the pricing page, that can trigger a sequence of free emails being sent out, or that triggers an email being sent to the next or the closest local distributor and ask him to call the person who visited the pricing page. And therefore you basically have a lot of manual work that you wouldn't have time to do automated, and these systems will filter out the low quality leads and you can quote only the high quality leads to your sales guys for manual follow-up.

22:08 Ken Franzen: So the sales staff would essentially be dealing with... They'd be spending their time working on leads that are more ready to buy, of higher quality, instead of the traditional sales game that we all, I think, participated in at some point in time where it's turning over stones to see which one has got gold in it, right?

22:31 Magnus Unemyr: Yes. I think with these tools... The functionality is called lead scoring. The tool will actually assess to what percentage someone is likely to buy soon, so you can spend the sales time with only the leads who seem to be really, really close to buying now.

22:53 Ken Franzen: What a great tool. I think any salesperson listening to this would love to have all the leads that came to them be purchase-ready and qualified and they only spent their time on those types of opportunities rather than some of the traditional routes that we go.

23:16 Magnus Unemyr: Yes. And then this kind of lead scoring is done by measuring the different activities a particular lead has done on your website, so how many times have they visited your website, which pages have they visited, did they go to the pricing page? Did they go to the apply for jobs page? That's just another signal that this person may not be interested in buying, for example. What emails did they open, what registration forms did they submit, what files did they download? All those signals are calculated into one lead score that tells you zero to 100% how likely is this person to buy soon.

23:56 Ken Franzen: Exciting. In HubSpot, I know for a fact, you can configure that and all those activities to perform different functions, either triggering to the potential customer more communication or, as you made mention, notifying the nearest distributor that this person might be someone you'd want to contact.

24:17 Magnus Unemyr: Yes, and then one thing that is quite cool that you can do, since the system can automatically measure how sales ready someone is most likely, you can actually have trigger events configured for different levels of sales readiness. So if someone is 45% likely to buy something, then that can trigger a certain email sequence with a soft sales message. A few months later on, the same lead do more things on your website and they get 75% sales ready. That can trigger a different email sequence with a harder sales message, for example pushing them to your webshop.

24:58 Ken Franzen: And again, going back to the idea that this is configured and this is interaction that's taking place with potential customers to the business without any manual input ongoing. You could never do this or keep up with this type of interaction in a passive way like it is without the software.

25:24 Magnus Unemyr: That's true, and this lead scoring algorithm can be done in two ways, at least if you talk about HubSpot particularly. Traditionally, you have defined the algorithm manually yourself in a way that fits your company. So you define certain page views as worth, for example, one, a visit to the pricing page is worth five. The visit to the free jobs page is worth minus 10, for example. But now, artificial intelligence is entering the marketing automation world, and for example, HubSpot actually have a feature where HubSpot can design the algorithm automatically using machine learning or artificial intelligence, so you don't even need to design the algorithm on your own anymore.

26:10 Ken Franzen: Amazing. Amazing. So you bring up AI, artificial intelligence, and this is where everyone jokingly talks about the machines beginning to take over. You have so many movies Hollywood's pumped out, with Terminator... Wasn't there a movie called AI with that Haley Joel Osment kid in it? I think it was AI, I can't remember. At any rate, the advancement of systems that are able to learn in almost artificial intelligence, replace the thoughts of the human mind. Talk to me a little bit more... So you've just started talking a little bit about HubSpot and their predictive lead scoring a little bit, how it uses AI, and I know that recently we're seeing lots and lots and lots of interesting articles in the news, talking about new platforms coming out, different types of Chatbots that are starting to be used for customer service needs. Let's dive into AI a little bit and talk about how it's becoming a reality and where it might take us in the marketing world.

27:25 Magnus Unemyr: Yes. So I agree AI, and in particular predictive analytics or machine learning, is a really, really hot topic right now. Everyone talks about AI in marketing currently. I think we need to explain a little bit what AI is. There are basically three levels of AI technologies and the first one really isn't AI at all. So the first level required to do something based on AI is to use big data. Big data is to detect valuable patterns in huge amounts of historical data. So for example, with big data we can detect that certain types of credit card transactions were fraudulent. So a specific pattern signal that this kind of credit card transactions were fraudulent. The next step up is predictive analytics, and predictive analytics is about generating an algorithm that in real-time can predict if current data fits that pattern. So with predictive analytics, we could generate an algorithm that can, for example, detect if a current credit card transaction is likely to be fraudulent or not. So we move from analyzing the history into analyzing what happens now in real time. Predictive analytics is static. Once you train the algorithm, it stays and behaves the same. And that may not be so good if the environment changes over time. New data patterns emerge and the behavior of the world changes.

29:16 Magnus Unemyr: So, if you move up one step above predictive analytics, you having something called machine learning, and that is basically predictive analytics where we add a feedback loop where new data automatically retrains the algorithm such that it adapts itself to a changing world with different data. So, if we take the example of the credit transaction again, for example if most of credit card frauds came from the country of Denmark before, and if that changes, so in the future more credit card frauds come from Sweden for example, then with predictive analytics the algorithm wouldn't change to adapt to that difference in the real world. But with machine learning, we have the feedback loop such that the algorithm retrains itself based on new data, so it will change itself for the future by itself. And it is machine learning that is the engine of most of the interesting stuff that we hear about, including Google's self-driving cars, the iPhone Siri voice detection, the chatbot text handling, for example. And a lot of more interesting things will be done in the future with machine learning and marketing. And currently, to my knowledge, there are two distinctly different features available in a couple of marketing automation systems that are based on AI.

30:51 Magnus Unemyr: So for example, HubSpot have this predictive lead scoring feature that can automatically detect or guess, let's say, how likely someone is to buy right now. Marketo, on the other hand, have an AI algorithm that predicts which type of content a certain lead is most likely interested in right now. So you could, for example, offer a different lead magnet to different leads at the same place on the website based on what they have done in the past. So if one person comes to a certain page on the website, they are offered lead magnet A that talks about something, but a different person coming to the same webpage at the same time is offered lead magnet B that covers a different topic, because the AI algorithm believes that the second person is more interested in another topic. And therefore we can increase the conversion ratio, we can have more people register in the forms, because we offer more interesting content to them.

32:00 Ken Franzen: Those two examples you just gave, that's more predictive, right? Not machine learning?

32:06 Magnus Unemyr: Yeah, that is true.

32:08 Ken Franzen: Okay. Okay.

32:09 Magnus Unemyr: That is true. I am now involved in a custom AI project, so I have a customer who wants to design their own AI algorithm. They have a massive amount of data, historical data with the user behavior of their customers, so they will use machine learning to find different patterns in their customers' behavior and they will mine that for business insights that have a commercial value. You can then connect that to a marketing automation system and offer specific products to boost customers who have a specific pattern in the database. You can either productize the data and sell the data insights as a product in their own right or you can just use the insights to do a better targeted marketing campaign towards different segments of the same database.

33:13 Ken Franzen: That's amazing. Now, when I think of some of these machine learning, I visualize it being a very... And I know this isn't the case. I visualize it being very advanced and very complex, but I know that there's platforms that are being developed to bring AI, the means of the uses, the functionality of AI to the fingertips of those, so that we don't all have to be Tony Starks with this billion-dollar lab in order to implement some of this functionality. How much of that's available now, how far off is it to where it's gonna be more commonplace to see artificial intelligence be incorporated into more and more of what we do?

34:07 Magnus Unemyr: I think that AI or machine learning will be integrated into products you buy, standard products you buy. Even in the next couple of years you will have AI in a lot of products. You may not be aware of it, but there will be AI in a lot of products you buy. Obviously, developing your own AI algorithms is perhaps something that most small companies will not do on their own. Having said that, it is not very expensive to get access to this machine learning technology. Both Microsoft and Amazon offer their own alternative implementations of the machine learning development platforms, and you can buy, for example, via the Microsoft store, a machine learning platform. You can buy quite cheaply a development platform to do your own machine learning algorithms. So it is not very expensive in terms of the technology, it is more expensive perhaps in terms of hiring the people that knows how to do it.

35:07 Ken Franzen: Sure. Interesting. Interesting and exciting.

35:12 Magnus Unemyr: I think one area that we haven't seen so much of yet, that will be a big thing in the future, is predictive pricing, where we calculate the most optimal price for a specific product, perhaps even individually for each lead.

35:28 Ken Franzen: Okay.

35:29 Magnus Unemyr: Or for example for different times of day, etcetera.

35:32 Ken Franzen: All right. So is that some of the things that we see maybe on some of the travel sites?

35:38 Magnus Unemyr: I think that is what you see on the travel sites today.

35:41 Ken Franzen: All right. Yeah, when you see those price fluctuations, that's some more predictive...

35:47 Magnus Unemyr: Yes, I would assume they are based on predictive analytics or machine learning, yes.

35:53 Ken Franzen: You mentioned that in the next couple of years, you think that we'll see more products that we use everyday with AI. Do you have any particular products that you can point to that you think you might see us... Everyday products where we might not even realize that we have artificial intelligence that we're using right now?

36:14 Magnus Unemyr: Well, the iPhone is an example. Siri, when you talk to the iPhone. For example, Siri book a meeting for you, that is developed using machine learning, for example.

36:27 Ken Franzen: Sure. Excellent.

36:28 Magnus Unemyr: And the Chatbots you mentioned, where you come to some website, there's a chat box popping up with a customer service agent that you can chat with. In many cases, there are no customer service agent chatting with you, that is an AI robot or machine learning robot that has been trained to answer the most frequent questions, and when it can't answer any more then it's handed over to a real person.

36:53 Ken Franzen: And I find that fascinating, with the integration of these Chatbots from a customer service standpoint. The abilities that they have to be able to serve up and... 'Cause I'm not a big fan of calling into a number. I wanna speak to someone if I do that, but I think we all get annoyed with the "Say yes or no" and you try to speak into the phone and it doesn't quite register what you say and you end up repeating. Or, "Please state your 16-digit credit card number," and "Did you say zero?" "No, I did not say zero." And it becomes absolutely frustrating. So the chatbot on the site, I think, is intriguing and more inviting to someone that they feel a little bit more comfortable with using. I think it'll be something that's even more adopted than we already see.

37:50 Magnus Unemyr: That's true and there are a couple of other advantages as well, dependent on your business and where you operate. But if you have customers in different time zones, on the other side of the globe, if you're a small company, you may not have a customer service agent working at that point in time in the middle of the night, but the chatbot can still do at least some of the more simple tasks automatically. Or you have customers who, like me, who don't speak English natively, so if you are not that good in English, you may prefer to type in text in a chat window in your own time rather than speaking.

38:31 Ken Franzen: Absolutely. Absolutely. And let's face it, a lot of the questions that we do receive calls for from a customer support standpoint, there's probably 80 plus percent of them are a common group of questions that could be managed by that chatbot. And they don't call in sick, right?

[chuckle]

38:54 Ken Franzen: So we talked about marketing automation, we talked about AI, and then you made mention about going forward, the IoT, internet of things. Can you explain a little bit more about, giving a little bit more of an explanation of IoT for our listeners and then maybe what you see coming in the future.

39:22 Magnus Unemyr: Yes. So IoT, or the internet of things, is basically the world where everything, everyday object is connected to internet. So the thermometer, the car, the medical instruments, the bathroom scale you have, basically every electrical device you own or touch in your daily life will be internet connected. Probably your refrigerator and microwave oven as well. And once everything is internet connected, these IoT devices, these internet of things devices, will generate an absolutely massive amount of data. You may have thousands of thermometers in a factory, for example, that measure the temperature once every second, and over a few years that is a huge amount of measurement points just for those thermometers in that specific factory alone.

40:22 Magnus Unemyr: And with all the data being collected or generated by these billions and billions and billions of internet connected devices in the future, we'll have oceans of data and we will then apply the big data, the predictive analytics and machine learning AI algorithms on those data and we will harvest that data for almost invisible insights that we couldn't detect or see before, but now we can with these AI technologies. And there will be for sure new products in their own right, information products perhaps, where the manufacturers of those products can gather the user patterns of their customers in ways unimaginable just a couple of years ago. For example, if your bathroom scale detects that your weight is going up a little bit, perhaps it can detect that you most likely will gain 10 lbs in X amount of time, then suddenly you will be sent marketing offers for healthy food.

41:30 Justin Johnson: I'm getting all kinds of healthy offers right now. I didn't realize why that was.

[laughter]

41:36 Ken Franzen: There you go, Justin. Your bathroom scale is talking.

41:39 Justin Johnson: The bathroom scale is talking to me. Especially the refrigerator, if all that data went directly to my doctor that would just be terrible. I've gotta disconnect.

41:49 Magnus Unemyr: So I think we will enter a world where we will be drenched in data and a lot of that data will be generated by internet connected machines and devices and the insights gathered by AI analysis of that data will, in many cases, have a large commercial value, also for marketing purposes.

42:10 Justin Johnson: Very cool.

42:11 Ken Franzen: That's exciting, and scary at the same time, because it seems like everything that we do then, no matter... I'm guessing that there's gonna have to be this ability to manage the privacy. I could see some people not wanting maybe their scale data to be shared with the public. I would say most, but...

42:39 Justin Johnson: Sir, that's the 12th beer that you've drank according to your refrigerator today.

42:43 Ken Franzen: Sure, exactly.

[laughter]

42:46 Magnus Unemyr: Yeah, so that is not a technical problem, that is more a legislation problem and an ethical problem perhaps. But technically, we are here already.

42:57 Ken Franzen: Right. Well, you think about how much data that we share that most of us don't even know about, just use of the internet, browsing sites and the different habits. We're already kinda in that world a little bit and you're stating that more and more devices that aren't currently, such as our refrigerator, or our microwaves, or our bathroom scales, or the different home devices that are becoming available and becoming more affordable now, such as the nest thermostat for your home and then you have some of the technology becoming more... You see in Best Buy now they have a whole home section where you can manage cameras and lighting and everything. That's just the beginning and I can't wait to...

43:51 Magnus Unemyr: Didn't Amazon release this home device called Echo? Is it called Echo?

43:55 Ken Franzen: Yes.

43:56 Magnus Unemyr: It listens to you and you can talk to it at home, right? So I read this article by some journalist who had tried it out and he was talking about his baby with his wife, and they were talking about the baby and just a few days later on they were offered diapers in some marketing campaign. So it wasn't necessarily the case that the data came from this device listening to them, but he strongly suspected that.

44:28 Ken Franzen: Interesting, so Echo was listening. He's alleging that.

44:33 Justin Johnson: That's so scary.

44:35 Magnus Unemyr: I don't claim that is a fact, but this journalist wrote that he suspected that may have been the case.

[chuckle]

44:42 Ken Franzen: Sure, yeah. 'Cause let's face it, he could've tried to see what a price of that was on another site or something and just being re-targeted, but that's super interesting to see. Recently, Burger King had that ad campaign where they had the spokesperson or the actor that was playing the part of the Burger King employee speak through the television, and I believe he said something along lines of, "Google, what's in a Whopper?" And it was activating individuals' Google Home devices to pull up... I think it was the Wikipedia page was where it would go. But at any rate, there was a giant uproar, because obviously people's devices from their home were being used from a television commercial without their consent and the ad got pulled and all kinds of crazy stuff, but... Creative. I'm not gonna lie, that's a creative way of approaching it. But that's real life, what we're living in today.

45:52 Magnus Unemyr: Yes. I think in terms of marketing, we have only started the journey of marketing automation and perhaps connecting AI analysis to marketing as well, but the companies who embrace this technology early, like now, will have a big advantage over their competitors. And companies who wait three, four years to enter this kind of technology, I think, will have a tough time to compete with their more eager competitors. And I think it all has to do with integration. Rather than having separate marketing initiatives that are different things, with this kind of marketing automation systems you can take a holistic view and have a system that integrates all the data and have a 360 degree view of exactly what a lead does pretty much everywhere with your online assets, and that gives you a pretty good advantage, to have that complete view of what your leads are doing.

47:00 Ken Franzen: Exciting. So I think it's important to point out, listeners, that Magnus is stating, "This is here, this is now, this is today," and it's something to pay attention to. We need to start integrating some of these automation systems into your marketing efforts and knowing that if you're not, your competition likely is looking at this, and not to sit on the sidelines too long. And this isn't one of those things where you wanna wait and see if it's really gonna have legs. This has legs already, right, Magnus?

47:35 Magnus Unemyr: Yes, I think so. It's a market segment that is exploding and the marketing automation systems track what you do on a website or what your visitors are doing on your website, and even before someone registers for a contact information, these systems start to monitor and track what you do, even when you are still an anonymous visitor. And so when you, six months down the road, register in a form, the marketing automation systems can backtrack your earlier visitor history with your new identity. We can see that even though you registered today, we can see what you did on the website six months ago, including if you were spending a lot of time on the windsurfing pages or if you spent more time for example on the speedboat pages, and therefore we can conclude that we should send you emails that relate to windsurfing or speedboats based on your visitor behavior on our site six months before you registered the first time.

48:37 Ken Franzen: Unbelievable, and awesome and exciting as well. So you've talked about...

48:41 Magnus Unemyr: Yeah, we have talked a lot about AI and IoT today and this is really exciting, but I should also point out that this is the state of art where the most advanced companies are currently. And smaller companies with, let's say, less resources should absolutely look into a little bit more basic marketing automation. You do not need to go as far as using AI or machine learning. You can leverage quite a lot of advantages even if you just use some of the more basic marketing automation technologies.

49:17 Ken Franzen: Thanks for pointing that out, because I think it's important. I think a lot of our listeners aren't quite in the very high level enterprise type set ups where they would employ some of the more sophisticated strategies we're talking about here. But there are plenty, lots and lots and lots of automation tools available that are well within the reach of even the smallest companies and can help out dramatically in the growth of internet traffic and turn it into leads and nurturing them into customers. So great point there.

50:02 Magnus Unemyr: I think for $50 a month you get a pretty good basic system.

50:06 Ken Franzen: $50 a month. Unreal.

50:11 Magnus Unemyr: Dependent on how many leads you have in the database, obviously.

50:14 Ken Franzen: Absolutely. So if we all look at value, how much an hour of our time is worth and put a dollar amount on that, you compare that to $50 and I'm guessing that this software will be able to duplicate more than an hour's worth of work. It seems like a solid investment at the very least. Magnus, you've talked about a lot of exciting things so far. I'm pumped about everything we talked about. And you shared a little bit about a project that you're working on right now with artificial intelligence. I ask you, is there anything else you're working on right now or is there anything else that you haven't just talked about just yet that you're super excited about that you wanna share with our audience?

50:58 Magnus Unemyr: There are things I'm working with in addition to what I've talked about, but I think this AI project is really state of art technology right now and I'm really excited to be on that project. I think that is really, really interesting to be quite early out and actually do custom designed AI machine learning algorithms to drive automated marketing based on existing data they have on the behavior of their existing customers.

51:28 Ken Franzen: Excellent.

51:29 Justin Johnson: Very cool.

51:32 Ken Franzen: Now, if you could give our listeners one piece of parting advice, what would it be?

51:41 Magnus Unemyr: I think that it is always valuable to focus and niche down a little bit so you try to be very specific with what you offer. If you try to be too generic with your product offering, you will probably not get that much visibility in your market. So focus really hard with your product offering and try to be a big fish in a small pond, rather than a small fish in a big pond, let's say. The second piece of advice is automate as much as you can. You can scale your business much better with automation. It takes a little bit of time to set these systems up, but once configured, they're able to work 24/7 for you completely automatically, implementing your sales funnels, converting leads, nurturing those leads, filtering out who is worth a manual sales call, for example. And why not use some of these social media robots that post your social media messages automatically, driving traffic to your blog or website.

52:45 Justin Johnson: Great stuff. Hey, Magnus, you've shared a lot of awesome information with us today. What is the best way for listeners to get in touch with you?

52:54 Magnus Unemyr: I have a website. Unemyr.com, and I also offer one of my books for free to the listeners of this podcast. The URL is https: //unemyr.com/free-book. You will get my book "Mastering Online Marketing" for free. It's 235 pages. That covers a lot about inbound marketing and marketing automation.

53:30 Justin Johnson: Excellent. Okay, we will include a link in the show notes for that as well. Magnus, thanks so much for being on the show today. Neon Noise Nation, we hope you enjoyed our conversation today with Magnus. We will have show notes available at neongoldfish.com/podcasts. Until next time, this is Justin, Ken, and Magnus signing off. Neon Noise, we will see you again next week.

53:56 Speaker 1: Thank you for listening to this episode of the Neon Noise podcast. Did you enjoy the podcast? If so, please subscribe, share with a friend, or write a review. We wanna cover the topics you wanna hear. If you have an idea for a topic you'd like Justin and Ken to cover, connect with us on Twitter @neongoldfish or through our website at neongoldfish.com.