Marketing AI CEO Chats Welcomes John Cass & Scott Sweeney of AIContentGen

Marketing AI CEO Chats Welcomes John Cass & Scott Sweeney of AIContentGen

Transcript of the podcast:

Scott (00:03): Welcome to AI marketing CEO, chat with myself, Scott Sweeney co-founder of AI content generation, and John. Okay. Hi Scott, how are you also? Co-Founder yeah, pretty good. So, we have some very special guests today for our program and it’s John CA and Scott Sweeney of AI content. Jen, welcome John.


John (00:34): Oh, thank you. Thank you. Glad to be on the show. <Laugh>


Scott (00:37): And so am I, so today we thought it would be really to go through our AI journeys and answer some questions about the industry as analysts in this space for a good, oh, maybe a year and a half now. You know, and that’s what all we cover. We thought we’d just kind of give you what some of our insights might be.


John (01:06): Yep. Yeah. so, Scott, could you tell us about yourself and your, an AI journey?


Scott (01:12): Great. Yeah, absolutely. So, in terms of myself, I’ve worked in marketing and sales and actually finance in my career and starting in hardware engineering. I worked in finance for a very large manufacture of computers called digital equipment corporation. Back then I ran marketing for a solid-state disc group that is exciting. And then I moved into my role of consulting for general business teaching and training folks. In terms of goal setting leadership skills worked with about 200 companies over 10 years, 2000 individuals learned a lot learned as much as I gave back. It was a lot of fun. Went to work for one of my clients was a software engineering company, and I did that for another dozen years or so, and we were an enterprise CAD cam company. And that brought me to back to consulting again for marketing as a outsource CMO and working in content, but other areas S SCM and strategy coaching of agent agencies.


Scott (02:56): And then as of late over and starting in early 20, 21, myself and John because of kind of a previous time that John and I met oh, few years back with agile marketing John initiated a call to me and said, Hey, there’s something going on here with content generation and AI, and you want to do a project on it. And the project turned into AI content gen Inc that, and we came up with our very first of a kind report analyst report on the top 20 AI content generation tools at the end of 21, I think that’s it. That’s all I got. How about you, John, tell us, tell us about yourself and your journey.


John (03:47): Well, I’m a marketer and I think somewhat similar to you, Scott, you know, I, I think what I always like about you Scott, is that you are looking at how innovation is pushing forward to the industry. And I think that’s one of the reasons why we ended up collaborating on AI content. Jen, we were both curious about how, you know, the industry is pushing that. And in my background, I’ve always worked for tech companies first in the computer reseller industry, working for value added resellers, IBM Oracle, sun systems, stuff like that. And then I started working for a lot of tech startups and, but then over the last 20 years, it’s really been marketing content marketing content strategy, search engine optimization. I come to love organic search mainly because when I think of search, it’s not just about keywords, it’s actually about how do you really do conversion optimization?


John (04:51):Well, how do you make the website? How do you build it in such a way that it attracts people? How do you build it in such a way that you get people to see the messaging and, and then quickly convert. That’s really what SEOs about. So, for me, I was doing a contract I’m a freelancer for content strategy and content design. That’s, that’s one of my activities. And I was working as a contract content strategist for an agency and every single client, virtually every single client, whoever they were, whether it was banking or food distribution or whatever it was using AI. And so, I started to ask myself, well, how does this apply to what I do, which is content strategy. And so, I started looking at the tools and quickly saw that things had moved on mainly because of open AI and G P T three.


John (05:52):And then I started talking with you Scott, about this because we’ve been in, in touch over the years. I think we first met when I invited you to the Boston agile marketing meetup. Yes. And you were very gracious and, and did a great speech in the early days, 20 12, 20 13, I think it was what, 10 years ago or so. And we kept in touch and as I said, you know, we both have that, that passion for seeing where the industry’s going. And we worked on that project and, and, and AI content gen came out of it.


Scott (06:27):That’s great. Yeah. And you remind me of the technology. The last time when I was in the enterprise software companies, the VP marketing I was an early adopter of HubSpot and so technologies always fascinated me. And then when VR and AR started coming out, I started playing with my, you know, goggles and I was getting sick because it wasn’t working very well. And so now here, here we are with AI and how it’s transforming content and content design. And so, it’s pretty exciting.


John (07:03): So yeah, I think, I think the other thing there is that, I mean, you have those years of coaching, but you know, I, I also had that blog, I ended up doing that blogging stuff, but it was really about trying to understand how a company goes through digital transformation. I think, I think that’s the core. I mean, I think that’s absolutely.


John (07:22): Yeah. I mean, I think we both have a background in that where it’s either helping other companies or working on our own teams, trying to get them to <laugh> adopt a new technology.


Scott (07:37): Yes. Yeah. And the, and the issue with digital transformation is always that, you know, it’s not easy. And so even with coaching, you know, you’re trying to get a group of people to think and do things differently basically. And so, if you want you know, if you’re working on organizational behavior you get to convince people of that, that this is the right way to go. And I think a lot of ways, the digital transformation of with AI is very similar, there’s great tools, but the process and the people and understanding them and, and understanding how, how you use  and how do you win. And that, you know, you don’t want to go back to old ways is a big challenge.


John (08:20):Well, to me also, I think it’s the process about how you approach it. I mean, I think that if you’re only concerned about, and lots of teams are there, it’s, it’s not because they’re, they’re stuck in the mud, it’s they have a passion they want to do well, and they’re focused on customer service and, you know, making sure that they’re doing a good job, it’s hard to then carve out the extra time to do something new. Absolutely. And so, you must set up, you must provide the resources and the leadership to be able to give the team that space and opportunity to, you know, to adopt something that’s new.


Scott (09:03):Certainly, it’s disruptive. Okay. Everyone has their own process. And so, this is a disruption to the everyday process of how things get done.


John (09:14):Right. But when I think of technology, I mean, I think of it as a river, you know, you, you can step out for a while, but you can also step back in and, and realize that you know, those same processes around digital transformation can be applied to any of those new technologists that come along. But what, what, what about AI content generation software? What do you think is, is most important?


Scott (09:42):I think it’s really important to realize that the AI tools are used together in partnership with people. And so, the tool is not something that’s going to replace SEO. It’s not going to replace writers needing to design what the content is or should be. It’s, it’s really an evolution of technology that is assistive to content teams, to agencies, trying to get things accomplished with greater success in terms of making sure that the content is achieving the goals and that I think of it kind of like, you know I think you made this analogy John, like it’s the Gutenberg printing press. Okay. What did that do for the history of writing? And then you have, you know, the, the typewriter okay. The mini-Gutenberg, and then you have the word processor and I see this AI technology as the, the next step of assistive technology and helping companies and people to communicate effectively to achieve their goals.


John (11:16):Yeah. I agree, Scott. I mean, I think this isn’t about AI content gen replacing riders, but actually giving them a set of tools to do a better job. I mean, I’ve, I’ve worked in agencies and, and also brand companies and especially at the agencies, it it’s, there’s a lot of work to do, you know? And I, I I’ve seen the experiences for riders and, and they need more help, you know, so I, I really see one that these tools cannot be used well, unless you have a writer whose good at their job and knows what they’re you know, looking to do. It can speed up the time in which they have to do you know, various things to be able to produce the best results. And I think I think that’s the important thing to remember. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a supplement and it’s that next stage after the word processor for the writer. So that’s great. Super, so, John I want to know what you think the most important functions are that you see in the industry today.


John (12:36):Well, as I mentioned, I’m a content strategist, and so I work with writers. I also work with SEOs and the biggest issue for me in working for different companies or, you know, working in an agency setting sometimes is how you do the research, you know, what is it that you need to write? And then how do you craft what needs to be written into a creative brief so that the writer or the SEO is creating something that you know, is, is highest quality and, and the best that it could be. And while not every AI content gen tool does this, a lot of them do they have tools for research and briefing that really help, you know, so I, I, I think it’s I think it’s some of those early research tools that can help speed up the process.


Scott (13:41):Hmm. Agreed. Yeah, I, I would say and John, I really appreciate your work with SEO because that’s really not my area of expertise, although I know a lot of it, I think some of it rubbed off on me and I rarely have a greater appreciation and always the craft of writing and the tone. And you know, what’s your point of view are things that and just the, the craft has been always something that I’ve worked on. So, there’s always that kind of tension between the SEOs and some of the writers sometimes at times. And in terms of like, what are we trying to achieve here? Are we trying to get more links, more eyeballs, or are we trying to really make sure that the brand is you know, you’re staying true to your brand?


Scott (14:29): So, I think SEO is really important in terms of functions, brief development, for sure. In terms of the functions and specifically some of the tools that really integrate those, like when you’re able to create you do your research, you create this great brief, you you know, what your topics and your keywords should be, but then they integrate it with the automated writing. Okay. And so, you can pull your, some of your brief into your workspace and say, write for me or whatever, you know, whatever they tool will tell you. And then it comes out with some, some, some great pros that you know, that gets you started with your first draft and that it includes all the elements that you want to achieve the goals of the piece of content that you’re creating.


John (15:30): I wanted to follow up with some rapid-fire questions, Scott, you know, what areas do you think are, are most important for a, a client’s content strategy team’s approach in some of the following areas such as research?


Scott (15:50): Yeah, I think, you know, the research functions are great. And then a lot of the tools, you know, can show you what, or some of the tools can show you things like heat maps and how your competitors are covering topics or keywords, and they’ll provide links. And just the beginning of, you know, sometimes writers might be able to relate to like writers’ block. Like, I don’t know what to write, you know, so this is a more scientific approach. It will help writers to create the briefs if the, if that’s you know, if they don’t have one already and what it is that that needs to go. And so, they, so they can get started right away with what they’re writing. And so, I think ideas and research is really great.


John (16:46): Yeah. I mean, that, that, to me, as I mentioned before is sort of one of the big pluses in, in these sets of tools. Again, not every tool has it, but although even a tool that does AI content gen is going to provide you some insights about, you know, what topics to include what information to include. I, I can’t wait for the time when we have more AI tools for AI auditing and AI inventory. So, you know, doing a content audit, <laugh> it, it could take a long time. Oh, my goodness. So that’s not quite the same as developing a strategy, but you know, if you were to produce some tools and AI content, gen AI content auditing, I think that would be great. So, what about briefing? What about briefing?


Scott (17:41): Yeah, so, I mean, that’s just you know, I was talking to a client potential client the other day and they’re responsible for writing in, in a team. And I said so do you provide the writers a brief? And they said, what’s that? So, I was like, oh, okay, well this is what a brief, so if you don’t know what a brief is, it’s your roadmap, right? This is what I’m going to write, why I’m going to write it. This is the topic; these are the areas I’m going to cover. So, it’s basically an outline, but it includes your SEO and includes you know, the keywords. And so I think this is one area where the AI content generation tool shine, because it’s, again, you can get automated briefs, which I think are less useful from AI, but the ones that we are you, the writer or the content designer is working with the tool and choosing it’ll maybe give you a lot of choices and then you start to choose, yeah, I want to, I want to write on this and this and this and this, and then you create this great brief. So that’s, that’s my 2 cents on it, John.


John (19:02): Yeah. I mean, I think some of those I tools that you make a good point there, which is that some of the tools that do exist for rapid briefing I think it gives you insights into what could be possible. You know, what, and it also gives you the opportunity to not miss anything, although I’ve seen many circumstances where topics and keywords are pulled up and it’s got absolutely nothing to do with the topic. It’s another nuance. And so that’s where the writer comes in or the strategist they say, oh, well, it’s got nothing to do with it. You must look through and then make sure that it’s appropriate. I think that’s what we always say. Right. Which is it, it’s not just about using the tool and then expecting, it’s going to come back with a brilliant result. The brilliant result comes from the you know, the person that’s using the AI content generation tool to make the best out of it.


Scott (19:56): That’s great. And, you know, one point I think John, that we’ve seen is that we’ve hear, we hear people say the writers don’t write to the brief and sometimes you know, sometimes when we’re having a problem with someone giving us some content back it’s can be because we didn’t create a good brief, right? Yeah. So, they’re not writing the brief, because the brief is too vague. It’s too, there’s too many things like there’s too many keywords on it. It’s like, how can I write a, how can I write an article with all like what, what do we really want in here? And what’s, what’s the goal in terms of SEO and in terms of the article topic itself. So that’s, I think that this, again, the AI at the briefing is really sweet.


John (20:50): What about writing, creating new content with AI?


Scott (20:54): So, I think the key there is that it has to be really easy to use. And I think the tools that we pretty much reviewed in the AI content generation scorecard and an analysis many of the ones that we included, I think we, at that time we’d like probably looked at over 50 did have that they were easy to use in terms of actually generating the content, but in terms of generating great content out of the box my opinion is we’re not there yet with that. And so, it’s, it’s a good first draft. But if you’re looking for some creativity and to, and to ensure your style guidelines for your company, that’s something that, where you really need the expertise of the writer themselves. And you know I’m not sure that we’ll ever get to the point where you, you put everything in, and you push the button and you’re going to get to your final draft.


John (22:03): Well, I, I think it’s really been a learning exercise for me over, you know, the last two years or so in understanding how to use these tools. And, and the one tip I give to people is don’t give up and also don’t expect that you’re going to get, you know, an entire article, but rather work section by section on a concept or an idea mm-hmm <affirmative>, but you can, if you, if you have a tool which you can change the inputs on, you actually may be able to get different results. I mean, I’ve, I actually have produced, you know, it’s kind of weird. I was running this test on writing an article and specifically for that article, I didn’t know all the answers per se, although it was a topic that I’m really very familiar with because it was related to, to marketing.


John (22:53): But by putting in different questions and descriptions, I came out with different answers, and I came out with different lens and answers, but each piece I didn’t necessarily use everything, but I certainly use part of it across that, that exercise. So, so again, it’s up to the rider to be the, the craftsperson, to know how to use these tools, just like, you know, if you are using word or, or Google you know, a Googled a document, there are, there are tools and tips and you know, there’s the Chrome in the tool that you can get the best out of it. So, it’s, it’s, it’s kind of like that where I think a as you start using these tools you bring your own expertise, and you then learn how to use it to the best effect


Scott (23:48):Mm-Hmm <affirmative> for sure. And I remember, remember even like at earlier in 21 we were testing some tools that you know, sometimes you just get gibberish or it, like, it would repeat the same paragraph over again. And I think that even some of the most more popular tools had some of those problems, but we are not seeing that hardly at all anymore, at least in the tools that are, you know, worthwhile, but that I think even in this, this short period of time, a lot of tools have come a long way.


John (24:23): I agree. I agree. I think we have seen a new development. So, what about another topic there, which is optimization? How do you think the tools are working on that?


Scott (24:33): Yeah, so I’m not as I’m not as versed in the optimization piece of that. I think you might be John in terms of, you know, taking something that already exists, and you know, fine tuning in with the tools. May you can share a little bit more on that.


John (25:01): Yeah, no, I’m, I’m working with clients at the moment. I’m working with one client at the moment that you know, with a technology company and we’re having right, you know, I’m putting together the research, putting together the briefs and then the writer goes out and does that work and I’ll read the article and I’ll come up with my own opinions, but I’ll also use some of the AI content tools to measure whether the, whether the particular article has sufficient content, whether it’s covering the topic sufficiently. So, within a minute or two, I can do a quick review of a piece. So, I can do a quick review of a piece of article. Right. And then give feedback to the to the, to the writer. I, you still must go through and say, oh, well, yeah, you know, this was good, this was bad.


You need more here, but that those automated tools are so helpful because then I can also do that on different revisions as well. And I think that’s helpful to the writer because they say, oh yeah. Now I know what’s, I’m missing. I mean, part of it is, you know, we talked about creating a creative brief and writers read that, but they don’t always get the nuance. They don’t always see what’s most important. I think that’s part of the issue and yeah, you’re right. It’s, it’s the marketer not doing a good job of explaining what that brief is all


Scott (26:27): Structuring it. Yeah. Sometimes that’s true. And sometimes those optimization tools are you know, they’re, they, they can be really very easy to understand, you know, they’ll, they’ll use color, like, you know, red is no good green, you’re already, you know, there and or your number of instances and mentioning certain keywords. So yeah, that, that’s great. How about in terms of expansion, John what do you, how do you feel about how AI tools are used for that? I


John (27:01): Think that’s huge. And I also think there are a number of companies out there that are just focusing on it. Expansion to me means things like taking an existing piece of content and then turning it into something else such as a social post. So, you are you’ve done the work, you know, you’ve done the research, you’ve done the briefing, the writers written it they’ve used an AI content generation tool or, or they’ve written it themselves. And you then take that piece of content, and you start splitting it into small posts for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and everything else. So, to me that’s one of the biggest values I think, of these tools.


Scott (27:40): I would agree. And I remember we were speaking with a, a software AI software vendor. And they obviously had a lot of those tools and for the life in me, I couldn’t find them in the tool. <Laugh>, I’m like, where is that? What do you mean? Where are they? And they’re like, well, you go here, here. So why another important thing for your AI tools? I’m mostly spending, speaking to vendors, you know, the UIs are critical to user adoption. And so I think that, you know, making sure that you’ve really worked hard on that and I understand the whole concept of you know, your minimum viable product, your MVP, and coming out with that, but very quickly getting feedback from users so that you can improve the usability, I think will be very helpful to the industry and for overall adoption, these tools.


John (28:41): Oh, I totally agree on that Scott with user experience. I mean, if you, you know, you can, you can have the best results in terms of AI content generation. But if, if the tool isn’t designed in such a way that the writer doesn’t know how to put in, or the marketer or the PR person doesn’t know how to put in the inputs, then you’re not going to get a good result because it’s hard to use. So, yeah, totally agree. What about metrics? What are, what are your thoughts on metrics and, and how that can help?


Scott (29:11): I’m a huge metric person KPIs. As soon as I start working with clients for any kind of marketing projects, I’m always, where do we need to be? Where are we today? How do we get there and what is the expected result? And so I think that this is a really big area for improvement for AI companies and that if they can show that the content that they are helping people to create, have a return on investment and that they’re achieving their goals, whatever the goals are of the particular tools, you know, be it, you know higher clicks, higher, you know leading better ads for search engine marketing whatever they are, the more of that information that can be provided will also help the adoption of the tools. The anecdotes are great, but metrics are much greater <laugh>.


John (30:26): Yeah. And I, I think, I think the industry’s got a long way to go on that. I mean, I think some companies, especially the higher end ones are sort of focused on that and it kind of makes sense because of the way that marketers think and they’re looking for, for metrics. But I, I just think back to our report on the whole section on content gap where you know, companies are looking to improve the quality of the content, right? Yes. But if you can’t measure whether you will your content is meeting the grade or not, then it’s, it’s hard to know whether you’ve, you know, done as well as you, you can also, I think metrics, because I’ve worked so much as a you know, as a freelancer and also an agencies. I think metrics are a good way for clients and companies to understand what they need to do. And then also if they’re actually achieving it so that they then see the value of the exercise in, you know, good content strategy.


Scott (31:34): Hmm. Excellent, good. I agree. So, at this leads us to our last question, John, and it’s really been a lot of fun having you on our program today. <Laugh> I hope you feel the same.


John (31:50): Absolutely. <laugh>


Scott (31:54): So, what is one thing John, that you believe that most people think is true about AI content generation, but you think is not true?


John (32:08): Well, I I’ve seen this has been early, but also, I think it, there’s also been more articles in the industry about this, which is that AI content generation is going to get you kicked out of Google, Google doesn’t like AI content generated content. And they’re going to be able to tell that it’s generated by an AI content generation tool. I don’t think that’s actually true. I mean, I think that if you, you use the tool and I’ve certainly seen circumstances I’ve actually worked with you know, it was kind of interesting. I was working for some clients, and I was working in a, a, a writer marketplace and seeing some of the results. But the writer wasn’t telling me whether it was AI content generated and I was reading in it. I was thinking the structure is near, well, one, the writer should have gone through and edited it correctly.


John (33:02): Right. But I, I was thinking, oh, this sound, this looks as if it’s generated. And that was before you know, I really knew the tool, but thinking back at the tools, but thinking back, I, I really do think that they were using a content generation tools. So, I, I think that if the writer does their job and, you know, does the editing and is really looking at the result. I don’t think that Google is going to be able to tell because they’re making original content. You know, they’re not, they’re not duplicating content, they’re generating content based upon concepts and ideas, but it’s, it’s, it’s unique content. And so if the writer is the craftsperson and is using these tools, you’re going to get a better quality piece of content because you know, all the topics that are out there, you know, it’s doing the research and also it helps you to answer those questions in each part of the article, because you’re getting those results.


John (34:05): And then the writer can, I mean, to me, writings about editing. It’s about going back and right. And, and going through it. So, I think that idea that, you know, you, oh, you can’t do, you can’t use AI content generation because it’s going to affect S here. I don’t think Google can tell, you know, if a right you’ve got a good professional writer, who’s using these tools. It’s, it’s not, it’s not it’s not all AI content generation, it’s the expertise. You know, I, I just saw an article. I don’t know if I shared this one with you, but I just saw an article of a professional in the AI image generation industry who won a first prize in an artist competition. But and you say, oh, and, and people are complaining about the art artists were complaining about that, that, that entry.


John (34:58): But then you read what it took for this individual to produce that content where it took hundred different, different variations of the image and the direction of that person. So, I think of it in the same way. Yeah, no, I mean, yeah, you, you can tell it, it required some, some thought and some existing expertise in artists. And I see that the, I see that the same way with building a good article that is going to convert, you know, I think goes back to what I talked about. SEO is not about topics and keywords. It’s actually about conversion. So, it’s about what you write about. It’s about the style. It’s about having an, you know, a convincing message as well as those topics, you know, it’s about a convincing message around those topics. Yeah. So, I think that’s the one thing. What about you? What do you see?


Scott (35:55): Yeah, just to comment on what yours, like, so we’re, you know, we’re professionals we’ve been in the industry a long time. We know what quality is and what quality isn’t. So, I could see in someone making an argument that, okay, you’re, you’re just going to push a button and you know, we’ve seen this, you push a button and you obviously got content from somewhere else. Okay. The price of a ticket going to this place is this dollar amount or it’ll, or it obviously came from a document somewhere where you could probably identify. Right. Right. You, and so I, if someone’s really lazy, I suppose that their content could go on and, and Google could say, no, that’s already exists over there. So, I can see that. But for companies that are using this or individuals that are professionals, they’re writers, they you know, they have some determined, predetermined goals, you know, because you know, there’s a lot of junk on the internet. Right. And that you know, Google can’t police at all, all, I mean, it’s just so much so but I hundred percent agreed, you know that that Google’s not going to throw it out because you were assisted by AI content generator to create your original content. You want to comment back on that, John?


John (37:18): Yeah. No, I think I agree. I agree with you. Yeah. I think that makes I think that makes absolute sense. I think it’s, I, I think it’s about understanding what these tools are and what they’re not right. And what the capabilities are and right. And thinking about how you use them. And that gets back to what we talked about earlier, which is digital transformation. And it’s just understanding, you know, what to do. I mean, it’s about going into a situation where you don’t know all the answers and you don’t really know how to use these tools. Right. I mean, I’m sure that there are some things that riders have discovered about AI content generation that the developers don’t even know about yet. So of course, and that’s just the way it is, you know? Right. So, I, I think, I think that’s the way that you have to approach it. I think you have to think about, you know, what the opportunity is and, and also understand how, how it can help people in the same way that, you know, we went from the printing industry to when we had computers, you know, the word processor and how much that’s changed the world. I think that’s what you have to think about. Look back and then you can look forward.


Scott (38:28): So, for me, the one thing that people believe that I’ve heard over and over again, and it’s, it’s really funny because in terms of being able to rationalize the argument, you can’t believe two opposite things at the same time. One must be true. The other one must be false. Right. And so, they’ll like, this is going to replace writers. I’ve heard it over and over and over again. But then the same people are also saying that the tools are no good. So, if the tools are no good, how are they going to replace writers? So, you got two, you can’t have you. Can’t how, so, first of all there’s a lot of value in the tools today. All right. And so, you need to begin to learn how to deploy these because people are deploying them.


Scott (39:24): And if you want to be competitive with your content, you’re going to need to know how to use them. And secondly, we’ve talked a lot about how the rider works with the tools. So, I guess I gave two for the price of one. We’re not replacing riders we’re not replacing content designers. We’re not, we’re not replacing that element. And people just need to, you know, start using them and see for themselves, give them another chance, if you tried, like a year ago, you know, maybe it didn’t work for you, but just like kind of throwing a tool in and that’s part of, you know, what we talk to clients about, you can’t just say, oh, we’re going to try these tools and, you know, stick them in. You must take a formal approach and have goals on where areas you’re going to deploy, what tools and what you expect, just like you would any other new technology that you’re introducing into your organization?


John (40:30): Well, I, I think about it in the same way, Scott as I have with marketing technology over the last 20 years, you know, marketers, we didn’t have as many technology skills, you know, 20, 25 years ago. And that’s all changed because the customers are all online. And if you are not using some of those digital marketing tools, then you’re just not going to be successful. Although I, I do sometimes think that you know, direct mail is going to be more successful now than it was because there aren’t many people as using it. But, but, but then that speaks to the whole point about in marketing, which is, you know, you use the tools that are that are most effective, but marketers, over the last 20 years, they have gained an awful lot of skills. Right. And they can’t do their job today unless they you know, they understand, understand something about using a CRM, email marketing social media, all those different


Scott (41:30): Aspects. Sure.


John (41:30): Right. Right. So, they


Scott (41:32): All an all the analytics and yeah. You know, we’re, we’re at, we’re at 10,000 Marx software tools identified and counting. Okay. Yes. So, choosing the right ones is, is important, but yeah,


John (41:52):But I think it’s that same issue with writers, which is, I think you’re going to see that transition where, you know, you, you said you know, is you’ve made that point is going to take the people’s jobs, but actually the rider’s jobs, but actually in reality, I think what’s going to happen is the, the rider that know how to use these tools, they’re going to be even more valuable. It’s actually going to be job security just as it is for marketers who know how to use Salesforce or HubSpot or, or whatever the tool is, you know, the CRM tool or SAP or whatever is out there. You know, if they know how to, if they know how to use those tools and to get the best out of them, then you know, they’ve got job security. So, I think it’s going to be for riders as well, which is there they’re going to help improve the quality of content and you know, it’s just going to get better for them.


Scott (42:47):Well, great. Well, this has been fun.


John (42:50):Yes. Yes. Thanks Scott. I think it’s been, I’m glad that we did it. And you know, I really appreciate you taking the time and I want to thank our audience for supporting us and we’ll see you next time.


Scott (43:01): Take care.





Welcome Francesco Magnocavallo to Marketing AI CEO Chats

Welcome Francesco Magnocavallo to Marketing AI CEO Chats

AIContentGen Chats with Francesco Magnocavallo, Chief Product Officer of

Transcript of the podcast:

Scott (00:04): Hello, and welcome to  Marketing  AI CEO chats. And I’m Scott Sweeney and I’m here with my co-founder from AI content. Jen, John CA.

Francesco (00:14): Thanks, Scott. Great to be here again.

Scott (00:17): And today we’re speaking with Francesco Magnocavallo. I hope I said that, right? Francesco.

Francesco (00:25): Yeah. Scott, don’t worry. It’s a good

Scott (00:27): Line. <Laugh> and he is the chief product And today we’re gonna be talking AI marketing and learning more about what can do for you. And so thanks for joining us.

Francesco (00:44): Yeah. Thank you for having me. It’s great to be speaking with you for the public.

Scott (00:49): And so we’re gonna get right into it. We want a little bit of background first Francesco. You have a very, very interesting background looking through your LinkedIn. I saw that not only did you do some content for hears communications and luxury brands, but the dichotomy of spending 10 years in hip hop in Milan is really interesting. And I’m just wondering how all that melds into you and your AI journey and where you are now.

Francesco (01:21): Yeah, so I figure basically it’s always been about creating content. So I had the opportunity and the lack of meeting pioneers in NEP pop, like phase two. He was he’s been in Milan, been friends for years and learning, you know, very different kind of writing that was wild writing, a personal alphabet. Nobody really can replicate. And you know, that’s coming from your soul. It’s not even it’s very different. So those were crazy times getting to know this culture, this great culture, and then doing some systems. So basically you know, this was really multimedia <laugh> at mm-hmm <affirmative> and often they’re doing freestyle, just getting your soul out. And later through doing websites, I got into content and I’m fond of remembering the very early days of blogging, like years 2000, and 2001, the atmosphere was very different.

Francesco (02:21): Everybody was a developer then in blogging, it was easy to learn. You, you could study, you know, IBM stuff, materials just early days of content designs. That was great in learning your way around content. Great times then when blogs exploded, we launched the company, it was a clone of Google media and incorporated that to be companies publishing a gadget Giese model and all that stuff. And we eventually sold the company. So, I remember I launched something like one blog every month for five or six years. Those were crazy times. We had a thousand orders writing for us in all <laugh>. And then we sold the company. I did some consulting and ended up at Hurst where I spent six years doing digital strategy and launching the digital operation for six or seven websites. And I had, I think I had the privilege of launching Esquire magazine in Italy and our per so our is 150 years old brand. That’s something it’s, it’s even, you know, difficult to think about this because this there’s so much history in there. And the company now is, is got incredible infrastructure and strategy in New York. So it was very interesting times as well,

John  (03:39): Francesco I’ve worked in the custom content industry as well, and that’s basically the custom content industry is the magazine industry either you know, public magazines or, or private corporate ones. And one of the things that I found, although I’m a digital guy, I was working with those magazine editors and writers. I found the discipline of that industry to be really interesting because, to me, it was as a digital guy, almost like writing an entire website in a month when you’re changing a magazine every month. How did that discipline affect you and how you think about content?

Francesco (04:18): Yeah, I think this is a great concept indeed because the freer the ecosystem and the more possibilities you have, the more discipline you need, the more strategy. So this is very true for digital as well. What I learned from the first magazine was really journalism in the sense of not really high brow, but high-quality journalism. There was some high-brow content. We published it in Esquire magazine, but, you know, doing really premium quality stuff. And that’s something I learned the hard way with print journalism, doing digital transformation, which is a very difficult activity. Sometimes was really rough to deal with people with very different languages, different, you know, a very different mindset, different professionals com everything was very the two sides, the digital and the print merging the two sides was an incredibly demanding task.

Scott (05:20): I can see that Francesco and I think in many ways AI content generation has a lot to do with digital transformation too. So it’s not just about the tools, but it’s about the process. So so let’s, let’s kind of move into that. I don’t know if you’d agree with that, but feel free to comment on that. Tell us a little bit if you want more about your AI journey, but then let’s go in and talk a little bit about

Francesco (05:48): Yeah. Yes. So ma Milano, our founder, and executive officer, we, we were acquaintances from you know, 10 years ago. And when he see me as a feeling for openings on the market he ended up thinking I was the right person to bring some journalistic mindset to work and design the system with the engineers. So, he chose not to have a journalistic system designed by engineers, but by a journalist. So that was you know, my point of view. And I think it’s been really rewarding work working with my data science team, and my colleagues in data science. That’s very interesting. So then we added a computational linguist and I think, by the time we started merging and having a common framework in languages, things really improved a lot. So when I speak to clients in meetings with my sales colleagues, I find that I often speak the same language because I had the same problems and the same workflows that the journalists have. And so it’s very easy to bring something that creates value for them, with automation basically.

Speaker 3 (07:06): And Francesco, what perhaps we could get into the service of the software. What are the capabilities of the software? What does it do?

Francesco (07:14): Yeah. So Scott mentioned that you need workflows. You obviously need some technology and we work with open AI by the way, but you also need talent. So what you know, the defining characteristic of is that we blend human talent with technology. So we try to get the best of both words. That’s a very basic concept in AI-assisted or human in the loop. So basically the company had a copywriting marketplace from a Francesco few years ago and it kinda went out of fashion. You know, you cannot really speak about this sort of product with DC anymore because it’s, it’s very old, but it’s coming back as a strategic point because you can have a finishing layer and and and have the machine designed by a journalist and finished by a journalist.

Francesco (08:13): So I think this is gonna be a very interesting concept if you been reading Andre in order with the magazine, that’s this article that came out just couple days ago, and this is their point. So there’s gonna be a deluge in AI content, and we don’t really know what school is gonna do in a couple of years or next year. So having a sort of blended approach where it’s AI, but it’s human definitely makes some sense. So this is a key concept. And in terms of a service we provide to the client, the client can often choose to have just a human professional working on his content, just the machine, if he wants to make it cheap and, and quick or a blend. So this is the this is something that’s very different because it’s kind of easy nowadays to just build you know, a front end on open AI or any other language model of your choice and build a little pipeline to do some pre-processing, but really to have a complex system. That I think creates a different scenario

Scott (09:21): For that’s very interesting Francesco and I, I love the approach because as we know many times you can’t, well, we, you never can just tell a machine what to write and have it come out. Perfect. Right? So you need, you need some inputs and you need some massaging. Tell us, I think everyone can understand human writing and everyone can understand machine writing. How does the blend work?

Francesco (09:56): Yeah, so it’s blended by workflows basically. So what we, we have and we gonna improve and build and invest in is newsroom workflows, basically. So a full system where there are roles, there are teams, and there’s the process of commissioning a piece commenting on a piece, reviewing the draft, approving it, and publishing. So the last mile in the system is connectors to the CMS. So you see, we currently have a WordPress and a Shopify connector. We are building an Adobe connector for an enterprise large project with a big consulting firm. And so it’s, it’s really a lot of different pieces that mix for, for to have something that’s not easy to replicate. You know, that’s, that’s kind of like our mode, our defensive mode, it’s so complex, it’s kind of a hassle. You cannot replicate it faster.

Scott (10:59): Excellent. And so as you look out at the AI landscape, where do you see the strength of contents lying as opposed to other systems?

Francesco (11:15): Yeah. I’m sure there’s some room in Europe because we got all these languages. I don’t want to speak about Africa because they got thousands of languages, but in Europe we got, we have a few billion, so that’s a lot anyway. So in this disrespect, we building native data sets and one of the characteristics is many competitors. They just translate everything from English because of large language models, they are proficient, and they are mostly proficient in English. There are a few great projects in Europe at the moment, but it’s still something that that needs to evolve a little bit. So we got French, Spanish, and Italian datasets, and the language model is working natively in those languages. So this is something where I think we can be strong because we work with datasets in four different languages at the moment. And that’s also something that takes a little time. It takes a little love to have journalists working on this. We don’t really just scrape data from the internet. Everything is, you know, manually edited and proofread and worked on.

John (12:28): Let’s go through some quick, rapid-fire questions Francesco perhaps we can ask a couple of questions about how you support the clients you know content strategy team approach around some of the following areas. How about ideas and research?

Francesco (12:50): Yes. So the idea of the founder was to have a suite of services covering the whole customer journey. So basically a content strategy journey going from media monitoring. And we got a pocket solution I think, is N cause it’s got a very strong signal-to-noise ratio. You can it doesn’t require you to spend the money of one of the enterprise or mid-market competitors, which usually costs from one or 200 to a few thousand a month. And of course, it’s working across languages with MLP. So across industries, keyword entities, fairly basic stuff. Then we got a brainstorming service which is basically a text box where you can work with a language model and do a semantics search test, which is very new. And I think this is gonna be the future of search. So not just getting 10 links, but getting, you know, a proper original answer to your search.

Francesco (14:00): So this is also where we can peek inside the mind of clients and get a little fresh data to see what’s going on. What are the needs and the pain points and the jobs to be done? Then of course the main, the main service is content creation where we can do copywriting in. As I mentioned before in assisted mixed hybrid, purely human or purely machine, we got a couple of different input styles. So one is the instruct, the open I G PT three instruct model. So it’s natural language and clients like this, a lot, the possibility of input having natural language input. I want an article like this and that they enjoy this, but the other one is purely a CEO routine. So basically you input a keyword and we do some sort of data science that zoom gap analysis with competitors and building an outline for the, for the article that’s you know, geared to, to generate organic traffic on Google.

Francesco (15:01): Then we got translations. Again, you can do this with machines or humans, and we are moving into multimodel. Of course, this is the big, the big research race at the moment between the large companies. So we’re gonna start at the beginning of September. So I don’t know when this interview is gonna be polished, but starting from September, we’re gonna sell text-to-image services. And we are in the process of refreshing the audio services. So basically we do a basic speech-to-text that’s a utility but there’s a lot going on in text-to-speech. So you can go to the very high-end Hollywood-level voiceover, or you can do many different types of services in with synthetic voices. And so I’m, I’m very interested in in this and some of the clients we began speaking about this topic in July, they very interested because that’s very glamorous that’s hype, but they can speak to clients about something that’s cool, and nobody has at the moment. So basically that’s the suite of services at

Scott (16:19): The moment. That’s very broad. I’m really impressed. And I noticed that you’re hiring for someone that’s gonna be using Dolly too very soon too.

Francesco (16:27): Yeah. We hiring for Dolly too. Yeah. <laugh> and, you know, that’s very interesting because the ideal candidate is, is somebody who knows about photography, illustration, graphic design. So it’s, it’s, it’s really, you know, it’s, it’s very, it’s, it’s very generalized across visual disciplines. And we got a, I think we got an incredible debt for Italy at the moment it’s going out next couple of weeks to our sales team. So this is very, very, very promising.

Scott (17:01): That’s very exciting. I’ve been playing with Dolly too. It’s a lot of fun. <Laugh> yeah.

Francesco (17:05): Yeah.

Scott (17:07): Excellent. John, do you have any more rapid-fire questions that you wanna follow up on, or is

John (17:12): Well, you, you covered a lot of it, Francesco. Yes. I did wonder about expansion and metrics expansion would be you know perhaps doing the general AI content generation, but then maybe for social media or something like that, you know, splitting content up. Yeah. Do you have any aspects of that?

Francesco (17:32): Yeah. You know, when you mention metrics, I think this is very interesting for the gigs of the NP gigs and the energy gigs because actually, this is evolving so fast. There’s no, there’s often no coded KPIs for energy. If you go into research, the pre-print papers, you know, there there’s, there’s no real standard at the moment. So I think this is very interesting and we working a lot on KPIs for the quality of machine translation of NLG. This goes from, you know, very basic like syntax grammar the, the flare journalistic flare, which is very difficult to, to, you know, to digitize, to compile, certainly because it’s you know, it’s, it is the most difficult to plagiarise to that there’s a lot of to similarity of translations, the quality of translation. So I think this is a very interesting area of benchmarking and having common KPIs for energy because often you see as I said before, it’s very easy to build a system, but the large language model will just give you average input.

Francesco (18:43): That’s not enough for clients if you if they’re demanding. So I remember a computational linguist. We were working this winter, relaunching the product, and this was scheduled for spring. So one day we were testing different pipelines, different data sets, and different models with opening, I had just an incredible acceleration around the end and the beginning of the year. And she, one day came into Francesco. We jumped from I don’t know about school grades in America, sorry, be patient with me. But we went from, you know, Italian of 14 years old to Italian of 20 years old. Huh. This is great Francesco. We did it. <Laugh>. Yeah. So this is really, this is happening. And I think it’s very interesting to go behind the scenes and know what the data scientists are doing, what the, what the competition linguists are working on, what these then pleasure and satisfaction.

Speaker 3 (19:40): Well, that’s great. That’s great. Thank you so much for, covering those different aspects. I really appreciate it.

Scott (19:48): So then Francesco, I have one kind of wrap-up question, and then if you want to make any final comments at the end feel free to do so, but I’d like to know you know, this is such a fast-evolving field right now, and everyone’s got all kinds of thoughts about the AI and content generation I’d like to know from you. One thing that most people believe is true about AI content generation, but you take a very contrarian view about it. And I think it’s not true at all.

Francesco (20:28): Yeah. So you see, I think a system that just helps you create an article is just some very basic task, and it doesn’t really give you a proper idea of what you can do with these models. They’re so powerful. You can do incredible things. And I think for large businesses, I mean, million URL websites a hundred million companies in, in the Italian market. So everything is different, in the United States on a global scale, but they got a different set of problems. They don’t want you to create one article for them. They want to manage a million hotel project listings. So I think that’s so much that we’ll come to the market in the next few years, because, you know, when I came to the company, I told the founder, I don’t really wanna do a high copywriting assistant, a Milano. This is so basic who cares about this? Let’s go after, you know, affiliation, let’s go after hotel businesses, let’s go after eCommerce. And so I think that lot is gonna come to the market in terms of specialized pipelines and companies.

John (21:36): Well, thank you so much for joining us, Francesco. We really appreciated the podcast. So it’s a great interview today. Yeah. Thank you very much.

Francesco (21:44): Thank you for us to me. It’s great to be here with you

John  (21:48): And thank you to our audience for joining us today. We’ll see you next time.



Marketing AI CEO Chats Welcomes Harish Kumar of CrawlQ

Marketing AI CEO Chats Welcomes Harish Kumar of CrawlQ

AIContentGen Chats with Harish Kumar, Founder of CrawlQ

Transcript of the podcast:

Scott (00:11): Hello, this is Scott Sweeney, and welcome to AI content CEO chats. Today we have Harish Kumar, founder, and CEO of CrawlQ and he’s joining us to talk about how their company is solving content teams content design issues. And this is my co-founder John Cass. 

John: Hi. Thanks Scott. Hi Harish. Thanks for joining us today.

Harish (00:39): Hi, thanks Scott and John having me here. It’s pleasure to speak to you and happy to answer your questions.

Scott (00:48): Fantastic. It’s great to have you. Thank you. So I, you know, I was, I actually curious, I know there’s an actor named Harish Kumar, are you any relation?

Harish (01:01): Well,  to be honest there are more Harish Kumar than you can imagine. <Laugh> so I’m one of them, but I’m not an actor and I’m not going to perform today. Like Harish <laugh>. I will be staying true to myself.

Scott (01:17): <Laugh> perfect. Great. Excellent. Well, I wanted to clear that up before anyone asks that question. So let’s jump right into our, some of our questions. Tell us about yourself Harish and your AI journey.

Harish (01:36): Thank you. So myself Harish I have more than 18 years of experience in the industry with data machine learning. And mostly my background is product design engineer. I think my AI journey started last in four or five years. And it was mostly because of my background with the product design engineering. I have been leading product teams in different complex environments from Ernst & Young, you know, EY, who’s a consulting company, and then big banks and be small or big. The most important roadblock that I faced in my profession was the silos between product silos, marketing and silos between sales teams. So when I started to explore this problem, the problem was deeper than you can think because none of these teams, even when I started within a marketing or within the product team they were not speaking in the same language and the root cause analysis that I did myself was that they were not clear enough on who is their target audience.

Harish (03:00): Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, they are up there going on, who, who is their audience, and that that’s the fundamental cushion that was kind of lacking. And I started thinking, okay, if we can create a common language across sales, marketing, and product, and then I realized this need to happen within marketing, within sales, within product development, because silos are everywhere. Silos are not only between these three arms but also within. And the problem was not only with the big organization, but the problem was also with the smaller companies, even a startup, even if I one person CEO, he’s thinking in a different sales marketing and product development, the three minds are working in silos and that’s a fundamental problem for many of startup failures, business failures in big organizations, projects are not delivered on time in, in budget many repercussions are happening. So I think that’s an interesting investigation that I started and underlying mechanism that I started because my background was not marketing or sales because I come from product design.

Harish (04:13): So I started thinking in terms of customers. So CustomerCentric centric approach, like what pain points my customer have. And I started applying this idea of jobs to be done by customers, understanding their pain points. Then obviously once you start talking in broader terms, then you see there are different concepts, like people are saying, I have, I know what is my ICP, ideal customer profile. Someone tells me, I know who is my target audience. Someone, someone is saying to me, I know what is my audience persona? And then someone says, okay, buyer persona. So everyone within marketing sales or product are talking in different terminology, even who is their target audience and the definitions around it. So the framework that I put around crawl queue is that you start with a broader niche within a niche. You go to sub niche and you go to micro niche and you apply jobs to be done framework to narrow down your micro niche.

Harish (05:20): And then within the context of MicroAge, I identify an ideal customer profile and I call it based on demographics. So roles, age, income, location, those kind of demographic factors, D remind within the micro niche, your ICP, then this is one set, right? The demographics mine, one set, and it is ICP. And that determines to whom you are going after. So for the sales team, for the product team, it’s very clear that we are going to this geography. These are the people with the experience. This is a group that we can study more or understand more. So you have a clear approach to whom we are going after, but that doesn’t solve the problem still. So you still need a lot of people, which are not only your ideal customer profile but also the people who are going to amplify the impact. Right?

Harish (06:21): So then I call another person and call audience persona. So audience person is more based on semantics, like the topics of interest it’s is, is more related what kind of authority or topics. And that includes everyone being an influencer in that field. So for example let’s take an example, like there, there are many people who are influencing CMO as a role, right? CMO is the role. And there are many people who are influencing and they, there are thought leader on the topics pinpoint of CS, right? So then this is audience persona. So now there is an intersection between audience persona and the ICP, your ideal customer profile. So based on demographics and based on semantics and the intersection, I call it buyer person. And that buyer person is dependent on the psychographic factors. So going into deeper into problems, desires, and outcome.

Harish (07:22): So to start with, I want to correct here that crawl queues, not an AI writing tool is a research tool is a personal building tool that starts with ICP. It helps you to do we get clear your audience persona then intersection it defines the buyer persona. And this is the buyer that you develop your customer journey from the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel. And once you are up with the research, the tool automatically also helps you to create content, which is highly to a stage of the, of the bio personnel are in the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, or bottom of the funnel. I started this company in 2019. When I started, it was a very high level template with an Excel template, Google sheet with trying to ask a lot of ion with the people.

Harish (08:17): And I started working with five clients. So everything that you’ve to see in CrawlQ is created from scratch as in framework, as in a combination of different ideas from job to be done, then a background from product design engineer and try to address the needs of marketing and sales as well into it. So it’s, it, it, it was a framework. It evolved into a research tool. And then I applied artificial intelligence, NLP GPD three, and all the data that I could pull from Google, Reddi, and other sources to get the right information and to create a very structured research output that also feed dynamically to the content creation. So that’s, that’s how the whole part, and of course, it was a bit longer, but you can ask me for more specifications.

Scott (09:14):  Well, what I find interesting Harry is that point that you started at the beginning where you’re talking about those different silos and there’s no conversation amongst each of the different departments. And so that focus on the research is, is both hopefully to solve that problem across the different departments, and then also have a single mechanism for communicating within those departments as well. So that’s really the focus isn’t it, which is, the research? And then you do the the actual content creation. So I, I would suspect that most of the clients that are coming to you, you know, when they look at the software, they’re looking at the AI content. So how does that, how do you meld that in what the software does between the research and the content creation, you know, what are the outputs like how does that actually produce for the clients?

Harish (10:10): Sure. So of course I applied this software for myself also, and I tried to find my buyer persona. And it was not an easy one because you see the AI content writing as a niche has evolved, and there are many players in this niche, and it was very difficult initially to differentiate, but when they start and they come and they see a completely different way to create or understand how the content should be created. And obviously it created a filter mechanism. And also I did a lot of rework on how I wanted to target my audience. So my current focus is on brand strategist and content strategist, because those are the people who are linking pin between product team sales team and marketing team. They’re creating kind of overlays on these silos, right? These, are the people who are responsible for brand strategy, and that’s where my current focus and target is where to solve the problems of the brand strategies.

Harish (11:16): And slowly, of course, SA founders, accelerators people who are validating their business ideas or coming up with the new business ideas tool can be highly useful, but I’m very conscious of how I open up my niche and also how I market it. So my current focus right now is on the brand strategies, and I cannot, of course I created segments, but most of my customers, they are staying or working longer with me are either content strategies or business consultant or agencies who are serving multiple crimes, both for research purpose, and also for content creation.

Scott (12:04): And what, what do you think is the strength of the product with the clients that you’re, you’re, you’re, you know, you’re working with those brand strategists, what do you think is the strength for them?

Harish (12:14): The core strength of the crawl queue is the ability to pin down a specific micro niche. And the moment they realize this they open up the main differentiating value of CrawlQ, because most of the other options that are available in the market produce very generic content. Why, because most of them start with either a topic or keyboard and artificial intelligence right now is a limitation because it’s probability best model. So if you, if you give any kind of input, which is generic, then there is a more room for this massive neural network to go in tangential direction. So people are okay, they want to get their time cut or short shortened, to write something. And many people are good enough when something is generic. They’re good is when good enough is good enough for them.

Harish (13:15): But when they come to crawl queue it’s eye opener for them that how crawl queue can zoom in to a specific micro niche or a specific marketing or sales angle, and then take them through a very unique content. So it’s, it’s like it’s some upfront work that needs to be initiated because not only the keywords that you input, but more inputs about your business problem desire. And also there’s a lot of automation from the, where we were one and a half year back. And now, so you only need to supply maybe two or three inputs, and then it creates a person or ideal person for you. And obviously, you are going to humanize those inputs and rework on those inputs to make it your business specific. And once you do that, the, the results are outstanding. They’re clearly diff different from what you can get from any other alternatives, for example,

Scott (14:13): That’s great. Harry said your approach is very different than almost any of the companies that we’ve seen. I don’t see someone else starting with persona and go to a micro niche, tell us how that helps a content designer or a brand manager in terms of working with research or briefing or the actual writing optimization of content expansion, etcetera.

Harish (14:47): Right? So when, when you zoom into a kind of a team structure where brand manager is responsible for producing content streamlining the different silos, marketing sales, and product, and also I think most of the brand managers in CMO CMOs are also responsible for creating a ecosystem where they can pull all the available data and technology resources together. What I observed most of the time is there is a mad address to get more and more tools, but nobody’s brainstorming like how to get best out of that, right? The available technology. So right now we are in the face where there is hype, but as, as people settle down, we are still going back to the fundamentals. And the fundamental here is to understand the pinpoint of your audience, the old method to do this was surveys, questionnaires, focus, and group studies, but these methods are hard to scale.

Harish (15:50): And also when people try to implement those methods they’re prone to biases of how you design those discussions. So most of the teams currently, they’re not aware that we can shortcut this process by using some, smart AI tools like roll queue, right? But the moment they start working on it, they can realize that how it can collect short their time. Now, in terms of organizing the team, I would say that you would be hiring agencies or expensive market research, or you will be reverse engineering this customer problem from the mass amount of data from Google analytics, from everywhere. But in my approach, you are still back to the basics. You’re trying to understand this one particular customer you’re making a hypothesis about this. And you are validating that hypothesis by creating content. So you have a research team, you, one person who’s going to do the research.

Harish (16:44): You have three or four people who are going to create content. They are rapidly going to they’re rapidly going to create content and validate the actual signals that come from customers from reviews, from their interaction at the customer support desk, and from the emails from internal systems that they have created. And then, the more they can give feedback, look back to crawl queue in the research, the person who’s doing research or responsible for research, they can speed this process faster and create more ROI because they a don’t, they don’t have to hire expensive research marketing agencies or to market research agencies, which is by the very, very expensive you see to collect that kind of consumer insights and data on that level is, is a very difficult job and very expensive job. So they don’t need to hire those people.

Harish (17:36): They can work with CrawlQ, but someone who is a domain expert in that area is needed to validate those inputs and also to validate the market feedback. Once you have that function sorted out, right then rest is very automated because you can hire as many as virtual assistant. They don’t need to think about again and again, who is their neat micro niche or ideal persona. Everything is set to preset as a, as, as research. So you can create multiple preset or research. You can clone them, you can AB test them. You can apply different marketing angles to the different stages of the customer journey. So I, I think it’ll be great cost reduction because they can consolidate this research function into one person, and then they can scale the process of content creation by hiring virtual assistant, which need not to reinvent the wheel, but they just follow the, the, the research that is already there. And there is an internal AI within crawl queue, which take care of your research and the content creation. So there’s a linking pain, I call it Athena. So every time you can train Athena is almost like your virtual AI assistant, which makes sure that all the research that is done by Athena herself based on your initial input are also connected to the output. And she’s writing intelligently on all the information that is there and validated by your team.

Scott (19:03): So is there some metrics and dashboard that your customers receive that they’re able to review and maybe provide human input in terms of the waiting of the importance of the data that’s coming back in?

Harish (19:22): Sure. So right now we, we are still developing other metrics, but mm-hmm, <affirmative> the most important KPI right now is every content that you produce from crawl queue, you get in a score, how much it is semantically related and co with your initial audience research. And there are some parameters, of course you can play around, but the, the, the better the score, I mean, if score is a hundred percent, then you are almost repeating your research in your content, right? And the score is zero. That means your content doesn’t make sense with your with your initial research, but the content is good enough. Let’s say 75. And about then I call it. You are getting just from your Fred I, well, Fred, your audience is a thousand audience. So, Fred, Fred is a person who is, who has peers. He wants results. He has desires. And if your score is more than 75, then you are going to get definite definite just from, from your Fred, this how we play around with single metric right now. And that’s my goal, also not to create multiple metric and confuse user, but play around with one single metric and if necessary, try to create additional signals, which form the computation or explanation of this single metric. So I still want to drive a single metric in terms of ensuring that what you create as an output is very consistent and streamlined with your audience persona.

Scott (21:02): Excellent. Good. Thank you for that explanation. It’s very unique and I think it has a lot of value for the target audiences that you’re talking about. I have one question that I like to ask because it usually spurs some really great thought and ideas. And it’s this, what’s one thing that most PE people believe is true about AI content generation, which you don’t agree with whatsoever. You think it’s false,

Harish (21:37): Right? Right. most people who use AI, content writers, believe that AI can write unique content or create unique information, which I don’t think is true because all AI models are trained on an existing set of information. So unless you heavily I intervene with this process or humanize your input. You cannot create unique content because if you start with one topic, whatever you feed into it, it cannot generate unique content because it is already trained on a vast amount of internet data. So regardless of this perception, people are happy what content they get, but they are just diluting the value on the internet because there’s already such a content existing there. And that’s where this neural network has learned this. So my approach to this is to really break at every point of entry your data into this neural network, where you’re calling this machine big machine to inject your interventions, and more, you do more possible that you get an outcome, which is unique.

Scott (22:56): That makes absolute sense. You, you’re still including the, the human in that element. So, well, thank you. Thank you so much for joining us, Harry. You know, we really appreciate you joining us on the AI marketing CEO chats podcast today.

Harish (23:15): It’s my pleasure to talk to you, both of you

Scott (23:19): And thank you to the audience for supporting us, and we’ll see you the next time.

Scott (23:24): Take care,






Marketing AI CEO Chats with Jeff Coyle of MarketMuse

Marketing AI CEO Chats with Jeff Coyle of MarketMuse

Let’s chat AI Marketing. Welcome, Jeff Coyle of MarketMuse!

Transcript of Marketing AI CEO Chat with Jeff Coyle of MarketMuse.

Scott: Good morning. This is Scott Sweeney and I’m with my co-founder John CA welcome to the AIContentGen video blog. And today we’re talking to AI content generation companies. And today we have Jeff Coyle with us from MarketMuse. He’s the co-founder and chief strategy officer of MarketMuse. Welcome, Jeff.

Jeff: Oh, thanks. I look forward to our discussion today and also really your shirt and the logo.

Scott: Hey, thanks a lot. Awesome. You know as you probably know both myself and John are background in a long time in marketing, so we’ve bootstrapped a lot of what we do and we created this logo. I love it ourselves. So, yeah, so it’s a lot of fun. Thanks for mentioning that.  Jeff, we wanna start out by just finding out a little bit about yourself and your background. You wanna tell us a little bit about yourself?

Jeff: Yeah, sure. So I have been in the content strategy lead gen search space for now 24 years. I went to Georgia Tech for computer science, my background’s in computer science with a specialization in usability. So usability theory. And I also worked on some of the earliest search engine information retrieval work during my time there. Wow. I worked at a company called knowledge storm from 2000 to 2007. We were one of the first people who were selling leads to software companies. So we were convincing IBMs and Dells of the world to have content on their sites. Wow. Where they weren’t even, you know, they were like digitizing, like scanning brochures was like a big stretch. Right. But how did we generate leads with that? How do we market across the buyer journey when nobody even were thinking about that?

Jeff: So we were selling millions of leads you know, a month to software companies. And I managed in-house and I was a product manager for them. We were acquired in 2007 by tech target who may be familiar with the major business to business technology and certain niche B to C publishers who sold leads to solve our companies primarily. And then also has now become a data company where I led their in-house team from search content, traffic, anything that was people going to a website and then turning into something good was you know, managed by my team there. When I left there to go work at a private equity firm, right before that time I met my now co-founder AKI who had built the earliest technology for tech for market news. And it was technology that really focused on natural language processing and topic modeling.

Jeff: And it was focused on really telling the story about what it means to be an expert on a concept. And that was something that I had been looking for for a very long time. And it worked and it cut a, you know, 40-hour process down to four minutes. And this was now over seven years ago. When I went and had, when I left tech target few, few months into another gig, I AKI reached out and said he was really gonna take this to market and wondered if I wanted to be, a late co-founder of market news. And then the rest is history jumped right off that cliff landed and bounced a few times. And now we have, you know kind of a, we created the market for content optimization and now our continuing to create for the content strategy and content intelligence markets that kind of don’t still exist.

Scott: Wow. Yeah. Thanks so much. Well, that’s quite a background. You know I, I could tell you some stories about myself in the pre-internet days, even too. Yeah. <Laugh>

Jeff: You can still find some of that stuff if you look hard enough

Scott: Doing it for a real long time. Absolutely. That’s great. What’s one thing I found doing a little research on your background, Jeff, is that you actually are a brewer and have a tap room.

Jeff): Ah, yes. <Laugh> so, yeah, I’m the co-founder of a silver bluff brewing company. It’s a microbrewery based in south Georgia in Brunswick, Georgia, the golden ISS. So I’m the co-founder and did all the branding identity work. And I am, don’t spend a huge amount of my actual physical time because when you’re, you know, a SAS company eats up the majority, however, yeah. The business runs really well. We have an amazing team there. US Open 2020 silver medal winners. So we’re not just fooling around in the garage. We’ve got, a pretty significant organization and operation going there with a really talented team.

Scott: So that’s great.

Jeff: I love, I love beer and brew and it’s, it’s, it’s amazing, my it’s, it’s 95% sanitation and 5% everything else. If you’ve ever known anyone, who’s a brother, if you don’t like to clean, you should just stick to drinking. That’s what I say. <Laugh>

Scott: <Laugh>, that’s great. Super actually, it’s kind of interesting. I just ordered a keg for a very large family party this Saturday for my father-in-law’s turning 90 and oh, wow. Yeah,

Jeff: What was it? You’re in, you’re in Northeast. So it’s gotta be

Scott: Yeah, yeah. What kinda beer?

Jeff: Yeah. Right. I gotta ask

Scott: Ganett of course. All right,

Jeff: Cool. I actually was in a call that’s fun, fun aside tangent. I was on a call early on in fundraising for market use live. And we were at the venture capital firm or private equity firm. I forget who had been the major investor in NA GSET when they reached up. No kidding.

Scott: Oh,

Jeff: So yeah. And there, if you go look it up, I don’t remember exactly who they were, but you look up VC NA against it. It probably is like 2014, the 16 timeframes they actually had funding from someone who also funds SA companies, which is just super unique.

Scott: That’s crazy. I actually met the CFO on Cape Cod just going into a beer store on the way to, you know, going into where we go for the summer. And he just started telling me about it and I have a son, in Rhode Island. So they’ve, they’ve done a great rebrand, really excited about

Jeff: That. Huge, huge rebrand. Yeah. It’s good standard around water.

Scott: So let’s get into this you know, MarketMuse. You’ve been, you guys are, you know, probably old timers in this industry now, right? Oh yeah. And so we have like questions. John, do you wanna kick off question number one for Jeff, or I can

John: Absolutely. Absolutely. So so what, what exactly does the software do?

Jeff: Great question. So we work with the entire content life cycle. So we’re able to analyze a topic basically and say whether it, what does it mean to be an expert on that topic? Right. And so then we apply that to all the most common workflows that content teams, content strategists, and GMs and editor inchi editors in chief, but also SEOs run into in their life. Right. And we don’t want them doing them manually. So we’re able to look at a page and say where it maybe has gaps from a lens of quality and comprehensiveness. It’s not exhibiting signals of expertise and give insights on how to improve an existing page, or if you haven’t begun authoring a page we have the ability to create a content brief. But it’s not just a report which a lot of the industry has kind of evolved.

Jeff: And, you know, when we first launched our initial content brief, there, there was no content briefs in as software in the market. Now there are 50 different things calling it 50 different briefs. Right. so one thing I always tell folks is to look at what is that brief, how customized is, is it just a report that some other people are using it’s like inside the application, or is it a brief we’re able to give you a way to build your own briefs that are customized. We’ll also help you build them using our customization, we have custom forms. You can do a managed brief or even more specific customization. We have solutions that analyze the competitive landscape for a particular term from a lens of quality, who’s got great high-quality content that doesn’t also have keyword ideation solutions built-in questions, analysis, internal and external linking recommendations.

Jeff: And then our premium offering analyzes an entire site and understands where it has strengths, weaknesses, and competitive differentiation. So that’s where, you know, the important decisions are made. A lot of folks want to jump to the end and get content, but maybe they shouldn’t even have created it in the first place. Or it’s not gonna have an impact, even if it’s the best page ever. I like to say this one a lot, but cuz I have a visual layout. It is always near me as I can go write the best brand new iPhone review and I can go throw it on John CAEs, and it could be the best thing in the world. It’s not gonna impact my business at all. Right. I go throw the same review on CNET and it’s gonna own, and it’s not just because of links it’s because I have exhibited expertise.

Jeff: I have exhibited topic authority, which we represent as breadth and depth of coverage, quality of coverage, comprehensiveness exhibition on particular intents that I have written about reviews. I’ve written about phones, I’ve written about electronics, so I deserve it. Right. a lot of those folks are really writing whatever, not semantically related to anything I’ve ever done. And the expectation is that one page on a PA on a topic is enough to get it done and it’s not reality. So we’re the only in-market solution for content intelligence and strategy that tells teams how much content they should create on topics. How hard’s it gonna be? So it effectively gives you know, a business a real predictive return on investment and predictive expectations of what that investment should be in the first place. So I need to go write 50 articles about you know, promotional tap handles in order to own that topic.

Jeff: Right? Well, am I willing to invest in that or not? Right. Those are the types of questions that a lot of teams don’t even know to ask. Because the industry is this industry from a writing perspective is very much run by the mass writing and SEO user profile. But the real tough decision-making is made by the GMs, by the editors in chief who have to decide what they’re gonna invest in in the first place. And that’s where briefs are critical, cuz they create that source of truth. So the GM says, I need an article about the best phone conductive headphones, right? They don’t just say that to a writer and that’s it. If they do that, first of all, the writer’s gonna be completely inefficient. They’re gonna go, okay, well maybe I can use this G B T three thing over here and then they send something back and the GM’s like, that’s not what I wanted. Right. And that feedback loop is devastating to teams. So our goal as a business is to improve your hit rate on picking what to write, to know how much to write, and also improve the communications between decision-makers, writers, and SEOs. That’s where the real loss the unknown losses happen in our space. And that’s what we’re looking to. So

John: I remember going to the basement of the Arlington public library a couple of years ago and seeing ake speak about you know, his new tool and which, which was sort of focused on the topical SEO stuff at the time. And it was kind of interesting cuz I’ve been working in SEO for 20 years or so. You know, I was with port interactive with Ian Laurie on, on the west coast. Right. That

Jeff: Very

John: Well mm-hmm <affirmative> and I think what struck me is the time was that it was edging towards how Google was changing. But I, I think a big factor of that is, you know, you talk about content strategists or content designers it’s what do you need to write about? I mean, I, I think that’s what we’re getting at here with some of these new tools that the AI content generation industry is providing like yourselves, right? Is helping the companies to understand what you need to write about, right?

Jeff: Yep. Well, no, you’ve nailed it. And, and it’s really, it’s, that’s the evolution. I think that the next phase of evolution for this market is people getting to the decision, making processes and kind of getting out of the this ground swell or the excitement about kind of cheating or <laugh> gaming a system. It’s just, that it’s not a path to longevity. And that has always been the case, but the SEO world, as you know, you’ve been in this space you know right, you know, around probably injured it right around the same time is, is it cycles, it cycles with new technology will come out, then it breaks into how can we use it to game the system then it’s, how can we build real sustainable workflows for business? And then new technology will come out and that same happens.

Jeff: And we have just seen this all happen with product content over the past few years with the Amazon affiliate boom and massive investments in that. And then you’ve seen, you know, at the end of last year, the crash from product reviews, update where if you aren’t actually reviewing the products and you, you write a review for it, we go and get ya. Right. and then you see, you’re going to see that again, there’s a huge ground swell in generated content. That’s not checked and then you’re gonna see police of that ensemble approaches to detection and ensemble approaches to detection are already in place in house in various shapes and forms. And you’re gonna see what the impact of that is. And you know, it’s gonna be tough when people are using outsource writing professionals who are using these types of technologies, who knows what’s gonna happen.

Jeff: Right. but that’s, so the ebb and flow aren’t unusual here. So in my, in my situation, you know, with market use, we’re looking at the entire content life cycle, all the decisions that get made each one can either be manual or have some automation or some artificial intelligence, automation components to increase performance and efficiency and impacting each stage has always been our focus. And if we can improve your hit rate on what, what you said, John decision making, I like to think of it when we were talking about baseball and, and batting average, and then also slugging percentage, right? So if more of your content you publish or the content you touch is successful, whatever success means to you, let’s say you’re the, and the average team that we profile is about 10% efficient, right? So one article out of 10 does what they expect it to. That’s terrible. That’s why content teams are you know, considered to be like some sort of voodoo, right? Let’s say that’s 30, 40% efficient. Right. And that changes everything for that team. That’s huge. I mean, that changed everything for that team.

Scott: Right. Jeff, you mentioned something that tickled my ears as because as a former CMO and also, you know just, I consult with many different companies on business in general, they’re looking for ROI and you said predictive ROI. Can you just expand on that a little bit more?

Jeff: Yeah, sure. I can give, you know, piles of examples, but the core value of market use is predictive ROI for content. So being able to say how much content needs to be created on a topic to either maintain or grow your presence and your authority on a concept gives you the basic infrastructure to be able to ask for budget and answer the question. Why, why for content, instead of just saying nothing relates to data, I mean, which is most of the case, or you’re fighting rankings, or you’re doing tail wagging the dog, you know, justification where you’re like I am to update this page and had words to it. Right. Well, what if that won’t have that impact, right? How much content do we need to create? How much competitive advantage have all the other aspects of the CMOs efforts your efforts impacted our business?

Jeff: That’s the branding, the identity, the off-page factors, links, and just the power of the site. Right? And so having all those things distilled into a topic, specific metrics can tell us information, like I just described it can say, okay, well, I mean, here’s a great example, a B2B technology company that work with I use this example a lot but has two product lines and they want to grow leads 30% to each product line. Okay. Well, a typical B2B technology company, what happens, you get 50,000, you’ll get 50,000, but that’s not the reality of content. And that’s where businesses do it wrong. And so what market use can say is, well, to grow 30% in this one, the segment’s gonna cost you eight times as much as the other one, cuz you don’t have an existing competitive advantage. So you gotta write 150 articles on this and update 80. Well, for this one, you only have to create 30, right? So measuring and managing and predicting return on investment for content changes the way that CMOs both reports define and then justify their investments. So I know for example, what the content item that Steve jet, my head content strategist should write next on our blog. It’s gonna have the biggest impact on our business. And having that knowledge is the ultimate power for content teams.

Scott: Great. Thanks. Yep. That sounds that’s, that’s pretty exciting. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> so I think you gave us a really good overview. I mean it’s very comprehensive. Is there one main focus that your company really what’s does a sweet spot for, for market news?

Jeff: Yeah, I think it’s it. Well, it’s role dependent is key and that’s really tough. That’s why it’s tough to sell into this world of content and strategy and SEO and and, and writers is what a writer loves. Isn’t what the CMO loves. All right. So you see all these products that you’ve profiled with this visualization at, you know, visualizations that you do. And I love those, but you can’t sell the same product to the CMO as you do to the writer. They’re just, they’re not looking for the same stuff. Right? so from my perspective, I like to think of the aha moments with market muse for each role. And so if I’m a writer I’m writing and by the way, if you want your writers to write what don’t, you want them to build great narratives, you want them to build and focus on production value.

Jeff: What don’t you want writers to do keyword research <laugh> you don’t want your writers necessarily worrying about SEO. You want the data they have at their disposal to naturally yield and optimize page. That’s where a brief comes in. That’s where data about competitive data. How can I differentiate my page? So those that drive against in our case debriefs and the applications are really built for writers. The SEO’s aha moment is all the stuff you do manually. I used to do it manually. I have lots of tears to cry. And so when an SEO sees a 10-hour workflow getting knocked down to a minute, that’s their moment. And that’s really where the page-level optimization goes from a strategist or editor’s perspective. The aha moment for us is that personalized metric for difficulty. How hard is it gonna be for us to grow on this topic? What pages should I update? So they can give direction that’s back to data, not just backed with subjectivity. So where we focus, we’re focused on decision-makers, cuz they got the budgets <laugh> and then we’re focused on providing a great writing and SEO experience. Terrific. Mm-hmm <affirmative> good.

John: So, Jeff you know, how do you support the client’s content design team’s approach in, in some of those areas for the, you know, the content strategy approach, you’ve talked a little, you talked a lot about research and ideas and also about the briefing. I don’t know if you’ve anything else to add there, but what about perhaps writing optimization expansion metrics, some of those other factors in the, in the whole process?

Jeff: So those the kind of, well, we have an on-demand basically per me, an on-demand content inventory or topic inventory or keyword inventory that gives you all these decision-making capabilities, you can create content plans based on any slice and dice filter data, data point. So I can say, for example, you know, what are the five pages that I should update on my site? Or maybe the five pages from this section of my site that are gonna have the biggest impact on performance. I can turn that into either a content brief for each one or I can actually go do the work myself and doing the work myself inside the applications would be analyzing the page. How can I optimize it, analyzing the competitive landscape? What’s the haves and have nots of all my competitors here. Where should I add internal links? So it’s those manual workflows.

Jeff: All those can get also distilled in a brief, which can be sent to a writer in house or external. And those are really where our core areas are. We’ve been in and out of the generation market. And we are considering what are ways that we can do that more appropriately for our real market, which is the kind of business decision makers where generation has to be woven into a workflow to as almost an assistant, not a replacement because that is the future. And that’s our hypothesis is the future is how can natural language processing and generation components be woven into the entire workflow so that it is the ultimate you know, writer’s block defender, it’s the ultimate kind of ideation component, but it’s not focused on draft development.

Scott: Got it

John: Great, great. Super. So Jeff, this has been great. It’s been wonderful to have the opportunity to learn a bit more about the company and ask you some questions, and see your success in brewing, 

Scott: Which Is excellent. You happen to have a tap handle handy. Oh boy, of your brews

Jeff: I do, here we go. This is my Mexican Lager, this is our flagship. And that was bluff.

Scott: And you buy that at your beer garden. Is that right? 

Jeff: Just, you can get that in the beer garden or the tap room cool, right. About to have our second anniversary open on July 1st. So it’s yeah. Awesome. It’s a cool, cool project is definitely a passion project. And one that is, is super special. Mark amuse is doing some amazing things as well. And I think, you know, to be able to take kind of the two things that I’ve the most passion for and turn them into businesses has been a fun part of my life.

Scot: Congratulations. That’s awesome. I have one final question for you. And it’s one that I love to ask people. It’s it’s what’s one thing about AI content generation that most people believe is true, but you think is not

Jeff: All right. Good question. One thing would be that God, I have so many things but, one thing is that there are methodologies of the past that involved copying competitors, right? Or aggregation or stitching of competitive information in a generation. And those, there’s still a perception that one can rush to the end of the content process and actually get a draft and edit it more efficiently, more efficiently, all in than doing it with a repeatable process. That is still the myth, the myth of. And I’ve got this thing that is now going to add efficiency without having thought through the process. I’ve seen it work so few times in practice that it, grinds my gears and I wish for folks to really do the analysis for themselves, if they are using any sort of software, any sort of generation, do the analysis of understanding how much content do we create, how much time did we actually touch it, how much resource the true cost of content is one. And then the true cost of an effective page of content is two. So the biggest myth I have is how much content actually costs.

Scott: Great. Thank you. I appreciate that. Very, very insightful.

John: Well, thank you, Jeff. We really appreciate you joining us today. And thanks for joining us on the AI content video podcast, and also thank you to the audience for supporting us. We’ll see you next time.

Scott: Great. Pleasure. See you take care. Yeah.



Marketing AI CEO Chats with GoCharlie AI Co-Founders Kostas Hatalis & Brennan Woodruff

Marketing AI CEO Chats with GoCharlie AI Co-Founders Kostas Hatalis & Brennan Woodruff

Let’s chat AI Marketing! Welcome, Kostas and Brennan of GoCharlie to our inaugural podcast!

Transcript of the CEO Chat

Scott (00:04): Hi, and welcome to the AIContentGen video podcast. And today we’re delighted to host Kostas,  the CEO of  GoCharlie, and also Brennan, the COO of GoCharlie. And we’re gonna be talking about how GoCharlie helps marketers get their work done. And so thanks for joining us. My name is Scott Sweeney. I’m one of the founders of AIContentGen.

John (00:33): And I’m John Cass, one of the co-founders of AIContentGen. Thanks so much, Scott. Well, it’s nice to see you, Kostas and Brennan. Perhaps we can start off by asking you to tell us about yourself and also your AI journey.

Kostas (00:50): Yeah. I’ll introduce myself and then Brennan. I think it’d be for him to introduce himself. I founded GoCharlie about a year ago, it’s our first birthday coming up soon. We founded coming outta my PhD, where I saw a massive opportunity that only a few short years ago, content generation of AI, whether it’s text now, images and audio and video was really considered science fix. And it’s still in the realm of academia and universities. And now we’re seeing, we’re starting to see the early days of this explosion and it’s only gonna pick up from here. So that was my main inspiration for starting the company.

Brennan (01:39): Yeah. So Brennan Woodruff here, I’m COO co-founder of My AI journey was, a little bit different than Kostas who’s obviously had a decade worth of experience in the field, I personally joined SoftBank back in 2019 working on the vision funds because I wanted to learn more about artificial intelligence.  I saw that that’s where the world was going whether or not it be AI replacing humans or where I think we like to place is the enablement of human capabilities through artificial intelligence type technologies. What I found when I was at the vision funds is that there were a lot of different flavors of artificial intelligence but generative AI, I think has the potential to be the most transformative of any of the AI technologies I saw during my time there. And so when Kostas and team offered me the opportunity to jump aboard, it was a bit risky, but I wanted to take the plunge and learn as much as I could from some forefront thinkers in the space

Kostas (02:42): To mention our third co-founder could make the call. She’s she also has a PhD in AI and together we’re, we’re building our own technology from the ground up. So that’s one unique aspect about GoCharlie, is that unlike many of the other players in the space, especially for writing and for marketing it’s rare to find a company that’s developing their own technology, whereas instead of just plug and play from open AI or Google or IBM or existing technology is.

Scott (03:15): That’s really exciting. So does that mean that you don’t actually use any of the other technologies just your own AI?

Kostas (03:23): We do use some of the other technologies for three purposes. One is experimental to see if our AI meets or surpasses two for data augmentation, we do use, for instance, GPT-3 to help create data to train our own models. And we do also use a few other tools to augment our capabilities. Our plan by end of the year is to become a hundred percent self-sufficient. But that this, does take time. And as you guys may know that GPT-3, which we see as one of our competitors took a team of 30 PhDs years and I think 5 million to train. So we have a pretty big, you know mountain to climb.

Scott (04:14): Absolutely great. Well, that’s exciting to have a goal of being 100% your own AI by the end of the year. 

John (04:24): So next, what’s the what does the software do, perhaps you can explain that to the folks.

Kostas (04:32): This is where it gets really unique. We’re proud to say that we’re one of the first to be able to analyze images, to create content. So first off we’re a platform to help create digital marketing content, primarily co caps text. So sort of a co-writing tool for the time being we focused initially on social media posts and ads, and now we’re slowly expanding into almost every use case. And as I mentioned in the beginning, we pride ourselves in that we are trying to be the first to be multimodal, to incorporate other types of media into the content process. For instance, we can take an image and create an entire or, or post out of it. And one of the first ones to do that, we’re working on prototypes with video and with audio, and soon towards the end of the year, next year, we’re also doing the opposite, which is to go from text to an image. You guys have definitely heard of Dolly too, so there’s another mountain to climb there. And that’s definitely a unique obstacle in the sense that those are great artistic pictures, like paintings, but none of them are quite there yet for professional, like marketing purposes. Brennan, I think you definitely have a lot of ideas there. A lot of opinions there too.

Brennan (06:01): Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the way that we’ve approached generative AI is transformative technology. And while we see a bunch of competitors having success in purely the writing space, we think that that’s almost a disservice to the technologies capabilities. You, as you’ve seen with DALL·E 2  and a couple of other WebOs dream apps. There’s definitely an appetite for apps where you can go from text to an image. We also have seen a significant appetite for having a video and being able to turn that into text content. You know, we really want to make the starting point wherever the user is. So maybe the user has a photo or they have a video, but they have no idea what to say to optimize their content and engage their target audience. We want to be that bridge between the modalities with our AI. So we’re looking a little bit beyond writing, but we’re finding that that’s a good space to start out in because the learning there applies to so many different other mediums of media.

Scott (07:06): Great. Our next question is kind actually, you may have felt like you already answered it, but I’m gonna ask you anyway, is what’s the strength of your software

Kostas (07:19): And in its current state, I would say three main strengths first is that we’re trying to be driven by, our customers, our users, like building this in public, getting instant feedback. Again, we’re very small. We have several hundred users but we listen to every single one of them. And to that end, because we’re building a lot of this ourselves, we are going this multimodal aspect. So, and we hear a lot of, you know, demand, Hey, I want to use this image or this video and create content out of it. Another thing is it, blogs, Brennan and I were discussing the other day are like, Hey, can you take this blog and gimme 10, you know, tweets or, or Facebook posts out of this single blog? So that’s, our core strength is being able to innovate very fast with our own ideas and implement them from the ground up.

And the third is not to be that strength, but something I would say is that we try to be fun. And this is actually Brendan’s idea which I absolutely love this is that we have, for instance, these tones. So when you’re creating content on our platform, you can choose a tone and we’ve added some fun tones like a pirate, Brooklyn, and Shakespeare. And, when you start playing with ’em, they’re so incredibly fun and you can’t just help yourself, but giggle a little bit or just smile. So that’s a philosophy that we’re adapting is that when you’re using our tool so not just help you be more productive, but it should be fun to play with and just make you happy to use it.

John (08:57): Yeah, almost like the old Groupon model where they had that different style. That was the whole approach. Wasn’t it using a content style?

Brennan (09:07): definitely. And I think Kostas hit the nail on the head, you know, in a post-pandemic world where everyone’s experiencing burnout. We’re trying to introduce tools that make work feel as fun as playing with a puppy. So that’s, that’s GoCharlie. But we think some of those new tones are definitely a massive step towards that in making work feel like play.

John (09:29): So how do you support the client’s content design approach, you know perhaps in the areas of ideas and research briefing, actually writing the content, optimizing the content, you know, you talked about doing some of those extra things, even expansion metrics, you know, do you have how do you, how do you follow that content design teams sort of framework for how they do things?

Kostas (09:56): So, Brennan, you wanna talk about the customer aspect and I’ll talk more about the technical aspect next.

Brennan (10:01): Yeah, yeah, definitely. So John, I, I think you’re hitting the nail on the head, as you know, like when we think about a land and expand strategy, we’re, we’re starting to think about all right. Yeah. We’re generating the content, but, the creative process for humans and marketers and anyone that needs to create content really is like, you have to start from an idea. And so for some people that idea, we see more with like an influencer type customer. That idea is more life experience. It’s something that’s like really created this learning. They want to share with people to engage their audience in a more organic storytelling-driven way. For marketers, it seems to be a little bit more driven about like, what’s trending. So while it’s not there yet we actually have a hashtag and recommendations and trending functionality that’s being developed to really start you at that ideation point based on what’s performing what’s working well in your industry what topics are trending, which hashtags are trending that gets us a little bit more into that SEO space.

Brennan (11:03): So it’s still to be determined if we’ll grow that through partnerships or not. But then as we kind of go from ideation into that content creation piece, that piece, I feel like we’re completely addressing right now, but expanding the number of use use cases we go across then the next piece which I think is a huge differentiator for us is that we have content scoring. So content scoring too, if you’re unfamiliar is the ability to assess the content that we’ve created against the industry’s most engaging pieces of content that we’ve analyzed indexed, and fed through our models and really give you actionable insights as to how you can improve it. So not only are we giving you insights on how to improve and edit, but then if you think about the application of this in an enterprise setting that can, our content scoring can become part of your review process.

Brennan (11:52): So rather than living independently through a bunch of different emails, you just check the box that, Hey, you’ve scored an on GoCharlie’s content scoring. Therefore it’s good by me. And then the last piece obviously is, you know, publishing that content. And we’re, we’re happy to say that in the next month and a half, we’ll have the ability to post directly from GoCharlie into 10 different platforms that are most commonly used by our marketers that we’ve talked to. So that’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube TikTok. So we’re really trying to land and expand from just the content generation piece to a full sort of content creation platform methodology.

Kostas (12:31): Excellent.

Scott (12:32): That’s great. I, I have a question about that. How are customers doing with the scoring you know, one of the areas I’m always interested in being several businesses over the years is metrics? So is there a way to are there customer success stories or are there proof points on how that works?

Kostas (12:56): So still in the early days, we’re actually in the process of creating use cases now and hopefully band of the summer, we’ll be able to publish a few white papers on those use cases. Content scoring is, is becoming quite popular with our users. There’s still a lot for us to figure out what’s the best way to deliver it. We have quite a big UI. So we’re trying to take out an approach of optimizing for mobile, which we’re realizing almost all of our customers are on their mobiles. And that’s something none of our competitors are doing either is, okay, how can you deliver an immense amount of value on a much smaller screen? And we’re also seeing quite a bit of demand in addition to the quality of the writing is to what audiences will, you know, a content resonate with specific demographics, gender location, so forth.

Kostas (13:48): And part of our multimodality aspect is to analyze we’re building right now, the ability to analyze the content and tell you, okay, this is great for gen Z, or this is great for millennials, but also given an in image or video, okay, will this also appeal? So it’s more of a complete all-in-one packet analyzing quality than analyzing the appeal. And we’re in the process of seeking out a few partnerships with something data marketing companies to then start getting more performance statistics and say, okay, we can give you a quality score and audience score, but now let’s start predicting how many clicks, how many likes we will. We also start getting with your content especially as it gets mixed up with videos and images in different modalities, that’s something we’re also cooking up in our, in our MADLAB, <laugh>,

Scott (14:38): It’s exciting. So I think that leads us to our, our final question for today. And it’s one that I always find very insightful from business leaders, in general, is if there’s one thing that you believe that most people believe about AI content generation that most people think is true, but you actually take a contrarian view. You don’t think it’s actually that true.

Kostas (15:08): I’ll go last cause as a Ph.D. in AI, I have a lot of opinions about <laugh> the world is different than actually is.

Brennan (15:15): So just to make sure I, I understand the question correctly, Scott, you, you wanna know what the masses think about generating content with AI that we don’t necessarily think is true? Correct.

Brennan (15:27): Got it. I think that there is a large portion of folks that look at AI content generation as a spam tool. And they, you know, they’ve cherry-picked validation of that belief through some of the Google policies about AI content and, and rather than delving into, you know, the science behind that and what was actually said, they just believe the headlines for what they are and, you know, we don’t, we don’t really subscribe to that, that idea. We believe that there could be bad users in, in abusers of such technologies to create content that is spammy or that is trying to be manipulative. But, but we believe that the majority of users of an AI content generation tour are, are really trying to pursue just making their dreams come true, whether that’s, you know, creating content to help grow their business or creating content, to create awareness around a passion that they care about, or, or maybe even just helping their friend grow their business so that they can be sustainable in, in this economically wild world that we’re living in. So, so for us, we, I, I would say that we don’t really subscribe to the AI content generation being a spam tool. It’s more an enabler, of people’s personal pursuits. And, and that’s how we choose to view AI is just, we’re enabling, what’s already there. We’re just giving you a way to unlock it.

Kostas (17:01): And I also add, cause that comes with two fears is one, AI is gonna spam you, but also AI may replace you. And that’s another belief we don’t have is that it, our whole philosophy is that it’s gonna augment your life, make your life easier, the same way that Photoshop 20 years ago made designers’ life easier instead of just doing things by hand. And that’s how we see AI. Maybe in 10, or 20 years, it’ll start replacing jobs, but we’re nowhere near there. And to be honest, we don’t wanna be in the business of replacing people’s jobs either. We wanna make them as productive and as fun as possible, really that that’s our whole core mission at GoCharlie.

Scott (17:43): I love the comparison to Photoshop and yeah. And especially for your application, I, I think that’s a really good analogy and you know, who knows what kind of jobs are gonna be around 10 to 20 years from now. Right, exactly. So so that’s a kind of a long time frame.

John (18:05): And, and I agree Kostas, I mean, isn’t it true when I’ve spoken to so many folks in the industry where I think these tools are, are helping those marketers and writers to get more out of their profession by doing more so I think it’s, I think that’s very true. So I think it’s a good idea. I think that that saying that you have about making it fun again is, is, is pretty insightful. So I really really appreciate Kostas and Brennan for joining us on the content video podcast. I also wanna thank the audience for supporting us. Thank you, Kostas. Thank you, Brennan. 

Scott (18:47): Thank you, guys. Take care. We’ll look forward to talking to you again sometime soon. <Laugh> thank you.