Episode 16 | Transcript

William McMahon: Being a Techonology-Agnostic SI, Odoo vs SFMC & AI tips

Anthony Lamot: Hey, William. Welcome to the show.

William McMahon: It’s a great to be here.

Anthony Lamot: It’s an absolute pleasure having you over. I know we’ve been collaborating a bit over the past time, so, I feel, this visit to the show was long overdue.

William McMahon: Good, good to meet the master and the creator is.

Anthony Lamot: Appreciate it well for our audience sake. William, could you tell us a bit about your background? What led you to found Gravitai?

William McMahon: Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve been in the IT game since I was about 16 or even before then I first started programming on a Commodore 64. When I was, I think about six to eight. So I pretty much had my career mapped out for me. Started learning to code when I was very young when I was 17 in secondary school, started up my own kind of web design business. One an entrepreneurial award in Ireland for that just went into the IT career and self-taught myself business as well as it grew through many different roles from everything from engineering in coding, customer services, you name it. I kind of tried it out and it kinda kept my career going of just wanting to learn appetite to figure things out. And then one day somebody put a label on me as a solution architect and it stuck. I thought it was, a great title. So kinda went landed in my feet with ExactTarget in, I think it was 2013 or around then and it kind of switched from building websites and databases to now doing marketing and really fell in love with the power of automation, the power of marketing and have kind of started, my further career there. And really just saw when I was at ExactTarget just saw a real opportunity where clients were buying all of these expensive pieces of kit and really struggling to get the full capabilities out of them. So they were, I usually describe it as a rocket ship. They’ve bought the rocket ship to fly through the moon. They sit behind the control panel and they don’t know what buttons to press. A. So I started up Gravitai 10 years ago with that focus of being “vendor agnostic”, first off. So it didn’t really matter what technology you had. I could come in on understand your business, your processes, the systems show you how to use it, show you how to get the most out of the system and, get you launched and get you flying. And what started as me as one individual as a contractor as I first thought I was going to build a business, it became a pretty big success. We were, we got to the height of about 84 consultants working full time with us. Shrunk back down now in the current economic climate, but we’re still I think about 48 people. So it’s, kept us in the business for a few years at least and kept me, I kept me entertained as well. A lot of good projects, a lot of great clients.

Anthony Lamot: Great. Thank you for sharing. I have so many questions about that. But first off, just to be a bit of a no at all, I saw in your profile. It’s actually since 2011 that you’ve been working at ExactTarget. So time certainly flies.

William McMahon: It certainly did. It was thanks to Lego that it got me a job in ExactTarget. I went in to do an interview and I’m a massive Lego fan been collecting Lego since I was four and I went in with a little Lego figuring to the ExactTarget office to do an interview and never did marketing in my life, but I thought let’s be unique and I put the little Lego figuring down on the table and I ran the entire interview portraying to be this little lego figuring all of its characteristics, how great this Lego figurine was.

And at the end of the interview, wished, you know, thanks and, you know, best look kind of thing for this and great opportunity. And I turned to the interviewer and said, well, I want to leave the little Lego man here with me so that if I don’t get a job, at least a little bit of me is left insid  the company. I got call next morning just going  “When, when can you start?” And yeah, absolutely just fell into it. ExactTarget was a great company to work with which is now Salesforce Marketing Cloud, of course, but it had a great culture. It was again new business start up. And I think that also gave me the ambition and drive, to really start something with Gravitai because I was very entrepreneurial. You’re you’re pretty much hired for your entrepreneurial flare.

Anthony Lamot: Now help me understand a little bit. So I’m a huge Lego fan too. I used to have that black T-Rex if, you know what I’m talking about?

William McMahon: Yes.

Anthony Lamot: Yeah, that was amazing. But there’s probably a link between people liking to build stuff at young ages, and then ending up in marketing automation. There’s a lot of similarities I feel, but talk about ExactTarget and I won’t do all too long here because by now it is of course, Marketing Cloud engagement, even not even SMC any more officially, most people know ExactTarget as an Indianapolis based company, mostly a footprint in us. And I believe even at the time of the acquisition by Salesforce back in 2014, if I’m not wrong.

William McMahon: Yep.

Anthony Lamot: The, the footprint in Europe was somewhat limited. So, so how was that? Back then? Was it mostly UK? What kind of, yeah, what did it feel like?

William McMahon: Yeah, it was definitely like I was working pretty much on enterprise clients. So I was doing both presales and solution architecture. So going in helping the sales person sell it for stuff, a lot of them were UK and, it did, you get the odd european country after that, but it was primarily UK based clients. They could have been international clients but again headquartered primarily here in London. So, there were big deals. You know, you could be working on an opportunity for several months before it would come about and then the design and implementation. They’re usually huge large scale implementation. So your projects could last, you know, six months or even two years to go through… it. It’s since changed. Of course, you’ve now got marketing global marketing, every country, it goes through it. Every every country has their own businesses as well that are big businesses in local markets but probably not known as international companies. So everybody has seen the power of marketing the, what I can deliver and they latched onto it and they kept growing. So you could see the growth from ExactTarget coming first over to London. When I started. The London office had just pretty much opened. So you could see how it was just spreading across the globe at the time and it’s even gone further now.

Anthony Lamot: For sure. And so across your vast experience, what would you say was your most interesting project or one of your most interesting projects?

William McMahon: God, it’s a difficult question that because I suppose there’s so many. I’ve been involved with quite a considerable number of projects and they all vary. So if I narrow it down a little bit into particularly Marketing Cloud tools, we’ve done one for has recruitment. We’ve been partnered with has recruitment for number of years now and like that went in to has recruitment as an individual contractor. And highlighted to them is that they didn’t need just me as a solution architect. They needed a whole professional to be able to implement the technology at scale. So we went in as Gravitai. Yeah, convinced them, you know, that it wasn’t just me. We went in and implemented. I think it was about 33 countries markets that were all operating out of Marketing Cloud, all multi lingual. We had a bespoke integration with their own CRM recruitment tool that was taking in all of that data, hundreds of hundreds and millions of records of job applicants, candidates, job advertisers, you name it. It was all in there and then started using Marketing Cloud to start personalizing the campaigns so that it was job recommendations based on your interests, your career path… quite a vast set scale implementation. Lots of other integrations with chat bots before AI GPT. They were doing these kinds of chat bot… emails that were able to respond out, to candidates… then did their sales cloud implementation off the back of that as well. So they expanded quite large their technology kit. So that was pretty, that was probably a really interesting one in terms of scale. But I think other clients we’ve done stuff with every single one of them have a unique… case of use case. We’ve been working with men united for the last number of years as well. They have some really cool marketing campaigns and again cut us to the marketing team there because they’re always looking at innovative ways of, you know, using marketing in sport or even just digital communications in sport. So they have things like match prediction emails or campaigns. They have podcast emails that go out.

Anthony Lamot: As table about the match prediction campaigns, what’s that about?

William McMahon: Yeah. So you can pretty much like a fantasy football league effectively, you can… it’s not betting but it is effectively trying to predict your score. So you have a lead table on your predictions on any upcoming games, and then it emails you out weekly of your results, where you are on the leader table, how you, how you’re progressing through the league. So it’s really cool stuff. And again using all out of box kind of Marketing Cloud capability.

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Anthony Lamot: So that all based on match outcomes are actually stored inside Marketing Cloud. And then I guess using some SQL or server side JavaScript you’re trying to, you know… Yeah, that sounds familiar to me. And talking about, hey, you were talking mostly about Marketing to actual candidates. Were any campaigns set up there for, you know, Marketing to has customers themselves like more B to B campaigns because, I would sort of suspect that that’s part of the complexity of doing implementation for a company in the recruitment industry.

William McMahon: Absolutely like you’ve got so many different profiles, to target with. So candidates is the obvious one, you know, who’s applying for jobs. But obviously, you would also have B to B Marketing. So you’re always looking for the companies who are going to be advertising a job or who have a recruitment need. So you also have strategic accounts on that because you’ll have let’s say international companies that would be having a role, it could be set in Boston, but they could be happy for somebody to work in London. So you’ve got huge complexity with it. Even on the candidate stage. I think the candidate stages inside is a lot more complex because which blends in with the B to B side or the organization side because you don’t want to retarget a candidate who is just taking a job for one of your clients, you know, so you have to learn how to both promote job opportunities, but also make sure candidates aren’t just being continuously targeted and poached for, the next Cherry that’s dangled in front of them.

Anthony Lamot: Right. Got it. And you mentioned scale in what sense? It’s scaling, send volume, just sheer database, the amount of SQL that’s running and it may be impacting performance or when you say scale, what are you referring to?

William McMahon: The just the enormity of Gravitai scale of the enormity of data that is involved like that in jobs, job, advertisements and candidates. It’s a pretty big, you can say data architecture that drives it all behind it. Automation wise. Yeah, a lot of it is run through run through automation studio and SQL filter down in, excuse me into segmented audiences for then to use inside Journey Builder. And then within Journey Builder, you’ve got further complexities and integrations with third party apps as well. API triggers that go out from Journey Builder to gain update website personalization notifications as well.

Anthony Lamot: Very cool. The last client I ever worked for as a contractor, you know, doing a Marketing Cloud implementation. They had, it sounded a bit similar in terms of market size. At least they had 30 markets and they had two brands and then they used, you know, they had both separate business units. So for those who don’t know who are listening in business unit, Marketing Cloud, essentially a separate environment here, you can have your own data and permissions and what not. So. And they had a separate business unit or BU per transactional and commercial sense. So you had 30 markets times two brands, times two types of sending. So we end up and plus a few extra for staging and testing. So we had about like 160 business units that we had to deal with. So it was kinda cool that’s something I like, I love to geek go.

William McMahon: Who’s got the most amount of units?

Anthony Lamot: Well, you know, it was definitely not us. I have spoken with one media company, one that connections and it’s an American media company that just has many brands and they have, I believe over 900 business units that’s the record I’ve heard of.

William McMahon: It, it has always been the first question or the first architectural decision you make when you do Marketing Cloud is how you structure your business units. And again, it can go down through different brands. It can go down to country levels. It really falls down to who you want to have access to, what data can the data be shared? And if you are sharing within the same business unit, you then pulls the risk that Germany sends accidentally to your Spanish segment. So segregation into different business units comes in a lot handier. But it also comes at a lot more cost because it’s not only additional license on a business unit, it’s also additional implementation on the business unit.

Anthony Lamot: Yeah. And one of the big limitations there for me still is that in Contact Builder, you can’t limit the access to data. But contact builder is a much more feature-rich way to manipulate your data even on a one-by-one record basis. So, yeah, this is a funny one for me.

William McMahon: You can see the evolution of the system like certainly from the ExactTarget days. I remember before Journey Builder was even released. We had, the problem statement from clients of how do I do you know, kind of a multi-stage campaign based on whether somebody’s opened previous e-mail and, it was a real headache because you’d have to do a lot of automations and a lot of SQL queries to make decisions on the data that has happened. And I remember when they announced Journey Builder on its first release and iteration and it was okay but filled with kind of bugs and as you get in the base or release, but you could see it how now it’s the whole platform has evolved over the years to where it’s become now and it’s still not perfect. There’s still a lot that you wish the platform could do better but, you know, you can see that it is still being invested into it’s. Still got its roadmap. You just wanted to get there a little bit quicker.

Anthony Lamot: For sure. Actually it’s funny that you mentioned that because just very recently I started a little bit of a discussion on LinkedIn mentioning that the Marketing Cloud roadmap is somewhat limited as they announced it at Dreamforce, although I do think there are very exciting features that were shared regarding mostly generative, generated images although from what I gather you still need a type form integration I believe for those.

William McMahon: Yeah, it’s definitely where it’s going as an industry is a I, it’s going to be everywhere. So if you’re not using it, your business is going to struggle. So it’s jumping onto it now and using it responsively and wisely, but there’s a lot of use cases for it certainly in customer services and Marketing customer services like that. Help and support can be all driven through AI at the moment or it even has been, it’s all as kind of labeled. They, they just keep putting another label on it. And it’s now gone from Einstein to instead AI, but it’s evolved Marketing.

Anthony Lamot: It’s actually even Einstein one data Cloud that’s, the new label, they, you know, pull on top of it. I think it’s so funny because they’ve done this before with people might remember Salesforce1:  Hyper Force. And, and now they also have Marketing GPT that’s also another brand they kinda released genie. Apparently genie got pulled, this might be hearsay in a rumor. So please don’t quote me on this. But apparently genie got pulled because they got into a lawsuit in Japan over IP and that’s why they’re not using that brand anymore.

William McMahon: I heard very similar rumors.

William McMahon: You know, it’s the one thing and you’ve even heard it already on this podcast so far is we keep referring it to his ExactTarget because it’s the traditional and even Pardot you’ll still refer to it as Pardot because that’s what it was or what it’s become. So when the names keep changing, it’s so frustrating. Like Interaction Studio is one that it’s changed its name so often and it gets very confusing for clients as well because you then don’t know what you actually need to buy.

Anthony Lamot: sure, I mean there, there, there’s an obvious product Marketing benefit to constantly changing a name because it feels like you’re constantly pushing something entirely new. So that can probably help capture exact mind share at a large conference, but it, it’s such a hassle for the system integrators to have to explain to your customers. Notice is just the same thing as before.

William McMahon: Exactly. The, the beauty thing of Marketing Cloud as well. You can do a lot with just Marketing Cloud, you know, with it has its engine. So a scripting. I remember when I first started Gravitai, I was one of our first customers. It was Just Eat and they wanted to do a restaurant recommendation. So every time you eat from one restaurant who would recommend to you either the next week, the same restaurant or it might give you a variety of restaurants. And we went solutioning it with Salesforce at the time and that they were looking forget what tool it was. But it was again a recent acquisition that they had for personalization of content. So it was one of their, I think it was an ExactTarget acquisition actually not a Salesforce acquisition but I go digital that’s what it was. I go digital is a forget what they renamed it to. But we went solutioning it with that. And what I couldn’t do at the time was Geo radius targeting, of a pulse code and we were stomped and we couldn’t use any of the technologies that it was there. So we ended up building it all in a script and we had this huge recommendations engine that could recommend to you another restaurant in your area based on your pulse code, based on the cuisine, dishes and interests and types that you had. And there are lots of other different factors.

It was a lot of AMPscript but it was just able to use, the, you could say the under hood power of what was in it was in the system, but that’s what I really liked about Marketing Cloud is that, you know, you would find use cases or clients asking for something that would really push the system that little bit further. So, I’ve never done it before but we will figure out a way to do it because it’s got all of the underlying functions that you would otherwise need.

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely. Now, William, one, one thing that’s interesting about your pad to is that Gravitai also provides do consulting and that you are in fact “technology agnostic”. Can you tell us a bit about that? Because that’s quite interesting. It’s quite unique too in your offering, I believe.

William McMahon: Thank you. Yes, it’s we certainly do. We are like I said vendor agnostic. And that has just allowed us to be able to help clients assess their technology stack but also compare what are the technologies there and what’s more suited for them. And a few years ago, like a small business start up as we were, we could never afford the Salesforce, roles, rice technology stack for our business. We were helping our clients implement it. But as a small business, we just couldn’t afford the full stack in capability. So we had kind of settled for as a new business, would, you know, excel documents for invoices and then zero and then suite CRM, so whole myriad of tools and it became such a headache for me as a CEO then that I had no in house capabilities. We were always servicing, our clients on their technologies and we had neglected our own. So I went off looking for the holy grail and all in one system that I could just put everything into and found do just by complete chance and looked at do could do a CMS website. I do CRM Marketing automation, event management, accounting, the whole shebang. And I was like this is pretty cool and took a bit of a leap of faith with us. Implemented it for ourselves, migrated our words, WordPress, words, website over to us and then CRM and eventually migrated our entire operation just running off od and being techs, we self implemented it. It’s like, well, if you’re going to you’re going to want to learn it, you might as well do it for yourself. And just saw that how beneficial it has been to us. It saved me about 40 hours a month of my own time managing a business and just thought, okay, well, other clients could benefit.

So we became an ad partner about two years ago. We’re now the fastest growing a partner in the UK and Ireland. Where, yeah, it’s I love it. It’s it’s, I have a newsletter called Drinking the Purple Juice. This is what I say to people is if you, once you drink the juice, you see the power of these capabilities. Phenomenal. So doing some talks in Sheffield tomorrow in London on Thursday, going to Galway in a couple of weeks. And then we have the Dreamforce equivalent of do it’s called the do experience. Have that in November. So we’ve kind of really landed in the community. It’s it’s an open source platform.

So you have a much wider community of developers globally who have used do since it’s been around for about 20. Years, I think so. It’s got a good community. It’s still growing but it’s nowhere near the scale of. Salesforce. Clients are certainly the kind of enterprise level clients. Do, clients are usually around, the small medium business startups?

Anthony Lamot: Gotcha. And so, in what case would you recommend a customer to during the purple juice or I suppose the orange juice? So that is to say, when would you recommend ad or Marketing Cloud? And you cannot start your answer with it depends.

William McMahon: It’s a great question. Basically, if you look at each of the Salesforce clouds of commerce, cloud, Marketing Cloud service cloud, you know, every Salesforce cloud do is one application that gives you all of that and more, it has its own accounting application that’s the equivalent of zero. So it does depend on what you’re trying to solve. If you’re coming at it for a single use case where you’re happy with the rest of your technology stack and you’re not intending on replacing anything, then an individual stack like Salesforce Marketing Cloud is ideal if you’re considering certainly a wider use case with do like in manufacturing, it’s got its own ERP or it is an ERP system. So it manages the whole manufacturing process, of your business. So it’s got a lot wider use cases and it’s certainly a cost effective solution. You know, it’s still there’s still a license price to it. So, but it depends, it really depends that’s why you come to Gravitai.

What we end up doing is like that is coming into the business, understanding, what are you trying to solve, what do you have already? And a lot of the time through our assessments, you will find out actually you’re paying for this capability and feature in a platform you already have? Why don’t you utilize that? And if it’s a case then of their desire not to utilize it for cost or whether it’s, a just too unusable too technical, then we’re able to compare what are the other tool kits out on market and make the best recommendation really for them. Because for us, od was the right choice for us. We, we’ve heavily invested into it. We’ve got our entire operations running from one application and that’s really what I wanted. I couldn’t keep maintaining. I think it’s about 15 different applications is what I had running Gravitai at the time. So I just consolidated it all into one built a team that then understood that one application do that could then maintain it and expand it that way.

Anthony Lamot: Interesting. And what I really liked about your answer is that you actually start with a use case based answer. Not so much. You know, if you’re a larger company, you go for Marketing Cloud. If you’re a smaller company, you automatically go for do because that’s a bit. How for instance, in the past part and Marketing Cloud were position almost for B to B or almost for B to C. And to a large extent, that was maybe true. But I know B to B companies who definitely need Marketing Cloud and vice versa.

William McMahon: Yeah. I’ve seen, the very same is that sometimes they’ve been sold the wrong product and you have to kinda go in and reset the whole thing, reset the relationship and you try to make best use out of what you have. But then when they start hitting that ceiling, it is a bit of a sit down and have that conversation with, you know, the better application is an alternative application and just to guide them really, you know, being agnostic, you have to be a trusted advisor. You really have to kinda be on the client side, not on a sales side. You don’t want to be selling something for a commission. You really want to kinda show them that the best application is, you know, suited for them because they, it’s going to, they’re going to have to use it for the next five to 10 to 15 years. You don’t want them to be stripping it out every three years. Yeah.

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely. One of my first Marketing Cloud projects was also by far my most painful one one because… the customer had essentially bought predictive intelligence, which is a module. I don’t even know if it, if it’s still actively being positioned, but I think it’s renamed some.

I mean, I still around it’s, definitely been renamed, but I haven’t even come across it in any other shape or form because essentially what it was it was predictive, a, I generated personalization for your website based on a product catalog that you had to upload in Marketing Cloud one and you required professional services to actually get it running. And so here’s where it went wrong, the customer expected rule based personalization instead of predictive, they actually sort of imagined or expected some kind of full website personalization module, which it really isn’t and then the second thing is that nobody knew, not even on the person who sold it, they realized that professional services were required. And so they actually Salesforce actually had to go out and hire someone to support us who was new to the product himself. So that was a very difficult one in terms of managing expectation that it’s known in consultancy.

William McMahon: Predictive intelligence was that tool people said would not go digital. The very same thing was said, if you ever remember, about  Audience Builder.

Anthony Lamot: For sure, you know, we mean Audience Builder is sunsetting. It’s still around there’s a few 100 companies, maybe a bit less that still have it. It’s one, it’s one of our it’s a very common use case for us, to replace Audience Builder these days.

William McMahon: Yeah.

Anthony Lamot: Yeah, we’ve actually recently done one of, the larger Audience Builder implementation that we replaced. It was a customer that had… only their customer data was, I mean their customer records were 170,000,000 records and the one data extension with. I mean, they still have it. I’m not saying this is a good practice by the way, but they store six years worth of transactional data in it and it has one point 2,000,000,000 records. But, but we manage, to query the thing with a little bit of a bit of custom setup for them. But, we actually manage to use DESelect, to help in segment. And so they’re no longer depending on Audience Builder, which was a good tool once you got it up and running, but it’s very expensive to get it up and running and maintain because you rely on Salesforce professional services.

William McMahon: Exactly that. And I think the, you know, the excitement that marketers get when they get new tools and certainly with data is let’s put all our data into this, you know, let’s like you said, it’s the resetting of expectation of kinda go okay, tell us what you have, tell us what you want to use it for, and we’ll guide you in how to do it. And a lot of that time is just bringing over the right amount of data that you need because that will save you a lot of other technical complexities in the long run and probably get you out of a lot of hot water when you get an order as to why you have all of this data in another system?

Anthony Lamot: Yeah, absolutely. William. We’ve been talking a bit about being technology agnostic. One of the cool things of Salesforce is obviously the AppExchange is basically the B2B app store. What’s your point of view on that? And, and especially what’s interesting as you come from the ExactTarget era. I even forgot what the original ExactTarget “AppExchange” was called Hub Exchange, yes, that was it. 

William McMahon: I think it’s a very useful marketplace, for integrations and third party apps. It certainly has grown over the years. It’s useful for when you let’s say, have, a third party that builds a good application integration. I think for the sales cloud service or core, we’ll say there’s a lot more apps, useful apps there for it. But for Marketing Cloud, there’s a select few and, you know, DESelect is one of, the good ones that are there that really benefit really Bill and fit the users in the marketers. I think trying to keep Marketing Cloud open or even the Salesforce tool kits open so that people can build and adapt onto the platform is a hugely beneficial thing whether it’s a premium app or whether it’s a full licensed app. You do find, you know, useful use cases for it. Like I said, I remember the days years ago when even DESelect wasn’t around and you, I often thought like, why haven’t Salesforce or even ExactTarget at the time? Why haven’t, they solved this problem of just being able to just easily segment. Because as a marketer who doesn’t know SQL and I’m going in trying to teach them all these wonderful, you know, predictive personalization campaigns and you’re trying to teach them amscript and you’re trying to teach them SQL and they’re looking at you just going. But I’m a marketer, I look at the strategic. So having the tools on like DESelect, you know, it’s able to fill the gap, solve the problem that the vendor hasn’t solved themselves. And, you know, I think, you know, maybe one day Salesforce do acquire DESelect and bring it all into platform. That would be one.

Anthony Lamot: Well, I think my might because I get this question a lot obviously. But I think  become a generalist and you’re trying to cover many use cases across a variety of capabilities and even different products and platforms in themselves. And so, and a lot of your focus is also on security trust scalability enterprise. So necessarily you cannot be best in class for every single thing. So for those companies who do seek the best segmentation solution, the best way to do frequency capping, you name it. That’s why, they reach out to us because Salesforce will get you far but for many, not far enough. And, and that’s okay because it is providing you infrastructure scalability send volumes that no other platform can those kinds of things. So especially for enterprise, I think it’s I mean a wonderful platform and more for mid market definitely as well and more even for smaller companies. So I think that’s interesting. I love how you mentioned premium along the way there. We are actually experimenting with that ourselves. So we’re very well known for our free app, the search app that anyone can get. But now, yeah the now, for DESelect segments. So which was just originally known as DESelect. Now that’s split up into, you know, just one of the modules we have, we actually have it for free on the AppExchange although of course, you know, it’s premium. So it’s you know, limited usage. And then, if you really like it, you can still consider purchase. I think purchasing it. Maybe as we start slowly winding up this conversation, I do wanna dig into something that you mentioned along the road and we can’t escape it these days. It’s a I, I’d love to hear. We can talk about a I in Marketing Cloud. But I’m also just very curious personally how have you? I’m just assuming you found some use cases for generative ai GPTor maybe any other app. So I’d love to hear that.

William McMahon: It’s a hot topic. It’s as soon as I saw it come out last November, I got straight onto it and started looking at use cases and it has immediately solved so much for me. So, a lot of our time that we spend with lions is around writing a statement of work. You know, before we even… start a project, we put into a really detailed statement of work. And these statements of work or even a response to an RFP could take like a response to one RFP. Before would take me about seven days if not two weeks to respond. We can now get it down to about eight hours, 10 hours work through GPT. So it has a huge use case for us. It doesn’t necessarily replace anyone because you still have to be able to compose… your scripts. You need to be able to validate what it’s asking the same with development. I’ve seen the very same situations where as a developer myself in the background, you’d be spending hours programming and going to Google looking up, you know, solutions and code and workarounds. Again eliminated so much of that. So it doesn’t necessarily eliminate you as a developer. It just changes. It’s another tool kit that you’ve been given. That just really benefits and it makes it a lot more efficient. Only last week, I’ve been training my voice on AI. So we’re what we’re looking at as well as  AI videos. So demonstration videos, training videos, that kind of stuff. And like that we’ve been looking at, you know, the voice of, the videos and, the bottleneck if it was let’s say one person, you’ve always got one bottle neck or do you do multiple people? So we’ve been exploring AI, for that use case. I’ve been looking at AI in Marketing. I think you touched on it earlier as well about images and content and personalization, in your emails. So it’s going to be a lot more personalized to you than ever before. Certainly when you talk video. So a I video generation is absolutely crazy. Scary at the moment is that you would be hard pushed to know whether you’re speaking to an  AI or whether you’re actually speaking to a real person?

Anthony Lamot: Or even that a 16 year old kid could actually produce a movie, the movie really cool.

William McMahon: Yeah. It, it’s got its use case like, it has to be treated with a lot of care, a lot of respect, but like with everything, it has a lot more benefits that, you know, if you know how to leverage it and you’re leveraging it for good, you can do a lot of great things with it. And, I don’t think it should be feared. It should be respected for sure and just putting it too good because it was a bit like a Marketing Automation back in the day when we got Journey Builder and… you basically can automate it. You can, you can reduce down the amount of time it has taken for somebody, to do a job and they can spend that time then analyzing reflecting, adapting, putting more strategic thinking into it rather than actually having to build it. And it’s definitely, the future. I absolutely love it. I’m pretty much signed up to it at the moment.

Anthony Lamot: And I, my best use case for ChatGPT just does remain synthesis. So summarizing for instance transcriptions. So for instance, if this interview, I would like to get the takeaways, I could probably just get the transcription out of Zoom in this case and dump it into ChatGPT. One thing that I have struggled with though is to use it for creative writing. So I’m gonna confess I’ve actually used ChatGPT for my last article on my Founders’ Trail blog on LinkedIn about the founder journey, but I’ve also used it at some point for a few LinkedIn posts and it’s interesting because what, I mean, it was a fun experiment. What I did was I copy-pasted like my last 30 LinkedIn posts that had good engagement, dumped them into ChatGPT instructed ChatGPT to reproduce my writing style my, you know, my voice and my tone. Yeah, and my tone and then basically generate new posts for me. And then, you know, I did go in and tweak them a little bit to make them, you know, more personalized or, you know, more reflective of my current thoughts. But it was interesting to see how ChatGPT could take, you know, my past content and then kind of spin it into new content that was still relevant and engaging for my audience. So that was a really interesting experiment for sure.

And, and it summarized it well. But then I tried to, I ask you to write post and they’re okay. For instance, I can just copy-paste success story from our website and dump it into GPT and say, rewrite this in my style for a LinkedIn post and it does it, but it’s always a little bit below a standard. And then I kinda notice this is the most interesting bit. The more I repeat it, it’s like it deteriorates again.

William McMahon: Yeah.

Anthony Lamot: Even though I’m in the same session. So it should really be remember. And even if I ask it, what was my style again?

William McMahon: It caps.

Anthony Lamot: It, well, yeah, but there’s something missing there in the creative riding aspect.

William McMahon: There, there is in ChatGPTunder the new release settings that you can give it certain profile information that it will remember about you. So you can tell it about, your style. But it is, it’s an art form. It’s almost another job to become a script writer for ChatGPT because…

Anthony Lamot: Prompt engineer.

William McMahon: That yeah, because, it is exactly like that you can ask it or you feeding information to get back and when you read the responses, it can be well written but you do have to re, prompt it or you have to kinda shape it into how you want it. Like that. I’ve had hidden miss, you know, at the beginning, when you’re trying it out, you’re getting various results and responses back. But as you get better with your prompts and, you know, how to craft them, you do get a lot of good replies back from it. But even if it’s just for chatting companies, sometimes you ask it some test questions, see what he would come back with. There was one use case I tried last year or so. It didn’t work out but do has certifications like Salesforce certifications, but not as strictly monitored. So as you’re taking your multiple choice question, I thought let’s see how well the ChatGPT answers these and ChatGPT fails like that. Every every answer I gave to the multiple-choice, I would say this is the answer. This is the reason why you’d read it and you got it’s. A fair. It’s a fair believable reply. You know, you wouldn’t question it but, you know, the, I just didn’t pass the audio certification for me.

Anthony Lamot: It’s funny that’s hilarious. Yeah. One other cool trick before we move on that I heard is whenever you make a prompt, the last bit of your prompt should be. And actually I should do this more often myself is okay. After your answer also tell me, how, could I have written a better prompt? So the machine instruct you too, and I think that’s also really?

William McMahon: I’m just asking it to confirm any. It, does it have any questions? I’ve not had a few times? And so if you ask, you have to tell it what you want, but then tell it to ask you any questions and it will come back. And then you can evolve that. It does really help it.

Anthony Lamot: Absolutely. William, before we round up, do you have any parting advice for those who are new to the Marketing Cloud space?

William McMahon: It’s a great space to be in maybe bad economic climate to be in, but it is one that it’s a fun career. You certainly want to have both a creative streak and a bit of, a geeky technology streak to succeed in it. Keep looking at technology, keep looking like on chatGPT and AI, you know, what are, the new tools that are out there? Don’t be afraid to learn, just really roll up your sleeves, start thinking of new concepts and ideas and trying to, wanting to solve how to solve them in Marketing Cloud or whatever the technology tool kid is. That is the only way you will learn. And once you’ve got that appetite, like I said, it’s like drinking the purple juice. Once you’ve got the appetite, you can see, it becomes a fun job. You know, you actually enjoy analyzing data, seeing what works, what behaviors results in certain up, takes it. It is, really fun stuff.

Anthony Lamot: It’s great advice. Well, thank you William for taking the time to be in the show. Has been a pleasure speaking with you.

William McMahon: Absolutely. And thanks for your time as well and arranging this.

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