“You know, the future of marketing is going to include a lot of personalization. It’s going to include AI and voice search and video. And I think social media will still be here for a while. We’re going to start seeing some large innovations happening in our personal lives, and our homes and our cars, and our businesses. So I think it’s really important if you’re a business owner, to stay top of mind to these trends and find out how you can implement them in your business right now.” Richard Tiland
Markus: You ready?
Markus: What do you think when you hear artificial intelligence?
Richard: Oh man. A lot of things, you know, after I watched, who hasn’t watched Elon Musk talking to Joe Rogan about this. Right. That was a really introspective interview for me. It’s bold, put it in a lot of internal and external perspectives that I shared with Elon Musk. I think that it’s a double edged sword.
Markus: And why is that?
Richard: Well, its just like anything, it has great benefits. There’s also a lot of possible bad scenarios that can come with it. I think we need to be aware of those.
Markus: How can people utilize artificial intelligence right now to benefit themselves in the business world?
Richard: Well, I think artificial intelligence, if you actually study some of the futuristic applications, it depends on your business, right? But you can use artificial intelligence for things like prospecting, understanding the behaviors of your marketplace. There’s a lot of AI out on social media and that companies are constructing so that people understand behaviors better. And so that can really benefit businesses. But AI can be used in technical applications and manufacturing and healthcare. So there’s a lot of ways that AI can be very useful for businesses.
Markus: How do you yourself utilize AI for your business?
Richard: Well, I utilize AI in ways like prospecting for my leads as well, and using artificial intelligence to gain and gather information about what my market wants to see a great place. I do this as LinkedIn. I’m a big fan of LinkedIn. I think it’s the future of marketing for B2B companies. And so I use video along with AI to prospect and create content.
Markus: And why do you focus on LinkedIn as opposed to Instagram or Facebook?
Richard: Well, I think they are a waste of time, man. You know, I used to post my personal life on Instagram and Facebook and I just don’t like the computers knowing where I’m at what I’m doing every minute of my life. I prefer to have a little bit of anonymity to what I do. And it’s just frankly for B2B companies, I don’t think LinkedIn, I’m sorry, I don’t believe that Instagram and Facebook are really the places that a company should hang out on. It’s more about LinkedIn right now.
Markus: What difference in tone do you see between the platforms?
Richard: Well, you know, Instagram is very young. Instagram is a very young sort of a platform and Facebook is just a hodgepodge. It really has everybody. And then LinkedIn’s a more professional tone. So Facebook and Instagram, we’re going to get a lot of personalized you know, personal stories, vacation pics, animal baby pics, and on LinkedIn you’re going to get business information. How to make more money, how to have more etiquette and sales things about your industry.
Markus: Is it still being used as a platform for people to go after jobs or to recruit people for positions.
Richard: Another Gary V episode I watched recently was that LinkedIn used to always be about recruiting talent and posting your resume. I’ve owned my business since LinkedIn started, so I’ve always used it to prospect. I don’t know much about that aspect of it, but what I have seen over the last 10 years is a huge shift and focus on content. People are paying more attention to the timeline, they’re engaging more. I see a ton of content going out. LinkedIn is asking whether or not I want to see certain series like people creating content like we’re doing. Do you want to keep seeing a series on let’s say video marketing news, so you can tell LinkedIn is facing a, putting a lot of their attention on the content creation platform.
Markus: And going back to artificial intelligence, for you yourself working in the video production agency and in marketing, do you see AI being an immediate threat to either of those two industries?
Richard: Good question. I think that it’s a moderate threat because you know, as AI advances, we don’t know what it’s going to replace, what jobs it’s going to replace, what technology is going to replace. I think one of the things that’s great about the video production and marketing field is we still have emotion involved and sorry, machines, you just don’t have that yet.
Markus: How can business owners medium to small size businesses take advantage of the AI technology that’s available to consumers right now to help benefit themselves in their businesses?
Richard: Yeah, I mean, you know, we talk a lot about video but I think this aspect goes a little bit beyond video right now and to voice search and you know, AI is learning how your voice sounds. For instance. Hey Siri or Hey Alexa or whatever those tags are. Those are actually artificial intelligence understanding your voice cues. You know, when you get your phone and you have to set Siri up.
Markus: Yeah, you’ve got to say it a bunch of different times.
Richard: A bunch of different ways, a bunch of different times. Same with your phone. So artificial intelligence is in biometrics as well. Like when I go to my healthcare clinic, I actually have to put my hand in and it scans my hand. So, I don’t think that necessarily answered your question though. Are you talking about how businesses can utilize AI now?
Markus: Yeah. Some different types of AI that are small or medium size business owners that’s obtainable to them so that they can take advantage of the technology as well.
Richard: I think an understanding of behaviors online. Artificial intelligence, it has this huge ability to gain enormous amounts of data about how people’s audiences behave on social media, on Google, on YouTube. And so there’s a lot of tools out there where you can actually get some AI help with looking at behaviors and actions of your market. Yeah.
Markus: It’s a, it’s very widely known in the marketing world that the future of selling and of marketing is going to be based around the idea of personalization, both in marketing tactics and the buying process. How do you see yourself incorporating personalization into your business today?
Richard: Yeah. Well, personalization is at the forefront of marketing. And it always has been, you know, when you create a script or you create a copy, I usually think of it like I’m talking to one person in that market. I don’t think about talking to the whole market. And that’s what brand personas are about. So a brand persona says, Hey, okay, your markets 30 to 40, blah, blah, blah, all this stuff. Okay? But then, to get down in granular detail about that, you want to say, okay, this guy’s name is Joe, he’s married with five kids. You know, he loves going fishing and, and all these things. You want to get into the granular detail of your brand persona and then create content for that one person or those three people in your brand persona. And so you can use first names like in emails or you can use first names. I use first names in LinkedIn prospecting. I love doing that. I think it’s really personal and I get responses like, I’ve never seen this before. This is so cool. How can you help do this for my business? So personalization can come down to a video, you send somebody with their name or it can come down to even using AI and automation and providing personalized content to a market. Yeah.
Markus: How can companies that fall within industries whose concepts may be a little bit difficult for people to understand? How can those companies still use personalization in their marketing and their branding to come off in a way that is understandable to a broader audience?
Richard: Oh, video. I mean, video is a great way to explain a complex process. Sometimes we use, let’s say animation or motion graphics. If something’s really complex and we can’t show it, like in a real application, there are ways to position your product with animation and still give it a personalized and also help somebody understand you know, what you’re trying to sell or what you’re trying to promote.
Markus: So in the future, the next upcoming years, what would you say is something that could happen negatively to businesses that don’t take advantage and incorporate personalization into their branding, marketing and their buying process?
Richard: Well, I mean, we’re already seeing it, right? Like back in the day, you could get away with like sending a mass email out with the name and stuff like that. But if you don’t start personalizing it with, with technology, the way it’s going, everything is getting personalized. Alexa’s, personalizing your experience through AI, Google’s personalizing your experience. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, there’s all, those are all great examples of personalizing your experience and businesses can really take note about how they do it. So let me give you a small example on Facebook. It’ll say it’s your friend’s birthday or it’s your eight year anniversary or blah, blah, blah. Right? And so those are all personalizations that they have brought into the, into back into your eco cycle to have you like basically the dopamine rush. It’s like, Oh, Hey, yeah, that’s my anniversary and it creates this loyalty to the brand, right?
Markus: So little Facebook logo pop up with the notification.
Richard: Yeah. Right. Or create this video and it has a Facebook brand in there and it’s a video of you and your friend, a Jib Jab video, you know, and yeah. And so like Jib Jab a great example of an app that really took off because they personalize it. Right. And this is an example, earlier you asked me about video. Jib jab does a great job. You put your little face in there and they dance around and they do funny things. I happen to love that. That was one of my favorite integrations that Facebook did was that Jib Jab app because it was so personalized. So back to answer your question, those companies that don’t start personalizing their marketing and branding, they’re going to, they could risk losing it all. Yeah.
Markus: And do you think that’s because of the market just becoming more used to personalization being integrated in all the other companies that companies are in competition with? It’s just more common now,
Richard: Or lack thereof. I mean, as well as there’s companies doing it and there’s also a lot of companies not doing it. You know, Myspace was a big flop and, and there’s, you know, everybody could speculate why Myspace was a flop. But this is an example of one. Personalization actually went horrible because Facebook was too personalized. They give you too much programming and too much control over your profile. So you know, personalization is still a Rocky path, you know, I recommend that companies really think about how to personalize their marketing and advertising and branding to speak to what their consumer wants.
Markus: And how can marketing directors better understand what exactly it is that their market desires, assuming their market, the type of people they’re going after isn’t anything to them.
Richard: Well, there’s two ways. First of all, there’s always a classic like reap and sow. Give more than you get. Think about your audience, right? Those are timeless modalities. It will not go away in branding or advertising. Okay. So it’s always important to understand the fundamentals as it relates to the future of marketing like that. And then there’s ways to also look towards the future by great influencers in technology and marketing and, and looking to what they’re saying, read their articles, watch YouTube videos, go to places I like, like Forbes Entrepreneur, Inc., and really start researching what the future of technology is for your particular industry. Now that’s the thing that people need to pay attention to in your industry. Things are going to shift and you need to know how they’re going to shift in your industry. I’m not worried so much about things as a whole. I’m worried about how they’re going to shift in the future of marketing, right? Because that’s the industry I’m in.
Markus: Have you yourself been able to better wrap your hand around the audience, the different clients that you’re working with? How do you get into their mind and understand what it is that they want and relieve the pain points that they may have?
Richard: Right. I’m pretty lucky. All of my business, I have done no sales. I’ve done all warm marketing leads. Okay, these are people that contact me that already need my product or service. And so the future of marketing to me is not doing any sales and getting people to bang down your door because you have shown them with your website, with your content, with your SEO, that you’re the industry leader in what they need. And you won’t have to sell them. They’re already sold when they call you. What it’s your job to do is find out what their goals are and then how to help them achieve their goals. So see what the answer to your question is. That’s the secret to success and getting these clients, it’s like, what’s your goal? And I use something from Jordan Belfort called the straight line system. Here’s me and the prospects first conversation: Here’s their goal. We don’t want to divert too much from the straight line, right? We just want to go and we want to hit their goal. So if they start talking about off topic stuff, I kind of veer them back. Okay, veering back. Oh, I’m starting to talk. Okay, I’m going to veer myself back. Right? Because people in marketing or branding, if they truly care about their clients, they’re always going to be getting them to their goals. Yeah.
Markus: So the next thing I want to talk about regarding the future of marketing is the popularity of influencer marketing and how it’s being used. Everybody’s seen it blowing up on Instagram and people making all sorts of money traveling the world representing clothing lines in newer products. How do you see influencer marketing being effective outside of apparel brands and small little knick-knack type products?
Richard: I don’t. No, I mean, you know, electronics. I think what would be great if bigger brands started paying influencers. I think I shared this with Gary V. I think influencer marketing is very undervalued. Companies that are spending money on TV commercials still. Right, TV commercials. Guess what? They haven’t changed on how much companies are spending. You would have thought by now, right, that commercials on TV would be paying less with all the tools we have, right? That market is zip zero.
Markus: Why is that?
Richard: Zero, not even $1 loss. In fact, it’s increased. Well because the power of video. Video is the future. Influencers that are influencers, I guarantee almost 90% of influencers have videos, if not every day. Yeah. So companies that can benefit from influencer marketing, okay. Products are a big one. Services, B2B services. I don’t think so much. And the reason why is because influencers have a broad market. Very rarely do they have a specified Niche market. And so without having a Niche market, you know, these influencers have a hodgepodge of things. If you’re a service company, you need somebody with a really specific market. And if that influencer has a specific market that you want to pitch your services to, fantastic. But let’s talk about products for a minute. I would say local restaurants, local bars, alcohol companies apparel, jewelry, electronics. You know, a lot of personalized electronics like Bluetooth earbuds or you know Alexa, those types of types of things. I’m really surprised that the fortune 500 companies don’t use influencers more. Have you noticed that?
Markus: Yeah, they seem to stay away from it.
Richard: None of them use it. None of them use it. Have you seen one fortune 500 on influencer marketing?
Richard: No. You know, and that’s saying something about influencer marketing. Here’s the catch. Okay. It’s to quantify, it’s really hard. So Fortune 500’s they have other ways they quantify their marketing, they’re not willing to take that risk. But I’ll tell you what, the people that are like the SMB, small medium businesses, the people that are taking that risk with influencers, the way we’re going now, in my opinion, they’re going to win. Okay. But that’s just my opinion. I mean, you know, it’s like predicting the future, you know, it’s, that’s what it is.
Markus: What are some of the negative downsides that you see to influencer marketing as it becomes more popular?
Richard: Well, I think influencer marketing can sometimes be fairly one-sided, right? If you have a market of, let’s say, 9 million people are like Taylor Swift, or Beyonce, or Selena Gomez, I mean, they had these enormous markets and you know, it’s a sort of a one sided conversation. You know, you have nothing to bounce that off of, right? Their market’s just taking you. If you say, oh, well Sprite’s really good for you. And, and we know, we know damn well Sprite’s not great for you. But if Selena Gomez says it is, well then every 14 to 18 year old girl thinks Sprite’s good for them, they’re going to drink Sprite and get fat and ugly and you know, nobody’s going to want to marry them. So you have to be careful who you believe in and what those messages are that they’re promoting to the youth. Does that make sense? Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Because the youth is very impressionable. So influencer marketing is just like, AI has a very double edged sword to it. You know, we’ve got to be careful what we let influencers get away with. Also, they’re not really filtered, they’re not monitored. You know, a lot of communication has filters and monitors to it. Influencers don’t, they have unfettered access 24/7 to their marketplace.
Markus: So the next part I want to touch on is, we talked about it a bit before, is the voice search. It’s becoming more popular with products like the Amazon echo or Alexa and even Siri. How do you feel about this statistic? 50% of all searches in 2020 will be voice searches.
Richard: Well, how do I feel about voice search and its implications? Well, it’s a lazy mentality, but it’s also convenient. A lot of this stuff we’ve talked about is controversial. There’s two sides to the story. Like, yeah, I see the value of being able to talk into your phone, but I also see the value of opening up an encyclopedia and reading it. Right? I also see, remembering how to get to your house from your workplace without GPS. I also think that typing in your phone will still have value. I mean, we’ve gotten so bad, not only are we abandoning books at an all-time high, we’re abandoning typing on our phones now, you know, it’s a lazy, convenient, entitled mentality. And that has far reaching implications.
Markus: What do you think the value is to knowing some of those traditional techniques and just ways of life? Like reading an encyclopedia, what’s the value to being able to do that versus just Googling it?
Richard: Well, there’s a good old phrase that some guru said along the way and he says before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. Look, the purpose of life from my standpoint is living, you know, everybody wants to create these things that are convenient, efficient. They don’t want to work and do traditional methods. It’s too much for them to plant a garden or to go buy food at the store. I mean we have Amazon like what are we going to do if all this stuff comes true? Okay. All AI, all this stuff. We don’t have to walk anymore because we have the little robotic scooters we zip our phone to and our watch has our credit card. We don’t have to pull our credit cards out of our wallet. We go in there and we swipe it. We scoot to our work, we get off work, we scoot to our car, our car takes us home. You like, come on man. It’s okay to walk a little bit. It’s okay to go to this store and buy stuff. It’s okay to type and read still, you know, there’s, there’s just a charter that I don’t really have any great explanation except for it’s just what it is, right? It’s just living life, man. You know, you can become too reliant on technology and you’re going to lose what makes you great and that’s being a human.
Markus: Where do you draw the line between that and the, the constant pursuit of innovation and new technology?
Richard: I think we’re abusing that right now. I think people that are smart innovators that are money hungry, they don’t care about destroying humanity. They just want to make their money. I mean, these little birds, I see these Uber birds or whatever, all these electric scooters. I can’t stand it. They’ve polluted my city. I don’t care if somebody is making billions of dollars from this. I don’t care if people are enjoying this. When I walked down to San Diego now, I don’t enjoy it anymore. Because you know what? Every corner I see, I see these birds piled up. Right. Do you?
Markus: Yeah, the scooters.
Richard: Ugly. Terrible. You’re going to ruin beautiful cities by putting all these things in there. I was recently in Beijing and China. Oh, that light just went out. Too much energy. Okay, let’s see what’s going on here. Hold on. You know, all these birds all around our cities and it’s just ugly to me. I was recently in Beijing and Shanghai and they have these motorized bikes everywhere. It’s so trashy. I can’t believe it. And I’d hate to see that our cities could look like Beijing.
Markus: As a professional in the video production industry, do any of these stats about voice search and the rising popularity of it worry you?
Richard: I wouldn’t say it worries me so much, but I want to see my company stay abreast of the technology and be able to consult my clients with the best information possible. As well as my company’s staying innovative. So look, I love innovation. I’m OK with voice search. But I think that we need to still be OK with reading and typing and talking. You know, just talking into our devices. It creates this relationship with it that can cross boundaries of being unhealthy.
Markus: So staying on the topic of futuristic marketing, something that is beginning to become integrated into social platforms more now is live video. We’ve had some people ask us about it here at the studio. People are interested in doing.
Richard: Let’s cut the cameras and talk about live video then. Yeah, live video is a whole segment.
Markus: Okay. Let me include this other part of this one then.
Markus: So something that a lot of larger companies have already mastered, but is still, you could say in the future of some medium and small size businesses, is the idea and concept of Omni-channel marketing, the importance of being in different channels like social media, email, on posters, within your store, having all these different touch points to a potential client to generate more business. What’s the importance and significance of that?
Richard: Well, it’s kind of like being where your market is, right? And so, you know, you and me and the rest of the world, we’re on all kinds of different platforms throughout the day. We are on Gmail, we are on Google, we are on LinkedIn, we are on our social media, we are on a New York times or Forbes. All of these places are considered Omni channel marketing, and it’s really important that marketers and companies understand where their clients are going on all this eco cycle and, and kind of being top of mind, but not being creepy. Okay. So there’s a fine line. For instance, B&H photo drives me crazy because I love B&H. Okay. But every time I go somewhere BNH just throwing the same camera I looked at everywhere I go, every news place I go, I’m seeing that camera that I just started. I’m like, I get it. Maybe I’m a little older, but that’s creepy. Like you just following me around the internet, like a sad puppy. So Omni channel marketing is important, but you can’t overdo it. Don’t be creepy. Yeah. But be present, be personalized, be informative.
Markus: How can businesses with a limited staff still make sure that they are filling those different channels to their potential market?
Richard: If your company has a budget, hire specialists, don’t hire your grandkids. Don’t hire your friend who thinks they know they’re a social media whiz. Find qualified professionals that can do a lot of it in house and then outsource some of it if you can. Use products like Hootsuite or Buffer, there’s several integration platforms. It’s sort of, you can put your content out on a schedule with hashtags and links, right? So there’s ways for small entrepreneurs up to large enterprises to use those sorts of platforms to promote their content and the Omni-channel marketing formats.
Markus: Do you have any final notes on the future of marketing?
Richard: You know, the future of marketing is going to include a lot of personalization. It’s going to include AI and voice search and video. And I think social media will still be here. We’re going to start seeing some large innovations happening in our personal lives, and our homes and our cars, and our businesses. So I think it’s really important if you’re a business owner, to stay top of mind to these trends and find out how you can implement them in your business right now.