Artificial Intelligence is already making big waves. Don’t be left behind. Find out more about this amazing technology & what it can do for your business now.
Dylis: Hi there, this is Dylis Guyan and welcome to the Inspired Selling Podcast. The place where consultants, coaches, trainers, and service-based experts who sell to bigger businesses discover how to attract, convert, and retain more of their ideal clients on a consistent basis. I have got a fantastic guest for you today that is going to talk to us about artificial intelligence, AI as it’s commonly known. This is something that really we all need to be aware of and to harness the power of that AI to help us to drive our businesses forward. So Katie King thank you so much for coming. I’m delighted to have you with us today.
Katie: Thank you Dylis. It’s fantastic to be on your show.
Dylis: Thank you so much. So let me first of all tell you just a little bit about Katie and then I know she’s going to give us her backstory and share that with us. So Katie is a published author of the book Using Artificial Intelligence in Marketing: How to Harness AI and Maintain the Competitive Edge. I know you’ve got it there Katie, so you might just want to give us a quick look at that. We can talk about it.
Katie: There we go.
Dylis: Brilliant and congratulations on that by the way.
Katie: Thank you.
Dylis: Katie’s also keynote speaker and a consultant on artificial intelligence and digital transformation. She has over 30 years consulting experience. I know she looks about 25, seems impossible, but she’s advised many of the world’s leading brands and business leaders. She’s the CEO of digital agency Zoodikers and management consultancy, AI and marketing and is also a member of the UK government, All Party Parliamentary Group Taskforce. Get your tongue around that…For the enterprise adoption of AI. So we couldn’t have a better expert to talk to us on this subject today. So I’m excited Katie, to hear what you’ve got to say. But before we get into the real meat of things, just share with us your back story and how you got to where you are today.
Katie: Thank you Dylis. Thank you for that lovely introduction.
Dylis: You’re welcome.
Katie: I’m going to be completely honest. I’m sure your listeners will be interested to hear the truth and, you know, getting down into the real nitty gritty of, you know, what makes you what you are and why you have to keep evolving. So as you say, I’ve been in business and consulting and marketing for about 30 years. Started off in a telecoms company and spent most of my career in agencies, digital PR, marketing agencies, looking after big brands like IBM and Microsoft, BT. I spent the last 10 years at the cutting edge of digital marketing before it became fashionable. But then about three or four years ago, everybody caught up. I’m 52 and two years ago I nearly sold my business and it didn’t get acquired. It was what I was aiming for, for a long, long time and have to be honest, I found it quite tough. Hitting 50 everybody else seemed to be a digital expert even if they were just 10 years old.
So I decided about four years ago, three or four years ago, to get involved in AI. With two colleagues, I set up AI in Facilities Management. We deeply researched white paper on AI for construction, real estate, that sort of area. I thought after all these years of looking after clients and getting their name in the papers and them famous, I need a piece of, you know, some legacy. I’ve got two daughters, but when I die, it’d be nice to have something to be remembered by. So really AI is my attempt to future-proof myself, so that I’ve got business and I’m current for the next, you know, between 50-60 years old and maybe beyond that. So you know, for people watching on YouTube and you know, your listeners, I think it’s just really saying, you know, whatever age you are everybody can use these new technologies if they work hard and go and get the right kind of training to reinvent themselves. And that’s what I’ve done.
Dylis: So you’ve mentioned the word future quite a few times. So tell us what do you see that we can expect in the future in terms of these technologies?
Katie: Again, being completely honest there’s a lot of hype and paranoia around machine learning and artificial intelligence. So I spent a year researching the book. So I know that there are a lot of failures and there are some early successes, but we can expect internet of things, machine learning, AI to radically transform every single job. Now, that doesn’t mean we’re all unemployed. But what it does mean is just like previous revolutions…like you probably Dylis, when I started work 30 years ago, we didn’t have the internet, so everything was manual. Now we’ve got everything at our fingertips. We’ve got Apps, we’ve got all kinds of tools and what’s coming with AI and machine learning in particular is the next layer of automation. So jobs, not just routine blue collar work, but every task that we do there’ll be some kind of AI embedded tool in time that assists us.
So for me, AI is the wrong name. Artificial intelligence is the wrong idea. The wrong term. I like to talk about augmented intelligence. That will be whether your like yourself, you know, you’re running a podcast, you’re running a coaching company, you’re a barista, you’re a doctor, accountant. We will all have all of these tools that help us do it and give us really great insights. So the future is one with, eventually, autonomous vehicles, many different screens within our homes. It might be our wall, it might be our chairs. Everything is kind of connected up, the connected home. So that’s what we are looking ahead to in the future.
Dylis: And I know that there’s a lot of talk, particularly in the sales industry, and of course business owners are sales people. I know a lot of people say I don’t want to be seen as being a salesperson, but actually if you’ve got a business, you have to have customers and those customers have to buy from you so a sale is made. So what sort of things will come along that will change for us, that that will challenge us, and that we have to be prepared for? What specifically…if you took me…any business owner who is looking to acquire customers.
Katie: Absolutely. So this all boils down to how quickly do you need to adapt. So in your space with your competitors and your customers, are other people using AI tools? If you don’t start to use them, will you miss out and therefore won’t have a USP? If the answer to that is yes, we need to act, then there are tools on the market. There are tools that can help you to basically stop the guesswork and to actually say, if I use this headline in my email in my direct mail shot, chances are that it’s going to be so much more effective. You’ve got tools like Salesforce, which you’re probably familiar with, but Salesforce have Einstein. So you’ve got AI tools that sort of overlay a lot of existing CRM and direct mail and market research.
So AI is creeping into all different areas of sales and marketing. I’m exactly with you on that. Sales has been a dirty word for too many years and wrongly because it’s about, I mean for me, marketing, the definition of marketing is identifying and satisfying customer needs profitably. Sales, that’s what sales is, isn’t it? You know, sales is sometimes selling somebody what they don’t want, but more often than not particularly in the digital world, it’s been about giving people what they want. AI will enable us to do very personalised selling and very personalised marketing.
Dylis: So give us an example of that then Katie. You talk about Salesforce has got Einstein.
Katie: Einstein yep, that’s right.
Dylis: So let’s bring this down to brass tax. In terms of people’s understanding really of what this means to them.
Katie: Yeah. So at the moment it is very technical. At the moment you have a lot of people saying, you know, we’ve got these data scientists, you need to code, you need to do this but that’s not the case. An ordinary SME has at the moment the option to buy tools. There’s loads of different technology disruptors on the market that they can buy tools from. Then there’s the bigger players like Salesforce, you won’t even know it’s AI. You’ll just be buying like a software as a service tool. Like Einstein, like you know, like a CRM package. So you won’t even really know that you’re using AI when you upload something like a picture to Facebook and there’s AI built into it. But what it mainly is doing is giving you insights and data. So currently and jumping forward a couple of years, the people that will use it in a sales environment would just be getting much, much more personalised data and able to offer that customer a really personalised service. Now, that might be if they sell online and they can use a tool that bundles products up together that says, when you buy this dress, you really might want to consider this necklace to go with it.
Now, Amazon does that already and Amazon has AI in it, but there are tools on the market that allows somebody to do that. There are tools on the market, Conversica, Concured’s for digital marketing for sales that go and get all of those insights and come back to you and say, right, this is the kind of email you need to write for your direct mail shots. There’s language editors in Microsoft word now that have AI built into them so that you’re gender inclusive so you don’t offend anybody. So there are tools that can write the content for you that can say to you with predictive analytics, “This is the kind of customer that’s likely to buy from you. Therefore, forget these that you’ve been concentrating on for the last five years. This is the kind of customer that typically buys in your postcode with this kind of service.”
Dylis: It’s fantastic, really.
Katie: Yeah. It’s kind of personalised selling personalised marketing.
Dylis: Yeah. What I absolutely love about this is the fact that you can really hone in and have the customer, the client, center of everything that you do because that is the foundation of everything that I share and teach. So it’s about being customer centric. And these pieces of AI that people don’t need to be frightened of because actually we’re using a lot of them now anyway. It just reinforces that certainly my value, my deep value in terms of being customer centric.
Katie: Absolutely. The only thing I would say, again, as with all of these newer technologies, things come with them. You have to be prepared for it. You have to have your ducks in a row, you have to have your data clean and ready for it. So just as in the past, you know, however smart you are, however great you were selling over the phone, you know, whoever you brought in to help you, if you didn’t have a good database, now the GDPR that’s been challenged. Again, with AI, you know, the machine can only go away and do the data crunching with good data. So, you know, it has to start with having your data in order and knowing what you’re trying to achieve.
Dylis: How do people do that? How do they make sure that the data is up to scratch and clean, ready to be able to dovetail with AI?
Katie: Yes. I mean, to start with they have to have the data to start with don’t they? And the reason AI is viable now is that we’ve had 5-10 years of smart phone technology. So a lot of people have been doing campaigns through email marketing and through mobile marketing. Often there’s good data that comes from that. You know, you can buy in data still and you can work with AI specialists who will do that data cleansing for you. But you know, there isn’t a tool that’s going to magically just give you that data. You’ve got to get that from your own sources or buy it in or do it in the same way and then turn to an AI tool that can actually help you, you know, with the…almost like the segmentation of that and it will be going away and looking at what you’re doing and saying, actually you should consider this segmentation.
But I think we’ve all got to be still…no AI’s going to magically come over and go, wonderful here’s all the sales for you. It’s like you advise, you know, clear strategy, you know, you’ve got to have a good product or service to start with anyway and then you’ve got to understand what the client’s needs are and market to them in that way. So you know, AI is not going to do all of those things. What we’re talking about is narrow AI that can do lots of individual things. There isn’t one AI that can come in at the moment and replicate what you do or I do, you know, or what another sales person does. You still got to be smart. You’ve still got to have a clear business strategy, good data, trial and error.
Dylis: Exactly. So what are the ramifications of business owners not embracing this and moving with the times and understanding that this…there is no stopping AI now? I mean, I don’t know whether you watched the program, it was unsettling and yet exciting in some ways. Years and Years.
Katie: Yes. You mentioned that. I didn’t unfortunately, but I will go and watch that.
Dylis: You must go and watch it because it was quite scary in some ways. But, but you know, in terms of us in business, we have to embrace this. We’ve got to get on board because what are the ramifications Katie if people don’t.
Katie: So that’s is a good question Dylis. So I have in my book a scorecard for success, which breaks it down into 10 categories with five points for each. So you can look at that and you can assess, do I have the right culture? Do I have the right mind set for change? Am I innovating? Do I have a clear business case? Am I experimenting? And so on. So, you know, that’s the kind of like almost like a framework. How do I adapt and how do I move forward? But back to my earlier point, this could take two to five years to really come into force in all industries. I mean the IBM, the vice president Ginni Rometty talked recently about AI in the future of work and said that in five to 10 years it will impact and interfere with every single job. But that’s still a reasonable amount of time, isn’t it?
So back to my earlier point, you need to look at your own customer base, your own geography, your own industry/sector and just assess how quickly this is going to happen. But I would encourage everybody to at least go out there and start to listen to these kinds of shows, explore a training course. But it doesn’t mean everybody’s got to go away and learn to code. You know, just like we didn’t all have to run…
Dylis: Thank goodness.
Katie: You know, if you think of web design, when web design started 15 years ago, everyone was like, “Oh, you’ve all got to be web designers.” No, we buy in specialist services and it’s exactly the same. But if you don’t, if you don’t future proof yourself, if you don’t have that open mind set, whatever age you are, you’ll get left behind.
Dylis: So can you give us some specifics as to what people should…I know you said go and research and so on, but where specifically should they research…what should they be looking to buy in? What are those sort of key elements?
Katie: Again, it’s back to AI can reshape your job function as a marketing professional, as a sales professional, as a HR professional. So you’ve got to go and analyse what’s my job, where do I do that job? In other words, in which industry/sector, in which country, and see and research. So my start point would be identifying how is AI changing accountant’s jobs or changing HR. Could it? How is it happening in Surrey, in the UK, in the United Arab Emirates, you know, wherever it is? So the start point is assessing, having a watching brief on the industry and how things are playing out.
Then I would go and look at the tools and the various companies that are on the market and I’ve got a load of them in my book, but you just Google them. So at least every week, but preferably every couple of days Google AI and then the Boolean search, capital A-N-D, AI and sales or AI and accountancy, you know, just keep tabs on where the money’s being invested, what the tools are. A lot of the tools are offered on a trial basis some of these Einstein and Concured and Conversica for sales, for marketing, for digital can be trialled on a one month basis. But again, it’s challenging because there are a lot of different tools. So if you want to be an innovator, you’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to be ahead of the pack. If you want to watch and see what others are doing and look at that a year or so later, then you’re going to be following the mistakes of others. So you’ve got to almost decide, “Yes, I do want to change. I have the right mind set. I’ve done the research. Now what kind of company do I want to be? Do I want to be ahead of the pack or do I want to follow? Am I prepared to be a laggard and, and risk going out of business because my market sector will be completely reshaped?”
Dylis: Yes, yes indeed and people don’t need to be scared of this. You know, we’ve got AI now and if I wanted to buy an insurance product, house insurance or car insurance, I can literally go onto the Internet and immediately I can get comparisons.
Katie: Exactly. Exactly right. So, you know, we’re so lucky because we’ve got everything at our fingertips on the Internet, haven’t we? So, you know, just keep…just do your homework, read a few books, listened to a few podcasts, check out…do some trials. That’s what I would advise. But actually it’s quite fun. So you’re asking about the future, you know, once you’ve got that mind-set that says this could be quite interesting, how nice to have a driverless car and to have five glasses of shabbily instead of one and to not have to come home of a Friday night and then still worry about the cleaning. If I’ve got AI doing a lot of the dirty, dull, and dangerous, the three Ds. Yeah, Dylis, this can do your dirty, dull, and dangerous work for you. You’ll be a happy bunny.
Dylis: Fantastic. Do you know, my husband and I, we absolutely love to have conversations around things like I wonder what transport will look like in 25 – 50, 100 years’ time. How will we shop? How will we travel? What would education be like? And I love it because it really stretches your thinking.
Katie: It does. I’ve got some of that in the end of my book. But you know, to your point about education, AI could completely democratise a Harvard education for everybody anywhere in the world. And I think through online learning and blended learning and tools like AI in schools, colleges, universities, and just for us normal people at home, you know, we could learn anything. So I think AI puts into your fingertips that opportunity to retrain and you know, to be anything, obviously not quite like that. But you know what I mean? You know you’ve got the potential to learn and re skill and have a very different kind of career. But I think it’s a very exciting future. I think there’s some downs, some negative aspects to it, but you know, if we can…if it can overhaul, you know, flights, if it can make, you know, customer service so much better and improve our lifestyles so that we are no longer defined by work, that is exciting.
Dylis: I think people get fearful of that, but actually it won’t happen tomorrow it’s a gradual sort of change. I mean, even if I look at my work. At one time, I used to go with my acetate slides, you know, if I was training to a sales for example, and I would take my acetates with the overhead projector. Now I’ve got my little memory stick. I haven’t just got it to hand here, but I’ve got my little memory stick that’s this big and put it into the computer. But also their talking to me about like, could we have a copy of the slides? Could you, could you create an online tool for us, you know, that we can hold in a hub, in our company the people that I can license to them and so on. So even for me, it’s moving, it’s not moving fast, but it’s moving. I have to embrace that. I can’t just say, well, sorry, I’m going to come along with my acetates. Do you have an overhead projector?
Katie: Exactly. Exactly. So this is, I mean, you know, we didn’t touch on it at the beginning and we sort of went around it. But this is the fourth industrial revolution. We’ve had steam, electrification, and you know, we’ve had the Internet era. This new era is the era of Internet of things, of machine learning, you know, all of the different kinds of printing and just incredible technologies that really will reshape our world. You know the way we shop and we’ve seen the decline of the high street quite a bit. I think it will radically overhaul everything and it’s scary. I know it’s scary for people.
Dylis: But the shops now…years ago when I was young, a long time ago, we had the co-op near us and we shopped daily. We bought a bread daily. You got sugar in a blue bag. Oh my goodness, I’m showing my age. But they pulled it out with a scoop. The biscuits were all lined up in tins and you’d opened the glass lid and you put them into a bag and look at where we’ve moved from that. We had Billy the butcher used to come on a Thursday. He used to come and toot his horn at the bottom of our garden and my mother would used to go out and buy her mince and chicken and a piece of mutton.
Katie: But you have to go to multiple different tools, didn’t you? Then of course we had supermarkets and now we’ve got online shopping. In an ideal world, this all should free us up. To travel, to see our families more. We know that’s not always the reality because work can consume you, but at the same time you’re sitting in a home-based office, I am, you know, we do have freedoms and it does make us able to communicate with anybody anywhere in the world and sell from a home base to anywhere. So actually the opportunities are vast.
Dylis: Yeah. Yeah. I mean I’ve got clients around the world, private coaching clients, South Africa, France, Canada. I can just sit in my office and actually it’s not exactly the same, but it nearly is. We both got our cups here. It’s having our virtual cup of coffee.
Katie: Yeah, you’re right. You’re right. And so I do think AI will transform our personal lives, our business lives, our communities. There are some downsides and there’s still a lot of work to be done on the regulation. I know people are probably concerned about their data privacy. Again, there’s quite a lot of work going on in the UK around that but the big challenge is international, you know, because AI could be used for warfare, you know, it could be used in lots of difficult ways in the same way with the nuclear threat and so on. It thankfully hasn’t happened, but, yeah, we do have to be careful and we do all have to play a role in helping shape that. But I would tell everybody embrace it because it’s not going backwards, it’s not going away. You’ve got no choice. You do have a choice probably for a few more years depending on your country, your industry/sector. But yeah, embrace it, it’s fun.
Dylis: Yes. Really exciting. I just want to touch on the other thing that I think AI would be most helpful in is global warming. You don’t, don’t want to get into deep politics or anything, but I do think that it enables us all to play our part and industries to play their part in global warming.
Katie: Yeah. The AI crunches data at a speed and the amounts of data in a way that our human brain can’t do. So the hope is that we set machine learning and AI, some of the world’s big challenges around energy, around global warming, around some of the big issues. That requires international collaboration but I’m hopeful. I think, you know, when the chips are down we pull together and I don’t think it’s too late, but, so yeah, no, AI does have that potential to do that.
Dylis: Yeah. Okay. That’s been really insightful and thank you so much for that. I hope that the audience is, is not being fearful because we can’t stop this. There are some great benefits to it, but really to kind of capture what you’ve said, the essence of it is keep up to date. You know, if you’re a lawyer, keep up to date with what’s happening in terms of them being able to provide the service. If you’re in medicine, if you’re like me in sales or marketing, whatever your profession, just keep up to date with what’s happening and just move with it rather than resisting it. I think that’s the message.
Katie: Yeah most definitely. Lots of it is very accessible and free. So there’s lots of training out there to help you.
Dylis: Fantastic. So just share your book with us and any other resources Katie and how people might get in touch with you.
Katie: So there’s the book, you can find it on Amazon, just Katie King and the name of the book Using Artificial Intelligence in Marketing. I can provide a discount code. I’ll give that to you Dylis to put on the bottom of the, you know, the links there. You can find me, I’d love to connect with everybody. I’m on LinkedIn, @KatieeKing on Twitter and Katie King Zoodikers on Facebook and Instagram. So yeah, love to connect with everybody. And Yeah, thank you very much for having me on your show.
Dylis: It’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much, Katie.
Katie: You’re welcome. Bye. Bye. Bye.
Dylis: So, as Katie said, you know, don’t be frightened to AI. We are dealing with AI everyday of our lives right now. The very fact that I’m speaking to you here, or you’re listening to me, you know, this is all AI, so don’t be frightened of it. Embrace it. Keep up to date with it. So just keep up to date with what’s happening in your industry.
So if you want to engage with me further, please come and join me on my free Facebook group, which is called Inspired Selling. So just Google Inspired Selling on Facebook and you’ll find me and just join. I’m also running a Meet, Mix and Mastermind Day. So if you’re interested in that drop me a line, it’s going to be brilliant in terms of positioning yourself as to who you are, what you do, and you know, developing those kind of relationships. So until the next time, have a great time selling and see you soon. Bye for now.
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