Episode 65

Connecting the dots: The importance of globally connected insights

Nataly Kelly, CMO at Zappi and author of Take Your Company Global, discusses how to get insights connected to drive growth, reveals what it really takes to be a global organization, and shares some of her best practices for international growth.

The interview

Ryan Barry: Hello, everybody and welcome to this episode of Inside Insights, a podcast powered by Zappi. My name is Ryan and I am joined by our CMO, Nataly Kelly. Hi, Nat. 

Nat Kelly: Hi, Ryan. Hi, everyone. Great to be here.

Ryan: It is awesome to have you on the podcast. It's really quite interesting interviewing your CMO on your podcast because of course, a big part of a CMO's job is to produce these sorts of things, but I'm giving Nataly the full guest experience today.

Ryan: And I do have to apologize, I sound like a little bit of a frog today. So it's like a Kermit the Ryan episode today. 

Ryan: So, we should tell everybody this fun fact. So, Nat joined Zappi just about 30 days ago. And on our first interview, we talked for a very, very, very long time.

Ryan: And I left the call and I said, I really like this woman, but we didn't talk much about marketing. And the reason is my family and Nat's husband are from the same village in Dublin, which is like. Smallest of small worlds. Uh, so shout out to Clondalkin Village and all the fun pubs and fish and chips places. We love all y'all. 

Nat: Oh my God. I can't wait to go back there this summer. It's going to be so much fun. And I guarantee I'm going to run into some of your relatives there. \

Ryan: Uncle Eric's the man. If you ever see Eric Kiki, if you're ever in Clondalkin, he's a good man. Uh, so, so Nat, I'm just excited to have you here and I'm excited to share your perspective on customer centric growth, on connected insights, and it's on global versus local with our audience. 

Ryan: But I kind of want to start with something that I find really interesting. So you've obviously built an incredible career as a marketer in software as a marketer in globalization, but you started your career as a researcher. So I'd love for you to just reflect on that a little bit. You started your career doing research and now you're driving growth and community for a research technology platform. So talk to us about that full circle and what brought you back. 

Nat: One of my early jobs was at a market research firm called CSA research, and we were kind of like, a Forrester and a McKinsey, you know, we did some management consulting.

Nat: We did some market research, mostly market research, and I started there as an analyst, and we were very focused on globalization, global business and the whole language services industry that surrounds that universe. And we were doing research, you know, for our customers, sometimes custom projects, sometimes, you know, large scale research studies that we would then sell on a subscription basis to Dell, NetApp, large tech companies primarily, and also up and coming startups and tech companies and service providers.

Nat: So that was our universe of customers, but they were mostly large global businesses that had a footprint in, you know, a hundred or more countries. So that was really exciting for me because I, and a lot of them were B2C as well as B2B, uh, but what I loved about that job was really understanding how you do this at scale, you know, and we at Zappi, and one of the reasons I joined Zappi and love Zappi is because we were supporting a similar customer profile.

Nat: You know, we have a lot of B2C brands, like Pepsi, a customer that jumps on stage with us, talks with us, loves us. Their products are being used or consumed a billion times per day throughout the world in more than 200 countries. And I think that is a phenomenal global scale.

Nat: And that's why I love that. What's also incredible about the merging of these worlds is having worked at HubSpot, you know, public B2B SaaS company and coming to Zappi is that I get to see the connection, as insights is becoming digitized and agile and connected, to the world of classic kind of B2B SaaS marketing, which I was steeped in at HubSpot.

Nat: And then bringing in that market research lens is kind of like the merging of three things that I really love. Maybe four if I consider the global brand piece too. Yeah, it's really a hybrid of everything I love and I love our customers. I love the people. I love the company. I love the product. So it's, you know, I'm just very Zappi to be here.

Ryan: I love it. I'm Zappi to have you. And by the way, everybody, it's Friday night when we're recording this. I mean, we should be having a glass of wine now. I don't know what the hell we were thinking, you know, but we, we both have kids. We got mom and dad crap to do after this, actually, before this episode was recorded, all of our kids came home from school.

Ryan: Um, but yeah, I think for me, Julio always gives me shit that I'm not a researcher. I am. I've been doing this a long time. But for me, getting access to the customer, getting brands access to the customer, I believe helps them grow, but there's something cool.

Ryan: For those of you listening that have only ever worked in the corporate side, there's something quite cool about all the brands that you work with and the different, you know, helping somebody better package food or a drink or a banking product. And it's the ability to kind of change context that is quite fascinating.

Ryan: One of our biggest customers just did a partnership with Jason Tatum, my favorite NBA player and the NBA, my favorite sport and the novel concept. They talk to their customers very efficiently to make those decisions. And it's really exciting. 

Nat: And what I love about that is they tagged us on Instagram.

Nat: You know, they are interacting and building that relationship, not just with the end consumer, but with their network, their ecosystem, everybody involved. And that's, what I really love is these are world class marketers. And I love the challenge of having a marketing team that is marketing to world class marketers, world class brands, because the level at which we need to operate is very high.

Nat: Like we can't have a bland, boring, typical B2B SaaS brand. It has to be distinctive. You know, we are B2B, but we are reaching people who really know B2C, which is where the marketing game is up leveled because it's very crowded in a lot of B2C spaces, and you have to stand out when you're on the shelf, you have to stand out when you're online, you have to stand out on all social platforms.

Nat: The game is elevated for B2C marketing. And so what I love is, okay, we have to market at that level, even though we are a B2B brand, because that's what they expect. That's what they see and live every day. So the challenge for us, I think,is a little bit harder. It's that next level of marketing. And that's really attractive to me because that's how we can build a work world class team.

Nat: We have a great goal to strive for. 

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. You know, there's an interesting thing that, as you were talking, I was thinking like the people we market to have a high bullshit meter, right? Like there's very low tolerance. But you could say the same thing about the consumer today, right?

Ryan: Like, you know, I talk about this often. There was a time where the brands talked to people and distribution channels were limited and they just had to buy. And that is done, right? Like if you're not relevant, catching somebody in stride, you're not coming home. You're not going to be part of the, the, the equation and their culture.

Ryan: And, um, I think it's an interesting time. And, you know, there's all these interesting contrasts between B2C and B2B marketing, you know, like obviously everybody's marketing to people, but in B2B, I mean, all of you that work for a big brand know this, um, the complexity of, of the networks of people and the processes and the infrastructure and the old way and the new way.

Ryan: I mean, it's, it's actually quite hard. So there's a lot of lessons to learn there. 

Nat: Absolutely. Yeah, so B2C is simpler in many ways because it's marketing to one consumer, usually at a time, whereas B2B you're marketing to a buyer committee, often a group of people with changing relationships and they're moving companies.

Nat: And so there's a lot of complexity in there, but I think the fundamentals of marketing are the same. And what we really need to do is make sure. That we are taking the best of both worlds. You know, when I interviewed at HubSpot many years ago with the CMO there at the time, you know, I, I mentioned what I love about HubSpot is it's a B2B SaaS company in a B2C disguise because HubSpot was one of the companies that was able to have kind of accessible marketing and make it fun and make it quirky and make it, oh, you know, we're different from Salesforce.

Nat: We're different from Marketo. You know, it was a B2C approach. It was, and maybe because it was SMB mid market, you can go a little bit more in that direction, but a lot of B2B SaaS companies are still terrible at marketing, if you ask me, like all their websites look the same. 

Nat: They're not distinctive, you know, they have done the growth science part to the hilt, but they haven't done a great job always having a distinctive message and a distinctive connection to their end customer where they build that relationship. And that HubSpot did a great job of that. I think that was like a secret sauce in our marketing. But I think more B2B companies need to do that.

Nat: And I think that's what we're trying to do at Zappi with our marketing is make it fun, make it relatable, make it resonate, make it distinctive and use creativity. Like that's what our product and platform is all about. And to me, we can't skip that because our customers, like you said, can detect BS in marketing very easily. And that's what's really cool is like the conversation you and I were having, uh, yesterday and spilled over into LinkedIn about AI. 

Ryan: Sorry to put it on blast, but let's get the people involved. 

Nat: No, I think that's great. No, I think it's great when it spills out because it means, you know, it's important to us enough to talk about on social platforms too.

Nat: But like, what's great about that whole conversation is the BS barometer that you mentioned, because AI, if everybody's using the same tools and stuff, the content doesn't sound distinctive. And so people are already figuring that out and they're starting to see, oh, I've got a comment on LinkedIn.

Nat: I'm pretty sure it was AI because it was like, you know, written in the same format as the other 10 comments I got that day on the same post, you know? And so humans can, we can tell when things are not authentic, and that's why social is growing because people want to want to trust people, not brands, you know, they really want those relationships with people.

Nat: So it's like, how can we get the best of both? How can we allow brands to build those relationships and also through people through influencers through, you know, that through characters through all those elements that surround the brand. So I love, you know, that's what we're building with our platform and enabling our customers to do. So I love it.

Ryan: Yeah. You know, I was talking to an industry OG, Larry Friedman yesterday, who is just a, I gave him a public shout out, uh, because I just think he's wonderful, but he's, he quoted a book. I can't remember the book he quoted, but he, it was basically this concept of the fact that digital transformation has nothing to do with technology, and it came from an expert and I must, I must try to find the book, but, but his point really resonates with me.

Ryan: Um, you know, whether it's AI or when we first started, it was about automation or years ago, it was about online data collection or programmatic media buyer, any of these, like, it's going to change everything, but there's always, this is something that I enter into, and I was reflecting on our discussion a little bit.

Ryan: On paper, this will be a commodity in 12 months if we employ it correctly. We will be able to connect in a better way with our customers than we've ever been able to connect. We'll be able to elevate the way we think, we'll be able to drive strategy, and we'll be able to make a bigger impact. But Natalie, I have to tell you something, 10 years ago when we started Zappi, I thought the same thing about giving answers quickly, and yet so often we meet people on a Friday, Who are perpetuating reactive, cover your ass market research, and it's not their fault.

Ryan: It's not even the person who wrote the brief's fault. It's the, it's the infrastructure around them. And everybody's obviously operating with the best of intentions. Everybody wants to grow. Everybody wants to build products and advertisements that people love. And we've been talking a lot about this.

Ryan: Like obviously as part of your immersion into, into our business, you've been spending a lot of time with customers. And so I guess I'd just love to hear your reflections on like, Where, where are you seeing the insights departments and the marketing departments in terms of the, I guess, stages of maturity, like where they act, like from just from your early discovery, I think it'd be, I think for everybody listening, like we're all real close to it and that that's drinking the Kool Aid, but she's not drunk by it yet.

Ryan: So I think it'd be really interesting to hear what you're seeing in your early kind of early couple of weeks here. 

Nat: Yeah, thank you. I think it's, uh, not only am I not drunk by the Kool Aid yet, I'm a, I'm a Kool Aid skeptic. So I approach Kool Aid with like, let me test it first and run a diagnostic and see if it's really made of, um, so in answer to the market research maturity, um, I think you're exactly right.

Nat: And it takes time for people to build these things into their processes and systems. And I'll use kind of a corollary from a world that I know very well. So in the translation space, machine translation has existed for many, many years. And when Google Translate came out, and even before that, as soon as machine translation was a thing in the 1940s, there were headlines like, oh, human translators are no longer needed.

Nat: Oh, you know, this is all done and taken care of. And that's what you started to see with ChatGPT in the early days. There was commentary like, oh, there will be no more engineers because now AI can code for us. The change does not happen that fast. It takes time. And this is where a lot of tech companies that are disruptive have to be careful because sometimes they're ahead of their time.

Nat: They're ahead of the curve. So they raise money and they try and like everybody buys into the vision. But the reality is it takes longer than that for companies to adapt because of what you described, the infrastructure, the systems, the process, even the roles that people have in their job descriptions, you know, they're not necessarily motivated to change things.

Nat: If their job description says you are paid based on this that you're supposed to do, you know, like a lot of it is down to that level. And what I love about what we're doing and the market research industry and how it's transforming is it's inevitable that this is happening, you know, we've got market research projects and, you know, people who are doing things in silos and they need to connect in their organization.

Nat: They need to connect their data into a singular system. They need to connect their efforts into a singular system. But guess what? It's not so easy because the person doing that project doesn't necessarily have control to change the surround sound and everything else that is going on in their business.

Nat: So what I think, you know, are these phases of maturity that you know, not to sneak preview too much, but we're going to be coming out with some of this later in the year. Things start from a point of really everything is disconnected. Nothing is centralized. And that's the beauty of a platform, a technology where you can, you know, bring everybody together, you know, bring all the distinct players in, but bring your data in and start to standardize.

Nat: And you know, I'm not so much of a fan of using a tool to solve a problem. I think you need to have an approach internally at any business where you have an idea of what you want to do first and then select the tool for it. But in many cases, you can use the tool as a rallying cry to get people on board because they start to see how it makes things easier and they start to actually have a vision for what it could look like.

Nat: And so having those early proof points where you're moving from like disconnected market research into maybe we're starting to like aggregate a few projects or a few business units or a couple of markets or geos together, then you're starting to like, it's almost like the water droplets, you know, start to merge and like, you can see those things forming until now we've got a pool, a pool of data.

Nat: And that we can draw from, that we can surface those insights, that we can surface innovations, that we can start to, you know, have that consumer data right at our fingertips in one, you know, beautiful pool. It's kind of how I think about it. So when you get from disconnected to fragmented to fully connected, you're tapped in.

Nat: You know, it's like a beautiful state. It's just really hard to operationalize that and get everybody on board into the same system. So that's what we're doing. 

Ryan: That is. And, you know, for those of you reflecting, like you might be using agile tools, you might be getting quick answers, but you're probably disconnected because I would, I've been trying to help insights departments for a long time.

Ryan: I'd say 75, 80 percent of them. with the best of intentions are buying tools, but still it's a whack a mole game. And that's why I started with what Larry said. This is not about technology. Technology, if used appropriately, is a great enabler, right? But, I think out of the 300 customers we have, I can count on two hands how many are truly connected, truly connected.

Ryan: And what is the benefit of connecting not from your perspective? Like So we're there, we're all, everything's, everything's smart. We're, we're leveraging all of our data. And like, what are you, I guess, what do you see as the benefits from a marketer standpoint? 

Nat: Oh, the benefits are huge because, you know, I'm interested in the global versus local and how to leverage the best of both worlds.

Nat: So if you have all of your data and all of your things in silos throughout the world, this applies to business units as well. And it applies to continuity within a business unit of being able to leverage insights over time. But even if we just take the global local angle, which we just did a webinar on last week. It's so important because there might be a trend or a common ground or something that you're missing if you don't have the connection between geos, between markets and what's and what's amazing is once you're able to connect these things, some of the best ideas might come from a region of the world or a part like a business unit that you never expected that there would have any ripple effect.

Nat: And so I have seen the best global campaigns from a marketing perspective, actually took some inspiration from something that was happening in a local market and saw, Ooh, that's popular. They're wonderful. It'd be popular here. Let's test the idea and see if it plays out. And that's what the best brands do.

Nat: They take the best ideas from all over the world, no matter where they come from. And to me, this is beautiful because it actually makes it accessible for people to have impact. So isn't it cool when like, okay, let's, you know, take any brand Starbucks, you know, and let's say they have an idea that comes from Uruguay and that local team tested out and it really has strong success there.

Nat: Yeah. Campaign with a local influencer and maybe a new product in that market. Let's say that they start to see, Ooh, that could have interest in Brazil and the Brazil team loves it and they go for it. And then it's like, Oh, let's take that and run with it in the US you know, and then they have a big hit in a bigger market and a bigger splash.

Nat: You can't do that unless you can connect all the dots and it's really hard because a lot of that, you know, you want to give the best to your local teams in terms of autonomy and let them run. They know the market and B2C brands are usually good at this, but you also want to leverage that in other parts of the world where you might be able to take that idea and build on it and integrate it into a global campaign.

Nat: So that's what I love about our platform and what I see our customer starting to do is have that ability. They don't even know what's possible if they don't have that capability. 

Ryan: That's right. And I think we're, we're, we were obviously we're building software to make that easy, but equally, I think that the, what we all need to do and all my, myself, Zappi, everybody, other companies, our competitors, what we all need to do is think about,

Ryan: How do we make it easy to meet these insights people where they are and help them intentionally connect these dots? Because the infrastructure, the people, the process, the way you work with agencies is prohibiting connected insights. And the only way I believe you can get insights people to sit above the data, to be strategic, to drive market orientation, to pull that up, is to think about your consumer data investments. holistically and leverage the best of global and local and actually get at that. 

Ryan: So you, you, for anybody like, Oh my God, I'm so fragmented. Every project or disconnected, every project I think about, it's cool. You can, you know, all you do is just take one step. But you know, if you're trying to go to the North pole, stop going South.

Ryan: Um, and take one step north and, you know, every day you could be starting to improve. I don't, I don't, I wouldn't let that overwhelm you. Um, so, so Nataly, you touched a little bit on, on sort of leveraging the best ideas and a lot of times the best campaigns come from local markets. Um, you're obviously an expert in globalization.

Ryan: You stood up and drove a lot of HubSpots international growth, actually wrote a couple books on the topic. So I guess what are some of the best practices you've seen holistically? Because our audience is going to be a mix of people who are in global or local roles. And some of you are listening from major markets with big budgets.

Ryan: And some of you might, you know, not get the love. Like I always, I always have a lot of love for teams in Australia or Canada, where they're basically expected to produce what America produces with 10 percent of the budget, or global people who are genuinely trying to connect dots, but maybe they're not in these markets.

Ryan: So I guess, what is some advice you can give people as somebody who's really driven international expansion for a business personally? 

Nat: So funnily, we just did that webinar that I mentioned before on that topic. And anybody who's listening and wants the recording, you can email us at hello@zappi.io to get a copy of that recording.

Nat: If you're interested, what we were helping our customers with was this exact topic we were talking about. What do you do? Like, how do you begin? And to your point, Ryan, a lot of it is baby steps. It can feel very overwhelming. And I shared a lot of the stuff that, I like, like any marketer, I have a visual.

Nat: Yeah, I have to show people, you know, show the product. This is not the product. But anyway, um, for anybody who is interested as part of that, uh, webinar, we actually are raffling off some copies. So if anybody wants to train their team on how to do that, it's not just about the technology, it's about the process.

Nat: So in this book, I talk about a lot of the details. 

Ryan: And for those listening, not watching, name the, give them the title of the book. 

Nat: Yeah, sorry. For those who are listening, it is called Take Your Company Global, the new rules of international expansion. This is a book that came out just a few months before I joined Zappi.

Nat: And it's endorsed by Brian Halligan from HubSpot and Tope from Calendly, the CEO of Calendly and a bunch of good people who read it and liked it. And, in the book, what I'm trying to do is help other people achieve that level of global connectedness that I think is really hard to do with some specific strategies as to how you can connect your company.

Nat: And what I'm talking about in the book and what we talk about in more detail in the webinar is it's not about just building a global company anymore. The minute you have a website today, you're global. Anybody can, you know, you can share that and people can come and find you. Same if you launch an app, like with digital channels and digital communication, you're global from day one now.

Nat: So what we're talking about in the webinar and that I talk about in the book as well, is that's not the goal anymore. The goal is to create a globally equitable organization where your customers are deriving equitable value and your employees too no matter where they happen to be based in the world. So that's like a very lofty goal to give people.

Nat: But that is the new normal that you need to aspire to because it's no longer good enough to just say, Oh, yeah, we're a global company. We have employees and customers in these countries. Well, who cares if they're not getting enough value and if they don't feel like they're connected to your brand, if they don't feel like they're connected to you as a company and as an employer brand, even or as their employer.

Nat: So we talk about that in the webinar in a lot of detail and give specific strategies. So some of them are outlined in the book, but more specifically for insights professionals in that webinar, we talk about that in great detail. And one of the key themes, I can't cover all of them here, but one of the key themes is to start small.

Nat: And, you know, don't be overwhelmed by it because it often happens within organizations, one person at a time, one relationship at a time. And you have to start building those connections internally. And the other key piece of advice, I'll sneak preview here is. You have to be patient. It takes time. It's a big mammoth change initiative.

Nat: And so it's not going to happen in a year. It's going to take multiple years in most companies to do this to the degree that they can connect every single geo. If you've got two inner countries, like, you know, Pepsi, or, you know, you're one of these large global brands. It's going to take time. It's not going to happen overnight because every geo is at a different stage of maturity themselves, with different budgets.

Nat: Like you said, Canada, that's like one of my number one markets that I often remind people of Americans, especially Canada is not the 51st state. Like it's people like, Oh yeah, we'll do the U. S. It's like a buy one get one free. They're like, Oh, Canada just comes along with the United States. No, it doesn't.

Nat: It's very different. Has different local laws, huge population, but American companies especially tend to just forget about Canada and how different it is. So. I'm glad you mentioned Canada. Cause one of my pet projects, uh, countries for most brands that I've consulted with and helped over the years.

Nat: I'm like, please don't forget about Canada. Like that's often low hanging fruit. If you just focus a little bit of energy on Canada, you can make so much traction and it has similarities with the US but you'll find companies that are like, Oh, let's go to Germany before they go to Canada. 

Ryan: Actually, I have a lot of love for Canada for a very unique reason. When we started Zappi, I spent a lot of time up there. Um, and I, I wish I spent more time now just busy running around. So I got to follow your advice, but, um, you know, where I find you get small wins faster are as in markets where there perhaps is more scarcity of resources.

Ryan: And they sort of have to lean in. And I think one of the tensions I see is like, you've got global teams, big market teams, mid market teams, emerging market teams, and each of them are obviously accountable for their local P&Ls. And that's important. And so my advice for you in the center, get on an airplane,go see your product.

Ryan: In those markets, go see your customers in those markets, go feel the pressure that somebody in Sri Lanka is dealing with. And my advice to the people in Sri Lanka, recognize that that's all important. If you could leverage the scale of the company, the infrastructure of the company, and the best thinking of all of your markets, you would have an easier job.

Ryan: And that might take, that might require some give and take of, you know, control on some technology decision or. Or budget allocation. And so I think there's a little bit of an ebb and flow there. Uh, Stephan Gans always says this, you know, you got to use the global might for the local fight. And I think that that's like a really astute statement of, you know, these things have to ebb and flow together.

Ryan: Um, and it can't be global top down, particularly when a lot of global teams Or sit on a high horse in fricking Los Angeles. 

Nat: And it's like, they have all these resources, you know, at HubSpot, we did something really awesome with the product team where we had some people go on an empathy visit to, and so a customer empathy visit.

Nat: So they went to India to talk to our customers in India to find out how they were using the product. And they were sitting next to them, like waiting for the product to load and realizing. Oh my God, it's so slow because of their connection and like they started to realize, Oh, we need to like to do different things to speed it up in this market.

Nat: We wouldn't have had to think about that in the U S and like those types of nuggets, like you don't have to necessarily invest a lot. It's one plane ticket, like sending somebody there with a mission of. Get close to the customer, sit next to them, use the product, understand how they're using it. There's so much value in that.

Nat: One of the things I did at HubSpot that I mentioned in the webinar and gave more detail on was if I saw somebody who had an interest in, I used to call them like a globalista, like if they had a little bit of a. interest in global and they're like connecting markets. I was like, Ooh, okay. So we found somebody and I created an award where we could give them an award for being a global guru.

Nat: So to drive visibility to Hey, that's a good thing. We want to do more of that. And then what we did as a prize was we sent them to work for a week in an office of their choice. And so that was the prize. If you can, if you contribute to the global cause, we'll send you on a trip for a week.

Nat: No, this is a work trip. It's not like, Oh, you get to work. That's your prize, but they got to work in a different office. And I knew like that's going to help them build connections, being on site with their colleagues and seeing and maybe interacting with customers potentially. You know, or at least getting closer to the local customer and that little program was easy.

Nat: I spent like an hour of my time on it, a quarter, you know, and it was so easy because then all I had to do was publish an internal post to say, you know, Hey, here's this, you know, this is the winner this year or this quarter. And then the person who would go would write a post about their experience and share it with everybody.

Nat: And it was really great to feed that momentum between local and global. And I think that's an easy thing anybody can do. You don't have to have a headcount for it or really a big budget. It's, it's just, it's just making sure that you start , thinking a little creatively to, to make it happen.

Ryan: Yeah, that's right. I mean, because the alternative is you have 10 people who work in the same category, the same company who never talk. So I guess in closing on this, local leaders unite and commit to an agenda that's going to allow you to leverage all of your collective power and knowledge of the customer and what works in your business, or you'll never get that benefit and, uh, global leaders enable an agenda that actually works in the countries that you're trying to support and drive growth in, um, and that we can start to get there.

Ryan: And I think, you know, for all of you, no matter where you are, if you're running whack a mole, taking orders, running projects, if maybe you're in a business unit that's got figured it out, but maybe the business unit next to you hasn't. Try to figure out ways to learn from each other because there is so much more power in connectivity.

Ryan: And my fear is not as much as you and I are both, I wouldn't say skeptical. We're just, we see AI for what it is, an enabler. We won't get the enablement of AI. If we don't connect, just like a lot of us haven't got the enablement of automation to do anything other than whack the mole faster or cover our ass faster.

Ryan: And that wasn't the point. The point was to be able to learn early and often to be able to enable low value tasks to happen so that high value impact tasks could be what you spend your time on. But that's not, we haven't really realized that dream as a collective sum yet. And so we've got to start with intentionality so that we can get to connectivity. Otherwise we won't get there. 

Nat: Yeah. And I'm like you, you know, I'm a skeptic, but I'm also a dreamer. And so what I am dreaming of is if AI is successfully implemented, we take away a lot of the low value tasks from humans. And then humans will have more time to connect with each other.

Nat: They will actually be able to do that because what's the biggest blocker, you know, to humans getting on a plane, going places, even just having a Zoom call, coffee chat virtually. It's not that they don't want to, it's that they feel like they should be doing other stuff. And a lot of that stuff I think is low value tasks that we should be able to free us up from with automation.

Nat: And hopefully AI will be, you know, a big part of this. Let's free people up to actually build relationships with each other because that's something AI can't do. Yeah. Like let's let humans connect like that. We are a collective, you know, animal, you know, like we think in, in groups and herds and family, you know, like we, we, I'm using the wrong terminology.

Nat: Anthropologists are going to laugh at me, but, you know, we do have the tribal mentality. And so that's what it's all about, I think. And like, that's my hope. And what I would just say to listeners, if you're stuck there, start one relationship at a time, you know, try to just have a, have a chat, and then find excuses to go visit each other and like, spend time together.

Nat: Like make it part of somebody's priorities, you know, make it part of a job description that you're going to be a bridge to this other team. Like thinking small. 

Ryan: Alright, so I wouldn't be on a podcast with a marketer if I didn't say. All this stuff is hard. Obviously, we want to make our technology better, but we need to help people.

Ryan: So what's coming from the Zappi brand that people should be on the lookout for in the next couple of months? I know you got a lot of stuff cooking in the kitchen. What's coming up? 

Nat: Well, first of all, tune in to the next podcast episodes because I know you have a lot of great things I really do. 

Ryan: I'm excited about season eight.

Ryan: We have some amazing guests, yourself included. 

Nat: Oh, well, thank you. So that's coming of course, we have some great webinars, both for our customers coming as well as prospects, anybody who wants to tune in, become part of the Zappi community, whether you never want to be a customer or not, we are building a community here. And so we welcome you to join some of those.

Nat: We're putting out a lot more educational type content through our webinars, but also we are going to be at events. And speaking of meeting people in person, building relationships, we will be at Shoptalk coming up. Soon we'll be at Quirks

Ryan: I'm going to Quirks. Let's go. And I get to share the stage with one of my favorite insights leaders, a man who's worked in global and local and now back in global, Matt Cahill.

Ryan: You got to check me out with my boy, Matt. It's going to be a lot of fun. 

Nat: Yes. And so anybody who's going to be at any of these upcoming events, even the ones that we might not have on our list yet, reach out to hello@zappi.io and contact us and see if we can meet you there. We would love that. I'm going to be at some of these events too, and I'm so excited to meet customers and all these people who are part of the insights community.

Nat: It'd be great to spend time with you, connect with you. Hey, maybe you want to be on the podcast. 

Ryan: And that it's a good time for that CTA. If you know somebody who's driving connected customer centric growth in their business, and they're doing amazing things. I do want to talk to them. I've had many of you reach out to me with guest ideas.

Ryan: One of you just reached out, shout out to Leanne Chandler, reached out and actually got me an amazing guest who's going to be joining to talk about his book around storytelling. So when you send those requests in, I do look at them. We do take them seriously. I just, I have one thing, it's got to help y'all do your jobs better the next day or we're not putting on this podcast.

Ryan: It's been my commitment to you for eight seasons, we're going to keep it, we're going to keep it going. Nat, welcome to the fun. Thanks for joining today. 

Nat: Thank you, Ryan. Happy to be here.