Lately: The Software That Blew Me Away

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

I have been working with B2B SaaS companies since 2008. I can honestly say that few of them have struck as truly innovative. Many of them were cool but they didn't blow me away.

Lately is an exception to the rule. When I learned what it can do, it resonated as a game-changer.

The company turns content (blog posts, eBooks, video) into social media posts. It takes the painful, time-consuming work out of creating updates for multiple social media networks.

Imagine the ROI from being able to create social media content at scale effortlessly.

In this episode of Marketing Spark, I spoke with Lately co-founder and CEO Kate Chernis about her journey from popular DJ to marketing to SaaS entrepreneur.

We explored the personal struggles that Kate endured in the music industry, why she backed away from raising money because she believed the VCs weren't treating her in the same way as male entrepreneurs, and how to operate a business remotely. 

It's Mark Evans and you're listening tomarketing spark, the podcast and delivers insight from marketers and entrepreneurs in the trenchesin twenty five minutes or less. When I started my consulting business in twothousand and eight one of my first clients with sistemos. When I went tosee it softwork, I was blown away by how it could monitor social mediaactivity on facebook and twitter. It was, at the time, mind blow.When you heard about lately, it was Dejavo all over again. It'stechnology which turns content into social media updates is impressive and its customer growth hasbeen astounding. I'm excited to have Kate Chernis, lately's cofounder and CEO,on the podcast. Welcome to marketing spark. Thank you so much, Mark.I actually got some goosebumps there for a second because I know what itfeels like to see something and be like, you know, oh my gosh,and it's a fun feeling because you want to you want a piece ofit. You know you want to be in the club. And all thetime that I've been doing marketing for BB SASS companies, I can't I can'tsay I've been blown away that often, once in a while you come acrossa service and you go man, this is super impressive, in fact soimpressive I wish I was working for this company. But, and that's thething that I got when I saw lately, it really is a prettiest, downypiece of software, and that's why I was so excited to have youon the podcast to really get into the platform and your story, which isvery interesting, talk about your view of social media and content marketing and allthe things that are impacting marketing these days. Why don't we start by talking aboutwhat lately does and why a growing number of companies are enthusiastically embracing it? I mean, this is a this is a product that one a lotof companies see it, an agencies for that matter, it's a must have. Yeah, well, thank you. First of all. Thank you somuch all of those super nice compliments there. I'm absorbing than their washing all overme. So what lately does is essentially you can upload a file,a video file or podcast or any kind of lung form content, whether it'swriting or audio or video, and you push a button inside lately and latelyinstantly atomizes that content into sometimes hundreds of different social posts. Now the sexierpart that's happening in the background that you don't see is it's also studying allof your analytics across any social talent you connect to its brain and it's lookingfor the highest engaging posts that you have and then it builds a writing modelbased on literally the DNA the words that make up those posts, and it'sapplying that same writing model to the lung form content you feed it. Sobefore it atomizes, it's choosing which things to pull out right, and that'show it gets customers like Gary Van Your check. You guys know him right. Twelvezero and percent increase an engagement, because it's you know, it's reallysmart and the more you put in, the better you get out right.Then Gary has a lot of content to to feed us. One of theinteresting things about lately is there, well, there's many interesting things about lately,but there's no lack of social media tools out there and lots of companiesare applying ai to their technology. And this is a tough question for youto answer because you're obviously biased being the CEO, but why has it,say, made such an impact and such a splash there's no lack of choicesout there and I'm sure there's other tools that may do something similar. Canyou explain the phenomena? But I love being called a phenomena. I thinkit's to two things. Number One, we've been at this for a longtime. Market didn't happen overnight and we've been banging our heads against the walleven to make sure we were describing how what we're selling, and you guysjust heard me describe it and it's not easy and I'm not really that goodat it, but believe me, I'm so much better than I was lastyear or the year before, and part of that is because we watched ourcustomers to see which part of the platform you guys were all using to giveus information. Right, and it's a...

...very robust platform, and the thingthat people kept gravitating into was this atomizing component, component, right, andso that was interesting to us and people liked it and we were we wereonly doing it with text, right, so you could pop in a linkto a blog, push a button, you get forty social polls posts instantly. But when we added the video clip component, that really changed everything,and I think it's because it's for a couple reason and mean and we hadcovid at the same time here. Right. So first thing that happened was Garyv saw lately in that form. He'd seen it before, but hesaw in that form and instantly built his his twitter channel to team Gary vout of that. So now I didn't have to tell people what I didanymore. I could show them. That was big. Right. Number twowas, I mean we it's scale the UNSCALABLE. This is what Gary saysand he's right. We do everything the hard way, because the hard wayis what works. Mark. Right. So there's a reason when you metbut met Ben who was on our team, you got a thirty minute demo.We treat you just like we would treat an enterprise customer, because Iknow how to make evangelists. You know, we were talking about this off airour second ago, but I used to be a rock and roll DJand my last Gig was broadcasting to twenty million listeners a day for Xm,and I was really amazing at making listeners into fans, right, because fansevangelists. They do the hard work for you. Right. So we figuredearly on as a small company, I don't have a big budget, tospend on marketing. How am I going to make the noise I need tomake one by one, right, and that's what we've done. So thecommunity around us is really driving the ship. Well, also help to have GaryV as as an is realist. I mean that's that's a small communityand a Gary v then then you're well off. Now maybe, and I'vegot background information. So I'm looking to tell the story about the way thathe's using the platform and the results that he's seen. Now the guys everywhere. I mean he produces a ton of content. He's got a lot ofammunition that he can or a lot of fuel that he can feed into thelately, you know, machine. But maybe give a little bit of afew details about how he is using it and with the difference that it's madeon his marketing machine. Yeah, I mean, you know, it's interesting. Is So gary doesn't need lately, to be honest, right. Theyhe has his own army, but he's clearly a poster boy for lately becausehis advice to you and me and everyone else is to repurpose and take yourlong firm content and and atomize it, right, and so he knows thatand though it's interesting. I was just talking to their team now because we'retrying to figure out like, actually, what is the use case for teamGary v when he's not really might target? You know, they do see atwelvezero percent increase in engagement and that's so much because the more you teachthe AI and the more you give it, the faster it can learn. Butalso because there's that pain of unlock mark, right, and you havethis pain. I certainly had it. Just imagine the time it takes freeto to blog, right. It's about three or four hours of writing time, and then you have to promote it. Most people kind of mail it inright there. They do one or two social posts and that's it.And to me and to Gary that's a huge waste of time. So likethat unlock ideal, like how do we not just toss into the wind thetime is taking me and you to record this podcast right now, right.And so I learned that it's the the after the fact. Marketing is infinitelymore valuable than butts and seats, right, and Gary knows that also. That'swhy he atomizes his content like crazy and he's trying to milk it forevery you know, everything it's worth. I think of it as like oflike garlic, like I was just chopping...

...garlic last night and I every littlebit that is on my knife has to make it into the pan. Youknow, I'm kind of because it took me a long time, you know, to do that. I don't want to lose those morsels. So that'sthat's personally why as as well, and you know, as we've been growingthe company, we're we have to go up before we can go down,like sales for us, right. So my job now is to sell thelarger company so that there can be a time where I can create a longtail and sell to all of Gary's fans, right, for like some normal price, like twenty or forty dollars. Right. That's that's what I wantand we will get there. And the best part about working with him,by the way, is like knowing, no knowing that that that there's botha long tail of that smaller customer and then there's the larger customer, likeall of the venor meter clients, right, and we have these client, bothof these clients, which I'm just hand Chet thinking a little bit,but it's all connected. This has been part of our struggle is like whois lately's customer? You know, it does vary from small, medium andlarge customers. It's not micro customers, micromarketers, right. But yeah,so it's the learning experience. As you can tell, it's ever present andslightly overwhelming. Well, that's the thing about being an entrepreneur is it's aclassic line. Be careful what you wish for, because it might happen,right, and we might. It does remind me of SYSTEMOS. So whensistemos came out of the University of Toronto, there was a tenure professor and areSuper Smart PhD student and they developed this technology. And now, aswe got this better mousetrap like food, do we sell it to? Andin their case they went to PR agencies who had clients and the clients wantedto buy a social media monitoring tool and they saw it as money making opportunity. The agencies would buy once and sell it again and again and again,and then the brands came around and said, you know, we like this toolas well. So what's system moost did is they created a like version, like a you couldn't it wasn't everything, but the sink, kitchen sink.It was just a restricted version. Also, they too products, andthat's the that's the curious thing about lately right now is who is your customer? I mean other than Gary v? Is it agencies? Is it enterprisecustomers? Is it guys like Gary v who are one man bands? Imean, do you have an ideal customer right now, or is it basicallyanybody who can pat the bills? Yeah, so we just went through this andwe did what's called a right size pricing with one of our advisors.Right size pricing, that's it, and really started to spell out who isthe personality the customer. So we lately again is very robust platform. It'snot just a one trick pony, and the reason we did that is sothat we kind of appeal to all these customers. So we have what Icall social animals, so that is that one man or one woman band whonot only creates content and has, you know it on Nauseum, but thepain and the pain of unlocking, but also someone who's publishing on twitter orLinkedin like several times a day every day. Right. So those are one kindof customer. We work with agencies as well, because we give thema lot of ability to publish across all the places and marketing on planning andall those kinds of things and analytics, but really easy for them to havea single log in so they can access if they have, you know,two hundred customers or five customers who had twenty channels each. It's really easyfor them to bounce in and out. But our larger customers mark are peoplethat really want to do marketing for other employees in the company who don't knowa thing about marketing. So lately has what we call it's like a Hubband, spoke feature or or parent child. So one parent, like a CMO, can use the AI to create content for any employee. Could be salespeople, it could be employee advocates, could be executives, you know, anyonewho wants to talk about the company and...

...social but doesn't want to make amistake, and then the autogeneration can literally publish that content on their behalf withoutthe member having to deal with it, or it can give them the abilityto edit and customize as they like. So that's how we are able tosell tens hundreds thousands of licenses into a single company and we mark for themall the same way, by the way, right, right. So that's thethat's the lucky trick before you sort of dive into the platform itself,if you just get you to elaborate a little more in the backstory. Nowthere's two angles here. One is the backstory of you, the big timeDj, like how did that happen? Where did you start that kind ofthing? And the other thing is that, from what I've heard lately, isn'ta company that was created by a couple of geeky engineers working in abasement fuel by Red Bull. This is a different type of founder story,which I find to be snaty, particularly on today. We were recording thisthis episode International Woman's Day, so this is this is the timing is prettygood. Talk about both stories. I mean you've got two careers, bothsuper successful. How did that happen? But I thank you so much.It doesn't it doesn't feel like that when you're in it, you know,because you're just always, always in the slog or I am. I havethat special gift of seeing the glass, you know, half empty. Butyeah, you know. And Radio, I was really lucky, mark,because I was in a format. It's called adult album alternative or AAA,and it's designed to play the albums that you have at home. I'm fortyseven, so you know I'm old enough to have albums, and meaning youknow everything from rock to folk to Blues reggae. You know that kind ofmix. But then also the album cuts, not just like the radio singles,which is also what we often like, and that radio really focused on theaterof the mind, and meaning the listeners obligation to fill in the blanks, right to participate and in that conversation. And then my job as the DJor as a host, the programmer, to make you feel like you havea voice, even though I'm the one with the MIC, right,and this is what we talked about, making listeners into fans, you know. So as I was learning how to do that, I learned something aboutthe neuroscience of music that tells you, when you listen to a new song, mark, your brain must instantly access every other song you've ever heard beforein order to place that new song in your memory, branks into your libraryand your brain, and when it does that, it immediately taps into nostalgia. Right. So this rush of emotion comes forward when you when you hearmusic, because it's your brain is looking for the familiar touch points to knowwhere to put that song. And your voice is a frequency. So whenyou hear me or when you read the text I wrote or the text someoneelse wrote, you hear their voice in their head, your head, right, same idea in your brain is looking to put in some context, makeit familiar. And this is all sales and marketing. I'm trying to sellyou something new, put it into a contact that you're going to feel comfortable, right, trust me and then buy it. And so this all tiesinto our ai right, as you can see so from from radio. Sohere I was at exam in this wacky format. We were not live.Actually we were recorded, but we left in a lot of mistakes and didother things to be perceived as live to again kit create that trust factor,that human element, you know. And I wasn't the right move it.I wasn't in the right place and the universe was trying to tell me,you know. So I was I was a boys club. I was sexuallyharassed every day. My one of the...

...things my boss would always say tome was, Hey, Bradley, are your hands clean, meaning can youhold my Dick? Will Ipee. Yeah, real talk here, right, andeven I participated in the sexual harassment because it was part of the culture, it was normal, you know, I we didn't know. This is, you know, two thousand and four or five six. So the language, me too, wasn't around, and there was a hostile work environment,which I didn't even know what that was, and I just remember telling like familyand friends, like you know, this is so stressful. You know, my my boss would like be yelling at me in the little sound boothand like I would just absorb it, you know, and not yelling atme, but yet yelling about whatever going on. It was just so tenseand my body was starting to shout at me. And have I had allthese ailments. I was incapacitated. Eventually I couldn't type at all without anypain, without extreme pain, like debilitating pain, and this is a longstory, but so I was scared of mark because suddenly I couldn't work.You know, everything was on computer, everything was email and, you know, mixing songs, like the sound files we're seeing right now go by us, like I had to touch those every day and I couldn't anymore. SoI got I learned about dragon naturally speaking, which is the voice activating software Iused today. I don't type today, I use my voice is in thatironic I'm still talking and French rest. So I learned how to use itand Xam didn't believe me because my hands look fine, didn't look likethere was something wrong, and people didn't know about Epi, kind of Lightisand tendon I is really and so I moved to another music company and itwas the same thing, another boys club, and nobody believed me that something waswrong with me. And I cried a lot. I was really angryand scared and frustrated and I didn't know what to do. And my dadhad enough and one day he I was just crying uncontrollably. I used tosmoke a lot of cigarettes. To those you know, I was like pigpen, but full of anger. You know what I mean? Yeah,and my dad just lovingly shook me by the shoulders and said you can't workfor other people. There's no shame in that. And so a light wenton, obviously, and I thought, Oh oh, there's another way.Did Not know that. And my husband was so thoughtful of my boyfriend atthe time. He went out to the bookstore and bought me Guy Kawasaki's outof the start. Do that book. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It is really interesting to see how people fall into entrepreneurship. Some peopleare not real entrepreneurs right from the get they've got lemonade stands. They're finetime packs the gum for dollar and sending them for twenty five cents each.I mean, and people like you and I do it by accident. Differentis it's not by design. I never thought I'd be an entrepreneur. Iwas a journalist. I love being a journalist and something, and then Iwasn't a journalist anymore. I was an entrepreneur. Do you find, likeI, that I need this catalyst all the time, like Nat as,I look so my dad was one. There's a been a number of peoplewho see something I don't see and I I need them to point it outto me. You know. So that and that's what changes the channel.Is that awareness that I didn't have for some reason? You know? Yeah, well, I was a I was a longtime employ I like being anemployee, like getting a paycheck. It was all good, and then Igot laid off and I got a severance package and I said to my wife. You know, if I had gotten six months rather than three months,I do my own thing. I would hang up my own shingle and Iwould become a consultant. And she said, and the word she said to meI'm always remember that. She said, well, why don't you make threemonths severance last for six months? Ha, ha ha, your ownthing, and that's what I did. It's it's that idea. Is likeworking for people. I'm not sure if...

...the people you're working for we're assholesor not, but like that was a light bulb to me. is likethe the literally the pain of working for for in an environment where that washappening, versus the quote pain of not knowing where your next paycheck was comingfrom. The first one was was way worse, right, whereas for somepeople, well, that's not the case. It's terrifying to not know where yourpaychecks going to, if we're going to get one or not. Right. Well, that's why not everybody's an entrepreneur, because it's a seven alwayson great highs and great lows, and like you can't handle it, thendo something else. Get A paycheck. You went from from that and yourboyfriend, soontobe husband said do something else. What happened, because I eventually youended up doing marketing. How did you go from DJ to marketing?Was it by design or do you just kind of fall into it? Morefalling? Yeah, so, so that week, so my dad said workfor someone else. We're for yourself, and David got me the book andthe next day I met a couple of angel investors by accident. I didn'tknow who that. They were Angel Investors, and they essentially said we love you, let's start a company. Here's Fiftyzero Bucks. We were off andwe started a music tastemaking company. was like a miniature radio online and asI was marketing that, my aunt said, you know, you're really good atmarketing, that would you come and consult this project I'm working on willpay you a lot of money, more money than you're making, and youknow, you can say goodbye to the music industry, and that sound reallygood to me. Mark so she put me on the Walmart Account. Nice, nice way to start. Yeah, that was pretty lucky. And andyou know, I came at that. This is again two thousand and sevennow. So this was okay, so, marketers, we're going to nerve itout for a second here. This was Walmart and all of their franchisesand IRS and united where way worldwide and all of their franchises, Plus Bankof America, and there's an atnt in there's. So there was almost twentyzeropeople involved by the end of the project who all wanted to help promote therewas a good cause. It was to help lift the poor out of povertythrough financial education and Walmart owns some software that was helping with this. SoI came in and thought, okay, I I worked at IBM before andI just when Lotus notes had come through, and I had worked at XM andI there was no cloud. There were servers and then there was amirror of the servers over in another state, right. But I saw how hardand important it was to have all these naming conventions, of all thesongs tagged in the METADATA and how people all over, not just in thebuilding but all over the country, were collaborating in our cloud right, andwhat that needed to look like. And so I built a spreadsheet that becamethe cloud for the Walmart Project and my spreadsheet system ended up getting us ahundred thirty percent sent rl year over year for three years. Amazing though.Thanks. Yeah, you stumbled into Walmart feared out. This system became massidlysuccessful and then word did lately come from because it was your idea. Imean you had this thing going, you had at you, you kind ofhad this germination of an idea. Tell me the story of that, becauseit's you work for IBM, but I take it you're not a techy more. You know. Then, I mean, how do you go from that thento this AI driven machine? I...

...mean, my big mouth, youknow, again, like the reason that those angel investors invested in me isbecause I was yammering on about I was taking to task a pretty famous musicindustry critique, critic loudly, with, you know, all the cursing thatI do, and they were I think they thought I had some balls,basically, and the same thing when I walked into the Walmart project. Ibasically, not even basically, but I don't Polish. Is Not my giftmark, and so I was like if this is a freaking mess. Youknow, it was what I kind of said. And then I was ata dinner one night and I, you know, I was doing the samething, just having my big mouth and somebody said, you know, youshould really meet my friend Steve. And so okay, WHO's this Steve?And I didn't have time for Steve, but it he was harassed. Alwaysa Steve, you know, there's always a steve right there. My Stevedoesn't work turtlenecks, so in fact he's in Puerto Rico right now, probablywearing a tshirt. So he was in this world. He was a serialentrepreneur. He was a former CTEO chief technical officer and then also an angelinvestor. I don't know any of this world at all. And he keptasking to see my spreadsheets because now I had an agency and I was usingthis system for all my clients and I found him very annoying and but hehe was nice, though, and he would like stought he was driving bymy house. He would drive from New York to Vermont and he would just, you know, say can I come by for beer, and we wouldhave them for dinner. So he's kind of like making himself around and hestarted to say, you know, we just need twenty fivezero dollars, wecan automate your spreadsheets and built some wire frames and I was like, okay, first of all don't touch my spreadsheets. Pretty crazy, you're brananas, becauseI like it a it took me so long to imagine the world Iwas in. You know, I was a consultant, of consultant now andand the timing was so good, by the way mark, because I wasreally I had I had to fire a client and I didn't have the ballsto because they owed me so much money and I needed to get out ofthe situation. So here I have eve giving me this nudge right, andhe also was like we I didn't know what automation meant and I didn't knowwhat wire frames were. Oh and the twenty Fivezeros. Like you know,I was a line cook for a bunch of years before radio. Like makingmoney wasn't you know, my gift, and I just thought he was crazy, totally crazy. We'd saved, both both me and my husband, bothmusic industry people, had saved like crazy to buy our first house, whichis what we were doing, and Steve ended up taking the twenty fivezero outof his own pocket and bringing in Jason, my other cofounder, to my houseone night on you'll relate to this. Like I was a consultant, andso I got vacation when my clients Gooti vacation. So it was Christmasand I was on vacation and it was Sunday at eight o'clock at night andthey wanted to come by and I had two glasses of wine in me alreadyand I was pissed. It's time. It's a negotiate the launch of anew company, I know right. And then I saw what they built andI was like, Oh, Steve says. I was much nicer to him afterthat, I guess. We talked about being becoming an accidental entrepreneur andthen becoming an accidental, be to be SASS entrepreneur. It's a great story, you know, and it's an amazing to see how lately has evolved fromyou your perspective as somebody who's had a very varied background. What are thebig what are some of the biggest challenges of running a fast growing company personallyand professionally? That's the best question really. I mean the so, the thebiggest job is I've got fifty houses...

...on fire at any time and myjob is to figure out which one's gets the water right and oftentimes I don'tget to put out the whole fire. I just get to like dribble alittle bit, right, and so that's the that's the most difficult day dayto day task, which I'm sure you can relate to. And those,those fires get to be more what's the word? The weight of the decisionis harder, you know, with the more investors you have and and teamand all the all the thing that's weighing down on you. You know,I think the professionally like the the failure. You know, I'm we were talkingabout this in the beginning. There's a manic addiction to being an entrepreneur, which is the highs are high and the lows are low, right,and I I clearly love it. I mean I love all the lawlessness ofbeing a line cook and being in radio and being in this world. Right, that's a thing I like. I thought I found the end of myrope two or three times and it keeps getting farther, you know, andI'm always sort of amazed. I'll tell you. I'll tell you story,if you don't mind. So a couple years ago I had to we'd raisetwo point seven million dollars, all from angels and I was going for myfirst venture round, right, so a little bit different of around and Iwas trying to learn how to walk this talk and do all the pitching andeverything. And that's when all that data came out that said that female foundersonly get two percent of all the venture capital funding and all of the Shenanigansand how the goal posts move and gas lighting, and one of my investorssaid this is how this is what's happening to you right now, this iswhy you're it's not working, and I was stunted and and then it allbecame clear that that's what was happening and it was sucked and so I hadno choice but to pull the burn of the company back from one hundred thousanddollars a month to ten thousand dollars a month. Wow, it's a lotof people who didn't pick take a paycheck right. And I spent the yeardoubling sales and I landed sap and Anheuser, Bush and Bev and I got usinto we got Gary V and then we got into a very wellknown,respected accelerator in in San Francisco, which aason Calicanas. So now I'm flyingout to San Francisco once a week, every week to do a live demoday for four months. I do this. This is crazy, breakneck Shenanigan's right. I come out of that mark. I win the final Demo Day.I's the one to win because you brag about your growth. Right.I'm in the top three of the class and I have that term sheet I'vebeen chasing for two years. I got one and the world exploded and Iboy did I cry. I cried. I'm simplifying it really, but likeI cried for a while because the feeling to me was, oh good,I filed twice, you know, and it feels bad right now. Itfeels really bad. But then I grew the company two hundred and fifty sixpercent over eleven months. So it's that. That's that of the Baboom, dumbright. You know. Well, you know it's been an intrition.You're for a lot of companies. I mean, maybe I'll tell you astory back, please see I make you feel better. So I have afriend of mine. He's been a lifelong friend of mine and he's as Sassentrepreneur. He's been twining for twenty years to be successful and he's tried allkinds of things and some of them have been successful and some not so much. Last year he's about to sell his company and he's at the finish line. It's the final papers and he is wife or not going to be superrich, but they'll be rich enough. COVID hits and deal falls apart andhe's crushed emotionally physically. You know, he's like you. He's a hardworking entrepreneur. He's both a company up. So he says, I got togo back to the table. So it goes back to the table andhe built sales this year and he does...

...really well and he's just sold acompany for double with the the private equity person offered him to lash g year. So that's great. Thank you. That's that's what I need to hear. Thank you. Well, you've a tremendous year, obviously, and Ithink in some respects the rising tie the lifts all digital ships and some companieshave done better than others and some are going to growth won't be as spectacularabout it'll be good and for other companies maybe like lately, it will begood. What I'm curious about this is it is probably not a fair question. When you look at the landscape, the marketing landscape right now it doesn'tlook like there's going to be in person conferences for most of two thousand andtwenty one, if not early two thousand and twenty two. I mean it, things are a bit different up here in Canada because we're for lockdown littlemore. A lot of companies going to spend a lot of money on contentmarketing and social media. How do you see that evolving this year? Thosetwo killers, and what does that mean for lately? Yeah, so,I mean the thing I've been pushing for a long time is, after thefact, marketing right, getting butts and seats is really hard, and it'sI mean not because of Covid, even it was harder before. Right,even at any marketing conference that I've been to, it's the same conference everyyear. I mean that gets pretty boring and itself. And but, butif you want to get the eyeballs exponentially, you take apart all of those workshopsand panels, find the ten, twenty, thirty, sixty two manymovie trailers and use them to drive traffic either back to the long form orback to the next event. Right. And this what's interesting to me,mark, is like, so, what covid did for us is created amind shift. It was already there, but people were forced to figure outhow to try new things right. That's been part of it. And theafter the fact marketing has been big and mean. So think about how youdigest radio now. You don't do it live. Probably you hear it onspotify and you digest it at will whenever you want. Same with TV,right, not live. And so we as a company for the last sixyears we stopped promoting our own live events except for the twenty four hours beforehand. We do one the day before and one the hour before, because anythingelse we found fell on flat ears because people are just too busy. Butif I take it apart afterwards and then use that, all these little atomizedbits right to drive traffic, I end up getting six, seven times moreleads than I would get then the butts and seats right. So this isthe effect we're already seeing them having, you know, across as far asthe conference land sape goes, I think the other thing that's changing is thisthe control right. So, like a big companies, marketers and CMOS especiallythe control that they've been wanting to have and maybe having to have. Youcan see it. You can literally see it slipping through their fingers. It'snot working anymore because people respond to people, and believe me, I get myfriend Brian Kramer is the one who said h t h, there's nomore BDC and beat beats all human to human. And that's true, althoughof course, when you're talking to a larger company they don't care how niceyou are. Yes, but the talking heads at the company, what ifthey say our hour wardly, the sanitized stuff isn't working anymore and they're quickly, not even not quickly, but they're more what's the word I'm looking forthere? It's it's a more accepted that that style is not only antiquated butlike actively killing you. It's actively killing you in the brand because of thecontrols that lately does allow the collaboration to let more voices be part of thatconversation in the microphone. That's the other...

...thing we're seeing acceptance on, aswell as like to give how I say this to I don't need to bethe only one on the magazine, the cover of the magazine. You canbe and Lauren can be and Chris can be, and that's what that's whatI'm seeing other companies do as well as like give more voices that microphone.If I understand correctly, lately has always been a remote company. Is thattrue? Yeah, always. I had a conversation Bundy. So had aconversation with an entrepreneur last week at the first question he asked me was whatare you hearing from your clients about returning to the office, because he's beenworking remotely for a year, and my answer was nothing. My clients aren'ttalking about it, they're not thinking about it. I mean they can seethe light at the end of tunnel, but it's so it's not terribly tangibleright now. So I'm wondering if you're an entrepreneur and you're not quite sureyour and your employees are happy and productive working from home and you but you'vegot this office space that make spire in a little bit, what's your adviceto them in terms of how you manage your people effectively when you can't seethem other than on a zoom call? Yeah, so it's a good questionbecause every people do have different needs and we've hired people that don't have thatneed on purpose. Right so people who very much are wild horses can runautonomously. I mean this was, this is a huge part of our culture, fit, you might say, but also mark, like we've trained peopleto be able to give you that hug over zoom right, you know,from the beginning, because we know that that's part of the evangelism kind ofthing. Right. I personally am the kind of person that eats lunch standingup at the fridge. If I eat lunch, you know, it's awaste of my time. I save my that's that's how I am. SoI hate the water cooler and because I feel like it is a waste oftime. I'm always trying to think about how I can get something done ifI'm sitting somewhere or, you know, focus. And so I think likefirst understanding who on your there are always broadcasters and fans in the world,right, and there's sometimes you're both. There's nothing wrong with being either one, but you have to understand who your employees are and where they fall.Fall there I think equipping them with there's there's things to quit people with,like, for example, if you're going to be doing zoom calls all daylong, it's not enough to look for women. Let's just say everybody wantsto look pretty and people are buying more cover up and self tanner. Imean this is a known fact, right. But also, how can you lookat the camera differently? This is what we do. Like Lauren isactually always lacking me. She's like, you have bitch face on, smileright, because it's about sales and you know, all that kind of stuff. If you're doing a loom, loom videos or for your customers, areyou looking at the camera here? Is it over here? This is thekind of stuff that that we've learned to translate from before and to force people, by the way, on the other side, to have their camera on. Look, we don't. This is being from the beginning. We don'ttake a meeting if you're going to bring in your phone driving right, right, that's that's just the zeal and. It doesn't matter if there's a demoor not. But like, if you if you can't take the time tolook me in the eyeballs, then you know you're not going to be ourcustomers. For those companies, I think like there's some cost stuff involved,right, mark, you know, you have to think about like what thatvalue is. But some people really need the change of scenery and the changeof past to get something done. They can't. They they can't be distractedby all the things at home, and there's nothing wrong with that. I'mreally curious to see WHO's going to make it and WHO's not. You know, who's going to be able to what people are saying. They have zoomfatigue. That's because they're having cocktails with their family on zoom and friends.Stop that. But I'm I'm curious and...

I guess you'd have to really start, start to listen to people and find out, you know, what they'rewhat their social needs are. To people we are, I'm kind of I'mnot an introvert by any means, but like, I don't like. I'mnot in retail for a reason. I hate. I hate people. Don'ttell anybody. So I'm glad. You know when I shut this thing offat the end of the day, I mean my husband, we watch TVat night on eat dinner like that, because I already talked all day.You know, I don't want to talk anymore. You know, it's goingto be interesting because there are some people who like me, probably like you, who like working at home doing what you want, and there's some peoplewho need that social interaction. And and I think. I think particularly youngerpeople who that social networking is really important to them and that interconnectivity and theopportunities to rise in the ranks. They feel that they got to be closeto the boss. That may be more import to them than older people,but I think it's going to be really fascinating here. I think it's goingto obviously be very exciting. Your for lately. Sorry, really, it'sa tribute. So. So we do have an off site every year.That's our one like gathering time, and it's here at my house and everybodycomes and they spend the night on the floor downstairs with their sleeping bags andwe're like between seventeen and sixty two, so we're not all young, right, and we do a crazy thing together, like we went skeet shooting or zipliningand we cook a meal and there's there's no work talk, but it'sit's the most fun time of the year. Enjoy it well you can, becauseat some point in time you may have to buy either buy a biggerhouse. I know that would be crazy. Oh Yeah, and you just remindme in one more thing I want to say, which is so Iconnect with all my team on social which might be weird if you're CEO,is your friend on Facebook, but I am an instagram and everywhere else,and the reason I do that is because, because I'm not there in that watercooler, I can't see people what they're dealing with. Now online Ican, so I know when you know it's the history, it's the anniversaryof somebody's father's death. You know, and I know not to bust thatguy's balls this week. We're all going to use different tools and different waysto connect with people. But yeah, the future is whatever you want tomake it to be and we'll see what happens in two thousand and twenty one. Listen, this has been a great conversation. At the top of theshow I told people that this would be a podcast that happens in twenty fiveminutes or less, but you have broken my Aurle I know, I know, you now have the distinct honor of being the longest talking person on mypodcast in the last year, but I'll let you off this time. JobHazard Yeah, yeah, exactly. Well, yeah, you've got a hey,this has been great. We had a few bumps along the road tryingto get this interview arranged. There's another Mark Evans apparently out there who's talkingyour email. I don't know what's going on. One final question. Wherecan people learn about lately and yourself? You're adult mark. They can learnabout us that DUB DUB DUB dot lately dot ai and and me and andlately were in all the places at lately ai and we're very friendly. Asyou know, we're also a little wacky. Thanks for listening to other episode ofmarketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, leave a review and subscribeby Itunes or your favorite podcast APP. For show notes of today's conversation andinformation about Kate, Visit Marketing Spark Dot Cola blog. If you'd like tosuggest a guest or learn more about how I help me to be companies asa fractional CMOS priggick advisor and coach. Send an email to mark a marketingspark dotcom. I'll talk to you next time. I.

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