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 to marketing spark, the podcast and delivers insight from marketers and entrepreneurs in the trenches in twenty five minutes or less. When I started my consulting business in two thousand and eight one of my first clients with sistemos. When I went to see it softwork, I was blown away by how it could monitor social media activity on facebook and twitter. It was, at the time, mind blow. When you heard about lately, it was Dejavo all over again. It's technology which turns content into social media updates is impressive and its customer growth has been 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 it feels 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 of it. You know you want to be in the club. And all the time that I've been doing marketing for BB SASS companies, I can't I can't say I've been blown away that often, once in a while you come across a service and you go man, this is super impressive, in fact so impressive I wish I was working for this company. But, and that's the thing that I got when I saw lately, it really is a prettiest, downy piece of software, and that's why I was so excited to have you on the podcast to really get into the platform and your story, which is very interesting, talk about your view of social media and content marketing and all the things that are impacting marketing these days. Why don't we start by talking about what 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 lot of companies see it, an agencies for that matter, it's a must have. Yeah, well, thank you. First of all. Thank you so much all of those super nice compliments there. I'm absorbing than their washing all over me. 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's writing or audio or video, and you push a button inside lately and lately instantly atomizes that content into sometimes hundreds of different social posts. Now the sexier part that's happening in the background that you don't see is it's also studying all of your analytics across any social talent you connect to its brain and it's looking for the highest engaging posts that you have and then it builds a writing model based on literally the DNA the words that make up those posts, and it's applying that same writing model to the lung form content you feed it. So before it atomizes, it's choosing which things to pull out right, and that's how 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 really smart 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 the interesting 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 companies are applying ai to their technology. And this is a tough question for you to 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 choices out there and I'm sure there's other tools that may do something similar. Can you explain the phenomena? But I love being called a phenomena. I think it's to two things. Number One, we've been at this for a long time. Market didn't happen overnight and we've been banging our heads against the wall even to make sure we were describing how what we're selling, and you guys just heard me describe it and it's not easy and I'm not really that good at it, but believe me, I'm so much better than I was last year or the year before, and part of that is because we watched our customers to see which part of the platform you guys were all using to give us information. Right, and it's a...

...very robust platform, and the thing that people kept gravitating into was this atomizing component, component, right, and so that was interesting to us and people liked it and we were we were only doing it with text, right, so you could pop in a link to 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 had covid at the same time here. Right. So first thing that happened was Gary v saw lately in that form. He'd seen it before, but he saw in that form and instantly built his his twitter channel to team Gary v out of that. So now I didn't have to tell people what I did anymore. I could show them. That was big. Right. Number two was, I mean we it's scale the UNSCALABLE. This is what Gary says and he's right. We do everything the hard way, because the hard way is what works. Mark. Right. So there's a reason when you met but 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 I know how to make evangelists. You know, we were talking about this off air our second ago, but I used to be a rock and roll DJ and 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 fans evangelists. They do the hard work for you. Right. So we figured early on as a small company, I don't have a big budget, to spend on marketing. How am I going to make the noise I need to make one by one, right, and that's what we've done. So the community around us is really driving the ship. Well, also help to have Gary V as as an is realist. I mean that's that's a small community and a Gary v then then you're well off. Now maybe, and I've got background information. So I'm looking to tell the story about the way that he'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 of ammunition that he can or a lot of fuel that he can feed into the lately, you know, machine. But maybe give a little bit of a few details about how he is using it and with the difference that it's made on his marketing machine. Yeah, I mean, you know, it's interesting. Is So gary doesn't need lately, to be honest, right. They he has his own army, but he's clearly a poster boy for lately because his advice to you and me and everyone else is to repurpose and take your long firm content and and atomize it, right, and so he knows that and though it's interesting. I was just talking to their team now because we're trying to figure out like, actually, what is the use case for team Gary v when he's not really might target? You know, they do see a twelvezero percent increase in engagement and that's so much because the more you teach the AI and the more you give it, the faster it can learn. But also because there's that pain of unlock mark, right, and you have this pain. I certainly had it. Just imagine the time it takes free to 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 in right 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 like that unlock ideal, like how do we not just toss into the wind the time 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 infinitely more valuable than butts and seats, right, and Gary knows that also. That's why he atomizes his content like crazy and he's trying to milk it for every you know, everything it's worth. I think of it as like of like garlic, like I was just chopping...

...garlic last night and I every little bit that is on my knife has to make it into the pan. You know, 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's that's personally why as as well, and you know, as we've been growing the 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 the larger company so that there can be a time where I can create a long tail 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 want and 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 both a long tail of that smaller customer and then there's the larger customer, like all of the venor meter clients, right, and we have these client, both of 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 who is lately's customer? You know, it does vary from small, medium and large customers. It's not micro customers, micromarketers, right. But yeah, so it's the learning experience. As you can tell, it's ever present and slightly overwhelming. Well, that's the thing about being an entrepreneur is it's a classic line. Be careful what you wish for, because it might happen, right, and we might. It does remind me of SYSTEMOS. So when sistemos came out of the University of Toronto, there was a tenure professor and are Super Smart PhD student and they developed this technology. And now, as we got this better mousetrap like food, do we sell it to? And in their case they went to PR agencies who had clients and the clients wanted to 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 tool as 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, and that'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 enterprise customers? Is it guys like Gary v who are one man bands? I mean, do you have an ideal customer right now, or is it basically anybody who can pat the bills? Yeah, so we just went through this and we 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 is the personality the customer. So we lately again is very robust platform. It's not just a one trick pony, and the reason we did that is so that we kind of appeal to all these customers. So we have what I call social animals, so that is that one man or one woman band who not only creates content and has, you know it on Nauseum, but the pain and the pain of unlocking, but also someone who's publishing on twitter or Linkedin like several times a day every day. Right. So those are one kind of customer. We work with agencies as well, because we give them a lot of ability to publish across all the places and marketing on planning and all those kinds of things and analytics, but really easy for them to have a 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 easy for them to bounce in and out. But our larger customers mark are people that really want to do marketing for other employees in the company who don't know a 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, anyone who wants to talk about the company and...

...social but doesn't want to make a mistake, and then the autogeneration can literally publish that content on their behalf without the member having to deal with it, or it can give them the ability to edit and customize as they like. So that's how we are able to sell tens hundreds thousands of licenses into a single company and we mark for them all the same way, by the way, right, right. So that's the that'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. Now there's two angles here. One is the backstory of you, the big time Dj, like how did that happen? Where did you start that kind of thing? And the other thing is that, from what I've heard lately, isn't a company that was created by a couple of geeky engineers working in a basement fuel by Red Bull. This is a different type of founder story, which I find to be snaty, particularly on today. We were recording this this episode International Woman's Day, so this is this is the timing is pretty good. Talk about both stories. I mean you've got two careers, both super 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 have that special gift of seeing the glass, you know, half empty. But yeah, 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 forty seven, so you know I'm old enough to have albums, and meaning you know everything from rock to folk to Blues reggae. You know that kind of mix. 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 theater of 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 DJ or as a host, the programmer, to make you feel like you have a 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 about the 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 before in order to place that new song in your memory, branks into your library and your brain, and when it does that, it immediately taps into nostalgia. Right. So this rush of emotion comes forward when you when you hear music, because it's your brain is looking for the familiar touch points to know where to put that song. And your voice is a frequency. So when you hear me or when you read the text I wrote or the text someone else wrote, you hear their voice in their head, your head, right, same idea in your brain is looking to put in some context, make it familiar. And this is all sales and marketing. I'm trying to sell you 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 ties into our ai right, as you can see so from from radio. So here 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 did other 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 sexually harassed every day. My one of the...

...things my boss would always say to me was, Hey, Bradley, are your hands clean, meaning can you hold my Dick? Will Ipee. Yeah, real talk here, right, and even 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 family and friends, like you know, this is so stressful. You know, my my boss would like be yelling at me in the little sound booth and like I would just absorb it, you know, and not yelling at me, but yet yelling about whatever going on. It was just so tense and my body was starting to shout at me. And have I had all these ailments. I was incapacitated. Eventually I couldn't type at all without any pain, without extreme pain, like debilitating pain, and this is a long story, 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. So I got I learned about dragon naturally speaking, which is the voice activating software I used today. I don't type today, I use my voice is in that ironic I'm still talking and French rest. So I learned how to use it and Xam didn't believe me because my hands look fine, didn't look like there was something wrong, and people didn't know about Epi, kind of Lightis and tendon I is really and so I moved to another music company and it was the same thing, another boys club, and nobody believed me that something was wrong with me. And I cried a lot. I was really angry and scared and frustrated and I didn't know what to do. And my dad had enough and one day he I was just crying uncontrollably. I used to smoke a lot of cigarettes. To those you know, I was like pig pen, 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 work for other people. There's no shame in that. And so a light went on, obviously, and I thought, Oh oh, there's another way. Did Not know that. And my husband was so thoughtful of my boyfriend at the time. He went out to the bookstore and bought me Guy Kawasaki's out of the start. Do that book. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It is really interesting to see how people fall into entrepreneurship. Some people are not real entrepreneurs right from the get they've got lemonade stands. They're fine time 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. Different is it's not by design. I never thought I'd be an entrepreneur. I was a journalist. I love being a journalist and something, and then I wasn't a journalist anymore. I was an entrepreneur. Do you find, like I, 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 people who see something I don't see and I I need them to point it out to 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 an employee, like getting a paycheck. It was all good, and then I got 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 I would become a consultant. And she said, and the word she said to me I'm always remember that. She said, well, why don't you make three months severance last for six months? Ha, ha ha, your own thing, and that's what I did. It's it's that idea. Is like working for people. I'm not sure if...

...the people you're working for we're assholes or not, but like that was a light bulb to me. is like the the literally the pain of working for for in an environment where that was happening, versus the quote pain of not knowing where your next paycheck was coming from. The first one was was way worse, right, whereas for some people, well, that's not the case. It's terrifying to not know where your paychecks 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 always on great highs and great lows, and like you can't handle it, then do something else. Get A paycheck. You went from from that and your boyfriend, soontobe husband said do something else. What happened, because I eventually you ended up doing marketing. How did you go from DJ to marketing? Was it by design or do you just kind of fall into it? More falling? Yeah, so, so that week, so my dad said work for someone else. We're for yourself, and David got me the book and the next day I met a couple of angel investors by accident. I didn't know 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 and we started a music tastemaking company. was like a miniature radio online and as I was marketing that, my aunt said, you know, you're really good at marketing, that would you come and consult this project I'm working on will pay you a lot of money, more money than you're making, and you know, you can say goodbye to the music industry, and that sound really good to me. Mark so she put me on the Walmart Account. Nice, nice way to start. Yeah, that was pretty lucky. And and you know, I came at that. This is again two thousand and seven now. So this was okay, so, marketers, we're going to nerve it out for a second here. This was Walmart and all of their franchises and IRS and united where way worldwide and all of their franchises, Plus Bank of America, and there's an atnt in there's. So there was almost twentyzero people involved by the end of the project who all wanted to help promote there was a good cause. It was to help lift the poor out of poverty through financial education and Walmart owns some software that was helping with this. So I came in and thought, okay, I I worked at IBM before and I just when Lotus notes had come through, and I had worked at XM and I there was no cloud. There were servers and then there was a mirror of the servers over in another state, right. But I saw how hard and important it was to have all these naming conventions, of all the songs tagged in the METADATA and how people all over, not just in the building but all over the country, were collaborating in our cloud right, and what that needed to look like. And so I built a spreadsheet that became the cloud for the Walmart Project and my spreadsheet system ended up getting us a hundred thirty percent sent rl year over year for three years. Amazing though. Thanks. Yeah, you stumbled into Walmart feared out. This system became massidly successful and then word did lately come from because it was your idea. I mean you had this thing going, you had at you, you kind of had this germination of an idea. Tell me the story of that, because it'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 then to this AI driven machine? I...

...mean, my big mouth, you know, again, like the reason that those angel investors invested in me is because I was yammering on about I was taking to task a pretty famous music industry critique, critic loudly, with, you know, all the cursing that I do, and they were I think they thought I had some balls, basically, and the same thing when I walked into the Walmart project. I basically, not even basically, but I don't Polish. Is Not my gift mark, and so I was like if this is a freaking mess. You know, it was what I kind of said. And then I was at a dinner one night and I, you know, I was doing the same thing, just having my big mouth and somebody said, you know, you should 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. Always a Steve, you know, there's always a steve right there. My Steve doesn't work turtlenecks, so in fact he's in Puerto Rico right now, probably wearing a tshirt. So he was in this world. He was a serial entrepreneur. He was a former CTEO chief technical officer and then also an angel investor. I don't know any of this world at all. And he kept asking to see my spreadsheets because now I had an agency and I was using this system for all my clients and I found him very annoying and but he he was nice, though, and he would like stought he was driving by my house. He would drive from New York to Vermont and he would just, you know, say can I come by for beer, and we would have them for dinner. So he's kind of like making himself around and he started to say, you know, we just need twenty fivezero dollars, we can 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, because I like it a it took me so long to imagine the world I was in. You know, I was a consultant, of consultant now and and the timing was so good, by the way mark, because I was really I had I had to fire a client and I didn't have the balls to because they owed me so much money and I needed to get out of the situation. So here I have eve giving me this nudge right, and he also was like we I didn't know what automation meant and I didn't know what wire frames were. Oh and the twenty Fivezeros. Like you know, I was a line cook for a bunch of years before radio. Like making money wasn't you know, my gift, and I just thought he was crazy, totally crazy. We'd saved, both both me and my husband, both music industry people, had saved like crazy to buy our first house, which is what we were doing, and Steve ended up taking the twenty fivezero out of his own pocket and bringing in Jason, my other cofounder, to my house one night on you'll relate to this. Like I was a consultant, and so I got vacation when my clients Gooti vacation. So it was Christmas and I was on vacation and it was Sunday at eight o'clock at night and they wanted to come by and I had two glasses of wine in me already and I was pissed. It's time. It's a negotiate the launch of a new company, I know right. And then I saw what they built and I was like, Oh, Steve says. I was much nicer to him after that, I guess. We talked about being becoming an accidental entrepreneur and then 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 from you your perspective as somebody who's had a very varied background. What are the big what are some of the biggest challenges of running a fast growing company personally and professionally? That's the best question really. I mean the so, the the biggest job is I've got fifty houses...

...on fire at any time and my job is to figure out which one's gets the water right and oftentimes I don't get to put out the whole fire. I just get to like dribble a little bit, right, and so that's the that's the most difficult day day to 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 decision is harder, you know, with the more investors you have and and team and 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 talking about 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 of being 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 my rope two or three times and it keeps getting farther, you know, and I'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 raise two point seven million dollars, all from angels and I was going for my first venture round, right, so a little bit different of around and I was trying to learn how to walk this talk and do all the pitching and everything. And that's when all that data came out that said that female founders only get two percent of all the venture capital funding and all of the Shenanigans and how the goal posts move and gas lighting, and one of my investors said this is how this is what's happening to you right now, this is why you're it's not working, and I was stunted and and then it all became clear that that's what was happening and it was sucked and so I had no choice but to pull the burn of the company back from one hundred thousand dollars a month to ten thousand dollars a month. Wow, it's a lot of people who didn't pick take a paycheck right. And I spent the year doubling sales and I landed sap and Anheuser, Bush and Bev and I got us into 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 flying out to San Francisco once a week, every week to do a live demo day 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've been chasing for two years. I got one and the world exploded and I boy did I cry. I cried. I'm simplifying it really, but like I cried for a while because the feeling to me was, oh good, I filed twice, you know, and it feels bad right now. It feels really bad. But then I grew the company two hundred and fifty six percent over eleven months. So it's that. That's that of the Baboom, dumb right. You know. Well, you know it's been an intrition. You're for a lot of companies. I mean, maybe I'll tell you a story back, please see I make you feel better. So I have a friend of mine. He's been a lifelong friend of mine and he's as Sass entrepreneur. He's been twining for twenty years to be successful and he's tried all kinds 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 super rich, but they'll be rich enough. COVID hits and deal falls apart and he's crushed emotionally physically. You know, he's like you. He's a hard working entrepreneur. He's both a company up. So he says, I got to go back to the table. So it goes back to the table and he built sales this year and he does...

...really well and he's just sold a company 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 I think in some respects the rising tie the lifts all digital ships and some companies have done better than others and some are going to growth won't be as spectacular about it'll be good and for other companies maybe like lately, it will be good. 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't look like there's going to be in person conferences for most of two thousand and twenty 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 little more. A lot of companies going to spend a lot of money on content marketing and social media. How do you see that evolving this year? Those two killers, and what does that mean for lately? Yeah, so, I mean the thing I've been pushing for a long time is, after the fact, marketing right, getting butts and seats is really hard, and it's I 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 every year. I mean that gets pretty boring and itself. And but, but if you want to get the eyeballs exponentially, you take apart all of those workshops and panels, find the ten, twenty, thirty, sixty two many movie trailers and use them to drive traffic either back to the long form or back to the next event. Right. And this what's interesting to me, mark, is like, so, what covid did for us is created a mind shift. It was already there, but people were forced to figure out how to try new things right. That's been part of it. And the after the fact marketing has been big and mean. So think about how you digest radio now. You don't do it live. Probably you hear it on spotify and you digest it at will whenever you want. Same with TV, right, not live. And so we as a company for the last six years 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 anything else we found fell on flat ears because people are just too busy. But if I take it apart afterwards and then use that, all these little atomized bits right to drive traffic, I end up getting six, seven times more leads than I would get then the butts and seats right. So this is the effect we're already seeing them having, you know, across as far as the conference land sape goes, I think the other thing that's changing is this the control right. So, like a big companies, marketers and CMOS especially the control that they've been wanting to have and maybe having to have. You can see it. You can literally see it slipping through their fingers. It's not working anymore because people respond to people, and believe me, I get my friend Brian Kramer is the one who said h t h, there's no more BDC and beat beats all human to human. And that's true, although of course, when you're talking to a larger company they don't care how nice you are. Yes, but the talking heads at the company, what if they 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 for there? It's it's a more accepted that that style is not only antiquated but like actively killing you. It's actively killing you in the brand because of the controls that lately does allow the collaboration to let more voices be part of that conversation in the microphone. That's the other...

...thing we're seeing acceptance on, as well as like to give how I say this to I don't need to be the only one on the magazine, the cover of the magazine. You can be and Lauren can be and Chris can be, and that's what that's what I'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 that true? Yeah, always. I had a conversation Bundy. So had a conversation with an entrepreneur last week at the first question he asked me was what are you hearing from your clients about returning to the office, because he's been working remotely for a year, and my answer was nothing. My clients aren't talking about it, they're not thinking about it. I mean they can see the light at the end of tunnel, but it's so it's not terribly tangible right now. So I'm wondering if you're an entrepreneur and you're not quite sure your and your employees are happy and productive working from home and you but you've got this office space that make spire in a little bit, what's your advice to them in terms of how you manage your people effectively when you can't see them other than on a zoom call? Yeah, so it's a good question because every people do have different needs and we've hired people that don't have that need on purpose. Right so people who very much are wild horses can run autonomously. I mean this was, this is a huge part of our culture, fit, you might say, but also mark, like we've trained people to 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 of thing. Right. I personally am the kind of person that eats lunch standing up at the fridge. If I eat lunch, you know, it's a waste of my time. I save my that's that's how I am. So I hate the water cooler and because I feel like it is a waste of time. I'm always trying to think about how I can get something done if I'm sitting somewhere or, you know, focus. And so I think like first 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 day long, it's not enough to look for women. Let's just say everybody wants to look pretty and people are buying more cover up and self tanner. I mean this is a known fact, right. But also, how can you look at the camera differently? This is what we do. Like Lauren is actually always lacking me. She's like, you have bitch face on, smile right, 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, are you looking at the camera here? Is it over here? This is the kind 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't take 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 demo or not. But like, if you if you can't take the time to look me in the eyeballs, then you know you're not going to be our customers. For those companies, I think like there's some cost stuff involved, right, mark, you know, you have to think about like what that value is. But some people really need the change of scenery and the change of past to get something done. They can't. They they can't be distracted by all the things at home, and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm really 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 zoom fatigue. 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're what their social needs are. To people we are, I'm kind of I'm not an introvert by any means, but like, I don't like. I'm not in retail for a reason. I hate. I hate people. Don't tell anybody. So I'm glad. You know when I shut this thing off at the end of the day, I mean my husband, we watch TV at 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 going to 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 people who need that social interaction. And and I think. I think particularly younger people who that social networking is really important to them and that interconnectivity and the opportunities to rise in the ranks. They feel that they got to be close to 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 going to obviously be very exciting. Your for lately. Sorry, really, it's a 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 everybody comes and they spend the night on the floor downstairs with their sleeping bags and we'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 ziplining and we cook a meal and there's there's no work talk, but it's it's the most fun time of the year. Enjoy it well you can, because at some point in time you may have to buy either buy a bigger house. I know that would be crazy. Oh Yeah, and you just remind me in one more thing I want to say, which is so I connect 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 water cooler, I can't see people what they're dealing with. Now online I can, so I know when you know it's the history, it's the anniversary of somebody's father's death. You know, and I know not to bust that guy's balls this week. We're all going to use different tools and different ways to connect with people. But yeah, the future is whatever you want to make 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 the show I told people that this would be a podcast that happens in twenty five minutes 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 my podcast in the last year, but I'll let you off this time. Job Hazard Yeah, yeah, exactly. Well, yeah, you've got a hey, this has been great. We had a few bumps along the road trying to get this interview arranged. There's another Mark Evans apparently out there who's talking your email. I don't know what's going on. One final question. Where can people learn about lately and yourself? You're adult mark. They can learn about us that DUB DUB DUB dot lately dot ai and and me and and lately were in all the places at lately ai and we're very friendly. As you know, we're also a little wacky. Thanks for listening to other episode of marketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, leave a review and subscribe by Itunes or your favorite podcast APP. For show notes of today's conversation and information about Kate, Visit Marketing Spark Dot Cola blog. If you'd like to suggest a guest or learn more about how I help me to be companies as a fractional CMOS priggick advisor and coach. Send an email to mark a marketing spark dotcom. I'll talk to you next time. I.

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