Inbound Messaging Framework

Featuring Conversational Marketing Strategist, Brian Bagdasarian, and Inbound Professor, Jorie Monroe.

 
 
  • Hey there everyone, and welcome to today's masterclass on the inbound approach to one-on-one messaging. Today's class is presented by HubSpot Academy. HubSpot's official learning resource and worldwide leader in inbound marketing and sales education. Head to HubSpot, and head to hubspot.com and academy.hubspot.com to take advantage of our brand-new learning-format lessons, as well as free certification courses and tools to grow your business and your career. I'm Jorie Munroe, an Inbound Professor here at HubSpot Academy. For those of you that don't know me, I teach conversion, re-optimization and analytics for HubSpot Academy, and today, I'm joined with some who's got messaging on the mind. Brian Bagdasarian comes to HubSpot through our acquisition of Motion AI, where he continues to play an integral role in evangelizing this amazing new technology of conversational tools, and not just how marketers can use them, but how to make them really part of an inbound growth strategy. So, during this masterclass, we'll be asking you questions, and you'll be asking us questions. A bit of a disclaimer, Boston is now in the midst of a blizzard. So, if anyone of us lose internet or power, we'll make sure to do an encore broadcast, because this material is pretty exciting. So, feel free to comment on this Facebook video, or tweet with #HubSpotMasterclass, and we'll make sure we can get to as many questions as we can. So, just to start us off with a strong foundation, Brian, how would you define messaging?

    - Well, it's all messaging. But, let's just say, define conversation, as I'm sitting here in the set from Brady Bunch's opening credits.

    - Inbound Bunch.

    - Yeah, it's the Inbound Bunch.

    - So cool.

    - But it's actually, kind of, an interesting way to look at it, because what we really want to look at is, what is a conversation? A conversation, most of us understand that as being, essentially, two people talking to each other. But what a conversation actually is, if you look it up on Wikipedia, it's an interactive communication between two people, or two or more people. And if we take that as, sort of, our definition of conversation, then we are able to start to look at the fact that it's actually all messaging.

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - Now, I mean, Jorie, you and I have talked about this a lot, and when I first said it to you, I remember, you were like, "Hm." You were like, "Well, gee, Brian." But the reality is, it being all messaging, what that ends up meaning is that we're able to start to take that sort of worldview,

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - And then, start to look at, well, if it's all messaging, where do things become different? And that's part of why we're here today. So Jorie, you and I have been working for the last six months on this idea that we call the Inbound Messaging Framework.

    - [Jorie] Right.

    - And if you want to, kind of, touch on that, I can touch on it right now, but sort of the short version of it is, we take this idea that if it's all messaging, then the thing that changes is what channel we're actually have that conversation on. And we were able to start to build a framework, you know, build a box around how we are executing our inbound strategies while taking this into account.

    - Definitely, and I think that's such an important point, to consider all of the communication that users are having with their website visitors, prospects, potential customers as messaging, because it really starts to reshape, almost like a paradigm shift, for marketers, sales reps, services reps, on how we're creating those one-to-one relationships. And I know one thing that we've talked about before is that the way people are creating relationships, now that we have technology that creates these kind of conversational flow between two online parties, it's a lot easier to get back to that one-to-one relationship building way, if you will, that we've kind of gone away from in the past.

    - Exactly, you know, in that conversational data collection blog post on the HubSpot User Blog, from a few weeks ago, my opening line was,

    - Check it out, guys.

    - Yeah, check it out, HubSpot User Blog. It's called conversational data collection, talking data. The opening line to it was, since time began, when cavemen were trading fish they'd caught for shiny rocks, building one-to-one personal relationships has been core to sales and marketing. And that's absolutely true. And what's happened since then is, every other sort of innovation that's happened has been really based around this idea of, we don't have enough time as marketers to do that. We haven't had that ability, I guess is the way to put it. So, we started to create better ways of reaching a larger audience, and hopefully, because of using things like inbound and those strategies, we were able to talk to a large group of people that should, and what our messaging is, what we're saying to them, should be resonating with them, and that will attract them in. What we're now able to do with things like Chatbots, live chat, and this whole idea that it's all messaging, this conversational growth idea, what we're now able to do is marry the beauty of inbound, which is being able to really build a great idea of who it is that we want to be speaking to, but now, empower them to actually speak back. The end of the day, we all want to feel special. And at the end of the day, we all want to have that one-to-one relationship. That is why we build things like brand affinity. That's why we start to like the people that we work with, that we deal with, that we buy from, that we refer to. And Jorie, at the end of the day, isn't our goal really, as marketers and as sales people, and as support people, as everybody involved in growing a business, isn't our goal to, essentially, delight them?

    - Definitely.

    - To make them feel like they know us, and that they can have that same sort of relationship that they have with their friends and family.

    - Yeah, and that really speaks, I think, to the way that we think about inbound and those inbound principles, of being helpful, human, and holistic. So, I totally agree, it's definitely about taking, not just your visitors as, kind of, abstract numbers, that kind of fuels the machine, but to remember that these are people that you're working with, and that's one of the things that makes inbound so effective. So, we definitely break new ground when we start thinking of all communication as messaging. So, I think it's also important to take away the situational context that leads us to messaging, kind of taking off and developing, and that advance of that technology. Because when you think about it, communication has always gravitated towards speed. If you think of letter-writing. Letters gave way to the telegram, which in turn led to, like, the fax machine, and then there was email, and now we have messaging. So, why do you think that messaging and conversational tools, like bots, live chat, messaging apps, why are they gaining traction today?

    - Well, it's really simple. It's because, we have a slide for this, it's because it lets you deliver the right message to the right person with the right information at the right time, every single time. And that is the goal. That is what we really want to be trying to do, and we are now able to do, using this Inbound Messaging Framework and building conversational growth strategies that are still, you know, based strongly, and embrace in our symbiotic way, the overarching inbound, you know, ideas that we've had. That's why it is. Because if you're able to build a relationship on a one-to-one scenario, it doesn't matter what channel you're having that built on, and in fact, it's probably gonna cross a bunch of different channels. I mean, that's just normal, and we'll get into that in a little bit. But right message, right person, right information, right time, every single time, you do that, and guess what? People aren't just going to buy from you, work with you, or anything else, they're gonna freaking love you.

    - Right. And I think that also connects back to, we have a concept that we talk about a lot internally here at HubSpot, called time to live. So, could you expand, like, when someone says different channels or different tools have a different time to live, it's definitely, kind of, a borrowed term.

    - Yeah.

    - [Jorie] What are we referring to?

    - Yeah, so time to live, that was one of the first bits that I ever talked to you about. You looked at me like,

    - What? Yeah.

    - Once again, I've had a lot of these, Jorie, from you. Hm.

    - Like, are we sure? What's goin' on? Yep.

    - This is what time to live is. Time to live, in this context, there's another version of it, we're not gonna get into, but you may have heard of it, but time to live is the difference between how long you're willing to wait from when you send a message, and when you receive one back. Now, what does that mean? It means that, if I say hello, and let's say, Jorie, you and I are facing each other, we're in real-person, if you stared at me for a minute before you said hello, I'm gonna probably think you might have had, like, a stroke, okay?

    - Something's goin' on.

    - Something's not weird. We know, and we're conditioned to know, that, I say, "Hello," you're gonna say, "Hi." That's normal, with a very short time to live. Now, how does this work into play? Well, different channels. And, you know, let's kind of think what through these are. Channels like this, email is a channel, live, literally person-to-person, is a channel. Webchat is a channel, SMS is a channel. Honestly, things like letter-writing, snail mail, direct mail, fax machines, even your website, these are all channels.

    - And what every one of them has are two things: one, they have a different time to live. People are willing to wait a different amount of time before they would reasonably expect an answer back before, you know, they start to get annoyed, and then the second part of it is, each channel has certain strengths and certain weaknesses. And what you want to do when you're developing, you know, a conversational growth strategy, and you start to look at these as channels and looking at it as all messaging, is counterbalance the strengths of one channel with the weaknesses of the other, so that you're always able to leverage that out.

    - Definitely. And I think there's also another concept, that as people kind of approach the subject of messaging that is important to keep in mind, and that's shared knowledge. You know, we see it in the conversations tool that's coming out soon, the kind of universal shared inbox, but could you speak to, as people are kind of considering implementing messages of any type, you know.

    - What is shared knowledge?

    - Sure, well, let me ask you this: all you guys that are watching this, how many of you guys right now are using a CRM? Give us a like, or say CRM in the comments if you're using it.

    - Tell us you're listening.

    - Okay? So, that's what I want to know. Second thing is, how many of you guys are using a knowledge-base? If you are, put knowledge base, or put CRM and knowledge base. Let's see what happens here. Now, those are both examples of this idea of shared knowledge. Okay, why are we gonna talk about this? Well, let's back into where we're using it. Conversations, when we talk to people, when we're interacting with people, is all about collecting data, and then using that data to enrich the conversation. If I know when your birthday is, later on, when it's your birthday, what I wanna say is you and I, when we get together on your birthday, I say happy birthday. You know, no one likes to not be wished happy birthday when we know that. Well, you would know that if you collected that information, and then, you can reuse that. That happens in conversations, that also happens when we're using something like our CRM. We can use that information to build our conversations. Now, as we collect this information, you know, we all know how forms work, and forms are awesome, they are powerful, and they serve their purpose. But if you start to look at how we start to collect that information, in a conversation, how would I ask you, let's say, for your email address? Jorie, how would you ask me for my email address?

    - Probably, "Hey, what's your email address?"

    - Yeah, and I'd say, "Ah, it's bbagdasario@hubspot.com."

    - Simple.

    - Guess what you just did? You collected data. Now, if the next thing you wanted to know was something like, "How can I help you today?" And I said, "Well, I made an order last week, "and it was supposed to be here today, "and it hasn't arrived yet, can you tell me where it is?" Jorie, what information did we just get out of that?

    - You know, we got information about how we can, like, personalize the experience,

    - Right,

    - Specifically, what the job to be done is.

    - Right, here's what we know: we know that they are a customer, because they made an order. You have to be a customer to have made an order, right?

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - Now, second thing, we know that it was made last week. Unless you're an Amazon addict, odds are you're not ordering a thousand things a week, so, we can know that, from a time difference, when they're looking for, it's the last seven to 10 days. Okay? We know that they're reaching out to us because their order didn't arrive, which is, in fact, an order issue, and even more so, it's a shipping and delivery info, or issue. So, we just got all that information from one single sentence in a conversation.

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - Now, we put that into our shared-knowledge pool, and guess what else lives there? Because of, let's say, we have our knowledge base and our CRM set up right, among other things. Our shipping tools, our econ, whatever it may be. Well, we know that, from our knowledge base, internally or externally, that if something doesn't arrive on the day of, it can arrive, actually up 'til 6:00 p.m. That might be a reason. From the CRM, we know that their order's there, we can see that, so we can actually say, oh, you mean order 2351 for 5,000 gummy bears. Don't know why they'd order that, but hey.

    - You know.

    - They're not like everybody else.

    - It's fine.

    - Okay? So, we can say, oh, do you mean this order? We didn't have to ask them for, what did you order? Or what is your order number, because we know from the information they gave us what they're talking about, and because no matter who they're speaking with, whether it's a bot or a person, whether it's on live chat or it's via an email, or whatever, we know from our shared knowledge their order number, what they ordered, probably their tracking number. So, it's real simple. We're able to say, Okay, well fine. In fact, it's out for delivery right now. Do you want me to send you the tracking number so you can track it? That's conversational data that, now, is living in our shared knowledge. We're able to hit, you know, our knowledge base, let's say, internally, which is able to let anybody, regardless of who it is, that works for the company to find an answer.

    - [Jorie] Right.

    - And they were able to use information that was available to anybody that was viewing that CRM to know about that person.

    - Right, and it's really about speaking to, kind of, personalization and making sure that you're catering, kind of, the most delightful experience with the knowledge shared across teams.

    - [Brian] Right.

    - And again, it's something that, so, Kyle Jeppsen talks about it in his sales enablement certification, about connecting to teams, but it's almost like shared knowledge takes it a step further, and it connects the teams of your organization, and through the transparency of the information, all with the customer and the visitor being top-of-mind.

    - Absolutely.

    - Yeah, so let's switch gears a little bit, and chat a little bit more about inbounds. That's definitely why a lot of people are super interested, because, again, we have this paradigm shift between marketers, sales rep, services reps, where it's not just about communicating to those coming to your, like, native site.

    - Right.

    - Now you need to consider how you're communicating with visitors in the larger ecosystem of the internet, like through Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. So, how do you consider this different from outbound?

    - Okay, well, first off, inbound is about, it's more than just, I think, where inbound started originally, where inbound marketing started. Inbound is really this idea of, we're not gonna blast you. We're not just saying send me ads, send me this, send me that. What we're doing is, we're having conversations. Conversations can start in different places. Remember, it's all messaging. So, let's walk through a little example here. Let's say for instance, like, Jorie, a friend of ours, let's say that we own a small micro-brewery, okay? Now, let's say that, on his website, he has a page, and on that page, every month or so, they update a certain page that has a listing of whatever they have on tap. It's whatever they've made recently, and is in the tasting room. They see somebody. All they know at this point is that they're seeing an IP address, the same IP address hit every couple weeks, and it's only hitting, really, that page. So, clearly, someone's bookmarked it, they're coming right to that page, they're checking something. On the third time in, if we have a solid Inbound Messaging Framework in place, and we have a growth strategy in place, a conversational growth strategy, maybe we have, on that third time, we just have a button that pops us, and what it says is, hey there. See you've been here three times in the last five weeks. Do you want me to just let you know when we update the taproom list?

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - What did we not do? We didn't ask them to sign up or a newsletter, we didn't blast them with something. We gave them a very contextually-relevant little call to action, by just saying, hey there. And by doing that, now, well, that's just a conversation starter. Yeah, that'd be great. Okay, cool.

    - What's your email?

    - Yeah, do you want me to do it by email, or I could do it by Facebook Messenger.

    - [Jorie] Right.

    - Facebook's cool. Awesome, just click here. And all it is is one little thing that comes up, they click it, bang. Now, all of a sudden, you know their first name, their last name, and you have the ability to continue this conversation over time.

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - So, you just wrap that up, and you just say, hey awesome. What I'll do is, I won't put you with anything else right now, I'll just let you know when this updates and shoot you the link. Sound good, sounds great. Oh, by the way, can I also get your email address, just in case we have any special tastings or anything? If you don't want to, no big deal, but just wanted to put it out there.

    - [Jorie] Yeah.

    - Some will give it to you, some won't, doesn't matter. You now have more information than they might realize. And you did that because they were attracted to you. You didn't come at them with an outbound sort of sales pitch, you just offered them something. You offered to make their life a little easier.

    - Definitely.

    - You did it conversationally.

    - Exactly.

    - Now, let's fast-forward. Let's say that now, two weeks later, that taproom starts to change their taps. Guess who gets that message? That guy that was there, or girl, whatever, but that was there, and says hey, you know, it's me, Chris over at XYZ Brewing Company. Just wanted to let you know, we just updated our taps. Do you want me to shoot you over what we have? Yeah, I'd love that. Great, by the way, what's your favorite kind of beer?

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - 'Kay, now we're collecting more information, we're doing it conversationally. Oh, I really like this, or I don't really know. Okay, what other beers do you like to drink?

    - Well, I really like Bud Light. Go away. But whatever it may be, we're able to start to have that conversation with them, right? We're collecting a little bit of information, we're going through it, but we're keeping it easygoing over time. That's a key thing, guys. In the comments I want you to hit like if you've ever just walked away from a conversation in a text message or on Messenger, but then picked it up like nothing happened two days later. Let me now if you've done that, hit it in the likes, just say yep, done that, hit like, whatever else it may be. 'Cause we all do it, right Jorie?

    - Mm-hmm, definitely, right.

    - We all will just,peace out, ghost for a minute, and come back. But we also accept that, we also accept, that we're willing to allow that conversation to have continuity, even if the timing starts to change. When we're in the conversation, it becomes very short, but we're not gonna get upset if it comes to sort of a natural break point, and then it dies off for a bit, okay? And that can go on from there. So now, we have more information from them, right? And we've done this in a very friendly, very inbound-y way, and we've got it conversationally. And we would now load that information into our CRM. Remember, we started off with just three random IP hits on a webpage.

    - [Jorie] Right.

    - Now, let's say they say yeah, I like this information, so on and so forth. You say great, I'll make sure that the next time that we brew any of these, I'm gonna send you in an email. I already have your email address, 'cause you gave it to me last time, I don't have to ask for it again. I'm gonna shoot you that. Awesome. Okay. And it goes from there. So, what we're doing is, that we are doing this incremental data collection, we're keeping it conversational, we're keeping it very much within the idea of inbound.

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - [Brian] You know, we never want to feel sales-y. What we want to feel is like they're our friend.

    - Right.

    - That's that one-to-one relationship, and building that.

    - And it's that intentionality aspect, how you use the tools. As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility, and, you know, we got this question a lot when the tool Lead Flows came out. So, the kind of too-long-didn't-read summary of Lead Flows, for those that don't know, is Lead Flows are pop-up forums on HubSpot, and that kind of innately sounds like an outbound tool, but really, it really comes back to, as all marketing tools can be used well, it's also true that they can be misused, and when talk about bots, I'm lookin' at you, Twitter bots, lookin' at you. So, when approaching those conversational tools, I advise people to really look at the type of experience that they are trying to create, and if that experience is interruptive to your visitors or customers, that's when you need to consider taking a different approach. And maybe it means that you need to look at approaching those people with a different tool.

    - Right, or on a different channel.

    - Exactly, exactly. So, now that we've kind of covered the top level of messaging, where it came from, that it's not necessarily an outbound tool, let's talk about the framework that will enable users to really implement inbound messaging and conversational strategy, as we've calling it, on their websites. So Brian, tell me about SCOPP.

    - Real quick, before we do that, Kelsey, Charles, we will get to your questions, we'll do that at the end, I want to make sure that we acknowledge that, you don't feel ignored, because that's not,

    - We will get to your questions.

    - That's not personal. We want to make sure we do that. So thanks, just be patient, guys. Okay, so, how do we actually do this, right? Well, let's break this down. So, essentially, the way that we send a message, in general, anything we do, hasn't changed since the dawn of time.

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - We create it, we send it, it transits, and it gets delivered.

    - You don't need to teach people how to message.

    - Right, we all know it. But, let me ask you this, guys. How many people, and just say, you know, and we wanna gauge this, is, what I'm about to tell you, if it ever happened to you, just do #fail, okay? Have you ever called up a customer service line twice, asked the same question twice, and gotten two totally different answers? If you have,

    - #fail.

    - #fail in the comments right now. Because, here's the thing, guys. That, right there, is a version of what is called a lack of standardization. And this comes into this idea of what we are gonna call, collectively, SCOPP. Now, SCOPP is an acronym. It stands for standardize, which we're gonna talk about right now, contextualize, optimize, personalize, and prioritize. Really, prioritize and personalize are usually flipped around, doesn't really matter. Here's the deal: standardizing your information, that's the first place where your shared knowledge tools come into play. Because it's all messaging, you are able to apply this across the board. So, standardizing means that we are always delivering the same fundamental information, as in, we are not changing the answer between people, unless the answer itself does change. And what I mean by that is, if, like, you're in Europe, and I'm in the US, we may have different shipping policies.

    - [Jorie] Right.

    - But everybody in Europe should get the same answer for the answer in Europe, and everyone in the US should get the same answer in the US. Standardizing your information, and having that available in your shared knowledge, is the first big thing here, because what it's going to make sure is, you never do that #fail, where you get a different answer even though you've asked the same question, and nothing else has changed, it's just that different people are giving you, essentially, different information. And then, you don't know what's right or wrong. So, that's the first part. Now, the second one, contextualize. Contextualize, big word, amazing results. What it means is, figuring out where you are, from a context point of view, in the conversation. Essentially, how did we get here? Now, and Jorie, hop in here anytime if you want to.

    - Yeah, definitely.

    - So, the context of the conversation isn't just, what did they say immediately beforehand. The context of the conversation is, what else do we know about them? When did their previous visits happen? What previous conversations? Again, all going into shared knowledge. But also, it's about understanding, what are they actually asking us? If somebody says, and I'll give you a very simple example, how do I change my password, where do I change my password? Jorie, are those the same question?

    - They are not the same question.

    - [Brian] Why are they not the same question?

    - Because they're asking for very different information.

    - What are they asking for?

    - Well, one is definitely asking, kind of, how to change passwords.

    - Yeah. And the other one is where to change passwords.

    - Right. How do I change my password is asking for the steps that they have to go to, it's called a descriptive manner, the steps they have to go through to actually do that. Where is looking for, where the heck do I go to just do this? I know how to change a password, I just can't figure out where that setting is.

    - [Jorie] Right.

    - That's looking for, what we call, a non-geographic location. What it really means is, the way you ask question, the way something is said, can change the answer. Wanna know the biggest mistake that we see all the time when people are trying to, you know, and I'm saying this from Motion AI, by the way, I'm not saying this from a HubSpot standpoint. When I was with Motion, the thing that we saw over and over again was, someone would ask a question, and then, the answer would just be a link to a knowledge base article.

    - [Jorie] Right.

    - Well, they probably already read that. And God forbid, they're asking this question while on the knowledge base.

    - [Jorie] Right.

    - Right? Contextually, they probably aren't finding their answer. Also, your knowledge base probably needs some work. But there's a lot of tools out there right now that are saying, well, we'll just plug in your knowledge base, and I'm not saying names, and then, that'll just be a bot. That's not a bot. A conversation is not just regurgitating, with another layer of complexity, the information that's already there. So, you want to answer, how do I change my password? You say, okay, well step one, you're gonna wanna do this, step two, you're gonna wanna do this. You can ask them to confirm that. It doesn't matter if it's a live chat, or whether it's, you know, with a bot. Where do I change my password might a have a simple answer, and this goes into, you know, our next thing here, which is about optimizing, optimizing the information that we deliver, of, you can change your password under your profile settings. Do you know where that is?

    - Right.

    - If they say no, then you can send them a screenshot, let's say, and say, okay, I see that you're on this screen right now. Boom, big circle, click up here. Did you do that, yes, okay. Go down to account settings. Got that, yep, okay. Click password. Boom. And you walk them through the steps. That's being contextually relevant, and that is about optimizing the information you're delivering so that you're actually giving them helpful information that takes advantage of your channel, in this case, live chat or a bot, takes advantage of the strengths of that channel.

    - Right, and I think that that example definitely, it hits on contextualize and optimize really well, which is why I really kind of like it when we're explaining SCOPP, because it's really taking in mind that we're always trying to improve the experience of our website visitors, whether they're users for marketing, prospects for your sales team, or actual customers for your services team. So, it's all about maximizing, and making sure that you're maximizing the strength of each channel, while mitigating any of our weaknesses, which is really what that optimize, that big O, is all about, so that you understand, you know, the why and the how of why someone's using a given channel, and once that's understood, putting a really channel-specific solution model into it.

    - Right. Sorry, Jorie, I just knocked my camera a little bit, so just bear with me.

    - It's all good. It's all good, we're live.

    - Sorry guys.

    - Technical difficulties. So, that definitely brings us to the first P. I did, I think I flipped them on the slide, but let's start with prioritize.

    - [Brian] Yeah.

    - Which is really about, to speak to something that Brian covered earlier, delivering the most important information first in as simple manner as possible. So, we're gonna hit prioritize, and then personalize.

    - Yeah.

    - And that's really important, because it's about understanding what information is important to the user the moment that they start interacting with their site, and then, you can kind of progressively answer any other subsequent questions as they happen. But it's really about identifying what's important to them at that moment.

    - [Brian] Right.

    - You can kind of start to build out short, medium, and more complex answers.

    - Right.

    - As you start to prioritize the way you're delivering your information now.

    - So, a great example for that is this. Let's go back to that idea of someone that had come in, and they were asking about where their package was. And guys, I know that we're using some B-to-C examples here, just 'cause everyone's been through them, but the B-to-B ones,

    - Yeah, messaging is definitely not just,

    - [Brian] It's universal.

    - Right, exactly, it's not just a B-to-C channel.

    - Right, so just wanna make sure that's clear here. We've all dealt with some of this stuff, so it's why we use these as example.

    - They're just a little bit more concrete to grasp onto.

    - Yeah, again, because when you're B-to-B, your business might have a slightly different situation than others. Everyone has had a bad order experience. Anyway, so, you know, when we get into prioritize, you know, if I'm asking, back to that idea of, where's my package, it's supposed to be here already, I don't need to know the life's story of that driver, and what he had for lunch, and the transit. All I wanna know is, is it gonna be here today or not?

    - Where's my package?

    - Okay? Like, where the heck is it? So, the prioritizing the information is, it's gonna be there today, it's out for delivery right now. You can then say, so that was the short answer, do you want to know more information? Do you want me to send you the tracking number? And give them the option. Yeah, that'd be great. Awesome. Do you want me to email it to you, do you want me to text it to you, or do you want me to send it to you here? You know what, shoot me a link. Bang. Emailed out, okay, I sent that to you. Do you need anything else? No, that's it. Because when we have conversations, we want to be delivering, you know, if you think about it, we only give enough information back to somebody to answer their question. You know that idea of long-winded? I am. But we don't like long-winded explanations. Sometimes we just wanna know

    - What the answer is.

    - Just tell me the answer, and if I want more, let me ask for it. Do not not give me that opportunity. It's that, give me the opportunity to ask for more information, and then provide it as we move forward.

    - [Jorie] Right.

    - Finally, and Jorie, does that make sense, you guys?

    - No, it definitely does, and it's really about thinking almost like a pyramid, you know? Like, what's the tip of the iceberg, what's the most important, and then, as users need more context and need more information, again, allowing them to ask for it, because, again, when you think about messages, or even just, like, Chatbot copywriting, a lot of what users are expecting to find are those short, concise answers. So, that's very different of an already built-in expectation than a wall of text. So, if someone's expecting a sentence with, maybe, a GIF, or some sort of rich-text media, and you give them a wall of text, you know, that's not solving for the customer, because that's not innate to how the channel works. So, you want to keep it kind of short and concise, and then, again, as they need more information, allow them the opportunity to ask rather than prescriptively delivering, which might actually not be delighting.

    - And that actually goes to something we said earlier, that, you know, conversational growth strategy, conversation as a tool, here at HubSpot, Inbound Messaging Framework, this is really about creating an omni-channel experience.

    - Right.

    - Conversations can go across different channels, depending on their strengths and weaknesses. If you have to deliver more information than one or two sentences, you're probably gonna wanna push that to another channel, like email. At the same time, let's say you're negotiating a contract. You know what you probably don't wanna have happen, is boom, boom, boom, boom, this back and forth thing going on, because it feels like no one's taking, really, the time to think through what each other is saying. Email might be better that way. So, realize, an Inbound Messaging Framework, sort of, as an idea, conversational growth strategy an as implementation of an overarching idea that this is all still wrapped in inbound.

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - Really needs to take into account that we are building one-to-one relationships. I know there are some things that I email my mother or father that, and then there some things that I will text my brother, and there are some things that I will respond with just frowny-cat, you know, grumpy cat. Different channels are going to be stronger when delivering different kinds of information at different points in the overarching conversation, and that brings us to personalize.

    - [Jorie] Definitely.

    - Personalize is using that information that we know, using that information that we've collected, and that we're constantly collecting via conversations, which is active data collection, and passively, which is other ways, like, for instance, what websites they've viewed, if they are on a website, what pages, that kind of thing. What times they usually interact with us, that's passive data. But using that information that's part of our shared knowledge pool, to make sure that it still feels like it's one-to-one.

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - You know, to make sure that if it's the day before their birthday, and they're messaging us, we say, hey, happy birthday tomorrow. You know? Same time, being able to do things like follow-up. Like, let's say that someone had, you know, had a sales call, right? Yesterday.

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - You could reach out to them the next day on Messenger or via an email, again, whatever, and say, hey, just wanted to reach out and see if you had any follow-up questions. Notice how that's not with a bot, necessarily. It can be done with a bot, it doesn't have to be. IMF, Inbound Messaging Framework, and conversational growth, those are saying, you spoke with the person on the phone, reach out to them some other way in a follow-up, whether you want to automate that, or you want to do that as a person, that's personalizing it. Continue the conversation over time, because what's gonna happen is, you're gonna have that one-to-one relationship develop, and you know what? They're gonna love you for it.

    - Definitely, and I think that's such a good way to put a bow on what SCOPP is. That's a phrase that Brian and I use to really symbolize, kind of, something's tied up neat and nice for, kind of, SCOPP and what SCOPP is, and to kind of speak to any questions that are like, okay, like I hear you guys using a lot of, you know, kind of, conversational growth strategy. How do I start working with my buyer-personas to determine which channels are the best? And I really think it comes down to, just as much as SCOPP is kind of an iterative process that you're gonna need to refine over time, when you're choosing different channels, you know, you have, kind of, the traditional inbound channels, kind of the static resources, like landing pages, that will convert people on your site, but you also have, like, these new channels like messaging, bots, live chat, that enable you to interact in a new way. And it's really about, kind of, experimentation, especially when you're starting to implement, but just knowing and getting to the heart of what your buyer personas and website audience are trying to do.

    - And that actually comes into another thing. If you guys are fans of inbound, which we're gonna assume you are, 'cause you're here listening to us.

    - Here.

    - You've developed at least one buyer persona at some point. Hopefully many, because, you know, different strokes, different folks. But one of the things, when it comes to conversational is also developing your brand persona. Starting to develop, you know, just as you developed your buyer personas, that were, essentially virtual avatars with backstory for who your target audience is, start to develop who your brand personality is that they're gonna be interacting with. You know, and that's a big part of starting to work through that, and, you know, kind of going through that. You know, Sharon Stanton made a comment, you know, just now, that I think is really cool. What she said is, "This is reminding me of when "my kid asks where babies come from. "You just give it very simple. "They come from where mommy and daddy "love each other very much." And no other information, you answered the question, you didn't leave room for more questions, because that was, you know, the right way to handle that, you know, and go from there. Simple is often better. If you can get an idea across in one word, or 10 words, or maybe two sentences, you don't need two paragraphs unless people really ask for it.

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - So, yeah.

    - Definitely. Definitely, and it's all contextual, too, based on, like, so, what some companies find, and this is definitely a point when you're not gonna wanna look at your competitors to see what see what your competitor's doing, because what conversational tools work for one company, they're not gonna work for the same way. So, it's really taking in mind that, this is, like, personalization to the next degree, where you're trying to really solve the needs of the visitors coming to your site, and the visitors interacting with your pages on platforms like Facebook.

    - Yeah, exactly. You know, Jorie, let's do some questions.

    - Yeah. Let's do that. I know we've got some rolling in, so let's just pull some up, awesome. So, the first one that's on the docket is from Kelsey. Hi, Kelsey. So, how do you personalize the experience with channels that don't integrate directly with your CRM, like Messenger?

    - Okay. Couple things. First off, Zapier is a way that you can do this. One of the things that's happening right now within HubSpot is, we are really working on building-out a lot more integrations with third-party tools that will allow you to do this. At the same time, you know, and actually, Kelsey, if you're still watching this, let us know if you have any specific examples, 'cause I think that's actually a better way to answer that. I actually wanna just pause the answer on that.

    - She says, "Like Messenger."

    - So, Messenger itself will be integrating, in the next few months here, so that you can pull that in. Those conversation logs will be able to be accessed as we start to tie everything together.

    - The short and sweet is that we're definitely working on it, and that also speaks, you know, to Charles, one of your questions was, "HubSpot Academy, hey." "When will Facebook Messenger conversation "be logged into HubSpot activities?" And that is something that is so important. I'm glad that you brought it up, just to kind of tackle these questions at the same time. We're definitely working on it, and just to speak what to Brian was saying, within the next couple months, we got some really exciting changes that we're gonna be starting to roll out, that I think will definitely solve for some of those needs that we're seeing, where people are using Messenger, but it's siloed information that's not being pulled into you CRM, and that is desperately something that's pretty top-of-mind for some of our product teams. So, we've heard you, we love Facebook Messenger as an app, and we're definitely working on it.

    - It's very much on the way, guys. Especially on the bot side, with a caveat of this: Facebook does not allow you to access personal conversations, ie, like your normal, standard, I'm-a-person Facebook profile. What it does integrate with is pages, so business pages, that kind of thing. Just so you know on that. Primo, so, you say, "I'm sure you'll get to this, "but I find the messages app in HubSpot "is limited compared to others I've tried. "Are there plans to make messages more rich "with greater function, like Proactive Messaging, "or is there a chat app you recommend "that most integrates with HubSpot?" So, couple things. There is a new version of that that is gonna be rolling out. It's called Conversations, it's a huge, you'll hear more about that.

    - Big update, big update Primo.

    - It's very much in the works on that end. Couple things, Proactive, depending on how you're using that, Proactive can also mean outbound spam if you're doing it the wrong way. It's very much a part of the Inbound Messaging Framework and conversational growth, if it's being used to initiate a conversation, not by delivering an ad, but by being contextually relevant to where that person is. An example is, and human nature has shown when you do, like, hotspot studies on a website, people tend to stop scrolling when they get confused. If they've stopped scrolling, having something that comes up and says, hey, are you stuck on something, can I help you with it? That is IMF-compliant, I guess is the way to put it, that is inbound-friendly, conversational-growth-friendly, Proactive messaging. What we never want to be doing is just blasting people out with a message, with an ad, essentially, because that is not part of Inbound. That is not something that really falls into this idea of, we want to attract people in, not just yell at them, you know, and say, "Hey, come look at this." It's just not where we lie on a fundamental basis. Jorie, you're fine to build on that.

    - Yeah, so just to kind of piggy-back on that, that's definitely something that, as, kind of, messaging apps become more prevalent, the team is definitely, kind of, working more on. In the meantime, Brian, do you have any, like, recommendations for chat apps specifically?

    - Intercom is one that we are working very closely with right now.

    - Yes, so, Intercom's very interesting, because it also allows you to start new conversations. It's a little bit more interactive of a live chat. So, that's an interesting one to check out. But definitely, guys, as you're, if you are using the messages app already, and you're interested, at this time, it'd be, also, a really good idea to submit ideas. I know this is, like, the canned response, but to the ideas forum, because that team is working day and night to really up that app, and they're looking very closely at any feedback that you have. So, if there are kind of certain recommendations that you have, Primo, or features that you'd love to see, also pop that idea on there. The team is definitely listening.

    - Yeah, I mean, you know, this also ties into, you know, sort of, the bot platform that's gonna be rolling out as part of all of this. You know, conversational growth is really a big part of what we're all working on, and it's one of those things where this is, inbound done conversationally is mind-blowingly powerful.

    - [Jorie] Definitely.

    - But it means you still have to be understanding inbound first. Because that is, simply, a way that lets you grow better. And this is giving you tools and ideas and strategies and methodologies to do that, you know, conversationally, by allowing us to start to put some things in, like it's all messaging, like SCOPPing. You know, again, standardize, contextualize, optimize, prioritize, and personalize, that you can use even as just quick spot checks when you're developing this stuff. But we always want to stay true to that, Jorie, what are they? The steps of inbound?

    - Oh, that healthful, human, and holistic principle.

    - There we are.

    - And I love that, because you can think of almost in terms of building blocks, where inbound's really the foundation that allows you to tackle and kind of put those conversational tools on top of. Again, we're not trying to inspire, kind of, a complete replacement of what you're already using in your content marketing strategies. That's not the intention. It's really about supplementing what you already have, and really bring,

    - Yes.

    - exactly, and bringing your website alive in the interactive nature that's now on the internet, and now, users are expecting. So, to switch gears a little bit, Gabriel asked, do you have any recommendations or resources for integrating your brand personality into your bot?

    - You.

    - [Jorie] Me?

    - You, Gabriel. Your brand is something you should understand, you should know. Go through the same exercise, you know, that you went through with building your buying personas to build your brand persona. What is the voice, you know, how do they sound? Sort of, what's your brand's backstory? Where are they coming from, what's their point of view? You're gonna be seeing a lot of stuff coming out around the idea of conversational design over the next year or so, next three months, six months, nine months, a year, where we're really gonna start to give you some educational resources to start to think and develop content and these kinds of things in a conversational model. But, you know, if it's your business, you and your partners, your boss, whatever, you guys know your brand best. Find it's voice.

    - [Jorie] Definitely.

    - You know?

    - And that's gonna be so important moving forward, in terms of, one thing that we mentioned earlier, slightly, is Chatbot copywriting, and we are developing some resources on that, but just to speak to it, kind of briefly. Again, like, the expectations that people have when communicating with a bot are a little bit different than you'd see, for instance, on email. You want to keep your messages short and concise. You shouldn't be afraid to use rich media. Like, people are going to interact with emojiis, and GIFs. I say GIFs, not GIFs. Like below if you say GIFs, not GIFs.

    - Yeah, is it GIFs or GIFS?

    - [Jorie] Exactly.

    - If it's GIFs, spell it with a J, 'cause that's how you spell it.

    - Anyway, not to, kind of, get off the beaten path, but so, you're gonna see a little bit more flexibility, and of course, you're still going to want to maintain a super friendly and professional manner, but when you're crafting that voice specifically on bots, you have a little bit more flexibility, because that is an inherently, like, more casual, I guess I would just say casual kind of interaction, whether you're a B-to-C or a B-to-B customer, there's just different expectations, so you can play around with it. You know, there are a lot of resources out there about finding your brand, voice, and tone, and really, it's just about translating that into what's best on the bot-space.

    - Jorie, do we cover that in any of the content stuff that's out there right now?

    - So, I know Connor Cirello, guys, is an amazing resource. He's one of the Conversational Marketing Managers here at HubSpot, and he's been sharing out a lot of really good resources about Chatbot specifically. I think that could be a next masterclass. We could cover something like

    - It could very well.

    - that, if you guys want that, we can talk about Chatbot copywriting. Potentially even a blog post on the user blog.

    - [Brian] Yeah.

    - I would look at some of the stuff that Connor Cirello's been working on, because he's definitely one of the Chatbot guys, and he's been writing some interesting marketing kind of articles.

    - Yeah. Robert, I wanna touch on this one, 'cause it's a bigger answer, and it's very subjective, and I'm not gonna go into that right now, but what you're asking is, "Is there a type of sale "or situation that Chatbots are best for? "Maybe someone who's browsing a product or service, "but didn't buy yet to prompt them or offer a discount." Okay, couple things. Your use-case, depending on what it is, sounds somewhat specific.

    - [Jorie] Mm-hmm.

    - Jorie, first part of the inbound attract?

    - It's attract, convert, close, and delay.

    - Right. So, if they're already at the website,

    - That was, yeah, the inbound methodology, if you will.

    - Right. If you've already attracted them to the website, you gotta look at what's going on. Here's where a Chatbot would be great. Ask them if they have any questions. Encourage them for other things. Try to get a little information out of them. Most people don't buy the first time they look at something. You know, that's just, sort of, marketing 101. They just don't buy initially, whatever it may be. Usually, you have to educate them, you have to build that relationship. That's what we're giving you the tools for. A better way to do it is, let them visit that, and then, maybe, you know, try to get some information that you can, then, reach out to them again in a personal way. Don't send them a, hey, your thing's on sale. Instead, say something like, hey, let's say that they were viewing, you know, 5,000 gummy bears. That right there. They don't buy it that time, but let's say you got, for instance, an email address, or you got, you know, them to connect with Facebook. You can, then, reach out to them after the fact, maybe, and say, hey, just wanted to follow up, see if you still were interested in those gummy bears. You know, would it make a difference if I threw in free shipping, or whatever it may be. You want to engage conversationally. You don't just want to always go to, I'm gonna sell it cheaper, because that may not be the reason why they aren't converting yet, and that has more to do with your inbound methodology than it does with just a bot doing something. So, I hope that answers the question.

    - Definitely, and just to kind of chat about that briefly, I want to pop up on that, because I love this question. There's a lot of thought being put into, you know, when do you use messaging apps versus live chat, and one of the most compelling cases I've seen so far about Chatbots and sale spaces is using also Chatbots to kind of qualify the visitor coming to that pricing page, seeing if they're ready, and then, quite honestly, routing them via a live chat app, there are a couple different integrations out there with live chat apps, to a salesperson should they show those signs that they're ready to engage, because messaging apps and automation can only solve for so much. So, when you get in a situation where someone's willing to explain, kind of, their needs specifically, and you determine that it's best to connect them with a person, you know, connect, use Chatbots to automate on scale on your pricing page, but then, connect them directly to a person. So, that's definitely something that I've seen people starting to do, especially on their product pages, so you could try that. But it really comes down to identifying those areas where automation is going to serve the people that you're trying to sell to the best, while also realizing that in sales situations, a lot, connecting to that person is going to drive movement.

    - And that's really, you know, a great point, Jorie, because, you know, price, I think a lot of people will make the mistake to think, and again, depending on the situation, that price is the reason why someone doesn't buy. A lot of times, they're just not ready, they're doing research, they have questions, they haven't learned enough. They just simple aren't ready to buy yet. The more you can do to capture enough information that allows you to nurture that relationship is gonna go a lot farther, and you're gonna end up building a lot stronger relationships that will convert than just immediately going to, "I'm gonna discount it," because I'm gonna tell you right now, there's an entire world out there where price is not the deciding factor. Maybe it's, does this work with my system? Maybe it's, does this work with other tools that we use? Or is this the right thing for what we need? Price, obviously, can play a factor, but that shouldn't be the initial knee-jerk reaction. Unless, again, it's a low-ticket, very commoditized item where, you know, literally there's no differentiation between you and a thousand others, other than price. But even then, look, there's a lot of ecom out there that sells things for higher than they can find them somewhere else, simply because, guess what guys, the person, that company's built a relationship, and has built trust and confidence with that person that buys from them, even though they're paying a little bit more. So, next question here, Stephanie: "With your brewery example from earlier, "the webinar, you mentioned routine, warm touches "to your potential buyer-customer "through various forms of communication. "With new GDPR regulations, how would this work? "I am sort of new to the concept of Chatbots, "but I am intrigued, albeit nervous." Okay, real quick guys, we are a US-based company, I am not an attorney. Jorie, you are not an attorney, we cannot give you any legal-implementing answers on that. What I can say is this: you are not leveraging information that they have not willingly given to you. Okay? Somebody visiting your website and triggering that response, you're not using any information that hasn't already been happened. Someone comes in, and they visit your website, IP address, you haven't asked for anything else. As you start to develop that conversation, that is willing exchange and transfer of information. It shouldn't really be coming into play on that, but again, that is something that on the EU side of it, you're gonna have to look at. But historically, all this information is coming into your CRM, it's information that you are collecting and that you are using. You're not sharing it, you're not storing it some random place. It's no different than if you got it from them on the phone, or if you got it from them in person. So.

    - Definitely, and kind of regarding GDPR, I know there's a lot more regulations that are going to be rolled out, because it's a little it nebulous on the Facebook Messenger space, but as always, it's always important to be, like, disclaimer, we can't offer legal advice. But if those are regional concerns, definitely something to take up with your legal team, just to make sure that you're completely compliant, especially as we have this big rollout coming out.

    - Yeah. I mean, guys, just remember this, that essentially, the information that you're collecting is not being found through a surreptitious method.

    - Right, you're not buying it.

    - Yeah, you're not trading it, you're not doing any of that. GDPR is a reasonable level of protection of personal data. You using information that they've given you to talk to them, pretty sure that's how business works. So, you know, check with the old team, that kind of thing, just, right now, we can't really answer beyond that, but, you know, theoretically, if they can give it to you in a conversation, and you're not being sketchy,

    - They're kind of opting in, but.

    - Yeah.

    - You know, the exact legalities, again, if you're concerned about implementing Chatbots on your website, always best to just have someone double-check it.

    - Yeah. So guys, are there any other questions that you guys have about anything?

    - Also, just keep in mind, we are running short on time. We've actually hit the one o'clock mark, but if we can snag a quick one, we will.

    - Yeah. Time for one more before we go, 'cause it is just snowin' like a mutha.

    - Yeah, it's snowing a lot here, too. Three inches an hour, guys. A lot of snow in Boston right now.

    - It is insane. I'm in Maine, and it's insane.

    - So guys, it looks like everyone, looks like there's no more questions for us, so we want to thank you, again, for attending this masterclass. And again, just leave any kind of comments or likes below, and we'll continue to make sure that, as questions happen, that we're answering them as much we're able.

    - Yeah, guys, so, here are your takeaways, just want to have this out there. It's all messaging. Messaging happens on channels, there's a lot of different channels. This is sort of our end-of-the-day wrap-up. It's all messaging, messaging happens on channels. Conversational growth is tied-in, it is built upon the ideas of inbound. Different channels have different time to live numbers. What that means is, to recap, how long someone's willing to wait to get a message back from when they sent it to you. The more you go to live, like live chat, the shorter that becomes, it becomes our dominant constraint.

    - Use SCOPP to implement conversations.

    - Yes, and SCOPP is standardize, contextualize, optimize, prioritize, and personalize. And with that guys, you know, leave any comments down below, any questions that come up. Reach out to us on Twitter, I'm @realbrianbags.

    - @findingjorie.

    - You know, shoot us a follow, shoot HubSpot Academy a follow, but other than that, thank you for your time, and, you know, reach out, and guys,

    - Let's talk about. Let's have a conversation.

    - We'll talk about it. Awesome guys, thanks.
  • Brian Bagdasarian
    Brian Bagdasarian
    Conversational Marketing Strategist
  • Jorie Munroe
    Jorie Munroe
    Inbound Professor

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