Scaling Content Marketing with AI:

Unveiling Coefficient's AI-Driven Success with Hannah Recker

Hannah Recker
Dec 12, 2023
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Episode Description:

Episode 101 of AI Unboxed: How can AI revolutionize content marketing in the fast-paced world of SaaS startups, and what steps can you take to harness this power in your own strategy? Find out as we sit down with Hannah Recker, a pioneer in AI-driven marketing strategies. At Coefficient, Hannah has been instrumental in transforming the landscape of content marketing using her innovative 'three-bucket' AI approach. Learn how to leverage AI for creating powerful, engaging content, addressing everything from ethical considerations to mastering AI for SEO and audience engagement. Dive deep into how AI is not just an automation tool but a catalyst for elevating marketing strategies, shedding light on the future of personalized customer interactions.

Full Transcript:

Andrew Miller:

[0:01] Welcome to AI Unboxed. Today's guest is Hannah Recker.

She's a seasoned marketing leader with a strong focus on data-driven strategies and scalable operational processes.

She has over a decade of experience in growing demand and teams at early-stage B2B startups. startups, she discovered her true passion for the data industry.

And in the past three years, Hannah played a pivotal role in guiding stream sets to successful acquisition and driving Coefficient to achieve a remarkable 3.5x increase in demand over only a 16-month period.

At Coefficient, she not only spearheaded the introduction of AI functionality to the market, but also continues to seamlessly integrate AI in her team's daily operations.

And on a side note, I had the great pleasure of working with Hannah when we were both at Agorapulse.

Now, the running theme within the company was if you want something done and shipped perfectly, connect with Hannah. She'll make it happen.

It's so great to have you on the show, Hannah.

Hannah Recker:

[1:02] It's so good to be here, Andrew.

That is probably the death of me, of saying yes to everything.

So, but I'm a helper, you know, and I definitely love a good process.

So always happy to help my teammates.

Thank you for having me. I loved our overlap at Agorapulse. It was too short.

It was only like eight or nine months, I think.

[1:26] So maybe we can work together again one day. But, you know, it's been incredible just staying connected with you and getting to know you personally and professionally.

But to the audience, like Andrew mentioned, my name's Hannah Recker.

You mentioned my experience. Primarily my focus has been around demand generation.

[1:47] My journey's been, you know, involved implementing and testing growth strategies and developing processes and operations and analytics to facilitate that growth, specifically in early stage companies.

So we know you have to wear a lot of hats in early stage companies, But it's important to build processes that can scale.

My AI knowledge comes from hands-on experience, so a very curious person.

So using AI tool for content creation and operational efficiencies in my role, including things all the way from script writing for updated product videos or using, honestly, ChatGPT as a co-worker because we all work remotely these days.

As a sense to bounce things off and spark creativity for inspirational content and strategies and campaigns that I'd like to run.

So definitely feel well-versed in AI, both from leveraging it, but also bringing an AI tool to market, which has been really fun.

It seems like I've been at the right place at the right time because I didn't come into Coefficient at the time when we were building something with AI.

So it just so happened that way, and I'm really happy it did.

Andrew Miller:

[3:01] Yeah, yeah, that's awesome. And I say, I mean, one of the best ways to learn anything is to actually jump in hands on, right?

A lot of the stuff that we work on in a daily basis, it just doesn't get taught in school.

And even if it did get taught, it's already evolved so much.

I mean, especially in the AI space, or even in the marketing space.

If you would have taken a course, you know, 10 years ago, in marketing, or if they even just started introducing like machine learning or neural networks and stuff, if they even talked about that, it'd be completely different now.

And what's in the wild than we see today.

So I think hands-on learning is really the best way to do it.

Hannah Recker:

[3:38] Yeah, absolutely. And that's just me. That's the way I learn.

And I know a lot of people don't, but I feel like when there are crazy changes in emerging technologies, you have to. You have to.

You have to get hands-on, even at an executive level.

So yeah, it's been really really exciting.

Andrew Miller:

[3:55] Awesome. Awesome. So, so let me ask you this, you know, what attracted you to the intersection of AI and, you know, marketing or growth marketing?

Hannah Recker:

[4:05] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. That definitely comes back to my sense of curiosity, um, and, and love for operational efficiencies.

Uh, but this time really reminds me of a time when I was interning, like right before I started full-time at a company called VisionWeb.

It was the first like SaaS company I was at, super excited about that.

But I actually interned there for a year and a half before working there full-time.

And this was, I guess, around 2011 when HubSpot was just taking off, if we can all jump back and remember that time.

But now like we all wake up thinking about HubSpot.

So this was at that time. And really, my organization was bringing on HubSpot while I was interning.

And so of course, I wasn't involved in any of the like purchasing or understanding this crazy new technology that's going to change the game.

But then it was kind of just handed to me, you know, it was like, figure out what we're gonna do, like transition everything into HubSpot.

And honestly, it felt kind of similar to this time we're in today, you know, and like thinking about people that are undergrad or new hires right now, obviously, they didn't have the great end of the stick when it comes to their college experience because of COVID.

But they have this really great opportunity to be at the forefront of AI.

[5:33] And again, it really just reminds me of that time. And I would say, again, great place, great time to actually take that on because it allowed me to realize that learning new technologies could become a superpower of mine.

If I just always stayed hands on and made it pertinent in my day to day, no matter what my role is, that I'm using, finding and identifying new tools.

And that doesn't necessarily mean, Looking at all the 7,500 AI tools that we see on our LinkedIn feeds, right?

Andrew Miller:

[6:06] Launching every day.

Hannah Recker:

[6:07] Yeah, exactly. But stepping back, understanding what AI can bring to the table, and then knowing what to search for when you have a need and an efficiency that could happen with AI.

Andrew Miller:

[6:20] Absolutely. Well, I guess specifically looking at that need in your industry, how could you say that AI is revolutionizing the space that you're in?

Hannah Recker:

[6:29] In my opinion, like no industry or role is going untouched by AI.

That's the reality. Of course, in my case, from a marketing perspective, the first thing is streamlining processes, right? Right.

Like, I mean, I can I can remove even simple things like removing specific formatting and something that would take me like so long to go through a Word doc and actually do to automating tasks and making data driven decisions faster from demand gen to customer engagement.

AI really has the potential to transform both marketing and sales.

[7:07] One of the biggest benefits, though, in AI today in marketing is that increased efficiency.

Of course, that will change over time. Right now it is really about those efficiencies, but that was just like software was, you know, a decade ago.

So, you know, for example, ChatGPT can help me create content, execute on content, you know, emails, taglines much faster than traditional methods and testing and jumping back and forth and looking at so many different websites to get inspiration from.

Um, I don't think I've landed on one of those, uh, one of those, uh, blogs over the last like year at this point.

Uh, but I used to often, I think there were blogs that I would constantly land on.

Um, so I think it was one of the blogs that maybe it was that I've always felt like maybe this was at a company that you worked at, but one of those blogs was like power words. It was like power words.

Andrew Miller:

[7:59] Oh yeah. Yeah.

Hannah Recker:

[8:01] I don't have to go back to that blog anymore.

Andrew Miller:

[8:03] Oh no. I feel sorry for Sumo. I mean, just throw the shout out there.

Love Sumo. We were able to rank that. That was one of our best.

Hannah Recker:

[8:09] I just made a purchase from them yesterday. Yeah.

Andrew Miller:

[8:11] Yeah. It's like 99 power words. And then, of course, we went to like 110 and 150 power words. You know, yeah.

ChatGPT has definitely streamlined things like that. Yeah.

Hannah Recker:

[8:22] So, but similarly, outside of content, it's really design as well, right?

So even, I definitely don't feel like super, like, I don't think from a design perspective, I'm replacing my, like, designer. I just willingly like brought on a full-time designer, right?

But it can help spark that creativity for banners and design.

So it really is just about using ChatGPT as a bouncing board at that point.

From a data perspective in the industry I'm in, you know, generative AI really accelerates all of your routine tasks.

You know, data cleaning, classification, natural language can really help with simplifying like text and sentiment analysis. analysis. So again, changing the game for everyone.

No one's going untouched, but it's definitely been really exciting in both marketing and data from my perspective.

Andrew Miller:

[9:12] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, whenever you have tasks coming at you left and right, sometimes it's really hard to just create that, you know, make that creative space and that time for you to sit there in the old school days.

I'm not saying like Mad Men old school, but like just coming up with those, you know, catchphrases or those different like lines that you can test there.

You have to carve out that time and, you know, to really step back from the just doing, doing, doing to I need to think I need to, you know, be creative and I need to write that out.

Not saying like OpenAI, ChatGPT, these are like replacing that, but at least it gives you that introduction, right?

That baseline out, you know, that you can start with. And then, of course, there's like training of the models that some companies are going in there and putting full trainings in there that allows you to do like long form or creativity or based off of somebody's own like language and brand.

And there's all these things that are being like built into it so that you don't have to train it yourself, which is really cool.

And that just expedites the end result for a marketer and for us who are in this space on a daily basis.

So I think, yeah, it's a great tool. You know, it's a great tool and resource.

Hannah Recker:

[10:22] Absolutely. Yeah, it's definitely not replacing anything. I definitely, you know, feel like, again, right place, right time, like being an early stage SaaS right now, it's like, it's all about scale and doing as much as you possibly can, but staying focused, but giving yourself the space to test as often as you can and execute as often as you can.

And I don't think I would have been as successful as we have been over the past like six months without it, because we might talk a little bit more about, you know, kind of the lag on actually using and introducing AI into processes.

But the reality is, is it's, it's changed the game. And for startups, it's like, it's, a lot of people, the hype's around startups being built upon AI, but it's startups in general that are going to change with the technology.

Andrew Miller:

[11:12] Yeah, yeah. It's those early adopters, right? I mean, that's where it's going to come to first.

I mean, you're not going to see legacy microchip factories out there adopting AI yet.

Maybe it's other processes, they might build it in there, but you just won't see that at this stage because it's the early adopters and the tech adopters that are jumping in there first and testing it out.

And then it'll be brought out more to the mainstream.

Speaking of all these ways that it could impact our work, other people's work, could you maybe share a real world example, maybe of a traditional process that has been improved that you've worked on by incorporating AI?

Hannah Recker:

[11:55] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. This is actually extremely top of mind.

It's a new process. and operation and everything we're doing with content today.

So over the last, I would say, for the first 14 months here at Coefficient, we were dabbling in AI from a content perspective, but we weren't yet effectively using it in our processes.

A lot of that comes from nervousness and ethics and will it fail and all the things.

Andrew Miller:

[12:26] It's new.

Hannah Recker:

[12:28] Yeah, it's new. you know, sweating a little bit before we could finally use it.

So, but yeah, we, so over the last, I would say for the first like 13, 14 months, we're in this, we're in this like key pivotal like opportunity where we're actually creating, or at least one of the brands that's creating this category.

So coefficient powers, live data in your spreadsheets.

This is something that a pain that we've all dealt with our entire careers.

There's not many solutions out there today that solve it.

And they're only just recently starting to pop up.

So what that means from a content SEO perspective is there's not a lot of traditional bottom of funnel like terms out there, right? So there's not your X versus Y versus Z.

And I can come in and create all the comparison pages and win for my first year, right? So you can't do these things.

So I had to get a little bit creative at the beginning. You know, kind of the obvious thing to do was to create around all of our We have 27 today, but that's definitely grown a lot over the last year.

[13:31] Started by just creating the like X to Google Sheets, right?

We know people are trying to connect, you know, Salesforce to Google Sheets.

We started, you know, cranking out all those posts, not using AI at all.

[13:42] Then we were actually, you know, got a little bit more creative and started tackling posts for every connector that were, you know, export Salesforce data, right?

What are we doing with that data? We all know we're putting in our spreadsheet, right? Right.

So that was kind of the second, like one of the, I would say those are two key categories that have driven a lot of our organic conversions over the last like 13, 14 months.

But we have to continue to get creative. We have, you know, outside of those more bottom of funnel posts, we've also leaned in to Google Sheets how to's.

Again, not from an AI perspective. So we've gotten and only so far that we can get with budget and freelancers, et cetera.

So, and how often it takes so long to even take screenshots for these posts, right? So, and we have to do them at scale to really gain that traffic.

It's played a pivotal role in our growth.

We've grown traffic tremendously, like five or six X traffic.

We've grown domain rating from 30 to 50 in 16 months.

So it's been incredible for us and it gives us that authority around Google Sheets. But what do we have to do again? and get more creative, right?

So we're really planning out the next three to six months and new categories that we're going to be nailing down.

And all those categories are falling within a few buckets.

And those few buckets are decided by your traditional like SEO research methods, right?

So we have our first bucket is completely AI written.

[15:10] And I'll talk more about what that means. But our second bucket is AI assisted.

And the third bucket is completely human led, right? And so, again, this comes back to SEO research. What's the keyword difficulty?

What does competition look like? How can we rank with purely AI-written content versus does this need that human touch?

So still plugging in those traditional processes.

But then this allows us to accelerate, right? Now we can write posts at a level and scale that we would have never been able to before.

But when I come back to what AI-written means, kind of just walking through an example of of a category that we actually just launched the first 30 simple templates, which is what we're calling them.

They're literally just, right now we have a lot of connected templates that you can, one click templates, you can connect Salesforce and power them with your live data.

Really sophisticated dashboards built by spreadsheet experts on staff.

[16:07] But now what we're doing is obviously we need this scale. We need this volume on our site.

So what that means is that we need to kind of backtrack and think about simple templates, people searching invoice templates and profit and loss templates and budget templates.

And all of these things, you know, think like typical Canvas style, right?

Birthday cards, you know, someone looking for a birthday card might not necessarily be looking to buy a software solution.

But we need that scale and we are looking towards, you know, organic being a key, you know, growth driver for us. So when it comes to AI written, it is about first using ChatGPT to just create something from, you know, that keyword, right?

But then it's using backtracking on your more traditional methods, right? Like looking at the top five in the SERPs. What are the things that are mentioned in these posts?

Looking at, you know, people also ask section, adding in relevant questions.

Looking at the questions that are asked in Ahrefs on that particular keyword and blending that all into your publishing process so that it is AI written, but it still has that human touch.

And then also kind of final is editing and really putting our brand spin on it, right?

But none of this could be done at the scale that we're going to be executing on without AI.

Andrew Miller:

[17:21] And so are you bucketing them into three different sections to run tests and see like which one performs the best?

Hannah Recker:

[17:29] So that's a great question. The sections have been really bucketed based upon that SEO research.

So it's not really about like us testing one or the other, like whether it's AI written.

[17:43] It's really testing the overall like AI written, not versus anything else, right?

Can that succeed in itself? itself, but we have already seen early success.

And this actually kind of brings me into another point is we launched on October 31st.

We already have like, you know, I think it's something around like five, 600 organic visitors to these pages.

So very quick, like traffic, right? But another thing to tie back into this AI written kind of category is also thinking about what else is going to be on the page, right?

So on these pages, there's the template, right?

A template that you you can download, meaning it's very unique content, even though the written content on that page is not so unique, right?

Another category we'll be going after is around kind of AI written would be like building out calculators.

For example, we haven't like 100% nailed this down, but we might be approaching this.

And again, comfort with AI written both from the SEO research perspective and the fact that there's that very unique content on the site that's going going to keep someone browsing.

So in this template gallery, for example, it's the template and then you have your waterfall, right? Like think Pinterest waterfall, right? Like you can't stop scrolling, you know?

So it feels like there's all these templates and, you know, we're building variations of different templates and stuff to, to keep everything fresh there.

[19:06] But literally from these five, 600 visitors that we have had already, the bounce rate is 36%. That's, that's incredible.

That's like someone searching your brand term and landing on your homepage, right?

Like, so that is another indicator to Google that this is a page people want, regardless of what content is on this page, right?

So there's definitely a balance. And again, going back to all those traditional methods that we have, but using AI for operational efficiencies to scale like never before.

Andrew Miller:

[19:35] Gotcha, gotcha. No, I love that. I love that. It makes a lot of sense.

I mean, the AI is only as smart as the inputs and the data that it's fed.

And of course, of course, if you're using ChatGPT, we all know that it doesn't go beyond a certain date, you know, what is 2021?

Hannah Recker:

[19:50] I think it just changed. I think it's like about to release this like 2023.

Andrew Miller:

[19:54] There you go. That's great. That's great. I guess one thing that I always wonder about is whenever you're using this, do you actually have it search, you know, online for like citations and everything built in there?

Or is that the human manual process that you build in at the end? Yeah.

Hannah Recker:

[20:09] So when we're going through this process back to like templates, we aren't going through that like citation process.

Again, we are making sure that we're putting our brand spin on it in the final like editing.

And we're actually thinking through this, right? We're all very knowledgeable about templates and spreadsheets that the folks that are on our team.

So it's not that we're like letting it 100% do our job.

So it's not like I don't feel like too out of my comfort zone with ethics in regards to like citations and everything.

And also it goes back to like the categories that we're also deciding on, right?

Like if it's an invoice template, like how much proprietary information is out there, right?

So not really feeling too guilty about that versus something that's like super educational and needs citation, right? Right. So that definitely in other people's, other people's brain, like definitely think about that.

It would be depending upon your category and the type of content that you're creating.

Ours just isn't like that unique or proprietary. Right.

Andrew Miller:

[21:13] Right. Right. That totally makes sense. What would you say are some of the challenges to bringing this to life?

Hannah Recker:

[21:19] I would say really the first challenge is just like testing. Right.

It's it's testing, figuring out what that process looks like, figuring out what works and what doesn't.

For example, in some of the other categories, we'll likely be using tools like ByWord, for example, where it's like freelancers that quickly like churn things out, for example.

So it's really the testing and just figuring out the process, right?

Like that, that in itself, like getting to where basically our entire October, everyone was working on this on our team.

So obviously they were working on other things, but this was a, this was a key task over that month.

And so it definitely, it's not like you can't just go into AI today and go write 30 posts, right? Like that's just not going to happen. Like you have to.

Andrew Miller:

[22:05] It just wouldn't be great. Yeah.

Hannah Recker:

[22:07] You have to build out an effective process. And also, while you're building that process, which, you know, for us took us about 30 days, test with some initial things, right?

Like, just start publishing and testing and seeing what happens.

So throughout that month, we got a little bit more comfortable and a little bit more comfortable, because we were publishing things in other categories that we know that work for us with AI, you know, using a similar method.

And so that just kind of helped us to keep moving throughout that month and trusting in the process so definitely challenges and not only you know making sure that what we're doing is going to work from an AI perspective and actually rank but also crowling a team behind this you know I mean we have people on our team of all ages all backgrounds you know and not everyone's going to be as comfortable as the next person sitting next to them with with plugging AI especially especially your content lead, right?

Like that's going to be a hard sell, right?

And so, you know, just your normal kind of challenges when it comes to introducing anything new, inside of a team, but when it's something that could potentially replace someone or mean that they're not growing their team as fast as they want, there's definitely a balance that needs to be made and conversations that need to be had to ensure that they're still on the same like growth level that they want to be on.

Andrew Miller:

[23:30] Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think you touched on a bunch of really key factors here that I want to drill in a little bit more on.

So we're from the like the SaaS world, you know, B2B SaaS, move, move fast, what do they say, move fast and break things is always like the mindset.

Let's just, yeah, let's just ship it. Let's get it done. Let's see how it goes.

But when you do that, and you're moving so fast, you don't really have that strategy behind it.

And so you don't know if it worked, because you do a retro and it's like, we forgot why we were doing this, except we're trying to get leads or we're just trying to do this. And that didn't really work.

But what were your expectations at the beginning? It's like, what process did you put in?

[24:08] We're not sure. We just wanted to ship it and see what happens. It's like, okay.

But it sounds like you've done best practices here. You've gone in there and it's like, okay, at the beginning of this, we've put together our hypothesis.

We put together the process that we think is going to work. But in that 30-day window, and so you've time boxed it it as well.

In that 30 day window, you've kind of opened yourselves up to pivoting and iterating on the process so that you know, it's going to get better. We're not hard and fast.

This has to be the way it is. We're going to learn as we ship it.

So I think those are some of the key points that you know, anybody listening here in the SaaS world that's looking into jumping into, you know, AI to help assist with your content, you need to make sure you have a plan first, you need to like build out a basic process and have a goal, a realistic goal at the end of it.

What are we trying to achieve at the end of this when we put all this legwork and you got buy-in?

A lot of people might not be able to get the buy-in, but you were able to get the whole company rallied around it. And that's when initiatives truly move forward.

So I think those are some of the really core things that you touched on and a lot of people can learn from. So that's awesome. Awesome.

Hannah Recker:

[25:16] Yeah, absolutely. It definitely was a challenge. And I definitely have that mentality of like, just ship it, right?

You know me, I'm just like, just put it out there. I get really antsy.

But it was a combination of us really stepping back holistically, like not even just from a content perspective, outbound email as well, starting to really test that.

And so really, We have a small team. We have five people internally on our marketing team.

With that comes focus that is absolutely needed, right?

And with that focus comes alignment with strategy, right? And alignment with executives.

I don't have someone between me and the C-suite, right?

And getting buy-in doesn't happen overnight, you know?

And so it does take those, you know, maybe move quick and test and get some initial results and bring those to an executive team if you're having trouble getting that buy-in and just like investing every single thing.

So that, like, if I wouldn't have gotten buy-in, I definitely would have just done something in the background and then seen some results or just never talked about it if I didn't see results.

Andrew Miller:

[26:28] Yeah, yeah. Well, shifting gears a little bit here, and you touched on this, you know, you were talking about, like, ethical considerations.

And I know that some of it's not really that applicable in some of the areas, you know, on this AI, you know, the keyword strategy for the connectors and everything around there.

But what are some things that should be considered as it relates to the work that you're doing and pulling AI into it?

Hannah Recker:

[26:56] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I definitely think it goes back to what you're writing about, right?

Like if I'm writing extreme educational content for someone to learn from that wants to become a data analyst or something, like I might lean on AI a little bit less, right?

So, but with all of this, like power comes out, you know, great responsibility from all of us, you know, and all of our day-to-day jobs, you know, it's, it's supposed to positively transform the world, but it's in our hands to make sure that happens.

So of course there are going to be bad actors and, and people that are using it for manipulation and, and their privacy concerns and lack of transparency that comes with that.

[27:41] So that, you know, those are the risks that everyone's, everyone's scared of, right?

But I'd say from an executive standpoint, from a leadership standpoint, I, your teams and even from an individual standpoint and pushing things up and trying new things within your organization, it is about stepping back, thinking about what you're using AI for, figuring out how much you can lean on AI depending upon the type of content you're creating or whatever you're doing, and aligning with each other on how much this can be used.

But also pushing each other out of their comfort zone right so we all have a lot of responsibility here I'm very curious to see what the next five to ten years looks like from now I already see so many bad actors out there like it's it's pretty bad you know so I can only see it getting even worse and then who knows if like legality is going to come in the way at that point point.

[28:43] So all things to take into consideration. And when that comes into the point, actual legality and think about the GDP, our version of like AI, Olly Smokes, that's going to, you know, so that I would say step out of your comfort zone, but don't lean on it so much that if anything did change, for example, the SERPs could change overnight and this content that we've written and could completely fail, right?

So don't put all of your eggs in one basket. Lean on it now 100% for anything operational efficiency-wise and take your bets where you feel confident and where they align with your overall strategy.

Andrew Miller:

[29:23] Yeah, yeah, no, I love that. That makes a lot of sense. I think you hit on multiple things here.

So I'm not going to jump into all of it because we just recorded it. So that's great.

But I mean, some of the things you talked about is just like any introduction to new technology. There's always that hesitation.

There's always those early adopters, but there's always areas of concern when you have those bad actors that come in there.

I mean, if you rewind back to when we were younger and you could mail in a check to something you found on the internet because they couldn't accept payments yet, and then it comes in six to eight weeks, there was a lot of hesitation from the general populace on, I'm just going to send a check out to who are these people? Am I actually going to get something back?

Oh, the internet is a scam, all this stuff.

[30:09] And you'll see that repeatability in everything that has been new and that's jumping out there. I mean, you see it in the Web3 space as well.

There's all these bad actors that have come in there and given the larger space kind of like a bad name to some because it's always, ooh, no, we don't want to go into crypto.

And it's not just crypto. Web3 is so massive, just like with AI.

It's not just AI, you know, there's machine learning, there's neural networks, which is part of that.

There's all these other things that get factored into it. So I think any introduction of new technology, we go through this and it's just human nature, you know, par for the course that we have to go through, which is also an interesting time for us because, you know, we've gone through a couple of these in our past.

And so we're seeing this repeatability.

Hannah Recker:

[30:56] I know we're finally feeling this like repeatability. I feel officially old. Yeah.

Andrew Miller:

[31:02] Right, right. Yeah. I'm there with you. I'm there with you.

But yeah, yeah. I guess shifting a little bit further, you know, would you say that you've, you know, faced a specific ethical dilemma related to AI that you might be able to share?

Hannah Recker:

[31:19] Yeah. So, I mean, like I mentioned, we actually didn't start like being willing to fully implement AI in our content process for, you know, since over the last few months, really.

So that's, that's about a year of not leaning in super heavily when it comes to content.

Now processes, of course, but, but there were a lot of like dilemmas back and forth. You know, we had a previous content lead before our current content lead and was not a big fan, right?

And had a lot of ethical concerns around it, which then caused concerns on the rest of the team.

And so it's really about just, you know, getting that knowledge and perspective from your own viewpoint and then bringing that to the table within your team.

[32:05] So certainly there were, I would say there was at least a six month period I was, you know, waking up thinking about this, like, how can I actually do this?

Like, I have to do this. If I don't do it, someone else is coming in.

We're here, like, in the process of creating a category with only a few other people.

So if somebody quickly comes in, they could scoop everything up, right? Right. So there was a lot of debate and a lot of ethical concern.

But again, I think that comes back to what we're really writing about.

You know, it's not it's not medical.

It's not medical science. We're like writing about or we're not doing surgeries or anything.

So, you know, a receipt template. Is anyone really going to care about what contents?

They're probably actually not going to read that content. It's actually just the search engine.

Andrew Miller:

[32:51] No, no. Yeah, absolutely. I think that that's a that's a huge point, too. too, right? And you were talking about like GDPR compliance and the true ethical dilemma.

I mean, one of the things that's been discussed a lot is with open AI, that information could potentially, I mean, it's not individualized, right? But it's open source.

And so that means that anybody can kind of access that. So you mentioned you're not in the medical space.

So we're not sharing, you know, customer data, you know, historical health and violating like HIPAA compliance or anything like that.

But those are things that people in those spaces should should absolutely consider when they're putting in data into an engine, like any chat GPT, anything like that, you need to make sure that you take the time to research where that data is being shared.

Look at the privacy statements, look at their terms of conditions, because they could be sharing that.

And we know that from a marketing standpoint, because it's like, oh, opt in, we're going to share this with our third party vendors and stuff like that.

There's all All these things that we have to put now on the front end to get people to say, okay, it's okay that we share this information or it's not. You need to scrub it.

Now, a lot of these companies that are emerging and just being that layer on top, just like a new layer on top of ChatGPT and using that open AI database.

[34:10] They might not, they're moving so quickly, they might not have checked all that and gone through like SOC 2 compliance and gone through all the data regulations.

So those are things as a consumer, we need to make sure that we're looking at before we start putting any kind of privacy information in there and also understand it's new.

So that's when maybe the government might step in later down the road.

Hopefully, hopefully not, but they've stepped in on everything else around privacy.

So it seems kind of like an impending thing, but I mean, the government does lag on a lot of things. So it might take them a while.

So I'm not too concerned in the next like six months, but it's something that we should be cognizant about.

Hannah Recker:

[34:51] Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, a lot of this has come into play in us really thinking about AI coefficient too, because we've embedded that inside of our solution. That's essentially a data solution, right?

So of course we have people that come in and ask questions about security, but we're SOC 2, Type 1, we're going through Type 2 right now.

And we're not saving any of this, right? Like we're absolutely not saving any of this. So we definitely, there were definitely executive level debates on that.

And that all just kind of rolls up into all of our functionality, though. You know, so there were definitely more things to take into consideration.

And even if you are like going to use a tool similar to ours, I would say those are the, those are, those SOC 2 type 2, those things are going to become only more and more important with AI being introduced into this tooling.

Andrew Miller:

[35:46] Absolutely, absolutely. Absolutely. So key takeaway there for everybody, try to find that badge on the website. Ask them if they're SOC 2 compliant.

If they are, they've gone through, oh, the headache.

I mean, it's important, but that process is intense.

So just, I'd say look for that badge. And if they have that badge, it's like, okay, great.

Validated, jump in there. Still do your own research, but that is a good heuristic that people can utilize on saying this is a trustworthy business business to move forward with.

So pivoting a little or looking forward and looking into the future, right? Some stuff like innovations.

You know, what would you say is a groundbreaking yet underutilized AI technology?

Hannah Recker:

[36:31] Yeah. So, so for me, and this is super personal to me, and maybe it's because I scroll LinkedIn too much, but, um, for me, like video creation, like, it's honestly like extremely mind blowing to me that like, you can literally do like text to video. That's, that's insane.

Um, I've seen, I see like people talking about it, but I haven't seen enough of it.

Maybe I'm not following the right people. Like tell me all the people you're following if you're seeing these things, But the things that I have seen are like HBO style commercials.

I'm like, how's the trailer guy that makes the trailer going to have a job soon if this is what that did?

Like highly concerned at that point. But I myself am like really antsy to start taking that in consideration and like testing tools just over the last couple of weeks. I've looked at tools like Runway and Moon Valley.

[37:25] A lot of cool things within those tools, like even green screen things that I couldn't have done before.

You know, object removal and replacement. I know we all saw that like crazy, like at first it was that picture of like the Mona Lisa and then it turned into like the Nike, like girl, like the Nike selfie in the room.

That was crazy. That was like my first like, whoa, on image.

And it was probably the whoa for everyone one um or that aha moment as we like to call it in plg but uh but yeah it's definitely video because image like makes a lot of sense to me but video it's like i just i just gotta i have to get my hands on it like i'm i'm super excited to get my hands i just gotta find that time.

Andrew Miller:

[38:07] Absolutely absolutely and it's made so much progress in such a short period of time i think six months ago something launched and i tested it out and it was just like Like, ooh, you know, what, what was this?

This looks weird. You know, this does not look good. It's like the early days.

And I think Dolly still does this. Like, and it's not the video, but just like with a text, you write something in there and the text comes off all weird and the face is all askew. And the whole thing is like.

Hannah Recker:

[38:30] But it's getting so much better.

Andrew Miller:

[38:32] It's getting so much better. I mean, I've seen some of those videos that you're talking about where I don't remember exactly who this was or what, what tools.

So sorry for the non shout out here, but they were like running through.

Just their apartment it's like a one or two bedroom apartment and they had like a tp set up and some other things and you see the behind the scenes of what they actually did there and then you see the production and the production is like this amazing like video game world with huge castles and like all this stuff coming all around i was just like, wow you know i was so blown away i'm like and that didn't take them you know the six million dollar budget that disney has or pixar or anything like that it's this dude's running around this guy's running around with his camera just regular phone camera and like is able to set up things and then edit it uh i know that's not full like text to video but this is still just taking this basic visual and creating a masterpiece.

I mean, it blew me away. So definitely video.

Hannah Recker:

[39:38] Imagine like the indie, like how much like indie film and people that just want to like feel like how much that's going to change. Like that's going to be crazy.

I mean, I've seen some of these things where I'm like, I want to watch that show. Can I watch that show of this trailer that you just made?

Andrew Miller:

[39:51] You know, I wonder how many AI created shorts are going to go to South by Southwest next year. You know, I think that'll be really, Oh.

Hannah Recker:

[39:59] That's going to be so cool. Maybe I'll finally go back.

Andrew Miller:

[40:02] Yeah. Yeah. And fight the traffic. So good luck. Good luck with that.

Okay. Where would you say that AI maybe falls short?

And how are you in your particular area and how are you overcoming those limitations?

Hannah Recker:

[40:16] Yeah. So I definitely have not been able to successfully use AI to build strategy, right?

So I think it still takes that human brain there.

But then comes along with that is like just like your own creativity and authenticity right so it's it's really your own your own knowledge and of course you can continue to ask chat gpt questions right so it is you do have to feed that knowledge to chat gpt to make things as good as they could possibly be so, to anyone like out there thinking that oh is my experience like gonna completely fly out the door right and not even matter because of these you know these folks that have just graduated or just in their first full-time job as long as you embrace it your experience is still within you right you can still prompt and speak with chat gbt in a way that someone young can't right so So experience, creativity, authenticity, and just being real ultimately still matters.

[41:18] And ultimately, it will only matter more and more. We're going to be able to rely on AI more and more.

So that is only going to become more and more important, which then gets me back to the need to use AI at a minimum within your operational efficiencies today.

Because if you don't, you don't have time to think at a strategic level like you would without it. You don't have time to get as creative and be as authentic within your brand or whatever you're promoting.

[41:47] So it's just at least do it there.

At least take a stab within your processes so that you can hone in on those skills and get more and more experience.

So these young folks don't come up and steal our jobs, you know, because I really don't think it can happen.

It's like experience will always still matter.

Andrew Miller:

[42:06] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think that's a really, really good point.

I mean, you can come in there and know all the trends and the tips and tricks and how to hack something.

But I think that's, if you go back to the definition, and I know we didn't talk about it here, but you're in growth, the definition of growth marketing versus just growth hacking.

People's concept of growth hacking is you go in there, quick win, fix things.

But growth marketing is the full funnel that you're working on.

And you have to understand every moving part there to make the impact that you're really searching for. So I think that correlates really nicely to what you were talking about.

Um, you know, what, what emerging AI trends are you most excited about?

Hannah Recker:

[42:46] Yeah. So for me, I guess I'm mostly excited just because I haven't had the opportunity to implement personalization, um, in my organization at this point.

Um, so really thinking about personalization at scale and how that might, um, come into play next year, uh, within our organization once our, you know, new fiscal year starts February one.

So we're really already thinking about personalization within our org, and AI is only going to make that more powerful and possible for us.

So that's super exciting for me. I mean, you think about everything that we use on a day-to-day basis, like Netflix and Spotify are so magical because it does have that just like magical sense of personalization.

And we haven't had the opportunity and bandwidth to nail that and even experiment with it here yet at Coefficient. So I'm really excited to do that.

I mean, it helps with everything across the funnel.

Again, it's like it helps with demand gen, it helps with engagement, it helps with acquisition, it helps with retention, right?

So I'm definitely excited excited um about that trend you.

Andrew Miller:

[43:56] Know i i don't know how a uh how netflix knows me so well it kind of blows my mind and i i cannot churn you know if you look at it from like a business table i can't churn because it knows the great greatest next show that i didn't even know existed and it just popped up and i'm like oh no not that i have a lot of time you know with a 19 month old yeah yeah but it's like i gotta watch a little bit more so yeah it's it's amazing they really have that magical moment and they know how to dig in and keep you there because i i don't want to leave because it's so good it brings so much value yeah.

Hannah Recker:

[44:32] This is actually i have a question for you do you share an account like when you log in and you're watching with your wife which one are you watching.

Andrew Miller:

[44:40] We have a shared account we have a shared account, But my niece, we created a separate account for her so that she's not using the same one.

Hannah Recker:

[44:48] But you know, like the little icon, like the icon, like, okay, so your icon is like the two of you. And then you have separate icons.

Andrew Miller:

[44:57] No, we have the same icon. So we just logged it. I don't even know what it is.

I think it's just like, I don't know, a monster or something. Yeah.

Hannah Recker:

[45:06] My kids like chose something. I have myself and then we have Alex and then he, we, if we're watching together, we watch on his so like i'm sure his personalization isn't as great because i mess with it a little bit.

Andrew Miller:

[45:18] Yeah i guess maybe i'm just so so close you know i mean my wife and i watch basically the same thing mostly but there's always this random show like i don't want to say like i don't know the real estate one that recently like came out and they're all like they look like like the housewives of the sunset yeah yeah and it's like i'm never gonna watch that not not bad mouthing it for those people who want to watch it, but that keeps popping up. And I'm like, how is it on there?

I guess she sneaks that or- They do.

Hannah Recker:

[45:50] They have to be paying. They have to be paying because it shows up on mine and I've not watched it and it still shows up. They're paying them. They're paying them.

Andrew Miller:

[45:58] Yeah, I think it is. It's paid placement. So, all right.

How do you see the relationship between AI and human experts maybe evolving over the next few years?

Hannah Recker:

[46:08] Yeah. So, so for me, of course, like right now, it really is about just like learning how to use it, like learning how to prompt it, like learning what's possible and more and more is going to become possible over time.

So like right now you're, you're needing to feed those prompts, right? But eventually it's going to know your prompts. It's going to know you.

So you're going back to like creativity and authenticity. All of that's just going to become more and more important over time.

Um, so I definitely see the relationship like staying intact, but us having the ability to lean on it more, meaning that those things are just going to become more and more important, our own like human traits.

Andrew Miller:

[46:49] Absolutely. And you're, you're already starting to see that in some of these tailored products that are coming out there that it's like you train it with your own voice.

You upload, uh, all like the like content that you've written or an hour podcast that you've you've done.

And so it learns your speech patterns. It's learning, you know, how you communicate and what your, what your language selection is.

And then it's trying to build that in where we're still definitely in the infancy of it, but it's evolving really, really quickly.

Um, so yeah, definitely exciting on the personalization side.

I see that. I see that, um, on personal insights and lessons. Okay.

Oh, what's a lesson you've learned in your career that you, you know, and it could be AI related or it could not be just generally, you know, that you wish you knew earlier?

Hannah Recker:

[47:35] Yeah, so for me, it's really learning how to sell to an executive or even just your manager, right?

That doesn't come naturally to me.

I'm not a natural salesperson.

I have been fortunate that I have been able to do demos at places that I'm not here, but because I've always really believed in the product, right? So...

For me, it always has been like that's still a challenge for me.

I've, of course, gotten better over the years, but it's definitely still a challenge.

And I feel like that is going to be a challenge for so many people.

And because software and technology changes so much and like the way that you market or the way that you find whatever, all of these like core classes that we take change all the time, right?

So we take them and then it disappears, right?

You know, 10 years into our career, we're not using anything we learned there anymore. more, that's something that's always going to be important.

Right. So I, I'm sure there are classes, if you go get your MBA, that's like how to sell, you know.

Andrew Miller:

[48:37] How to manage up. Yeah. Yeah.

Hannah Recker:

[48:39] Like there's no point that this shouldn't be like an initial, like in your like undergrad degree.

I think because I know there are so many other people just like me that, that struggle with that and continue to learn.

If you have any recommendations of courses there, I would love, I would love to take them.

And also just building relationships, not just within your company, but outside of your company.

I've only really been doing that effectively over the last couple of years.

I would say that's because I jumped on the remote train long ago, you know, eight years ago, been working from home.

So building relationships outside of my organization hasn't come natural, but I guess over the last couple of years, I've just started using LinkedIn so much more, using Slack communities and things like that so much more.

And this has helped me with both my own AI knowledge, my marketing knowledge, connecting with people that can help with something I'm working on.

And then once you have that initial connection, like regardless what you connect on, you will be as long as you vibe when you're talking you will be able to have that connection for a very long time whether whether they're selling you something you're selling them something they're helping you with something relationships will always matter and with AI they're only going to matter more.

Andrew Miller:

[49:58] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think that's such a powerful, you know, powerful notes.

In this, you know, digital world that we're living in, I mean, COVID, like expedited, let's all go remote for a while.

You lose, you lose that human to human connection. And sometimes you even get that, that social anxiety if you go to a real in human meetup.

But did you realize that people are just people, and they're all out there, you know, ideally, you know, coming from a good place.

And if you build, like you say, like vibe and build that relationship, there's so many people.

That I still go back to that I met 10 years ago, eight years ago, five years ago, maybe like one time, but we had that connection or I've worked with them a couple of times and in the next org, hey, I reach out to that person again because they're the experts there.

[50:43] It's just building those relationships are so crucial in this very tech heavy remote world that we're living in.

You just can't beat it. I think there's all these like round table dinners and things like Eric Hsu, who, you know, also like putting out there and that's how he's built a lot of his relationships and his groups, uh, that, and those, those master, like those communities that have been built out there so that they can connect peer to peer with other groups out there.

I think that's, uh, so helpful for us as, as we're growing.

But you, you also touched on the first point was selling, selling to your supervisor and your leader.

[51:20] Um, yeah, that would have helped me so much in my initial career, because you get in there and you're thinking, okay, I'm hired for this job.

And that's all you have, like the individual contributor mindset that is like, I'm in here, you don't think outside of your kind of area.

And it's just like, I'm just knocking out, look, I got 160 blog posts published this month.

That's amazing, you know, but that's never been communicated.

Nobody beyond maybe you and I mean, maybe your supervisor, like looks at the note that it says this is deliverable or her deliverable. And that's what she what they did.

But it's not being communicated in a way that they they really care. What's the impact?

What's the longer term thing? So I think, I mean, I don't think you're you're right on, and that you have to have that open communication, you have to know, like, what is it that they're focusing on?

And what is the goal? And how are you supporting that to help achieve, you know, and just the communication aspect, selling is just, you know, communication and expressing that value that somebody else else is looking for and building that human connection that you're talking about from a community standpoint.

So, so many, I'm taking all these notes just so you know, from like this conversation, I'll be sharing them after this podcast and then the note write-ups, but so much good, good, uh, info here. Thank you, Hannah.

[52:37] All right. I have to ask this question because everybody's like, you know, what's the best book? Where do I go? You know, what am I looking for?

Where do I find this information?

Do you have any recommendations like your go-to on, you know, AI-related, you know, subject books, magazines, anything like that? that?

Hannah Recker:

[52:57] Absolutely. For me, it takes me looking at the big picture and then being really hands-on, right?

So one book I would recommend would be 2041. I don't know if you've read that.

But it made me, it opened my mind in a way that I would have never expected some of the things that I read in this book.

And it really talks about basically how AI is going to change the world in the next 20 years, right? It was written in 2021.

And one of the examples was actually, think about, you know, having like a robot in your classroom actually teaching your child, like think about this, that could be our children, right? Think about this.

[53:46] This robot can recognize and see across the room faster than a human, right?

And it can log information faster than a human can, right?

And it can recognize that this human child is having anxiety, right? But it can't tend to the anxiety.

It's a robot, right? So it gets scary, like, oh, are teachers going away?

[54:08] Absolutely not. Just like as a marketer, their human traits are only going to become more and more important.

So that's the book that really just like mind blown for me and really opened opened up my mind to think a lot about just the things that I could do and not, like, fearing the search, right?

Just, like, think outside of the box. It might not be there yet, but, like, I'm going to look for this tool, right?

And that goes back to, like, not drowning yourself and trying a lot of tools that aren't going to help you today, right? It'll be there when you need it.

But having the mental capacity to think of what could be there, right?

So that's what that did for me. And then there's a course called Unlock AI that I went through and actually only went through a couple months back.

And it's what really like gave me the sense of getting hands on.

It's actually a course that if you go through it, it's really teaching you like either personal branding or like company branding on LinkedIn.

So like we know a lot of the LinkedIn posts right now are being written by AI, right?

A lot of them are junk, but a lot of them are really still great, right? And...

At the moment, when I was going through this, I was really trying to sell to my executives about them getting involved on LinkedIn, right?

Like them starting to post and getting their brand out there, one of the greatest, like, branding things you could do today in an early stage startup or so. I'm still in the process of selling.

[55:31] I think I just got it over the line, though, at least for one of them. Um, but, but we, but I went through this course and it was really interesting because it showed me, it taught me a lot about prompting and the fact that basically what you're doing is you're, the first step is to really tell chat GBT your story.

So I use like a plugin to chat GBT for where I can just talk to it, which makes things a lot easier than me typing.

So again, efficiencies, get that voice plugin for sure. if you're going to be using it a lot.

But basically what you do is you plug in your story. You give it like personal stories, like your professional stories.

And then it turns all these things into your prompts that you then place into your templates and the example like posts that came from it, right?

So going through this course just opened my eyes to like what processes might look like, how to talk to chat GPT a lot more than I already was doing within my own research.

So I'd say what I had done like the six months previous to that were like 10x after going through that course and it'll just take you a few days.

Andrew Miller:

[56:40] Wow, that's awesome. And is Unlock AI, is that on like a specific platform?

Hannah Recker:

[56:47] So Matthew is his name. So if you search Matthew Unlock AI on LinkedIn, you'll find it. He's out of Sydney.

So it's a small like business. I think they've actually pivoted a few times over the last like year.

So it's, you know, what's really cool also is there's like a community of people like I'm on WhatsApp with all this group.

So we can like lean in on each other for other things too and AI kind of thing.

So it's really very like tight knit community.

And again, like the course you can go through in a week, you know, the entire thing in a week and actually start sharing your, like if it's something you've been thinking about as far as like LinkedIn and personal branding.

Anyone out there like do it like you could go through this course in a week and literally create like a month of content like in a few hours every month. Amazing.

Andrew Miller:

[57:35] Amazing. That sounds great. One visual that you gave me, though, on the book, you know, 2041 is a teacher, an AI robot teacher scanning the room.

And that just, you know, brings all kind of like shivers, you know, like I'm terrified because I can't I can't pass notes anymore to like get the answers for the test. You know, they're going to, they're going to see me.

So I'm sorry, future kids. Yeah. Yeah. They're going to be able to see, Hey, they're passing notes or they're looking over their friend's shoulder.

Hannah Recker:

[58:05] They thought parents were bad. They thought parents were bad.

Andrew Miller:

[58:08] No, no, no. So, so that, that's scary. I, I, I cry for the children that have to deal with that later. So sorry. No more, no more fun.

All right. What would you say is your like moonshot AI project for the future? future.

Hannah Recker:

[58:22] Yeah yeah absolutely for me it's like you know i've always wanted to start my own business and i see so many people out there on social that like are starting their business with ai in like a week right so i don't know i'm still like itching it's gonna happen of course ai will be involved now probably not in the product maybe eventually but um but definitely moonshot is like using it it for my own personal reasons.

The first thing would really just actually starting to post on LinkedIn, right? I went through this course, I might as well do it myself and not just let my executive do it.

But definitely like using AI to start a business, like there are all these like auto GPT, you know, like there's just so much out there that can like be your assistant, build for you.

And I don't know, it's super exciting, but definitely a moonshot, as you know.

Andrew Miller:

[59:12] I love it. I love it. Well, when you do launch that, please let me know, because I don't know what it does, but I'll be your first customer.

You know, I'll jump in there and test it out.

How can our listeners follow your work and what you're doing?

Hannah Recker:

[59:25] So really I'm just on LinkedIn. You can follow me.

You can find me Hannah Recker on LinkedIn. It starts with an R not a W and then just slash Hannah dash R-E-C-K-E-R.

And then if you want to follow Coefficient, you're interested in like spreadsheets, you use them in your day-to-day, you have any manual processes.

Andrew Miller:

[59:44] Everybody.

Hannah Recker:

[59:45] Yeah, exactly. Like just find us on LinkedIn. That's where we're most active or just at coefficient.io.

Andrew Miller:

[59:51] Gotcha. Gotcha. So if you use a spreadsheet and I I think that's like, that has to be like 98% of the business world, if not 100%. If you don't use a spreadsheet, I'm not sure what you're doing at work.

But if you do use it, go check out Coefficient for sure, for sure.

And I'll have links to your LinkedIn profile in the show notes and everything.

But Hannah, this has been a true pleasure.

Is there any final thoughts of wisdom or anything that you want to share with the audience before we close out?

Hannah Recker:

[1:00:24] Just go out there and get your hands dirty. I mean, that's really what it's about from an executive level all the way down to an individual contributor today.

If you can't, from an executive level, understand and do what these tools are doing, then you don't even know where to guide your team or how to guide your team.

So it matters for everyone right now, just like 10 years ago mattered for the rise in SaaS technology.

So get your hands dirty no matter who you are today. day.

Andrew Miller:

[1:00:53] Definitely. Well, Hannah, this has been a pleasure.

Thank you so much for coming on this show. I really enjoy the conversation and, uh, hope everybody stays tuned and listens to this because I learned a lot, you know, I'm going to leave all these notes from this conversation.

There's just so much. I literally have pages, pages of notes that I have written out here that I'm going to be sharing.

Uh, so again, thank you. And I appreciate your time and I look forward to seeing everybody on the next show.

Hannah Recker:

[1:01:23] Awesome. Bye.