Chatbots: Keep It Human With Your Bots

Guest: Dave Gerhardt Vice President of Marketing, Drift

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Keep It Human With Your Bots

Call an Uber, order from Amazon, book a hotel… You can do all of these things instantly—even at 4 AM. People today want commodities quickly and with round the clock access. Believe it or not, your B2B buyers are also people, and they probably want the same. Now, most businesses can’t man their websites 24/7 (unless you’re shelling out for night shift employees or lots of coffee)—this is where the chatbot comes. But there’s an art to the bot—they shouldn’t replace humans, but should help facilitate conversations with customers. Proper use can result in tremendous boost to lead generation, and can radically speed up a company’s growth.

Dave Gerhardt, author of Conversational Marketing and VP of Marketing at Drift, joined RTU for a chat bot chat, and really digs into the value, and ideal usage, of these automated critters. Beyond that, Dave touches on a few broader subjects, including how marketing efforts need to be rooted in empathy and humanity. After all, you’ll always be marketing to people.

Hear why businesses big and small can benefit from chatbots—listen in!

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What You’ll Learn

Conversational marketing: why you should nix your lead form

When Drift nixed its own lead form, they did so to teach the market about conversational marketing! Drift needed to practice what it preached. Drift utilizes bots to capture leads. Instead of a form submission, there is a conversation with a potential customer. Dave shares that a form is binary while a chatbot allows a conversation to occur. Today’s technology is so good that from a single email address, your company can get ample information. Because of this, companies should feel free to focus on the conversation.

For the whole article:


    • [2:40] Get to know Dave, and why he was first attracted to Drift
    • [6:15] Information from his book, Conversational Marketing
    • [11:11] Is there every information on a website worth gating?
    • [14:03] Why chatbots
    • [20:20] Embedding a calendar-like function to a chatbot
    • [25:20] The point of moving from a chatbot to livechat
    • [28:16] Why speed matters!
    • [31:37] The importance of empathy in sales conversations
    • [35:40] Using chatbots for customer service and post sales
  • [39:35] CQL’s and why they will save the world

Connect With Dave Gerhardt:

    • Connect with Dave Gerhardt on LinkedIn

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Drew

Meet the Guest

Dave Gerhardt is VP of Marketing at Drift and a passionate advocate of building brands around compelling stories that connect with customers. Since joining Drift in 2015 as employee #6, Dave has helped to create the category of conversational marketing and get 150,000+ businesses onboard with Drift, and Drift has been profiled in more than 100 publications, including The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, TechCrunch and the Harvard Business Review; and won recognition in the Forbes Cloud 100, LinkedIn’s Top 50 Startups, Entrepreneur’s Top Company Cultures, the NVCA’s SaaS Company of the Year and the Boston Business Journal’s Best Places to Work. Dave has spearheaded the creation of Drift’s annual HYPERGROWTH conference, which has grown to over 12,000 marketing and sales professionals to date. Dave is also the co-host of Seeking Wisdom, Drift’s popular podcast that explores personal and professional growth and the co-author of Conversational Marketing. Before joining Drift, Dave worked at some of the fastest-growing SaaS and B2B marketing companies in the Greater Boston Area, including HubSpot and Constant Contact.

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