Future of digital marketing | Shane Barker | Engati CX
Future of digital marketing | Shane Barker | Engati CX
Shane Barker, the CEO of Shane Barker consulting discusses the future of digital marketing with Engati for the interview series, Engati CX.

Future of digital marketing | Shane Barker | Engati CX

In a crash course to digital marketing, Shane Barker shares his process of crafting a comprehensive digital marketing strategy for brand building. He goes over the questions that companies need to ask themselves before building, and taking a brand to the next level.

We have the pleasure of welcoming Shane Barker to our Engati interview series today. This is Nishita from Engati. Actually, I would like to begin with a quick introduction for Engati. Engati is the world’s leading open multilingual, no code, chatbot platform available across 14 channels with 25,000 bots created across 186 countries in every domain and use case. We run the Engati blog and video channel which receives upwards of 300,000 visitors annually. And now for our guest…

Shane Barker is an accomplished digital marketing specialist and is the CEO of Shane Barker Consulting. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of digital marketing and has an expertise in consulting Fortune 500 companies and numerous A-List celebrities for their online digital marketing strategies and social media campaigns. 

Shane has also written multiple articles for publications such as the, HuffPost, Forbes, CoSchedule, and many others. Shane has also been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the space of Influencer Marketing. Welcome Shane, we’re thrilled to have you on our interview series.

Yeah, I'm excited to be a part of it. When you guys reached out and said, “Hey, we want to have you on the podcast?” I was like, “Oh, this is exciting.” I knew we had to accept fast. 

Yeah, that's great to hear from you. So we’ll move on to the first question here. We all understand that building the brand can be very tough. If you could help us understand what is a process that you follow when you actually build a comprehensive digital marketing strategy for one of your customers out there? 

Yeah, I think you know, building a brand is hard, right? Digital Marketing takes a lot of time and effort and a lot of times, money as well. So, you know, building a comprehensive brand. I think really what you have to figure out is what is the goal of the brand? Like, what are you looking to do? Right. And where is your market at? What do you need to do to be able to put that plan together? 

And once again, that's either gonna be, you know, money or resources that you have, right? And time. So that's what we do is we do the initial evaluation of saying, Hey, before we come up with the digital marketing strategy like, “who's your audience? Are you trying to sell to where do you think this audience is at?” Make sure that expectation is there with the brand, and they're looking to start like “Are you gonna do this full time? Are you  gonna do this part time? What is your budget to get this thing up and going? How much working capital do you have?” You know, I mean, there's a lot of questions that go into that. 

A lot of people have great ideas and have a logo. But to take it to the next step and actually build a brand once it takes a lot of time and a lot of resources. So I always like to educate people like, Hey, this is when you're being an entrepreneur in your building a brand, it's a constant grind, right? It's probably not gonna be 8 to 5. You're probably not gonna go home it 501 and go home and kiss your wife and eat dinner. You might. But the thing is, you're probably gonna be working from six until Midnight, right? The idea of this is that it just takes a lot of work. And I think that's important for people to understand before they jump into something that they don't really fully understand. We always make sure they understand that ahead of time.

The next question. What do you believe is the power of social media? Why should, or shouldn't it be a centre pin of digital marketing strategy?

Yeah, the power of social media. I mean, there's a number of of different factors, but I can tell you in a current times, right when we've got the Corona virus and stuff like that, like Social Media's is a huge factor in the sense that that's way that we're communicating and talking with people and getting hopefully maybe get in our news. 

Hopefully, it's real news, not fake news, but good news. It's what's going on in the world. But I think the cool part about it as it is in regards to a businesses that you can use social media for whatever right? You can talk about your products, your service. You can talk about things were going on your community. I think it is a What I call it is a social touch.

It's a way for you to give an example, like if I had to shut down my restaurant. In this current situation, I lose touch with all of my customers. But if you have social media, you don't lose full touch. You can tell people in your own, you know, on Twitter on Instagram or TikTok wherever they were still open. We're doing this. We're serving food. Were like so you can kind of keep in touch with everybody, right? 

And I don't think anybody thought that social media necessarily would be in this sort of situation where it's like, become a channel of communication. But now it's, like, essential, like they didn't have this, you know, whatever. A long time ago, 20 years ago, to be able to communicate and understand what's going on.

So this right now, if you've built up communities on Twitter, your Instagram, wherever this may be, or LinkedIn or your blog, you still have those communities right? And you can still tap other communities for either help or but in most education or anything. So I think social media now more than ever, if we have this conversation a month ago, I would have said, Yeah, it's important. Now we're realizing it's essential. 

It's absolutely a piece that you wanna have in regards to your marketing mix to make sure they're using it. Of course, and something from home. That's only the one place people can actually connect with any order. You want to actually get to know what's happening out there. Definitely, yeah, we're all using it right now for sure. 

Okay, so moving on to the next question since you mentioned about the pandemic, which is going on right now, what do you think is going to bring a change in the field of digital Once it's all over out there?

Yeah, it's, I think, in regards to this and what we got going on with the Coronavirus, and the pandemic. I think not only I'm hoping in the digital space, but I'm hoping in the world I hope that it brings people closer together. That's really what I'm hoping good will happen from it because this is the first time in history that we've ever really been fighting a common enemy, right? Usually it's, you know, it's wars, it's somebody versus somebody. You gotta pick a side and that's very ugly, not stuff that we want to be involved with.

But this is a situation where India is no different than China. No difference in the US, no different than any other country like we're all going after. We have one common enemy and it's the Coronavirus, right? And so I think we see, hopefully see a lot more people coming together from a humanistic standpoint, you know, to be able to help each other in time of need. And so one of the years, I don't care what country you're from, like we should all come together.

I think we're going to see that, you know, in a situation where we're all coming together and hopefully it's gonna happen in the digital space. What I really want to see- while this pandemic’s happening is more people in the digital space helping each other.

Let me give you an example; I had you know, to my biggest clients that I'm about two weeks. So I told my team, mate, we're gonna probably see some people cancel. Why to my biggest clients cancelled. We jumped on a college, them and less about, like trying to pull them back in contractually and say “no, you have to do this with us.” I said, “What can I do to help you guys like where you guys at right now? Like you guys can't afford this and I get that. But let's talk about that like, you know, marketing 100%. But what can I do to help you?” just from a human to human, like what can I do to help you guys in this situation?

Both those clients ended up coming back and coming back, Not full managed service that we had before, but they came back with a limited capacity, and that was because they said, you know, we appreciate you being human about it, right?

Because really business to business. I have a contract, You guys have to go forward with us like you can't cancel right because of my contracts, but that's just not the way to do things I wanted to like. You're going through this as much as I'm going through this right and you're a human, I'm a human. Then what can we do to work together and make things better? 

So that's really been my goal. I think the social, I think, you know, I haven't seen him. There's been a lot of companies that have actually surged that have actually done better during these times. Obviously travel and hotels and rental cars and all that kind of stuff has taken a major hit. But we've seen other industries that have gone to the roof I've had. I've got more leads in my webs off my website.

In the last two weeks, I've had more traffic to my website, so there's been some upticks. They're in regards to people obviously being at home and eyeballs there. So I think you know, once certain entries will be difficult. We're gonna probably go into a recession. But I think if we look at this from a humanistic standpoint how can we help each other on the digital space just worldwide? I think that is where that's where good things are gonna happen. 

I completely agree with it. So I also assume that it's finding the right target audience for your business at this time and, you know, trying to focus on that rather than, uh, you don't Just trying to cut down everything. What we can do out there?

Yeah, that's the thing too, is you have to realize that right now, most companies are stopping or freezing their budget for marketing. And that's not the thing to do, because if you freeze your this is what I'm what I'm planning on having.

All these other companies that are my competitors are gonna stop and freeze their budget, and I'm gonna double up on my budget and I'm gonna go and I'm gonna beat that in PPC because PBC now, if we'd usually $5 or click now it's a $1.50 because there's less competition. So bidding, I'm gonna take over the number one cures. And from an SEO perspective, my team is revamping my contents that I'll be number one for keywords that some of the number one marketers in the world are our number one for So this is the thing. 

Everybody, Let's pause. I'm doubling up on things and looking at this as an opportunity to move forward. 

So you grabbed the opportunity while everyone was sleeping on it?

That's the thing is everybody else were worried and I'm like, Yeah, I'm worried, but I know this is an opportunity. I know that this is, you know, before, Like I said, PPC I can triple my budget and spend the same amount of money that I was spending three weeks ago. And so now I can get the message out to more people. And once again, when we talk about messaging, you know, I am very sympathetic at the things that we've got going on.

The business does have to continue, right? And so I wanted people to know like, Hey, you know, if you can't afford it and you're scared and don't do it, absolutely don't do it. But the other people, if you have a healthy company and you just stopped working altogether, there are other people. They're gonna take advantage of this time and I'm gonna be one of them. 

Exactly. That's smart. Moving on to the next question. Do you believe that conversational intelligence or chatbots has the potential of taking on a significant portion of automation of customer support and lead generation for marketing in the future?

Yeah, I think Absolutely. I mean, we talked back about conversational intelligence and chatbots-- I think we're the infancy stages of that. We've seen obviously crazy amounts of improvements in regards to the finals. You can build answering questions. I mean, now, with customer service, you can, you know, most customer service is 80% of the questions are the same, right?

So that's where you can have somebody. And that's we have call centers that you train them because you know that 80% of questions are the same,  gonna be this and they know what to say. It's no different with chatbots. You can absolutely put those together, and you can Obviously, you can cut down the amount of payroll on different employees that you have because you have these individuals that can answer 80% of your questions. 

It's that's a bot that you sat up and then after that, you can know, it's the same thing. You can go and have that the other individuals that could go on answer those other 20% of questions. 

So chatbots are only the beginning. I think this is going to continue to get better and better in regards to how you answer things and what you can do in regards to customer service. But also through selling, there’s a lot of different things you can do with it. It’s just the beginning stages- there’s gonna be really exciting times here soon. 

Yeah. Sorry. So we'll be going to my next question. What role does AI play in businesses trying to optimize themselves to cross the finish line that you have mentioned frequently?

Yeah so, I think AI obviously I like anything else. It’s gonna help in regards to, you know, software that you can go in, and it'll help you make an educated decision off of data that's being put into that, right? And then So anytime you have something like that where you're putting in huge data sets of information and it's putting out a hypothesis, or putting out an answer for you is gonna be beneficial, right? 

I mean, I don't think there's gonna be ever a downside to once again because us as humans can look at so much stuff and come up with an evaluation of that.

AI is going to make it. So it's 10 times, 100 times better that they could look at things and come up with an answer within seconds. Right? And they think that's the value of of AI Is that saying that time savings that you're gonna be able to go in and and, you know, be able to use these softwares? I do think some people were worried about it taking over jobs and this kind of stuff. I don't think that's gonna happen. To me, It's software. It's just something that makes things more efficient. You can go in and use, but I don't think, you know, AI is ever gonna in our lifetime gonna take over what humans can do in regards to like having conversations like this probably wouldn't be an AI based conversation, right? 

AI’s base is very data driven. I'm human. I have feelings. I have this and you are too, right. So there's it's gonna be very difficult to like. Maybe, And I might bite my tongue you're maybe in 10 years they have that. I don't know. But right now, I think people shouldn't be worried about their jobs from an AI perspective, because AI was just here to improve things, you know, I think things will be good. 

Okay, so I think that's it. I just have one question left. Do you have any thoughts that you want to leave us with? 

Yeah, I think you know, for me, what I want to leave the viewers with is is remember. And these current times, even though it can be difficult, right, cause I think everybody's being quarantined and we have an everchanging world because of the Coronavirus. Remember that we're in this together. I think that's important. I think people need to understand that.

Like, listen, we're fighting a common, common war, right? And they think it's this time to help your neighbor. This is the time to doom. Or you know what you can do from home to be able to help local restaurants, to be able to help people that are in need if you have. You know, if you have a stable job and you have money like what can you do to help that next person, right? 

And give an example like, you know, I've gone and bought gift cards from restaurants that I'm not able to use for a few months. But I did that because I want to give back. There's certain people that have that, you know, restaurant people that I know that are friends of mine. And if we all did that, if we all looked at it from a human standpoint of helping each other I just think a lot of good can happen, especially cause it's gonna be trying times of these next few months with recessions and other things going on.

But if we stick together and think about it we're all humans, I don't care if you have white skin, brown skin, black skin that that's not that's mute Now. I don't care about that, and nobody should care about any of that. What you should care about is that you have a heartbeat. I have a heartbeat and we're here to make things better. And then the only way to do that is to come together and help each other. So that is That's less of a digital marketing message and more of, ah, just being a good person and doing good things. 

Okay, I think that was great. I learnt a lot about Digital Marketing. Thank you so much for spending so much time with us on giving it expert advice out there. 

Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. 

Hope you guys enjoyed this episode of Engati CX series. will be launching more interviews with experts across the globe onto then stay tuned.

The insights Shane has provided for us in the interview are extremely valuable. Listen to the full interview, available on Spotify now: 

We hope you’ve gained a lot of value from this interview with Shane Barker on Digital Marketing. Stay tuned for more interviews with thought leaders from across the world. Engati CX will be back with another episode soon.

If you’ve gained any value from our interview with Shane Barker, imagine the value you could gain by following him. Find Shane on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Check out the previous episode of the Engati CX series where we interviewed Antonio Grasso.

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