AiThority Interview with Rebecca Clyde, Co-Founder and CEO at Botco.ai
Hi Rebecca, please tell us about your current role and how you arrived at Botco.ai
I am the CEO & Co-founder of Botco.ai, an AI-powered marketing chat solution. After meeting serial entrepreneur Anu Shukla in 2016 at the Girls in Tech Catalyst conference, we sparked a conversation about our professional similarities. I had spent the last 15 years working in marketing automation, and Anu had built one of the first marketing automation platforms, Rubric, along with our other co-founder and CTO, Chris Maeda. Together, we remarked that the world had evolved to become “on demand everything,” yet the marketing automation platforms had not kept up. We asked ourselves: “Why can’t today’s marketing automation platforms communicate through text, chat and messaging?” That was the beginning of our journey together as Botco.ai.
What is Botco.ai and what are your various services / solutions?
Botco.ai is an AI-powered marketing automation solution that facilitates meaningful and intelligent conversations between businesses and consumers at scale in order to help drive user acquisition and customer engagement.
A few Botco.ai features include:
– Multi-channel chat — providing 24/7 response to inquiries about appointments, coverage, services and location information through websites, Facebook pages, mobile apps and other channels
– Training — the AI continues to learn and improve through use and consumer interactions to provide continually better answers and conversations
– Live data dashboard — using analytics, Botco.ai can share real-time insights from conversation transcripts, conversions to intents and re-engagement statistics in order to drive product, advertising and audience insights
– Integrations — connect to systems of record (EHR/CRM) to personalize conversations, automate workflows and book demos/appointments.
Tell us about your ICOP and which markets are you currently targeting?
Today we are very focused on the healthcare industry, which has especially suffered from a dearth of solutions that can address its complexities. The marketing technologies out there tend to be made for the “general business population” — meaning they don’t take into account industry-specific needs. In healthcare, HIPAA compliance requirements and the involvement of third parties such as insurance providers and employers means that marketing needs are much more complex. By understanding their needs and catering to those, we have found a strong following for our product, specifically in the areas of behavioral health, rehab, urgent care, physical therapy and wellness programs. We are currently working with a number of healthcare companies including American Family Care, STChealth, La Ventana and many others.
How is the pandemic era shaping up for the customer services solutions industry?
The pandemic forced all businesses in 2020 to accelerate their adoption of digital engagement solutions. The “digital front door” initiatives for healthcare providers went from being optional to required. I still can’t believe that for most of my family’s healthcare needs I have to make a phone call (a 150 year old technology!) to schedule an appointment. This is not sustainable economically for providers; nor is it a good experience for families. [Side note: According to research, women are carrying this burden disproportionately as they are typically the ones responsible for scheduling all their families’ healthcare appointments. We are the chief medical officers of our families. By reducing the friction required to do this work, we are giving women back time to be better moms, professionals and the breadwinners that so many of them are.]
What major changes do you expect to happen once Marketing and Sales teams move past the pandemic restrictions?
We don’t see people going back to the “old way” of doing things. Expectations have fundamentally changed forever. Families want more digital engagement options to interact with their healthcare providers, from discovery and scheduling and all the way through the care journey. For marketers everywhere, even outside of healthcare, we have to realize that our customers will continue to demand digital solutions to interact with our businesses that are elegant, low-friction and effective in getting the job done.
Tell us a little more about your current remote workplace collaboration technology stack? How is it different from the first two months of lockdown?
We were a remote team from day 1 — our founders are in 3 different cities (Anu is in Fremont, California; I am in Phoenix, Arizona; and Chris is in Toronto, Canada). We were already using all the virtual tools from the get-go. Slack, Zoom, etc. were old hat for us when the lockdown came to be. We were already accustomed to hiring virtually and managing remote teams. I have not personally met most of our employees in real life! Certainly, I hope to make the rounds once this is possible and finally meet everyone in person, but for now we stay connected 100% virtually.
How is today’s AI ML technology landscape different from what it was when you first joined Botco.ai.
Today there are way more open source and “AI as a Service” options to work with! I like to think of technology as a massive, communal Lego building project. When new colors and shapes of Legos show up, we have more possibilities!
Tell us about your various data science initiatives?
Our focus has been in the areas for fast knowledge acquisition and content/topic clustering for conversational data. The goal is to help train the AI faster from the get-go and provide rich, actionable insights and recommended next best actions from conversations.
Your predictions on the future of Marketing automation in the era of AI ML / Robotics?
Marketing automation as we know it will fundamentally change. The driving force is a fundamental shift in customer expectations. They increasingly require self-serve experiences, available in a personalized and real-time fashion. The days of 8-week handcrafted drip campaigns are behind us. In the future, every nurture experience will be uniquely crafted for the individual interacting with it and it will be done in a fully automated manner.
A technology in advertising that you are keenly following and expect to become a major disruptor in the coming months –
I am very interested in voice/audio technologies. This is how we are wired to communicate (vs. written language). I’m interested in platforms like Clubhouse that are using these channels in novel ways!
Your message to young female marketing technology professionals – what kind of data science training should they acquire to be successful in your industry –
I’ll answer this question with my hiring/CEO lens. I find there are some people who are great at analysis but have a hard time connecting data to the real world. The combined ability to translate data into real life and vice versa is especially unique. When I see applied mathematics alongside a humanities degree, I get especially intrigued! That is the person I would want to interview first.
Thank you, Rebecca! That was fun and we hope to see you back on AiThority.com soon.
Rebecca Clyde is a Co-Founder and CEO at Botco.ai
Botco.ai is a HIPAA-compliant platform enabling meaningful and intelligent conversations between providers and consumers. Botco.ai is a fully-automated, AI-powered marketing chat solution that can be implemented at scale. The company offers industry-leading authoring, webchat, and AI machine-learning capabilities to quickly and effectively convert more customers. Botco.ai’s Integrated Analytics Dashboard provides a comprehensive view of chat campaigns across multiple channels such as web and Facebook Messenger. The API-based interface can be used to transfer leads, transcripts, and data into enterprise sales and marketing automation products like Salesforce, Hubspot, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and Zoho.