Mind The Gap, with Kristina Libby

Shashi Bellamkonda

Does your marketing team need to “speak” in data? In this episode, Nick sits down with Shashi Bellamkonda, VP of Marketing at Involve.ai, to discuss the overlap between analytics and marketing, measuring attribution in the age of AI, and marketing serving as a “center of excellence” within an organization


In this episode, Shashi Bellamkonda, VP of Marketing at Involve.ai, opens up about his thoughts on AI’s place in marketing and the potential that machine-driven solutions have. Also discussed:

  • How data-savvy today’s marketers need to be (hint: it depends)
  • The strange overlap between marketing and data analysis 
  • Marketing attribution in the age of AI
  • How much time and budget marketing teams should dedicated to experimentation
  • Marketing as a center of excellence as an embedded function of other teams 

This episode is perfect for anyone frustrated with the lack of data analysis in their revenue facing teams that’s interested in learning what else the industry has to offer.


Nick: Hey everyone and welcome to another episode of Mind the Gap, the only podcast by Enablix seeking sales and marketing alignment. I’m your host Nick Ziech-Lopez and today I’m joined by Shashi Bellamkonda. 

Shashi, how’s it going?

Shashi: Good. Thank you so much for having me on your podcast. 

Nick: Absolutely and thank you for bearing with our audio, video issues coming into the episode. I appreciate that. You sound great. 

To start off, could you give a brief intro who is Shashi and what it is that you do?

Shashi: Great I’m Shashi Bellamkonda by the time this podcast is published, I will be the VP Head of Marketing at a company called Involve.ai

You can see I have a Southern accent, right?

So it’s like “involved” without the D in it. 

I’m really excited because one of my missions was to get into a company that does AI. And so this is good. My previous company I was the VP of marketing at Leap, which is a SAS company that does sales software for the home improvement industry.

I’ve been in the U.S for about 25 years. for about, uh, 25 years. In my previous life, I lived in four other countries including growing up in India.

So that’s me. 

Nick: That’s gonna be a podcast all to itself, “Shashi before America.”

No, no.

Thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I know we have a lot to talk about. I am interested though, just real quick, Involve.ai. 

The “.ai” trend is certainly taking over. Is that something you were looking for? And do you think the “.ai” will persist next to “.com?” Where do you think that’s going?

Shashi: You know AI is still very early. Speaking to a panel in marketing pros, just on how marketing can use AI. It all started with AI is going to take over everybody’s job and things like that.

But the amount of efficiency that AI can give in every aspect of human life. It’s not going to replace anything, but it’s going to make it more efficient. I know this because in the last two companies, I’ve been dabbling a little bit with creating models, where I was amazed at the amount of correlation that it can make.

So to answer your question, I think there will be a lot of applications for AI. It’s as simple as today if you’re typing in Gmail. Gmail seems to know what you want to answer and honestly maybe my last email to you, Nick was entirely written by Google .

Nick: There should be a disclaimer at the bottom, “sorry for the typos. This email was written by Google.” 

Shashi: Yeah. Yeah. That’s true.

In fact, I was actually looking at another tool called, I think it’s called Jarvis now. 

No, I’m sorry. It’s called, Jasper. It used to be called Jarvis. 

Nick: That’s right. 

Shashi: So efficient in learning from what you’re writing and adding sentences. It’s amazing. It’s not going to do it on its own. 

We still need the vast power of the human brain and imagination.

Nick: Certainly motivational words. I wanted to start there. It’s something that we’ve talked about recently, but you think that marketers need to get better at using both technologies like these and data, period.

Can you tell us a little bit more about why marketers should be fluent in data?

Shashi: You know, I just got off of a company all-hands and it was about what’s happening in marketing. That’s probably one of my last all-hands at my previous company. Everybody today who’s working wants to know how their job impacts the company.

So there are three things that I think team members today would like to know, what are the goals? How does their work impact the goals? And do they learn something new every day? So earlier, marketing was like, you can be creative, you can do new things, but the end goal was just creation. Not necessarily measuring the entire thing.

I think with the advent of SAS, marketers have to be more data driven because they want to know exactly the behavior of the different stages. Like how do people behave at the top of the funnel all the way to a customer. 

I think the future is also making sure marketing doesn’t stop at the customer once they become a customer, but continues through the life cycle.

So you need to know data like who’s this person? What interests them? What do they visit? And everybody wants a personal experience.

Do you agree with that?

Nick: I think it’s interesting because I sit on both sides and not pandering, but I really do. 

I think that understanding and working with data is incredibly important to solve specific problems.

I think it’s amazing, what it can do. 

From that routine, I’m just talking about data analysis, querying a database or a data set, and coming up with insights given that data. The further you go into that being useful on day to day, I think you get further and further away from the pool of candidates you can hire into. Because I think marketers also need to have empathy and I think they need to be creative and they need to come up with good ideas. And a lot of that doesn’t come from data. 

So I sit on, you need to be dangerous enough with data that you can solve specific problems, but if you become a data expert, if you’re requiring your marketers to be data experts, you’re almost putting too much of a burden for what you’re expecting a marketer to be. But if you’re totally divorced from the data and I know I’ve worked with people that say things like, “oh, I’m not a data guy.”

Well, I think that’s a luxury that we can no longer afford, is not to be a data person. But, I think if creativity and empathy are parts of the job, it’s gotta add up to a hundred somewhere. You have to be really good at coming up with ideas and concepts that no one thought of, if you’re not going to work with that much data, or on the other hand, you could be pretty data centric.

But, that limits how much I’m expecting on the creative side from that content marketer, so to speak. 

Shashi: You know, you make an excellent point. 

I agree with that. Everybody can be everything in a team, where in the last eight years I’ve worked for large companies, like network solutions where you had like almost every specialty and every job was kind of customized. But what I’m finding is you have to develop multiple skills and you don’t have to be good at it at all. 

For example, the other day, we were trying to solve a problem where a particular email tool that we are using did not have enough, the ability to customize an image and make a link to it. Now they did have the ability to play around with the HTML. 

So there are two options here, either as a marketer you say like, hey great. I actually took the time to learn HTML so I can manipulate the image or say things like, I can’t do this and I’m gonna send it to IT. Now what happens there is like your efficiency kind of lost a little bit. 

So it may be just easier, so I think you are absolutely right that data can be your main job. There are probably enough people with analysis and analysts to do that. 

But if you want a quick answer, you should be knowledgeable enough to be able to get that answer yourself. I mean, one of my big achievements I think is building Salesforce dashboards. I never imagined I would be doing that, but I can look at it on a daily basis and see if you need to tweak our campaigns, make sure that we are on target. If that makes sense. 

Nick: I think that’s where I think that there’s a fair amount of skill overlap between those two disciplines. You know, it’s funny. I didn’t start my career in marketing. I started my career in analysis actually, and I migrated over to marketing because I think there’s a lot of overlap. 

Because effective data analysis is really just presenting information to people effectively. 

Yeah, finding the information is very important and that’s the whole analysis. But if you can’t easily break it down to someone, the conclusions you should take away, it really doesn’t matter what you found because it’s not worthwhile. 

As a marketer, what we’re doing is just communicating. We’re communicating the value to use a buzzword, right? We’re understanding pain. And so there’s that overlap, like you mentioned Salesforce dashboards and that separates good BI from bad BI. 

Yeah a dashboard is a dashboard, but is it telling a story that gives me useful information or it just numbers? The end point of analysis is almost marketing in itself because you’re telling that story and communicating, hey look this is the thing I found, and this is what it means.

Shashi: I’ll give you another example. I have an extremely creative person on the team and she was very interested in learning more about data. And once she learned it, like now she’s able to track people from opens to clicks, to actually getting to the thank you page. Now in between I think it involves getting two to three different tools and being familiar with them.

Now just to tell you, maybe the answer in future is not necessarily the marketer learning all of this, but I’m pretty sure there’ll be an AI that will come back and say like, here’s the results of your campaign. 

Nick: Yeah. 

Shashi: So I’m looking forward to that day when we don’t have to be like master fall.

Nick: Yeah.

So let me get your thoughts then. If you follow the kind of refined lab story, which is to say a lot of this is happening in the dark funnel. And a lot of those machine generated recommendations may not be capturing the entire data set.

How do you get a feel for when you’re measuring, even if you’re creating a model or you’re feeding into an AI, how do you get a feel for when you have the right data and when you don’t?

Shashi: That’s a great question. 

For example, I teach at Georgetown and sometimes you have to use infer attribution and by infer attribution you can track probably 70 to 80% of all your activities that you do. And maybe 30% of you don’t know how they came into the funnel or how they took some action, but the method that I have adopted is to make sure that I can talk about the budget that’s allocated to very definitive metrics. The rest of the budget to the infer attribution. 

Nick: Yeah. 

Shashi: It’s going to change a lot, yeah, you’re absolutely right.

You know, privacy becoming a big thing, tracking methodology is going to change, somebody’s user 1, 25, 23, XYZ, but you don’t know who that is. 

Nick: Yeah, yeah. 

How did you know my username? No. No. 

Hey, so that is a good question. 

I know we’re all over the place here, but let me ask you, I see people say oh you should set aside specifically for marketing. You should set aside a certain percent of your time and budget for experimentation. I think that’s the inferred attribution you’re referring to right here are things that listen, I can’t tell you what they did, but I feel like they’re the right thing to do. 

What percent for you, what percent? Right.

You’re given a hundred dollars. How much of that do you put towards? And I know it’s different in every scenario because you know if for certain something’s working, put all your money behind it. 

But just in a given time, what percent of your time slash money do you use to experiment in marketing?

Shashi: You know, the easiest thing to say is 20%. 

But let me tell you like PR. PR professionals will say that’s easy to track. But if you are a small scrappy company and you want to do PR, you have to have measurements other than like, for example, in both the companies that I worked, here’s what the CU and the board members said, “I don’t know what’s happening, but I’m getting more inbound calls from investors from everybody else. Whereas previously I used to call them and nobody would answer my call.”

Nick: Yeah. 

Shashi: That’s very anecdotal. Right. But you know for this particular angle, like let’s say most marketers have the “should we do TikTok or not?”

And it’s not like on TikTok, you’re going to somebody who’s going to click and say you’re going. They’re going to come back. And one of the methods that I’ve used is, I’ll give you an example of measuring ads at the Metro, especially if you’re in the DC area. There’s an ad in the Metro, you have a phone number, you have a link to the website, nobody clicks on the link because they’re in a Metro obviously. They’re not gonna call. 

They might take a picture or they might go home and search for your brand. So if you see in a particular test range that hey, after starting this campaign on TikTok or PR, now we see that our organic search is actually going up.

You can infer that the money that is spent on this is probably driving this. Does it make sense to you Nick? 

Nick: Oh, it absolutely does. And just in your example, I think if you’re gonna have one person have an anecdotal feeling that something’s working, the CEO is a really good place to start off who’s going to feel that way. 

So we had talked about that as far as, to your point about the CEO or whatever that is. I think there’s a lot of discussion right now of whether marketing should just ultimately be online for revenue. Is marketing just a revenue center? And that’s what if the revenue goes up, marketing’s doing a great job. If it doesn’t, we need new marketing. 

I know that you’ve discussed the difference between services marketing and revenue marketing. Could you just for the pod. briefly tell me what you think the difference is between the two?

Shashi: Yeah. 

So I think it depends on the company that you’re in, right?

Let’s say you are working for a nonprofit and the nonprofit is, let’s say wants to influence legislation. So obviously the marketing team won’t sign up for revenue. The market team will sign up for how many let’s for the lack of how many people in the house that they have influenced. And that could very well be just with website traffic and very well be like eyeballs on some of the ads that they have. 

But if you are working for a SAS company, you’re doing two things. I get this question very often, in marketing we want to do brand awareness. We don’t want to sign up for revenue. 

Nick: Yeah. 

Shashi: My personal opinion is that’s the wrong approach because without brand awareness, there’s no revenue. So you have to do all of these in sequence. 

So start with brand awareness with the ultimate goal of saying like hey, I’m going to get to a revenue of 50% marketing device and here are all the steps that I’m going to spend. I mean I think the other part which you are is how do you get existing customers to stay on like a retention market?

Nick: Yeah 

Shashi: I think during the pandemic, a lot of my peers were actually saying this is the time to hug our customers. Which I think we should be doing anyway. Cool. 

Nick: It’s just awkward that it was during a pandemic where we shouldn’t be hugging people. That was the only downside. 

Shashi: That’s a good point. Yeah.

Nick: To that point, I am seeing an increase in the term life cycle marketing. 

Which is to say hey you know, marketing and this is where I think roles get confused in a way. But in that world, if marketing is on the hook for revenue, you’re not just attracting and understanding buyers, you’re nurturing them and getting them to grow with you.

Where do you see in your perfect world, how far into customer success should marketing go? Should marketing have advocates on the CS team? Should marketing own a portion of that? How does that go? 

Because like you said, if you’re growing your customer’s 300%, that’s tripling revenue, right? That’s amazing as it is. 

Shashi: You know, this is a very good question. 

I think everybody should be thinking about this now. In my opinion, the way I would structure it and probably have done it a little bit with a thin wall, instead of the customer marketer sitting in the marketing of the product marketers sitting in marketing, we actually make them sit in those versions. 

There are two reasons for that. Number one is they are as close to everything that’s happening there as possible. They’re learning a lot. Their job is to do magic with words and communication. I mean a marketer’s job is to make sure everything is so clear and precise that customers and prospects can understand it.

I see in the future it will be like marketing is almost like the center of excellence. If you say, hey customer marketer here are some tools, here are some schedules, here are some ways to spread the message, and product marketers sit with the product. It has been a challenge when you are not sitting with that you anyway, have to get that information from them. 

So my way of working would probably be even if it’s a smaller company to make sure that you are putting people in places where they’re closest to the front lines. If that makes sense.

Nick: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense and it is interesting because you know, there is that balance of how much of a centralized marketing function are we going to have and you know keep whatever goodness we have in this marketing team there versus how are we going to fan out and nurture. There’s marketing in almost every part of an organization.

Like even ops. and products and all this. So you really do you kind of, I like that. I like that idea. I like the idea of people coming together and understanding marketing. I think that there are several other functions and the reason that I kinda like this is that I believe this is how analysis should be as well.

So I think that there are several when you plan out your company, if you’re gonna grow to a thousand people, you can almost look at these vertical things and this is where the marketing and the analyst can kind of share roles.

Having this on the team is going to A. raise the tide, but B. be accountable for something entirely different on each team while serving the same purpose, right. An analyst is going to do something entirely different on the product side versus the marketing versus the sales side versus anything else. 

Well, so is the marketer, but they’re effectively doing the same thing. They’re understanding the customer and telling the story of the customer. I like the idea of less of a centralized function and more of an embedded function.

Maybe embedded marketing is what we’re gonna start calling it.

Shashi: I like that, Yes. 

Hey uh, you heard it here first from Nick.

Nick: No, I see that. 

Oh, so let’s follow that thread a little bit. Because I know you’re obviously going to be thinking about some of these decisions as you start your team. 

How do you, so you lead a group of people together, right? You’re coming in either as the head or you’re hiring in, how do you lay out for them, what is it structured thinking? 

I’m not talking about roles and expectations, but how do you get people on fire if they’re not? And how do you find people that are on fire for just understanding the customer?

How do you find that talent or grow that talent?

Shashi: You know, that’s a great question. 

I think in my life, if I’ve hired for attitude and somebody who’s a lifelong learner, I think they would fit in very well. Where a little bit of hitting the ground running would probably be if you are familiar with some of the tools that are there.

But at the same time it’s very tough for somebody to come out of college and get into a job because most people are expecting someone who’s exactly been doing this job for a long time. 

Nick: Yeah.

Shashi: I hope I’m able to change that a little bit. I myself have changed careers. I used to be in the hospitality industry. In fact as you know Nick, I used to be a chef at one time. 

But I know I went to community college and I learned a lot of technology that I did not need in my previous job, but that helped me move to marketing. So I’d like to pay it forward by trying to see if we could get other people who want to learn.

I think everybody at any level has to be continuously learning. I mean see what happened to the world in the last 10 years, right? 

There’s so much change that we are all getting used to. So I think we should hire for attitude. We should balance it out by having enough people with experience, so they’re able to mentor and train and help people to grow. 

Nick: Yeah. 

Shashi: So when I think about the team, that’s what I would be thinking. Obviously, if I have to hire a data science engineer, I can’t teach him because I don’t know anything about data science or I would hire somebody else.

Nick: Right.

Shashi: Or I would hire an agency or another firm that does data science. 

Nick: Yeah and that’s actually another, if we’re coming out with mental models here for organizational growth, I really like that one. 

Is this an attitude hire or an immediate performance hire? Because I like how you said data science engineers, you could have the greatest attitude in the world, but it’s probably gonna be nine to 15 months until, if you’re coming in with a good attitude and no data science background. 

Maybe you’re in a position where that’s an attitude hire and you’re looking to grow someone and you’re putting them through a bootcamp, but typically for data science and other things, that’s an immediate performance hire, right? Within three to six months, you’re going to need to see output. 

I think that marketing has, whether it’s marketing or product or sales or whatever that is, there are attitude and there are immediate performance hires. I think a lot of us like to pretend that we’re immediates performance hires and we’re just attitude hires just masquerading as people who can come in and perform .

Shashi: I have an idea for you Nick. 

Nick: Go ahead. 

Shashi: You should have “Nick’s Dictionary of New Terms.” A lot of good terms that we heard here. 

So I like this immediate performance hire and attitude hire. I think these are good terms. 

Nick: Yeah, listen…

Shashi: I should be interviewing you.

Nick: No, I’m just able to market myself on the podcast well. That’s all I can do. 

But I think there’s a lot to be said for you know, if people say like in the job description, right? Should job descriptions be changing? Should you put the salary up front? 

And while I agree with a lot of it, on the other hand, there is a lot of the direct straightforward of hey, you need to do this, this, and this that a lot of positions have. It would be interesting to have alternative job descriptions, like either you’re an attitude hire, and this is the salary range or maybe there’s a higher salary range for an immediate impact person because I’m expecting different things from you.

I think in many organizations we have the flexibility, especially if you’re making multiple hires at a time to pick one or the other. It would be interesting to be open about that and communicate that to the market. 

Shashi: Yeah, I agree with you. 

I think there’ll be a huge change in job descriptions. There’ll be a huge change in workplace. 

One of the easiest things, in my opinion, marketing does not have to sit in an office from nine to five. I think if the structure of marketing is good and they know what the goals are, then there are some touchpoints that everybody needs to hit.

For example, if you have somebody whose job is to like manage campaigns for webinars, they can do it at six in the morning. They can do it at 10 at night. They can, if they have a family, they can take them to the doctor, come back and do that. I think asynchronous work is going to be more and more.

Obviously as human beings, we like to interact with each other and this is not a debate about whether we should be in office or remote, but it’s more of a debate about can you make your team see the goals clearly enough and they understand where they are going towards? Do they understand that?

If for some reason a webinar gets dropped, that’s like 25% of your monthly goals. If they understand that you don’t even have to tell them, they’re going to say, I got it, I’m off to give you this. There’s a little bit of course correction that’s needed depending on how the outside world is. But as long as they have a set plan, they can do it from anywhere. 

Nick: There’s so many things that people talk about like what great leadership is. And I’m not touching on that, but I think good management when it comes to managing people, I think good management is communicating the priority of goals. These are the important things. Here are the less important things. Can we please get on the same page with that? Then inspiring people to go and hit them. Like if you’re gonna bucketize it. 

Because you’re right and we’ve all seen examples where maybe somebody was doing a great job, but an individual or a team or whatever clearly just did not understand the impact of what they were working on. And we’re down here where we’re dropping balls up here, where it’s far more important. 

And you see organizations do it too. Things like customer retention. Customer retention should probably be in your top three, but people are over here working on increasing new sales channels while we’re starting to lose people or churn.

I think just getting on the same page of what’s important here is half the battle.

Shashi: Yeah. 

And I would give you a counterpoint. It doesn’t disagree with what you said, but what I’m seeing in a multi-generational workplace today is that a manager doesn’t have to be detail oriented. And sometimes an ambiguous manager may actually do better because he or she is coming out and saying, hey I need this done and the team member figures it out something that’s even more skillful and better than what the manager could have thought of.

I have some great personal experience, I love telling the team like hey you came here, I gave you a few tips about how to do things, but you’ve been doing things that I could not even imagine that we could be doing creatively. 

Nick: Yeah. 

Shashi: So I’m glad about that. I would hate to be a manager who would say okay, here’s a standard operating procedure, take it and go do your job. We have to have processes. I agree with that, but we have to have enough leeway for the person’s creativity to come. 

And mistakes will be there. One of my pet peeves is not having typos and the link should always work. But it happens like when you have, especially when you have a huge volume, then they figure out like hey, if that’s our expectation, let me make sure that my panel who’s on the other side of the zoom call. It gives me five minutes to give it a second set of five.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. 

I think that just at that point, my pet peeve is when someone produces work that maybe you should go in front of a customer or maybe not, or whatever it is. And it’s very clear of like they didn’t even do the check of like would they understand it if they read it. And you know what I’m talking about, you’ll see stuff right away like hey, I can’t even read this. 

I think you did technically what you thought I was asking for, but that ambiguity is so like, I’m just hey, can you make a page that looks like you’d want to read it. 

So we’re coming up on time. Before we break, I know that I’ve seen you on LinkedIn. You’ve talked about it a bit about what AI can do for marketing. And you’re learning Python I saw.

Can I get any bold predictions for the next five years of marketing? What do you think will be markedly different in five years than we’re doing today?

Shashi: You know, I’d be lying if I told you I could forecast the future in five years, but I’ve been pretty good at science fiction in a way.

I think here’s what we will get and we probably are already there, but companies are not telling us that we are there. The ability to predict when the buyer cycle is versus the ability to think about a sale cycle is totally going to be much easier. 

For example, I’m going to throw a plug for Enablix simply because I think it’s a great solution, But the reason why I’m not in the buyer cycle yet is because my team is changing and so much is changing.

There’s definitely a need. In the last brainstorm people said hey, we want to be able to go to one place and classify everything and get the right collateral at the right time. You know, some of the technology that you use in AI, like it’s almost like I predict as a salesperson is on a call they’re going to get prompted by hey, we analyze the call. We analyze the whole talk track. We analyze all the data we have on the customer. 

Here are three things that you should send the customer and they’re not spying on anybody, but they’re taking all the existing data, making so many correlations to be able to predict. I think that’ll get easier. 

It’s already there. I mean on your mobile phone at lunchtime you get a ping from an app that tells you here are five restaurants that are offering. And marketing will get to that kind of a prediction model. 

Nick: Even to that, even to that point right there, I think a lot of times we think about like oh, we’re gonna be solving these big problems with data and we’re gonna know and oftentimes the answer is like oh, is it lunchtime? Suggest a restaurant.

So I think getting to the simple you know, it’s not simple, but getting to the simple looking conclusion of you’re buyer journey starts now. I think it takes a while, but I could absolutely see that happening.

Shashi: I’ll give you two case studies of customer success. 

Nick: Please do. 

Shashi: We have like NPS codes. We have got so much data on customers and usually I’ve always seen in my previous jobs, you have to download a spreadsheet here and try to make sense of it. 

Now, if a customer calls for help more times, a human being can think like oh my God, this customer is calling for support a lot. So they’re probably going to churn. 

Or a customer never calls you, but the usage is high. But you don’t know what to make out of it. I think my prediction and it’s already, probably there, is maybe the customer who’s calling support quite a lot is doing that because they’re doing extremely well. They’re expanding their team and they want to get people onboarded so that’s like an expansion opportunity. 

And maybe the person who’s not calling support at all may actually be that your software is so good that they don’t need support. So they’re not a churn risk. That’s where I think AI will be better than us. Because as a human being I would say in the first case like oh my God, we need to do something. We need to have a meeting with them. 

But AI can tell you hey, you need to maybe give them a different package or something like that. So that predictability we have. 

I’m a big user of Google portals. I’m so happy that every time I want to post a flower picture, I just go to Google photos and say flowers and it comes. It’s not a hundred percent accurate, but it does bring up a nice napkin, folded like a flower also. 

Maybe that’s another prediction AI will start learning. 

Nick: Where I would like AI to get better, because what you did is you said all right, if we put all the signs, all the things we can measure right now on paper, I would think this is bad, but it could potentially be good.

Speaking of Google, where I would like to get that is one time I’d like to Google a recipe and get the recipe and not this huge story leading to the recipe. Because if you’re looking at it it’s impossible, but all those signs that you’re doing. If I’m looking for how to make black beans, and someone’s telling this long, long, long story about how they went to South America and found a black bean. 

What Google is seeing is I click on the link and I’m scrolling and scrolling, so I’m obviously enjoying it and then I find what I need and I’m spending a long time on the page and then I X out. So Google’s oh yeah, this was awesome. This person had an amazing experience. But what I really wanted to do was click, be there for five seconds, see what they did, and X out.

I didn’t wanna be there. And so they’re optimizing for the wrong thing. 

Shashi: You know Nick, Google’s experience is so customized for everybody. I actually get what you’re asking for. 

For example, I was trying to make a dosah in 15 minutes and the first result was actually a recipe from a website without me actually asking for it. Here the ingredients here and I was really amazed like, oh my God. I don’t even have to go to the website and Google wants you to remain. 

The other thing that I’m really amazed at is they actually analyze YouTube videos and give you just the…

Nick: It goes right to the snippet.

Shashi: Yeah. It goes right to the snippet and my God. You just have to think about it and somebody’s already done it. 

It’s amazing.

Nick: Yeah, the deep search capabilities. I think that’s where we think things are going. I think we call it deep search. You can call it what you want, the ability to go to the part of the document that you need, or whether it be a video, everything on the internet. I think that’s getting amazing. That’s where we go from big data to truly big data. 

And my head starts to spin, of the value of what we’re providing. 

Shashi: I think on that note, right? I think the win for every marketer is going to be, not call. I mean, you have to do a little bit of curation of content, but strive to produce things that nobody else has thought of.

For example, in this colonization, there are two to three things that I had not heard of before. And some of them came from you. 

Every marketer has the ability to create things that are part of their imagination and could be reality at some time. That’s what people want to hear. They want to get educated. 

So even the Google deep search that you’re saying will only come when you are providing the content that somebody is seeking and can’t find anywhere else. So, the quality of content, thinking like a searcher, I think will lead to a lot of victory. I think every thought leadership content is probably the best content you can ever, ever produce.

If you don’t know the answer, interview somebody who knows the answer. Like call Nick and ask, he will probably have the answer. 

Nick: Inspiring content marketing takeaways from Shahi. I think that’s a good note to end on. 

Is there anything you’d like to plug or let the listeners know about?

Shashi: I just wanna say like I said, very interested in AI. A plug would be for Involve.ai.

I think what it does is make sure if you’re in customer service or in revenue, you’re not surprised by what you thought was a great customer. And you got this call that said that they’re leaving you, so how do you use technology so that you’re not surprised. 

Because if you know about bad news, you can actually turn it into good news.

Nick: Yeah. 

That’s your slogan, right? Knowing about bad news brings good news. That’s it right there. Hey, I’ll give you that one for free. 

Hey, thank you so much for coming on the show today. Honestly, I love this conversation.

Ladies and gentlemen, Shashi Bellamkonda. 

Shashi: Thanks everyone. Feedback is welcome!

I hope you understood my southern accent.

Nick: This has been Mine the Gap, a podcast about sales and marketing alignment put on by Enablix. 

My name is Nick Ziech-Lopez. 

Thanks for listening.