Martech360 Interview With Anu Shukla, Co- Founder & Executive Chairman, Botco.ai

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Always be obsessed with customers’ success and provide and measure value. This will make you a leader, no doubt.

Hi Anu, could you tell us a little about your journey?Botco.ai_logo

I am a serial entrepreneur, having started five companies in the martech and adtech space and exiting four of them at successful multiples. I began my journey as a marketing manager in a technology B2B company. I was fortunate to work with great teams that led us to great success until I finally felt ready to start Rubric, Inc., my first venture. Rubric was a pioneer (almost 20 years ago) in helping to create the category of Enterprise Marketing Automation. Among other things, we were the first to introduce the concept of lead nurturing and drip marketing (and at that time we called it continuous relationship marketing!). This became one of the primary features of marketing automation platforms that ushered in the next wave of products.

What challenges did the Covid-19 pandemic pose for your team?

We had been working with a number of hospitality clients when the pandemic started and many of them froze their budgets or even pulled back completely. However, we slowly started to receive a lot of inbound interest from healthcare companies that had a growing need for instant responsiveness against the backdrop of a global pandemic and complex system needs. That more than tripled our business! We’ve had to make a lot of adjustments and overcome a lot of challenges to make it through this pandemic. We’ve become a virtual and remote-first company, we hired almost all our team members without ever meeting them in person, and brought on all our customers never having met them in person either!

What sets Botco.ai apart from the competition?

Botco.ai has an integrated platform that uses AI/NLP to create enterprise-grade conversational automation applications. Our differentiation is that we have taken into account the needs of marketing when designing our platform which is easy to deploy and integrate within the marketing technology stack. Also, it is easy to set up or train the AI which has the flexibility to change according to campaign needs. Our AI/ML/NLP has advanced capabilities but is easy to set up and use, and our ability to integrate with various EHR and CRM systems is provided as a simple, self-serve option making it easy to have seamless conversational workflows across multiple systems of record.

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How do you see Natural Language/AI redefining marketing automation, over the years to come?

We think conversations are the natural way to engage with customers so consequently, we see this tech being incorporated into all aspects of marketing automation. It is much easier to ask for information via chat rather than browse and search through multiple web pages. And companies would certainly prefer to spend time with qualified prospects vs. those that do not meet the criteria for their products and service.

What are your thoughts on the growing innovation in marketing technology, as the rapid adoption across sectors becomes evident?

When we started Botco.ai, I had been surprised to see how basic functionality in B2B marketing automation platforms had not progressed beyond email drip marketing. This is one of the reasons we wanted the Botco.ai platform to leverage chat and messaging – so enterprises can leverage new channels for better outcomes and conversions. With the advent of AI there are likely to be rapid advances in the martech stack and capabilities, and we are likely to see some exciting advancements.

What are the top three tech events that you have attended in the last decade, and what made them so memorable?

It seems like it’s been a while since we attended events in person. Looking back down memory lane, GDC (Game Developers Conference) was always memorable because the leading social and video game developers worldwide attended, and showcased their latest innovations which I got to interact with hands-on (yes, I am secretly an avid gamer) and the keynotes were enlightening. A past VentureBeat conference on AI was memorable as it showcased really great applications leveraging AI. The Venture Madness 2022 conference showcased startup pitches in five different categories, including SaaS, was memorable for the interesting startups, and because Botco.ai won the SaaS category!

What are the top five apps that you use for business?

Messaging/Chat, email, PowerPoint, Slack and CRM–including Botco.ai.

What advice would you give to someone who aspires to be a leader in your industry? A technology leader whose work you follow or admire?

Always be obsessed with customers’ success and provide and measure value. This will make you a leader, no doubt.

I follow the work of Elon Musk as he truly is an innovator and an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur!

Could you name one person that you would like to see featured here?

My co-founder, Rebecca Clyde.

Thanks, Anu!

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