How RAIN Pivoted to Become a Pioneer in Voice and Conversational AI
Joined wind rain actually as a consultant and that was a favor to nick and I think coming in that way was important because I really had an opportunity as you understand rain and its assets with a fresh perspective and you know not to mention the fact that everyone loves dish out dirty laundry to a consultant Especially when they're not part of the company and that information gathering was really valuable especially when I ultimately joined a CEO. Because I went into this is wide open at the time that that I joined rain. As Nick mentioned in twenty sixteen rain was doing many things in the technology space website mobile applications and voice was one of them but it really wasn't the focus it was just a small sliver of the business and at the time voice was very much being led by our technology teams somewhat in a silo and it wasn't being approached approach as a holistic strategy creative in tech solution the way that we offer it today there were just so many early indications that voice was going to be ubiquitous rain and had a very unique right to win in this space through our own technology capabilities and relationships but particularly with some of the early traction. We had with the big platform players namely Amazon. Initially at that time so very quickly after joining the company we made the decision to double down to the completely voice. Ai That that was three years ago and we haven't really looked back. And I really believe that that pivot and the ability to be hyperfocused has allowed us to stay ahead of the carbon really maintain income of our advantage in this space. Now what are some of the successes and challenges that making this pivot and to voice has brought to your agency all-star with a challenge. I think think for me as kind of an operational logistic guy him into a brand new space especially innovation has been tricky right so in our previous iteration were building a lot of websites and when I'm building a website I knew it takes about four or five meetings. Close the deal. I the approximate price point. You know of of building a website would be x one hundred thousand dollars. I knew that it would take me X.. Amount of months and I would make up to eighty percent margin when we're in the invasion baker especially building voice experienced. A lot of the things we're doing is we're doing that for the first time. So there's a lot. More education involve or spot. More meeting you'll cycle is longer we're having to get different stakeholders on board. More budgets aren't as clear as they were in the past. Sometimes they come from an innovation group. Sometimes they come from brands. PNL really figuring out how that sweet spot of how to get. The work started how to execute the war how to service our clients. Efficiently has been challenging. Everything we do we do it for the first time. That's been one of the biggest challenges you know on the success side and I'll let you chime in as well you know. We had at agency in our previous existence full of people that came to work at rain digital latitude. We had graphic designers copywriters we strategies we have project managers and we still have a lot of those roles by all those roles. Change Change fundamentally if you're a designer rain in two thousand sixteen well. What does that mean for us? When you now working at a voice company and not an adage dining website and it's been really amazing to watch people involved? I evolve the probably the biggest success I would say the core executive team you bet rain and and down from the top has really evolved. They've evolved their skill sets befall their approach accepting new challenges that playing in a space. That's it's been you and for the most part. A lot of people accepted this with open arms and they become experts in a field. That three or more years ago wasn't even really on their radar so watching the watching people skill sets change has been really exciting.