NEW: I've created the an amazing training course as a result of my relationship with Jon... so excited.
- Looking to integrate a mass email or email marketing automation program with Nimble? ActiveCampaign currently* has the deepest integration.
- Cazoomi is a more powerful (and more expensive) alternative to Zapier for connecting web apps together.
- Dunbar's Number is the approximately 150 person limit of social relationships an un-augmented human can maintain.
Full Video Transcript
John: You bet, man. First I'd like to thank for giving me the opportunity to get up on my soap box and share some of my vision about what I believe is critically important to business people and businesses today. And that's growing your brand and nurturing your network in order to grow your business. And sometimes I feel like the Don Quixote of relationship management. I've been saying the same thing for way too long.
You come into my office and talk to people, sometimes I think they're sick of what I'm saying. And ultimately, it is really a simple message. And the message is connecting with the right people, creating a relationship that results in a mutually beneficial business outcome for both of you, is essentially what we do as business people.
And so I started doing this quite some time ago with a company called Gold Mine. Gold Mine, many of your audiences might be familiar with, most may not. But it essentially predates Outlook, predates Sales Force, it was essentially the contact sales tool of its time for millions of business professionals. And I created that program because I had my own personal need. I couldn't manage relationships on paper, on a day timer and I had to find a new way to do. And at 27, I started a company with a college friend of mine called Gold Mine.
Ben: Cool. Very cool. Well CRM's come a long way and I recently decided I needed a CRM as a small business. And I had look at a few CRMs out there. And what struck me immediately, when I went into Nimble, were two things:
It felt very intuitive and a nice environment to be in and then the magic happened. When I typed my first person's name, especially somebody with a slightly unusual name, it started just hunting on the right hand side. And it found their Facebook profile. It found their Twitter profile. It found their Google Plus.
And it was like, "Is this, this person?" "Yes." "No, not that one, but yes, that is." And it was just incredible. And the speed at which it researched and connected me to somebody in multiple different ways, just incredible. And then to find out that it aggregates the social streams and aggregates the contact data across multiple platforms, I just loved it. So dove straight in there and it's so far proving very, very useful for getting a very quick and deep connection to somebody. So thank you for creating it.
John: Not a problem. I really believe that the idea of CRM means so many different things to different people. To a manager, what it means is he knows or she knows what you're doing and who you're doing it with and that they can measure the outcome of that activity. And ultimately, that's important for a business. But ultimately, what you do as a business person, typically isn't done in your CRM, it's done in you inbox, it's done on the phone, it's done by going into somebody's office and looking at their walls, looking at the books they read, the degree of the school they went to, the knickknacks they collect, this is how you get to know somebody.
And this is how we used to do in the old days. Today, were doing it electronically. The problem is it's in six different tabs in our browsers and three different apps in our desktop and none of it's connected. That's what caused me to create Nimble. Because I started hearing notes in my head about the way that social will change the way customers make buying decisions and the journey that they have with businesses and that businesses to be relevant in the future, will need to participate in that buyer journey by becoming part of the conversation by becoming a trusted advisor to that perspective customer adding value to the decision-making process. So when they do make a decision, they think of that business.
Ben: Nice. And when you aggregate across multiple channels, you're not only, of course, saving me having to look up multiple different browser tabs, but you are interleaving the stories so that they come together in a single timeline. So they said this on Facebook then over there, they said that on Twitter. So timing aspect, the way that interleaves and meshes together is very cool because it tells an even more complete picture of the person. So thank you, John, that's very cool.
John: The things is, is that, ultimately, it's about signals. It's about identifying signals that matter and reaching out and connecting with the people that matter most to you being able to grow your business. And so I'll give you an example of a signal. This gentleman named John Mason started following me on Twitter the other day. Now, I don't know if you check out who's following you on Twitter, but I don't have the time to do that. I don't have the time to look at all the signals that happen - the people that are plus one and liking, re-twitting, commenting, following, connecting across all my personal, professional and Nimble gram graph.
Nimble does that. Nimble listens to the signals and it determines, based on the DNA of people I connected with before, if this person matters and notifies me. So Nimble notified me and said, Hey this guy looks interesting. I went into Nimble, I pulled that Twitter follow from my signals into Nimble, Nimble immediately mapped out all of his background and told me that he's the general manager and senior vice president of IBM's mid-market SNB group for all of North America. Now, the guy probably sounds like somebody I should connect with. What do you think?
Ben: Yes, sounds good. So I love these features in Nimble. It has its limitations and I'd be interested to just look at a couple of them and then to work out what your road map is on them. One thing I'd love to see is Skype. I have these adhoc interactions on Skype if you could hook in there one day, that would be nice. That would complete that history. That's just a suggestion. Are you going to do an Android app at some point?
John: Absolutely. In fact, not only are we going to do an Android app, but we're really going to put a lot more functionality into our IOS app. And essentially, to grow as a business, you understand, Ben, that you need to focus. And ultimately, if you try to do too much or too many things, you don't get one thing right. And we wanted to make sure that the Nimble platform had a product market fit that made sense for our market place and 2013 was that year that we got that fit done. And all of our metrics, all of our adoption numbers have really hockey sticked last year. So this year what we've done is taken that growth and put it into additional engineering talent for the mobile areas and we have dedicated engineers for both of those platforms now and expect to release updates for IOS as well as a native Android Nimble app.
Ben: Fantastic. Because with the number of people going over to mobile, obviously, that crucial. So, good to hear on that.
John: You mentioned Skype, so I'd just like to address that. Skype has traditionally been a peer to peer app. It's not really a cloud based app that has an API that makes it easy for applications to integrate with it well. And there are a lot of legacy applications that have old APIs that don't make it easy to talk to them. Go To Meeting is another on. I'd love to have integrations with both of those platforms. And we have active conversations with those companies. And as soon as the APIs are at a point where we could really do some unique things with them, I'd love to have that. Because, essentially, you and I having a conversation on chat, via Skype and then we're having this video conversation, all of this should just be in your history as well as the intelligence that's in your Skype record including your location and your birthday and whatever else you supply in there.
Ben: For my listeners, I'm not sure everybody knows what an API is. It's an application programming interface. And this is a way that on web service can talk to another web service. And I use that all the time. I use a program called v which ties one web service to another. And I use a bunch of other ways of integrating. You integrate very nicely into Mail Chimp and into Google and that's going to get better soon I believe. Now, when I go into Zapier which is this service that allows me to detect events happening in Nimble and do things, your API seems very limited, at the moment, unless it's Zapier's restriction. It seems to me that you only allow us to trigger on new contacts and only just a couple things. Is that the case that the API is quite restrictive right now and that's something you're going to expand? Your API.
John: I've had a number of conversations with Wade, the CEO over at Zapier and they're got partners and friends of ours. In fact, we'll be announcing a Zapier native integration within Nimble probably within the next matter of days. So you actually see Nimble have a setting inside of our application where you could, essentially, initiate a Zapier integration within our platform. The thing I had a conversation with Wade about was that not only do I want to create a new contact, but I want to update an existing contact so that any changes that occur get updated to the record.
So whether I'm taking contacts from Google contacts or taking contacts from my website or from Wufoo forum or any other place, I'd like new contacts to be created, I'd like existing contacts to be updated, I'd like to be able to tag them, I'd to be able to schedule activities, log notes, update fields, and all of this is available via our API. And it's a matter of the way Zapier was designed. It's very difficult for them to do anything in a multi-step. In other words, that can create a record, but they can't create tag with that record because they have no knowledge of what that record is. They just zap it and they don't know the idea of the record. For them to understand the idea of the record and actually make it work is going to require them to change their platform which they're in the process of doing.
Ben: Fantastic: I'm actually interviewing Wade next week so that'll be interesting. Zapier is a double edged sword for me. I love how simple it is and then on the other hand, it's a little simplistic and restrictive, but it's a great tool.
John: And by the way, that's true with all contact platforms they integrate to that they only create new records, they don't update them. With the exception of one particular platform which actually is going out of business anyway. So they will have to update their platform and handle that and Wade's assured he will.
Ben: Fantastic. I'll be sure to talk to him about it. So moving forward, Nimble could do more or more things but also one of the jobs these days is to be clear about what you don't do. And then to use this wonderful API functionality we have to say, Okay this is my line in the sand and now it's somebody else's job. And an example of that line in the sand, for me, is when it comes to mass mailing. There's a limited mass mailing function in Nimble but really, we're better leaving that to Mail Chimp or somebody, right, who'd just o that day in and day out? But then I find myself a little frustrated with the segmentation. So Nimble has go tags for me and it's got good rich, information about what I call my customer segments. And I don't have a simple way of getting that at the moment into Mail Chimp. I end up with segmentation information in two places. Do you understand the query?
John: Absolutely. So an example of an application that did a better of integrating is Active campaign. I don't know if you ever looked at Active campaign but it's another email platform. What it does is it reads Nimble's saved searches. And so you could, basically, create a saved searched that says, Any record that looks like this. So if you tag a record, I want this on that mailing list or I update a field, I want that on that mailing list. Active campaign will look at that list and any new record that gets put in Nimble or gets changed in Nimble that meets that criteria will be put on that list by Active campaign. So it's constantly listening to us. And we tried to have conversations with Mail Chimp before about doing a deeper integration and it's funny, I just can't seem to get through to their product people in a way that we could really develop a much deeper and richer relationship. But I'd love to because there's so many people that love that platform. I love the brand and the product is simple and easy to use. And one of the things that I'd love to get done is a deeper integration with Mail Chimp. But there are third parties tools that do a decent job of that. One of them is called Cazoomi. Have you heard of Cazoomi?
Ben: I've heard of. I haven't had a lot of experimentation with it yet.
John: Yes. Well the things is, is there's program's like Zapier and other things that basically take data that changes in one place and basically will zap to another. There's other programs that actually synchronize databases that move data intelligently and moves specific data into specific places with rules. And Cazoomi does that and they do it very well. And they do it for not just Mail Chimp, but dozens of other programs. You could actually have synchronization between the databases and might be able to do some of the things that you want to do today in a simple.
Ben: Fantastic. Thank you. That's great. So there's lots of different ways of attacking this. You and Mail Chimp can work direct or we can go through third parties like Zapier, Cazoomi, and others.
John: But I do want to address one thing that you raised there is, What is your focus and what's your limitation? Because it's important to understand. I believe that there's 10 percent of the functionality that will fit 90 percent of the market place. It's the old 80/20 rule if you will. Back in the day, Gold Mine had the ability to do automated processes which was actions based on triggers. So you could say, If this, then that. And the "If this" is a history thing being completed, a calendar thing scheduled, a field being change, a tag being created, a record being created that looks like this and the, "That" was you could schedule something, you could complete something, you can update a field, you can send an email, you can send a fax. And so that's one of the reasons why we built some simple route messaging in Nimble with email.
And soon you'll see it with DMs and other things where you'll be able to build segments of your database and send a message to a set of people without having to go through multiple different programs. An example of which we recently talked about you going to La Jolla. Imagine before going to La Jolla, you were able to segment your Nimble database with anybody in that La Jolla or southern California, San Diego area and message them with a message that sounded like this: "Hey. I wanted to let you know I'm going to be in the southern California area during this time. I would love to connect if you're interested in talking about these things. Let me know. Here's my calendar link to schedule a time." And so basically, because Nimble automatically knows all your contacts and the location of those contacts, you could then segment the database off that and send them all an email and soon a DM. That'd be difficult to do with a third party integration, because there'd multiple steps involved. That's suitable for 15, 20, 30 people, but if you were you were to send 2,000, you need to use a system like Mail Chimp.
Ben: Yeah. Because I was going to say because I would get concerned about deliver ability and spam, blacklisting, and all this stuff if the numbers were large. Which is why I'd like to be able to segment. I can't do it now. I can segment in Nimble, I can export to Mail Chimp. It's good but it could be torture as you said. And thank you very much for the Cazoomi. And to my listeners, a Cazoomi recommendation looks great. And I'll be exploring Cazoomi and if I come up with some great recipes and integrations there, I'll let you know. So thank you. That's a cool idea. So what's next for you and for Nimble, John?
John: Well, the thing I wanted to build with the team is a platform that auto-magically collects all of your most important assets your business has - its contacts, its relationships. Layers on intelligence on top of that enables you to understand, clearly, who that person is and keep that record up-to-date on a daily basis. This is what we achieved in 2013. Now what we're doing, is we're basically taking that information and making it available everywhere you work. So on average, our users spend two hours a day in Nimble. They're spending six hours plus a day someplace else.
Now, I'm a jealous person. I want them to be using the platform more often which means I need to add value in the places they work. We started by putting Nimble inside of Outlook and then inside of Gmail. Then we put it inside of Hoopsweep. Soon we would be putting it in all the places that you might work as a business professional that your company might ask you to work in. An example of which, we believe that business professionals wake up in the morning with Nimble, nurturing their network, and connecting with people that matter. But at work, they're told to use their email systems, a CRM system, a customer support system, an accounting system. Nimble will actually be a widget, an app inside of those applications so that when you're working inside of company CRM, you can actually bring your professional with you and have it help you do your job.
Ben: Great. I love those things. And I sometimes hate those things. It depends how many I up with in the same place. If I've got Nimble in my Gmail and I've got something else, my Gmail looses its nature. So it's great to have the option. Sometimes that can work absolutely brillantly. And this is, again, as a consumer in this world were all of these different services are out there, it's really quite an art to pick your product ecosystem that's right for you and then to stitch together intelligently. And that's becoming the challenge. Because there is a bit of specialization going on. You guys are great at social CRM. Mail Chimp is great at mass delivery emails. Go To Webinar is great at that thing and Event Brite's good at registering for stuff and it goes on. And before you know it, you've got 20 systems all trying to talk to each other. And whereas people like Hub Spot try and bring all that together, it's not necessarily as good as the integral part, the component part. So the job is becoming integration. It's becoming a matter job which people like Wade at Zapier are noticing it needs to happen. So it's great that you guys are on top of integrations. I think that's so important.
John: Let's talk a little bit about those applications you just shared. Event Brite might be something we created in the event you want to get registrations. Mail Chimp might be a thing that you send emails and you get people to open them and click and do some behavior. They might do a behavior like go to a landing page in which case they register for Go To Meeting. Ultimately, all of these are signals that you need to ideally consolidate so that you know who opened the email, who clicked, who went to the landing page, who registered for the webinar, who registered for the Event Brite event, and then use that signal of the people that are
biting, connecting, to engage with them in a human way. Because the more digital we get, the more human we need to be.
And ultimately, you can fly all the drones you like over Afghanistan but, ultimately, without people on the ground to build relationships with the decision makers and the people that matter. You can never really have the effect that you need. And So I believe that what Nimble has a possibility of doing is being that center core where it brings together those signals and then identifies people that matter and then enables you to connect and human way. And so we talk about B-to-B and B-to-C, I think it's getting to more to be P-to-P, person to person or human to human. So basically, a business doesn't sell to a consumer, a person does.
Ben: I've heard the theory that a human can only hold 1 to 200 people in their real network because that's to do with tribe sizes and stuff like that. So these 5,000 Facebook friends is crazy. But as we move forward and augment ourselves with technology, I wonder if the technology will actually expand that number significantly.
John: I think what you're talking about is the dembar number.
John: Yeah. So there's a Dembar limit and there's name John Dembar and he studied this and he talked about the size of the human cortex which is the thing in the back of your head which, basically, is what enables you to remember and manage all these pieces of information. Humans are getting augmented. Think about what Google has done to knowledge, right? So basically in the old days, you used to go to Encyclopedia and look things up. Today you Google them before. Before a meeting, what you do is you Google people. And then you look at them through a lens and you say, "Is this somebody that matters to me? And if they are, what might I talk about and whom might I connect through?"
But then if you do create a connection, how do you remember to stay in touch? And because most relationships fail because people don't do the basics. They don't follow through and they follow up. And May West said,
"Out of sight is out of mind and out of mind is out of money, honey." We need augmentation to manage these exploding networks in places of communication.
Ben: And I want to give a testimonial that Nimble does that very well. So when I say that a contact, firstly, it offers me, Are these contacts important to you? And in a fairly intelligent way I say, "Yes, yes, no."
And then it says, "Well how often do you want to keep in touch? As you know and that's great." And then watches all the interactions it can see which includes email, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and then resets that Keep In Touch reminder for me. So it's really quite proactive in that respect. I like that a lot. And actually, even though I've set a lot of Keep In Touch reminders, I don't get bugged to do it that often because I'm naturally doing it. But the few that would normally slip through the net, it's on me.
So that's a real form of augmentation. So it's fantastic. That's great functionality and thank you for bringing that out. So what's the next big thing after that for Nimble? If we look 10 years ahead, I know that's a hell of a long time, if you were going to play the role of a futurist for a minute, where would Nimble be in a long time. We're all wearing Google glass or some other wearable machine. Maybe you've not even thought about this so I'm putting you on the spot. But where is it in 10 years?
John: Ultimately, if you think about it, Nimble is a signal processor. And I think the most important signals are your email and your calendar. This is when you really decide who matters to you - how fast you follow up with somebody, how many meetings you might have, but beyond that, all of these social signals are key indicators for you, your business, and your brand. How do you manage all these signals? And beyond the social signals, there's the signals from the applications that you're using. Now you talked about a number of applications that you used today - Event Brite, Mail Chimp, Go To Meeting, and others.
In most businesses, it's there CRM, their market automation system, their customer support system, and their accounting system. All of these are signals that if you were able to tie that to contacts and have an app that is available to all of the customer-facing business people, you'd have a common view of the customer across all your organization. And if you could make these signals real-time, you could actually, then, enable people to be more effective when they're connecting with people. Because, ultimately, I believe that all customers are looking for the same type of service that you would get at the Ritz Carlton or American Express.
We don't want to repeat ourselves, we want people to know who we are, and we want our issues solved professionally and expeditiously. And today, it's getting harder than ever to do that. I think that Nimble is doing it today in an incredible way in the platform. We're starting to release a new widget that will be going in the places that you work and soon, Nimble will be reading your calendar off of your phone and displaying a English profile of who that person is so that before you meet with somebody, you know that they checked into La Jolla not too long ago. And you could bring that up and break the ice in the conversation and know little bit more about that person than you would have dad you tried to Google them. I believe in the future, that people will Nimble people before a meeting.
Ben: Fantastic. That's a pretty bright future for your company if you can make it happen. To bring this to a close, what would you say to my audience that they need to do to work out how to go out there and make a massive step up in their ability to nurture their multiple relationships online?
John: Well Ben, I really believe that all of our identities - our Twitter, our Facebook, our LinkedIn, our Google Plus, our Instgram, are all professional landing pages that, you can reach out to prospective people who would help you grow your business. And number one is you should build a professional page that has a great photograph, a great description about who you are and what you stand for and what you deliver and have linked back to a center place where people can learn more about you and on a daily basis, give your knowledge away.
Most professional people have forgotten more about their products and services than their customers will ever know in their lifetime. And what they should be doing is being a trusted advisor to the customer in their new buyer journey by giving their knowledge away by teaching people to fish rather than telling them they sell fishing poles. So don't tell people how great your products are, teach them how they can be great. Because what people buy, is a better version of themselves.
Beyond that, I ask them all to go out and try Nimble themselves, to follow our Nimble brand, go read our blog because on a daily basis, we have over 300 contributors that are adding value of educating our customers about how they can grow their business through better customer relationship management and social media and social selling. And then beyond that, follow me on Twitter. What I try to do on a regular basis is to teach others and help them grow. I believe that Zig Ziglar said, "The more people that you can help grow, the more you will" and we live that way.
Ben: Fantastic, John. Thank you very much for you time today. It's been fantastic to speak to you. I will put this live for you very shortly.
John: Thank you, Ben.