The Sharpest Tool™

Artificial Intelligence is Impacting Home Services Businesses

Cheryl McRae
Josh Smith
As a Senior Internet Marketing Manager at Scorpion, Will Haddad says he loves working with his team and smart business owners to support their home services businesses. As technology evolves, the ball is pushed forward in marketing, and it's important to constantly develop new strategies to get results and stay on track. Voice and Artificial Intelligence are specifically creating huge change today and transforming how we interact with the Internet. Will predicts that voice is the future.

Josh Smith (00:03):

Hello. And welcome back. This is Joshua Smith here with William Hidad in the booth. William. It's awesome to have you here.

Will Haddad (00:12):

Welcome. I am happy to be here, man.

Josh Smith (00:15):

I love it. William is a senior internet marketing manager, if I'm not mistaken, correct. Uh, with scorpion, um, what does that look like? What's your day to day look like?

Will Haddad (00:25):

So I have the privilege of working with some of our VIP accounts and home services. Um, there is never a shortage of, um, of, of things that do every single day and problems to solve. So it's a, it's a very high intensity role. And, um, but I get to work with some really, really great people and some very, very smart business owners and very smart entrepreneurs. Um, so every day is a learning experience for them. It's a learning experience for me and we are just trying to make magic happen every single day at scorpion and every day for the, for our client.

Josh Smith (01:00):

Yeah. Well, what do you, what do you think gets you up in the morning? Like what is most exciting about not only what you do, but just like the marketing thing. What's what drives you about that?

Will Haddad (01:10):

You know, that's actually very aligned to what we're going to talk about today. We are in the most interesting industry at the most interesting time ever across everything. There's so much technology happening all the time and you never know when there's just going to be a curve ball and it, everybody needs to adapt. And I think that that is so incredible and it's so exciting and to have to develop new strategies, to actually get results here and to, to be, you know, maintain, um, viability as, as, as a business that we are, you know? Yeah,

Josh Smith (01:42):

Absolutely. Yeah. It was for everybody listening today, we're going to talk about something that's really to put on the forefront of what's coming in the world of digital, and that is this idea of voice and AI or artificial intelligence. I want to talk about that, but before we do that, I want to talk a little bit about how maybe the cheese has moved a little bit to pardon the pun of the famous little 40 page of book. If you haven't picked it up, you should check it out because it's constantly changing in our space. The cheese, so to speak is constantly moving. And so let's talk a little bit about the evolution of search. Like where was it? Where has it gone and where is it going? Well, talk a little bit about that.

Will Haddad (02:21):

Um, man, we are, as I said earlier, this is the biggest shift in the way humans interact with each other, the way humans interact with technology and the way that we go about our daily business. Um, everything that we do is now revolving around, you know, the, the internet and this whole internet thing is now I think, I think voice search is a really true Testament, um, to where we are at scale and the internet is so at scale now where it is just going to be completely intertwined with every activity and everything that we do. So, you know, from all of these different home pods and, and, and, you know, mobile devices, which is just an, it's not even unusual anymore. And now these home pods are popping up. That's not even unusual. We're going to start seeing this integrated in cars and homes and in everywhere, this is just, this is the future. And yeah, and anyone that doesn't think this is the future, it's just hold onto your seats because it's coming and it's coming very fast. It's still very new. Yeah. It's still very, very new. And I think it's at its infancy stages right now, and it's still very simple. Um, artificial intelligence is still, you know, growing and adapting and they're finding ways of how to, how to actually, um, you know, uh, manipulate it and control it, um, to make these machines smarter. But, you know, it's saving everybody time. Yeah.

Josh Smith (03:43):

That's the thing. I think there's a big part of it, right. I mean, I just think about back in the days of, you know, the phone books and the ads and pre cell phones, even before they were smart, you know, they were dumb cell phones, so to speak, but you had to go into a physical location to a physical store to talk to an expert. And that took time. It took the drive time. It took the conversation time, and then you weren't even really sure if you trusted the person yet. And so you got to go talk to another expert. It's just it's time and it's time and it's time. And it seems to me the digital space as it's evolved and culminate, even from when it started, was developed around saving consumers time. And it, it seems that we've seen a shift in consumer behavior to follow that. Is that what you've seen is

Will Haddad (04:21):

I completely agree with that. Yeah. You know, I was listening to Gary V the other day and he has a very interesting take on Uber for those of you that don't listen to him or don't know who he is. I highly recommend check them out. He's very raw, very vulgar and just intense. He's really entertaining to listen to. Absolutely. But nonetheless, he had opportunities to invest with Uber a while back when it first got started, um, you know, in its seed phase. And, you know, the, before just all the investors got involved and he was, he had an opportunity. So he's very involved in, in Uber and his, his analysis of Uber. And what he said was, you know, the other day I was listening to one of his articles or whatever it was. And he said, um, he said, Uber is not selling transportation.

Will Haddad (04:59):

Uber is selling time. And if you look at these, these, all of these smart devices as a new search engine, that's evolving and all these home pods, it's all that it's, it's saving. Um, it's saving time and it's an invasion of privacy. Privacy and unions are just going out and buying these things and putting them in their house to save time. Yeah. And it's, it's, it's proving how valuable that is to us, you know, just up there with, you know, with good health and family and religion and money, right. It's time, it's just as valuable. And that's why these machines are so successful and so lucrative as well. Absolutely. You know, these big companies like the Amazons and the apples and the Googles of the world are just

Josh Smith (05:43):

Some ways, you know, in some ways it's feeding into our, to our over busy-ness so to speak. Right. You know, it's, we're constantly how many people in the past week, if you said, oh, how are you doing? And they're like, oh yeah, I'm busy, busy. What does that even mean? Well, what are we busy about? And it's, it's allowed us to take on so much more than we did 20 years ago. Right. Um, and so when the internet just started out, Google hit it big, they hit the nail on the head with search, whatever the search thing was, how did that impact people's lives and what shifted we see as they rolled out search. And as they started to roll out paid options for businesses to get in front of clients, what did the consumer behavior do that made that a reality for Google? They have a

Will Haddad (06:30):

Big group of, of analysis and, and they're, they're constantly studying consumer behavior. So these, um, these search engines were built around, um, consumer behavior. So just as much as they create something for consumers, you know, how we interact with it and what we do is being monitored and, um, and analyzed so closely that then they can make shifts in what they do. All these algorithm changes as you will. And the tech that they, all the technicality that comes with it, but they're making their shifts, uh, to then make it, you know, more accustomed to us and keep us involved and keep our attention. It's. So, and you know, what's funny about with, with Google when we first started and everything came up as it were, where it was at first, it was, we had a Yahoo MSN, AOL, Google, all these big players, and then one emerged as the primary voice.

Will Haddad (07:17):

And now we're just seeing a repeat of that, but with voice technology. Yeah. And it's just, you know, what Amazon and Google are doing are so intertwined from a, from a search perspective. So, you know, as we all know a big part of this and I'm derailing a little bit, but a big part of, of, of actually, which I'm sure a lot of the listeners are very interested in is how you show up for these and get ahead of this as a business owner share a big part of this, um, is the local service ads that came out with Google will Amazon has the exact same thing. Yup.

Josh Smith (07:43):

So we've seen this move, we've seen this move from search, just basic search, go online, perform a search, move in movement to the, you know, as consumer behavior changed, we saw display ad startup. We saw paid search startup where you're showing up listings up above the organic, so to speak search queries. Right. So now all of a sudden you pay for top placement, right. And you're still in front of people that then we saw consumer behavior change. Even more smartphones got even more involved. And we started to see the need to get in front of people at different stages of that. Right. And so you see content, Facebook advertising, social things, YouTube, all of this good stuff. And now we're seeing the shift even further time-wise with the advent of voice. Right. So we see this concept, we're seeing this transition into that who are the big players right now in the voice game. And who's, who's kind of got the mass market share here.

Will Haddad (08:37):

Yeah. So, yeah. So as I say, I'd be have our, we have Amazon, um, the Amazon echo as kind of the, the home pot and the Alexa, which comes along with it. You have Google home and the Google assistant as kind of their, their auto bot technology, their person. Um, and then you have the apple home pod with Siri. Okay. Those are the top players right now. So one of them is, is a standalone that you can put inside of your house or in a bedroom or in an office wherever you see fit. And it's a, it's a speaker technology that separate from the phone. And then the phone actually has, you know, built in AI, you know, into the inner workings of the phone that you can use to, to, to manage different aspects of your mobile experience and then utilize it to search and find information as you can do with the home pod.

Josh Smith (09:20):

So the voice, so to speak the, the, the Alexa of the dot or the Alexa of the echo, the Alexa is the brain, the Echo's the speaker. So you've got that artifice, the AI technology or artificial intelligence technology, and it's all paired with the speaker. So is that how that works?

Will Haddad (09:38):

Yeah, exactly. And I think having, you know, cause we're always going to have mobile phones and it's going to adapt and pretty soon we're going to have chips in our arms and then we're going to be able to see through our eyes, oh, that's coming, I'm ready for it. I've I've said since day one, give me the chip, I'll be a Guinea pig. But anyways, um, anyways, the echo or the speaker that actually goes in the house, I think that's going to be the first part of how this actually gets integrated with like smart home technology. And we're already seeing it. I, I personally think it's kind of a pain to set up now, unless you're buying a brand new house where this is already built in, you know, but we're not going to need a standalone separate speaker. That's almost seems like it should just be in the house. It should be a part of the, of the inner workings of the house and the speaker and the tree and everything. And it's, I think it will be, and you'll be able to control your air conditioner Wranglers and your garage door and your security and the cameras. It's, it's all going to be intertwined. It's all gonna be connected. Um, we're going to be moving around.

Josh Smith (10:35):

Literally everything will be synced up to the mobile device and you're gonna have a little ear piece that you wear 24 7, and you just talk and all of a sudden, you don't need to speak right there. It's just going to, Hey, Alexa, dim my lights, please set the mood. Maybe that's what exactly what we're probably moving towards. So you don't even need the speaker anymore. It's just all tied into that mobile device.

Will Haddad (10:54):

Exactly. And that's gonna, that's gonna, um, breed so much information to these big brands to learn even more about consumer behavior. And so you really want to talk about the evolution of search. The evolution of search is not having to commit a search. Yeah. The evolution of search is, is artificial intelligence predicting what it is that we're going to need in anticipating our need before we need it. And then that's,

Josh Smith (11:17):

That is pros and cons for that. Right? All of a sudden it's reading our vital signs, but then it can call a doctor if we suddenly collapsed. So true, I grow. But then all of a sudden it's a good one. I didn't even want to go into the concert. Exactly. There's a lot of privacy invasions, but at the same time, there's a lot of benefits that comes from that. So, but we're even seeing that with all the Facebook stuff that's going on right now, right. With mark Zuckerberg and all the trials you've been facing, all the emails probably been blowing up with privacy agreement updates. Right. So I think everybody's kind of facing that, which is an interesting thing, right? Marketing companies and businesses in general rely on a lot of that information to isolate their audience. Exactly. So how how's that going to affect how's that privacy adjustment potentially going to impact the marketing world?

Will Haddad (12:07):

A really good quote. I had such a, a such a good question. I, um, the more it goes away from these big, you know, uh, tech companies, you know, the Facebooks of the world to, um, limit what they can gather from consumer behavior and information limits, the time-saving and the user friendly and all the great benefits that come from this type of technology, you know, I mean, how cool is that and how, how much time does that save you? You know, you're looking at the pair of shoes and then you see the deal pop up and then boom, there you go. That's, that's smart advertising. Yeah. And that's all based off of data. And those are things, those are tactics that agencies, you know, like scorpion, unlike many other ones are, are, are utilizing to get the best results and get in front of ideal customers. So small business owners and entrepreneurs, I mean, we need this data. Um, you know, on the flip side, there has to be some level of restriction, especially with artificial intelligence. So there has to be some restrictions and it has to, there has got to just be a good balance. I think that that's what everyone's trying to figure out.

Josh Smith (13:06):

Have you ever had the experience where, uh, you're you're talking about something and all of a sudden you start seeing ads on your phone, what do you think are they, are they really, that's the big question? Are they really listening? Right. What's the, uh, what's your beat on that? Right.

Will Haddad (13:22):

Um, privacy invasion, you know, you know, when you set your phone and so many of us have this, when you set your phone to just where you can say, Hey Siri, or okay. Google or the smart devices in the households, you know, they openly come out and they admit that they're listening. They have to get out of this. Does it do that? So it's listening to your conversations and totally picking out keywords and, you know, doing whatever it's doing. I, I don't know. I don't think anyone needs to, needs to feel too worried about it at the end of the day, there's 7 billion people. And what makes, you know what you're saying in your house more important than the next person. So I just, you were kind of, you're just that we're all as a blip. And

Josh Smith (13:57):

I had a buddy of mine, we were, we were on our way back. I was dropping him off at his hotel. Um, after a trip we took and we were talking about this, this company, Turo, uh, it's kind of like the Airbnb for, uh, for a luxury cars, you know, back in the day you had to pay $3,000 to, or 1500 bucks or so to check out a Lamborghini for the day and all through this people who own these cars are just renting them out the way you would like an Airbnb. They own it. And they rent it out. They make some money on it. So it's like, you're paying like for a Lambo, you're paying like three to $500. And it's like a third of the cost is ridiculous. Never even heard of it before. All of a sudden I'm scrolling on Instagram, literally 30 minutes later. And I see ads for it. I have never even heard of this company point. Right. It's insane the level of what they're able to do, but all of a sudden I was like, cool. I took, checked it out. It was very interesting to me. I liked it or Instagram page. Now I'm all of a sudden into what they do, how they do it. I'm talking about it. It's such an effective tool for business owners in your space with dealing with clients. How do you see business owners leveraging this technology?

Will Haddad (15:03):

Totally. You know, how much do you think that Instagram ad was? How much was

Josh Smith (15:08):

That click, click? I don't know.

Will Haddad (15:11):

30 cents. 30 cents. So from that 30 cents ad you didn't just get the click. You didn't just get the view. You didn't just get, now you, you have just started a whole conversation and ecosystem with that person in that whole network of people. So, you know, that just kind of right there, that statement just proves the value. Sure. How do you see business owners working at that example right there? That's it? That's it. That is how it, that's how it works on a day to day. And it's hard to quantify that. Yeah, you really can't quantify what happens after the, after the click with all this technology and maybe eventually, you know, you can quantify the conversation that we're having right now with the, with the AI and Siri, but nonetheless, it's just, um, it's such so impactful for a business. Is there a

Josh Smith (15:54):

Process that you've seen in your experience yet? Maybe it's not even here yet about how business owners can get involved with these voice technologies. Yeah.

Will Haddad (16:03):

Yeah. So, um, so there's a few different things that play and I do want to stress. It's just, this is still brand new. Yeah. This is brand new. And I think that these companies, Amazon and Google and Facebook and apple they're, they're gonna, they are gonna find out how to deliver the best results to this. Um, so, uh, this is what I would recommend to, to business owners, you know, wanting to just start, try to get the leg up, you know, there is no way to really control you. Can't pay yet to just show up and be there when Siri calls, you know, for your business in any particular area, it's just not there yet when it is there, you know, then we can have those discussions, but I think it's, um, the first, the first application available with Google, which is our largest search engine is going to be local service ads.

Will Haddad (16:52):

If we're involved in that. Um, and that's available in your area and for your, your, for your service. Um, you know, the second thing is Amazon also has that application available, utilizing Yelp, you know, a lot of these searches that come up when I do do a search for Siri, for small businesses in my area, it's just pulling Yelp. Yeah. Just the way that Google is rolling out this application and Amazon's rolling out their application. I think that all of the business that came up from mobile apps is there's just going to be voice apps now. And so you have a whole business of entrepreneurs and in the tech space where there's angel investors and venture capitalists all invested in this technology and businesses and visionaries that are creating applications to make life easier for consumers and provide the best results. And these are gonna be ad-ons.

Will Haddad (17:36):

Hey, do you want to add that 2 99 to your Amazon echo so that you can find XYZ, small businesses in your area that do this, this and this, and have reputation tied in. That's going to be some kind of an option outside of that. You know, we're, we're experimenting as well with, you know, long tail keywords. When you think about how voice searches are, are, are occurring. Sure. You have the who, the what, the, how, the, why the, when that's, how searches are being made and think about the intent level behind them from a lead generation standpoint. If you say, you know, like, uh, let's use our recipe, for example, how do I make Thai food? Yeah. Is such a different intent than where can I go buy Thai food. Totally. And those are both different types of searches that we would make on a, on a smart device on, on, on what using voice technology.

Will Haddad (18:20):

And so, um, you know, leave the voice technology and the Googles of the world to deliver the best results, because they're going to do that because they have to do that because their livelihood depends on that. So what I recommend to business owners is, is be everywhere. You engage in all of these new apps and technology, if it's financially, you know, you know, reasonable for you to do so and responsible for you to do so, be with, with, with an agency where you can be adaptable and try these things out, that's your, Scorpion's a huge leg up. We're so adaptable here. We can move so fast when something new comes up, it's just like, boom, Hey guys, this is going to be a new technology. We've got to roll out this app. Sure. Let's do this thing. In a matter of months, you've got a team and a squad just develops to making this thing happen. Totally. You know, an agency like that, that can lie to be adaptable and present these opportunities. Um, as well as, you know, putting your best foot forward with search engine optimization, utilizing these, these different types of a long tail keywords, FAQ style content, see how big this is. But, you know, for instance, you know, uh, a blog on different types of popular questions that get asked for your industry. Yeah. You know,

Josh Smith (19:25):

I think it boils down to value adding right, and providing real value, not just this kind of phony, Hey, indirect. You know, you're going to fulfill my need. I'm going to act like I'm providing value. But in reality, I just want you to call me value. Like you're dealing with real people who want to be cared for who have intentions, who have needs and concerns. And it doesn't always predicate on you making a buck, but, but by providing real value, you're able to, that real value is a long-term play for client acquisition, but it's gotta be done in an authentic way.

Will Haddad (19:57):

It has to be authentic. And these, these search engines, you know, Google is looking for that. They want to PR they want to deliver the best value to the people that use Google always think that, you know, Google's just another consumer and they're trying to deliver the best consumers. It's a human analyzing and they're, they're going to deliver results and utilize AI to act like a human would act. Sure. So what's valuable to a human is going to be valuable to Google.

Josh Smith (20:22):

Yeah. All right. Got one more for ya. What changes do you think we can expect in the online landscape in the years to come with voice? How is that going to

Will Haddad (20:31):

Just that's that's such a, that's so big. Um, I think voices is the future. Yeah, just the bottom line. So I think right now that the, the data point is like 20 to 25% of all searches are happening via voice. So whether that's from a mobile device, whether that's with using a home pod, you know, whatever it is, um, 20%, 25%, um, the analysts are saying that it's going to move to 50% by 2020. Wow. It's coming fast. You know, two, three years away. There's a lot of people that think, you know, in 48 months and four years is every person is going to be interacting with voice technology in some way or another. And the more that people get accustomed to this and technology gets more integrated into our day to day. Um, the more, it's just going to be a regular aspect of finding results online, and whether that's, you know, finding, finding businesses and generating new business for, for, for, for a small businesses in every community or whether it's just looking at the recipes and expanding your knowledge. It's just so right.

Josh Smith (21:41):

Especially with the, uh, the switchover we've seen in terms of traffic from mobile devices. I mean, how quickly are those taking over the amount of searches are being performed. And so when the ease of use is entirely a voice predicated instrument, you know, then all of a sudden it's, I think you're so right on that. I think we're just going to see this blow up. This is going to increase and no question and making sure that you're in all the right avenues and doing everything everywhere. Wow. Well, this has been, this has been absolutely phenomenal, man. I appreciate you coming to the booth. Take the time out of your busy day, but no, this has been, it has been absolutely fantastic. Thank you for our listeners. If you found that valuable, definitely hit the subscribe button, where you're at tune in for more, we're bringing all the goodness of all the tips, tricks, and techniques to make your business Excel in. Today's online landscape for all of us here at scorpion. My name is Josh. Catch you next time. Thanks.

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