Ep007: How Dmitry Dumik, CEO of Chatfuel, which Hosts the ChatBots for Some of the Largest Brands in the World is Helping Shape the Future of Marketing and Technology
00:00 – You know who I am, Mary Kathryn, and you know who Kelly is. And I get to introduce you to an amazing gentleman that I met a couple of months ago and I’m just so blessed to know. So welcome to the conversation. Dmitry Dumik who is the CEO of chatfuel.
00:17 – Hello. Hey Mary. Hey Kelly. Thank you so much for having me. It’s such a pleasure.
00:22 – Yeah, we’re excited. We’re very excited because you know that Kelly and I are very, very deep in bots and Messenger and marketing and it is basically our lives right now just like it is yours. So, give us an introduction, a basic introduction of yourself, your company, and a little bit of kind of what life events brought you here.
00:49 – So my name is Mitsui, as he ascended the CEO of chatfuel. We started the company have years ago before chat was for cool a telegram, which is, and a messenger messaging platform that opened their API before facebook. So, it was non funniest, second of June 2015, that they got into the space. And at that time we started this a bot store, so it’s like an APP store for bots on telegram and then we noticed that you notice certain trends say that people actually like to create chatbots and there’s a lot of, desire to create chatbots. So we came up as a platform that will allow anyone to create their own chat bots, which was some of the tour in the child, feel my later on. And then we also had an Avnet Park on top of together resists to pieces so that, you know, it was sitting on top of platform and it was very well integrated like for the whole ecosystem.
01:54 – And yeah, that’s what we do on telegram. And you got accepted to y combinator which is a startup incubator. Fiji popular one, I would get accepted in a 2016 and be graded in, in, in 2016. And by the time facebook announced their platform, we launched the bod number, think of US bought number four, selling on facebook platform for tech crunch bought. And, since then we were like full on, concentrated on facebook because, you know, obviously facebook is such a great opportunity and it’s a fantastic channel for every business to connect in a whole new way that consumers and customers. So we are right now, we are getting close to 100 million unique conversations just for our platform, a facebook platform and yeah, that’s the number of conversations that people had. All of the bonds that are created on chatfuel. I’m chatfield for facebook since, since our launch for facebook platform.
03:04 – Wow, that’s amazing. So is that conversations stored in the software that people, or is that like over a month time? How, how is that?
03:16 – That’s like overall since the very beginning. Okay, got it. Yeah. Wow.
03:22 – That’s crazy. I mean just thinking about the number of conversations that people are having that are automated in this way is just incredible. So what, okay, so I know a little bit of your background, but what made you want to do this? What, what drew you to bots and messenger?
03:43 – So my previous company, it was a focus on mobile apps and be noticed that I’m supposed to know those using some social functionalities. So basically, you know, you could share something, we can send something from a social network to your friend and your friend would reply and we noticed that this functionality is something that pupil are never bored that because heaven’s, the ability to communicate just another human is, is has this infinite potential of keeping us excited, engaged and interested in what’s going on. And I was like, oh my God, it’s such a beautiful platform. And that was looking into something that we can scale because if you think of social as work, it’s pretty limited in terms of the functionality that is available now if you’ll build on doubles, the messenger platform is completely different. So it was looking into this space and again the same exact day and you know, telling I’m opened up their API.
04:38 – I gave a call to my cofounder and was like late night for him in Moscow and I, and I told him, Hey, get a every month I want to be into this space. And together is that, and I have this feeling off like imagining yourself maybe like 20 years ago an email of us something and they were like, hmm, that’s pretty cool. But I like, you know, that’s some liking a lot of people really using the biggest, like not they don’t have computers at home or whatever. Right. And just, just, that’s exactly the situation we’re in right now. We are, and it’s, you know, it gives them assurance when I think about like in what’s this space is in and what are the opportunities that I hit him out there. And, it’s just so exciting to be able to, making them the face and held the space develop.
05:38 – So when you said, what’s, what’s out there? And it makes you so excited and gives you the shivers as to what’s possible.
05:46 – Yeah, yeah, yeah. What is it possible, right, right, right, right. So, the, I mean the main difference in the currently existing channels of communication, beach, email and social media is that they do not have this notion of intimacy, of personality. So basically when someone is talking to you on Instagram, they’re not talking, they’re talking like one too many, same on theater or same on facebook. Now if you go into email, email, it is, however it is, it feels disconnected because there are certain fixture, then they write an email, you have to, you know.
06:29 – Well you follow some formal rules that I established, it’s, it’s Kinda more disconnected from us. And that the, the, like obviously like probably all of you, we come in, it gives a friends and family and colleagues on messenger did not use email anymore. So mostly email is good for business too or you know, some, some channel to get information so it doesn’t feel this intimate. And chatbots, the beauty of chatbots and the Budo spaces because this is to the moment, there is no other channel that feels so personal and so intimate and so to react to us. I’m out there and it’s a great opportunity. I mean, no surprise open rates are through the roof. We rates CTRS are amazing. They’re like times higher than through any other channel. And the reason is we have this opportunity to be as close to people as as possible. So a lot of people need notification on email. They’ve not made a messenger because again, this is, this is where they are, that’s the, the, the closest you can get to it, to a human nowadays.
07:42 – That I think you hit it. Exactly. It’s so funny that almost everyone we’ve talked to, you guys are such amazing futurists because you, that’s, you see that, that’s where it’s going. It’s coming back to the personal communication rather than this one to many and just spend just sending a bunch of information out to everybody. It’s allowing us to come back to that one on one connection, which I think we are going to always strive for. We as humans need it. So what are some of the pitfalls that you see or obstacles that you see in this coming back to being able to communicate one on one again or feeling like we’re actually talking to a human even though we’re automating it, but it really feels like we’re talking to a human.
08:28 – That’s a good question. That’s a great question. And the like when you say automation to me is, it’s not like full automation is something that helps you manage all of this conversations, right? So it’s how you pre qualify elite or it’s something even even if you don’t, you know, reach to person directly later on, it saves time for you and for this person to realize that you are not the best feed. Right. And even if they go through the floor and they’re like, you know, you Kinda sorta need not closed the lead. That’s okay. I mean, you just save time to each other and you say mental space and you’ll save money and resources. So that’s beautiful. So for me, automation is part of like this communication process and they do not, again, through this channel, it gives us notion of intimacy in even even to automation.
09:21 – So I’m the pitfalls that we see is, is you ever heard a lot of it because chatfuel is, is such a big platform and we have so many different customer segments from individual, individual marketers to small and medium businesses to ecommerce is to, uh, you know, enterprise and it’s like t mobile or adidas or tech crunch from New York Times. And no matter what, how big your organization is, the principles that, and, and pitfalls that people should avoid are the same and they are the following. You basically should avoid just copying patterns that you’ve used, you know, for other channels. Because this channel is so close to people because it feels so intimate. People have much less tolerance for a called pammy kind of communication. So, um, and I mean we’ve talked about in Physio, Mary, I’m obsessed with this concept off longterm relationship building.
10:32 – And I think this is like, again, it’s like you form long longterm relationships which are not focused on immediate Roi, whether as an oral, like longterm LTV. When you support each other and you know your customers become your community and support your business throughout three years, right? So that, this concept that this channel is beautiful for, for doing exactly this. Now if you’re in it from the very beginning, if you just come off as spammy, too salesy, not respectful, um, you know, broadcast or just blasts of information to build them, they’ll unsubscribe and some of them will converted, of course. I mean, that’s the law of numbers. Some of them will convert. You might get short term Roi on Edd, however it’s going to do damage for the whole industry because people will be less likely to subscribe to new boss later on because they had negative experience businesses for businesses, it will be much harder for the child to two people and fo yeah, so it’s like, it’s not negative for everyone.
11:41 – So that’s, that’s the biggest pitfall to avoid is, is a scenic channel and make sure that your communication is a personal. So you know exactly who is the person you are talking to. So you don’t have to. So you know, like what, what did that they’re looking for, right? And it’s going to be good for you because you’re going to get pirated versions, there’s going to be good for them because they not going to be buzzard second fall, make sure it delivers value right up front. And this is how you established, you know, trust actually the analysis this, this, trust bucket analogy, right? Like everyone knows that, I guess, right? But anyway, so yeah, so, so that, that, that, that, that’s a perfect example, right? So make sure you deliver some value, make sure you build some trust to earth and it’s so easy to do, you know, using this channel and that account, this as the essence of this channel is that it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s using because a bite size pieces of information, you don’t have to invest a lot of your time to, you know, to, to deliver something useful to people.
12:41 – Make sure it’s a, it builds, you deliver value. So it builds trust and make sure that, you know you operate on the basis of integrity so that people know that people feel it. And I think, and behave accordingly.
12:56 – I think that’s so cool and key how you talk about whether you’re a big business or a small business. All of these things still apply. And it’s really interesting that you’ve noticed that on your platform that they all have the same, you know, as long as we all follow those things will be fine. And so I think that was interesting. I was going to ask you, how has it been to build this platform for different sized businesses? Because I don’t know a lot of software tools out there that are able to successfully kind of meet both.
13:32 – It’s been a very interesting, I must say, I must say yeah, especially, you know, like the, the, the, the, the hardest was something that comes up to my mind immediately is when, the sound bots that started to rapidly gain traction or platform, they started to appear basically boss dazzled, adding 100,000 users every day. And they’re like, oh my God. Like our infrastructure is like dying. Like, you know, when there was this chat bot is a broadcast notification, we just go down and uh, yeah. And it, and it so happened that we were a launch in the Europe time spot at the same time as this started to happen and yeah, and that’s been a couple weeks of my life that I knew oldest member because you know, like you crave for, to have someone like your time, so you have to use our users and then they’re like, they launch it and then they, you know, like the buffum goes down like, like, you know, like once every couple of hours, like the whole team is up all night trying to keep up as it.
14:41 – But I didn’t know that it turned out to be all right. Obviously, you know, we had to work overnight to get this issue resolved. But it helped us gain a experience and I had an unheard of. Hasn’t platform out there that is able to, power bots with millions of users. To my knowledge, we are the only, the only one platform gives me this boss that have been on some users. So it’d be more the stability that we have and the amount of resources that we had to invest in our infrastructure is enormous. But then again, it’s a, if you think long term obviously, stability of the platform, reliability of the platform and most important scale ability because he plans to grow a business and they should plan to like hundreds of thousands and millions and millions of users. It’s super important for you to make sure that you can rely on the platform and you can grow your business on something that is ready for it.
15:40 – Yeah. And to be able to learn those lessons early on and be able to get the platform stable enough early on so that all of us, you know, coming after New York Times, let’s say, can rely on it. I mean, it makes a huge difference. So we’ve talked a little bit about where you see this going, the personalization, I’m your platform being able to handle the small and the large. What how can we as marketers looking at your tool that has helped us. It’s still so new, but it has so many, so much potential. And how can we as users of your platform prepare for what’s coming. I mean obviously you can’t tell us things you’re working on and things that are proprietary and all that stuff, but how can we prepare for what’s coming in Messenger and specifically from chatfuel
16:39 – I have, I have two answers. One is short term and longterm longterm is more like, you know, the, the, the threaded, you kind of advice and it, and it is the following, you know, and I look in my inbox and I’m extremely, extremely sensitive when it comes to my inbox because I have so many things trying to get my attention. So my email inbox and then, I mean it’s been around me for again decades, right? When I look at it, the only types of communication that I leave are those transactional emails that I cannot live with. Like, you know, received some of them, they are automated, they go into industrial folders, but just for my records, those are the ones that I, that I laughed, like marketing focused. Actually communication that, that I left that from brands.
17:36 – And those who try to establish something more than just a sale, something gets started right away and that they are still sitting in my inbox. So that was a defining point for me when I like, okay, so where should we focus our platform like men and obviously as a tool, your platform can be used in so many ways, but like what are the things that began going to focus on and what were the things that we believe in and what are they think that you’re going to implement other features other than the one of the cases that you want to see on our platform as those that are focused on longterm communication on billings, this relationship. So just to sum it up, we believe in long term relationship that, that and this channel is the best opportunity out there since like since since the zero rate on these tests.
18:30 – It’s so personal. And and I believe all of us are responsible for making sure that this channel doesn’t die the way it happened this email. And if you respect the audience that our businesses, well, when I’m a customer will win. And also, you know, you can think about platform thinking about facebook, right? They completely own this channel, unlike email which is distributed. This journalist is owned by one particular company and their main goal long term is to make sure that they’re, like, people are happy and if they see that, you know, the channel is being abused, they gonna. And again, I’m not like, that’s, that’s my pure thing and that’s not something that I got from facebook, but some, some, some logic that, that, that, that happened to, that I happen to have if they see that this channel is, it’s becoming so busy for people, they’re gonna enforce, enforce some more tools, that all of us will suffer from.
19:27 – So, you know, to me it feels like a focus on the longterm and it’s so easy as in channel building this relationship, delivering value of being as personal as you, can be, is the way to go. And, out of this big vision, you know, we break it down into immediate features, exact features that we are launching our platform, so how you can be more personalized, how can you get more information about a user so you don’t have to bother this user, you know, several times. Right? And like, what is the best time to send a notification so that the inner most, like, you know, they’ll respond or read or engage with. So this kind of stuff, it breaks down into the exact feature, the theme for Melanoma Platform and for the short to you know, what I realized is that I cannot foresee the future, the only way to know what we should build as a, uh, so things are based on the ideas that we get from our users.
20:34 – Okay. Because visa a platform did not know your business. And I’m talking to all of the people that are listening here right now will not know your business. And, obviously you’ve been in this, in your business for months, maybe years, maybe decades, and you know, you know, all of that that needs to happen in there now, what we found to be the most successful experiences that, you know, when you come as your expert expertise and experience and you build something on their platform and and you have feedback back to us saying, hey, is this, this is what a and b thing, how we can make it better and easier to use for you and simpler to use review. So it’s like one click instead of 10. So please keep the feedback coming. I’ve ever to open my email a heat map on messenger list lives don’t make or if you prefer a traditional way of communicating chatfield have come, would love to hear your ideas.
21:34 – Amazing. Yeah. So what I hear you saying, and please everyone in the audience here, what Dimitri just said, we basically drive the future. We drive it with our own innovation in our businesses and looking to tools like chatfuel to help us make that innovation or reality and make it easier. So really we are all the futurists, if we innovate, if we don’t just look at what other people have done and mimic, but actually innovate and look at and listen to our customers to be able to find out how we can make their lives easier than chatfuel could do the same with us. Wow. It’s so simple, but yet has such transformative possibilities.
22:19 – Yeah. That’s so much fun when you realize that you’re not just, you know, trying to figure out something but you’re actually building the future. Is there a lot of fulfillment, right? Like what are this? It gives us fulfillment as is very enjoyable. It makes a lot of sense. So it’s not only about money, it’s something beyond money.
22:39 – Yeah. We haven’t really even talked about money in this summit hardly at all. I mean, I don’t even think we have it all. It really has been about this kind of fulfillment with our, with our customers, with our peers, with companies like yours. Um, and our, all of our interactions, it really, that’s what fuels us. The money is obviously a benefit and something we need to live and survive and be free and all those things, but, but really the fulfillment is a, is ultimately what it, what it comes down to. So now with that in mind, I’ve got to ask you one more question that kind of away from fulfillment and gives it puts us in a place where you will just, let me just ask it, what, what really bugs you and I have a feeling, I know the answer to this, but what really bugs you about this industry, about marketing and the possibility of using messenger and future and how your platform is evolving. What just really drives you nuts?
23:37 – So you were breaking up a little bit. So I missed the I missed have via classroom if you can repeat it.
23:42 – Yeah, you bet. What drives you crazy? Drives you nuts.
23:46 – About this industry and about, marketing? That’s a great question. So you know, looking at countries like China for example, right? What did they, they started with child bus a little bit earlier by a slight few years, five years before best sort of interest or vested in a Messenger’s and seeing how the adopted, how quickly is this technology became a commodity, how quickly sent out there. That is just fascinating. So basically like if anybody goes to someone to say hot dogs and that was a, the Qr code and you know, you come over with your smartphone, just Kansas, qr codes and famous meet chat and you get your hot dog and it’s like, oh my God. But it’s like, yeah, it’s here. So this is, this whole space is progress and it is fascinating.
24:53 – You know, if you, if you imagine a car, it would take you years to see how, you know, houses maybe not 150 years to see houses. Whole technology is adopted by so many people and how it has transformed so many lives in here. It happens over a span of two, three years. And this is what we’re going to see over the next two, three years. Every single business, real halves. This channel of communication open, it’s going to be such a commodity, like, like, like email nowadays or a phone number. And um, to me it’s, it’s, um, it’s such an advantage of a overview of the APP right now. So right now I’m, I have to call a, you know, a company and neither have my questions solved. Well, first of all, I have my accent, which is not a problem for many of you here, but you know, like it’s like an extra friction but then like it’s, it’s still a synchronous communication in the audio control environment.
25:44 – A really 21st century and there’s like a lot of friction and no one is happy about it because I am, I have this, you know, I’m going to have to call someone, you know, I have this negative perception right upfront because, you know, it’s either gonna be an a student I have to handle or you know, are gonna end up, you know, having this Ivr that have to listen to the end. And I, I’m not getting all of the options right up front of my face so I can quickly go through them and everything. It’s so fast and I feel like I’m facing my time right now being on the phone. And right now, what is it 57 percent of a consumer to business communication in the United States happens. Hold on phone. So, uh, yeah, it’s somewhere in this ballpark. I don’t remember the exact number, but it’s somewhere our businesses ballpark and it drives me nuts is basically the field of which this technology is going to be adopted and bib, a little start using it in business. We’ll have those channels of so that we can, like the lives of everyone can be simplified and we’re just getting started here. Basically like me talk, marketing marketing is just an entry point. It’s like, you know, like when you get, let’s say is there was an ecommerce business thrive, a new offer them to go, you know, um, uh, experience, experiment, the chatbots, they service, you know, a simple marketing communication. But then later on you realize, okay, it’s such a great channel. And can do more truth, so for example, all the way to close the my transaction. So basically being able to, you know, pay to the Messenger and it’s not allowed there yet. Technology is there, but the adoption is not there.
27:19 – So it wasn’t going to see over the next two, three years the adoption of this technology and simply simplification of life processes and everything’s going to be more streamlined. And marketing is just an entry point for a variety of experiences that feel happened. Messenger, more group use cases when you know, we can get together, you know, agreed to buy something or you know, invited bought from whole foods, you know, get a shopping list, pay for it, all in the same medium, in the oldest, same lists, in the same context. Or think about, you know, ecommerce transaction nowadays. So you have different mediums. So you basically, you communicate through email and then people have to click the Gonio vap set and it’s completely different experience that, that looks different from, you know, they, they, they got this limitation. So now you know, they, they have this, they have to spend time, mental energy zone and the context and it sends those two mediums. Chatbots, were you, you know, then you sort of as an entry point or like, Ooh, that’s something I want to do by or you know, experience and they received this in the same medium, the same context. They, they finished the transaction. And again, you can reengage with them later on, you know, ask for their feedback. That is so cool.
28:35 – Yeah. I can’t even, I can’t even imagine. I have not visited China, so I have no idea. But I know I’ve heard those same kinds of things and I love what you said about the mental energy you have to use when you get an email about something and then you visit the website and it is totally different. I didn’t even, I’ve never even thought of it that way, but because it’s my website and I know it intimately because I probably helped build it. It’s totally fine for me, but some other person has no clue. All of a sudden they pop up on my site and there’s a pop up there, or there’s an image here or there’s whatever things flashing at them, whatever you’re right, it takes a certain amount of mental energy to consume that, to get back into the frame of mind that they need to buy something.
29:24 – Sarah’s a very direct correlation between cognition and action.
29:35 – Was that his noble prize? And it doesn’t to. Does that make sense? For this topic, which I highly recommend. It’s called thinking fast and slow. That is fantastic. It’s basically how do we make. It’s basically about how our mind operates, but something that’s going to reapply right here right now is that the more simplicity, the easier for us to recognize the context of. And Messenger is such a recognizable thing because we spend so much time over there. The more we tend to trust is this a medium. So it’s like they had an experiment when they, they gave to two groups of investment bankers to different, you know, sets of proposal of company formation. The mind was printed on the, on the kind of yellowish cheap paper and doesn’t run, was playing on a very expensive good paper and then, uh, but the information was the same.
30:29 – Statistically significant difference between how people were likely to invest in the second group visuals printed on the paper. So tell him about the context that we have. If you feel comfortable listens. This context, if you feel familiar with, they’re more likely to act me. Do not feel cautious.
30:50 – Thinking fast and slow. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. I’ll have to check that one out. Yeah. Well especially because it’s, it’s so true. I mean, we are, we’re, we’re animals, we’re creatures. We are familiar with certain things and not familiar with others and it definitely impacts the way we act. And the way we interact. I’m okay. My mind is being blown more staff. So, is there a particular tool besides the book you just mentioned or a tip that our audience can use to give them this futurist advantage that we’ve been talking about? Is there something you can leave them with that will help them get closer to having that advantage?
31:41 – It’s that, it’s that is that a school itself? But it’s the approach that I highly recommend, you know, smite third company and I like every time I had to start from scratch. So what I, I’m the one of the biggest learnings that a, a takeaways today had. The other is the following. You cannot foresee, you cannot predict what is going to work. So you have to test a multiple of hypothesis or ideas and the easier it is for you to test them, the faster you can test them, the more likely you are to succeed. But I’m trying to say here is that like, you know, as soon as the beginning of this chat bot space and we were observing a lot of people building their boss and a lot of them were experimented so no one actually knows. And like the thing that we know how to communicate with chatbots nowadays, nobody does so like, like it’s still those people placed and they had some crazy experiences.
32:42 – Like, people are obsessed with optimization and you know, like they, they find it out, they, you know, they make a case out of it and then like, you know, it becomes. We have Jason Plugin on Chatfuel, which is basically like a, a thing that you can use and build a custom back end logic or are we going to have something build a custom logic for you. So a lot of people have used that to do not face their time on building the front end, which can be built as chatfuel or you know, building like the majority of chatfuel a core functionality and then added the missing business functionality to this Jason Plugin.
33:39 – So basically by doing that, you, you, you know, you, decrease time to market, you are able to test multiple hypothesis and the, you are behind a story, ahead of your competition because you can iterate multiple things and get results faster. So we’ve seen like some ecommerce using sound, some people are, you know, implemented their own ai logic on the back end and when they recommend, you know, goods and a number of experiences. So it might be something that you might take advantage of, uh, a, so, you know, to be advisors and experiment more and get to the best results faster.
34:17 – Can you use that to connect to a database? Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Amazing idea for a Bot I want to create and I need to connect it to a database. That’s it.
34:28 – So that the, one of the examples is when burglary came to us, they had their, they wanted to have a customer support system connected to a Bot and uh, they are using, well, they were using some major platform to do. So I’m not sure I can disclose this information. So basically what happened is we didn’t have a plug in right away, but then you know, because of this, I mean specific blog and for connections is major support system so they just use their, this Jason Plugin and the variable to easily come back their support system and a now they have beautiful experiences at Chatfield.
35:08 – And not only that what just to, to what you just said, in order to be able to experiment quickly and iterate quickly, you have the functionality to be able to clone, you can build something first and then just clone it, tweak a few things to see how that interaction takes place, clone it again, tweak a few things. So I mean you have the, the flexibility to allow people to do that on your platform very easily with the multiple, multiple plugins that there’s something, you will find it on chatfuel if you need it, you will find it. And it was be to do it fast.
35:46 – Yeah. There was even on the official a chat bot marketplace. So basically the people who greeted, you know, chat about templates, they are selling them to others. Like for $10 you can get something, you don’t have to go through crash and it’s like focused on their particular use case. So if that might be a way to go for you as well.
36:07 – Yeah. Craziness. Holidays. Well, whatever you can think here again, people, you know, futurists, you, you be innovative in your business and you will be able to make it come true, with, with chat fuel in the tools we’ve been talking about. It’s just, it’s incredible. Dimitri, thank you so much for spending this time with us. Again, I just love talking to you. You just, I, connect so well to you, so I’m, I’m so pleased and so blessed that you spent this time with us, shared your input and your information about not just chatfuel but about the positive way you look at the, at the future, and as long as all of us are doing our best with it and not just trying to make something happen or make more money, we will all be able to rise. So thank you.
36:57 – I think it’s so much Mariam Kelly, for having me really such a pleasure. Again, if you, if any of you futurists have any questions, feel free to reach out fast, but I promise to respond in some point in time that that’s for sure.