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We built the world's first conversational marketing platform... and now anyone can build bots or integrations for sales or marketing on it. Ask us anything.

Daniel J. Murphy
Jan 11, 2018

Steve Webel, engineer, and Emily Mias, product manager will be available to talk Drift's open platform.

Drift makes it easier for people to buy from your business through real-time one-on-one conversations. When you connect Drift's conversational marketing platform to your website, you will generate more qualified leads using our bots, and book more meetings for your sales team.


Daniel J. Murphy says:

This AMA will end Jan 18, 2018 11AM EST

Comments are locked

Conversation (44)

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Hi Emily and Daniel, a question about how you all move fast. My understanding is that your product teams have a good deal of ownership as well as accoutability. In addition to being close to the customer and having small, cross-functional teams, you all organize teams around outcomes not output, yes? Biz outcomes (retention #s?, feature adoption #s?...?) & customer outcomes (NPS?), not just output (# of commits...), yes? What kinds of outcomes do you all organize around? Everyone on the team, not just the lead engineer and product manager, are focused on those outcomes and numbers? Everyone on the team is involved to some degree in some part of the discovery, ideation processes? You like working this way over the other ways you've worked in the past? Thanks! 

Last edited @ Jan 11, 1:33PM EST.
Jan 11, 1:30PM EST0

Do you have non-public examples of API apps? What kinds of apps are people building? (plug for mine https://github.com/twentworth12/salesforce-lookup) 

Jan 11, 10:42AM EST0

We've seen three general styles of integrations.

  • Skill based Bots
    • Goal: level-up Reps and CS by allowing the user to pull more data into the Drift conversation view.
    • Execution: bots listen for "/ commands" and will respond with additional data from an external source
    • Example: "/salesforce" (plug) pulls SF contact details into the conversation, "/giphy" adds giph to the conversation, "/zendesk" creates a ticket in zendesk based on the conversation, "/hubspot" pulls hubspot contact details into the conversation  - coming soon
  • Contact Enrichment
    • Goal: add additional insight on to the Contact record
    • Execution: in the background an organizations contacts are enriched with additional data pull for external sources
    • Example: verifying a contacts email once captured - coming soon
  • Data Sync & Enrichment
    • Goal: pull conversation/contact data from Drift and forward into a seperate application. Additionally, updating the contact record as needed
    • Execution: app listens to conversation events as well as contact updates and push/pulls data to/from Drift
    • Example: NomNom pulls Contact and Conversation data into NomNom, where you can then get greater insight into your customer
Jan 11, 11:27AM EST1

I've been playing with the new APIs for a couple weeks and everything is working smashingly.  Well done! Would love to hear more about upcoming functionality. 

two biggest pieces of feedback right now would be:

1) Give access to agents user profile as well or at least a watered down version.  Currently, we can only retrieve their ID from a convo and have no context to give that agent even a name.  This is helpful to know which agent was involved in the chat when sending the data to a 3rd party service. 

2) Would love to give the Bot an identity.  Currently, when posting a message it only just says 'Bot' with a generic robot icon.  If several bots are enabled on a team could be pretty hard to keep straight for the agent and end-user.

Ya'll have done a killer job getting this up and going so quickly.  Keep trucking.

Last edited @ Jan 11, 10:39AM EST.
Jan 11, 10:39AM EST0

Hey Tristan! This is great feedback- thanks for this. I'm scribbling some notes down. :) Keep the feedback coming. Hope you're in the slack workspace!

Jan 11, 10:48AM EST1

We knew that we needed to open Drift up as an Open Conversational platform. There’s so much power behind what we’re doing - connecting businesses to other businesses in a more human way. And marketers and sales people are using so many different tools out there to make their business run, that we have to let them plug all of those things into Drift. 

Jan 11, 10:00AM EST0

I remember you guys buying the domain Drift.com recently. Congrats!

Jan 11, 11:31AM EST0

What advice would you give to someone who would want to create something similar?

Dec 23, 1:44AM EST0

I'd say keep your customers at the front of your mind at all times. It really guided us when putting together the Drift Developer Platform. We remembered we weren't just building this for developers, but for the developers being asked to build integrations to other platforms by their marketing team. It's a totally different context. And it's just so important to have people using the platform early and giving feedback on documentation.

Jan 11, 10:08AM EST0

Do you have any marketing strategies for Drift?

Dec 22, 11:41PM EST0

I can answer that one. We're focused on building a strong brand, being customer-centric so we can build quickly based on feedback and making marketing about conversations, rather than data points, once again. 

Jan 11, 10:10AM EST0

Are you funded? Profitable?

Jan 11, 12:26PM EST0

Do you keep improving your services? How?

Dec 22, 10:54AM EST0

Drift ships every day. We're constantly making improvements and changes based on customer feedback. And we do one big release every month that makes Drift that much more useful to our customers, like with this release :)

Jan 11, 10:09AM EST0

Have you worked with any brands? How was it?

Dec 22, 7:34AM EST0

We worked with quite a few companies for this release, like NomNom, Frame.ai, and SupportHero. HelpDocs also built an integration within two days of us launching the dev platform. 

Jan 11, 10:10AM EST0

What level of popularity would you like to reach with this platform?

Dec 22, 6:02AM EST0

How did you meet the members of your team? How do you overcome disagreements?

Dec 22, 5:57AM EST0

Two of our principles at Drift are "biase for action" and "to be humble." Keeping these in mind during disagreement is extremely helpful! It allows us to check our egos at the door, focus on the problem, and get a solution out the door. This way we keep moving quickly and allow our customers to decide if our solution was correct.

Jan 11, 10:36AM EST0

Which part of this project are you most proud of?

Dec 21, 12:13PM EST0

I'd have to say how easy it is to submit an app and get it approved in our marketplace. The community we've seen come out of building and submitting new apps is really incredible, too. 

Jan 11, 10:06AM EST0

Can you explain more how did you go about building a community in the first place? Thanks in advance.

Jan 11, 11:45AM EST0

How will you handle the problems in running Drift if they come up?

Dec 21, 11:33AM EST0

We have Customer Advocates on every team that escalates and prioritizes issue, which we try to fix at rapid-fire. Part of being so customer-focused is not letting a big backlog of issues queue up, so we always make them a priority. 

Jan 11, 10:18AM EST0

Who are your main competitors in the market?

Dec 21, 9:08AM EST0

Can you explain how Drift works a bit more?

Dec 21, 7:49AM EST0

Sure thing! Drift is the new way businesses buy from businesses. We connect people who want to buy to people who can sell you the thing you want to buy. Nothing's worse than going to a site and having to find the "Contact Us" area or having to fill out a form. By having chat on your site, you're able to connect to the business faster. We also do some awesome stuff with email that helps businesses be more respectful when sending emails out to potential buyers - we hate spam, and want to make the world a less spammy place. :) Let me know if you have any other questions on specifics!

Jan 11, 10:05AM EST0

Do you think that companies realize the potential of this marketing strategy?

Dec 21, 7:30AM EST0

Where do you see your platform in the future?

Dec 21, 1:40AM EST0

I definitely see us adding a public marketplace into the mix- right now all of our apps are available once you're logged into Drift. It will be awesome when you can browse through all the apps without even logging in. We also have some aggressive goals on how many apps we want in that marketplace before the end of this year. :) More APIs and flexibility on what you can build will be coming soon, too!

Jan 11, 10:13AM EST1

What tips would you give to someone who wants to create a bot on your platform?

Dec 20, 9:30PM EST0

We've added a ton of documentation to https://dev.drift.com that outlines how to get started. We also had some customers write some stuff for us as well! I'd say read up and just dive in. :) https://blog.bubbleiq.com/building-a-drift-app-part-1/

Jan 11, 10:03AM EST2

What kind of bots can I create?

Jan 11, 1:01PM EST0

How long did it take to create Drift? Was it hard?

Dec 20, 6:40PM EST0

Did you have any previous jobs related to this one?

Dec 20, 1:06PM EST0

I was a Product Manager at a few different companies before joining Drift. Drift's definitely the most customer-focused company I've ever seen, though. Every decision we make is entirely based on customer value.

Last edited @ Jan 11, 10:15AM EST.
Jan 11, 10:14AM EST0

What did you study? Was it related to your current work?

Dec 20, 8:19AM EST0

I studied English in college, with a focus on technical writing and IT. It definitely made me a better communicator, and everything's related to that :)

Jan 11, 10:15AM EST0

What was your mission at the outset of creating Drift?

Dec 20, 8:00AM EST0

What are some of the challenges of this line of work? What is the most enjoyable thing about it?

Dec 20, 7:38AM EST0

How would this platform help businesses?

Dec 20, 7:28AM EST0

Drift is the new way businesses buy from other businesses. Our product makes it easier for potential customers and businesses connect via conversation (wether that be on your website, emial or elsewhere). 

Jan 11, 10:12AM EST0

When did you first thought of creating conversational marketing platform?

Dec 20, 7:02AM EST0
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