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Agile Digital Business

Glean applicable ideas from Agile Digital Business as your host, Vickie Maris, explores the topics of leadership, personal development, team development and team communications.
Vickie is a singer-songwriter, speaker, facilitator and author. In addition to her music and speaking at conferences, she facilitates sessions in staff retreats and workshops. She is a certified trainer of Everything DiSC and The Five Behaviors, as well as a certified facilitator. 
You will enjoy and benefit from the interviews with guests on the show who bring a variety of perspectives and applicable insights. Focus areas include change management, leadership, team dynamics, communications, entrepreneurship, and more.

Sep 23, 2019

During my conversation Brielle Nickoloff, lead, product marketing, for Witlingo, she and I discuss the value of moving quickly in the voice platform. Hear how Amazon Alexa searches data sources to respond to voice search as well as insights about voice portals for your customers.

Nickoloff has a background in linguistics and neuroscience and user interface design. Her unique combination of degrees led her to Witlingo, which helps companies build voice experiences.

Here is our conversation and the associated time codes to help you locate key moments in the interview:


:29 Introduction from Scott Greeson

:42 Vickie Maris introduces the upcoming interview with Brielle Nickoloff, Witlingo. Vickie and Brielle met while attending the voice panel during Podcast Movement 2019.

1:53 Vickie provides background information about Brielle and her work in the voice community.

2:48 Brielle speaks three languages and has several publications to her credit. You can read more at her LinkedIn profile.

3:49 Reach Brielle via email, brielle @ witlingo dot com or through her LinkedIn profile.

4:08 How Brielle was led to the voice space. She had been double majoring in Neuroscience and Linguistics with an intent to go to Medical School.

4:32 A seminar in her linguistics program about profanity; she did a paper about why people get so frustrated with robot.  

5:27 Her transition to voice for her career.

5:58 Vickie talks about taking a graduate level linguistics course during her undergraduate program

6:50 Brielle talks about the point at which she decided that she was not interested in taking the MCAT which had been part of her original plan

7:38 Contemplation of becoming a coder and attending a coding boot camp or other learning activities it would take to work in the voice space

8:21 A conversation with a best friend who was studying art and design had been sending job postings to Brielle about Google needing designers and linguists

9:03 Exploration about a career path in user experience design.

10:03 Voice design and roles in a "voice" career

10:30 Brielle began as a voice designer with Witlingo

11:22 Brielle is in a position at Witlingo that didn't exist a few years ago in this budding industry.

11:56 Reasons explained for the growth of the voice platform.

12:07 With voice, you don't have to learn how talk.

12:31 "We're finally at a point where this technology can understand us and speak back to us. Alexa was the first one. She helped make it mainstream."

13:03 "We need so many people in this field."

13:38 Vickie asks "What does a business need to do today to be ready for voice and how people are incorporating it in to their daily lives."

14:40 We're now at a point when you're in a room asking people if they know about voice assistants, everybody has at least tried it."

15:10 What does it mean to pay a company to build out a voice experience for you?

15:28 Witlingo has refined its offering to a SAS (software as a service) product for their clients.

16:02 "With a website, you wanted to build your SEO roots early on when text-based search engines came out. Those who started building out very strong, rich content on any search engine were the ones who would be pushed to the top." Brielle Nickoloff

16:35 "There is no such thing anymore as seeing the 10 blue hyperlinks on Google's first page."

16:44 "If you a voice assistant a question about a brand, a company, anything; what you get back is one, single answer. It's not a bunch of options anymore."

16:56 "Even in text-based search engines, that has been a shift we're seeing as well."

17:30 "There is quite an interesting parallel between that and what is going on with voice."

17:56 "Our product is designed so that you can sit down and record FAQs about yourself or your company... It makes so that people can find what people are searching for about your company."

18:38 "There are two things to consider with voice - the content creation and the content consumption."

19:35 "In a few years, it will be an absolute table stake for your brand to have a presence in voice.

19:52 A voice assistant will first search its own, internal database. If they can't find the answer there, they move out to the voice web. In Alexa's case, it is the Alexa Skills. Then, she'll go to the web search. Alexa is powered by Bing. The Google Assistant is powered by Google.

20:51 "Planting those voice roots very early on" is important.

21:00 Web content is not designed to be consumed while you're listening to it.

21:18 "People usually use long term searches when they are conversationally asking for things."

21:38 Include general things that you want to be an authority on.

21:56 "If you are building out that rich, voice-based content, then you're going to have a leg up in the future when the algorithms are more refined and able to actually pull an answer from third-party skills in areas where you are an authority."

22:44 Invitation to grab a screen shot of this episode with Brielle Nickoloff, and share it out with your friends and colleagues.

24:00 How to add the podcast, Agile Digital Business, to your Flash Briefing on your Amazon Echo device so that you can ask Alexa to "play your flash briefing."

25:30 "We're getting a lot of traction with marketing executives who have signature power."

26:00 "We're seeing everything from B to C; B to B. 

27:12 "40 percent of adults use voice search every day and that is growing rapidly."

27:44 "You have customer care: You can easily reach your customers by providing answers and information they would need, just by asking."

27:58 There is also the digital marketing aspect. You can surface first when users are searching.

28:20 Episode about adding the Alexa Skill for the podcast appeared rapidly in search results in iTunes in the top two rows of options.

30:01 "We're banking on the idea that any serious business that has a website, a Twitter, etc., that voice is the next table stake to consider."

31:02 Brielle describes Flash Briefings that you can create for Alexa users

31:24 "If you add a Skill to your Flash Briefing lineup, you never have to remember the name of the Skill to invoke it anymore."

33:06 Witlingo team is excited to be able to provide the Flash Briefing capability to companies interested in creating a Flash Briefing for their customers to enable.

33:45 Vickie provides the example of connecting her RSS feed for her podcast with her Flash Briefing Amazon Alexa Skill

34:19 Opportunity to grab embed code from your portal with Witlingo, which allows you to feature the voice of your users providing feedback.

35:05 On being "platform agnostic."

Special Offer from Witlingo to Listeners of Agile Digital Business

35:34 Brielle mentions an offer for the use of Witlingo tools for listeners who would like to try the service. If you mention that you heard about the company via Agile Digital Business podcast, the company will get you set up for a year of use of service for free. Brielle can provide more details. (Check with Witlingo about the length of this offer.)

36:56 Vickie provides an example from her experience as an author, and the importance of publishing your books in audiobook format. Her first book, Job Loss and the Cutback Blues: Journey of Grief, Uncertainty and Recovery After Being Let Go, is available as an audiobook through Amazon, Audible and other locations. The book she is about to publish will also be available as an audiobook.

37:24 Conference, Digital Bookworld, is mentioned by Brielle. Bradley Metrock ( created the conference. It's about publishing in the age of voice and the age of digital books.

37:35 Alexa conference is now called Project Voice. Brielle highly recommends this event as well.

38:03 Show notes are in the podcast Libsyn blog,

38:29 Thank you.

39:06 Music closing