The Latest Evolution: Offline Demand Gen to AI Lead Collection with Jay Bean


In this presentation, Jay shares how to use AI to transform offline conversations to stronger online conversations with consumers.


Jay Bean is Co-Founder and CEO of FreshLime, a Customer Interaction Platform Built for Local Businesses. Jay has over 19 years of experience in digital marketing 


“But the fact remains that as businesses, we can’t just basically put all of our eggs into that one basket. We need to continue to keep our minds open to other things that are out there and not try to just do one thing that makes sense.” 

“As businesses, we have to continue to adapt, if we sit still for just a couple of minutes, we’re going to miss out on an opportunity” 

Key Points

  1. The importance of adaption in the market
  2. How to most effectively own customer relationships
  3. How to take offline conversations to online conversations



Hello, my name is Jay Bean. I am a co-founder and CEO of FreshLime. Super
excited to be here today. I know we have an interesting title here, Offline
demand gen to AI lead collection, the latest evolution and so, super excited to
talk about this today.

I think that there’s been tremendous change in our overall marketplace as
we’ve continued to see new technology advancements, privacy issues, all these
other components as we as businesses need to connect to potential customers and
to engage with them. And, so, today I’m going to be talking a little bit about
this part of the evolution that we’ve seen over the X number of years, but also
thinking about how we’re all connected together.

There’s so many different customer touch points and there’s so many different
ways to capture a customer’s attention. But at the same time, we as consumers
of whatever product it could be a business product or could be a personal
product was trying to grab our attention and so we’re overwhelmed with content
and information. And we become blind to many of those things that maybe worked
in the past.

And so as time goes on, as businesses, we have to continue to adapt, and we
sit still for just a couple of minutes, we’re going to miss out on an
opportunity because others in the marketplace might be continuing forward and
so the things that we’ve been developing things that we’ve been working on here
fresh lime over the last few years are providing new types of value to
businesses out of things that may have been old in the past.

And so, we’re not going to be talking about Yellow Pages today. But I do
want to bring this up. I was at a conference a couple of weeks ago in Los
Angeles and an executive from Facebook was talking about how many things that
we’re getting back to the basics or getting back to the beginning things that
worked in the past, still have value and so we need to kind of think about
those things. He was talking about getting back to two yellow pages. That’s not
going to happen. We’re not going to have phones connected to our wall. But he
was talking about how a mix of things may work better than just putting all of
your efforts into one bucket. And so we are going to talk about this in a
little bit more detail. And it kind of comes up with this idea of kind of
banner blindness and it doesn’t really matter. It’s not about banners, I mean
banners actually, and display still plays a vital role, but it changes over
time, right?

Email plays a role, but it changes over time. Social plays a role, but it changes
over time. And we as consumers, when we gravitate towards something, what
happens is the marketplace and marketers all of a sudden just blow up those
things. And so, so there’s more and more and more attention and more and more
effort go into these little single points of success. And pretty soon
everybody’s doing that. And we as consumers get annoyed or bored at saying
those and so we basically block them out. And banners are one of those really
good examples. If we were to go back to the early 2000s banners were just, I
mean it was the rage right, and businesses were doing anything that they could
to get your attention over the banner. So, you would click on it and go to a
website, which provided value for those businesses and displays have changed a
lot and the mechanisms around why display works have changed a lot.

But the fact remains that as businesses, we can’t just basically put all of
our eggs into that one basket. We need to continue to keep our minds open to
other things that are out there and not try to just do one thing that makes
sense. And so I mentioned email, emails are another really good example because
emails play a huge role in the marketing realm. But email is not as effective
today as it was at one time, but it’s still a very, very effective tool in
nurturing customers and engaging and educating and a bunch of other aspects,
but it just doesn’t work the same way that it did.

Let’s say 10 years ago, or even five or six years ago. I was speaking at
this conference where this Facebook executive was talking, and it was actually
a really good conference that is all about local and the TikTok executives and
a bunch of other like really interesting kinds of things that are going on. I
was actually talking about the evolution over the last 20 years. And so, I
utilize this chart. But one of the things I noticed when I was talking about
this 30 years ago, there was something that was developed that actually plays a
really important role in our marketing stack today as we want to interact with
customers and engage customers. And then probably one of the most effective
tools that we can utilize was developed in 1992 and that is SMS messaging.

And well, SMS kind of came out before online display and Yahoo search and
email marketing and Google and all of the different social aspects and things
and I mean you can just kind of go on social all the things that kind of have
happened since then. And mobile obviously has played a really, really big role
since 2006 2007. Mobile has played a much bigger role. And so is that the
reason that SMS is playing a bigger role today even though it’s been around
longer than most of the technology that we would actually think about today. It
doesn’t have the same level of simplicity that it probably did back then where you’re
going to type out a short little message on your, whatever type of phone that
you would have had back then. Was pretty early on. But the fact remains that
that is a very powerful, very powerful tool in the overall ecosystem.

So, I want to talk about and print is actually one of the things I do want
to talk about a little bit today, but it’s not just in that it’s not just
print, it’s how we utilize and most effectively own customer relationships. And
one of the really important things that we have seen in that we all as
consumers kind of focus on and kind of go after is convenience and it doesn’t
really matter what is causing that convenience, but we are only going to do
things that are convenient and timely for us at any given point. So, if it
takes a lot of work and a lot of effort, then consumers are just not going to
do it. They’re not going to go out of their way. That’s why businesses that
rely just on phone calls, consumers are not calling them as much as they did
even five or 10 years ago.

If someone can actually perform a function by something without talking to
anybody, they’re going to do it and it doesn’t matter if you’re 17, 27 or 77 We
all like these conveniences and so as search really grew in the in the early
2000s, mid 2000s 2010 2011 things continue to change and then obviously you
have the mobile aspect and you have the social aspect but with every business
basically having a website search became less effective. And so we have this
gluttony of marketplaces that have essentially come about to provide value to
consumers and to be kind of that middleman and we can think about Groupon. We
can think about Amazon as a big stupid marketplace, right? We can think about
other vertical components that we all love today like our DoorDash or UberEATS or
Postmates or whatever the case might be, just because it’s convenient. I can go
to one place I can order and in half hour, food is delivered. And it doesn’t
matter if I want pizza, if I want sushi, if I don’t really matter, fast food,
whatever the case might be. It’s all in one place.

And so, while that is really really convenient for the consumer, and we as
consumers feel like it costs a couple of bucks to have it delivered but that’s
worth the convenience. It is actually costing a lot more than that. Just
because this middleman is not profiting billions and billions of dollars by not
charging something right. And so what happens is, is the business wants a
customer and the pandemic really kind of pushes some of these things forward to
a much bigger degree. And we’ll go back and talk about Groupon. And some of
those things that were just weren’t necessarily beneficial for business. It
helps them get some, some, some leads but we have to think about the cost of
those leads and really where the ownership lies, but let’s just use today’s
marketplaces as examples.

So, I’m the restaurant for example, I’m the pizza restaurant on the corner
and I want some more customers. So, I go to DoorDash or I go to UberEATS or Postmates
or whatever the case might be. So we have these places and I start getting 10
orders 25 orders a day. And so I’m really liking them but there’s a high cost
for those leads 15, 20, 25, even 30% sometimes in some cases it can even be
more and so but hey I got this brand new customer and surely the customer is
going to just come back and see me directly when they want this again. But what
happens is the marketplace actually started developing the core relationship to
the customer. So, unlike the yellow pages back in the day, the Yellow Pages
made an introduction. I needed a plumber. I circled the plumber, and I wrote
down my price. When I needed that plumber again, I just opened up the yellow
pages again and I just went back to that same guy. But the funny thing is the
Yellow Pages didn’t charge me every time I did a transaction with that
customer. The marketplaces today charge every single time a transaction happens
and so now if I’m in the restaurant and I’m paying this high cost to acquire
this customer, then the customer is not actually coming to me directly. They’re
just going back and using the marketplace again and again. That is actually
causing the business to be less profitable. And so a lot of these businesses
have small, thin margins. And when they’re having to pay 25 or 30% of the
revenue, they have to raise their prices.

So the consumer is not just paying a small delivery fee, the consumers are
actually paying a much bigger degree and so as we think about it, and the
marketplace really should be there to capture leads. So, the Yellow Pages lead
business, they work directly together, the marketplace should be a direct
interaction. And so, so how as businesses do we own this, this customer
relationship because e-commerce is different, and we can think about how big
ecommerce is. In fact we could say that ecommerce is massive. Still, latest
statistics show that E commerce represents about 20% of transactions. That
means that 80% of transactions are still offline and so if we think about all
the businesses that are around us getting the oil change, the pest control guy,
the restaurants, clothing, whatever the case might be the most of the money
that we spend as consumers are in our local area. And so these businesses have
to use online in order to get the customer. But how do we extract them and so
we’re offline businesses?

And we have offline customers but we’re using online and so part of which is
really interesting and something that we’ve seen just exploding over the last
couple of years as consumers got more used to utilizing modern technology. And
it goes back to that convenience again, and it’s using something as simple as a
QR code on all of our offline activities. And so this is a flyer that would go
on someone’s door probably or whatever the case might be, but a consumer can
scan that and they can actually directly book an appointment. So not
necessarily sending someone to a website and hoping they’re going to fill out
the form. But we can actually utilize this scan right here to start a direct
interaction called a utilizing AI to determine what the interest is of the
customer, collecting the information that we need and even going as far as
booking an appointment if that’s the case, but getting the customer where they

So, think about that restaurant. We’ve all gone into the restaurant, scanned
the QR code and given us a menu. That business still doesn’t know who you are.
When that same restaurant gets an order from you over DoorDash or UberEATS or
whatever the case might be, that order owns that relationship the business
doesn’t. So why can’t you as a business, think about utilizing this little
issue. Having a sticker on the outside of the package or on the pizza box or
whatever the case might be that says scan for coupon or scan for free drink and
so I’ll go back to the restaurant and think about how I’m scanning to get a
menu. Why don’t I scan to actually get the opt in to get that customer to say
yeah, I’m interested in my pizza restaurant. They want to come back so I can
have that direct relationship again on the to go order exactly the same thing.
I want that direct relationship and we can utilize little print methods with
the convenience of a QR code to start many conversations and you don’t have to
be there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You just have to
implement this when you’re in front of a customer and the bot and the AI can
actually go do the heavy lifting. It can thank them for engaging with you. It
can ask if they will for their name, their address or email address, whatever
you want. But the really cool thing is the consumer is actually taking that
first action the consumer is actually engaging they’re already going to engage

So why not as a business capture that lead so now I can actually nurture
that I can actually nurture that customer send them notifications exactly the
same way that DoorDash does. The same way. That Groupon does, the same way that
Amazon does. Every business can actually have that type of effect. But you
don’t have to develop an app. The average consumer only uses seven or nine apps
on a daily basis. We have an average of about 50 apps on our phone. So the
likelihood that any of us are going to develop an app that’s going to be on 25
million phones or 50 million phones or 100 million phones is almost zero,
right? We’re not going to be that. But an app that everyone uses every day is
messaging. So, what if you can actually interact with your customers using
notifications and other things directly on an app that’s already there that
they’re already using? And so that’s what AI will actually do for you. And so,
utilizing something as convenient as a QR code. linking that to a conversation
enables every type of business that has local customers to engage consumers

So, it could be your pest control guy knocking on your door and you don’t
answer any leaves you behind or in this case, maybe it’s someone selling an
alarm system, or solar or whatever the case might be. There’s millions and
millions and millions of connections that are made every single day where we
walk away from a potential opportunity. What if you have a sushi restaurant or actually,
I’ll utilize this other example. Here, here’s a mall. Here’s just a really good
example. Here’s an outdoor mall that utilizes QR codes while they still do it.
But let’s say it’s three weeks during the month of December, and 80% of
consumers actually checked in at more than one store. So this is a QR code out
a window, say connect with us or maybe on their register and say hey, leave us
some feedback. They had a 63% lead conversion rate. So out of 1750 unique
consumers there’s 1100 leads. So now if you’re the chocolate store or whatever
other store like let’s all just chocolate stores. Now you have a lead, think
about Valentine’s Day and Easter and Mother’s Day. These are all times that you
can actually engage that consumer notification just like DoorDash will send me
a notification about not using them for a week or two. Give them an offer and
they’re going to come back and use you again.

And here’s another example of a business- stretch labs in Southern
California. They utilize this and they’re driving leads every single day by
consumers walking by. They don’t know what stretch Labs is, they scan that
they’re not going to fit, they don’t feel comfortable enough that they’re just going
to walk in and say hey, what do you guys do, but they still want this, they
still want to know more. And so rather than trying to find them on the web and
typing in the domain, whatever the case might be, they can scan this and it’s
an instant connection the business actually collects a lead up front and they
then can have a real conversation with that customer and so all of their you
realizing offline and utilizing a print component or a physical component in
this physical world that we live in.

So, we’re taking offline to an online conversation, to help offline
businesses transact more. And so when we think about this whole idea of what
was old is new again, there’s real success being driven from the value of
connecting with consumers, wherever they are. So, all consumers are not all
online 24 hours a day. So let’s find ways that we can actually interact with
consumers wherever they are, and even in the physical world. Makes sense.

So, you can scan this and ask me a question, and our team will be choosing a
winner and giving away $100. You can also contact me. My contact information is
down here in the bottom right-hand corner find me on LinkedIn. I’m just
starting to use volley actually, it’s a really cool app. Or you can just email
me there.

Thanks again. I appreciate your guys’ time and we look forward to talking to
you cheers.