On this episode Abadesi talks to Michelle Bacharach
, founder and CEO of FINDMINE
, a retail technology company that uses machine learning to scale the currently manual and tedious process of product curation. They are a fast-growing company with clients like Adidas, Perry Ellis, and Callaway.
In this episode they talk about...
What led Michelle to found FINDMINE, and how they’re changing the buying experience
“We’re trying to close the information gap between the customer, who isn’t an expert on what they’re buying, and the brand, who is an expert at what they’re selling. The customer gets better information and spends more money and the brand is happier because they make more revenue and they save time."
The inspiration for FINDMINE came from Michelle’s experiences as a shopper. She says that she struggled with buying things that might have looked intriguing at the point of purchase, but realized later that she didn’t have the use for it that she thought she did, or it didn’t work with the rest of her purchases, as with a couch that didn’t match. She says that she started the company to help the people at companies who know the most about products and their potential use cases transfer that information to the buyers of those products. She says that they are using machine learning to hone the marketing campaigns for products and in the process saving time for those selling products and increasing customer satisfaction on the buyer’s side.
“Artificial intelligence and automation are very valuable when there’s a bottleneck of human effort, and we scale out creative human effort. The starting point is a human they set the vision for what this fashion brands stands for and how they define style.”
Her advice for startups pitching big companies as potential clients
“Pitch the companies that you’re trying to land as clients. Maybe one takes a chance on you and if nothing else, you’re going to learn a lot, like what features are important and what the product feedback is.”
Michelle explains how, as a relatively young company, they have landed contracts with so many big-name brands. She explains the process that she used to pitch them, and talks about her key pieces of advice for smaller companies pitching bigger ones. She says that it makes sense to aim for clients that have fewer legal requirements for suppliers when you’re just getting started.
“People don't necessarily always know they have a problem or the severity of the problem that they have or how to tackle it. You can get analysis paralysis from a customer sometimes. When they realize there's a problem, that's half the battle. They may realize we are the solution, but they don't know how to start using the tools.“
How to close enterprise customers
“It’s so funny because our whole mission is to help the buyer understand how to be successful with the product that they’re buying and that’s exactly the same thing that we have to do for our customers. They have less information about how to be successful with our FINDMINE technology than we do and we have to close that gap for them. It’s so full circle.”
She walks through the process of landing a client from the initial pitch to signing the contract. She says that it’s important to educate your customers on the true value of the product to them when they don’t know exactly what kind of problem they have or how to solve it, let alone with new technologies that they may be unfamiliar with. She talks about the value of case studies and why successfully landing just one client can lead to many more.
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