First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Ákos Deliága: Thank you for asking. We are expecting our third child to arrive any minute! I consider myself a very lucky man because of my family and their support. Back in 2018, when I had to move to Singapore for the Rakuten Techstars Accelerator program, my wife and our son came with me. Our son was just 3 months old at that time.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Talk-A-Bot and CHEQ.
Ákos Deliága: I was a corporate soldier for 10 years at Hewlett Packard Enterprise in various business development positions in Hungary, South-East Asia, and Central-Eastern Europe. I had been to 27 countries on business trips.
Then in 2014, I completed an executive MBA degree. I also met my peers there, with whom we later found Talk-A-Bot in 2016 at the university’s startup incubator.
How do Talk-A-Bot and CHEQ market their product/services online?
Ákos Deliága: As a b2b and SaaS company, the majority of our new business comes from direct sales. Recently, our bigger partners have started playing an important role, companies like Vodafone and Microsoft started reselling our services to their clients. Our services are also available on the Azure Marketplace.
As the market maturity for our services is still in an early phase, we also have to do evangelization. Therefore content marketing and taking part in conferences are inevitable.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Ákos Deliága: Being a software company, the negative effects of the pandemic were easier to avoid. At the beginning of the outbreak, we immediately launched a special ‘crisis’ version of one of our products and offered it for free for companies in trouble. That gave us a boost and dozens of new customers in the hardest of times.
The interesting thing about chatbots is that in a thriving market, they are innovative and cool, but in a recession, they are cost-saving. So we are quite crisis-proof.
We have over 100 business clients, and the largest of them account for less than 8% of our total revenue, so our source of income is diverse enough.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Ákos Deliága: Hubspot – to manage and report the cooperation with the Sales and Marketing team, including lead management and AMB + other automated workflows
Hootsuite – to manage our social media channels and schedule content
Google Analytics – to report our overall progress
SEO PowerSuite, Google Search Console, Bing webmaster tools – to report and control our SEO efforts and follow competitors
Wachete – to follow competitors
Gsuite – for overall collaboration, file sharing, etc.
Microsoft Clarity and SmartLook – for website visitor tracking in case of campaign landing pages
alrite.io – for video transcription
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ákos Deliága: I would say Staffbase and Beekeeper are the closest competitors.
We continuously run industry analyst consultations and monitor the market. One of the biggest differentiating points in our internal communication tool is that we focus especially on blue-collar workers, which is quite unique in the market.
Your final thoughts?
Ákos Deliága: There is intense competition in the developing market of digital internal communication tools. It is not just the new and complex functions but also the ease of use and the UX that matter. There is already an overwhelming amount of functions, rules, and flows both for the employers and the management, so many of them simply give up on understanding and navigating the functions and try to ask someone personally. As a new feature, we integrated NLP into the system to make it more convenient.