Most of the DRs work remotely, and although it can sometimes be tough to communicate in business hours (our team meetings span 15 time zones!) it always reminds us of how technology has brought us closer together.
Given our global outlook, it occurred to us that it would be interesting to look at marketing trends around the world. We reached out to some marketing professionals to ask about industry influences, technologies, difficulties and developments in their parts of the world.
We were absolutely fascinated by our first interview with Israeli marketing CEO, Mordecai Holtz. We hope you enjoy this series, which we plan to feature quarterly. If you are interested in participating, please drop us a line!
Mordecai Holtz is the Co-CEO of Blue Thread Marketing (www.bluethreadmarketing.com, @mordecaiholtz), a boutique marketing agency that helps companies, startups and non-profits weave their digital narrative.
What role does marketing technology play in your marketing? Is it part of the foundation of your marketing efforts, a nice to have feature that makes your lives easier, or are marketers still becoming aware of its existence?
Working with so many brands and clients, marketing technology is at the core of our ability to service each of them at the optimal level.
Do you use a marketing automation software package? If yes, which software package do you use? How satisfied are you with its performance? If no, how do you manage things like email sends, contact lists and CRM integration?
We’re currently looking into several leading packages pardot by Salesforce, Marketo, and Hubspot.
Can you tell us about one or two current marketing trends in your part of the world?
While Israel is a leader in tech start ups, the tepid traditional ad market, means that mobile and social media offer some unique bright spots. As consumer trends move in the direction of more smartphones and tablets, the shift is contributing to a change in how readers consume data. Digital platforms are now able to gain exposure to a larger millenial market, whose consumption preferences are to steer away from print or traditional forms of content publications.
How does your management team view marketing? How does management measure marketing?
As a digital marketing agency, marketing is our core business. This means we have to view marketing (both for our clients and for ourselves) as a critical component to success. I think the best marketing metrics look at the total cost of marketing (including salaries/ overhead) and then relate it back to the bottom line — revenue and customer acquisition. We look at other metrics like CPL or CPF internally to sharpen our efforts. Fortunately, we’re a small team so we still do take time to care about the interim steps that are necessary to get the best results.
What are the biggest challenges marketers in your region face today?
Biggest challenges in our region include understanding that building a brand and community means building value through thought leadership and content on an ongoing and consistent basis without expecting an immediate return. Just having the digital assets does not translate into acquisition. Facebook likes or followers are not the final product; producing content that offers true value to that audience is. Another challenge is competitive analysis- many start-ups and brands have a hard time with that. Ironically, the non-profit sector challenges are similar. Meaning they also would prefer to create another agency in lieu of collaboration, partnership opportunities or refocus with the ultimate goal of creating one larger, stronger brand.
To whom do you go for marketing best practice guidance?
I’ve always taken pride in gaining inspiration from many industries. I’ve spoken to and receive regular guidance from all of these people. Here’s my list. 1. Lilach Bullock social media and its developments 2. Shira Abel for marketing concepts and branding 3. Hillel Fuld for tech/ startups 4. Beth Kanter and Debra Askenaze for non-profit social media and marketing 5. Gary Vaynerchuk for passion/ real no-BS approach to longer term value in customer relationships 6. Ann Handley for real content marketing Finally, 7. Brian Fanzo all about social selling and online growth.
Can you tell us about a local brand that inspires you, from a marketing perspective?
From a marketing perspective, there are many companies and startups in Israel who are really leveraging digital marketing (including social media) to grow their brand. Tough to name only a few. Look out and follow Zula, Glide, and Waze who are all doing a killer job in engaging their audience, providing brand value and cross marketing in a manner that is suitable for each platform.
Thank you for your thoughtful and stimulating responses, Mordecai!