How To Do Creative Tech Marketing

Sophie Melnik Amitay
Global Head of Brand Strategy
Taboola
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How To Do Creative Tech Marketing
What follows is an article based on her appearance on the Techie Talkie podcast.

Think Outside the Box

Because I came from a completely different field, I didn't understand what the boundaries were. In hindsight, it was good for me but I didn't know that what I was doing wasn't typical.

I became an expert in understanding the consumer - how to speak to them, how to make them understand better and then how to approach them. What I understood is that it’s the same thing. In the end, you need to understand what motivates the consumer and then approach them.

It's not huge messages anymore, it’s micro messages that are adjusted to different audiences, different platforms, content. In the end, there is a person who perceives your message.

This is the essence of everything--if everyone is doing something, do something that’s uncommon.

The idea is to use a tool and not to speak about it-- but to see it work. The medium is the message. We have a video clip and instead of saying, “we have a video clip,” we just use it.

It’s all about searching for a way to share messages in different ways and channels each time.

A lot of what I do is finding interesting people who the audience wants to listen to.

In B2B the budgets aren’t big and you have to learn how to make each dollar into five, so you need to be creative.

Don't be afraid to approach people, most people we approach say yes. People want to be seen, they love to speak, and the worst that could happen is that someone will say "no".

Companies are starting to understand that you can sell something that is "deep tech" and still can be super creative and cool.

There used to be an assumption that B2C buyers are human so you could tell a story and elicit an emotion. And B2B buyers were robots who like excel sheets, and only care about feature-by-feature comparisons, etc. But it’s not true--the same people who buy iPhones buy Outbrain systems.

In B2B, you must know how to work with low budgets and to make each dollar into 5 dollars. You need to be creative and sometimes a little rude.

We found that the Israeli rudeness is more efficient there than the American "process".

You build a brand by telling a story, you don't build a brand by analytical means or investors relations only. That's why you need to find the middle way, to not lose that connection between B2B and B2C.

When you use PR right and tell your story right, you see a sharp increase in Google searches, which has an immediate effect on the bottom line.

PR with a proper company is a very efficient channel.

Israel’s Marketing Edge -- GCMO

Along with 3 other women, I started GCMO, a global company of 70 advertising vice presidents. We work in Israel for companies targeting audiences outside of Israel.

We established the company to brand Israel as a marketing nation.

We have people in Israel who know how to advertise in a terrific way, how to tell a story.

In Israel, we have many companies that are B2B, B2C and B2B2C, they all know how to do this. And outside of Israel, often, they don't know how to do it as well.

When it comes to consulting with CEOs about who to appoint as the next advertising vice president, they fire the Israeli advertising vice president and they appoint an American one. This is something that we want to question.

What has more weight: talent or location? Truthfully, location is not always more important. Depending on where the management and the product are based, you don't always have to choose an American CMO. I‘ve seen this happen many times and it’s often a big fail.

American CMOs are much more process-oriented, which is good, but in a process, you lose the edge a lot of times and then you don't take risks. We see this a lot in the US.

The reason we established GCMO in the beginning was that we all felt alone. We wanted to crosscheck notes and figured that there must be more people like us, so we built something.

Our community is very active and helpful. We have many brands competing with each other inside the community but you don't see it, you put everything aside. You share as much as possible, talk on the same level, people always help each other - it’s really inspiring.

We created a strategic cooperation with Google, and put together an interesting conference where they produced a movie about GCMO for us.

We founders act only for the purpose of community, to strengthen the community and brand Israel as a marketing nation.

We went from 2 to 4 participants very quickly and then each one brought their friends from the field and then we started to build the brand on social platforms, on LinkedIn, Facebook, and people simply started approaching us, asking how they can join. That's it--after a year and a half we are 70 people.

Data Vs. Going With Your Gut

There's a very interesting conversation about data versus our gut-feeling. Today, marketing is very data oriented. We observe everything, double check ourselves, perform AB tests on everything--and a lot of times we forget to ask ourselves and that is super important.

We live in a world which, on one hand, is every marketer’s dream--you know how to reach micro-segments with the right message and you have the ability to tweak and improve each message. But often, if the data says something, but you think the opposite, in the end, you'll see you were right.

You simply need people around you who believe in you--because professionals with many years of experience should not be underestimated.

Marketing, with all due respect, is not a precise science that can only be quantified with numbers.

People have emotions and data can't create an emotion, only people can.

In the end, regardless of the data you have, the decision needs to feel right in your gut, emotionally, to the founder, to the CMO.

We need to remind ourselves that we have to take risks, to dare, because the worst-case scenario is that someone will tell you "no", or you'll get a small bump. Don't be afraid.

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Sophie Melnik, Taboola's Global Head of Brand Strategy, former Head of Marketing APAC & EMEA at Outbrain and one of the founders of the GCMO VP of Global Marketing Forum

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Techie Talkie,  the tech marketing podcast is a casual meeting place where the best tech marketers share their most impactful trade secrets and marketing hacks . Its objective is to inspire creativity within the tech marketing space and help marketers rise above the noise. It is hosted by Asaph Shulman, a serial marketer and CMO of Firebolt and our very own Carmel Yoeli.