Interview with Adi Itach, about the role of CMO and how to do end-to-end marketing management

One of the most brilliant women I've spoken with, in general - one of the marketing managers who better understands the DNA of the marketing domain, I'm talking about Adi Itach, CMO - chief marketing officer in her profession, is currently finishing her role as head of marketing at Gett Israel. Also, Adi accompanies Israel and abroad ventures and helps them produce marketing strategies and courses of action to reach the right target audiences.

In an interview with her, I was exposed to her crazy passion for the profession, the gleam in her eyes, the smile that rises to her lips as soon as marketing phrases are heard in the air; I'm inviting you to be exposed to an interview that shows a creative mind and one that even gives a positive aspect to the coronavirus.

What are we going to talk about in today's post?

  1. How is marketing management done in an organization?
  2. Marketing is not just a campaign.
  3. How to optimize a marketing budget, even for smaller businesses
  4. CMO Challenges

A little about Adi

  • She started her marketing career at "Pelephone" in the Recovery department, which was, in fact, focused on marketing customer retention and revenue from them (Arpu), Head of B2C Mass Market (UA) Marketing - management and execution of large campaigns in the field of B2C.
  • She became a "small and medium-sized business marketing manager." She managed an arsenal of products for all segments of B2B in Bezeq Business - characterization and execution of marketing plans, customer acquisition strategies, and business development of new strategic services.
  • She continued to "Gett" Israel as a brand manager and from there developed into the leadership and management of the marketing department as a whole: building and leading marketing programs that relate to Retention CRM, Branding Digital marketing, Social media, PR, and more.

Adi, why marketing?

I think marketing is a deep and spiritual field. On the one hand, it allows me to use broad vision and in-depth analysis and, on the other hand, to activate the creative side within me.

The field of marketing is full of diverse activities, along with listening to the business side and maintaining openness to find ways to provide a successful business response to the company; I find myself learning and evolving all the time because it is truly a wide and endless field. You could say that everything is a kind of marketing.

How is marketing management done in an organization?

The marketing function's role is to create or at least lead the company's vision and become a kind of "northern star" of the organization. From there, in-depth work of creating a compatible marketing strategy is required. I see the role of marketing management as a kind of accordion - understanding the business goals, the company's vision, cracking a broad-based strategy from a bird's eye view but at the same time, living the territory, being connected to the essence of the product and customers. To convey messages to the field, make sure that everything happens, check what has been done and whether it is in line with the written strategy, compliance with the vision, and so on.

The company, business management, divisional managers - all of these make 30 decisions per hour. They must have a marketing function that knows how to centralize the important marketing decisions, checks that it fits the strategy, and knows how to demand and update one factor or another because one marketing thing is more important than the other.

What I love most about this area is the challenge of getting off the bird’s eye view to the small details and getting back up to the holistic view of things. A kind of elevator where you go through all the floors, and the most important thing is not to get stuck in any of them (from the floors) and bring everything I learned in each of them to the other floors. This is the biggest challenge of a marketer, in my opinion, and my satisfaction is when I manage to do it and get creative and long-term insights out of it.

The marketing function's role is to create or at least lead the company's vision and become a kind of "northern star" of the organization.

Marketing is not just a campaign

Marketing to me is a 360 holistic experience. Ongoing and dynamic activity, which is constantly shaped according to the market, which is derived from a strong strategy, is the one that will work in the long run.

There is a sense in 2021 that marketing that needs to bring in leads or acquisitions will be executed and achieve its goals by raising an X or Y campaign. I think that is not true. Over time, a particularly successful brand/company has adopted a 360 'vision of the company, its customers, the markets in which it operates, the competitive environment, the trends, consumer behavior, etc. - this is true marketing. Hence cutting off one campaign or another is already a kind of tactic.

I will give a small example: When I entered my position at "Gett" Israel, I always sat down with the company's product people and made sure to travel in "Gett" taxis. It was important to me to understand the technological side of the product and the human side. Connect to space and user experience to understand the Marketplace as deeply as possible. I always attach importance to the product, to the customer service provided to the company's users, for good marketing management is management in Highlevel which sees the whole picture but at the same time deals with details and gets his hands dirty, one of the important tasks I have and I think it is a task Very critical of any CMO - not to be stuck at the top, in Highlevel and also not to mess too much with the details, to find the right balance, for me, as a manager, and for the company.

Marketing to me is a 360 holistic experience. Ongoing and dynamic activity, which is constantly shaped according to the market, which is derived from a strong strategy, is the one that will work in the long run.

Small and Medium Business - Small Budget Success, Really?

Adi, you point out the importance of performing 360 marketing - also user acquisition, brand awareness, branding, constant accuracy of digital assets - there is a lot of investment, money, how can a business with a marketing budget of 10K do this and succeed?

If there is a uniform creative line, there is an orderly fingerprint for the brand, then already the issue of branding is covered; if there are visuals that also drive action, then customer acquisition work is handled.

I can give a small example of a move we made in "Gett" - we created a social campaign that included a raffle, tagging, you know it :) The post in more channels and without unnecessary costs. It also helped produce meaningful content and significantly improved engagement in social media but also in CRM. When we saw the success of the first activity and its low costs, we extended this method to more channels, and I think, in the long run, it of course, also helped the Brand itself because the messages were uniform and coherent in the 360 methods, which I, very much believe in ;-) Look & Feel (adapted to any channel, of course), and in my opinion, it created a super important brand memory and clarity. The assets of the company; newsletters, website, app, Facebook, Instagram, customer service, and more. The following is an example of 360 in branding, with effective resource utilization and no sponsored promotion.

If there is a uniform creative line, there is an orderly fingerprint for the brand, then already the issue of branding is covered; if there are visuals that also drive action, then customer acquisition work is handled.

CMO Challenges

  1. As a CMO, you need to understand your role and be with professional integrity, and not be led in directions you did not want to be in. The business world is very dynamic, and because everyone has the direction they are striving for, as a CMO, you have to be open to challenges coming from the market, the field, the customers but at the same time constantly remember that you have started a path and you have to stick to it. For the sake of example - I will not compromise on management in the holistic approach to see that every visual corresponds with strategy.
  2. Too much data - one of the challenges is to be fed into the data but at the same time distill it into the data you need. A market survey every period that I see fit helps me ask the right questions and get refined and noise-free data.
  3. Remember that there is a brief and a marketing goal for the company - the brief is the anchor and best friend of the marketing people!
  4. One of the things that help me is to create a general marketing brief for the year ahead of us, and so any marketing move will get a brief respectively. The brief is first and foremost for me. Help me focus and focus on the idea and purpose. Then he also helps the other stakeholders I work with (managers, employees, and external suppliers) in marketing about moves, what their goals are, how the same marketing move will be made, who the people who will touch the course are, and what risks we will encounter along the way.

Many hands are working on a campaign or marketing move, so there can be mistakes and misses along the way, and that's fine, but - even if that campaign gets lost in the hierarchies below, both large and small companies, the brief is the anchor. If necessary, one can go back to the sources, even pinpoint it on the go and move forward again.

Adi, how do you deduce the marketing side from the business side?

First of all, there are the business goals; there are KPIs that we define as the side that runs the company; besides that, it is important for me to know and also reflect on what is happening in the market, what is happening in the competitors, what is happening in our target audiences, I check if the audience is the same, The barriers he had last year - still exist today? What will motivate the target audience to make a purchase? What social, economic, and, no less important, emotional characteristics does my target audience have? Importantly important, especially in the Corona period and the future to come. All these parameters converge into an annual riff. The same brief is broken down into a strategy to "attack" the year successfully. Slowly, take down the strategy to tactics and thus jot down the various activities.

Once you perform such an event of testing, validation, and adjustment - it creates a change of consciousness for you as a CMO. As a marketer - you must constantly know trends and respond accordingly.

Adi, we must say a word about the Corona

This is what I love about marketing, by the way - Corona has proven and still proves to us that we as professionals in the world must constantly change, diversify, be open to change because you do not know where the next surprise will come from. Cognitive and mental flexibility is the keyword. The world and trends are changing at a dizzying and fascinating pace, and it is important to understand that a "new world" has been created here. All the big and small brands in the world already understand this and change accordingly in various ways and forms. Corona has really opened the world, and now they really understand what globalization is. I meet and talk to colleagues around the world, and it is an open and attentive conversation like never. There is an understanding that no one really has a clue what is going on or will happen, and everyone wants to learn and understand different trends, processes, and opinions. Amazingly, this openness was created at a time when the sky is completely closed.

Another thing Corona has brought to the world is the understanding that we live in a world that now everyone has a common denominator: everyone talks about the corona, and all countries and citizens of the world have a common dialogue to talk about; I meet daily with entrepreneurs I accompany, more and more companies understand that bring talent outside the country it is possible and even profitable, if in the past companies from the US were not willing to hear about VPs of marketing from Israel - today they understand that working from home is possible and even effective.

Cognitive and mental flexibility is the key word.


Brand Strategy Idea to Product Startup Consulting

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