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Bringing Israeli marketers and developers closer

Some helpful tips to bridge the language gap, so R&D talk doesn't sound like Chinese to the Marcom department
Marketing team (Marketing team image via Shutterstock)
Marketing team (Marketing team image via Shutterstock)

We Israeli startup marketers need to take initiative to improve the way we work with our developer brothers and sisters.

How You Exit Depends on Where You Sit

Miles’ Law (proposed by influential civil servant Rufus Miles Jr., who served Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson) states that “where you stand depends on where you sit.” For Israeli startups, I suggest “how you exit depends on where you sit.”

At Nubo, I sit with the Android developers and not in the “marketing zone.” All day long, I hear their discussions in the background. I quietly watch them test the latest version of our BYOD product. My desk’s location makes it easy for them to approach me and ask me to try something out. You cannot imagine how valuable this is for those of us responsible for marketing tech products. In most companies, the marketing side sits in one area and the programmers and sysadmins in another; rarely the twain shall meet.

Breaking Bread

We tend to go to lunch with those near us, and in many startups, the marketing and tech teams go their own way. Those informal lunch meetings give me yet another chance to listen and learn. I’m able to update them and tell them my latest marketing pitches. I often end up with “well, not exactly” and have the knowledge I need to tweak our marketing strategies.

What Developers Won’t Tell You

One of the weakest links in Israeli startups comes from the non-tech sides – marketing, product and management. Do you want to know the biggest complaint that web and mobile developers won’t tell you? “The people in marketing and product are clueless when it comes to technology.”

They’re right. How many marketing and product people are comfortable running Linux or Ubuntu? How many have installed web or email servers? How many know even the basics of using ping and traceroute? Far too few.

I know where my future lies – in marketing and not in programming. But I am so glad my Internet journey began with founding an ISP. The whole BBS, IRC and command line experiences paid off in spades. I will never stop exploring the tech side. Having a deep understanding of what my tech peers are up to is a priceless advantage.

Marketers and Developers – Unite!

Marketing and product people – install the environment that your developers are working on. Learn how to format your articles in Notepad++. Become comfortable with basic HTML coding so you can maneuver content on a page. WordPress, the content engine, isn’t only for web developers. Learning how to use it and becoming familiar with the most popular add-ons will give you depth in other areas.

You don’t need to become a coding wiz, just add an extra dimension to your knowledge. Spend a few hours a week improving your tech abilities and you’ll find yourself talking with the developers as opposed to talking at them.

Read Start-Up Israel to keep your finger on the pulse of Israeli high-tech and innovation!

About the Author
Kenny Sahr is a startup marketing executive. His first startup, founded in 1996, was featured in Time Magazine and on 60 Minutes. Kenny moved to Israel from Miami, Florida. In his spare time, he is an avid music collector and traveler.
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