Craig Lebrau
Craig Lebrau

Growth Hacking Silicon Valley: Gilad Shamri Shares His Inspiring Story

Gilad Shamri went from Israeli army to Silicon Valley growth hacker
Image source: Gilad Shamri

Growth hacking is a relatively new focus within the field of marketing that is focused on the growth of a new product or company. It is how startups, like Tinder, were able to grow from 5,000 users to nearly 15,000 users virtually overnight. It is also how Twitter became one of the ten most-visited websites and how Airbnb reached its worldwide success. Sometimes one small action can change the trajectory of an entire enterprise.

Ten years of experience, ranging from managing operations for IAF to developing marketing strategies in companies of all sizes, have turned Gilad Shamri into the most wanted Growth Marketing Consultant in Silicon Valley. His story is captivating and Gilad himself is the embodiment of modern marketing principles. 

How do you develop strategies that are suitable for Y-combinator startups, non-profit eco organizations and even companies generating millions of dollars in annual revenue? Although the answer is simple, performing the task is much more complicated. You must have the ability to apply a wide set of skills to dynamic spaces and quantitatively measure the impact. Identifying what the exact needs of a given organization are and finding the primary areas for improvement are the foundation of modern growth marketing. These are the aspects that Gilad Shamri finds fascinating, and what he has been working on for the last decade – turning his career into a mission of becoming the best at what he does.

What is Growth Marketing?

Unlike traditional marketing, growth marketing uses growth hacking techniques to attract customers. It eagerly experiments with different marketing channels, stays ahead of new technologies and boldly plays with strategies in order to ensure the best optimization of the marketing efforts. A wide range of innovative experiments and constant analysis are applied, which increases the number of users in user bases at lower costs and a faster rate. Growth marketing seeks opportunities and plays with convention, with the overall goal to provide personalized campaigns that fit and satisfy clients’ complex business needs. The term was coined, in 2010, by entrepreneur Sean Ellis, who was looking for a new-age marketer that would grow his SaaS startup user base as quickly as possible. The task required daring methodology and creativity – otherwise there was no chance to outrun the competitors. Since then, growth marketing has expanded tremendously as a field, and now centralizes its efforts around building highly engaged audiences through personalized tactics and valuable experiences.

Gilad’s input into Growth Marketing development

Before Gilad Shamri became the founder and CEO of a San Francisco-based startup consulting company Growth Artists, he came a long way to the top. As the founder and lead marketer for several significant companies, he made his mark and proved that an effectively managed Go to market strategy backed by data may be the key to success. 

From the very beginning, he firmly believed that anything was possible and put his heart and soul into every project. He was responsible for upgrading operations in a groundbreaking tech company, Get Safe, where he got the business to scale internationally by articulating a story that drew TV media attention from popular channels like Fox News. His intuition and creative thinking generated thousands of orders in less than 24 hours. In the meantime, Gilad was actively engaged in developing his own startup TSPA, a company centered around content and thought leadership. The company took its first steps as a recruitment aid for Israelis looking for a job and soon after metamorphosed into a digital marketplace connecting recruiters to candidates in Europe and Australia. TSPA was acquired after only two years from the launch. A sense of mission and determination certainly paved his way to disrupt the entire field of modern entrepreneurship.

As the Head of Digital Strategy at Greenpeace, Gilad launched wide-reaching campaigns and grew the social media community by 300% in less than a year. as the VP of Growth Marketing at Quando Technologies planned and executed B2C and B2B marketing strategy, navigated product-market fit and led complete company rebranding. Both experiences filled him with a sense of purpose and showed what a great impact growth marketing can have on projects meaningful for environmental or technological growth. That is how the idea of Growth Artists was born.

Growth Artists – building new generation of leaders 

Even though Gilad’s marketing consulting agency focuses on companies of all sizes, it mainly executes marketing and data-driven growth strategies for digital marketplaces. As the top-of-the-field specialist, Gilad understands that startups are responsible for major technological progress and their newly invented, pathbreaking products will revolutionize our future. Therefore, they are worth investing in and deserve proper promotion. Gilad found a niche where his growth marketing experience meets the meaningful purpose. For the last 12 years, he has been helping dozens of startups and organizations increase their growth and find the product market fit by implementing lean startup methodologies, optimizing their messaging and acquisition channels, and training their marketing and sales teams. An hour of consultation with him doesn’t come cheap, but it is definitely priceless for young entrepreneurs. 

It was amazing” – says one of his clients – “Three sessions that I had with Gilad were more than enough to move the needle for our start up. It helped us raise the round A funds and redefine our communication materials, which resulted in increased activation rate.

Among his clients one can find multiple Lowe’s and Y-Combinator and backed startups NASDAQ listed company WIX and Powtoon – The popular visual communication platform which he helped launch in the US market. Gilad made sure that his venture is the ultimate super space providing all the necessary tools, knowledge and community which will push the companies forward and literally help them grow. 

Wide-spread influence

Gilad’s story doesn’t end with his own successes. Throughout the years he mentored, influenced and inspired others. His uncanny ability to captivate its audiences transformed into another passion of his, public speaking. As an energetic leader and a wholesome professional he has moved thousands of young people through ELI, GrowthX Academy and IDC Herzliya college where he lectures business entrants on brand strategy and entrepreneurial traps they will certainly encounter along the way. He also mentors at Google Campus, DIS-CO-TECH (technology for the disabled),  iLab Collective  and at various startup accelerators. Knowledge shared by Gilad during his seminars is one of the most precious gifts young entrepreneurs can get and they don’t spare him praise.

Gilad is an effective and energetic leader, executor, and public speaker. I’ve seen Gilad lead workshops and coach global executives and early-stage startup founders on data-driven growth and go-to-market strategy; I’ve come away highly impressed every time. I’m a huge fan of Gilad and whoever gets to work with him is in for a wonderful experience!” – says Joe Vasquez from startup ILab’s collective 

What really blew me away about Gilad was that he saw, in a few minutes, what I couldn’t with nearly a year of work on my business… I can say hands down that my meeting with Gilad was the best I’ve had yet.” – adds another young founder, Will Freeman.

Despite being exposed to the ups and downs of the business and entrepreneurial world, Gilad Shamri hasn’t become indifferent to real human needs. What makes him an exceptional growth market is that he always navigates his projects towards an end goal of helping communities and enhancing the quality of life of individuals. One of his initiatives was launching a cutting-edge startup Interp.me, a marketplace that connects deaf people and businesses with the use of sign language interpreters on demand. The project broke the taboo of unequal workplace opportunities and visibly strengthened communities by activating thousands of hearing-impaired, talented individuals into the job market.

The above proves that Gilad Shamri is the personification of growth himself. He not only represents hope for the entire future generation of leaders due to professionalism and knowledge, but also his story inspires and motivates those around him. Gilad himself is proud of his legacy and most importantly about the fact that his story is so valuable to others.

The methodology I created to build, lead, and monetize a wide range of startups have proven useful in helping me understand and navigate so many aspects of my life, and it’s this layer of actionable life lessons that audiences have really connected with.” – he concludes.

About the Author
Craig Lebrau is the Director of Cato Media. A former programmer, Craig is interested in Israel's startup ecosystem and aims to share his insights learnt from expanding to and managing business in Israel.
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