B2B startups are constantly navigating the road to brand awareness and company growth. As the era of digital marketing further advances, nailing the balancing act of efficient strategies and bulletproof marketing has never been more urgent.
On today’s episode of Startups On Demand, I am joined by Andra Rubinstein, VP of Marketing of renovai, a visual AI shopping assistance platform that empowers retailers to create unbeatable, inspiring, and personal interactions with shoppers.
Today, we share our thoughts on renovai’s B2B2C domination, the importance of brand emphasis for seed level and series A startups, and navigating the cookie-less future. Plus, a bonus tip from Andra on how to nail the modern marketer archetype.
Omri: What is your inspiration when looking at B2B companies at startups out there?
Andra: I think that the brands that are really able to nail it are the ones that do things that aren’t directly related to what it is that they’re trying to sell, and have their own spin. For example, there’s this cybersecurity company called Pendella, a very profitable domain. They do a lot of things with creatives, like weekly cyber cartoons, and they use a lot of comedians with employer branding, and everything that they do can be adapted to so many things and are completely out of the box. And also B2B brands that do things online, but connect it offline. Oeb, which was acquired by LinkedIn, sends boxes to their users with guidance throughout the steps of their funnel. And it completely complements what they do online. And companies make it look fun. Doing things that will reach more people and not necessarily just your target audience – making it fun and playful. That’s what makes your brand memorable.
Omri: Tell me about how renovai is dominating the B2B2C landscape.
Andra: It’s a process that continuously evolves with partners. Our products are completely customizable. We work a lot on localization. We’re selling to companies that are located in the US, and we also create room for companies in Singapore, which obviously look different. At the end of the day, we’re in an eye frame that is located in companies’ websites, but the ones that are eventually using us are their end users. So everything we do, and every solution we develop, we always do that with the end customer in mind.
Omri: I’ve noticed that seed-level and series-level startups that are emphasizing branding are the ones that are really growing. What do you think about that?
Andra: I think that products, even the best ones in the world, don’t sell themselves. I also don’t believe in just selling a product. You have to sell a story. You have to create a brand. Obviously, these startups have very small budgets, and that’s what makes them very different because they can’t really experiment since they have no money to waste. But from what I’ve learned and received from a lot of companies, is that using PR generates a lot of leads. We generate more leads from a well-positioned article than from spreading ourselves all over the place with LinkedIn and paid ads. And since the team is much smaller, you have to be very accurate with what it is you want to do and focus on. I believe in telling the company story. And don’t be afraid of not getting immediate results – they will come. It’s something that builds up.
Omri: Can you talk to me about finding the perfect balance between having an efficient strategy and hands-on tactics with renovai?
Andra: I think tactics are pointless without a proper strategy. At the end of the day, everything has to connect. You have to have a strategy in point; you have to understand where you want to go, and then do the specific steps to make that happen. For example: podcasting. One reason why we’re doing the podcast is to establish relationships with prospects that we might have a harder time reaching. So the tactic is creating a podcast but it’s part of the general strategy of reaching the people we want to reach.
Omri: What is the archetype of the modern marketer?
Andra: I think good marketers should have great interpersonal skills. It’s being able to listen to your peers, and to know everything that’s going on. Also, a lot of marketers are afraid of technology. But to tell the story of your product properly, you should know the attributes and aspects of your product inside out. Ask a lot of questions, ask for help when you’re not sure, surround yourself with great mentors, and be willing to learn.