Growing a B2B Juggernaut
Since CMO Ran Avrahamy joined AppsFlyer in 2013, the SaaS mobile marketing company has grown from 12 employees to over 1,000, from a small tech startup to a worldwide brand. So, how exactly did AppsFlyer launch to such heights, and how did it adapt as it grew?
Tune in to hear all about AppsFlyer’s zero budget, guerilla marketing in the early days, and how its “Be Everywhere” mantra drove the company’s growth. Ran also discusses how AppsFlyer has been helping all of its customers—whether they’re in the travel industry or the cloud—through post-COVID challenges, as well as why B2B marketing has to (yes, has to) start with employees.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode
- How AppsFlyer grew from a startup to a worldwide brand
- How zero budget marketing can help in a downturn
- Why B2B marketers need to focus on employees first
Renegade Thinkers Unite, Episode 229 on YouTube
- [0:27] Behind AppsFlyer’s Rocketship Growth
- [7:55] AppsFlyer’s Zero Budget Marketing
- [13:24] How to Leverage Content in Your B2B Ecosystem
- [17:25] Adapting to Virtual Events
- [26:28] How Appsflyer Put Customers First Post-COVID
- [31:27] Why Marketing Must Start with Employees
- [38:05] How to Grow Alongside a Startup
Transcript Highlights: Drew Neisser in conversation with Ran Avrahamy
[0:27] Behind AppsFlyer’s Rocketship Growth“Our mantra was, ‘Be everywhere.’”-@RanAvr @AppsFlyer #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: Hello, Renegade Thinkers! Today, we’re going to be talking about rocket ships, not the kind that Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are throwing up in the sky, but the corporate kind, the ones that have breathtaking growth rates.
Imagine going from a dozen employees to over 1,000 in 7 years. Imagine going from a classic Israeli tech startup to a company with offices and customers around the globe. Now, the g-force of a real rocket ship is about three times the normal force of gravity, which is only survivable because astronauts have special g-suits and are trained to deal with this pressure.
But marketers don’t have g-suits. There is no place to train for this kind of business trajectory. Nope. You’re pretty much on your own, reminding me of one of those great movie poster headlines: “In marketing, no one can hear you scream…”
Okay, okay, we know that wasn’t a line, but with that, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Ran Avrahamy, the CMO of AppsFlyer, a company that is indeed a rocket ship. Hey, Ran, how are you?
Ran Avrahamy: Hey, Drew. I’m good. I love the intro. Thanks for having me.
Drew Neisser: Well, it’s my pleasure. I’m excited. Now, where are you? For folks that are listening.
Ran Avrahamy: I’m in Herzliya. The best way to describe Herzliya versus Tel Aviv, which is a little bit more well known in Israel, is like the Silicon Valley for San Francisco. It’s 20 minutes north from Tel Aviv, but the larger type of tech companies are placed in Herzliya, where all the cooler younger kids are in Tel Aviv.
Drew Neisser: Oh, by the way, have you had your COVID vaccine yet?
Ran Avrahamy: I had my first one 10 days ago and I have my second one the end of next week or so.
Drew Neisser: Unbelievable. Israel is showing the world how to do it, like, in so many ways. Let’s go back to June 2014. What attracted you to AppsFlyer in the first place?
Ran Avrahamy: It’s a question I ask myself quite often because I took a bet. I had my own company previously to joining AppsFlyer, founding my own company also in the mobile space, in the mobile app space.
I’d just sold it to Google and really thought about, “Okay, what’s gonna be my next step?” I met Oren, the founder and CEO of AppsFlyer and we talked. Funny story—the same vision he pitched me 7 years ago is the same vision we have right now.
I was fascinated about solving problems for marketers and measurement and attribution is a big, big, big problem for marketers. It doesn’t matter which type of market are you, for B2B, for B2C, for enterprise, for small companies. Knowing where to spend your money, your marketing money and your budgets, and what to do with your marketing campaigns is an ongoing problem we’ve had for decades.
Go back 50, 60 years ago, it was a lot about spray and pray on the creative side. Now we have the tools and the technology to really measure marketing campaigns and really understand what’s working and what’s not. I was fascinated by the story, by the problem, and I was just blown away by the product-market fit.
The problem is huge, the product was and still is—hopefully, it got better—but, it was amazing in 2014 and that combination of all those three was just fascinating for me so that’s actually why I joined, and this is actually why I still am here.
Drew Neisser: We’ll get back to the marketing attribution and all that because I think that’s really important, but I want to go on this on a step-by-step journey. One of the things that’s interesting to me about what you just said is that you knew mobile marketing, so you could see what was going on there.
Often people go to a startup and they’re going into a category they have no experience with because so many startups are trying new things, so you had some insight, which helps me understand why you would take that risk.
What was your challenge in 2014? When you started in marketing and you were only 12 people, what was your initial challenge?
Ran Avrahamy: For several good years, our mantra in marketing—it may have been when I was only an individual contributor until we grew, but let’s just say until a couple of years ago. Our mantra was, “Be everywhere.” The problem was prominent. There was a huge problem in the market, the product was amazing, the market was just at the beginning. I think it was in the very much top of funnel or education level rather than the consideration one and we were one of the early companies into this category.
We didn’t even have a category. The category was established only in the last couple of years. I think I was focused on how we can deliver quickly, be agile, shift a lot of resources internally with the limited resources we had back then, which are different problems than [the ones] we have now. It’s just a different ballgame.
I’m really trying to ponder back into 2014, and I actually tried to ponder back into 2020 and I don’t remember which day or month or year or decade we are. But really going back 6, 7 years ago, it was really about understanding the ecosystem. It’s a very complex ecosystem, a lot of players. Eventually, one of our core pillars, since day one, was to represent only one part of the ecosystem, which is the brands and the app developers and advertisers.
It’s a very complex ecosystem and I think one of those core pillars that, again, we’ve had since day one until now is to be that unbiased—in order to provide pure data for measurement and retribution, you need to only represent one side of the business. We’ve done this since the beginning.
It was a challenge back then to see how we can focus on that and not getting distracted by a lot of noise that you have in an early day startup and I’m very happy that we did it then.
Drew Neisser: Yeah, there are a couple of things I just want to point out. The fact that you were able to stay focused, which I think is really hard for startups because it’s like, “Wait! There’s a bright shiny object over there, we could go get that category!” So, staying focused, but you said something—also you said, “Be everywhere.”
[7:55] AppsFlyer’s Zero Budget Marketing“We kept that side of being a small, agile startup and, of course, we grew since.” -@RanAvr @AppsFlyer #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: First of all, you’re a tiny startup and you have no budget. Talk a little bit about, in the early days, how you compensated. How do you be everywhere without a budget?
Ran Avrahamy: It’s a really good question. There are a couple of ways of looking at it. First of all, there is the no budget and what in one of our products we call “zero budget marketing.” How do you operate with a mindset of—you have zero dollars to spend on marketing tomorrow. You have your creativity, your connections in the market, organic traffic, organic social media, word of mouth, partnerships, etc.
On one side we really tried to maximize all of those—let’s call it those owned and earned assets that we don’t have to pay for, meaning leveraging our partners and working together with our partners. Again, it’s a very complex and closed ecosystem.
I would say that the first one was a hack and since then it became a thing, but it was on the content side really early on, I would say 6 years ago, I think. 2015 maybe was the first one. We did something that we still call today the performance index, which was working with all of our partners and ranking them based on their performance of both volumes of installs that they’re getting and the quality of the installs they’re getting for customers and we broke it down. It was a very robust report.
I think it was a good hack at the beginning to also leverage the relationships that we have. Every ranking—I have a popular saying about rankings and about competitions, that I hate them until I win them. But in any competition or ranking, you have the top X, right? They have the #1, the top 5, top 10.
It depends on how you think about the process of making it happen, but there will always be companies that are happy with the rankings and they want to promote it themselves as well.
I think G2 as a company is doing an amazing job with that. That’s their business. They just released something this week about best product categories, we actually won one of them. We released it internally and everybody in the company was so proud of this accomplishment, so they showed it organically on their own social channels, etc. This is what we did back in 2015 and it was a great success.
Another funny story is—Oren, our CEO tells it. He did this actually and not me, so I can’t take the credit, but he bought like $300 worth of Google Ad coupons for 10 bucks on eBay. That’s an amazing deal. Those types of very early days, small startup hacks that you can do…it’s a tradeoff, right?
How do you balance between focusing on your targets? Our targets at the beginning and actually until today were being customer first, putting revenue as a secondary KPI and not a primary KPI. We’re a very customer-obsessed company, so how do you balance that on one side—so staying laser-focused on your target and what you want to achieve—while also playing very creatively and agile on everything that you own and can earn. I think that was the main thing that we did at the beginning.
It’s different right now because the goals are a lot bigger and broader and marketing goals and revenue goals, etc., but I think one of the unique things about AppsFlyer and about marketing here specifically is that we’ve kept the same agile, creative, consistency type of mentality. So even if you have big budgets and very complex workflows and processes and technologies and content, still keeping that nimble and agile mindset of reacting to things that are happening in your industry super quickly, being able to release really in-depth reports and insights on what’s happening in the industry. I think we kept that side of being a small, agile startup and, of course, we grew since.
Hey, it’s Drew, and I just wanted to do a quick mention of a new peer-to-peer advisory network I started last year called CMO Huddles. Every week we bring together an elite group of CMOs to share, care, and dare each other to greatness.
One CMO described huddles as a cross between an executive workshop and a therapy session. If you’re a B2B CMO and wish you could meet regularly with your smartest peers, just go to CMOHuddles.com and book a time to talk to me to see if you’d be a good fit. Check it out at CMOHuddles.com.
[13:24] How to Leverage Content in Your B2B Ecosystem“Content is king. It was always king, and it probably will always be king, but now it's a bit more of a crowded king than it was back in the day.” -@RanAvr @AppsFlyer #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: First of all, there’s this notion of zero budget marketing, which I know a lot of CMOs listening to this show are going, “Okay, that’s interesting.” That’s all about earned and owned. I know that in your early days, beyond the earned and owned, you did some guerrilla marketing. Can you talk about a couple of examples of that?
Ran Avrahamy: I probably have examples from the early days, but also examples from the recent days during post-COVID on how you adapt to new realities. You need to apply guerrilla marketing tactics to that as well.
One example that I gave was the index and again, that’s very specific to our industry, but for early-stage CMOs and startups thinking how to leverage the ecosystem that you’re in—I think I also gave the G2 example as a good one. They also did it at the beginning, but again, that’s their product. It’s thinking how you can create a win/win situation between you and…it can be partners; it can be other players in the industry. I think that’s a good example.
I think another one is—again that’s going back to 2014, 2015—the world has changed, but in the world of, let’s call it for now “insights PR,” content is king. It was always king, and it probably will always be king, but I think now it’s a little bit more of a crowded king than it was back in the day. But a lot of stuff that we’ve done back in the day—and again, talking like 5, 6 years ago—was to play an advisory role for reporters, so to make sure that we feed reporters with interesting insights that we see within our data that they can write about.
We created a lot of really personal and good relationships with relevant reporters in our industry. Also, that makes sure that they come to you. They’re already there and you’re that trusted advisor, so they have that solid relationship of both outreaching and inbounding for commenters, etc.
Drew Neisser: Let me pause there. I get outreach from junior PR people every single day, and I will tell you, flat out, less than 1 out of 20 actually provide value that I could actually go, “Oh, that’s really interesting. Thank you for that.”
I’m just going to put a little punctuation point—if you happen to be a PR professional and you’re thinking about pitching a story, have real value and data like Ran is describing here. If you want to get media coverage, make their job easy. Give them great, fresh, unique content. I just want to put an extra punctuation point on that so thank you for that.
Ran Avrahamy: Absolutely, Drew. And on top of that, get to know the person or the person you’re pitching to. In today’s world, it takes minutes to quickly browse through the person’s LinkedIn profile, Twitter, social, news mentions, etc. to understand what he or she is interested about, what they wrote about, is it even up their alley, what are the different types of angles?
Pitching on the PR side is just like selling. It’s understanding the value that the other side can get from you and that’s all. If you provide value, it will be interesting. It’s sometimes as simple as that.
Drew Neisser: What I see is spray and pray. That’s what I see. They have a mailing list and they send it out and they hope that they’ll get a lot of coverage.
Ran Avrahamy: Yep. Hope for the best.
Drew Neisser: Yeah, we are so far beyond spray and pray.
[17:25] Adapting to Virtual Events“In the early days I called it the five stages of a marketer’s grief.” -@RanAvr @AppsFlyer #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: One of the things I think is interesting is—you had this tremendous growth. Like every marketer, particularly in the marketing industry, events were a really important source of leads. They just were because marketers like to go to events, advertising people like to go to events. The mobile world is mobile, so of course, they’re going to events.
Suddenly, in February and March of 2020 you could no longer do events. How important were events to your lead flow prior to the COVID pandemic?
Ran Avrahamy: Very. Very important.
Drew Neisser: 50%?
Ran Avrahamy: I don’t necessarily know or remember the exact percentage of inbounds coming from events in the days of yon from 2019. But they were very important, and not just because of the leads. We put a lot of emphasis on the brand side as well when it comes to events, on creating meaningful relationships with people and doing crazy, crazy stuff on the brand side. On being memorable, on giving a unique experience, on doing things different.
I’ll tell you that, Drew—we were very famous for our events. Very, very famous. Someone called it our mode, and as you said, in a day—like this—it was no más. No more events. In the early days of COVID—which is a year ago, which is insane—in the early days I called it the five stages of a marketer’s grief.
Everybody was in denial at the beginning, and step by step we all got to acceptance, but in that denial stage—let’s call it February, March, April, probably those couple of months…it makes a lot of sense, right? Everybody ran like headless chickens: “Okay, now we’re going to move this to summertime. It’s going to be okay.”
Listen—nobody knew. Nobody could’ve imagined what was going to happen and that this would escalate pretty quickly. Again, we didn’t know anything. We just felt that this is not going to the right place.
One of our biggest shows is Mobile World Congress, which is in Barcelona. It’s 100,00+ attendees. That was planned to be at the end of February 2020. We had everything set up. We had an amazing concept and theme and booth and people and travel booked. It’s a big budget hole.
We were actually one of the first companies that proactively decided not to attend. I was very confident with the decision, even if it means a big chunk of budget basically lost. Again, it was the very early days of COVID—I’m not talking about budget and leads and brand and whatnot; I’m talking about our own team.
If I have one mother of an employee of ours, a team member of ours, telling herself, “Why is this company forcing my son or daughter to go abroad when everything is abnormal right now?” lose confidence in the workplace of her child, that isn’t worth anything. That was actually the mindset behind canceling it proactively. And afterward, everything collapsed, and they canceled it on their side, they postponed it, etc., etc.
But going back to your question—events. They were and still are a big, big chunk of what we do, and we do it pretty well. I don’t like webinars. I just don’t like them. A lot of marketers try to portray webinars like they can replace events, this offline communication and engagement—they just can’t. I had this experiment a couple of weeks ago searching my inbox for the word “webinar.” I’ve seen an enormous amount of invites to webinars that I’m getting on a daily basis.
That won’t do. We really had to reinvent ourselves on that end, both on the brand side and also as a lead gen/demand gen tool. I think we managed pretty quickly to understand how to adapt to this new reality, that it’s not coming back.
Pretty quickly after canceling MWC, we had a marketing leadership meeting and I said, “Guys, cancel everything you have until the end of the year. Recover back as much budget as you can if you can have like cancellation policies, etc. Nothing’s going to happen right now. If something’s happened, we’ll deal with it. We’ll get back.”
Pretty quickly we moved to a very hybrid, online type of thing. By hybrid I mean not online and offline, but within the online space, you have a lot of stuff that you can do. Some are going to the masses like big online events or conferences that you can do yourself, you can sponsor a third-party, etc. Plus, and this is actually the sweet spot, we had a lot of very creative, smart, small intimate gatherings.
One example, I think we did this in Napa, so kudos to our North America team. We took a group of 15 or 20 customers and prospect type of bunch, we sent them an invite, we told them what this was about, and to their homes, we sent them a box of really fine Napa wines with an invite and URL, landing page, etc.
They came to this event, it was like two hours, maybe. I think 75% of those two hours were fun, engaging. We put a sommelier in Napa, we recorded him live, and did a virtual wine tasting. The content part was just, you know, we had a thought leadership roundtable just at the end, but it was a really good experience for the people attending. It’s not just another webinar.
We did a lot of those types of creative small ideas throughout the year, and I think they were really successful. That said, I can’t wait to be on a plane again and meet people.
The reason I personally love events so much—it’s beyond that it’s fun, it’s engaging, and it’s a good lead gen and brand tool. When you do a production—your own company event, whatever—I vaguely remember that feeling of kicking off something in the morning, 9 am, start. You sit at the first row or stand on the side of the stage and you see people’s smiles. You see that reaction and you’re like, “Okay, now we’re on. Good”
The end result, sometimes it’s better sometimes, it’s worse. You get more leads, you get less leads—there are a lot of options and outcomes, but those types of small very intimate, very human moments, I miss them a lot. Honestly, I can’t wait to get back to them.
[26:28] How AppsFlyer Put Customers First Post-COVID“It wasn't us versus them. It was us together.” -@RanAvr @AppsFlyer #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: One of the things that you mentioned early on in our conversation was that you were customer first. We know when COVID hit, some industries were really hammered and other industries, if you were lucky enough to be in the cloud, business was great. But if you were in the travel industry, and I’m imagining you had customers in both, talk about, as a customer-first company, how did that impact the marketing programs that you did last year?
Ran Avrahamy: Yes, so it was really about being empathetic to the different types of customers that we have, understanding where they’re coming from, what are their pain points and challenges.
I’ll talk about it quickly from two different aspects. One, from a product standpoint, we shifted a lot of resources within the company and we have a lot of engineering resources, so we shifted a lot of resources pretty quickly to tailor solutions to different industries. Maybe redeveloping our app and other features within the product to adapt them to work from home. That was super quick, communicated quickly. It wasn’t perfect, but again, we made it work, and then we made it better.
So that’s on one side. Then on the marketing experience side. Being very empathetic to both parties, to folks that have been hurt from COVID like the travel industry as you said, but also to ones that have high pressure right now with huge traffic, huge spikes—they have their own challenges.
Trying to identify both and cater to each of them in a different way was very, very important, and that’s for a pretty big company. At the time we were around 900 employees. As a mindset, doing those quick changes and shifts was hugely important and was really appreciated by our customers.
Drew Neisser: Let’s talk about that. First, product. I get it. Makes sense. Got something out quickly that addressed the change. What did you do and say to your travel customers who were in deep pain at that moment? How did you express that empathy from a marketing standpoint?
Ran Avrahamy: We talked earlier on about zero budget marketing. We worked on the educational side with them. Some of them were public, blog post content, some of them were like in an EBR, QBR basis, customer success, marketing, working together with a specific customer or vertical.
We gave them solutions, so I’m talking beyond the financial side and spreading out payments and whatnot, but really working with them on zero budget marketing mindset. A travel company, an airline, you don’t have fights anymore, obviously. What else can we do with marketing and you can do as a brand, as an airline, with your owned and earned media?
How maintain relationships with your customers, with your consumers, on a loyalty program basis? They don’t have flights, they’re gone for the next six months, how can you retain them, how you can you engage with them?
We have our own customer user experience, customer experience suite, so it’s a lot about user experience and flows, so how can you engage with them pretty quickly in this crazy time? Stuff like that. It’s really dependent on the brand and on the vertical. Travel was a really interesting industry to tackle.
Drew Neisser: Interesting. That’s a difficult one, and you really went out, and basically—some of those companies must have said, “Hey, we’ve got to stop working or we’ve got to put the budget on hold.” Was there any reaction to that?
Ran Avrahamy: Yeah, actually. We had a task force within the company working specifically with every customer that was affected by COVID. Eventually, in terms of churn, it was minimal. We have a very simple framework as a company. We have two questions that we ask ourselves every time that we make a decision. One, does this decision make you more proud of working at AppsFlyer? The first question is about pride.
Second, is this a customer-centric decision? Will this decision make our customers happier? That’s the framework. Every question that you ask about product, marketing, sales, deal size, etc., has to come to that eventually.
That framework was actually the one that helped us go through this period together with our customers. It wasn’t us versus them. It was us together. That’s a small sentence, but it’s a big, big meaning behind it.
Drew Neisser: I love that.
[31:27] Why Marketing Must Start with Employees“If people working for the company are so proud of your products, of your social responsibility, of your actions, of your content—it glows outside, and it's contagious.” -@RanAvr @AppsFlyer #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: I want to zero in on employee pride for a moment. I think in our pre-call we talked about how you really only have one metric in the company, at least from an employee standpoint—do they feel proud of it? How do you actually measure that?
Ran Avrahamy: We have our surveys, right? Our internal surveys. We ask team members twice a year and we measure that, and we do some sort of NPS about that. The numbers we see are outstanding. I think the last one was around 97% of people at the company are proud of working for AppsFlyer. That’s outstanding.
And you ask yourself, “Okay, so 97%. How much higher can you go?” But you can go higher. There’s 100%. There’s always room for improvement.
But I think, again, it’s a lot about the small stuff that you do on an ongoing basis with our employees. For example, there’s a lot of talk about employer branding. We don’t do employer branding; we do employee branding. We spotlight them. We provide them with small, meaningful, personalized, it’s not about gifts or anything like that. It’s about showing them that we care, showing them that we work together.
Every time that we have a big milestone, we celebrate it internally, we do internal training about it, we give people assets to share on their social media. I think it was in the last funding round we had—our entire LinkedIn feed of people in the industry was filled with AppsFlyer people just telling their own personal story and how they are proud of the company.
People were asking me, like, “Do you pay them? Do you incentivize your team members to share that?” And I was like, “No, we provide them with a platform, with content, visuals, talking points, stuff like that, but they do their thing.” You cannot trick that. It must be authentic. You cannot pay for that.
Drew Neisser: Yeah, it’s so true. Most companies think about, from a marketing standpoint, the priority is acquisition then retention then employees if they think about it.
Ran Avrahamy: No, no. It has to start with employees.
Drew Neisser: Talk a little bit about that. Help me because this is like a paragraph in my book. Why is it so important that marketing needs to focus on employees first?
Ran Avrahamy: It’s such a good question. We actually have a person in the marketing team who’s our head of thought leadership. His job is to help everyone who wants to learn become a better storyteller, a better writer, tell their own stories. So specifically, we need to help 60 people this quarter, write at least 5 LinkedIn posts, right?
At the beginning, people were asking, “Why do you this?” It pays off so much. The importance of marketing for being internal first—if your own team members are not your biggest advocates and biggest fans, you won’t be able to make your customers and your prospects and your partners and the external circles your fans.
This fandom sticks. It’s contagious. If people working for the company are so proud of your products, of your social responsibility, of your actions, of your content—it glows outside, and it’s contagious. I don’t have any other word but contagious.
Drew Neisser: Yeah, it’s a scary word to use right now, but it is true.
Drew Neisser: I can’t wait for the transcript of this thing because what you just said is absolutely going verbatim, as I finished up the book, right in there. Listeners know I’ve been a long-time advocate of employee first marketing, and certainly, that may be the fuel of the rocket ships, folks. That is the fuel.
I mean, we talked about going from 12 employees to 1,000 employees and yet, during the course of that time, I’m imagining, and you can confirm this—obviously, startups have burnout. There’s no doubt; it’s a hard journey. But because you were employee-centric, I’m guessing that you had less turnover, perhaps higher productivity, and certainly more advocacy as measured by your word, “pride.” As a manager leader, as a chief marketing officer, that’s got to feel good.
Ran Avrahamy: It makes my job a lot easier.
Drew Neisser: It does, because it’s easier to recruit, it’s easier to retain, and the directive is clear. What we’ve really talked about here is that while product was really important in this growth of the rocket ship, it seems like these two things, as you said, only two rules—employees feel pride and is it good for our customers—if you have something that simple and that clear and every employee knows it and your customer feels it, you might have a trajectory like the folks at AppsFlyer.
Ran Avrahamy: Drew, I gotta say, I haven’t built marketing at AppsFlyer as most marketers build marketing. I didn’t start by typing in Google on Day 1 how to build a B2B marketing strategy. We’ve had a lot of debt to date, a lot of debt. We don’t do stuff as probably we should. It goes back to a simple messaging framework at the beginning, then a mission statement and a vision statement. We didn’t have that at the beginning. We were laser-focused. We had the framework. That’s like our rescue box. Once it’s very simple and everybody gets it, it makes everything else more simple.
[38:05] How to Grow Alongside a Startup“It’s really about finding how you can keep on falling back in love with your job.’ -@RanAvr @AppsFlyer #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: Last question for you—being a CMO with 12 people is a lot different than being a CMO with 1,000 people. Obviously, the company is much, much larger, the expectations of what marketing can do are much, much higher, you have a huge team by now. How have you had to change with the company?
Ran Avrahamy: I think I’ve changed numerous times. I don’t know if it’s every day or week or month or quarter or year—I need to reinvent myself. First of all, startups are hard. Burnouts are hard and it’s a real thing. I’m very happy to see in the previous couple of years, a lot of people talk about the psychology side of tech. Words that used to be very taboo like “depression” or pressure-related words are very wide open, it’s okay to talk about them right now. It’s such a big and important change.
I think that making Ran 2.0, Ran 3.0, Ran 4.0 every single year—let’s say, on two sides, one on a personal level. How do I keep being in love with what I do? Because listen, I’m 35. I’m in the early-mid of my career. I have a lot of stuff that I love and I’m passionate about. I can do a lot of stuff. It’s not about the incentive, it’s not about the payout, it’s not about the size of the team—it’s about doing something that you really love.
There are hard days. There are days that I want to stay in bed. What I tell my team—I mean, now everybody stays in bed because the office is your living room—I ask my team, “You have one of those days? Call in sick. Don’t work. Take the day off. You have two have those? Fine, it happens. You have a couple of those? It’s ok. But if you see this consistently, then you’re probably not doing what you love, and you should do something else.”
I apply that to myself as well. 7 years in, I find things to do are completely different than I did 7 years ago, but I find things that I love doing. It’s about passion, it’s about seeing people grow, seeing managers become leaders, seeing things that we do that are meaningful to other people—as you said, we talked about it a second ago—internal employees, external circles, etc.
It’s really about finding that thing and how you can keep on falling back in love with your job. That’s just a big question that I put the focus on.
Drew Neisser: Well, there it is. All you listeners—I know at this moment, your workout is just about over. I had a conversation yesterday with two folks who are regular listeners, and they said, “You’re dead on. I do my elliptical for 45 minutes. Wrap it up, Drew!” Ran, thank you so much for being on the show.
Ran Avrahamy: Thank you so much, Drew.
Renegade Thinkers Unite is written and directed by Drew Neisser. Audio production is by Sam Beck. The show notes are written by Melissa Caffrey. The music is by the amazing Burns Twins and the intro voiceover is Linda Cornelius. To find the transcripts of all episodes, suggest future guests, or learn more about quite possibly the best B2B marketing agency in New York City, visit renegade.com. And until next time, keep those Renegade Thinking Caps on and strong.