CEO Ran Sarig, CSO Katrin Ribant, and CTO Efi Cohen
Cedar Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Marker, Innovation Endeavors
What is the most effective way of delivering an advertising message? Datorama is trying to answer this question. "The market today is diversified," says Datorama cofounder and CEO Ran Sarig. "For example, take a company that operates in several countries and sells several products to different target markets. Such a company will use a range of tools in order to achieve the desired results." Sarig founded the company with CSO Katrin Ribant and CTO Efi Cohen. All of them were formerly in advertising.
"When we founded the company," Sarig says, "we realized that the world of marketing is complicated because of all the channels there are, and that a solution that combines all of them is needed. Five years ago, there were 150-180 companies dealing with marketing technology. Today, there are at least 5,000."
Is the multiplicity of advertising channels an advantage or a disadvantage?
Sarig: "On the one hand, it's positive, but on the other hand, it's chaos. The challenge facing the marketers is to be capable of making better decisions. As a marketer, you're trying to think about how to reach the consumers - you know that publishing an ad has become less effective, but you also know that the brand name has to reach the consumer in many forms. Consumers have to meet the brand in articles they read, on their Facebook pages, and everywhere else. The key is to use different technologies."
The bigger the company, the bigger the challenge. "Israel is a small and unrepresentative market," says Sarig. "One of our customers is a gaming company. They combine 1,200 sources of information. That's an extreme case, but it's crazy, because the channels are becoming more sophisticated, and there are always more new ways of reaching the market."
How do you help marketers?
"We help them make decisions and focus on segments. For example, a company chose to send a message to 18-21 year-olds in the Eastern US to get them to download a certain app. As a marketer, I want to understand whether the message got results on mobile, social networks, and even on billboards. I can see in real time whether it's getting results, and understand whether it works differently in the Western US. We don't do advertising, we don't help advertise, and we don't buy advertising; we help make better decisions. The system is capable of generating insights according to the required information - how many people downloaded the app, how many entered the website, and how many returned. Every marketer defines the success he seeks to achieve with each message."
Today's consumer pays very little attention to advertising. How do you deal with that?
"Indirectly - that's the reason why the system exists. A decade ago, if you put a banner somewhere, you would have attracted the consumers' attention. Today, the strategy is to surround you in many places. A company like Starbucks - in every movie or series, there's someone drinking coffee in a branch. Potential consumers with middle incomes or higher will get special advertisements for mobile after the movie, and when they read a story in the Wall Street Journal, Starbucks will be mentioned there. This is where Datorama's system comes in, to give an overall picture."
Does the fact that the world is becoming global blurs the difference between consumers in different countries?
"No. Let there be no mistake about it - localization is very significant. In Japan, they use different channels for communications, and use Facebook less. Use of WhatsApp is very strong in Israel, but not at all in the US. You have to operate with as low a resolution as possible in order to reach different markets. In advertising also, a Coca Cola commercial doesn't look the same in Africa as in Europe. The brand's message will be maintained, but the way it reaches its consumers and the type of creativity you use changes. That's why we have 16 offices around the world."
Datorama has raised $50.7 million since it was founded. Sarig says it is focusing on technological development. "More than 30% of what we do is development," he claims. "The company has grown at an insane rate, because business has grown that way: we had 80 people at the end of 2015, 180 at the end of 2016, and today we have almost 300. This number is also expected to grow."