Interview with CEO, Socialbakers – Yuval Ben-Itzhak


“The most important piece of advice for every startup, whether they are in tech or in fashion, is to stay focused on customers”

1. Tell us about your role in Socialbakers?
I am the CEO of Socialbakers, a unified social media marketing platform. I lead a global team of 500+ people, made up of developers, sales and marketers. In my role I concentrate primarily on our customers, leading development and executing on our corporate vision.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
My journey has always been in the digital realm. I am a technologist at heart, and I previously led private and public technology organizations for businesses like Outbrain, AVG and Finjan, but always with a strong customer focus. My previous experiences across mobile, cyber security and advertising technology serve me well in my current role, leading Socialbakers, which is a SaaS-based, marketing technology business.

3. How do you think technology is upgrading marketing Sector?
Today marketing organizations have access to a broad range of tools to help them better measure, manage and optimize their marketing activities and increase their ROI. Whether businesses are looking to improve their marketing effectiveness, keep their budgets in check or both, accessible, easy-to-use technologies can help them solve many challenges.

4. Can you explain how integration of AI has optimized the strategies of social media marketing?
Specifically in marketing technology AI is being used to take care of the core repetitive functions carried out by marketers so that they can focus on differentiating themselves from their competition by creating highly engaging content. Previously marketers were spending a huge amount of time aggregating social data, analyzing anomalies and using their learnings to make decisions on what actions to take next. Today AI and Machine Learning technologies are taking care of that heavy lifting so the marketer can focus on creating the content that will engage and excite their audience. Overall, by leveraging AI, marketers have more time to invest on complex tasks while giving AI to complete the repetitive work.

5. How do you define your content intelligence platform?
Socialbakers Content Hub is a component within the unified marketing platform. It’s the go-to place for marketers to collaborate, plan and create engaging content by leveraging AI-powered content intelligence. Content Hub empowers organizations to create content strategies that deliver compelling experiences to their target audiences. With deep content insights, marketers can now leverage the right activation channels and effectively allocate the budget to stay competitive. Content Hub is fully integrated into the Socialbakers platform so it ensures seamless workflows and efficient teamwork at scale.

6. For our audience, what points according to you should be kept in mind to enhance the result of social media marketing?
Simply speaking, there are three points which marketers need to focus on in order to improve their results on social media.
The first is, make sure you have a clear view of where you stand today and where you’d like to go (KPIs). It’s only by knowing your numbers that you can benchmark yourself again your competition and track your progress.
The second is, gather intelligence on your audience, on which platforms they are active, with which content they are engaging, what are their interests and demographics. This will help you optimize your content strategy as well as your Ad targeting for the best results.
Finally, measure your results versus the KPIs you have defined and implement the learnings to improve the next campaign.

7. What are your predictions about the future of Influencer marketing?
Although Influencer marketing seems like it’s been around for a while now, I still feel like we are only in the early stages of realizing its full potential. We are working with more and more brands who are seeing success working with influencers, but many brands are still just figuring out how to get started. That’s why, I’d say my prediction for Influencer marketing is that it’s going to remain an important marketing tactic moving forward. It’s the digital version of word-of-mouse we know for many years. Brands just need to work hard to make sure they’re selecting the right influencer for their brand and their audience. Here again, marketing technology can help!

8. What advice would you like to give to the technology Start Ups?
How much time do I have? 🙂

The most important piece of advice for every startup, whether they are in tech or in fashion, is to stay focused on customers.

It’s only by understanding your customer’s challenges, listening to their feedback and delivering innovations on their behalf, that you will be successful.

9. What is the Digital innovation in sales technology according to you that will mark 2019?
Its all about AI-powered functionality that gets into the daily business operations to helps people to discover and achieve more. This is how productivity will increase and how the economy can further grow.

10. How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world?
I think that businesses should take a step-by-step approach. They should start by thinking about the repetitive, mundane tasks that today are being handled by employees and tomorrow could be handled by AI. The impact of this would be to free up people so that they can focus on more complex, higher value activities.

11. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
At Socialbakers everything we do is based on the needs of our customers. We work closely with them to understand their challenges and we deliver products to help solve those challenges. In terms of our actual roadmap, I’d say stay tuned. 2020 is going to be an exciting year for our business and we’re focused on delivering technologies to help marketers get the most out of their digital investment.

12. What movie inspires you the most?
The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorites over the years. Recently, as a big Queen fan, I really enjoyed the Bohemian Rhapsody movie.

13. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, so can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?
At Socialbakers I am very lucky to work with some of the smartest, most energetic folks out there. We have a work hard – play hard mentality and that does mean we share a lot of joy together in our respective regional offices and also as a global team. You can follow the team here on Instagram at InsideSocialbakers.

14. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
Its split into two main groups, my business related apps to connect with my team (Slack, Gmail, WhatsApp, GSuite, Sales reports) and the second part relates to my family (home automation, notes, music and kids games)

Yuval is the Chief Executive Officer at Socialbakers. Yuval has more than twenty years of business and technology leadership experience as an entrepreneur, senior executive, and executive leader in both private and public companies. Prior to joining Socialbakers in 2017, Yuval served as CTO at Outbrain, the leading content discovery platform, managing a global team of 200 people responsible for serving 1 billion monthly users. Prior to Outbrain, Yuval spent 5 years as CTO at AVG Technologies (NYSE: AVG), where he established AVG's leading position in the mobile security market with 200 million active users to speak for its success. Yuval was also a key member of the leadership team that took the company public in 2012. Earlier in his career, Yuval was the CTO of the cybersecurity company Finjan, where he led six international teams. In the year 2000, he founded the web application security pioneer, Kavado. Yuval is a graduate of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel and a holder of 20 U.S. patents. He is a frequent commentator in the media and speaks regularly on the future of mobile, security, privacy, consumer dynamics, and disruptive innovation.

Socialbakers is a trusted social media marketing partner to thousands of businesses of every size - including over 100 companies on the list of Fortune Global 500. Socialbakers Suite is a marketing platform that leverages the power of machine learning to help brands make smarter investments on social media. Socialbakers’ AI-powered solutions enable brands to engage and grow their customer base by helping them deliver the right content to the right people at the right time. With access to a wide range of audience insights, optimization solutions, analytics, and measurement features, marketers can easily understand how their social efforts are impacting their company’s bottom line. Starting from a small company with a big vision in 2008, Socialbakers has since become an international name, expanding across the globe from Singapore to New York.

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