‘More and More Technologies Geared Towards the Smaller Businesses’ - Interview with Ohad Oren
Editor’s note: Nowadays the small business enjoys the immense growth and leaves no avenue unexplored due to the sophisticated and outstanding abilities offered by CRM software. Nevertheless, vendors get stuck on the strategy rolling out or fail with their campaigns in social media. Today we present you the interview with Ohad Oren, co-founder and chief marketing officer of ONDiGO, a mobile CRM that automatically builds customer database and experienced strategist. Together with Ohad we’ll find out what is the essence of CRM for SMBs, peculiarities of marketing campaigns and lead management. In this interview, he shares his experience in business development, CRM usage and provides some pieces of advice about effective marketing in social media.
1. Ohad, since the beginning of your career, you have held CEO posts and was a co-founder of several companies. What were the most critical and turning moments of your work?
I had a major event which affected my whole career only few months after I started my first business. We had a rough month, my first shop was closed and I had to rearrange my business through a different shop we had to establish on the go, it was really rough for me. However, since I was the one in-charge, I couldn’t give up and had to continue working as usual without letting the employees feel what a huge crisis I’m feeling inside.
Eventually everything went for the best and I learned that business has its cycles and sometimes rough ones are coming your way. You need to be strong and keep the faith. Things get better eventually.
2. Having expertise in business development, you mainly work with SMBs. So, what are the main peculiarities of planning close and far-reaching goals for small and mid-size companies?
The main difference in my opinion is that SMB's need to focus more on their ongoing revenue and maintain relationships with existing customers better, as they cannot afford themselves to lose them. Furthermore, the costs of acquiring new customers are much higher. Therefore, SMB's tend to focus more on the short-term planning and less on the longer term.
3. CRM enhances the business running greatly, and the appearance of SaaS solutions brought a breakthrough into digital marketing. Ohad, in your opinion, what SMBs can gain from using the cloud platforms?
Cloud platforms really revolutionized the business world, however the main beneficiaries are indeed the smaller businesses. They are getting access to technologies and capabilities which used to be available to enterprises alone. We will see in the near future more and more technologies geared towards the smaller businesses, allowing them to compete with the larger companies. Every aspect will be improved, however, tools which help businesses increase their revenue will be mostly used as that's what businesses are really after.
Well, that's really depends on your company focus. I guess a business owner should really think about what interests his target audience and this will help him understand where to aim. For example, ONDiGO is a mobile CRM for small business owners and sales people on the go, therefore our marketing focus is: Small businesses, Sales, Productivity and Mobile/Tech. Our strategy is content, as we see the search engines really becoming intelligent, it's difficult to fool them. Therefore, creating unique and interesting content, related to the marketing focus you're aiming for, will serve you both in acquiring new visitors/customers to your site/service and in terms of SEO.
5. The startups face the challenge of lead generation. Can embedded forms draw the right audience? Are there any ways to increase prospect engagement?
Embedded forms are a great solution for web. But the world is changing and becoming more and more mobile. Even wearable. Building a great mobile app will make sure your audience constantly engages with your brand.
6. Ohad, could you tell us about your first user experience with CRM software? What was the most challenging?
My first experience with a CRM was not at all good. I started to work with a desktop solution and spent weeks on integrating it into our daily routine. However, even after the integration was complete, my sales team didn't want to update the CRM and we had to constantly remind them to do so. They were saying they spend too much time on updating it and they could be selling more if they didn't need to update the CRM. The worst part was that even when they did fill the CRM, they only wrote what seemed important in their eyes and not everything that happened.
7. Analytics is an inevitable part of any strategy. What types of reports may bring the most accurate data? What is the average time of a redundant report?
Nowadays, when analytics are so accessible, it's really important to know what to measure and how. I believe that tracking cycles should be Weeks/Months/Quarters/Years. And obviously comparing to past results. What to measure depends on your business and your current goals. Our current stage is growth so we're currently after conversion. Meaning Visitors --> Users --> Customers = Conversion rate.
Like everything else, A/B test everything. Try the same campaign with different social networks. Then change wording, images, titles etc. Tracking and comparing allows you to find the best results. But most importantly, be ready to have some of your campaigns failing. You can't succeed without trying and practice makes perfection. There's a learning curve and you have to be ready to be on that graph.
I can recommend a few of the blogs I'm following. The Buffer blog , They are doing great research on their posts and generate great content, interesting and well referenced. Also Social Media Examiner has great content, especially for marketers and small business owners. Another very helpful resource is Reddit. I am following a few SUBREDDITS such as #socialmedia and #GrowthHacking but that's really depends on your interest.
We’d like to thank Ohad for his sincere and constructive answers that reveal his unique view on platforms for small business and strategy building. Besides, his first-hand experience considerable expertise in digital marketing will help our readers to improve their projects and, therefore, increase conversion rates.
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