Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast with Adam Davis, Israel-based marketing content manager:

Carlota Pico 0:14
Hi everyone, I’m Carlota Pico from The Content Mix. And I’m excited to be here today with Adam Davis, who is content marketing manager at Arbox and has over six years of experience in marketing and communications. Welcome, Adam. And thank you so much for joining us today on The Content Mix.

Adam Davis 0:33
Thank you. Yeah, it’s great. I’m excited to do this.

Carlota Pico 0:35
I’m excited, also. Let’s jump into the interview then. Adam, could you tell me a little bit about your background, a bit about the company that you’re working on right now and how you got to where you currently are?

Adam Davis 0:48
Sure. So I’m originally from Toronto, Canada. I’ve been in Israel for about 14 years. I came after high school for just a gap year to study and kind of travel a little bit and I ended up just staying. I became a citizen, joined the army, like all Israelis have to do when they turn 18. And went to university here, which is all in Hebrew, it was a little difficult, because I didn’t speak any Hebrew at the time, and ended up just kind of getting involved with small startup marketing roles. You know, they call Israel, the startup nation. So there’s a lot of different startup companies here. And just from there, just been kind of working my way up into different marketing communications roles to where I am now, which is at Arbox, which is basically a platform for managing gyms and yoga studios and CrossFit gyms and even country clubs, just kind of a software for the owners to use and also includes an app for you know, people coming to workout to use and check in and things like that. And basically with the whole coronavirus, COVID situation, I was put on unpaid leave at my previous job. So I had to find something new and Arbox just kind of came up to help expand their marketing team. And our marketing team right now is me and my boss. It’s a very small company, and we’re just hoping to just expand globally and make it into like, you know, a huge company. So it’s, yeah, very exciting.

Carlota Pico 2:17
Excellent. Well, life works in mysterious ways. Definitely. And you prove it. As Arbox’s content marketing manager, what kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?

Adam Davis 2:31
Well, it’s interesting because for people who have worked in startups, specifically in smaller startups, you know, that marketing isn’t just cut and dry. It’s not you know, sales, where you just call people and you have kind of a selling and closing and thats it. Marketing is a little bit of several different things. I have a lot of experience, initially, from my background, growing up and in school I was writing and I kind of took that into a lot of the jobs that I’ve been doing in marketing, so a lot of content writing more on the long form side but short form obviously comes into play with social media and advertising on Facebook and Google and things like that. And I have experience with localization reaching out to different markets, it’s always kind of been a bit of a jack of all trades with marketing, kind of touching on a lot of different things, email marketing, and you got to kind of be able to adapt to different ways to bring people in. And I had a previous job one of my people, one of my colleagues that I worked with, said something very interesting about marketing that he wanted every single person who came to our company to have been notified or touched initially by something that we did on the marketing team. And I kind of take that with me always, to be the way to promote our message that I want what we do in the marketing department to be how companies find out about, excuse me, clients or potential leads finding out about us, and that kind of drives what we do with our social media efforts with our content writing, advertising, emails, all that kind of stuff.

Carlota Pico 3:58
Okay, so on that same note, “content is king” as coined by several influencers worldwide. And originally by Bill Gates actually in the 1990s, I believe. Anyways, what makes great, what makes good content… oh, excuse me, what separates good content from great content?

Adam Davis 4:21
I think because of my background of working for social media and knowing that, even in a B2B company, it’s very important to know what the end users want to know. And you kind of want to talk to people as people and a lot of people, a lot of companies when they’re promoting their own content or promoting themselves on social media or even email newsletters, they just kind of look at the Internet in general, as their podium to promote their message and, and it needs to be a little more personal than that. Yeah, you can sprinkle in, you know, our upcoming webinars or our new product release and things like that. But if it’s not an email that you would send to a friend of yours and they would say it’s interesting or if it’s a Facebook post or blog post that your friends or family wouldn’t want to read, even if they don’t work at your job, then it’s not going to do anything. That’s why you see so many companies with 300,000 Facebook likes and four people liking their posts. The content is king only when it’s things that people actually want to read. If you’re just posting every week just to put out your newest ebook, or your new webinar, or things like that, it’s not going to go anywhere, it’s just going to die where you post it. And I think that kind of applies across the board. And a lot of companies fail to realize that but the companies that do embrace that are the ones that really make a difference. And you can tell that they’re just on another level, because they’re actually trying to relate to what people are interested in.

Carlota Pico 5:43
Yeah, definitely. So content needs to provide value, content needs to be authentic, content needs to connect with their audience. Is that a fair summary of your thoughts?

Adam Davis 5:57
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think that content without value is just words on paper or on the internet, you know, and authenticity, like you said, for sure. People can see right through that, I think a lot of people underestimate how smart their potential customers are. And they think we’ll just post our content they’re not going to notice. But making those connections with people one to one and providing them with valuable content is really the best way to succeed.

Carlota Pico 6:21
Right? It’s not done overnight. either. I work with plenty of brands worldwide, that oftentimes insinuate that writing is easy. Simply writing is easy, but creating value out of something is not easy. And being able to connect with your audience is a challenge definitely requires a lot of creativity, a lot of thought behind it.

Adam Davis 6:46
Yeah, I think a lot of people, I’ll tell you once again, with social media, a lot of people think that it’s easy. You know, they use social media in their personal lives. They think that they know how to do it professionally. And it’s just not the case. It comes across a lot of times, like you said inauthentic or distant. And there’s just so many forms of writing, you know, I have a lot of experience with what we call kind of short form writing, which is in social media or shorter blog posts or case studies and things like that. But, you know, that might be easier for some people, but long form ebooks and big testimonials and white papers and things like that aren’t so easy. They’re not the same thing, even though they’re both technically writing. So you know, knowing your niche and knowing the niche of what your company needs to go for, and what kind of mediums to use in order to provide your content to the masses. I think that understanding is helpful before you even get involved with actual, you know, writing down words.

Carlota Pico 7:41
Yeah, absolutely. I couldn’t agree more, and it also requires a lot of segmentation as well, because in order to be able to communicate with your audience, you’re going to have lots of different audiences within your target right, because you want to hopefully attract to your brand and so as a marketeer, you have to be able to zoom into those different audiences and not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk, put yourself in their shoes and think about how they want to receive content.

Adam Davis 8:15
Yeah, it’s very interesting that you say walk the walk, it also is very kind of swept under the rug. People take it for granted. Because every single one of us and you know, in 2020, uses social media, we read blog posts, we read articles, in whatever form that you kind of digest all that content. A lot of people post things that they themselves will not want to read, because they’re just assuming that the end users or people out there online are going to be interested in it. And just taking that, you know, minute or two to take a step back and say, Okay, what would I want to read if I was, you know, our target audience, defining what your target audience is? Understanding what matters to them and how they want to digest it, I think, all those kinds of steps are super necessary before you get started with creating content.

Carlota Pico 9:02
Definitely, definitely. Well, because Arbox recently raised 2 million US dollars in seed funding, congratulations on that, by the way. That round was led by Pico Venture Partners, which is in line with my last name, Carlota Pico, love to mention that. From your experience, what role can marketing play in fundraising?

Adam Davis 9:28
I think a big aspect of marketing which a lot of people think is just a buzzword is this whole terminology of brand awareness that a lot of people who aren’t in marketing think that’s just what us marketers tell everyone we’re doing all day, when really we’re just posting on Facebook. Creating, like I said before, this awareness around your company and your brand is so important. You know, while you might have a great idea, if it’s not marketed well, it’s not gonna go anywhere it you know, VCs aren’t gonna know about you. Other potential investors are not going to know about you, the clientele that you’re trying to bring in, which will help investors understand what kind of market there is for your product. None of that exists without marketing. And I think that’s why it’s a little difficult for people who break into marketing to understand how is my job tangible? How can I break down and kind of see the ROI of what I’m doing. But you have to realize a lot of what these investment firms are looking for is a brand that will stick and will have scalability and growth opportunities in the near future. And I think, you know I’ve only been at Arbox for two weeks, and joining and all of a sudden we have a funding round. And knowing that that was our first round of funding and now it’s kind of on me and my boss to work on getting our next round of funding and kind of promoting ourselves even further. I think it’s really interesting challenge and I think it kind of helps, you know helps me understand what kind of content we want to produce moving forward. To raise our level of brand awareness.

Carlota Pico 11:02
Right, because obviously, the way that you’re going to be communicating with VCs is not the same way that you’re going to be communicating with your customers or your clients. It’s going to require two different ways of communicating enough promoting your brand as well, according to the different interests.

Adam Davis 11:19
Yeah, exactly. Like also, like we were saying before, knowing the difference between who your end users are. Also, for example, Arbox is unique because it’s the first company that I’ve worked at, that I would consider to be B2B2C where our clients are companies but we also want to be able to help them market to their members. And that’s a very important kind of side product that we have in our application that’s used for, you know, gym members and just kind of knowing the best way to formulate all of our content that it’s still kind of relatable for the clientele and it’s kind of in this vibe of exercising and workouts and you know, studio vibe and CrossFit. And blending that with also being a brand and a company that’s wanting, like you said to reach out to VCs. Yeah, we’ve got our work cut out for us, but it’s a lot of exciting content that we can produce.

Carlota Pico 12:10
Talk to me about the challenges of B2B2C marketing. What do you think the future entails so when it comes to pursuing the different customers?

Adam Davis 12:24
So it’s interesting because the future is definitely about the customer, I think the world and these big brands are moving away from the strictly B2B world where I mean, I’ve worked with a few companies that are big, you know, kind of tech corporations that really market to giant companies. And it’s a very different situation. But now, like I said before, if you’re not having the end user in mind, even if you are technically only a B2B company, you’re missing out or you’re kind of old school. The marketing and social media and things don’t really work like that. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be on TikTok. But you kind of have to have in mind what the next generation of people are looking to accomplish and looking to interact with and look more to buy and things like that. I mean, I consider myself a millennial. I’m in my early 30s. But I know that the generation below me is already starting to come out into the workforce and become consumers on their own and not taking that into consideration and just forgetting about the C in the B2B2C to see i think is a huge mistake companies make, and especially in the near future, that’s where it’s all going to be headed.

Carlota Pico 13:37
Yeah, I agree. I’m also an older millennial. And I’m right now exploring the ins and outs of TikTok and how to potentially use TikTok to help promote the clients that work with our brands. Okay, moving on to localization, which is something that you touched upon at the beginning of our interview and because you do live and work in Israel. It is a very unique market that I’d love to explore more. I’m a big fan of Israel. As I mentioned before, while we were off the record, I had the pleasure of going there last year on holidays, fell in love with the country, fell in love with its food, especially, I mean, yeah, talk about great gastronomy. But obviously, we’ll leave that conversation for another time. Let’s focus on content marketing. So just like in Europe, it’s difficult to have a marketing campaign that fits all sizes, because Europe is very different when it comes to not only languages but also culture. Israel also has a similar setup because it has a very diverse culture and also has many languages as core languages. So could you talk to me a bit about what it’s like to market to an Israeli audience?

Adam Davis 14:52
Sure. So Israel is unique in a lot of ways, especially because we’re technically in the Middle East, but we’re kind of European in our culture, and I guess, tech scene and things like that. And it’s very rare that you’ll find an Israeli company that only works with Israel, which is something that I had never really had experience with until I arrived at Arbox. And their plan was basically we’re going to take over the Israeli market as much as we can, and then branch out into the rest of the international markets and they had planned to and then you know, COVID happened and had to put the brakes on that. But marketing to the Israeli market, it’s funny, it’s technically like you’re still marketing to the rest of the world because, like you said, it’s so diverse here. I’ve worked in marketing roles actually, in my last job where our entire team essentially was not native born Israelis. We had English people, we had Americans, Canadians, French people, we had someone from Germany, we had someone from Spain, and just like, the melting pot that Israel is, you’re kind of working with all different languages and all these different markets right away. It’s very rare that people will just kind of say, okay, our company is sticking around Israel. But I think what’s interesting also is working with Israelis, culturally, or marketing to Israelis is very different than working with Europeans or North Americans. And I think that’s why a lot of startups in Israel are looking to bring in people from North America, people from Europe to kind of help them bring in those different cultural business values that don’t exist here. Everything here is very bottom line. It’s like I was in my first week at Arbox, I was on a sales call. And the lead was basically two minutes into the conversation asking for the price and she just wants to know how much it was. And that was it, like, just tell me what it is. And if I like it, we’ll move on. And if not, I’m hanging up. And it’s very difficult for people who aren’t native Israeli to deal with that. And as you ingrain yourself more into the culture, you kind of can bridge those two sides. So I think it’s kind of a good like symbiotic relationship between people from outside of Israel and Israel, giving the disadvantages and advantages of both sides and kind of teaching one another. But like I said, so much of the scene here in Israel in the tech scene is marketing to the rest of the world that you kind of have to be involved with localization and translation, and then having people you know, boots on the ground in different markets. Otherwise, you’re just kind of really limiting yourself. Israel’s very small country, you know, despite how big it is in the tech scene, so that’s why right now at Arbox, we’re looking to kind of shift into America and trying to hire a lot of English speakers because right now with the whole company, I’m the only native English speaker, which is fine. I get to work on my Hebrew again, after hanging out with a lot of Anglos beforehand. But it’s gonna be really interesting to kind of, okay, we’ve done our bit in Israel, we have a good market share here. We’re very excited about that. We’re not giving up on on the people in Israel. And now we’re just kind ofexpanding outward. So how that’s gonna work out. We’re working on it now in terms of our localization and our marketing, and it’s gonna be a lot of work.

Carlota Pico 18:10
Well definitely let us know if we can help you in any way, as I mentioned before, I work for VeraContent, which is a content creation and localization company, and we help brands branch out into new markets. We have a fleet of Native American or native English speakers. So yeah, but that afterwards. So in your previous role, you were managing a company’s social media presence, which is why I’d like to pick your brain on the ins and outs of social networks. Companies are expected to spend 120 billion dollars in digital marketing by 2021. So by next year, $120 billion, that’s a lot of money. And a lot of that budget will be put towards social networks. So with that in mind, what do you think is the future of social media?

Adam Davis 19:00
So it’s interesting. It’s an interesting question. I’ve definitely been asked this a lot because social media is is changing all the time every year. And I mean, we were talking about TikTok beforehand. What kind of businesses were actually talking about that a year ago, you know? So in short, the future of social media is video. I think a lot of people don’t embrace video the way that they should, or they think that they have to hop on the newest trend, which a couple years ago with Snapchat, and now it’s TikTok, where YouTube is just kind of sitting there, ready for everyone. And nobody thinks of YouTube as a social media network. They just think of it as kind of a resource or a medium for certain types of content. And it’s funny that you kind of juxtapose this with spending, because when I was working as a social media manager a few years ago for really small companies, my number one rule for myself and also for what I would kind of, you know, practice what I preach is you don’t have to spend money to be successful on social media, a lot of people think that they just kind of jump into ads and they jump into creating, you know, these really wildly intense videos and you know, spending money on design and things like that. And if you’re a small company, you know, not just a three person startup, even if you’re a 50 person company, you can create images online for free, you can create videos with your phone, which has a better camera than cameras that companies had five years ago. And you don’t need to spend money on ads to get out there. All you have to do is create good consistent content. And if you’re putting videos up on YouTube, you’re ahead of 80% of companies in the world because how often do you try to use a new product whether it’s a physical product or a digital one, the first thing you want to do is either before you buy it, read a review or watch a review on it on YouTube, or once you’ve already purchased it, watch a how to or get started on YouTube. And if your company doesn’t have that you’re behind. It’s so simple and it’s so easy. And I’ve been saying this for years, but maybe I don’t have a big enough podium to say this from but that’s it, it’s just video because that’s where the world is. Most people are consuming video now, nobody really has the patience for long form articles anymore, even though they’re still important. Get on YouTube, put out 50 second to a minute and a half long videos about your product, customer testimonials, interviews, meeting the team, things like that. You do it on your social media, do it on IGTV on Instagram. If you’re not doing video, you’re not only going to be behind in five years you were behind five years ago. So to me, yeah, you have to embrace that. And it’s a big part of content that I think people neglect.

Carlota Pico 21:44
That’s really great advice. I mean, right now we’re having a video interview and this interview will be published on YouTube. So we are using YouTube to spread the word about the challenges of being a marketing professional in the EMEA region. But we’re also pushing this content out across different mediums like Spotify and iTunes and of course, social networks like traditional ones, well “traditional ones,” Facebook, Instagram, since social networks have become a thing, right? Right. Okay, well moving into the rapid fire set of questions, it’s going to be three questions that basically give you the opportunity to recommend your favorite tools, apps, books, events to our audience. The first question is going to be your favorite app at the moment and why?

Adam Davis 22:39
Wow, okay. Right now, I’d say it’s an app called Pocket Casts, which is my newest podcast app. I have an hour and a half commute each way to work every day. Just because the trains are not really running in Israel yet. So I listen to a lot of podcasts. I didn’t explicitly say before but it might have been understood that I just enjoy consuming as much content as possible. So podcasts you know, articles online, social media, to me those hours in my car are a great time to, you know consume sometimes if I’m in the mood for educational marketing and social media podcasts, sometimes it’s stuff about sports or pop culture. Yeah, Pocket Casts. It’s a great app. It’s one I’m using.

Carlota Pico 23:24
Thank you. What about a resource or an influencer from your country is possible that you admire that really inspires you?

Adam Davis 23:35
Interesting. I mean, I’ll tell you a resource that I really love, non-specific to Israel. I don’t know if this falls into the category of resource but I love I mean, I write on there personally, I write about social media. I get an email from them every single day with articles that I should be reading. I think a good 45 minutes to an hour of my day is reading articles on there whether it’s from a variety of topics. I think also, what I was kind of saying before about people not knowing how to produce content that people will consume, a lot of people don’t consume content in the best or most efficient way. Medium is really great. There’s people writing about everything there. So that’s where I’ve learned a lot about a lot of good technology, a lot of good marketing tips, a lot of good stuff just about life and time management and things like that. To me, I think that’s like a really great resource to use. I just, I’m inspired by the little guy, you know, like I’m inspired by people who are just producing content consistently. I follow a lot of YouTubers, I don’t just, you know, watch YouTube videos for clips of TV shows. I think I subscribed to like 75 different channels. Yeah, cause I appreciate people who produce content because I know that how hard it is to do on the day to day from what I’m doing at work. So if you’re gonna put out content, it’s great.

Carlota Pico 25:03
Okay, so talk to me about your favorite blog article or your favorite YouTube video then for example.

Adam Davis 25:10
Yeah, I think in terms of Youtuber and video, I think I definitely would say Casey Neistat, if anyone hasn’t watched his videos, just go back to the start and just watch all of them in a row. I mean there’s just something inspiring about people who, I mean, if you don’t know his story, basically, he started off dirt poor in New York and just kind of made his way up to be a YouTuber with I think, almost 10 million subscribers now just creating content daily and creating inspirational content about running about video creation, about just kind of life. And I just think that a lot of stuff that’s on YouTube is exciting and interesting, but it’s not like great or life changing, you know, it’s entertaining, but there’s something about his channel that I really love. So yeah, definitely youtuber Casey Neistat has my number one vote. Blogger? I’m not sure exactly. I just I read so much stuff. There are a few people that I follow on Medium that I get their articles, you know, whenever they write them every single day. I just I appreciate people who are just creating good down to earth exciting content.

Carlota Pico 26:18
Excellent. Okay. Personally, I’m a big fan of TED Talks. So TED Talks keep me up at night. Yeah. So I find them extremely inspirational, very informative. I get to learn about so many different topics that I know nothing about. And it’s just information that’s projected in such an easy way to understand for everyone, and I find the messages to be just top notch.

Adam Davis 26:47
At a previous job that I was at, we had TED Talk Tuesday, where everyone would eat lunch together and we would watch a TED Talk. I mean, everyone will kind of suggest one every single week and that was great. It was like it’s good because there’s usually, you know, 10 to 15 minutes long. Yeah, it was, it was really interesting.

Carlota Pico 27:04
Yeah. Okay. Last but not least, we have touched upon this subject already. My question was going to be a book that you recommend a publication that you recommend. But since we have already gone through the content, check route. What about an event? Do you have any events in mind that you’d like to recommend to our audience? That can be digital now? So for example, I’m a big fan of the Web Summit.

Adam Davis 27:31
Yeah, it’s interesting. It’s funny to think about that there aren’t really any events going on now. I haven’t actually been at any events in previous jobs that I was at. I’ve just kind of been behind the scenes in terms of marketing and things like that. At my previous job at Guesty they put on their kind of flagship event for the short term rental and travel industry that they do every year. It’s called GuestyVal. I was a big part of it last year. It was a lot of fun. I led a panel about kind of promoting your AirBnB, and vacation rental homes on social media. So yeah, I mean, I guess that would be the only event that I was involved in. So I give, you know, thumbs up to them and hope that they can get it off the ground soon. I know that they had to push it off. So best of luck to them.

Carlota Pico 28:16
Well, the world is slowly piecing itself back together. And we hope that the future has promising news for us in terms of COVID-19 and possible vaccines, but who knows? Just wishing the world the best right now. It’s all we can do.

Adam Davis 28:33
Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Carlota Pico 28:34
Yeah. Okay. Well, Adam, thank you so much for sharing your insights with us. It was a pleasure to have you on our show. And I look forward to following your journey. And who knows possibly even meeting up in Israel. Again, I’m a big fan.

Adam Davis 28:50
Yeah, of course. Thank you so much for having me. This is really great. It’s great to be a part of it. And yeah, for sure anytime you come to Israel, we’ll go out to eat, definitely into that.

Carlota Pico 29:00
Great, great, thank you again Adam. And to everyone listening in: for more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe, check out The Content Mix. We’ll be releasing interviews just like this one. So keep on tuning in and see you next time. Thanks again. Bye!

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