Podcasting to boost a B2B tech brand with Ari Applbaum, VP Marketing at Audioburst

For B2B tech companies, podcasts can prove to be an effective channel to boost brand. They put you in front of your target audience in an engaging way that elicits an emotional response as listeners connect with your host. They provide a way to build relationships with thought leaders within your industry, while positioning your company as a thought leader itself.

On this episode of the FINITE Podcast, hear from Ari Applbaum, VP Marketing at Audioburst - an AI-based Voice Search platform that connects audio content and users. Ari has unique insights into the world of B2B podcasting, knowing where it's come from and where it's headed.

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And check out more of the FINITE B2B marketing podcast here

Full Transcript

Alex (00:07):

Hello everyone and welcome back to the FINITE Podcast. On today's episode, I have the pleasure of welcoming Ari Applbaum onto the podcast. 

Ari is VP of Marketing at Audioburst, based in Israel, an AI based voice search platform that connects audio content and users, and helps brands and publishers and audio creators to get more from their audio content such as podcasts. 

And we're going to be talking all about podcasts, the relationship between building a brand and running a great podcast and tactical advice around making a podcast as part of a wider B2B marketing strategy. So I hope you enjoy.

FINITE (00:42):

The finite community and podcast are kindly supported by 93x. The digital marketing agency working exclusively with ambitious fast-growth B2B technology companies. Visit 93x.agency to find out how they partner with marketing teams in B2B technology companies to drive growth.

Alex (01:04):

Hey Ari, thanks for joining me today.

Ari (01:06):

Hi Alex. It's great to be on the show.

Alex (01:08):

Looking forward to talking. We are diving into podcasting. It feels a bit weird actually, doing a podcast-focussed episode on a podcast as a B2B marketer, talking about podcasts. It's like podcast inception slightly, but I'm sure it's an interesting one. Before we dive into it though, I'm going to let you introduce yourself. Tell us a bit about your background, your role, and everything that you're doing at Audioburst.

About Ari’s background in B2B tech marketing 

Ari (01:31):

Sure. So I'm Ari Applebaum, I live in Israel and now work for a startup called the Audioburst as VP marketing. We're the first AI driven, audio search and delivery platform. So Audioburst has been around for five years and we have a really cool platform that knows how to ingest audio from thousands of podcasts and radio stations, analyse it in real time, segment it into short form clips, which we believe is the future of audio consumption. 

And then we have a variety of products. I won't go into them, but for mobile apps, for websites, for devices that enable next generation listening experiences. So I just joined Audioburst in November. And prior to that, I held other announced positions that Appsflyer, which is the leading mobile attribution platform and AnyClip, which is a video AI platform. 

And I come from a PR background. I led PR firms in Israel, helping Israeli startups market themselves abroad, some US-based PR firms, Ruder Finn, Venture First. I even had a nonprofit stint in the middle. So I've been a B2B marketer for about 15 years now.

Alex (02:38):

Awesome, and tell us a bit about the current marketing function at Audioburst. Like what does your team look like? Where do you focus? Those kinds of things.

Ari (02:46):

So Audioburst has been really, really focused on building a strong product and technology for the first five years. And now we're building up sales and marketing. So the marketing team is pretty small. I have a marketing manager, a graphic designer, myself, and then we outsource several vendors. I am looking to grow my team this year and add a few people to the team.

Alex (03:10):

Awesome. I'm always interested in people's background. So just before we dive into the podcast side of things, like you mentioned the PR background, how does that influence how you view the world of B2B marketing now? In the current role, which as with every marketing role, there's a PR edge, but I guess having so much experience there, do you carry some of that with you into the current role?

Ari (03:31):

I think that my PR background gives me a strong storytelling expertise and I do a lot of thinking, or I try to take a step back from the tactics and the day-to-day to make sure that we're building a strong narrative. And I think, we'll talk a little bit today about brand building. So that's my focus, making sure that everything we do falls within a very crisp narrative and brand that we're trying to build here at Audioburst.

Alex (03:56):

Awesome. That leads us nicely into the topic then. And that was going to be the first question to set the scene somewhat, which is, we talk a lot about the importance of building a brand. Actually, I don't think we talk enough about it to some extent. And actually I've said on some recent episodes of the podcast, I think it's a bit of a blind spot of mine, sometimes running FINITE and other things. 

I'm so focused on those more tactical digital marketing channels. And it's so easy for the brand stuff to fall to one side, but being able to tell that story and, as you say that that narrative is so key, particularly for B2B tech companies. Why do you feel that the brand building side of things is so key? 

Why is brand building so important for B2B tech marketers? 

Ari (04:32):

So it's interesting in Israel, there's obviously thousands of startups and everybody's looking for marketers. And I see a very strong trend to try to hire people from performance marketing backgrounds. People who are very strong with the media buying and the funnel building and optimising it and are very strong with all the analytics tools, which is obviously the future of marketing. 

Everything today is already measurable, right? But it's interesting when the director or VP marketing comes in from that background, oftentimes what's left missing is the foundational piece, which I believe in B2B marketing has to be a strong brand, a strong narrative, a strategic plan. 

So, I see oftentimes junior people coming in with a few years of really good tactical know-how are quickly elevated to run the show. And it doesn't matter how good you are with the platforms and knowing how to growth hack, if you don't get the foundation piece right, and you're not telling the right story. Your ads could be really, really compelling, but they're not going to be telling the right story to the right audience. So that's why it's so important for a B2B marketer to get the story right first.

Alex (05:45):

It's interesting that, obviously we always do the B2C B2B comparison and B2C, this emotional side of marketing to consumers comes up more frequently. And I think when you break it down, the argument is so clear that B2B, if anything is more emotional than other respects. Like there's more people involved as it's more complicated. 

The opportunity to tap into that emotion is bigger than ever than ever in B2B yet, particularly for tech companies who are often so focused on the product and features and what it does and how it works. They miss that, as you say, they're so focused on the tactics. 

What's been your experience of the impact of that more brand led marketing side of things. Are there examples of how you, you mentioned working with a lot of B2B Israeli startups, genuinely helping them to get on the map? Are there examples of impact that you've had there?

Ari (06:35):

I think it's a classic in terms of impact. It's a classic, Simon Sinek starting with the why, right? Like you say, it's about emotions. It's about connecting to people. Even B2B, it's so easy to get lost, and almost all CEOs get lost in how our platform is different technologically. 

And really if you want to succeed, if you look at the biggest success stories of brands who start B2B startups, who have become unicorn, and then have gone public, it's because they're able to build something that appeals to people. 

Starting with a why, how do you build a vision that is compelling? Why should I care about your company at all? So previously I was at a company called, as I said, AppsFlyer, and there the brand has been very crisp from the beginning. It's been this unbiased source of truth for mobile marketers and helping them, being on their side, somebody who you can trust to understand what you're doing right and wrong and provide you that support. 

And that's a brand that's working and growing and AppsFlyer is doing tremendously. I didn't invent that, it was just there for a year, but those are the companies that do best in B2B. With a startup here in Israel that was in the hardware sector, a company called Altair. They developed LT chips for wireless communications. 

And I was able to help them build this brand that's much larger than the hardware and is about connecting the world, helping position them for an acquisition. They were acquired by Sony because in hardware it's so hard to, as a startup to succeed. You need the deep pockets of the bigger players. And we were able to get them noticed, tell the story, get noticed by the big guys and be acquired. 

So I do believe that starting with the why, talking about a vision and coming up with something that will be compelling with your target audience. Because it's not B2B really, it's people to people communication.

Alex (08:30):

And so let's start to tie this into a podcast then, because I think a lot of our listeners will be thinking, potentially already running, but thinking about maybe running a podcast of some kind for the company that they work in. How do you view a podcast in terms of... I mean I think some people view it as an awareness building, brand building side of the marketing landscape. But how do you see a podcast building a brand for a B2B tech company?

How can podcasting boost B2B tech brands? 

Ari (08:57):

So I think that building a podcast helps you for B2B with thought leadership, right? Taking somebody at the company and positioning them at the forefront of a topic that you care about. I think that it helps you connect. As I said, it's people to people, it helps you connect emotionally with your listeners and with broader audiences that get to know a person as the face of the company through listening.

Audio, voice is a very emotional format. So an audience that keeps coming back to your show and listening to the person, even if it's not an executive, even if it's somebody who you hire but is identified with your brand. And the third thing is, as you bring in guests, most B2B podcasts bring in guests, you get credibility by bringing in these brands and connecting with them. And of course there's the marketing of the podcast yourself, and the guests and your partners that help broaden your listeners and your viewers. 

I will say that most B2B podcasts should not be launched for lead gen. It's not going to be your most effective way to build a funnel. It's more of a brand play. It can help right in the periphery, but I don't know if we're going to talk about measurement, but if you're going to measure it by leads, there's much more efficient ways to do that.

Alex (10:21):

It makes sense. You talked a bit about the emotion of hearing somebody's voice, which I think is, now you say an obvious point. What about the use of video? And I guess a lot of podcasts now publish to big audio platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify and whatnot, but then a lot of podcasts then record video at the same time and break that down into bite sized bits that go out on LinkedIn and Twitter and other things. 

And do you feel like that's something that the businesses should be exploring? Does that add to the emotional side of the mind? Is showing somebody's face doubling down on that emotion? It's not just a voice, it's actually seeing the whites of somebody's eyes as well.

Ari (11:04):

Yeah, I agree. And I think that the problem today with 99% of B2B podcasts is they're under utilised. So you are investing so much effort in creating these great assets and what most marketers are not doing is thinking holistically about how can this asset be leveraged throughout all my digital touch points. 

So that means don't be afraid to, as you said, record video, turn it into short form clips, video, audio, audio grams, take quotes out of what you said or a guest said and make little banners and social media posts. AudioBurst has products that help. I don't want to be too self promotional, but that's exactly what we do. We enable podcasters and websites and the apps to then take these things. And we have an embeddable player, so you can have a highlights reel. 

So big companies invest lots of money in podcasts, and then if you go to their blog page or their homepage, you won't hear a highlight reel of the podcast. Why not? So I do think there's lots and lots of ways to use different formats and different digital touch points and channels to continuously use these assets, not just the week that it comes out, over time, and there's a lot of work to be done there.

How to make the most of a B2B podcast 

Alex (12:13):

Yeah. It's a really good point and one that I think we think a lot about with our own podcast, but it feels like there's always more that you can do. There's always another way that you can break it down. 

But I think it's like, if you invest in a big piece of research or something, when you invest in research driven white paper and you put so much time into that, and typically you sweat the asset pretty hard. You break it down into all its different forms. It might last you months, one great piece of content. 

With the podcast, we're so quick to just click publish and move on to the next one. And particularly, I guess I felt that even more as we've gone to publish weekly compared to every two weeks. It feels like even more of a conveyor belt of just episode after episode. And you have to work a bit harder to think about reusing things and putting them out on all the right channels and stuff. 

Actually, one that I think of whilst we're talking is just transcribing them. You end up with a really lengthy, SEO optimised blog post on a particular topic with every episode. If you transcribe it then you end up with a piece of content that's thousands of words long that you might struggle to write with a copywriter or something. So transcription, I think is actually quite a good growth hack from an organic search perspective as well.

Ari (13:22):

Yeah. I agree. We have a transcription tool as well, but it's helpful for SEO for content creation and there's so much you can do.

Alex (13:29):

Yeah, definitely. You mentioned the thought leadership side of things. Do you see that being the most valuable aspect for the B2B tech buyer in terms of engaging with a podcast? You mentioned, it's not always the ultimate decision maker that might be listening to you, but I think in B2B, we obsess a little bit too much about our top level personas. 

Like we always think it's CIO or CTO, and actually the people making the decision, or at least doing the research and as influencers in the decision making, often they're not the very top, that role might be signing off. I don't know whether you feel the same but I feel like we sometimes get a bit too distracted by just focusing on the person that sits at the very top of the decision-making and signs on the dotted line. 

But actually there's all these people around him or her that need just as much focus, if not more in certain cases. But in terms of influencing that buyer journey, do you think that's why the podcast adds the most value?

Ari (14:27):

Yeah, I agree that typically it might not be the decision maker that will have the time or interest to listen to your podcast or a specific B2B podcast consistently. But by getting to the circles around him or her, I agree in general for our B2B marketing that you want to really focus on the user truth, the buyer's journey and those different circles and getting to it can be as effective in the internal discussions that they have. If not more than getting to the right decision maker. 

So I do believe that a podcast can play a part in that, but the tough thing is it's hard to measure that. So you just have to believe that you're getting to the right people and as you see your numbers growing, expect that that's part of it. It's hard to measure and it's hard to see the impact on the bottom line as well.

How to get your podcast to stand out

Alex (15:19):

We'll talk a bit about measurement because I think it's an interesting one for anyone looking to build that business case. If we want to start a podcast then we need to prepare the case for it before we get there. What about discoverability generally? 

I think anyone that maybe exploring, kicking off a podcast for the business, they might feel like it's a pretty saturated space. I guess there was a podcast, boom. And then things kind of died down. There was a boom of them from an entertainment perspective, I think less so B2B, and then they dipped off. 

I remember I used to listen to like Ricky Gervais, here in the UK had a funny podcast and felt like that was this time where from an entertainment angle, podcasts were really a thing. Maybe in line with like iTunes being really big. And then they, from my angle, dipped a bit and then suddenly there's just been this real boom, particularly from a more commercial business to business perspective. 

How do you stand out? If someone's thinking about kicking one off, but just worried that they're just not going to be able to cut through the noise, what would you recommend them thinking about?

Ari (16:21):

So first of all, podcasts of course have taken off big time. The last 12 months has been the biggest explosion, more than 2 million podcasts now. So more than doubled in a year. I think in 2020, towards the end of 2020, we hit a tipping point towards a mass market. 

And I'm less familiar with the UK's podcasts consumption, but I know the US there's a majority of Americans who listen, adults who listen to podcasts regularly, weekly or monthly, and that's generally in B2B as well. You see also in the last 12 months on incredible explosion of more and more brands starting their own podcasts, you already see some phasing and fading out of earlier B2B podcasts that just didn't have the runway to continue. 

And I agree that with all of these, the biggest challenge right now in the podcasting industry is with 2 million podcasts, how do you stand out? And I think what B2B podcasts have to realise is that most of them won't reach millions of listeners and that's okay. It's more about quality than quantity. 

It's about getting to the right people and to get to the right people, it has to be a combination of organic reach through your channels and encouraging your employee engagement and advocacy to get to their networks. And as I said earlier, leveraging all your existing touch points, it's really shocking that that's not done because you already have a website and you have social media channels. So leveraging all that. 

And also, I do think if you're going to invest in a podcast, you do have to market it, and there's plenty of ways to do that. So I agree that the biggest challenge is discoverability, but you have to realise that you're going to get to a small but premium audience and be okay with that as long as you're consistent.

Alex (18:10):

Yeah, I think consistency is key. I was actually looking at our own numbers this morning, and I think it's looking at things that would have taken us about, I think it was gonna be like 20 months to get to our first 5,000 downloads or something. And then like four months after that, we'd have got to 10,000 or something. So I think it really is just like a compounding exponential curve when you keep doing it. 

And I think it can be obviously a bit disheartening when you have like 20 listeners in your first episode and 40 on your next one. And you're like, is this really worth it? But as things build up and as you say, if you think really carefully about how you break down episodes and really push them in all different directions, and as you get bigger guests they start sharing it themselves. And it really is a snowball effect of it just growing and growing and growing, but it takes time. And maybe that's worth touching on. 

We talk about this a lot again with marketers being strapped down with deliver leads and pipeline and short term results and conversion rates in this very data-driven world. How do marketers have the opportunity to say I'm going to spend two years getting this into a really strong place. I always refer back to the average tenure of a CMO is two to three years or something, things move pretty quickly. 

Particularly in tech companies where cultures are pretty fast paced and there's venture capitalists and private equity and people want returns and numbers have to be growing. How do you think it's possible to build that case for it as something worth investing in? I think this goes for anything brand related, right? Not just a podcast.

Ari (19:43):

That's the biggest challenge of any brand marketer. I think you need an executive team and a CEO that has the patience, and if he or she doesn't, then maybe a podcast is not the right thing for you because you are going to see very limited results and returns early on and you will have to invest. 

So I think a B2B podcast is not for everyone, but for those who are willing to, like you said, keep at it. And by the way, kudos to you and the team for doing that. And then if you're doing the right, producing quality content, you will see that.

Alex (20:15):

So from talking to maybe 50 odd senior marketers such as yourself on the podcast and then like hundreds more across FINITE forums and webinars and stuff that we've done. The one thing that always stands out to me is that, is this culture of willing to invest in marketing, starting at the very top and trickling down as being the biggest challenge. And I wish there was another answer or way around it, or it doesn't matter if your CEO doesn't believe in building a brand or marketing, you can just do this, this or this. 

But the glass ceiling always seems to be, if the senior leadership team, CEO, CFO, others don't have that patience or don't understand the value of building a brand, no matter how great you are as a marketer, you're going to run into a barrier at some point. And maybe that's a slightly negative pessimistic view, and I'm sure you can do everything to educate and take people on the journey. But it just feels like, I don't want to be black or white about it, and I don't know whether you agree. It feels like these things are cultural and they really do start at the top.

Ari (21:20):

A hundred percent at the end of the day, you need a budget to make things happen and you need to have leeway time, resources, space, and the patients to see those benefits. So I'm with you. I'm also a little black and white. I think you have to have that kind of buy-in.

Alex (21:39):

I think maybe the more positive spin is that it doesn't have to be one of the other, which I think is it the other trap that we fall into sometimes. Just thinking, as marketers, we have to choose between building a brand or doing more short term demand generation and it's not one or the other.

Ari (21:55):

Exactly. And that's a very good point because as you're building a brand, you are producing assets to support the brand and those assets can and should be used for lead generation. So take the podcast, for example, you're reaping benefits over a two year period, but every week you have these great things that you can share on social media, and these assets that you can maybe turn into things. Content, like you said, there will be a report that will be gated. And so everything feeds into everything and it's not black and white. I agree.

The time and resources required to produce a podcast 

Alex (22:25):

Yeah. What about the time and resource? Cause I guess this is another thing. Marketers are pretty busy as people that the jobs spec of a typical marketing manager in a small team of three or four B2B marketing function within a tech company. It scares me when I look at job descriptions and just see how much they grow year on year with levels of expertise that's expected. 

A podcast takes a certain amount of time and resources, obviously there's platforms such as Audioburst, which I guess from a technology perspective might streamline things and help do some of the things we've been talking about. But what do you think is realistic in terms of the time and resource needed to invest in doing a podcast? 

And I think doing it well, there's the key, right? Because you've just mentioned too many podcasts. There's not much room, the bar is set higher in terms of quality these days.

Ari (23:14):

You know, interestingly, I joined Audioburst about five months ago and I'm still learning about the podcasting industry. I didn't come from this industry, so I don't want to just throw out a benchmark. I don't know the number of hours or dollars you need to spend to get right. I'll just say that it's clear that if you're not able to commit to a designated number of hours and you can't outsource it to a production company or a freelancer who will help then again, maybe this is not for you. 

So I think you'll probably have more insights about how much time, can I throw that back at you? How much time do you spend on this podcast?

Alex (23:55):

Yeah, I think I was actually surprised that how efficient it can be from a time and cost perspective. Like I think, obviously over time, I've invested a bit more in equipment and actually I was surprised at how tricky it was just piecing together the audio interface and the mic. 

And there's a lot of blog posts and guides out there, but a lot of them are affiliate links and all these guide bits of content around, this is the best microphone. And then they're all just affiliate links to Amazon and someone's making some money off them. Trying to cut through that and see who's actually reviewed some products and some setups on YouTube was actually quite a good place for that because people would genuinely talk and share about their setups and how they put everything together. I think that was slightly more relevant pre COVID maybe. 

And when we were doing a lot more in-person recording and using decent mics and stuff. And I think now it's just a bit easier to record stuff over SquadCast, which we're using now. And audio quality is important, but maybe not as important as before. But I think other than that, we have a freelance editor that we send every episode to, he does the listening, the cut, the tidying up at that end, puts in a sponsor message and the intro, and just puts some background music in certain places. And everyone follows the same structure, so I map that out and send it to them. And after a couple of episodes, that was pretty easy. 

So I think we probably pay, I can't remember exactly what it is, but in the region of like 40 pounds per episode to tidy that up. So, from a pure numbers perspective, that's relatively efficient. We've obviously then got the overhead of our team internally. 

So we've got marketing, community and stuff. And so one of our team Jodi does a lot of management of the podcasts and she does an awesome job of that. So liaising with guests, and I think that's probably the more time-consuming but, is all the stuff around the edges. So for me now, as host to get a Google doc with the questions prepared, I'm involved in a bit, I click the record link, I run through the questions, I do the intro, send that off and everything else just happens. 

So there's a lot of time that goes in across the team to then transcribe it and put it on the blog and stuff. So I think I asked Jodi this and she'll probably listen to this and correct me afterwards, but I think she mentioned, she probably spends maybe like one to two days a week overall on the podcast. So actually when you think about that, there's definitely an overhead. 

So I think the answer is like to get going, there's not a huge amount of investment needed, but I think to then do the things that we've been talking about, to push stuff out onto LinkedIn and edit videos and create small clips that can go on Twitter and to do roundups and transcriptions and everything like that. If you want to start doing those things, that's going to take some time. But then as I say, that's potentially where AudioBurst becomes a useful tool, right? Because if you can use AI and other technologies to optimise that and make it more efficient, that builds the case.

Ari (26:44):

I'll add another point, which is when you mentioned the YouTube clips and these people volunteering their time, the podcast community is extremely supportive. That's something that's new to me. I'm getting to know it and it's incredible. There's all these platforms, resources, people helping each other out sharing experiences. So somebody who's new to it should definitely tap into that. We have a bunch of partners, these big platforms for podcasters, it's worth getting familiar with them.

Alex (27:12):

Awesome. We need to talk about the measurement side of things. We've touched on it a few times so far. How do you measure return on investment on a podcast?

How to measure ROI on a podcast 

Ari (27:20):

Okay. So we said that it's primarily a brand tool, but of course you can and should be measuring leads that come from directly or indirectly from the podcast and you can easily generate one for some B2B companies. One deal will justify the entire podcast, so that's number one. 

And then more traditionally is to measure the podcast success, right? So you look at the number of listeners, you look at unique downloads, you measure that graph and sort of see if it's going up. Even if it's not as fast as you want, then you can look at things that are other measurements of a brand, like site traffic, social media, things that are going up again directly or indirectly, you can try to correlate with the podcast. 

And really what you should do is combine all of those together and say, is it worth it? Another thing you can look at is podcast reviews and things like that, but I would strongly encourage that these things are taken as a package and weighed together with how you're feeling about it. Are you feeling that it's generating momentum? 

The conversations you're having with guests, sometimes one guest that comes on the show can turn into a strategic partner. Is that worth it? Maybe this one guest is worth the entire podcast. So I want people to not just look at the numbers, but take a step back and think about what it's doing for the brand.

Alex (28:41):

Yeah. That's a really good point. I think definitely from my angle as well, particularly in the more enterprise use space, if you have a product or solution behind the podcast, one-to-one just getting in the room with certain people and talking to the right people and expanding your networks. A podcast is an incredible way of opening doors and connecting with people and kind of building that community around you. So yeah, definitely, definitely agree with that.

Ari (29:04):

It's also a customer success tool. So you can bring your customers and your partners and say, let's have this conversation. Podcasts are still novel enough that people enjoy being guests on them. So it's something you could do to also reward people who also hopefully have something interesting to say from your space. So it's both a business development brand, but also it could be customers.

Alex (29:28):

Definitely. So looking at, how do you see the B2B podcast landscape evolving or changing over maybe the next year or so?

How will the B2B podcast space evolve in the next few years? 

Ari (29:36):

I think that a lot of B2B podcasts are going to die out because it's just so challenging to keep going. I think that the ones that stay are going to be the ones that produce better quality content. So there'll be more quality B2B podcasts. I think that the format is going to be challenged. You and I discussed offline the question of podcast length. 

I think they're going to get shorter and shorter because just time is scarce and there's so much content, so just make tighter packages. And I also think that we're going to see different formats in terms of less guest conversations and more, I'm seeing a lot of pickup from narrative structured podcasts. 

So there'll be more storytelling, which people really like and a hybrid model, which is something I really like where there's a story, a guest, and then a story. So I think what we're going to see is less frontal conversations with one-on-one with guests.

Alex (30:34):

Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. I can see that. Definitely heading that way. A few final questions for you. One was going to be your favorite MarTech tool or technology.

Ari (30:44):

So I really like Audioburst, but it's really interesting what we're able to do with technology with audio and podcasts assets, and also bringing this content to other platforms and enabling monetisation. So we just launched a product for mobile apps where we're enabling apps that don't have audio to enjoy an audio content stream and monetise. 

So something I'm really bullish on for bias reasons. Personally, I'm a huge fan of LinkedIn and that's nothing special, unique, I've been on it from the very start, but it's really exciting to me to have this platform that is a Swiss knife of marketing. You can do everything with anybody in the spaces I care about and really the sky's the limit, obviously there's algorithms and there's a barrier in terms of spending, but there's a lot you can still do organically. 

And the last two, three years, we've seen an explosion of potential reach. And I think again, it's under utilised for thought leadership and there's still a lot more that B2B marketers can do online.

Alex (31:47):

And as a marketer, what's your biggest challenge right now?

Ari (31:50):

I'm hiring for several positions and what we've seen in Israel and in the world in the last year is an explosion of VC investments. And as startups at all stages raise money, they open up lots and lots of positions and there's a real shortage of talent right now. So I am trying to fill a few positions and meanwhile, doing a lot of heavy lifting myself, which is fun and exhilarating, but I would love to build the team.

Alex (32:15):

Yeah. I think I've noticed a bit the same here in the UK. And I don't know whether how much of it is COVID related out in Israel.I think you guys are in relatively good shape on that front or getting better in terms of vaccinations and everything, but it feels like there's been a bit of, I don't know. If people are still in their role now, then there's a certain security and comfort that they've got. And the market doesn't seem to be moving as much here in the UK as well.

Ari (32:40):

I spoke to an expert who said that that's exactly the thing. It's all this capital and open positions and yet candidates are being conservative and just holding still.

Alex (32:50):

Yep. Makes sense. And looking ahead, what excites you the most in terms of B2B marketing and what's coming up?

Ari (32:57):

I think the combination of everything being measurable, which when I started my marketing career 15 years ago, it didn't exist at all. Everything is measurable and yet the importance of brand marketing and storytelling with so many companies out there and people's attention being so scarce. Cutting through the noise requires really strong brands. So the combination of doing both is my passion and something that is extremely important right now in B2B marketing. And I'm really excited to see how it evolves in the next five to 10 years.

Alex (33:30):

Awesome. Well what we've shared here is pretty valuable stuff. Anyone that's thinking about their brand in the B2B space, but also if they're thinking about a podcast and how to approach it, some pretty useful insights there. So thank you, Ari. It's been a pleasure having you on the podcast. Hope to have you at some future FINITE stuff. And when we do future webinars and things in the future.

Ari (33:50):

Thank you so much, Alex. And for anyone who's still not a member of the FINITE community. It's a pleasure and it's a really remarkable team and community. So thanks for having me on and look forward to keeping in touch.

FINITE (34:01):

Thanks for listening. We're super busy at FINITE building the best community possible for marketers working in the B2B technology sector to connect, share, learn, and grow. Along with our podcast, we host monthly online events, run interview series, share curated content and have an active Slack community with members from London, New York, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Stockholm, Melbourne and many more to strengthen your marketing knowledge and connect with ambitious B2B tech marketers across the globe. Head to finite.community and apply for a free membership.

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