Gil Allouche tells us how Metadata puts AI is at the center of marketing execution so that marketers can focus on creative content and strategy.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Gil Allouche: We’re doing great! Thanks for asking.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Metadata.
Gil Allouche: I am a software engineer originally from Israel. After receiving my MBA, I worked as a VP of Marketing for three B2B enterprise software companies and learned the full customer lifecycle from beginning to end. Focusing on the marketing stages first, I wanted to automate the entire process of building customer demand and building a pipeline because that’s what matters in a B2B tech company. And that’s what metadata does—it puts AI at the center of marketing execution so that marketers can focus on creative content and strategy vs. spreadsheets and A/B testing.
How does Metadata innovate?
Gil Allouche: It executes campaigns autonomously at a scale that is humanly impossible. Therefore, instead of making a few bets and putting your investments in those without knowing if they’re the best ones, our system runs the full “bell curve” of experiments, then fine-tunes into the 5 percent best performing workflows. Those 5-10% of campaigns are determined based on real KPIs that we pull from the existing martech stack (salesforce, Marketo), and it looks for real business outcomes (e.g., revenue, pipeline) vs. “vanity metrics” (email opens, click-through rates, etc.).
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Gil Allouche: From an economic standpoint, we were left making difficult decisions like layoffs, cutting expenses, or reducing salaries. It was tough. But adversity and scarcity drive innovation, and that was the case for us. We found there are ways to get innovative, and it starts with empowering our team on how to creatively get more efficient, change our messaging, work closely with our customers, and find new avenues to drive repeatable growth. We knew if we could be efficient and creative in a crisis, we could get through a downturn.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Gil Allouche: Yes. Take action quickly and get in front of the challenge ahead. The viability of any business depends on its ability to stay agile, flexible, and resourceful in the face of the unknown. Operating in uncertainty starts with identifying bottlenecks and fixing them, thus building an oiled machine that is primed for growth but can also weather the storm.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Metadata in the future?
Gil Allouche: For me, it’s all about managing my psych, being transparent and vulnerable with my team, making sacrifices, and getting help from advisors, leadership, investors, and board members.
For the team – we took frequent pulse checks, engaging in more one on ones, and building up our culture in times of crisis (lots of happy hours over zoom in 2020!) If this last year has made anything clear, it’s that the most important trait for a business is its ability to adapt. Startups and founders have learned that they can’t afford to shelter in place and hunker down, paralyzed by the uncertainty of what’s to come. They must proactively choose how to act in order to forge their own path.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Gil Allouche: Competitors are the status quo and the legacy marketing agencies who manually run campaigns and marketing ops. Furthermore, we compete with companies who try to be the “one suite for everything ABM” (chat, reports, email, etc.)
Metadata is a different player in a crowded sea of martech. Our thesis is that the human operator, not the tech/data, is the biggest bottleneck in b2b marketing. We take the “user error” out of the equation and replace the human with machine learning at the center of execution, freeing marketers from technical repetitive mundane tasks.
Finally, we don’t believe in building a big black box software suite to replace your existing martech stack. There are already market leaders for chat (Drift), sales cadence (Outreach, Salesloft), marketing automation (Hubspot, Marketo), and the list goes on and on — why replace those? We integrate and operate them all, taking advantage of your existing investment but maximizing their utilization and focusing on ROI and automation.
From a business growth perspective, we must shift our lens from growing at all costs to growing the business at a fast pace (2-3x), but in a more sustainable fashion that can weather the next crisis.
Your final thoughts?
Gil Allouche: As industries regroup to modify business models, technology remains a lifeline. Strengthening the focus on martech provides a competitive edge over those who are slow to react. It’s an economical way for companies to deliver both ROI and engagement that underpins good customer relationships. Take advantage of the technologies, data, people, and content you already have, but experiment with it at scale.
Use this time to come together and persevere through the pain points of this disruption. This is a moment for technology. Startups need nothing more than to keep their eye on the ball and focus. Now is the time to take advantage of and capture opportunities.