Interview with Alex Lyhovez – the founder of m-Simplex
Alex Lyhovez, Senior B2B Business Development and Marketing Manager, an avid reader, and an inspiring blogger, on self-made people, mentorship, personalization and storytelling as the biggest marketing trends, and preventing burnout.
Alex has almost a decade of experience in building winning marketing strategies for startups as part of his business development services. He has helped to bring over $30M dollars in sales in the last 4 years and shares the approaches to his goals for 2020.
What kind of people inspire you?
I think that self-made people have the biggest influence on me. Not necessarily entrepreneurs or millionaires, but those who started from virtually nothing and became leaders. Those who managed to fulfill their potential, promote their vision through hard work and dedication. They harnessed everything within their reach to achieve the set goals. That’s why my blog is called “Do More 4 Your Life”. Only by doing, you can achieve something great, only by taking action. Find something that you can be proactive in, if that makes sense.
Have you met any inspirational people at the YozmaTech meetup?
First of all, I am happy to know Roma, we go back a long way, we chatted something like 7-10 years ago. And I think he is an inspirational entrepreneur who started everything from scratch. We both have the same mindset. At the meetup itself, I met some very interesting people, who can help me achieve my goals, and whose goals I can also help advance.
Yozma. Tech Circles is about mentorship for entrepreneurs who want to shorten their way to success by involving highly-skilled professionals. What is the role of mentors in your life?
I have had many mentors throughout all the years. At different times, I needed different types of people. For instance, when I did my service in the Israeli army, I also had mentors, and it helped me a lot. The same refers to all periods of my life. Support is very important.
What kind of business consulting do you provide to companies and how do you help them achieve their business goals?
First of all, my business name is m-Simplex because I provide the straightest, the fastest way to connect. “M” stands for money, marketing, whatever it makes sense. What
I do best is business development, especially for international markets. When I work with businesses, no matter – startup or well-established, I offer some out-of-the-box marketing ideas and strategies. I provide a lot of sales power, I analyze their sales pitches and suggest what they should change to achieve high results. I work with their sales teams and refine their skills. So everything comes from a single service that I am providing that is called business development, and within that, you can separate digital marketing. Especially, I would say international markets and B2B – I lot of companies I am helping are B2B-oriented.
How did you start a blog and what was your inspiration for that?
First of all, I am an avid reader. There were times when I finished two or three books a week, but now it is more difficult, I have a family and a business to run. At some point, I realized that there is knowledge or mindset that a lot of people lack. There is a different perspective that helps to achieve tremendous success. So I am sharing personally tested executable tips with my audience as I have helped to grow businesses of over 30 million dollars for my clients. But still, I think if I had known these things earlier, I would have been in a different place right now. It is what I had in mind when I started the blog – not for personal gain, not to earn money from it. It was to spread the word, spread what I believe in.
What are the most interesting new marketing trends?
It is a huge question. Every business I am working with has a singular or original approach, so what works for one company, will not necessarily work for another. If we are talking about the latest trends, it is everything related to automation – chatbots and other tools. Also, something that I would call social proof with a personal touch. For instance, one of my biggest clients in naya.tech. Their college has over seven thousand graduates. They teach courses on data engineering, data analysis, etc. I am providing a full-stack marketing strategy for them. And what really works best is when I use this personal approach – telling a personal story on social media, telling something many people can relate to. For instance, about a naya.tech graduate who has become a team leader there, and it is a big success.
How do you think digital marketing will evolve in the future?
What I see is a deep personalization of ads. It means you must show the right ads to the right people at the right time. Simple as that. However, it is very hard to identify the “right”. Let’s say we are both in the same office, and both hungry right now, but you are vegan, and I like meat. If we both search for a place to eat on the internet and will be shown an ad of a burger joint nearby, it will be useless for you. Today there are more and more tools that help advertisers understand exactly what people need and when. They segmentize the audience through data engineering, data manipulation, data science, deep learning, machine learning – there are a lot of buzzwords around that. Also, ads are becoming more native. I mean you wouldn’t know it is an ad. I think of some youtube commercials made with a huge budget. And they are nothing like the banner ads from the 90-ies. Video is going to be a top priority for many advertisers. By 2022, I think, 90% of all internet traffic will be video. And you see that such giants as Disney, Apple, Netflix are opening their streaming channels.
So, the more subtle, the better?
Of course, less is more. People have even less attention than the goldfish – something like 8 seconds. So the advertisers have to catch the right moment when people are really looking for something. And another interesting trend is that we are going to see is cross channeling. Because users like to jump between the offline and online as well as using multiple screens, the digital marketers would need to find a way to target them through this process.
I also think we are going to watch the growth of new ways to track ads and fight click fraud. I wrote an article a year ago, and people are still coming up to me about it and ask questions. It is called “Will Blockchain Transform the Ad Tech Industry in 2018?”. This is what I mean by taking technology from one echo system and implement it on the other. You are taking some technologies, and convert them to high-tech, and vice versa. One of them is blockchain. I believe it will help prevent many compliance and fraud issues, which are also a huge problem in our industry.
As a marketing insider, do you feel you are influenced by advertising, or you make your consumer choices based on something else?
It’s a tricky question. First of all, I understand the bluff, when people are trying to sell something to me. But at the end of the day, I am a consumer. I consume a lot of stuff. And I mostly don’t have the time to do the research. So if I see a good ad, I say, ok, let’s check it out, I don’t have a problem with that. I am a huge fan of good commercials. I am influenced like any other person, I guess.
You juggle family, career, writing for your blog, you have so much on your plate. What is your recipe for preventing the burn-out?
I can only say that I am always trying new tools, new ways. For example, right now I am working on many projects. And I have a system that really works for me personally. First of all, I have to-do lists, which can include hundreds of small points. This is the way for me to clear my head because once I have written everything down, there’s less stress. And then I prioritize them by a simple method called minimum effort, maximum effect. I have my goal for 2020, and then all the things that are not working towards achieving it, go off the list.
Do you have a morning ritual that puts you in the right working mood?
I work until late and wake up early because I take my daughter to kindergarten. So I do the morning routine with her. I think this is what gives me the highest boost of energy and really motivates me. This is my precious moment with her. And then I go to the office. Also, the evening before, I write down things for the next day – build the schedule and add some anchors. So when I come to work, I am not starting to think about what to do, I already have a clear plan.