Interview with Nadav Kaidar
Nadav Kaidar, an experienced entrepreneur, marketing expert, Partner at Start_uping Consulting Agency & Owner of Enablers Digital Marketing. In this interview, we speak about the most important factors of startup success.
You mention in your LinkedIn profile that you like marketing to be done right? What do you mean by this?
First, thank you and the Yozma tech team for this interview, it’s great to be part of your mission.
I go around the country and see so much money spent on marketing campaigns, some are well done but some can use some help. At some point, I thought to myself, well why not take my experience and play the game from the inside? And that’s when and why I founded my agency called “Enablers Digital Marketing”. There is a very strong need for proper digital marketing and there are so many businesses and companies that don’t get the right solution. We are here for them, Bull shit aside. Today Enablers is part of our Consulting firm for startups called Start_uping.
What are the typical mistakes that startups make with marketing?
Well, everyone makes mistakes. Every mistake has an opportunity in it so if we can, I want to emphasize the opportunities. With a startup, every move you make is critical and if you make a wrong move, compared to a company that has years in operation, you really have a problem, and you might even shut down.
One main thing I see is entrepreneurs that talk about tactics instead of strategy. Many marketing conversations start with “we will advertise in this and that channel and then get a PR firm and get media coverage…” and so on. Those are tactics. But what is your End Game? What goal do these channels serve for your company?
Here is an example of how an experienced entrepreneur might answer: In 2020 we want to increase our market share by x%, this means we need to allocate a marketing budget for 3 goals: Raise awareness through paid ads, deal with competitor response and to have X more people on the sales team.
The idea is to show a full process flow and not just say where you advertise.
Young entrepreneurs think the investor is asking “who are you going to pay with this money”?
Experienced entrepreneurs know that the main question goes something like: What is the path that my money will help you build? Where does it take you? Only then you dive into the different channels and tactics.
You must have your game plan figured out, only then fight to fund it. That’s exactly what we help Startups achieve, In our consulting firm and at Enablers. You have to really go and do it right. There is no way around that.
That actually takes me to my next question. What is the scope of services that you provide?
We come from the inside of the industry and have been hands-on in any aspect of the services we offer. So, in Start_uping, our consulting firm we help both investors and startups.
Investors are always in search of quality startups and founders. They are approached by hundreds of startups and they want an effective path to the best ones. When we work with investors, we give them sifted deal flow and help them with any technical issue they might have with current startups.
On the startup side, we help them prepare for fundraising (usually takes a lot of work) and then raise funds. We can build a Deck, Business plan or Onepager and we can take a much deeper role as advisors, board members, and even active management positions in the company when needed. Beyond funds, we help companies with business development through our vast capabilities in USA, Canada, Europe, Japan & China.
We also run the Israeli chapter of the Founder Institute. The world’s largest pre-seed accelerator. Founder Institute has created companies worth more than 20 billion USD in only 10 years.
What is the most challenging part of your work with startups?
With startups, it is always challenging, if you compare it to a stable and regular company. A Startup has to walk through a “valley of death” before they get investments and we need to be on their side along that process.
When they are ready to raise money I always say: in order to get funds from investors, you have to persuade the investor that you have a machine, and the only thing that you need now to start the engine is money. Startups sometimes think that getting funded is some kind of magic. It’s not. It’s about facts, traction, being straightforward and the ability to execute. That’s how it goes, and there is a lot of pain along the way. It is a tough and grueling process but, in the end, entrepreneurs create a new reality for the world.
What products are most popular with investors? Are there any tendencies?
We work with technological products mainly, it can range from big data to industry 4.0 through Ad-tech, Agro-tech, and even Enterprise SaaS. It really varies, especially in the early stages.
Investors are interested in the quality of a startup.
If we are talking about a successful startup, what is the Holy Grail?
Well, that’s a great question. We had an event in our accelerator with three industry experts on the panel.
Gil Margalit (a very famous angel investor and serial entrepreneur), Liad Herman (CEO of an awesome Cyber company that raised a substantial funding round recently) and the third – VC investor Javier Shocron .
The crowd asked the same question – what makes a startup succeed? There are a few things you can point to.
Everybody agrees that people leading the startups are the most important factor that you can have. You need to show that you know how to implement a vision. You must be the person who shows the best growth for the investors’ money. Then you have the day to day routine when you sit down and work hard. It is the phase in which many startups break down. It was a hobby, it was in the garage, it was fun, but now it’s time to put yourselves in and not go to sleep until you are done. And that’s tough. It separates successful entrepreneurs from others. There is something less sexy but very important to know: success consists of many things that come together slowly, it doesn’t happen overnight.
And what is your approach to working productively?
I am not the best example of productivity but I do get things done. The most sugnificat thing I understood is that you should forgive yourself for not doing the less important things. You have your daily task list, and you need to understand some of it isn’t going to happen.
What is the most interesting latest trend in digital marketing?
What I am very occupied with right now is automation and AI. There has been a long-time shift in digital marketing from manual management of campaigns to the tools that analyze your Facebook and Google ads automatically. You can let the system manage it, with you being in the background and just saying yes or no to whatever it suggests. That’s how I see digital marketing changing these days very much.
You have a history of working globally. What country stands out in terms of business culture?
Japan is fascinating, it’s like the complete opposite of everything we know. I was there during the Hebrew holidays and it’s like being on Mars but in the best way possible. People are super polite, and they put society first before the individual. Every week, my partners and I are in contact with people all over the world and I love that.