Martech Interview with Amnon Mishor, Founder and CTO, Leadspace

Interview with Amnon Mishor

Leadspace Founder and CTO, Amnon Mishor sheds light on how technology is upgrading the marketing sector and how they are preparing for an AI-Centric world.

AI can dramatically improve the world we live in, and we have to shift the general paradigm to that, which requires education and scientific thinking.

1. Tell us about your role at Leadspace.
I’m the founder and CTO at Leadspace, where I help some of the biggest enterprise technology companies take full advantage of customer and prospect data — their most valuable business asset. As CTO, it’s my mission to perfect our technology offering so that we can help companies all over in identifying closable business using advanced data and AI modeling.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
Before I started Leadspace, I served with Unit 8200 in the Israel Defense Force, where I was in charge of the Intelligence Systems and Data Science Department of the army’s Technological Intelligence Unit. I learned invaluable lessons through that experience, a key one being how to design and deploy world-class technology to catch terrorists. As I finished my work there, I saw an opportunity to apply data and AI in another industry — B2B enterprise software — where leaders cannot afford to “fail” when they apply AI to their data.

3. How do you think technology is upgrading the marketing sector?
The smarter our technology gets, the better our marketing can be. When I first started my career in the early 2000s, every company was talking about “digital transformation” as everything we did started to move online. It’s interesting to look back at that time and see the very rudimentary digital marketing efforts put in place. Fast forward 10 years, and the focus shifted to data collection led by Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms, which enabled ad targeting with precision. Now, we are entering a phase that will be defined by how we connect and control the data we have, which will be crucial for marketing teams.

4. How has a data-driven approach enhanced marketing as a whole?
Clearly it is going to completely change customer experience, and help your marketing teams become as targeted and relevant with their offering more than ever before. The challenge is that
companies often buy data-driven tools the same way they used to buy leads or spend money on tactical programs. They treat them like simple add-on tools or features in an existing system. However, our clients have seen the greatest success when they treat martech purchases with the same level of careful consideration they’d use when investing in new software. This is the ideal: IT, sales, CX, and marketing are brought into the RFP process, where they each are able to share what is needed in order to integrate the tool in a way that contributes to customer retention and engagement and drives more sales.
When organizations handle their data strategically, with a single source of truth that aligns all departments, marketing investments translate into better sales and better online experiences for everyone — but only if we can truly trust the data we’re using to make decisions.

5. Can you explain how Leadspace helps in winning Account-Based Marketing?
ABM is a strategy, not a tool. In a sense, the rise of the term stems from the B2C-influenced approach to B2B that dominated in the times of content marketing, where we treated everyone as leads. ABM reflected the change that marketing needs to consider potential customers in terms of their account relationships, or more precisely buying groups, not just as leads. But to do ABM well, and not just pay lip service to the concept, requires: (1) merging first- and third-party data together, (2) understanding buying groups and relationships between them, (3) understanding buying intent, and then (4) figuring out the best way to engage. All the while remembering that people buy things not companies — cascading the insight down to the person level. This is not easy, but a Customer Data Platform (CDP) is at the heart of almost all effective ABM strategies, as it provides the foundation for a single source of truth and understanding of the customer, making tools like CRM, MAP, ABM ads and others more effective.

6. What features of your Customer Data Platform differentiates it in the market?
We have built an AI-driven agnostic B2B customer data platform that helps businesses find, create and prioritize closeable business. Where other CDPs on the market focus on consumers or specific verticals like retail or healthcare, our platform is created specifically for businesses with more complex buyer personas and accounts.
In particular, Leadspace has created a graph — called the B2B Buyer Graph — that allows businesses to layer firmographics and technographics to identify and score intent and customer fit so they can win deals faster. It also allows teams to enrich personas to go beyond name, title, email address and phone number. This graph is updated regularly to help go-to-market teams stay ahead of company and people changes. It also maps individuals to individual buying teams in individual buying centers, and it includes companies of every size, site and team hierarchies. We’ve listened to market demand and are providing an intuitive tool that’s more than just a database.

7. What advice would you like to give to technology startups?
As you race forward, by definition, 90% of everything you do will be sub-optimal, behind or even broken. Focus first on identifying the 10% that you truly do exceptionally well, and nurture it so it can take you to the next level. Say, for example, you have an amazing user experience — cultivate that and make it a core part of your business identity.
After you’ve determined and strengthened what sets you apart, only deal with 10% of issues which are truly broken or will have the highest impact on your business. Say your customer support is sincerely lacking — devote resources to bolstering it. It can be hard to do if you’re passionate about your business, but learn to live with 80% issues waiting to be fixed or sorting themselves out as you grow and move to the next level.

8. What work-related hack do you follow to enjoy maximum productivity?
Treat your life like an athlete that needs to perform at the highest level in every meeting, every day. I think of this more as a lifestyle than a life hack. If you take yourself and your career seriously, you have to treat yourself as a professional athlete would– you can’t be doing your best work if you’re sleepy, hungover, or have general low energy. These are the health routines I stick to to ensure I’m at my optimal performance level: 1) To get a good night’s sleep I don’t do any work two hours before bedtime, or eat or look at screens right before bed. 2) I adhere to an intermittent fasting schedule by skipping breakfast — most of my major meetings are in the morning, so I don’t waste any time on eating food, or thinking about my hunger level. I keep my mind very sharp without food. 3) After the work day, I disconnect and offload through exercise. It’s a great method to discharge the mental load of the day and re-energize.

9. How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world?
AI is a new type of software. The industry is just starting to adopt it and developing a set of tools, infrastructure and intelligence on how to produce AI-centric products on a large scale. It is just the beginning of a huge revolution that will change our experience with technology across the board.
I think there is a lot of uncertainty as to what an AI-centric world entails, and many people are wary of adopting AI so integrally into their lives.

AI can dramatically improve the world we live in, and we have to shift the general paradigm to that, which requires education and scientific thinking.

Preparing people for more AI means getting them accustomed to uncertainty, statistics and science in every instance.
At the macro level, we’re more or less in a race against the inevitability of AI. We have to educate ourselves to have different skill sets, because AI will eventually take over certain industries and leave people without jobs. We’re facing the reality that we have to keep learning new things, because who knows when the computer will render our existing talents obsolete.
As an entrepreneur, it’s about being very educated about what AI can do today, and looking for the best applications of those capabilities. We have to not only realize the huge potential of AI but harness it. As an entrepreneur, we constantly have to be curious and hungry for more. I think AI entrepreneurship involves being creative and thinking outside the box for how AI can be applied or adopted.

10. What are the most recent major developments you’ve worked on?
Leadspace most recently launched Leadspace Studio, the industry’s first performance marketing tool targeted at business users to double results across their funnel by creating high-performing segments and directly activating them across marketing automation and digital media platforms. We’re especially excited about this new product because current users are experiencing a doubling of inbound, outbound and ABM campaign engagement. It’s proof that AI is driving real results for B2B and the enterprise as a whole.
As for what’s next, I can’t share too many details, but all good stuff ahead.

11. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
We have an incredible team across the board. Our product and engineering teams execute at a very high level, and on our go-to-market side, we have a great blend of loyal people who have been with us through the years and new teammates that are bringing new energy and ideas. I love that our company environment has a sense of comfort and collaboration. We’re very mission focused as well as team oriented, and we never blame each other or put sticks in the wheels of the other. I appreciate the members of my team as they not only share their expertise and work together, but they support me by holding me accountable to deliver on my goals and promises.

12. What movie inspires you the most?
For me, it’s always the last movie I’ve watched if it was a good one. I was really inspired by King Richard, which shows the development of Serena and Venus Williams into tennis stars. I learned about staying true to family values and educating our children about lasting truth.

13. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, so can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?

14. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
By order of use: Slack, (addictive, be aware!), Apple Podcasts, Apple Health, Apple News (Yes… on an iPhone…).

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