Backed by Salesforce, Datorama Expands Efforts to Solve Customer Pain
December 18, 2019
In 2018, Salesforce acquired Datorama, a leading cloud-based, AI-powered marketing intelligence and analytics platform for enterprises, agencies, and publishers. Founded in 2012, Datorama helps many well-known global agencies and brands — including PepsiCo, Ticketmaster, Trivago, Unilever, Pernod Ricard, and Foursquare — optimize marketing campaigns, automate reporting, and make faster data-driven decisions. Yaniv Ben-Arie is the vice president of product management for Datorama.
When asked to describe his professional journey and how it lead to Datorama, Yaniv is quick to point out that his journey began with his stint in the military. He feels that the military offers an excellent training ground for people interested in a tech career.
“A lot of people in the Israeli tech industry come from a military background. In the military, you need to work with people who you’ve never met and become a team very quickly. And you don’t always have all the resources you’d like, so you must learn to solve the problem, and get the job done with what you have. I believe this is really a characteristic of Israeli culture in general.”
He notes that this mindset comes in very handy in the start-up world.“I think this is why a lot of the tech start-ups in Israel are successful. They may not have everything that bigger companies do, but they have the spirit to solve problems with what they have.”
Once out of the service, Yaniv worked for seven years at a local ad tech company. When he joined Datorama in 2013, he was its seventh employee and has been heading product development efforts ever since.On his experience, he shared, “At Datorama, I’ve experienced the excitement of a start-up — and one that’s successful. It’s a dream come true for someone that wants to work in that environment, especially since for every one that succeeds there are a thousand that don’t.”
The stamp of significance
When asked about the value becoming part of Salesforce brings to Datorama, Yaniv first explains that bringing Datorama into the Salesforce family confirms for the marketplace the value of Datorama. “Until the acquisition, we were kind of like that weird animal in the zoo that no one recognizes or understands. We had a hard time explaining the problem we saw, how we could solve it, and why it mattered. But Salesforce got it and that gave us the stamp of significance.”
He also adds that Salesforce provides substantial scale and resources to Datorama. “Salesforce brings a huge client base. So, we have an amazing opportunity to solve problems on a much larger scale. Plus, we have more resources to put against them. It’s a very different situation to be in compared with a start-up. Yet it still has a start-up feel and the cultures of Salesforce and Datorama are very similar.”
Great tech solves pain
Although the tech and product part of Datorama basically sits in Israel, most of the company’s clients are in the US, EU, or APAC. To stay close to the market and maintain strong customer relationships, Datorama product managers value having a strong presence where customers do business. Face-to-face relationships maintain connection. This approach is in the DNA of both companies.This furthers the effectiveness of solution selling and the understanding of pain points each customer faces.
“You’re in a much better position with the customer when you’re not coming on like a sales ad. You’re talking about problems and their possible solutions. And, you’re seeking a lot of feedback. That’s how great tech solves customer pain.”At Datorama, product managers own a specific part of the platform. Internally, they engage with R&D, typically in the morning in Israel. But in the afternoon, their roles become more customer-facing as they interact with those in the U.S. and other regions. They are the junction between product marketing, training, R&D, and clients.“
The day-to-day routine is very diverse. The development cycle really dictates what happens each day. It can be anything from thinking of a solution with clients or discussing release schedules with marketing to finding the answer to a problem with R&D. Product people work with everyone. ”
The right stuff — what it takes to succeed at Datorama
As Yaniv describes the product role at Datorama, it requires people who can explain the technology and the problems it solves to a technical and a non-technical audience. “It’s not like engineering where you can give a test. Good product candidates must have technical depth. They must be able to talk to R&D and take them through the journey all the way to the customer’s perspective. They need the confidence and charisma to engage with people at varying technical levels — and from different cultures — to create a consensus around what Datorama can do to solve a problem. Salesforce is a global company and our work requires a flexible, open mind. Every business problem has a local nuance.”He also emphasizes that it’s a company where employees can have a significant impact — no one is a little cog in a huge machine.
“The Salesforce branch in Israel will always have a startup feel. New hires will join a team that can get things done. Yet they'll have the resources of the larger company. A start-up with resources.” - Yaniv Ben-Arie
Yaniv knows that right now many in the region are unfamiliar with Salesforce. And, for potential candidates, that means they’re unaware of the first-class benefits package Salesforce offers.“There’s nothing like that in Israel. It’s so extensive. Like the seven days of volunteer time off (VTO). And so many other things.”Yaniv is excited about the work Datorama can do with the added resources of Salesforce. Interested in building your career with us? Join our Talent Community today!