S1E29 – Interview with Billy Attar, Head of Growth at Orbs (Hybrid Blockchain)

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Billy Attar is the Head of Growth at Orbs, which raised $120 million for its blockchain, for the past 1.5 years. Before that, he spent 4 years heading up the marketing at Pipl – a leading identity data engine, building it’s B2B business from 0 to 10’s of millions of $. Prior to Pipl, Billy worked at ClickTale, helping it grow from 8 employees to 150 by the time he left. And before all of this, Billy sold fabric in New York for 8 years.

How and when did you start in Digital Marketing?
About 10 years ago I joined ClickTale as my first hi-tech job. I started as an account manager since my experience was in sales up to that point. But I was the guy who would take on any new role the company needed to fill as it grew, so I worked in sales, customer support, business analysis and eventually shifted completely to marketing by managing affiliates, conversion rate optimization, content and marketing ops.

Tell us a bit about your journey that has led you to Orbs? 
It’s been a short journey. After a few years in ClickTale I decided I wanted to lead my own marketing department. ClickTale already had a VP Marketing, so I left and joined Pipl. Then after 4 years at Pipl, the company decided to move its business operations to the US and I didn’t want to relocate, so I left. I had a few options after that, but it was 2017 and blockchain was the most exciting thing by far in the tech world at the time with all of the hype and crazy ICOs, so I decided to take the plunge and join Orbs – which had just been founded a few months earlier.

How has digital marketing changed over the years? What’s been your observation? 
There are always new trends taking over. When I was at ClickTale, content marketing had just become trendy and everyone wanted to be like Hubspot and publish a post a day. Then came the trend of constantly being “data-driven.” Now, it’s all about storytelling and your brand. The important thing about all of these trends is that you take to useful stuff and add it to your toolbox and then move on past the hype.

How do you go about formulating a digital marketing strategy? Is there a framework that you would want to share?
It all starts with understanding the customer. I try to get as good as an understanding as possible about who the customer is, what they are interested in, where they go for information, what their buying process is like, their pain points are and how their industry and job are evolving, etc. Once you have this, brand, content, demand gen all become much easier.

My rules for marketing strategy are:

1. Take the path of least resistance – focus on the biggest return you can get for your time & money investment
2. Have a clear list of priorities – you can’t do everything so make sure you are working on activities that will have an impact
3. Scale in stages – for example, aim to create 10 leads, then 20 leads, then 50 leads and so forth.

There is a lot of talk about Blockchain. What are your views. How is it applicable to digital media? 
It’s still very early for blockchain and no one knows exactly what to do with it.The extreme amount of hype and money it got actually hasn’t helped and has made companies nervous about using it. That said, there is a lot of potential in digital media – fighting piracy, making licensing easier and creating alternatives to media monopolies like YouTube, but it will be a few years before we know how and if the potential will be fulfilled.

Few personal Q’s

a. What would you have chosen as a profession if not your current role. Entrepreneur
b. Are there any favorite authors and books you read. Any reco’s My favorite books aren’t business books, but I do like Influence by Robert Cialdini, Tribes by Seth Godin, Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Thinking, Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman
c. How do you spend your time while not working ? I spend almost all my free time with my kids 🙂

Any advice for freshers who want to make a career in Digital Marketing
– Choose a company with a good product or you won’t succeed
– Try to work with people who can teach you, especially early in your career
– Try to take on a variety of hands-on tasks, especially when it involves sales, product, customer support
– Always have side projects

  

  

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Mandar Marathe
mandar@briefkase.in

Mandar Marathe brings 11 years of cross-functional, hands-on knowledge & expertise in digital marketing across Search Engine Optimization, Web Analytics, Pay per click Marketing, Social Media Advertising, Web Design & Development (WordPress) & Content Marketing.

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