What is the connection between escape rooms and marketing?

 No connection.


But in the #globesmad2016 conference in Tel-Aviv last week, LEAD advertising built an escape room that drew a lot of attention. (see more in this movie, in Hebrew) The point was to illustrate the stressful reality ad agencies deal with today, and the right way to deal with new challenges and new technologies.

Rami Yehudiha, founder and CEO of LEAD, said “we all feel in panic because of this ever changing environment, and when people panic they make up excuses like: every day there is new technology, Generation Y & Z. These are excuses. We always lived in a changing world”. The right was to deal with these challenges is go back to basics: What is the key to the campaign? What is the big idea? How do I leverage current trends (like escape rooms or generation Z) and use them? And of course how do I take control of new technologies, like big data, and turn it from a big waste of data into a technology platforms that provides me with much deeper understanding of consumer behavior.

Another person who attracted much attention in the conference was David Shing, known as the “digital prophet” of America Online (AOL). He talks about “price, product, promotion and place” being the four P’s which drove advertising when he was growing up; now it’s “platforms, partnerships, performance and pedigree” and an additional two very important P’s; perspective and patience. The proliferation of platforms in the last couple of years, be they for crowdsourcing or cat photos, has given everybody a voice. And while it’s fair to say the value-add of sites like Kickstarter are their equalising effect, Shing argues that the real benefit is “the interconnected network of people who give a shit about the brand you’re building.” Read more


And last but not least – Ying Wang from the China Business Group at PwC Israel that shared some very useful tips, experiences and insight about doing business in China, and specifically about China’s media marketplace.


So coming back to escape rooms. Obviously it’s a huge trend in Israel today. Fanta drinks just launch a digital campaign with same theme – www.freefranco.co.il. So being a pretty new entrant myself, I wasn’t exactly sure what should I be looking for when choosing my next escape room experience? Is it about the theme? The level? The number of people that can participate? What are other people looking for / liking / dis-liking in experience rooms? Perhaps a company like http://www.aspectiva.com/ can help me find out.


What is the price of not knowing?

Not too many big conference in Israel, however last week there were two: IBM BusinessConnect and Salesforce Essentials TLV.

At a high level in both events they talked about:

  • How digital disruption and the subscription economy change every major industry today: the biggest taxi company (Uber) owns no cars; the biggest accommodation chain owns no real estate (Airbnb); Facebook owns no content; and Alibaba has no inventory
  • A new kind of customer success and how to keep customers happy in the subscription age
  • How data changes your business capabilities from descriptive into predictive and even cognitive, and per Michelle Rohde Unger, General Manager, Cognitive Solutions Europe, IBM: in the very near future every decision process will have some cognitive capabilities in it, and this will become a major differentiator between successful organizations and the rest.


Enough with the buzzwords and trends, as you can see you’ll hear the same ones wherever you go. The key takeaway for me from these 2 intense days came from Stefano Stinchi, Chief Digital Transformation Italy, IBM. According to him the marketing department is the one that should continuously disrupt the company by constantly rethinking everything: re-assess your business model and strategy, make sure you are agile and try out things that fail and be the first to know. Therefore the price of not knowing, in a digital, cognitive age of disruption is too high.

Big data and family quality time



As I was walking with my husband this beautiful Saturday morning in our little village, we were talking about Big Data.

I recently attended a very interesting roundtable on “Big Data – Planning for Growth”. The key questions we tackled there were:

  1. Where and why is your data growing? What is the value of the data?
  2. Is scale an issue? Are the tools we have today good enough?
  3. If I have the scale, what would I do with it? Build an application? Build a marketing campaign?

I heard very different views between different industries. For example in the banking and finance industry the #1 priority seems to be how to use big data to identify security and fraud issues, while in the communication industry it’s more about how to extract value from the vast amounts of personal subscriber data that they hold ‒ but without raising concerns about any abuse of their personal information. (see more in Jeff Barak‘s post here)

The other thing that came up loud and clear in the roundtable discussion was that scale is an issue, and companies don’t have yet the right tools, infrastructure and architecture set up to get started. My husband, that is currently involved in a number of big data projects, claims that the tools are there but the know-how is still missing. The technology itself is simplifying and will eventually become a commodity like a database; It’s the relatively high set-up cost and time that is currently holding companies back.

I guess the bottom line is that this is a chicken and egg scenario. Big data is such an exciting trend with so many possibilities that our heads spin, and maybe what we need to get started is a smaller industry-specific case study that will help us unveil the promise of big data.