MarTech Interview with Baruch Toledano, Vice President and GM of Digital Marketing Solutions @ Similarweb

Baruch Toledano, Vice President and GM of Digital Marketing Solutions at Similarweb chats about the state of martech and SEO in this MarTech Series Interview:


Welcome to this MarTech Series chat, Baruch: tell us about yourself and your journey in the B2B tech market?

I work out of Similarweb’s New York office, where my mission is to arm our customers with information and tools so they can optimize their digital marketing campaigns and programs. We help you make intelligent decisions when planning and budgeting for advertising and other marketing investments.

Similarweb is a public company (NYSE: SMWB) based in Israel, which is where I’m originally from – although I’ve been in the US for more than 25 years now. I’m a computer engineer by training, but I gravitated toward using technology to solve real business problems.

I’ve been working in B2B SaaS since I joined Magneto in its early days back in 2009. Magneto is an open source ecommerce platform that was acquired by eBay and later sold to Adobe. I was there for the eBay acquisition. As a Magento product management leader, I focused on merchandising, pricing, marketing tools and promotions capabilities, inventory management, as well as helping businesses build their online presence.

At the end of 2013, I left eBay for Conductor, an Enterprise SEO startup. Looking back, one problem with the early days of the “online gold rush” of building ecommerce websites was that any individual website depends heavily on Google bringing them traffic. Unfortunately, brands were treating online stores as interchangeable warehouses and department stores for their goods, with minimal differentiation. To run a successful online business, you need to find ways to stand out from the competition with a relevant and unique online experience– and show up in search. You really have to deliver on everything your brand stands for and answer all the questions your audience may have. Otherwise, you risk your business being commoditized. Good SEO can help.

I love that SEO is at the intersection of technical, analytical, and content. You need a holistic approach to connect marketers with consumers through search results.

After seven years at Conductor, I took a bit of a detour into working for a contract automation SaaS startup, where I worked with an early version of what we now call generative AI. The kind of tech exemplified by ChatGPT evolved out of natural language processing or NLP tech. That company used NLP for analysis and negotiation of legal language. That experience helped me understand the potential of today’s AI to improve Similarweb’s platform by providing better insights and understanding of the digital world.

I landed at Similarweb in 2022, and that brought me back to working with SEO – except that the industry is changing and continues to change. SEO is only one piece of what marketers need. SEO as a practice has evolved strictly beyond Google. Now I lead our marketing intelligence solutions for organic and paid marketing for all channels. We’re leaning into AI and exploring other types of search, like search on TikTok, popular websites, and ChatGPT.

We’d love to hear about some of Similarweb’s upcoming products and features and recent enhancements that have piqued the interest of end users?

Over the past few years, Similarweb has invested in keyword research capabilities that provide unique insights into consumer search in near real-time. Speed is extremely important given how quickly the search algorithms and the competition change.

The platform can estimate traffic to any URL – whether yours or a competitor’s – and tell you whether that traffic came from search or another channel, such as direct, display, referral,  or social. Whether it’s organic search or paid search, you see which keywords drove that traffic. Our rank tracking and brand monitoring let you see whether you are dominating the keywords your company wants to own. If a competitor or emerging website is attracting your branded traffic, Similarweb data helps you figure out what you should be doing differently.

Similarweb recently acquired AdMetricks, which will strengthen the platform with improved tracking and analysis of display advertising. Display is an important channel as marketers and popular websites seek to monetize and attract audiences beyond search advertising. A CMO wants to make informed decisions, in an agile fashion, about distributing investments between various channels.

Beyond that, we’re keeping up with how search and advertising are diversifying. One big trend over the past few years is retailers acting like publishers, with search optimization and paid search of their product catalog rising in importance. That’s true on Amazon and, increasingly, across the ecommerce landscape.

Google is still a big part of the search and advertising ecosystems, but it’s just the beginning.

Young people, in particular, are relying as much or more on TikTok as search versus Google  for specific types of informational and transactional queries. They seek a different experience that marries social with search and ecommerce.

ChatGPT and other AI chatbots represent a whole new kind of search, and we’ve been working on analysis of chatbot prompts and the answers they produce.

Not all our work on these fronts has been productized, but Similarweb does provide retail search analytics, and our consultants have worked with clients on TikTok search and ChatGPT prompt analysis.

Google SGE, the integration of the generative AI chatbot experience into search results, is likely to go mainstream soon, representing another shakeup in the search industry.

It’s a lot to keep up with!

When it comes to the overall state of martech today: from the point of view of both martech creators and users: what are the biggest trends, lags you are observing? For instance, is the market too crowded with choices but yet, a lot of the relevant and missing features still don’t have tools for them?

Martech is definitely crowded, with many point solutions. Especially in larger companies, marketers struggle to find the time to use all the software and SaaS products they have licensed. The spend on those tools is also getting a lot of scrutiny from businesses doubting the incremental impact of each individual tool. Time and again, we hear marketers and business leaders say they want a cohesive set of tools to help them understand and optimize the customer journey from interest to sale and to retention of that customer. CMOs want to direct resources in an agile way and meet consumers where they are.

To me, that implies a need to get away from biases imposed by the data and functions of tools toward specific channels. That’s a problem when it’s disconnected from the realities of how people interact online and how businesses connect with customers.

In the context of my work, that means eliminating bias toward any single marketing channel. Similarweb wants to give you as complete of a view as possible. That’s why, in addition to web data, Similarweb has added app data and alternative channel data. In addition to organic search and paid search optimization, we’re beefing up our analytics for display advertising and retail for search optimization and advertising. You might have other sources of interaction and transaction data, but we want to provide a complete picture of your performance in the digital world and how you can improve versus the competition.

Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Shirli Zelcer, Chief Data & Technology Officer @ Merkle (a dentsu company)

What should today’s B2B marketers do more of to ensure they are optimizing use of their martech/salestech stack among their teams?

The short answer is to drive cross-department alignment through cohesive data and tools. Having “one version of the truth” remains an important ideal in data analytics. You want people in different roles and across departments to have a common understanding of customers’ needs, the competitive landscape, market sizing, opportunities, and emerging trends.

Alignment helps sales with their outreach, lets CMOs direct campaigns to the right channels, and sets a company-wide narrative for communicating the brand. When choosing technology, look for products that inform marketing and flow through to the sales process.

Beware of making those decisions in isolation. Ideally, you should consolidate the needs of multiple departments and prioritize them under one budget. Siloed decision making tends to lead to different departments purchasing tools with the same or overlapping functionality that don’t work together or provide a narrow point of view.

Can you talk about the state of modern B2B marketing and martech and what trends will dominate the space in 2024?

Modern B2B marketing is all about agility and alignment. You want cross-functional alignment around messaging and customer touchpoints. You may want to emphasize specific channels, perhaps because they’re more cost-effective, but customers will make their own decisions. You have to provide a good experience no matter what channel they choose. Your brand needs to be strong wherever customers are spending their time. Marketers are in a great position to better inform businesses on what the outside world looks like digitally and at scale. They can help make more informed decisions about product needs, customer sentiment, market sizing, support, and strategic business decisions.

Organizations that make a cross-channel experience as interactive and engaging as possible will be rewarded. However, success will always be provisional. You must be alert to emerging trends and ready to change tactics if what you are doing stops working.

Much of that work happens across websites and services you do not directly control, including social media. Help shape your narrative through content creation and work with review sites. I expect more brands to bring in the voice of vetted experts to combat the noise created by generative AI across the web and on apps. That is an opportunity for genuine and trustworthy marketing organizations.

We will see advertising dollars distributed beyond Google, social media, or even Amazon to more niche outlets with relevant audiences. I also expect we will see new investments in offline channel marketing, particularly where digital elements can be integrated into physical settings like events.

Tell us about the leading B2B martech creators from the global martech segment that have piqued your interest continuously over the years and why? 

In terms of models to emulate, I admire companies that have their tech and messaging tell a consistent story across multiple channels.

In the marketing automation space, Hubspot continues to do a nice job. They defined the whole concept of Inbound Marketing early on, evangelized for it, and enabled it with their product lines. From there, they have broadened into providing a CRM for more comprehensive customer journey management.. They make the execution and communication of marketing plans and campaigns effective in the day-to-day work of their users. And they communicate what they do really well.

Similarweb can do the same for an outside-in, competitive marketing analysis of the digital landscape. Lots of other companies help you publish and distribute your message. Similarweb lets you see what’s working – not in isolation, but as part of a very competitive digital marketplace, from the macro scale to small details. We help you uncover how the rest of the world sees you compared to the competition. That’s how you discover opportunities to elevate and optimize your company’s visibility and its products in the digital world.

Marketing Technology News: Creativity is at a Crossroads and in the Crosshairs

File:Similarweb Logo.svg - Wikipedia

Similarweb is a digital intelligence platform that empowers its users to understand the online competitive landscape, be the first to discover the best business opportunities, and respond to competitive threats. Similarweb (NYSE: SMWB) is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, with offices in New York City and around the world.

Baruch Toledano is the GM of Digital Marketing Solutions at Similarweb, providing competitive and strategic intelligence products to marketing teams and businesses of all sizes. Baruch is an operational leader in digital marketing and ecommerce, with a wealth of experience in product development, business management, and B2B partnerships. In his former position at Conductor, an enterprise SEO and content intelligence platform used by major global brands, he successfully led product development, strategy, and growth operations. Previously, Baruch held a prominent position at Magento, leading product management, design, and community efforts for the widely adopted open-source ecommerce platform, utilized by millions of merchants worldwide, which served as the foundation for Adobe Commerce technology.

Also Catch: Episode 188 of The SalesStar Podcast: Optimizing Customer Journeys with Debbie Braney, Vice President, Demand & Brand Marketing at Glassbox


Brought to you by
For Sales, write to:
Copyright © 2024 MarTech Series. All Rights Reserved.Privacy Policy