Ross: Let's start with an easy question... who are you?
Tal: My name is Tal. I am 45 years old, a mother of three, and happily married from Israel. I was born in the US, moved to Israel when I was five.
From a very early age, I knew Marketing is what I wanted to do when I grew up. As the daughter of an international marketer, I was very focused. I went to college, knew exactly what I wanted to study, and had a vision of what I planned to do. I can't see myself doing anything else, but I do enjoy moving around and the transition across different industries. I started in entertainment, then shifted to cellular, then commodities, and for the past seven years, I have been working in the medical device industry.
Talk me through the Alma Lasers marketing operation that you lead today and how this may have transformed in recent years.
When I joined Alma seven years ago, we were a very small team of four people. I started as a Marcom manager, then I was promoted to be the Director of Marketing. Marketing then got a more dominant position and role in the company, with a lot more trust because management started noticing and recognising the value we were bringing to the operation.
We also went through a very big shift. The former CEO who established Alma left five years ago, and he was very R&D orientated. He was one of the founders of Alma Lasers, he led the company to be what it is today, he was a true innovator and a hard-core R&D guy, a brand in its own and very famous in the optic world.
When he left, Lior Dayan, Alma's current president and CEO, took over and things changed rapidly because he was more of a sales and marketing-oriented person. He navigated the company in a different direction, and it's all about timing. I was in the right place at the right time, and we got more budgets and more attention, which was awesome.
What lasting impact has this had on how the Alma marketing department operates today?
That let us expand our marketing activities and the team. We are soon going to have 20 people, and we are now recruiting even more. We are divided into four different teams: We have the digital team, which masters all of our digital asset and social media channels. We're active in all big social media networks.
Then we also have a brand and content team which is responsible for generating content continuously: videos, graphics, different marketing concepts. As in the medical device industry, it’s not like you can launch a new product every 2 or 3 months. So sometimes when you know things are dry from R&D point of view, we always try to figure out new ways to generate a dialogue with customers.
We have a video creator and editor in-house, as well as a graphic designer. I believe that you need to keep as much in-house resources as possible, so you have almost full control over what you do, rather than outsourcing work. It’s a marketing trend these days - opening your own mini agency, rather than outsourcing things.
The brand team is responsible for monitoring our brand, which is a challenge today because we do so much and need to create that brand recognition, but it’s very hard to measure. So, we have our ways to monitor where the brand is going, just to make sure that all of our marketing activities are taking us in the right direction.
We then have the product team, consisting of three product managers and a product leader who are the channels between R&D and the actual fields, the clinics, the doctors, making sure that we are developing the right product, products that carry through a USP, a unique selling point. We make sure that we keep up with the trends and know where the industry is going. They are constantly making improvements to the existing products and working hard on new products, working closely with the marketing team to fine-tune the USPs and make sure that we have strong & clear differentiation vs. our competitors.
The last team is the events team, which takes a very big chunk of the budget. The medical aesthetics industry is very active when it comes to events, so we participate in trade shows and also conduct our own Alma academies which have now become a stand-alone desirable brand. I would say that's my personal biggest accomplishment in the past few years.