Getting startups from zero to one

 Menta Global team. (photo credit: Ben Izthaki)
Menta Global team.
(photo credit: Ben Izthaki)

“We help startups get from zero to one,” says Doron Dvir, founder and CEO of Menta Global, a boutique digital agency specializing in startups. Dvir explains that providing startups with the initial marketing boost to get off the ground is crucial. ‘Getting them to the first stage is an important step in order for them to get their next round of financing. Many don’t get to stage one because they lack startup marketing experience, and they fail in dealing with the unique challenges that startups have,” he says.

“We ourselves came from startups and understand startup growth challenges. I have worked with more than one hundred startups, and many have turned out to be great successes. Menta Global brings a great deal of experience to the table.”

Dvir, the former head of user acquisition at Lemonade (LMND), the Israeli insuretech startup, built Lemonade’s paid acquisition team and succeeded in scaling their activity from their first dollar to millions per month. When he worked in Lili, a mobile banking company for freelancers, as the company’s vice-president of Growth, he led them in raising a round A of $85 million within one year. At Elementor, the fast-growing Israeli website builder, serving as an external growth lead, he scaled their paid activities sixfold within 10 months.

Sometimes, a startup may have a very good product that customers do not realize they need. In that case, says Dvir, “You have to educate the customer. That is the challenge for many startups.”  At Lili, for example, the main challenge was marketing a product – mobile banking for freelancers – that no one was searching for. 

Today, marketers need to use a variety of digital capabilities to promote startups effectively, explains Dvir. While in a corporate marketing team, the campaign managers are akin to technicians, in startups, the digital campaign manager must have a high level of understanding, which comes from personally leading a startup.

One must have the knowledge of how to measure multi-touch activity, how to set KPI (key performance indicator) that is designated for growth, and how to attribute each touch correctly in the user journey in order to manage the budget wisely and grow effectively. 

Doron Dvir. Credit; Sam ItzhakovDoron Dvir. Credit; Sam Itzhakov

“Most of the Israeli startups are launching in the US market. “We can provide a great deal of value regarding how to approach the American consumer,” says Dvir. “A common mistake that Israeli startups make,” he continues, “is that they do test marketing in the Israeli market, and then they replicate that test in the United States. It doesn’t work that way. The American consumer has different expectations and positions about product and services, his behavior is different, and his buying cycle is different.” 

In addition to the US market, Menta Global assists global brands enter the German market and localize their activity based on their knowledge of the behavior of German consumers. One of the key Menta staffers is based in Munich, Germany, and worked with Lemonade in launching their first EU activity in the German market. “This provides the company with a great deal of expertise in approaching the German market, which is different than those in other countries,” adds Dvir. Many brands are passionate about the German market but fail to succeed there because of a lack of understanding of local consumer behavior, he says. “You can’t just translate your ads and website from English to German and expect the campaigns to work as well as in the US. The German consumer has unique characteristics that one must understand, and companies must properly address their needs and expectations accurately to succeed there.”

Dvir notes that most entrepreneurs come from the technology, or the business development sides. “The majority of them do not have a marketing background, and some of them try to be marketers. Problems can arise when a tech person or product manager, who knows the product, tries to do the marketing,” he says. Dvir adds that investors are anxious to see positive results quickly and do not have the patience to wait years for a return on their investments. “It’s best to bring in experienced marketing experts who can do the job quickly and shorten the learning curve, because there is little margin for error,” he says.  

Where does Menta Global see itself in the next year or two? Of greater importance, says Dvir, is the position of its clients. “I want our clients to succeed, reach another investment round, or experience an exit. Their success is our success.”

This article is taken from The Jerusalem Post Israel Technology and Innovation Magazine 2022. To read the entire magazine, click here.

This article was written in cooperation with Menta Global