Gali Arnon is CMO at Fiverr – the online marketplace for freelance services. We caught up to find out more about her role, plus insight into strategy at Fiverr, including its recent acquisition of high-end talent platform, ‘Working Not Working’, and a new subscriptions feature for freelancers.

Please describe your job: What do you do?

I have been Chief Marketing Officer at Fiverr since October 2017. I lead Fiverr’s brand strategies, working closely with various channels to ensure we can communicate how we are moving forward as a brand. A key part of my role is to ensure Fiverr grows with our communities and continues to stay connected with what matters to them. Earlier this year, we unveiled our first Super Bowl ad spot during the third quarter of Super Bowl LV. The ad spot features Four Seasons Total Landscaping owner and President Marie Siravo as she travels through a world of possibility and emphasises our focus on powering entrepreneurship. The ad spot gave us a chance to highlight the importance of small businesses on the Super Bowl stage.

Another key part to my role is remaining connected with the freelancers on our platform as much as I can. We want our community to feel valued and so I make time to meet with our freelance community on a weekly basis so I can hear what they like or suggestions they may have about the platform. Connecting with the freelancers that use Fiverr is so insightful – our community is at the centre of everything we do. I love that my job allows me to encounter such amazing talent and create a platform with them, for them.

Talk us through a typical day…

We’ve been mainly working remotely for almost a year now which means I’ve spent far less time commuting over the past twelve months, and more time juggling work and family. I have three daughters who are also studying from home and so I make sure I’m present to support them no matter how busy work gets. I spend most of the day in Zoom meetings until the late evening to accommodate the time difference between Europe and the US. However, I’m making a concerted effort to try and find some time to do some physical exercise or “my new Covid hobby”, SUP surfing at the beach.

How do you maintain an effective work/life balance?

Maintaining a balance is incredibly hard for all of us right now, especially as our boundaries between work life and home life are blurred. As a Mum, it’s wonderful having the opportunity to spend so much more time with my children but when everybody is working from home, finding a healthy balance between work and spending quality time with my family is challenging.

The majority of my day is in front of a screen, so I try to make the most of my free time by doing physical activity and getting outside. This “new normal” can be exhausting and definitely influences our mental health. We all need some time off to disconnect and take care of ourselves and make the most of having everyone at home for this period of time.

As a team, we have been very efficient and, looking back, it amazes me to see how much we’ve been able to achieve whilst maintaining a work/life balance.

How has strategy changed at your company?

Last year taught us to make lemons out of lemonade and to leverage every opportunity. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve shifted our marketing strategies in a number of ways to meet the evolving needs and experiences of our global community. We’ve shifted our community events to be entirely virtual, with topics covering how businesses can shift or pivot during the pandemic and set them up for success in a post-Covid world. The tone of our social media content has also changed. Throughout the pandemic, we wanted to make sure our content exuded empathy and understanding for our community, whilst encouraging them to thrive.

Despite Covid-19, we’ve had some fantastic moments over the past 12 months. The Super Bowl ad was a real highlight for us. We recognise the pressure that the pandemic has placed on freelancers and so through the advert we re-assure everyone that there’s an opportunity in everything, even if the world under our feet is shaking. The video got over six million views on YouTube and it is amazing that our message was so receptive on the global stage.

We also recently announced the acquisition of Working Not Working, a leading platform for high-end creative talent. The acquisition reflects a shift in our efforts to build new products that appeal to the advertising and marketing communities. We’re really excited to have joined with Working Not Working as we share a similar belief that talent is borderless and technology can be used to provide global opportunities. This acquisition extends our penetration into high-quality creatives and freelancers and paves the way for the future of Fiverr.

How has customer behaviour changed during the pandemic?

The freelance economy continues to rapidly grow. At Fiverr, we’ve seen a rise in freelancers selling their skills, and people buying these skills. More specifically, more businesses are recognising the value of hiring freelancers as a solution to filling in the skills gap they may have in their immediate teams.

We recently launched a new feature called ‘Subscriptions’, which allows freelancers the opportunity to establish long-term, ongoing relationships with their customers. Instead of one-off work, we give freelancers a better opportunity for repeat work and to have a more stable income, something we see as imperative given the number of people who now rely on freelance work.

What do you predict for the future?

Since Covid-19 forced the entire world into social and economic lockdown, every aspect of life and work has been upended. Digital transformation is no longer optional for small businesses, but a necessity needed to both survive and thrive. In terms of marketing, data is essential for success. I think future businesses are going to need to make being data-driven their first-principle as it is a key part of growth for any small business. This applies to both our freelance and business communities.

Fiverr is aiming to facilitate the wider adoption of data-led business decisions by giving small businesses easy access to a wealth of data experts. Responding to the small business need for data driven insight, Fiverr has launched a new vertical dedicated entirely to data and analytics services. This vertical features six main categories and additional subcategories including Databases, Data processing, Data entry, Data analytics, Data visualization and Data science.

We’ll continue to focus on how our platform can connect businesses and freelancers all over the world to support this move towards digital transformation beyond the pandemic.

What advice would you give a marketer right now?

Making sure you know your customers should be a top priority, especially in a world that feels so disconnected. There’s absolutely nothing that can replace first-hand communication with your customers, and they’ll likely value this connection highly and strengthen the affinity they have with your brand.

Community development should also be top of mind and connecting people and enhancing their ability to build valued relationships is so important right now. At Fiverr, we’ve been focusing on supporting small businesses by communicating the value of freelance skills and connecting people to global talent. The freelance economy is vast and digital marketplaces enable people to build their network of specialist skills.

You must also think like a super-brand from the very beginning. In my opinion, this is key to successful marketing. Even if you’re a nimble startup, you need to have a clear mission and a purpose. This is crucial, as it adds value to your brand and ensures that your company has a personality that appeals to customers. And once you’ve created this, stay consistent with the framework you decide to work in across every channel you use