We’ve interviewed a lot of people from all sorts of different businesses for Econsultancy’s ‘Day in the Life’ column, but Namogoo’s description of its ‘customer journey hijacking prevention platform’ may have caught my eye more than any other.
Chemi Katz is CEO of Namogoo, a company that prevents against unauthorized ads injected on consumer browser that disrupt ecommerce experiences.
Here’s what he gets up to, and the skills and tools he uses along the way.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
As co-founder and CEO at Namogoo, my role is to lead the skilled experts heading up all areas of our company and to make sure they understand our larger vision and objectives. My goal is to best equip them with the resources needed to pursue and implement our strategy to drive growth for our business.
The goal of our company is to allow e-tailers to make sure that 100% of their users are experiencing their website exactly as designed, without any friction. By doing so, Namogoo helps ecommerce brands consistently increase conversion rates and recover lost revenue. Namogoo’s customers report a revenue lift of 2-5%, attributed directly to our solution. In fact, to date, Namogoo has generated $1 billion of additional online revenue for its customers, which include over 100 of the biggest online brands. That’s something which all of us at Namogoo are very proud of.
Where about do you sit within the organization? Who do you report to
Along with my partner and co-founder Ohad Greensphan, I report to our investors and Board of Directors.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
There’s no orchestra that can play with only a conductor, and there’s no company that can excel with only a CEO. Effective leadership depends on assembling a team that’s greater than the sum of its parts. This is true for any successful business, but especially for start-ups. I’ve placed a premium on identifying and recruiting exceptionally talented people with the right mix of experience, knowledge, and drive. Drawing on their insights and perspectives has made me a better CEO, and it’s made Namogoo the company it is today.
You will never be the expert at every part of the business, so it’s vital to build a team whose members you can rely on to answer your most pressing questions and tackle the toughest challenges. This collaboration and dialogue helps drive smarter decisions across all areas of the business – from R&D and product to sales and marketing.
Experimentation is also a critical skill. The best start-up leaders operate according to the philosophy of ‘fail fast, learn, try again’! It’s better to iterate and acknowledge failures quickly rather than spending enormous amounts of energy preventing something from failing, which keeps you from learning quickly from your mistakes and moving on. A start-up is a fast-moving environment and it’s important to identify what is and isn’t working, figure out what needs to be changed, and apply lessons as quickly as possible.
Tell us about a typical working day…
The only thing you can expect on a typical day is change, so preparation for the unexpected and adaptability to changing priorities is key. I usually start my morning by reviewing emails at home so I can be up-to-speed with any updates coming from our U.S. team.
I find running is a great way to keep my mind clear and healthy before getting on with the day, so I do my best to go for a jog no matter how hectic my day may be. Then it’s time for breakfast and off to the races. By the end of a typical day, if I get done half of what I initially aimed to accomplish, it’s been a good one!
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
The most fulfilling aspect is taking something that started merely as an idea, creating a truly valuable product, and growing a company of global professionals. Along this journey I am lucky to interact with talented and passionate people, clients, partners, and investors.
On the flipside, in a start-up, you’re undoubtedly going to experience both ups and downs – and compared to a more established business, the highs may be higher, but the lows can sometimes feel lower. You need to be able to accept that this comes with the territory, suck it up, and move forward. You don’t have time to dwell on disappointment. Even with failure, you need to learn and adapt.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
Our main business goal is growing our customer base by bringing on board more top ecommerce and retail brands across verticals. We were excited to increase our customer base by 250% in 2018 and are aiming to exceed that growth in 2019. Recruiting and retaining our skilled and talented team will be important in helping us achieve this goal.
Last year, we added four new employees every month to our U.S. and Israel offices. We’ve continued growing at this pace well into 2019 and are always seeking to add valuable new members to the Namogoo family. Recruiting great talent is always critical to growth and success, but retaining them and making sure they feel valued and appreciated is equally as important — employee satisfaction and retention is and always should be a top KPI.
What are your favorite tools to help you to get the job done?
My iPhone may as well be attached to my body! I’m always on the move traveling from one meeting to the next, so being able to collaborate and communicate with my colleagues, clients, partners, and investors around the clock is crucial. And above all are the people here at Namogoo. As CEO running between tasks, I rely on our stellar team to execute our projects and make sure we achieve our objectives.
How/why did you start Namogoo?
My previous company, Seapai, created an ecommerce aggregator technology for online brands and their products with over 2.5 million active users. Right around the time we were preparing our exit, I was approached by an ad monetization business which essentially wanted to inject ads into our user base. In learning about these ad injections, I discovered how the ads were able to bypass the server-side security of online businesses and exploit a critical flaw they were aware of.
Right around this time, an investor I was consulting with introduced me to Ohad Greenshpan, who had founded Fashioholic, an award-winning marketing medium for brands and retailers. After performing deep analysis on ecommerce sites, Ohad and I were surprised about the scale of this issue and immediately realized the opportunity to truly disrupt the industry with a solution to an unknown problem.
Which advertising/marketing/ experience has impressed you recently?
One is SodaStream and the way they have been able to change their go-to-market strategy, first targeting the growing green market and then health-conscious customers and doing so via very clever ad campaigns. This has helped transform their brand identity from simply a soda making company to one that is seen as a leader in environmental sustainability and health and wellness.
Another example is Wix and their Super Bowl commercial featuring major box office stars Gal Gadot and Jason Statham. By creating such an eye-catching and entertaining commercial and leveraging the star power of Gadot and Statham, Wix was able to drive home its main message of how easy and seamless it is to create a quality website with its DIY platform for its mass target audience of micro businesses, in a very memorable way.
These two brands were able to develop a powerful presence globally while their headquarters were located in Israel, which offers a great example for other Israel-based businesses to follow.
What advice would you give advertisers struggling to gain transparency?
The ecosystem at large is still in need of a consortium that comprehensively covers brands, agencies, online publishers, ad networks, and all of the plays involved in the ad ecosystem. This will help create best practices and guidelines, but more importantly, this body would need to have the teeth necessary to enforce these standards. It should be backed by strong technological monitoring and verification tools that can protect brand safety on the one hand, and still maintain profit margins for ad networks and agencies.
Download Econsultancy’s Getting to Grips with Digital Advertising Best Practice Guide.