Think of marketing as a way of moving potential customers through a funnel: enticing them to enter at the top, to stay inside until making a purchase, and to go back inside for future purchases.

Think of marketing technology (mar-tech) as smart automated solutions for every stage of that sales funnel, says Pini Yakuel, CEO of Optimove, one of the growing number of Israeli companies specializing in mar-tech software for B2B and B2C clients.

“Mar-tech is a very hot field,” Yakuel tells ISRAEL21c.

“In the old days, marketing was perceived as an art and you didn’t have software — at least not for any but Fortune 500 companies. In recent years, with the progression of cloud computing and cheaper software technologies, smaller companies can enjoy high-caliber mar-techs that allow them to scale up and be faster and smarter in their marketing efforts even on a low budget.”

Because different customers are motivated by different incentives, it’s hard to predict which marketing campaign will be most effective for each customer. The magic of algorithms and big-data analysis enables pinpoint accuracy.

For example, says Yakuel, an apparel retailer’s home page could automatically feature a coat or ski gear to visitors from cold climes, while showing t-shirts or swimsuits to visitors from warmer locations.

With many Israeli companies already well positioned in the related field of ad-tech, mar-tech isn’t far behind.

“Israeli cheekiness and chutzpah made us great at hacking digital marketing and forming companies to meet needs in the worlds of gaming, PPC [pay per click] and the use of intelligent data. All of this drifts into the marketing space,” says Yakuel, who contributes his insights on mar-tech to publications such as FastCompany, Entrepreneur and TechCrunch.

Several Israeli mar-tech companies participated in the recent MarTech Conference and Expo in San Francisco. Global mar-tech companies with R&D centers in Israel following acquisitions of Israeli companies include Marketo (Insightera) and Teradata (Appoxee).

Here are 11 of the Israeli mar-tech companies (listed in alphabetical order) making a significant mark in the field.

1. Clicktale

Clicktale’s cloud-based “experience management solution” helps clients such as Walmart, UBS, Microsoft and Lenovo create more compelling digital experiences by letting them see how visitors are experiencing their web, mobile and app sites.

The company’s technologies include high-fidelity replays of individual visitor sessions and data-rich heat maps to reveal customers’ struggles, understand their intent and help them achieve their goals. Analytics help clients identify and fix friction points in the customer experience.

When Walmart launched gift and toy finder tools before the December holidays, Clicktale found that users who engaged with these tools bought 24 percent more merchandise. However, Clicktale also revealed that 20 percent of online visitors did not scroll down far enough to see the finder tools, and those who did often encountered usability issues such as error messages.

Clicktale’s insights helped Walmart address these problems to further optimize the customer experience and sales.

Based in Ramat Gan, Clicktale was founded in 2006 by Tal Schwartz and Arik Yavilevich. It has offices in California and New Jersey and serves clients in Europe and Australia as well.

2. Como 

Como enables small businesses to build drag-and-drop consumer apps and develop analytics-driven mobile loyalty programs encompassing gamified features as well as coupons, scratch cards, loyalty clubs and other premiums.

The company was established in 2005 as Conduit by Ronen Shilo, Dror Erez and Gaby Bilczyk, and reestablished in 2010 as Como with additional founders Liran Mayost, Yair Holtzer and Danny Albocher.

Although small businesses are its bread and butter, Como has larger clients using its customer loyalty management (CLM) solutions too, such as Papa John’s, Burger King, Coca-Cola and BMW. The company partners with major corporations such as Sodexo.

Como has headquarters in Ness Ziona and New York City.

3. Datorama 

Datorama’s cloud-based platform applies advanced machine learning to the process of mapping new sources of marketing information to generate enhanced insights for decision-makers.

Clients can drag and drop any kind of data file into Datorama to combine and integrate all their marketing channels in one place, and mash the digital marketing data with other data such as sales and offline marketing figures. The company’s Media Cost Center helps clients determine actual spend across multiple sources of data.

L’oréal used Datorama’s platform to integrate its marketing data (web analytics, digital and offline media data, sales data and PR buzz metrics) from multiple campaigns for 27 brands running across media channels in two countries. “Datorama has drastically improved how we measure and analyze all of our marketing activities,” said Christof Eymery, head of digital for the cosmetics giant.

Cofounded by Ran Sarig, Efi Cohen and Katrin Ribant, the company has offices in Tel Aviv, New York, Tokyo, Amsterdam, London, Hamburg, Paris, Barcelona, Melbourne and Sydney. Datorama was recently named one of Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Data-Driven Marketing.

4. Gigya 

Customer identity management is Gigya’s gig. Its technology is used by companies in 46 countries to try to turn 1.5 billion anonymous site visitors each month into known, loyal and engaged customers.

More than 700 enterprises, including half the comScore top 100 US web properties, rely on Gigya to build and manage identity-driven relationships with their customers based on data on individual activities, interests and friends. The ultimate aim is to provide better services, products and experiences.

Having raised more than $100 million since its founding in 2006, Gigya has expanded beyond its Tel Aviv headquarters to London and Mountain View, California, employing more than 325 employees globally.

5. Kenshoo

Kenshoo powers digital marketing campaigns in more than 190 countries for clients including CareerBuilder, Expedia, Facebook, Sears, Starcom MediaVest Group, Tesco, Travelocity, Walgreens and Zappos.

Brands, agencies and developers – including nearly half the Fortune 50 and all 10 top global ad agency networks — use Kenshoo products to automate and optimize marketing investments through social, search, mobile and display campaigns. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Kenshoo maintains 27 international locations and employs more than 500 people.

6. Leadspace 

Specializing in social lead targeting in B2B sales and marketing, Leadspace offers a predictive analytics platform combining social, web, intent and structured data to help clients – including Oracle, Autodesk, Microsoft and Five9 — discover and score, in real time, both companies and individuals with the greatest relevance as potential leads.

Leadspace, with offices in Hod Hasharon and San Francisco, received $18 million in new funding in the fall of 2015.

7. Mintigo 

Mintigo offers what it calls “GPS for marketers.” Its technology continuously collects thousands of data points (financials, staff and hiring trends, technologies installed, marketing channels used, and purchase intent) on millions of companies globally. It then combines these marketing indicators with data in the client’s marketing automation or customer relationship management platform to create predictive models of highest-value customers or leads.

Cofounded in 2010 by IDF Intelligence Unit 8200 veterans and longtime entrepreneurs Jacob Shama, Tal Segalov and Ehud Ben-Reuven, Mintigo has offices in Ra’anana and California. It has attracted blue-chip investors such as Sequoia Capital, Adams Street Partners and Giza Venture Capital.

8. Optimove

Optimove’s Customer Marketing Cloud automatically schedules, executes and evaluates highly individualized marketing campaigns.

Its predictive customer modeling technology uses machine learning to group potential and existing clients into micro-segments and delivers “emotionally intelligent” targeted campaigns through Facebook, email, real-time in-platform, SMS and mobile push.

Pini Yakuel, CEO of Optimove. Photo: courtesy
Pini Yakuel, CEO of Optimove. Photo: courtesy

Founded in 2009 by Shachar Cohen and Pini Yakuel when they were both lecturers at Tel Aviv University, Optimove sent 2.6 billion engagement messages in 2015 to more than 56 million unique customers on behalf of about 180 brands such as Zynga, Outbrain, Lucky Vitamin, Scientific Games, Nelly, Adore Me and Sporting Bet.

The company more than doubled in size for the third year in a row and now has offices in Tel Aviv, London and New York.

9. Origami Logic

Digital marketers at global brands such as Visa, JCPenney, Cisco and Intel use the Origami Logic Marketing Signal Measurement Platform to measure daily performance indicators and thereby manage and optimize marketing campaign investments across all their marketing channels and platforms.

Cofounded in late 2011 by Unit 8200 veterans Opher Kahane, Ofer Shaked and Alon Amit, the company is headquartered in California and used a $25 million funding round to open a technology innovation lab in Tel Aviv last year under the direction of Raviv Pavel, formerly vice president of R&D at Gigya.

“We are scaling our team to give marketers a better understanding of daily marketing performance,” said Kahane. “Given our strong connections to the deep talent network in the region, Tel Aviv is an ideal location to expand our development and innovation efforts.”

10. Outbrain

Publishers of articles and videos use Outbrain’s Engage product to keep audiences engaged on their own sites; buyers use Outbrain’s Amplify product to attract audiences to their content from other sites.

Huggies, for example, uses Amplify to attract readers to its website’s editorial content from other websites about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. Because these readers are strongly interested in such content, Huggies sees high click-through rates and engagement.

Each month, Outbrain serves up 200 billion recommendations to 557 million people. The company is based in Netanya, has 11 global offices and partners with publishers and marketers in some 55 countries.

11. Taboola 

This hot content-discovery platform founded in 2007 serves 300 billion recommendations (“Content You May Like”) to more than 750 million unique visitors each month on publisher sites such as NBC, USA Today, Die Welt, The Weather Channel, The Atlantic, Billboard.com and Fox Television.

Publishers, marketers, and agencies use Taboola’s proprietary technology to retain users, monetize their traffic and drive relevant viewers to their site. With an infusion of $100 million in funding last year, the company has also introduced tools that allow publishers to live-test content; gauge which articles and referral platforms are generating the most ad revenue; and deepen personalization possibilities.

Founder and CEO Adam Singolda built the Taboola team with fellow veterans of IDF tech units. Today there are hundreds of “Taboolars” drilling out recommendations from offices in Tel Aviv, London, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Bangkok, New Delhi and New York.