January 1, 2018

Israel and China are a perfect match – China is an incredible opportunity for Israeli cybersecurity, medical devices and artificial intelligence industries. While at the same time Israel is a source of talent and know-how with its startup culture – something that China is lacking. Bilateral ties between Israel and China have increased significantly in recent years, sparking the launch of the Israel-China Innovation Committee and the Israel-China Economic Task Force.

The US is the typical route for Israeli companies expanding abroad. Language and culture make China seem daunting at first, and certainly for consumer-oriented companies trying to figure out the Chinese customer has led to many failed enterprises. B2B opportunities, on the other hand, are a perfect setup for Israel companies. Possible access to capital for expansion and growth another major reason to look at China.

How to break into the Chinese market:

Understand the target customer and other stakeholders

Find the right strategic partners to help you. Consumers in China are entirely different than what you are used to. They are on different channels, they have different expectations, and there are important cultural norms you’ll want to be aware of. A local team on the ground with the experience and tools to understand and effectively target customers is crucial to preventing big blunders.

Regulatory concerns

It is critical to spend time researching and understanding the regulatory environment prior to making any decision to enter the market. China has extremely strict laws protecting consumers, including quality, standards and other regulations covering most industries. Sensitive industries such as medical devices and pharmaceutical are especially strict.

Trademark everything, immediately

As soon as your product comes on the scene in China you can bet there will be copycats. We’ve seen it with big brands and small, if you don’t take trademarking seriously, you run the risk of expensive, messy and prolonged legal battles. Before talking to anyone, start the trademark process and make sure you own the corresponding Chinese domain names (.cn and .com.cn).

Don’t assume what works in the West will work in China

Look no further than eBay and Uber, two remarkably successful international companies that failed in China. Chinese consumers have different tastes, different expectations, different cultural norms and customs that are deep-rooted in society. On top of all of this is an unrelenting drive for innovation, which makes brands with a weak positioning strategy extremely vulnerable. If you take your brand to the China market and your messaging is unclear, or your branding is weak, there is a good chance your product or service will be copied and eaten up by a domestic brand.

Find a decent Chinese name

It doesn’t have to be a direct translation, or even exactly the same as the Western version. The Mandarin language is comprised of thousands of characters that all have a great deal of significance. Meaning there are lots of options for translations that can turn out great, or translations that can turn out… not so great. AirBnB fell prey to a naming mishap when they entered the Chinese market as 爱彼迎  (Àibǐyíng), which they explained means “let love meet each other” but to native Chinese this name conjures up images of a “love hotel”, and many complained that it is awkward to pronounce.

Even if you think you’ve settled on a great name, test it, test it and test it again.

Start with distribution and expand from there

You don’t need to set up shop right away. After you’ve trademarked everything, going through a distributer to test the waters is a good way to enter the China market. Many SME’s in the medical industry routinely work with distributors to get their products into hospitals in China.

Set up your website

Number one piece of advice; put your Chinese website on a server in China or Hong Kong. Shrinking attention spans haunt every content marketer, so don’t lose your audience even before your beautifully, well-crafted home page loads. If you are hosting on a local Chinese server you are required to apply for the ICP license and this also means you need to have a local entity already organized. You’ll typically need to apply for an ICP license from the Chinese Government; this will lead to better search results on Baidu and allows you to run PPC campaigns.

Don’t forget to make your website mobile optimized! In China more than 95% of Internet users are using their mobile phones to access it.

Choose the right trade shows

This goes hand-in-hand with understanding your target customer and stakeholders. There are hundreds of trade shows in China every year, with thousands of exhibitors. It can be tempting to try and get your foot in the door to as many as possible, but this will leave you out of budget and exhausted quickly. Can you team up with similar brands? Make connections with attendees beforehand?

Enter social media with your big toe in the water

With all the hype around WeChat in China, many brands are ready to dive headfirst and go all out for this mega-app, but take a step back. WeChat is completely different than Facebook, Instagram or any other typical social media platform you are familiar with using. It is important to set the right expectations, and the right strategy. Become well versed with the app, it’s functionality and it’s limitations before setting your KPIs. While it is important for brands to have a WeChat account, there may be other channels to investigate.

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AI & Designers

Will AI Replace Designers or Serve as Their Creative Allies?

By 
Yoav Sondak
, 21/02/2024

Will AI replace designers, or will it become their indispensable assistant? Can anyone become a designer with AI's help? Discover Yoav's insights after extensive experimentation with AI tools, and learn what AI itself has to say about the matter

min read
As designers, AI is having a significant impact on the way we work. Designers have been using AI tools available in widely used design software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for some time. In OZ’s design department, we’ve also experimented with a variety of dedicated AI image generators, such as Midjourney, DALL·E 2, and eluna.ai. New applications are popping up all the time, so it’s worth trying them out and comparing them, to see what works best. Since this article is about AI, let’s get some input from ChatGPT about the benefits of integrating AI capabilities into software design tools: “It’s not only enhanced the capabilities of designers but has also redefined the creative process, ushering in a new era of efficiency and innovation.” So far, so good. While there are lots of advantages to using AI in design work, here are some key features:
  • Automated image editing features — analyzes images to intelligently suggest enhancements and automatically makes adjustments such as color neutralizers and detail enhancers. This speeds up the editing process and is a valuable resource if you’re looking for inspiration or need to make quick refinements.
  • Content-aware fill and object removal tools — by understanding the content of the image, it enables you to easily remove unwanted objects or fill in gaps within a scene. This allows greater flexibility and streamlines the editing workflow.
  • Accelerates the ideation and iteration phases — lets you explore diverse concepts efficiently.
  • Intelligent recommendations — makes suggestions for shapes, layouts, and color schemes based on the context of their project. This makes the conceptualization phase faster and may even help you overcome a creative block.
  • Organization and management of design assets — automated tagging and content categorization make asset management easier and help you quickly navigate vast libraries of resources. It’s able to analyze vast datasets and identify patterns that we might miss.
  • Rapid prototyping — enables quick experimentation with lots of variations.

Traditional graphic tools have also made huge strides

In recent years, existing software and applications we’ve been using for years have incorporated a variety of tools that shorten processes and streamline design work. Because designers can give online feedback, the tools' capabilities keep getting better. During image processing, design tools can complete missing details, increase resolution, carry out color corrections, and produce more controlled and accurate results. There are also lots of options for image manipulations and variations. These advances have meant that the time between planning and the finished product is much shorter, and have saved me and many others from a tiring technical struggle with traditional design tools. However, AI has added new superpowers which can create impressive artwork at warp speed. If AI can do all that, why do we need humans?

If AI can do all that, why do we need humans?

While AI provides a broad range of design options and there is a wealth of tools to choose from, the act of selection and focus during the design process has become more challenging. The need to differentiate the customer’s brand, memorably present their messages, and tell their unique story means that every designer needs a clear understanding of what they want to create using the tools. Formulating the design prompt and selecting results, when every result seems to be ‘beautiful and impressive’, means that designers need to carefully examine what is ‘right and appropriate’ — and ask themselves what will yield the desired results. It’s the same question that we’ve been asking for years when approaching a design task, long before AI tools entered our lives.

The human touch

The human touch

“While AI excels at generating designs based on existing patterns, it lacks the intrinsic understanding of cultural nuances, emotional subtleties, and context that human designers bring to the table,” responds ChatGPT, adding that design is not only about aesthetics but also about storytelling, conveying emotions, and understanding the audience – elements that are deeply embedded in human experience. It goes on to point out that the human mind possesses the ability to empathize, interpret abstract concepts, and infuse designs with cultural relevance. Designers are adept at translating complex ideas into visual narratives that resonate with people on a profound level. “The intangible aspects of creativity, intuition, and emotional intelligence are quintessentially human and crucial to the design process,” it notes. Don’t fire your designers!

Don’t fire your designers!

Bearing these unique human attributes in mind, ChatGPT’s conclusion is almost inevitable: While AI image generators are valuable tools, amplifying designers’ creative capacities and streamlining workflows, they are best seen as collaborators rather than replacements. The future of design lies in a harmonious collaboration between human designers and AI, where each contributes its strengths. While AI enhances the design process by offering efficiency and inspiration, according to ChatGPT, “the unique qualities of human creativity, ingenuity, and understanding will continue to be an indispensable force in the world of design.” As with any AI application, there are ethical considerations. Designers must “be mindful of potential biases in AI algorithms and exercise discretion in their application. Striking a balance between automation and human intuition remains crucial to preserving the authenticity and creative vision of the designer.” ChatGPT predicts that “As technology continues to advance, the symbiotic relationship between AI and design is poised to reshape the industry, unlocking new realms of creative possibilities.” On a personal level, I use AI design tools daily to carry out various tasks and to fuel my creative process. I also find that ChatGPT is useful in helping to formulate prompts and finding the right wording for the industry or application. The more accurate the prompt, the better the results. However, personal experience has shown AI can’t replace the invaluable interactions between our design team and our clients. We’re able to dig deep into their story and translate that into unique and powerful visuals that communicate their brand promise. It’s the ‘secret sauce’ that makes the difference. In short, AI will become our creative allies, but they’re not going to replace us any time soon.  
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OZ Blog ABM and HubSpot Blogimages 2024 v2

Why HubSpot and ABM go together like hummus and pita?

By 
Liron Ramot
, 22/01/2024

Discover the powerful synergy between HubSpot's Inbound Marketing and Account-Based Marketing (ABM) in our blog. Inbound sets the foundation for a robust ABM approach, attracting a broader range of prospects. Learn how HubSpot's ABM tools facilitate quick strategy setup, collaboration, attraction of high-value accounts, and effective tracking.

min read
If you’re a fan of hummus, you’ll know that it goes great with pita. While you can eat them separately, they are quite simply, better together. The one really complements the other. The same can be said of HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing methodology and Account-Based Marketing (ABM). To make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s start by defining these methodologies:

Inbound Marketing

Attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. It’s about building meaningful relationships with consumers, prospects, and customers.

Account-Based Marketing

A B2B strategy in which marketing and sales work together to create personalized buying experiences for a select set of high value companies.

Inbound lays the foundation for a strong ABM strategy

According to HubSpot, inbound marketing helps you attract contacts associated with your target accounts. ABM accelerates the flywheel (the cyclical marketing funnel comprising attract, engage, and delight) so you can win and delight your target accounts by providing a standout customer experience. By using inbound, you’re able to carry out highly-targeted allocation of the most relevant resources to your high-value accounts. As a B2B marketer, by using this combined approach you can attract a broader group of prospects than you would if you were only using one method.

Double up and deliver value

Your carefully crafted content has a two-for-one value. You can create and use content that serves both your ABM and inbound strategy. As an example, once you’ve created a personalized case study for a target account, you can also share on your website.

Leverage account-based marketing tools

HubSpot’s ABM tool makes it easy to implement ABM and inbound strategies in a complementary way. Its CRM platform connects all of your sales and marketing data and allows enables customer-centric automation and personalization. It makes it easy to use data to segment and target your accounts and marketing automation to nurture your buyers or buying committee and hand over your leads to sales. 4 ways HubSpot powers ABM 1. Set up ABM strategy quickly and smoothly
  • Use workflow templates to define your ideal customer profiles and identify good-fit target accounts
  • Set up default properties to tag accounts and buying roles
  • Leverage AI-powered recommendations of target accounts
2. Allow sales & marketing to easily collaborate
  • Use shared tools that unite your teams around the same data in the same place
  • Use the Target Accounts feature to obtain a bird’s eye view of progress across all target accounts
  • Use Slack to support high-value target accounts, post KPIs, and share notes
3. Attract high-value accounts & build deeper relationships through personalized engagement
  • Personalize content and tailor how you engage with stakeholders within an account
  • Use account-level targeting in LinkedIn Ads integration to target companies by account status or tier
  • Deepen your relationships over time & build connections with stakeholders within each account
4. Track and measure key milestones on an account’s journey
  • Use the account overview feature to understand what’s happening at an account level
  • Employ out-of-the-box ABM reporting dashboards to get a higher-level view
  • Obtain a higher level view using company scoring to identify the highest value accounts and prioritize reachout
As an added bonus, HubSpot’s apps and strategic partners including Slack, LinkedIn, Sigstr, Madison Logic, RollWorks, and Irioblio help you easily customize your ABM strategy. ABM helps you communicate with high-value accounts as if they’re individual markets. HubSpot’s experience shows that if you do this, along with personalizing the buyer’s journey and tailoring all communications, content, and campaigns to those specific accounts, you'll see greater ROI as well as a boost in customer loyalty. This is borne out by an ABMLA study, which shows that compared to other forms of marketing, 76% of B2B marketers who used ABM in 2020 reported increased ROI. Using HubSpot inbound marketing and ABM tools to power your ABM strategy helps you identify your high-value targets, communicate effectively through the right channels, and deliver the results you need. Schedule a meeting with our HubSpot specialist.
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OZ Blog SEO Hubspot Blogimages 2024 v1

Spice up your SEO strategy with HubSpot

By 
Liron Ramot
, 12/12/2023

Optimizing your website for search engines is crucial. Explore how HubSpot’s SEO Marketing Software simplifies the process. From SEO recommendations to content strategy creation and seamless integration, HubSpot streamlines your SEO efforts. Leverage its tools to define target audiences, research topics, and organize keywords.

min read
You’ve peppered your website content with all the keywords you want to rank for. Yet your site still isn’t appearing in Google search rankings, not to mention Bing. It may be time to rethink your SEO strategy. A quick reminder: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It primarily drives two things: rankings and visibility — and it helps you position your brand throughout the entire buyer’s journey. When you plug your keyword into a search engine, it brings up a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). What happens next has a lot to do with how well your site is optimized for SEO. To ask an existential question: If your company doesn’t rank on the first ten search results, does it even exist in the mind of your potential buyer?

How is your website ranked?

Google’s algorithm changes daily, but as a general rule of thumb, it ranks your website on three main factors: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
  • On-page SEO — covers three key areas:
    • High-quality content (the heart of on-page SEO)
    • HTML (source code including page titles, headers, meta descriptions, image alt-text, and more),
    • and site architecture elements (such as page URLs, internal linking, and more).
  • Off-page SEO — social sharing, external linking, and more.
  • Technical SEO — structured data, site, speed and mobile readiness.
There are many quick actions you can carry out to improve your search engine rankings such tweaking title tags, image tags, internal link structure, and inbound links, to name but a few. However, to significantly improve your results, you need to carry out an SEO audit. Based on your findings, you’ll need to build a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes on-page strategies (which use intent-based keywords) and off-page strategies (which earn inbound links from other websites). If all that sounds a little daunting, here’s the good news. You don’t have to do the heavy lifting. HubSpot’s put together a free kit on how to run an SEO audit including an SEO template, audit checklist, and 9-step guide.

Don’t procrastinate, automate!

Why waste time, money and manual work when HubSpot SEO Marketing Software does it all for you? It can help you plan your SEO strategy, optimize your content, and measure ROI in three key steps:
  1. Get SEO recommendations to optimize your site- Obtain recommendations ranked in order of priority which show which optimizations will have the biggest impact
  2. Create an optimized content strategy to build search authority- Obtain topic suggestions based on relevance, competition, and popularity and create high quality content around your core topics
  3. Integrate your SEO software with HubSpot’s content management tools- Obtain search keyword data, choose canonical URLs, get estimates on which topics will yield organic traffic gains, and track key topics on your dashboard

Get topical!

As the SEO project leader, you need to decide on each page’s target audience, goal, topic, and target keywords and phrases. HubSpot’s SEO tools make it easy to research and organize topics and subtopic keywords based on your company’s areas of expertise, which serve as the foundation for all the content you create for your website. Creating relevant and up-to-date content helps your website get indexed more accurately by search engines such as Google, which analyze keyword phrases in your content, title, meta description, hyperlinks, and more.  

Key tips to getting started with SEO

  • Crawl your website, conduct an SEO audit, and define your site architecture.
  • Establish a value proposition for every page and review and edit your content accordingly
  • Target your audience for that specific page (if it differs according to market segment, application, or product category)
  • Update your URLs, page titles, and meta descriptions.
  • Making sure that your keyword/s are included in your URL and are used throughout the page
  • Incorporate and optimize relevant visual content
  • Add internal and external links

Why use HubSpot for SEO?

If haven’t yet made our case for why HubSpot takes the pain out of SEO and adds the gain, here are a few more good reasons to check it out: You don’t need to be an SEO expert, because its built-in SEO tools are built with marketers in mind. There’s no need to know coding either. HubSpot handles the technicalities, so you can focus on content. Here too, HubSpot has a variety of content planning tools built into the platform. It makes it really easy to connect your marketing assets so you can track the buyer’s journey — from awareness to qualified lead to happy customer.  
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