From Signal Intelligence to B2B Enterprise AI Software: Meet Raviv Turner, CEO of CaliberMind
When Raviv Turner started his career doing signal intelligence by intercepting data for the Israeli Intelligence, he had no idea it would lead to being the CEO of an enterprise AI software company. Now he puts those superior digital listening skills to use by helping B2B organizations organize unstructured data in a centralized database which can be used for ultimate personalization of customer experience. Today Raviv is the CEO of CaliberMind, and has recently raised $3.3 million to help accelerate product development and scale up marketing and sales for this Boulder, Colorado-based startup. In this series, I’m meeting with CEOs who are making difference in the martech space.
Tell us a little about yourself. You have an interesting background – how did you find your way into leading CaliberMind?
I started my career in the Israeli Intelligence, doing signal intelligence which is all about gathering intelligence by intercepting data, both people and electronic communication. This practice lends itself pretty well to B2B marketing intelligence, helping B2B marketers unlock value from data to acquire new buyers, grow revenue and improve the customer experience.
What keeps you up at night?
Startups are hard because the market is constantly changing, your product is evolving, and your customers need things. Knowing that at the end of the day we are able to re-connect marketers with buyers and using data to drive better buying experience helps make it all worthwhile.
What are the most challenging problems you’ve set out to solve?
Orchestrating the B2B buyer’s journey with data is a big problem! Unlike the consumer journey, in B2B we have multiple buyers, longer sales cycles, fragmented data and a complex tool stack. If we ever want to connect the dots for marketers, we have to collect the dots first and that’s a big data challenge. This is the reason why we’ve been in R&D stage for the past two years and only now starting to scale with a very robust, marketer-managed product which doesn’t require IT.
What do you believe are the most critical areas for marketers to focus on going into 2018?
There is a lot of marketing talk on strategy but without the right data, it’s hard to execute on strategy. Yes, data is hard and it’s boring, and some marketers hate data because it might be more interesting to focus on creative and events. But there are new tools and technologies that make data easier, that can automate tedious marketing workflows, that can help turn web traffic into qualified leads, score key accounts, and optimize ad spend. Now don’t get me wrong, don’t just go and buy more technology. Start with the strategy, look at your buyer’s journey then align the technology and tool stack to help you execute that strategy. I wrote about it here for Chiefmartec. We are seeing customers with 20-30 different marketing tools. This is way too much technology, you don’t need one point tool for lead scoring another one for lead routing and another one for attribution. There are data intelligence platforms that can do this out of the box.
What pragmatic, practical steps did you take as a leader to engage employees in improving customer experience?
At CaliberMind we eat our own dog food. Good experience starts with your employees, then your customers. We have a pretty cool on-boarding experience where we all write our user manuals, which are basically ‘how to work with me’ guides. It makes knowing someone much easier and faster. We also have WFH days to save employees the commute and of course being a Boulder, Colorado-based company, we have a powder day policy. If it’s snowing, employees can take the day off and go ski, then catch up over the weekend.
What’s the key to success as a CEO?
Hire the best people and get out of their way.
What’s your tip for staying balanced and focused in a high pressure job?
That’s something I’ve personally struggled with for a long time. As CEO you are getting pulled in a million directions. I try to meditate early morning, listen to the right music that gets me in the zone, and block my calendar for ‘me time’. Some days are better than others, it’s a constant battle for focus in a world full of distractions.