33 Creative Initiatives Taken By Israeli Companies During The Pandemic
This article is a guest post on NoCamels and has been contributed by a third party. NoCamels assumes no responsibility for the content, including facts, visuals, and opinions presented by the author(s).
Efrat Fenigson is VP marketing at Mindspace and the founder at G-CMO, a community of Israel’s top 100 CMOs from the Startup Nation’s global companies.
It’s no secret that COVID-19 forced companies to adapt their marketing strategies to a changing environment. The understanding that companies are facing challenging times all over the world meant marketers needed to improvise and think more creatively and on their feet.
Israelis are, unfortunately, quite accustomed to working under constraints such as limited budgets, tight timelines, and small teams. These restrictions often bog things down and create confusion and chaos, but for us Israelis, they spark innovation and creativity. At G-CMO, a community of Israel’s top 100 CMOs (chief marketing officers) from the Startup Nation’s global companies, we saw our CMOs acting fast when public health restrictions were put in place.
“With business activity going from 100 to almost 0 in days, causing sales pipeline and revenues to sharply decline, many companies immediately adopted a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to figure out how they could preserve cash,” says Merav Meluban, head of marketing at Viola, one of Israel’s leading VCs and a G-CMO member. “This led to severe budget cuts, which immediately impacts marketing to be creative on a low budget.” Viola published a survey of marketing leads across the Israeli tech ecosystem, reporting that over 70 percent experienced a decrease of up to 50 percent in their budgets.
But over the past few months, some of the Startup Nation’s global marketing leaders responded with some inspiring marketing moves.
Here, we’re highlighting 33 inspiring initiatives and marketing solutions we’ve seen during these coronavirus times:
1. JoyTunes created a “Pay What You Can” initiative for its app “Simply Piano,” donating all proceeds to health organizations and making the teaching app free for remote learning.
2. WalkMe decided to convert its annual global customer event into a digital one. The company rented a studio and broadcasted the whole event via online channels.
3. Taboola launched Taboola News, aggregating news content about COVID-19 from trusted news publishers for tens of millions of users.
4. Promo.com launched a special hub with free marketing services and video templates to help SMBs during COVID-19.
5. Pcysys created an unusual video with a Mime artist, Dani Aragon, explaining security vulnerabilities during corona times. On top of being highly entertaining, it’s also Pcysys’ way of supporting performing artists these days.
6. Masa created Masa : Online, an online space for Masa fellows in Israel, alumni, parents, and potential fellows from Jewish communities around the world, offering lectures, workshops, live events, some led by Masa’s community members themselves.
7. Video platform Kaltura partnered with events management company Bizzabo to provide brands with video features they can use when shifting to digital events.
8. Next Insurance teamed up with Mako to commission 6 Israeli photographers, who were given the challenge of capturing the story of 45 self-employed businesses that are struggling in Israel.
9. Optibus offered bus companies to use its platform for free so that they could rapidly create plans for reduced bus service, or deal with plans to prevent crowding in buses.
10. Cyberint launched a COVID-19 cyber intelligence timely updates published across channels with in-depth analyses of threats relevant to WFH and retailers’ environment.
11. At Mindspace (my workplace), a high-end flexible workspaces provider, we reacted quickly and created our first VIRTUAL space online. We called it “VIRTUAL”, and our members enjoy live community sessions every day, both professional and leisure. We also provided our spaces for free for non-profit organizations fighting coronavirus spread or assisting relevant communities.
12. Personetics created custom insights and advice that analyze a customer’s financials and make specific recommendations on how best to optimize their account during the global health crisis. For example, if a person had their salary cut and the system noticed insufficient funds to pay the mortgage, the bank can offer immediate mortgage relief.
13. Optimove‘s content team transitioned into a marketing newsroom, publishing daily live broadcasts, trend research, situation analyses, best practices and much more.
14. Deep Instinct launched an online cybersecurity quiz – “beat the brain” – to challenge cybersecurity professionals cyber knowledge and skills.
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15. Percepto announced its support in business continuity of critical facilities (i.e power plants) by enabling flight of autonomous drones for security and inspection, from home.
16. Freightos released the world’s first daily freight index to help companies deal with the fast-changing global supply chain ecosystem.
17.Meet in Place launched two content series: “Meet the Experts”, with senior partners shedding light on business reality post-COVID-19 outbreak, and “Until We Meet Again” – where they share hospitality/proptech highlights from the past week.
18. Cymulate started offering two months’ service for free, for immediate cyber threats testing to optimize a company’s security posture, which helped onboard tens of new customers. Cymulate also hosted for its customers and prospects a virtual show by the mind mentalist Lior Sushard – to just enjoy and free their minds.
19. Netafim developed a portable disinfection spraying system for workplaces and collaborated with an Israeli startup called NanoSense to create and manufacture a special smell-based test kit – all this, not for profit.
20. Lightico offered its services to businesses like banks, insurers, and telcos so they could go digital quickly and serve their customers remotely in just 72 hours. Lightico developed a mobile platform to help businesses streamline online processes such as collecting forms, documents, e-signatures, photos, consent and disclosures agreements, as well as verifying IDs
21. Creative content startup Lightricks built a whole campaign around its employees working from home, turning them into stars. The company also assigned its maintenance staff tasks they can perform from home, in a surprising transition to their role.
22. Bond, the post-purchase company, started offering NY business owners impacted by COVID-19, to turn their shop into a pop-up storage space, and continue earning money even while their shop is shut.
23. Verint created a dedicated site to support its customers and leverage their existing deployments for COVID-19 related concerns including the monitoring of quarantines and the maintenance of social distancing. The company also assists customers in meeting their pandemic-related security challenges such as border protection, criminal activities, and cyber attacks.
24. Payment giant Payoneer conducted dozens of online events for merchants and SMBs all over the globe, even those under severe quarantine restrictions in China.
25. Vayyar Imaging began collaborating with the Israeli government to fight the spread of COVID-19. Vayyar’s intelligent sensors provide touchless, remote and confidential monitoring to detect vital signs that can indicate early-stage COVID-19 symptoms. The data, including pulse, heart rate variability, and respiratory rate, are all measured remotely.
26. SQream has provided free licenses of its software for accelerated data analytics to government & healthcare entities.
27. IceCure Medical created dedicated Remote Installation and Clinical Training Program to support their users – which are cancer patients, in order to maintain continuity in cancer treatments globally during COVID-19.
28. As on-trade beverage sales remain at a standstill and events continue to be canceled, Ripples launched the DrinkX podcast to fill the industry voids that have resulted since the widespread outbreak of COVID-19.
29. AppsFlyerdirected attention and resources to the community: amongst many actions they’ve taken, they provided families of critical COVID-19 patients with full protective gear to allow them to say goodbye to their loved ones in their final hours.
30. Pitango VC created the #NoFilter series, online events with global tech and business leaders, who have been sharing insights and lessons from their vast experience and previous crises. Among them were renowned names like John chambers, the legendary former CEO of Cisco and Steve Luczo, Chairman of Seagate and former CEO of the company.
31. Papaya Global, a cloud-based SaaS platform that automates payroll, payments, and workforce management, opened a newsroom with daily updates as well as an AMA (ask-me-anything) post on LinkedIn regarding economic and legislative measures. There are also COVID-19 per-country crisis guides focused on labor law changes and their impact on global employers.
32. I.M. Segev, a company my parents co-founded over four decades ago (dad is the CEO, mom is VP BizDev) was asked to partner to create a “contactless” COVID-19 testing booth. Together with Maccabi Health Services, Israel’s second-largest HMO, they manufactured such a booth in less than four days. (I.M. Segev is not a G-CMO member.)
33. And last but not least, Google Israel, together with Ynet, released this video for Israel’s 72nd Independence Day. A beautiful Israeli time capsule!
Fenigson originally published a previous version of this article here.