A little over two years ago, Infobip, one of the leading IT companies in Croatia and this part of Europe, became the first Croatian unicorn – a company that is not listed on the stock exchange but which has a valuation of one billion US dollars. Ivo Novak, who has been working at Infobip for the last four years as the global head of growth marketing, sat down with Petar Štefanić in a 1 on 1 conversation to answer the following questions: What does Infobip actually do, what challenges does it face, what does the ideal employee at a unicorn look like, how do digital teams and employees develop, how did Infobip manage to bring Croatians back from Ireland, what does B2B marketing mean today, and what direction is advertising going in?
Theoretically speaking, digital and growth marketing are not synonymous, while in practice they are terms that overlap in 70-80% of situations. Growth marketing is most often used in IT companies focused on SaaS (Software as a Service) and the mobile industry. Before the advent of digital, classic marketing had a campaign approach that still works today in some segments. In growth marketing, a bunch of product iterations are done. It’s about testing a lot of small hypotheses individually, on a case-by-case basis. There are no annual and quarterly plans here, everything changes very quickly. In the IT and digital world, change is much more common. Products and approaches to the market are changing, and everything from last year can be thrown in the trash.
“You end the day in the afternoon just when the America market is waking up. I don’t have a classic working day. You get up in the morning and you start solving problems around the world. This is a big system with various challenges. And practically all the situations you come across in a day, you have never encountered before, which is quite demanding mentally. If I were to describe the profile of an ideal person in this job, they should definitely have a background in marketing. But this is not absolutely necessary. In our team we have psychologists, as well as a range of people who are technically well-versed. If a person does not have one of the mentioned backgrounds, they can be taught,” explained Novak.
Staff, staff, staff
“A large number of old school companies will redesign their website every 2 years. Big, successful companies don’t do that. Look at Facebook or Amazon. They are constantly making small changes and tracking the results. Nine out of 10 experiments fail. Nothing is written in stone. Why should we do something if we don’t know whether it makes sense?” said Novak.