MarTech360 Interview With Hanan Maayan, CEO and Co-Founder, Trackonomics


“Data drives better advertising, and marketers have historically sought increasing amounts of data to inform their decisions and drive their campaigns.”

Hi, Hanan, could you tell us about your professional journey so far?

Well, I guess my professional journey started with my national military service in the Israeli army, which gave a lot of insights into management and leadership. After that, I got a degree at Oxford University, which was an amazing experience, and since then my career has oscillated between startups and corporate. Two of the three startups I’ve been involved in creating got acquired, so my average is pretty good.

What challenges did the pandemic pose for you and your team? 

That’s an interesting one, and as weird as it may sound, Trackonomics did well during the pandemic. We were already used to remote working, and are an extremely lean, focused team, so there was no fat to shed, thankfully. And of course, the whole e-commerce sector benefited from Covid as audiences migrated online for their shopping and entertainment. So for us, frankly, there weren’t that many challenges during that period, and in many ways Covid acted as something of a catalyst for us.

What sets Trackonomics apart from the competition? 

There are a number of technical and philosophical differentiators that set us apart from the competition. Philosophically, we are a solution that tries to provide a holistic service to publishers. Everything we build, and everything we sell, is with a view to providing a 360-degree service for publishers, allowing them to use Trackonomics to fulfil all of their monetisation, tracking and reporting needs. Driven by the acquisition of, and with their recent addition of Pressboard, we are also consolidating our offering to provide solutions in the sponsored content space. 

The second angle is the scale. There are a lot of things that some of our competitors do that seem uncomplicated, but when you scale those activities to terabytes of data, as we do, it’s actually very difficult. So, our ability to deal with scale to the tune of hundreds of millions of transactions a day definitely sets Trackonomics apart.

Also Read: MarTech360 Interview With Radmila Blazheska, Chief Marketing Officer, SecurityHQ

How, according to you, has the MarTech landscape evolved and how will it evolve in the coming years? 

In the last ten years, data and privacy have been two key, inherently linked themes. And they rightly continue to grow in significance. Data drives better advertising, and marketers have historically sought increasing amounts of data to inform their decisions and drive their campaigns. But of course, with lots of data comes an equal number of consumer privacy issues, and the need to curb aggressive data mining techniques. So that’s the conundrum, finding the balance – and the correct tension – between data usage and privacy.

What impact does affiliate marketing have on the sales funnel of a business? 

That is hugely dependent on the business and, more importantly, on how seriously that business takes affiliate marketing. If a business only dabbles in it, or doesn’t invest enough resources in it, it’s unlikely to have a significant effect on that company’s sales funnel. But, we have seen incredibly successful businesses, especially in the retail space, driving 30% of their sales from affiliate traffic. These numbers are in the billions of dollars. So, I guess the answer to your question is: potentially enormous but the business needs to take it seriously and commit.

What makes an affiliate marketing campaign successful? 

That’s a tricky one to answer, because what makes any campaign successful? The thing that sets affiliate marketing apart is that, at its core, it strives for alignment between the needs of both the advertiser and publisher. The result is a highly aligned campaign. For example, you rarely see affiliate marketing publishers producing content on subjects outside of its natural sphere of interest. It just doesn’t work like that. So, I think – and this is generalising a little – that strategic alignment between what a brand wants and what a publisher can deliver makes an affiliate campaign successful. Also, data and testing are both integral to a successful campaign.

What are the three things that business owners can do to optimise their digital outreach? 

Well, I’ve just mentioned this but intelligent use of data is extremely important. More broadly, alignment with your target audience is critical. These days there are an overwhelming number of channels through which you can contact – and target – a business, so I would say don’t reach out to prospects you have absolutely no alignment with. All you’re doing is creating unwanted, unnecessary noise, and possibly even hurting your reputation. Use as much quality data as you can and spend some time on really understanding who your audience is. So yes, my three things would be: audience alignment, data usage, and knowing your audience. 

Your top pick for a book on MarTech/sales that everyone should read? 

Well, a book that I’ve been enjoying a lot recently is ‘Crossing the Chasm’ by Geoffrey Moore. It really gets you thinking about the main forces behind a lot of the marketing axioms we take for granted. I should also add that ‘The Partnership Economy’ by [ CEO] Dave Yovanno is a must-read.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to first-time entrepreneurs? 

Well, that’s a really hard question. But I will say this: it’s not for everyone. Don’t be fooled by popular cultural misconceptions, or what you read in the press or on social media. Entrepreneurial life is very tough, and unless you know how to take a punch, and get up… don’t do it. As they say, if you can’t take a punch, don’t get in the ring.

Thanks, Hanan!

With a natural optimism that sees opportunities where others see problems, I’m passionate about transforming ideas into reality. As an enthusiastic entrepreneur who thrives on making the impossible possible, I am not afraid to take thoughtful risks and love finding unconventional solutions. My history of founding businesses that push their respective industries forward reflects my strong desire to make a meaningful impact through work. With experience in military special ops; a graduate degree from Oxford University in philosophy, politics, and economics; and extensive entrepreneurial knowledge, I have unique insights into how to bring the right people together to build successful companies.

Trackonomics is honoured to work with major publishers including CNN, BuzzFeed, Condé Nast, CBS Interactive, Wirecutter, Business Insider, Forbes, and American Media. Our platform was named the 2019 “Industry Partner of the Year” by The PPA. We expanded our Tel Aviv base to offices in London, New York, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco. Recipient of the IDF’s Creative Thinking Award for Special Ops. A tech company’s beating heart is its product. At Trackonomics, we love helping content publishers innovate.

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