Interview with Avi Zolty, CMO at CTRL Collective & Founder at Earfleek
Avi Zolty is currently working as Chief Marketing Officer at CTRL Collective, a creative campus where entrepreneurs, innovators, and creators can embody their passions and turn them into reality. They focus on their community, driving their members to their potential and creating an ecosystem with a familial atmosphere. Avi’s passion for Software startups has motivated him in founding IvoryClasp, Earfleek, Skurt, and Beatdeck and to teach over 30 classes at General Assembly.
Your Journey as a Marketing Professional:
I got into startups in my early high school years launching a string of failed companies. My first successful marketing gig was a teen nightclub. Realizing the ability to leverage social clout and Facebook to drive traffic to events, a friend and I rented out a local laser tag arena and launched a teen nightclub. This progressed into larger and older events where I gained first-hand knowledge into the effect and importance of brand management and organizational leadership. I continued to hone my marketing skills- particular the paid social ones- through my experience at Beatdeck (YC W13) and Skurt. After Skurt I spent a year working as a paid acquisition specialist at Le Tote exploring the intricate correlation between LTV and Churn. Using this knowledge and a focus on women’s fashion I launched the handbag-subscription business Ivory Clasp as well as Earfleek. In 2018 I joined CTRL COLLECTIVE as Chief Marketing Officer.
What are the primary marketing channels you have worked on? What will be your advice to young marketers on each of these channels?
Facebook (and Instagram) are the bulk of the traffic today for prospecting users whereas Google is king for Intent-based marketing. What this means, is that if you’re trying to market a business that users are already looking for (example: A law firm or restaurant) Google is likely your best bet. Whereas if you want more direct-response campaigns to sell products or services- Facebook and Instagram are where you need to specialize. While brand awareness is absolutely a critical aspect of your business, this is something that won’t show you an immediate ROI in your early stages (and likely requires large budgets to accomplish). So don’t fall into the trap of assuming you can create a viral video or spending too much on a single influencer/billboard in your early days.
What are some of the important marketing software that you have used and found to be really useful for your company?
Every industry has it’s own unique needs and requirements (and software to help solve for these). The only true industry-agnostic software is Excel. Absolutely every marketer needs to absolutely master Excel.
Would you like to share a few words about any marketing software that you absolutely love and always recommend it to others?
If you own a reoccurring subscription business I would highly suggest looking into TheDunningCompany- The dunning process (credit card failures) is extremely low-hanging fruit that can be immediately optimized. A few percentage points in churn can change the game in terms of what you can afford to bid for a new customer
Your 2 line advice to people entering in the marketing domain.
Never assume you know more than the data and track/attribute everything. Use that data to constantly optimize – and never be too good to try something new.