Digital Cabinet’s VP of Marketing talks to us about Digital Cabinet, our recent rebrand, what marketing means to him, how he got started, and more.
Creativity, much like running a triathlon, takes hard work and dedication—in case you didn’t know already.
And much like training for a triathlon, one cannot just focus on one event only and neglect the others—otherwise, when the time comes for the main event, the job will be unfinished and one will stumble long before the finish line even appears. Just like a triathlon, marketing requires focus on multiple areas, getting them to work together in unison in order to cross the finish line.
For Orri Ben Nathan, Digital Cabinet’s VP of Marketing, a drive for creativity in his personal life correlates with his drive for business and marketing, which feeds his creativity professionally.
Having recently spearheaded Digital Cabinet’s successful rebrand, we asked Orri a few questions about how that went, how he got where he is today, as well as a few more questions.
Talking with Orri Ben-Nathan…
What does Digital Cabinet mean to you?
I’ve been personally invested in Digital Cabinet for years, watching the company grow from an idea that Asaf and Dan worked on in their spare time into this robust platform that’s providing real value to businesses. For me it was an opportunity to take the skills I had learned and implement them to help grow this business, which is kind of a family business in a sense from all sides—for the most part, all the people in the company are friends and family, and there’s a real will for this company to do well and succeed and, of course, I want Asaf [Orri’s brother] to succeed.
Why would you say Digital Cabinet is valuable? How does its value inform the marketing side of things?
Simply based on when I explain to people about what we do, based on their reaction, people immediately understand the need, people immediately understand the value and the direction that the technology is going in. In terms of a marketing strategy, Digital Cabinet is kind of a pretty easy sell—people already understand why they need it.
The more challenging aspect is assuring people that we’re the right company to take over their [paperless & automation] processes. Businesses, everyone really, tend to resist change and get intimidated by it, particularly those that might be less tech-savvy or don’t have an early-adoption mindset.
What does being VP of Marketing mean to you?
Personally, I’m not one to make a fuss about titles too much, I don’t think that egos are a big factor in the company. I’ve always been pretty confident in myself and my abilities that “the sell” will come from people getting to know me and less about what’s on paper.
The crux of the work is getting the message of Digital Cabinet out there—letting people understand what it is we do, how we do it, assisting sales by giving them the tools to sell the product. That is the purpose of marketing. In addition to that, I also focus a lot on the product side of things: I help shape the product as well as helping to understand what the business needs are so that we can come up with products that, a) we can sell them, and b) that our developers know and understand what they need to be building—which entails research and design elements.
Also, in our case, the whole side of branding is under my wing; we recently just went through an entire rebrand and that was all under my responsibility.
Speaking of the rebrand, let’s talk about that…
Typically, what happens with companies—particularly start-ups—is that they start with a certain type of identity and image, and as a company grows and wants to scale-up, that image needs to change to fit the target market.
Where originally [Digital Cabinet was] a small company, today we’re at a point where the business has matured and our brand, our outward-facing side, has to adapt and develop. So we went through this branding process and that’s how we came up with our new corporate identity which is more mature and targeted at larger companies.
We wanted to show that we’re no longer this little start-up and that we’re a serious business that has the skills and the product to take it to the next step.
Where do you think Digital Cabinet (and it’s identity) will be in 5 years?
Digital Cabinet has naturally evolved from a document management platform to a workflow and paper solution provider.
The original vision was to eliminate paper in the workplace, and we did that by providing tools to scan and store existing paperwork, but the whole technological workspace is changing so that all these processes are now digital to begin with—meaning that to scan thousands of documents isn’t actually that efficient. It’s something that we can do, but it’s not something that we recommend in terms of the trend of technology. What we’re trying to do is to make businesses more efficient and to reduce the paper footprint in organizations.
So, if I look at things going forward, I think the direction we’re going is much more workflow-oriented, much more automation. I can definitely see us getting into the AI and Machine Learning space and starting to do certain types of Deep Analytics on data, OCR and image recognition on existing documents—it’s still going to take years for organizations to completely get rid of their paper in the offices.
If we just become a leader in providing workflow, I think we’ll do okay for ourselves.
What technology inspires you?
On a personal level, I’ve been very interested in learning and understanding design and the design process. It’s very creative work, so for me it’s been very interesting learning certain design tools and seeing how the world has gone from just photoshopping things to pretty much anyone being able to think of an idea, mock it up, and come out with something that looks like a real app, without having to code a single thing. So that’s been a really interesting development over the last few years, in terms of the evolution of apps.
How did you get to where you are now?
I’ve always known that I wanted to be autonomous with my job.
I started at another company where I was the assistant to the CEO and quickly became a co-founder of the business. I helped grow it, and that’s where I got most of my experience.
I was always interested in marketing, more the psychology of marketing, and it was an outlet for me to express my creativity. I’ve always viewed myself as a creative person, so that’s why I decided to pursue marketing. Practically, it’s gotten me to places that I’m a lot happier with the type of work that I do.
What are your passions in life (aside from Digital Cabinet, obviously)?
I’ve always had three passions: gaming, music, and sport. It’s like a mixture of my family: gaming and music I got from my brothers’ respectively, and my dad has always been a huge soccer fan.
When I was younger I wanted to sing but was too shy to sing in public, so I learned guitar when I was fourteen; the guitar acted like a shield for me. I’m actually learning piano now. Actually, down the road, when I see myself as established financially, I definitely have plans for a music project or two.
I’ve got a group of gamer friends that I play games with regularly, but playing games for me is less about competing and more about the social aspect of just playing with friends.
Last question: What’s one thing about you that nobody else knows?
Well, I could say something similar to Asaf, but I’d rather be more original. Let’s see…
I’m currently training for a triathlon. I went through a phase that I wasn’t doing sport consistently for a few years, and basically woke up one day and decided that I’m going to join a triathlon group. Some of my wife’s cousins have done some Ironman triathlons and they inspired me—so I spoke with them, joined a group and started training.
For me it’s less about the actual competing—I don’t even know when I’m going to do my first triathlon—I just wanted to start training regularly. I’m getting to an age now where I have to take care of myself more, that was the main motivator.
I actually hate running—it’s painful, but you do it and you feel good afterwards.
If one were to think of creativity like a muscle, as opposed to some kind of abstract talent, then all creativity needs—whether in the arts or business—is training.
Creativity is more like “mental fitness” in the sense that a creative mind is a strong and flexible mind that exercises regularly, consistently and with lots of variety. When exercising, one cannot focus solely on one muscle group—variety is essential, otherwise, the other muscles will atrophy.
Especially if one hasn’t exercised in a while, starting again might be difficult it might be painful, but with dedication, one can regain one’s level of fitness and go even further.
Creativity is all about practice, and Digital Cabinet is here to spot you while you train.
Don’t worry, we won’t let you forget leg day.
You can find out more about Digital Cabinet at www.digitalcabinet.co.za