Get To Know: Mobli Media Inc. CMO Irit Singer
Before being named chief marketing officer for mobile video and photo sharing platform mobli, Irit Singer, started her career as an algorithms developer, earning her bachelors of science in electrical engineering and a MBA from Tel Aviv University.
As mobli’s CMO, Singer oversees all marketing and branding efforts. She is responsible for Mobli Media Inc.’s international growth strategies and business development efforts, in addition to driving new users across existing and new markets and developing global partnerships.
“We are also working on a few very exciting new products,” says Singer, “I am in charge of all strategic and marketing efforts surrounding these – so in short, my current role is to live and breathe the directions these will take.”
Prior to her role at mobli, Singer worked as a marketing manager for L’Oréal, and business group lead at Microsoft. You can follow Singer on mobli at: www.mobli.com/iritsinger.
What mobile device can you not live without?
Which apps do you use most often for work?
My Outlook app. It’s comfortable, easy to use and lets me stay on top of what’s important.
What social media network or website do you frequent most when you’re not working?
What’s the first thing you check on your phone in the morning?
Email, then the time.
Take me through your typical workday.
With three kids and a job at a growing startup, there is no choice but to be an early riser. I’m up by 6 getting breakfast ready and rousing the kids from bed. I go for a run or pilates at 7:30 and then I’m off to work.
My day officially kicks off with the first coffee – well, at least it’s the first one at the office – and then the beautiful chaos of startup life ensues.
One of the things I love most about this job is that there isn’t a typical day. You’re constantly testing new things and being tested in new ways. It makes for a very exciting daily non-routine.
What has been the most exciting work development during the past year?
Before taking this role at mobli, I had spent my marketing career in different positions at L’Oréal and Microsoft, and it was incredibly important to me to try and infuse the best elements of these organizations into the startup world.
Working to find that balance between the power, patience and organization of a major corporation and the passion, energy and innovation that define life in a startup has been a challenging and exciting process to go through.
What does your office look like?
I am a minimalist when it comes to my office and a firm believer that a clean workspace is critical to being efficient and effective on any given day. Apart from a few pictures of and from my kids, I have a fairly cleared out office.
How many miles have you traveled in the last 12 months?
I’ve made nearly a dozen trips to NYC, LA and San Francisco from Tel Aviv for business development and strategic partnership efforts, and, of course, to visit our fabulous new mobli Beach House on the shores of Venice Beach, over the course of the last year.
These can quickly add up, especially when you throw in a few visits to East Asia and South America. I’d say that I’ve amassed well over 100,000 miles this year, but the most interesting place for me was Hong Kong.
What work challenge keeps you up at night?
All of them? Mobli Media has so many different products going at any given time, so the biggest stress is constantly making sure that they are all moving in the right direction.
We have an incredibly talented team, so it’s definitely an added pressure to have all the tools to be a very impactful company. You want to do everything within your power to fulfill this amazing potential.
Can you tell us about a campaign or work project you’d like to do over?
Throughout my career, I have done many projects with different partners. There was one project we wanted to do last year that was based a lot on specific people and their unique commitment to it, which is always very complex beyond the written contract.
Unfortunately, they did not rise to their promise, and this was just one of those situations that we couldn’t predict, so we just let it go. It taught me a lot about the importance of finding the right partners and also about learning how to say goodbye to a project that isn’t working.
Tell me about the people who have been most influential in your career.
Sigal Kalmanson, my former boss at Microsoft Israel, during my time there was an incredible example of how to get the best out of people. She knew that there was never only one way to do things and was incredible at empowering her team to be innovative and creative in their approaches to whatever specific tasks they had.
Professor Jacob Hornick was a teacher of mine during my MBA and he made me fall in love with marketing and the core ideal of building and communicating a company’s story.
Finally, and most importantly, my mom, Professor Britta Hardy, is a constant inspiration and a role model for how to strike a balance between professional growth and achievement and playing a central role at home. Work/life balance is so difficult, and having her as a guide and paradigm to follow has been inspirational.
What traits does a person need to succeed in your position?
Optimism and tenacity.
Can you tell us something about yourself that your team would be surprised to know?
They probably know too much already, I’m an open book.
Why did you go into marketing?
Throughout my career I’ve always intentionally kept my options open. I had a BSc in Electrical Engineering and experience as an algorithms developer, but I was craving a change and decided to make a leap professionally and go and study for an MBA. It was during my MBA that I discovered my passion for consumer marketing and telling the story that serves as the foundation for any brand.
What other career would you like to try and why?
Interior design – I always loved architecture and design, and it seems like it would be such an amazing creative outlet.
In some ways, it’s similar to marketing in that you need to find the balance between functionality and creativity to create something accessible and impactful.
What’s the last business book you read & what did you think of it?
I recently read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and found it very inspiring. She is an amazing role model for women in business, and looking at her story gave me lots of things to be personally proud of, and even more importantly, a bunch of areas in which I could improve.
Outside of your company’s efforts, what ad campaign or video caught your eye recently?
I know this isn’t a classic ad or marketing campaign, but I was blown away by the recent White House Correspondents Dinner and its applications to marketing.
The President has specific messages he wants to get across, but instead of delivering an inspiring speech, he needed to use comedy to get his points across. Watching him was a great reminder about the importance of understanding how to adapt your message and recognizing that very often the platform and context we market within are going to force you to adapt your activities.
It was a really strong testament to the need to be adaptable and flexible to your environment.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)